Choose Carbs Carefully
Diabetes doesn't mean you have to cut carbs completely. Choose carbohydrates that break down in the body slowly, providing steady energy. Reach for whole grains, beans, nuts, and fresh vegetables and fruits. Yes, you can eat fruit even though it's sweet. It's about eating the right amounts of carbohydrates at each meal. A registered dietitian can help you learn how much is right for you.
Lose Weight If You Need To
Start small. If you are overweight, shedding just a few pounds can improve the body's ability to use insulin. It'll help lower your blood sugar and improve your blood pressure and blood fats. You'll also have more energy. Ready? Aim to burn more calories than you eat by creating a calorific deficit. To start, try cutting excess fat, sugar, and calories from your diet.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting too much or too little sleep can increase your appetite and cravings for high-carb foods. That can lead to weight gain, increasing your risk for complications such as heart disease. So go for seven or eight hours of sleep a night. If you have sleep apnea, treating it can improve your sleep and lower your blood sugar levels.
Be Active: Exercise and Diabetes
Pick something you like -- walking, dancing, biking, or just marching in place while you're on the phone. Do it a 20 - 30 minutes a day; work up to that if you need to. Exercise can help you lower your cardiovascular risks, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels, and keep your weight down. Exercise also relieves stress and may help you cut back on diabetes medication.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Daily
You know you're supposed to check it. And actually checking your blood glucose levels can help you avoid diabetes complications, like nerve pain, or keep them from getting worse. Checking it can also help you see how foods and activities affect you, and if your treatment plan is working. Your doctor can help you set a target glucose level range. The closer you get to your target, the better you'll feel.
When you have diabetes, stress can cause your blood glucose levels to rise. Get rid of whatever physical or mental stresses you have. Learn how to cope with other stresses beyond your control by learning coping techniques. Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation may be especially effective if you have type 2 diabetes.
Be sure to check out Tips to avoid diabetes complications - Part 2 next week, where I will give you 6 more tips to control your type 2 diabetes.
In the mean time if you wish to learn more about