If you are dealing with diabetes, you most likely realize that it is a chronic disease and that you will have to do more than just cope in order to feel normal. Although there is no cure for diabetes, many people with this condition live healthy and long lives once they know how to manage their disease.
It is, therefore, advisable that you seek out help to understand how to live with and manage diabetes. For instance, one online site that assists with the whole wellness spectrum of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions and mental health problems within one experience is UpWell. You can also contact the American Diabetes Associations for question answers on how to manage diabetes. There are ways you can live a healthy life with diabetes. Perhaps the seven ways explained below will help you take control of your health in order to live with diabetes.
Follow Your Doctor’s Recommended Diet
The key for diabetes patients to maintain wellness is diet. If your doctor hasn’t provided you with a diet tailored to your specific needs, ask for one. In order to stick to your diet, you should:
- Be careful selecting drinks. Many homemade or commercial drinks contain sugar.
- Keep a food diary. Keeping a food diary will help you to stay on track. It will help you to see your food triggers as well as allow you to prevent bad eating habits.
- Read labels. It is especially important for a diabetic to read nutrition labels.
Know What Foods are Healthy for a Diabetic
The following foods recommended by the American Diabetes Association are not only healthy for a diabetic but are also healthy for everyone.
Recommended diet includes:
- 6 or more servings each day of whole grains, noodles, beans and starchy vegetables. Cereals and breads should be low in sodium and limited. Avoid white flour.
- 2 or more servings each day of fruit
- 3 to 5 servings each day of vegetables
- 2 to 3 servings each day of fish, meat and cheese
- 2 to 3 servings each day of yogurt and milk
- You should partake only small amounts of sweets, fats and alcohol and only if your doctor recommends them.
- Condiments must be free of sugar and low in sodium. You should check food labels of cured, marinated, pickled, canned and smoked foods.
- Stay informed about current diabetic nutritional discoveries and consult with your doctor regularly.
According to WebMD, (http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/living-well-diabetes-facts) a recent study discovered that a low-calorie, low-carb diet of approximately 1,400 calories a day controlled the blood sugar of a person better than a diet that was low-fat but had the same amount of calories. Good cholesterol was raised with a low-carb diet of less than 50 grams a day and a low-carb diet also lowered bad cholesterol and heart disease risks.
Drink 6 to 8 Cups or More of Fluid Each Day
Water is the best choice of drinks. However, the fluids can include coffee, tea, diet drinks, mineral waters, unflavored soda, low calorie drinks or drinks made with artificially sweetened powders. Because milk has natural sugars, you should limit your milk intake.
Sweetened soda, sports drinks, flavored milk, flavored water, fruit juice and tonic water should be avoided or minimized.
Carefully Choose Treats
Sugary baked items are definitely a no-no. However, there are safe treats. Diabetic cookbooks that can be found both in stores and online have recipes for creating sugar-free treats. Health stores also carry inventory of sweet treats suitable for diabetics.
You can treat yourself to healthy snacks such as a small yogurt serving, a medium fresh fruit piece, a small handful of nuts, a few whole grain crackers or celery sticks with humus.
Follow a Regular Exercise Routine
Around 20-30 minutes a day of exercise is enough for most diabetics. However, your doctor is the best person to recommend the amount of exercise you should be doing. If your weight makes exercising too difficult, you could try water assisted exercise such as aqua aerobics, walking in a pool or aqua jogging.
Take Medications as Prescribed by Your Doctor
It is imperative that a diabetic doesn’t skip his or her medication doses and takes the correct dosage on time. Your medications should never be skipped since they are essential to your well being.
Keep Accurate Records
A record sheet should be kept up-to-date on which you record your blood glucose levels. Your doctor should have given you a sheet to keep your records. If he or she has not given you one, request one. You should be careful to record records of your blood glucose levels accurately and regularly show them to your doctor.
It is also a good idea to keep a diary of both your food and exercise. The more information you give to your doctor; the better he or she can advise you as to how to stay healthy and manage your disease.
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