Top Tips to Manage Your Diabetes
Oct 14, 2021 02:32 PM EDT | By David Thompson
There are 415 million living with diabetes worldwide, and this figure is expected to rise in the future.
Diabetes mellitus (often shortened to diabetes) is a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar. There are three main types
- Type 1 diabetes - an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the beta cells, which are the cells in the pancreas where insulin is made.
- Type 2 diabetes - a condition that occurs when the body is unresponsive to insulin (known as insulin sensitivity), causing the blood sugar to rise.
- Gestational diabetes - high blood sugar during pregnancy caused by hormones produced by the placenta.
No two cases of diabetes are the same, but that doesn't mean that there are some general health tips that will work for everyone.
If you suffer from any of the above types of diabetes, the following tips will help you to manage your blood sugar levels.
Cut Your Sugar Intake
Eating a lot of foods that contain high amounts of sugar every day can make it even more difficult to control your blood glucose levels.
Although you can't completely avoid eating sugar, there are some small changes you can make in your diet that can prevent your blood glucose levels from spiking.
Swapping out table sugar for natural alternatives monk fruit sugar enables you to enjoy your sweet treats without worsening your condition. You can also swap sodas or energy drinks with low-sugar alternatives, such as still or sparkling water, herbal teas, or coffee.
Make sure to check the labels of any packaged foods and drinks you buy. Processed foods tend to contain higher amounts of artificial sugars, which can make it difficult for you to control your blood glucose levels.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation
Alcohol contains sugar and it is often mixed with sodas and energy drinks. Therefore, many alcoholic beverages are packed full of calories and can cause a rise in your blood sugar levels.
This doesn't mean you can't enjoy a drink or two at the weekend. But you should drink in moderation and consider swapping your alcohol of choice for something that contains fewer calories and less sugar.
If you take insulin or other diabetic medications, avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach, as it can increase the risk of you becoming hypoglycaemic.
Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables
It's important for everybody to consume fruits and vegetables, regardless of whether they have diabetes or not. They contain essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are important for keeping your body functioning optimally. They also contain fiber, which aids digestion and feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Aim to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables each day. Incorporate one portion into every meal and snack that you eat to maximize your health.
Although fruit does contain sugars, they are natural sugars that have less of an impact on your blood glucose levels than the added sugars found in cakes and cookies.