According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 34 million US citizens have diabetes and between 90 to 95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes. As a common health condition across the world, many people live with diabetes and so they need to learn how to manage it effectively. There are many tools diabetics can use to manage their condition, and with the right health plan diabetics can lead a healthy lifestyle. Here are five dos and don’ts to help you control your blood sugar and stay on top of your condition.
Do Track Your Blood Glucose Regularly
Tracking your blood glucose regularly enables you to gain insight into how your body responds to factors such as exercise, food and stress. It is a good idea to check your blood sugar after exercise, before and after meals, and when you feel anxious and stressed. Using a smart blood sugar monitor, you can link a glucometer up with a smart device and receive accurate results on your phone almost instantly. These portable gadgets can provide an insight into your condition and give you useful alerts and reminders.
Don’t Count on Food Labeled For Diabetics
When grocery shopping you may have noticed certain products are specially designated for diabetics. With a balanced diet and a good meal plan, you do not need to rely on “diabetic food.” Furthermore, cooking your own meals from scratch and using healthy, fresh ingredients will ensure you know exactly what goes into your meals. Specially designated food for diabetics may use artificial substitutes, and the levels of fat, sugar, and sodium may still negatively affect your blood sugar level.
Do Fuel Your Body With Nutritious Food
A healthful diet filled with nutrient-rich food can help improve blood sugar levels, which can help stop your blood glucose from spiking and dropping. Your diet should be filled with high-fiber food such as vegetables, grains, fruits, and beans; and food that is low in fat, salt, and sugar. By being mindful about what you fuel your body with you can maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of developing other health conditions, and keep your blood glucose level in a healthy range.
Don’t Let Stress Take Control
Feelings of stress and anxiety can affect anyone, whether they have a chronic health condition or not. Unfortunately, stress can interfere with a diabetic’s ability to cope with their condition, which can lead to poor health management. Being able to control your stress will enable you to tackle your condition better. Meditation is an ancient practice that can help you relax and destress.
Do Exercise Regularly
Pairing a healthy diet with regular exercise can help you reduce blood sugar levels while maintaining an ideal weight. Incorporating strength-training exercises with cardio can help improve insulin sensitivity, and engaging your body in different ways can help improve your overall fitness. Healthy adults should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise. During the week, there should be at least two days of strength-training activity.