The prevalence of diabetes is astounding and this potentially dangerous health condition is further worsened by an unhealthy lifestyle. Managing this illness effectively alleviates the possibility of developing irreversible health complications. Here are seven diabetic management techniques that never disappoint.
Improve your diet
A good diabetic diet does not necessarily mean you are giving up all your favorite food-you can still enjoy a wide range of foods without putting your health in jeopardy. The healthiest diabetic diet is balanced and contains foods from all food groups; healthy carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats and vegetables.
The trick is moderation and choosing a combination that keeps blood sugar level within your targeted range. A great diet for diabetics takes into consideration how different foods affect the blood sugar level. Here is a brief guidance on the best and worst picks from each food group;
Go for seafood such as salmon which contains heart-healthy omega 3 fats. Keep the red meat on a minimum and if possible avoid it all together. Avoid processed dairy meat as they contain a lot of sodium which can increase the chances of developing high blood pressure. Maintaining stable blood pressure is important for diabetics because stroke and heart attack are common diabetic complications.
Whole grains are a great choice because they are rich in essential minerals and healthy vitamins. Refined white flour is bad if taken excessively because it spikes blood sugar levels.
Non starchy leafy greens such as kale and spinach are a must have. Other great choices are broccoli, asparagus, carrots and cauliflower. Starchy vegetables such as peas, potatoes and corn should be taken in tiny portions.
These are great for diabetics because they conquer cravings for sweets such as chocolates, cake and candy. Canned fruits contain extra sugar while dried fruits have a high sugar content making them bad for diabetes.
Contrary to popular misconstrued misconception that all fat is bad, there are actually some fat sources that are healthy for diabetics. Monounsaturated fats in pecans, almonds and avocados or polyunsaturated fats in sunflower oil and walnuts lower bad cholesterol. Saturated fats are an absolute no go-zone because they increase bad cholesterol hence spiking blood sugar levels. Foods containing saturated fats include fried foods, gravy, cheese and butter.
Trans-fats are even worse, most processed foods such as crackers, baked goods and other packaged snacks are rich in trans-fats. Any packaged food with the term ‘hydrogenated’ contain trans-fats.
Embrace a positive attitude and accept the things that you cannot change
Diabetic management is a daily routine that requires commitment and consistency and it is quite common to develop extreme anxiety about living with a condition that requires a daily conscious effort to remain healthy. To counter this anxiety, a diabetic person has to accept that they are sick and develop a positive attitude that will carry them through everyday struggles with this debilitating illness. Instead of focusing on how difficult it is to live with diabetes, how about focusing on the little achievements you make on a daily basis such as sticking to your diet and exercising. Take time and appreciate the good things in your life such as family and friends instead of focusing on the things you cannot control.
Sleep for an adequate amount of time everyday
Sleep deprivation is has detrimental effects that increase stress levels such as negatively affecting judgment, mood and memory. Not getting enough sleep leaves a person irritated hence easily affected by insignificant stuff. Adequate sleep not only allows your body to rest but also allows the brain the recharge. By sleeping adequately, a diabetic remains in the right state of mind to maintain a healthy diet, a good exercise regimen and a positive attitude that takes them through the day stress-free
Adopt a reasonable non-strenuous exercise regimen
When exercising, the body naturally produces endorphins which not only act as natural painkillers but also improve sleep leading to reduced stress. Additionally, exercise also helps maintain a desirable body weight that makes a person more confident in their looks. When you feel good about your appearance it fuels your motivation to eat more healthily and adhere to a healthy lifestyle that can keep your blood glucose in check. People suffering from diabetes type 2 have a hard time controlling blood glucose levels. A good exercise regimen comes in handy because it can reduce blood sugar levels since muscles use up blood glucose during exercise. Exercise reduces blood glucose levels despite insulin levels. Additionally, regular exercise also helps maintain a normal body weight which is important for diabetic patients.
Reliable and extensive studies on meditation have also established that meditating can improve insulin resistance, reduce stress and significantly improve quality of life by creating self awareness in an individual. Although in the current fast-paced society, the idea of taking 10 minutes daily to sit silently and focus may sound like a novel concept, research proves that meditation helps to focus and calm the mind. By mediating regularly, a diabetic will be able to think through before acting. This self control decreases the likelihood of grabbing ice cream when stressed and increases the likelihood of willingly adhering to a healthy diet and an effective exercise regimen. Diabetes self care requires self discipline and commitment which can be achieved through the self control and self awareness that meditation instills in an individual.
Surround yourself with a great support network and connect with other diabetic people dealing with struggles you can identify with
A good support network is indispensable in the management of diabetes because it essentially reminds you that you are not alone and there are many people who go through struggles similar to yours on a daily basis. Relating and interacting with such people helps to encourage you and keep you on track with your medication, exercise regimen and diet plan. Nothing is more stressful than feeling alone and unsupported. Having a good laugh with friends and a word encouragement from a person who is also diabetic can go a long way in calling anxiety and reducing stress.
Keep up with all medical appointments and adhere strictly to your doctor’s advice and instruction
Managing diabetes takes collaborative team work between a willing patient and a committed doctor. Talk to your doctor when you have any concerns to avoid solvable situations from elevating to uncontrollable levels.
Reliable statistics estimate that by 2012 approximately 9.3% of the American population had diabetes and the numbers are increasing on daily basis. These effective management techniques will help every diabetic to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid developing detrimental complications.