Living Well with Diabetes
Diabetes can be challenging, but it doesn't mean your life can't be full. With your doctor identify your treatment goals. Then make a plan for a healthy diet and exercise regimen to help manage your glucose levels while you continue to take part in work, family gatherings, and hobbies—all the activities that enrich your life day after day.
Eating is a celebration of life for everyone — including people with diabetes. Some people with diabetes shy away from certain foods because they do not know how they will affect their blood glucose levels. Take heart, as there is a way to enjoy healthy portions of your favorite foods.
A healthy diet is one of the best tools for managing diabetes. A regular schedule of meals or snacks that includes the right nutrients, in the right amounts, can help keep glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight under control.
But consistently eating well can be a challenge, and no single diet is right for everyone. That is why it is important to identify individual needs and preferences and plan accordingly.
Consider including a diabetes specific nutritional drink, like Glucerna, in your diet – convenient, balanced nutrition can help you stick with your meal plan to help manage blood sugar levels.
The cause of diabetes is not clear. There are many factors that can increase a person’s risk for developing diabetes, but we do know that lifestyle, including diet and exercise, play a significant role. Type 2 diabetes is more likely to occur in people who are overweight.
Why does exercise matter? One reason is because it helps keep your glucose levels in balance. Exercise burns calories, and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduce your risk for heart disease. Exercise can also improve your body's ability to use insulin, strengthen muscles and bones, and even reduce stress and increase energy.
Getting started – always talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen. Your doctor can help you decide which exercises may be especially helpful in meeting your individual needs and if there are any exercises you should avoid if you have heart or other health conditions. You should also discuss whether exercise could affect the type, dose and schedule of your medications. Generally, it is a good idea to start slowly and gradually build to longer, more frequent, and more intense exercise.
Excess weight can make it harder for the body to use insulin effectively, which affects the level of glucose in the blood. Excess weight and obesity are common among people with diabetes – and losing weight is a frequent goal.
The advantages of losing weight are numerous, including improved glucose control and blood pressure, more energy, improved cholesterol levels, less stress on joints, and more. But losing weight and keeping it off can be difficult and frustrating. You can start by consulting a professional – a doctor or dietitian can help identify your particular needs and provide strategies that can help you achieve your goals.