Health

Diabetes Friendly Diet

This is our final part of the Diabetes series and we are looking at wrapping it up by telling you how to manage Diabetes.

What diet a diabetic should follow?
  • A diabetic should follow a balanced nutritious diet. One should focus of high fiber food.
  • More of carbohydrates must be given as complex starches rather than simple sugars as they breakdown more slowly to release glucose in blood.
  • The presence of complex carbohydrates like grains, vegetables and other starches slows the glucose absorption.
  • Avoid taking food supplements. It is better to take a whole grain food item.
  • A diabetic should avoid taking glucose, honey, sugar, candies, chocolates and all sweets.
  • Some foods are restricted for diabetics such as: potatoes, arbi, sweet potatoes, mangoes, alcoholic beverages, fried food, salad oils, dry fruits, deep friend food, cakes and pastries.
  • Diabetics should eat good amount of green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumber, radish, buttermilk, tea and coffee without sugar.
  • If you crave for some sweet then you can substitute it with fruit.
  • Do not skip your meals. It is strongly recommended for the people who are on medication to manage their blood sugar level.
  • It is also important to maintain a fix routine of your meals and amount of food you eat.

Tips to manage diabetes:
  • An insulin pump can help you control your blood sugar level. Hence, you can reduce the chances of developing diabetes related complications.
  • You can lower the chances of developing diabetes if you can control you saturated fat intake. They are found in animal fats (meat, butter, lard, bacon, cheese); coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils and dairy products.
  • People with diabetes are prone to get foot ulcer. Ulcer is an open sore. Prevention is essential. Pamper your feet. Keep them clean, dry, and protected from injury.
  • You can prevent yourself or your family members from getting diabetes by following an active lifestyle. Walk 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and lose 7% of weight and keep it off.
  • Take good care of yourself if you are a diabetic. Consult the doctor if you see any sign of complication due to diabetes.
  • If you are a diabetic consider joining a diabetes support group. You can share your experiences and boost your confidence to manage the disease.
  • Doctors recommend a blood test for thyroid hormone once a year for diabetics. Diabetes puts a person at risk of thyroid problems.
  • It is suggested that a diabetic should eat 4 to 5 small meals during the day instead for 3 large meals. As eating small meals during the day will decrease your hunger and reduce the number of calories you intake.
  • Diabetes can affect every part of your body. A diabetic need to follow daily body care routine and stress management techniques to curb diabetes complications.
  • Keep skin clean and dry. Use talcum powder in areas where skin touches skin, such as armpits and groin.
  • Avoid very hot baths and showers. If your skin is dry, don't use bubble baths. Moisturizing soaps may help. Afterward, use a standard skin lotion.
  • Scratching dry or itchy skin can open it up and allow infection to set in. Moisturize your skin to prevent chapping, especially in cold or windy weather.
  • Treat cuts right away. Wash minor cuts with soap and water. Do not use Mercurochrome antiseptic, alcohol, or iodine to clean skin because they are too harsh.
  • Take good care of your feet. Check them every day for sores and cuts. Wear broad, flat shoes that fit well.
  • People on standard diabetes treatment got retinopathy four times as often as people who kept their blood sugar levels close to normal.
  • A diabetic need to see a eye professional for detailed examination once a year. If you have blur vision or have any difficulty in reading books or signs then it's the time to get your eyes checked.
  • If you are a diabetic for years and aging between 10 and 29 years old then you must get a yearly eye check up done.
  • Research shows that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes. The three main steps in fighting gum disease are brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly.
  • A toothbrush can only clean one or two teeth at a time. Allow about 3 minutes of brushing to clean all your teeth well.
  • Diabetics should do flossing daily to keep their teeth and gum clean. Flossing cleans away plaque and bits of food from between the teeth and below the gum line.
  • Tell your dentist you have diabetes. Also, share any problems with infections or trouble keeping your blood sugar levels under control.
  • Eat before you go to see your dentist. The best time for dental work is when your blood sugar level is in a normal range and your diabetes medication action is low.
  • Stick to your normal meal plan after dental work. If you can't chew well, plan how to get the calories you need.
  • Check your feet every day. Look at your bare feet for red spots, cuts, swelling, and blisters. If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for help.
  • Diabetics need to give a little extra care to their feet. They should wash their feet every day. Dry them carefully, especially between the toes.
  • Anyone having diabetes should keep your skin soft and smooth. Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes.
  • Diabetics should try to keep the blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, two or three times a day.
  • Protect your feet from hot and cold. Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Don't put your feet into hot water.
  • Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Check inside your shoes before wearing them.
  • In people with type 2 diabetes, mental stress often raises blood glucose levels. Physical stress, such as illness or injury, causes higher blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
  • Diabetics should a follow a few steps to reduce stress. If traffic upsets you, for example, maybe you can find a new route to work or leave home early enough to miss the traffic jams.
  • If your job drives you crazy, apply for a transfer if you can, or possibly discuss with your boss how to improve things. As a last resort, you can look for another job.
  • If you are at odds with a friend or relative, you can make the first move to patch things up. For such problems, stress may be a sign that something needs to change.
  • For some people with diabetes, controlling stress with relaxation therapy seems to help, though it is more likely to help people with type 2 diabetes than people with type 1 diabetes.
  • Breathing exercise - Sit or lie down and uncross your legs and arms. Take in a deep breath. Then push out as much air as you can. Breathe in and out again, this time relaxing your muscles on purpose while breathing out.
  • Diabetics can do progressive relaxation therapy. In this technique, which you can learn in a clinic or from an audio tape, you tense muscles and then relax them.
  • Replace bad thoughts with good ones. Each time you notice a bad thought, purposefully think of something that makes you happy or proud. Or memorize a poem, prayer, or quote and use it to replace a bad thought.
Reference: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, American Diabetes Association and Medline Plus.
Photo by: www.themeetingplacenorth.co.uk (flickr)
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