10 Tips for Managing Diabetes

Health and Nutrition
7.01.2020

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which blood sugar levels are elevated and are not properly regulated. When carbohydrate-containing food is consumed, the carbohydrate is broken down into glucose. Glucose is taken up by blood and transported to other tissues. Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.

Pancreas secretes insulin and if it does not produce sufficient insulin or the body is unable to use the insulin secreted efficiently, the blood sugar levels become high. This condition is called hyperglycaemia which is the result of uncontrolled diabetes (1).

Physical activity, appropriate diet, regular screening and treatment are the measures to be taken seriously to avoid any complications that occur because of diabetes. Diet plays an important role in the management of glucose levels in the blood.

 

10 tips for managing diabetes

Avoid sugar

Sugar increases the glycaemic index of the meal. Since insulin production is affected in diabetes it is better to avoid sugar. A diabetic diet should have more of low glycaemic index foods.

Foods with lower glycaemic responses are more desirable for people who are actively managing their blood glucose levels. That is people with prediabetes and diabetes. The lower glycaemic response could mean less medication necessary to keep blood glucose levels in check

Whole grains

Dietary fiber helps to regulate glucose levels in the blood. It decreases the glycaemic index of a meal. It is recommended to add whole grains to the diet. Avoid refined foods that are made with refined flour and switch to whole grain flours.

Protein foods

Low carbohydrate diet is what is suggested for diabetics. The nutrient which is increased in a diabetic diet is the protein content. If there are any issues with kidney then high protein diet is not recommended. Take moderate amounts of protein in the diet which helps to regulate glucose levels in the blood.

Avoid salty foods

Salt, when taken in excess, leads to hypertension. And hypertension is a risk factor for heart problems. Diabetic people are at a higher risk of developing heart problems. Avoid salty foods such as snacks and pickles.

Use spices

An array of spices and condiments are used in Indian cuisine. Turmeric, pepper, cumin, mustard and so many others.  These spices have bioactive compounds which promote health. These days people have stopped using most of the spices. Fill up that spice rack in the kitchen and start using them.

Keep yourself hydrated

Drink plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated. Avoid drinking sugary and fizzy drinks to quench thirst.

Read labels

Learn to read food labels and understand them. There is sugar in processed foods where you do not expect. In juices, in ketchup and in soups. Learn to choose the right foods. Make it a habit to read the label when you pick up food in the store.

Home-cooked foods

It looks like home cooking is going to become an extinct activity. Unless we cook our own food, we do not have control over what goes into our body. Make it a fun activity, involve children too in cooking.

Maintain ideal weight

Obesity is a risk factor for several chronic diseases. Apart from regulating glucose levels in the blood focus on achieving an ideal weight and maintaining it.

Be physically active

Being physically active, that is exercising regularly is very important not only to maintain ideal weight but also to promote good health. Exercise helps prevent certain chronic diseases.

 

Final word

Managing glucose levels in the blood are very important for a diabetic person. Above are a few tips which help in managing blood sugar levels and aid a diabetic person in leading a healthy life.

 

References

  1. World Health Organisation (2019). Diabetes

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes

 

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