Diet and Lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle play an important role in managing diabetes.

Diabetic Diet

Healthy and balanced diet is the foundation of diabetes management. However it is not just what you eat that affects the blood sugar levels but also the quantity and time of food intake.

Follow a strict time schedule

Your blood sugar level is highest an hour or two after you eat, and then begins to fall. But this predictable pattern can work to your advantage. You can help lessen the amount of change in your blood sugar levels if you eat at the same time every day, eat several small meals a day or eat healthy snacks at regular times between meals.

Eat a well-balanced meal

Every meal should have the right mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins and fats. It’s especially important to eat about the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal and snack because they have a big effect on blood sugar levels. Consult a dietician for a diet chart that suits your requirements.

Eat the required amount

Eating the right amount of food makes a huge difference. For every type of food, there is an appropriate portion to be had. Use measuring cups or a scale to ensure proper portion size.

Coordinate your meals and medication

Too little food in comparison to your diabetes medications – especially insulin – may result in dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Too much food may cause your blood sugar level to climb too high (hyperglycemia).

Measured and Unmeasured Diet

Here are the two types of diets that your doctors might advise you to follow:

Measured Diet: This diet limits your intake and makes you measure your food. This is particularly necessary for those who require insulin or an oral hypoglycaemic agent and for those who are overweight and require a reducing regimen.

Unmeasured Diet: This diet is advised for the middle aged or elderly and for those mildly affected with Diabetes. This is specifically for those who do not require insulin or oral hypoglycaemic agents and also for those whom obesity is not marked.

Lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle helps control blood sugar levels to a great extent. Regular exercise helps keep weight under control and increases metabolism.

  • It improves resting heart rate and blood pressure
  • Lowers your body fat and helps maintain your weight
  • Lowers cholesterol levels and increases protective cholesterol (HDL) levels
  • Controls blood glucose levels by increasing the muscle’s sensitivity to insulin
  • It makes you more energetic
  • Ultimately, it gives you a sense of well-being and satisfaction

Foot Care

Foot care is very important as it can result in unbearable pains. Look out for these regularly:

  • Cuts, blisters or sores
  • Change in temperature (hot or cold)
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Dry cracking skin
  • Sweaty skin
  • Athletes foot or other rashes
  • Signs and symptoms of infection
  • Corns and calluses

Tips to keep your feet healthy

  • Avoid soaking your feet in water for too long. Wash them well with mild soap every day
  • Remember to dry your feet well, especially between the toes
  • Avoid walking barefoot
  • Always buy shoes that fit well
  • Buy comfortable socks to keep your feet pampered (padded, minimal seams and not too tight)
  • Moisturize your feet regularly, but not between the toes
  • Do not cut your toe nails. File them instead
  • If you get a cut or scratch, take care of it right away

Consult your doctor immediately if the infected area does not heal or becomes red.