Diabetes is a disease that disrupts normal metabolism in the body causing high blood sugar levels. This is because of an inability to produce or properly respond to insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas to help regulate blood sugar metabolism. Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult onset diabetes and makes up 90% of people with diabetes. It is most often caused by excess weight and lack of exercise.
The good news is that Type 2 diabetes is often prevented and sometimes treated with healthy lifestyle practices. While medicines are necessary for many people, diet and exercise changes are also important. Here are some basic nutritional tips:
Portion Size- always read labels for suggested serving sizes and know your limit
Balance your Fat, Carbohydrates and Protein- eat a balanced meal or snack, don’t eat only one type of food at a time
Reduce or Eliminate Refined Flours and Sugars- these are sugar to the body and includes nectars, syrups and honey
Avoid Sugar Free Foods- they aren’t necessarily low in carbohydrates and have added calories
Know your Carbs- vegetables should be your main source along with some whole grains, know the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates
Watch Low Fat Products- they’re often high in sodium and carbohydrates
Record and Track- monitor glucose every day and if you’re curious, record your diet to see how it changes (Good News- a new glucose test using tears is being researched for a pain-free testing option)
Get a One-on-One with a Dietitian or Nutrition Coach- they can offer support and guidance to keep you in alignment with your goals
Simple changes in your diet can have long lasting effects, but it’s important to remember that physical activity is equally important. A regular exercise program along with a healthy diet can help people with diabetes feel better by losing weight and possibly even reducing their medications.