A diagnosis of diabetes can have a great impact on your life, changing the way that you can live. However, it does not have to be the end of the world. But how can you manage your diabetes? With simple changes, especially to your diet, you can help to manage your diabetes quickly and more efficiently. The following strategies will help you identify what changes would work best for you.
Review Your Diet
You’ll want to choose the foods you ingest wisely. If you are uncertain what types of foods will benefit your health and which foods you should avoid, you can start by doing some research online (there are a lot of websites available for dietary support for diabetes) or you can seek advice from a nutritionist, who would be specially trained to help you manage your diabetes through diet. Overall, you should avoid foods that are high in saturated in fats (which make it harder for your body to absorb blood sugar, leaving them in your bloodstream), starches that are refined (whole wheat starches are much better choices), and foods with high sodium content. In short: processed foods are not your friends if you have or think you are susceptible to developing diabetes.
Limit Your Intake of Sugary Foods
You’ll want to restrict the amount of candy and foods high in sugar content that you consume each day. As diabetes is categorized by the body’s inability or limited ability to manage blood sugar levels, you’ll want to avoid foods that have high sugar content, because these are going be converted into glucose in your blood. The more sugar you intake, the higher your blood sugar levels will be, and the harder it is for your body to absorb the glucose into your muscles to convert it to energy. There are a lot of sugar-free options for people who cannot do away with sweets that will have a significantly less severe impact on your health.
You’ll want to avoid drinking alcohol, as well. The body processes alcohol in a way very similar to candy; in other words, it can also cause your blood sugar levels to spike with moderate consumption. If you drink to excess, this can often cause your blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low. If you take oral medications to manage your diabetes, alcohol will limit the effectiveness and increase your experience of side effects. It can also affect your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. In addition, alcohol can trigger many individuals into overeating, which can also cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Though alcohol is never a good option for health, it becomes even more dangerous for those with diabetes.
Limit Your Intake of Fatty Foods
There is a chemical in fatty foods that slows the release of insulin in the body (for those with Type II diabetes), which can lead to abnormally high blood sugar levels. You’ll especially want to avoid foods that have trans fats or saturated fats, as these can be particularly devastating to your health. Processed foods tend to be high in these ‘bad fats’ and therefore should be avoided. You can get healthy fats from natural sources such as meat, avocados, and fish.
When it comes down to it, managing your diabetes is the same as managing your diet. However, it is imperative that you learn how to reduce temptation in your life to help you effectively follow your diet. Eliminate tempting but dangerous foods from your home and alert those close to you that you are trying to avoid these foods. This way, they can reduce how much they consume of it in your presence. The less you are in contact with that particular food, the easier it is to avoid and follow through with your diet plan.
Sourced from: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Featured Image: Photo by Alan Levine / CC by