TEN TIPS FOR MANAGING DIABETES
- Check your blood sugar. Trying to control diabetes without checking your blood sugar is like trying to drive blindfolded! Keep your numbers between 80 and 120, below 130, 2 hours after a meal
- Exercise All levels of exercises are beneficial, even if you don’t lose weight it will improve your blood sugar control and your body’s response to insulin. Next to weight control exercise is the most important thing you can do to take control of your diabetes. Aim for 30 minutes 5 times a week (this can be broken down into 3 10 minute chunks) 32 laps around an 18 wheeler is a mile, what are you waiting for? Get moving!
- Keep a food diary It helps to write down what you have eaten. Each time you eat, jot down what time it is and what you are eating and doing. Over time, you’ll start to identify how what you eat affects your blood sugar. You won’t need to do this forever as you will simply come to know how your body reacts to certain foods. Remember YMMV (your mileage may vary) You are always one high carb meal away from high numbers!
- If you smoke STOP! Smoking makes every problem and complication associated with diabetes worse. Smoking raises blood sugar levels, constricts blood vessels and causes inflammation. Smokers have an increased risk of kidney disease, nerve damage, blood vessel damage and foot and leg infections. Do you really need any more reasons?
- Alcohol Just remember that most alcoholic beverages have sugar in the form of empty calories. If you drink, try and moderate it as much as you can and steer clear of sugary cocktails and sugary mixers, your kidneys have enough work to do right now. Better still, if you haven’t started to drink yet, don’t!
- Brush and floss Just as unregulated diabetes leads to high levels of sugar in your blood, it also leads to high levels of sugar in your saliva which raises the risk for dental decay. Brush twice a day, floss regularly and have your dental check ups
- Get your HBA1c checked This test tells you what your blood sugar has been doing over the past 90 days. Try and keep it below 7%, the lower the better. The higher the level, the greater the risk of developing complications
- Good foot care Diabetes can cause nerve damage usually starting in the feet, good care is critical. Keep them CLEAN and DRY. Do not soak your feet or use very hot water. Don’t walk barefoot, if you get a foot injury, however minor, ALWAYS get it checked by your doctor
- Have your eyes checked This is different than a normal vision check. The doctor will put drops in your eyes so he can look at the small vessels at the back of your eyes. These tiny vessels can get damaged in diabetics and can quickly affect the vision. A yearly check can keep your sight safe
- Take your medications You may not notice an immediate problem if you miss your medication. Diabetes symptoms are often ‘silent’ and can spiral out of control quickly. Your doctor prescribed them for a reason, don’t stop unless he tells you to!
HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS
Contrary to popular belief, snacking can be beneficial to good nutrition. Healthy snacks may add additional vitamins and nutrients to your day, help you maintain energy levels, and reduce overeating at meals. But choosing the right snacks is important. Try these healthy ideas:
- Mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, )
- Low-fat Greek yogurt
- Nuts: Almonds, walnuts or salt-free cashews
- Whole grain crackers
- 2 slices of deli meat like turkey or chicken
- Sliced vegetables: Cucumbers, carrots, celery, and bell Try dipping them in hummus!
- Hard-boiled egg
For more healthy snack ideas, contact your Wellness Coach! 888.493.5522