If you have just received a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, there is no need to let the news throw you into a tailspin. Having diabetes need not change your lifestyle, and integrating some easy-to-follow practices into your daily routine will even improve the quality of it.
Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes results from the body developing a resistance to insulin – through heredity, obesity, or a history of eating an overabundance of carbohydrate-heavy foods. Diabetics with insulin resistance are unable to properly metabolize glucose, leading to unhealthy blood sugar levels. Over time, the body’s overall production of insulin decreases. Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults over 40, but it is now becoming more prevalent among adolescents due to diets high in sugar and lack of exercise.
Live Well With Diabetes – Treatment and Management
Many type 2 diabetics can be sufficiently treated with a combination of oral medications like metformin and glipizide, eliminating the need for insulin injections. Slowing the progression of diabetes and even reducing or eliminating the need for medication can be achieved through a low-carbohydrate diet and regular exercise. While diabetes cannot be physiologically reversed, controlling its effects is the ultimate goal.
The Role of Exercise
Exercise not only has obvious benefits but also helps lower blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity. Diabetics should aim for blood glucose control as close to non-diabetic levels as possible. Regularly monitoring blood sugar levels and following a consistent medication schedule are crucial. Testing blood sugar levels two hours after every meal provides valuable information on how your body responds to different foods.
Live Well With Diabetes – A Balanced Diet
Carbohydrates are essential for energy and a feeling of fullness, but they should be consumed in moderation and spaced throughout the day. Complex carbohydrates like fruits, whole grains, legumes, and vegetables are preferred, while simple carbohydrates like table sugar and baked goods should be limited. Incorporating flavorful additions like cinnamon, which positively affects insulin receptors, can enhance both taste and health benefits. Nuts, high in fiber and magnesium, are a favorite snack for diabetics, and pork rinds or popcorn can provide satisfying crunchiness. Green beans or broccoli can be used as pasta substitutes, and there are low-carb pasta options available on the market.
A Healthy Lifestyle for Everyone
Exercising regularly, limiting alcohol and tobacco consumption, and choosing complex carbohydrates over simple ones are common-sense guidelines that offer lifestyle benefits to everyone, not just those with diabetes. By incorporating these practices into your life, you can expect increased energy levels and an overall sense of well-being.