Being diagnosed with diabetes can be very stressful. There are many lifestyle changes that are necessary.
Diabetics often feel restricted at choosing the appropriate foods to eat. Rules such as having fewer carbohydrates, less fat, no sugar can be hard to follow. Imagine the hassle of having to read through food labels, counting calories, and taking daily medication. That is also why the Internet is thriving with articles for do’s and don’ts for diabetics. The abundance of information can be overwhelming, especially for newly diagnosed patients.
Here are a few general guidelines for those who want to know what steps to take:
#1 – Aim to lose weight
Most type 2 diabetics are on the heavier side of the scale. The extra weight can cause the body to be resistant to insulin. Losing weight helps to control blood glucose levels. How much to lose? Don’t fret! Studies have shown that the benefits appear by just losing 5% of the body weight.
#2 – Regular exercise
This should be a no-brainer as guideline #1 says that you should lose weight. Start by having a regular exercise routine, 10 minutes a day, and start increasing it every week. The recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week. It helps improve the response to insulin leading to lowered blood glucose levels.
#3 – Staples and meals
Typically, everyone has a basic staple food. For example, you may identify with rice, bread, potatoes, or beans. Why not opt for whole grains instead? Choose food options such as whole-wheat bread, barley, corn, and oats as it is not only healthier but also aids in fulfilling your recommended daily fiber intake and contains vitamins and minerals. Next, try not to skip out on your meals as eating regular meals prevents you from having cravings and pigging out!
#4 – Eye on the fat
If you are never one for eating right, this is the time to start. Start making use of good fats by seasoning your dishes with olive oil, substituting butter with avocado (yes, it has fat!), and selecting low-fat dairy products!
#5 – Carbs can be evil!
Have you heard of the glycemic index (GI)? It is a system that is used to rank foods that contain carbohydrates and how much they heightened your blood glucose. Stick to foods with a low GI.
Diabetic diet guidelines. EatingWell. Accessed 6/6/2017.
Diabetes 101: Taking charge. University of Michigan Health System. Accessed 6/6/2017.
Campbell A. Meal planning 101. Diabetes Self-Management. Accessed 6/6/2017.
Diabetes Meal Planning 101: Tips for a balanced diet. UPMC HealthBeat. Accessed 6/6/2017.