If you are one of the millions of Americans who is living with diabetes, you already know that being aware of your body and your condition are essential in maintaining good health. There are a lot of things in your daily life that can impact your blood sugar levels, and many people use a combination of lifestyle changes and medication to help maintain a healthy blood glucose number.
Consuming a Healthy Diet
You already know that a healthy diet has several benefits, including helping you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, and ensuring that you get an adequate amount of essential vitamins and minerals each day. A healthy diet is also an important component of controlling diabetes. Someone with diabetes needs to have a good understanding of how the different foods you eat impact your blood sugar levels, which can vary for each person, and can also vary with different combinations of foods.
To figure out your optimal diet:
- Learn about different types of carbohydrates and their impact on blood glucose
- Study portion sizes so you can easily identify how much to eat, especially if you take insulin at mealtime and need to adjust doses for anticipated portion size
- Balance your meals with a mix of fruits, vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, and good carbohydrates
- Eat on a regular schedule to avoid spikes or drops in blood sugar
- Avoid food and drink high in sugar, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, candy, and other confections.
Another way to help balance your blood sugar levels is to exercise regularly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that adults in the U.S. get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, but for someone with diabetes it’s even more important. During exercise your body uses glucose for energy, and uses insulin more efficiently. Together these two factors can reduce blood sugar significantly, so talk to your doctor about what kind of exercise program might be right for you. Exercise is also beneficial because it can help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight, which also helps control diabetes. Be sure to stay hydrated during exercise, and always have a small snack or glucose tablet around in case your blood sugar drops too low during exercise.
There are a variety of different medications that you can take to help control diabetes, so it’s important to talk to your doctor to get the one that is right for you. One promising new class of diabetes drugs is DPP-4 inhibitors, which inhibit the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 enzyme. Tradjenta (linagliptin) is among these new drugs that boosts a naturally-occurring compound called GLP-1, preventing it from breaking down too soon so it’s in your body long enough to reduce blood glucose levels. While medication is often an essential part of controlling diabetes, it can be expensive, so if you are having trouble affording your medications, consider purchasing them from a reputable online pharmacy in Canada to keep costs down.
Talk to your doctor today about all the available lifestyle changes to control diabetes and start living a happier, healthier life today.