6 Diabetes Care Strategies You May Be Missing

6 Diabetes Care Strategies You May Be Missing

Diabetes care strategies help control your blood glucose.

You have Type 2 Diabetes.

Your blood glucose readings are all over the map.

You need and want to lose weight.

You even dream of getting off your medication.

Using all of the following diabetes care strategies could turn things around.

  • Use the three food elements (protein, carbohydrates and fats) to your advantage.

Avoid saturated fats (solid at room temperature) and trans fats.  They cause insulin resistance, slowing the function of the insulin that you still have and decreasing its efficiency.  Dietary fat is the most “fattening” nutrient providing 9 calories per gram while carbohydrates and proteins provide 4 calories per gram.  Fat is an essential food element but don’t overuse or your weight will increase.  Research shows being overweight contributes to your diabetes, causes cardiac disease and can affect knees and other weight-bearing joints.   For more information: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/fats/unsaturated-fats-your-body-chemistry.html#b  Add plenty of dietary fiber from complex carbohydrates as fiber slows absorption of sugar and glucose rises more slowly.  You feel fuller and won’t eat as much.  60% of your calories per day should be complex carbohydrates.  Get protein from lean meat and fish, nuts, cheese and beans.  QUESTION: which is better—sugar-free or fat-free ice cream?  Answer: fat-free. You can have sugar occasionally. Work hard to eliminate fats.

  • Discover a free medication that helps control blood glucose and has only positive side-effects: exercise.

Make physical activity your best friend.  Exercise burns calories and utilizes glucose for energy, lowering your blood sugar and improving how your insulin functions.  Tracking meals and recording blood sugars?  You will see—exercise contributes to better readings.  Caution: it is a balancing act and if you become a long distance runner, you might need snacks to fuel your body as you run.

  • Follow the rule of six—six meals a day (3 regular meals and 3 snacks).

Breakfast is a must: include a complex carb fiber like whole wheat toast and a protein like peanut butter or an egg.  Wherever you are during the day, have snacks like peanuts, cheese slices, apple with peanut butter with you to keep blood glucose levels in proper range.   Afternoon snack must never be a candy bar!  Keep glucose level with good choices for dinner and possibly a snack of protein before bed.  Protein takes the longest to break down and can keep blood sugar at a good level.

  • Create your plate at every meal.  (see diagram below)

You will become an expert at visualizing ¼ of your plate for carbs (starchy veggies, pasta, bread) ¼ for protein (meat, fish etc) and ½ for non-starchy veggies or salad, but use low cal dressings.  Monounsaturated olive oil and omega 3 oils like flax are good for you.   http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/

  • When leaving your home, be prepared.

As mentioned above, bring snacks with you.  Never be without what you need to keep blood glucose at a normal level.  If you are prone to low blood sugar episodes, have juice or glucose tabs with you at all times.  You might also need to take your oral medication with you and your insulin if you use that.

  • Make time your close friend.

People with diabetes need to be aware of the clock.  Missing a medication or a snack can cause swings in blood sugar, negative symptoms and contribute to your inability to get back on track.  So wear a watch and look at it.  Also invest in a medic alert bracelet that states you have diabetes.

Remember: It’s always good to have your healthcare provider consult with you as to how many cals you can have each day depending on your weight and height.

 

Create Your Plate

Create your plate is a diabetes care strategy.

 

 

 

photo by: DIAC Images

4 thoughts on “6 Diabetes Care Strategies You May Be Missing

  1. Beth,
    As a life long sufferer of diabetes I can say with all certainty that these are excellent and useful strategies to combat the ill wanted consequences of this disastrous disease.
    Often called an invisible illness most people don’t notice the complications from poorly controlled diabetes until it is much too late to stop the runaway train. By learning in the beginning how to control blood glucose swings and weight gains, a diabetic can lengthen their life span and be happier.
    Getting on track to that lifestyle isn’t always easy but it can mean the difference between a good life and one that lacks quality and eventually leads to death.
    Diabetes is no joking matter and to ignore or say you can’t do it is the worst possible attitude one can have.
    Might I make one more suggestion to this list and that is to constantly keep your mental state as positive as possible. The more you believe that you can actively do things to control this disease the easier it will be to do so!
    Thank you for the enlightening post, diabetics everywhere need hope and encouragement!

    • Natalie, thank you so much for your comment. You support my ideas and I truly like the addition to the list: yes anyone with a chronic disease has to believe that health can be achieved. Controlling doubts is as important probably, as controlling glucose readings. THANKS as always for your comment, Beth

  2. Beth,
    I am not a diabetic, but believe these guilde lines are good for any person. The diabetic diet guidlines are those that promote good health. Family members need not “suffer” meal changes with their loved one. They may be surprised at the results for themselves.
    Pat

    • I agree totally, Pat. If we all ate smaller meals and more frequent meals we wouldn’t stuff ourselves when we sit down. And if we all ate more vegetables and less protein and fat, we would drop extra pounds. One thing that’s hard for me is giving up pasta, but with Create Your Plate you can fill 1/2 of the plate with salad and the rest with a meat sauce pasta combo and it works just fine. Beth

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