Diabetes management involves strict adherence to a diet and exercise plan that regulates your blood sugar. Although this may seem complicated, it is not. All it takes is for you to know a few principles. But first, you need to know why your blood sugar levels are so important in diabetes management.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin (or none at all) or the body ignores the insulin that it produces. You see, insulin is a hormone that is responsible for moving glucose (sugar) from your bloodstream into the cells to be used for energy. If insulin cannot do this job, your organs begin to break down. This can cause many serious health problems, known as complications.
But keeping your blood glucose levels within a healthy range can forestall these health effects. Diabetes management can help you to accomplish this.
Keys to Diabetes Management
Controlling your blood glucose levels is not that hard. All it takes is following a few simple guidelines concerning diet and exercise.
Medical science has established certain dietary rules that have proven effective in controlling blood sugar levels. These rules involve managing both the content and the timing of your meals.
• Eat every two hours. As your blood glucose levels reach a peak within about two hours after you eat, this will keep it from spiking too high. To practice this, simply eat six small meals a day, at the same time every day. You may also eat between-meal snacks. Just be sure to keep the overall calorie count low enough to prevent weight gain.
• Eat well-balanced meals. Make sure you include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains in your diet. Select low-fat dairy products as much as possible. Limit your consumption of red meats; choose chicken or fish instead.
• Eat small portions. Check with your doctor or dietician for the proper portion sizes. Over eating any foods can seriously impact your blood sugar levels.
In addition to diet, exercise is also essential to diabetes management. It rids your muscles of glycogen, and it also improves your body’s insulin response. If you shudder at the thought of exercise, consider this: becoming physically fit does not have to involve strenuous workouts. Rather, the key to diabetes management lay in consistency.
• Check with your doctor. Your doctor may need to monitor your exercise program (especially if you have previously been sedentary). He or she could also advise you of specific exercises or exercise programs that would be beneficial to you.
• Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days per week. But work up to this goal. Start with ten minutes, for instance, and then gradually extend the time.
• Move more. In addition to a regular exercise program, you need to move more throughout your day. However, this can be the most enjoyable part of your physical fitness routine. For instance, you can fulfill this goal through gardening, strenuous house cleaning, or walking your dog.
If you follow these guidelines, diabetes management will be easy!