Diabetes is a disease that is affecting millions of people globally. Living a diabetic life is a challenge. Sometimes, no matter how much you try to keep your glucose levels in the range advised by your doctor, it can sometimes get too high or too low.
What you eat and your lifestyle is critical for people with diabetes and monitoring it regularly along with sticking to a meal schedule can be of tremendous help. Blood sugar levels spiking up and down can increase your risk of some severe health issues.
Some symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Blurry vision
On the flip side, if you don’t monitor your blood glucose levels, they can drop too low. Some warning signs include:
With a few strategies, you can manage your blood sugar levels and prevent spikes. Here are some simple ways to maintain healthy blood glucose levels and control diabetes.
Being overweight is known to cause insulin resistance which makes it difficult for the body to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. It’s advised to drop 10 percent of your weight if you’re overweight. Consult with a dietician to come up with a meal schedule and a workout routine.
It’s a must for people with diabetes to do a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity. Regular exercise is required to maintain and keep glucose levels under control. A simple 30-minute daily routine can cut your risk of diabetes by a third.
Breakfast is Important
A study conducted by Tel Aviv University found that eating high energy and more calories during breakfast is a good idea. You should consume more calories when your glucose response to food is low and fewer calories at dinner. Doing this can control blood sugar spikes.
Don’t Skip Meals
It’s vital that you spread out your food intake, starting with a healthy breakfast. Consuming large portions of food in just one or two meals all day can cause significant fluctuations in the blood glucose levels. Ensure to eat three healthy meals and add two nutritious snacks in between to help maintain stable and healthy glucose levels. Blood sugar levels are best regulated when a meal schedule is maintained.
Cut Out Alcohol
Drinking alcoholic drinks can cause your blood sugar levels to drop up to a day later. It’s especially harmful to consume alcohol on an empty stomach. If you must have a drink, you should check your glucose levels first.
Nuts contain proteins, unsaturated fats, and a wide range of minerals and vitamins that help lower inflammation, cholesterol, and insulin resistance. To maintain your glucose levels, you should consider including at least 50 grams of nuts such as walnuts, cashews, chestnuts, almonds, or even pistachios in your diet. The nuts can aid in controlling sugars and triglycerides (blood fats).
According to a study conducted by the University of Sweden, ginger can be used to control blood glucose. The study went on to prove that ginger extracts can increase the uptake of glucose into muscle cells separate from insulin. Consider using ginger in your meals to help maintain your glucose levels.
Eat Whole Grains
Fiber-rich foods that contain beta gluten can help a person with diabetes maintain sugar levels. Whole grains such as barley, rye, or oat brans contain soluble fiber that speeds up metabolism and prevents spikes in blood sugar. Keep in mind that these foods are carbohydrates and as such, should be consumed in a measured manner.
Eat your Veggies
Non-starchy vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, and broccoli are packed with fiber and can help prevent any glucose level surges; all the while providing essential nutrients.
Incorporate Resistant Starch
A study done by the University of Dublin in Ireland showed that resistant starch could be very beneficial. Resistant starch is a form of starch that doesn’t get digested in the small intestine – it is mostly considered a type of dietary fiber. Resistant starch occurs naturally in foods such as legumes, bananas, potatoes, and grains. The starch can be highly beneficial to your overall health by helping control and manage glucose levels.
Cinnamon Always Helps
A 2013 study published in the journal Annals of Family Medicine proved that cinnamon aids in decreasing high levels of blood sugar. Cinnamon may stimulate the insulin secretion from the pancreas meaning people with type 2 diabetes should try to add cinnamon to their diets.
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Vinegar is Good
Vinegar can be used to slow down the absorption of sugar by the body. 2 ounces of apple cider vinegar can improve fasting blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. People with type 2 diabetes should consider taking one tablespoon of vinegar with each meal – any vinegar will do.
Potential Diabetes Complications
Most of the complications derived from this disease tend to develop over time. However, it might be inevitable as having poorly controlled blood sugar levels tend to increase the risk of serious complications. These complications can sometimes become life-threatening if not well managed.
Some chronic complications include:
- Retinopathy – you’ll start to experience problems with your eyes
- Skin conditions – your skin will start getting infections that will take longer to heal
- Nephropathy – your kidneys will begin to shut down
- Vessel diseases – This can lead to strokes or heart attacks
- Neuropathy – You’ll experience nerve damage
- You might get amputations due to neuropathy or vessel diseases
Type 2 diabetes may cause complications such as an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease especially if your blood sugar is not well controlled.
It’s highly advisable that you follow your physician's instructions if you want to manage and control your disease especially if you are pregnant. High blood sugar levels during pregnancy can harm not only the mother but the unborn baby as well.
As a person with diabetes, you should always expect the unexpected. Carry healthy snacks that you can eat whenever your glucose levels begin to drop such as granola bars. You can also carry some quick-acting glucose tablets (sugar pills). As the saying goes; better safe than sorry.
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