Exercise is a great way to reduce insulin complications for diabetics.
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is essential for everyone, but for diabetics it can mean the difference between waking up at home or in a hospital bed. Knowing what foods to avoid and separating fact from fiction when it comes to eating properly will not only alleviate symptoms, but it can also assist in diabetic wound care. Here are a few guidelines for the more than 25 million diabetics in America to consider when it comes to effective dieting:
The importance of weight loss
There are plenty of myths when it comes to pinpointing what diabetics can and cannot consume, but one thing is for certain: Weight management is crucial when it comes to eliminating health risks. Belly fat is attributed as the worst type of weight gain for individuals with diabetes, because tissue can accumulate and surround abdominal organs, such as the liver. This can have a negative impact on insulin resistance in the body, which allows glucose to build up. If you are a woman with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more or a man with 40 inches or more, you could automatically be at a greater risk for diabetes development.
Which sugars to avoid
The relationship between sugar and diabetes is one that is filled with more speculation than confirmation. There has never been scientific proof that correlates eating sugar as a direct link to Type 1 diabetes, and while consuming sugary drinks has been associated with Type 2 diabetes growth, its consuming high calorie quantities and being overweight that is more of an issue for the disease. The American Diabetes Association reports that eating sugary items in moderation is not severe to a diabetic’s health, and will still allow those who are diagnosed to keep their blood glucose levels in check. Consuming around 45-60 grams of sugar per meal is common, and if a diabetic wants to have a box of cookies with their lunch, it is recommended to cut out another carb-containing food in your meal, such as bread or potatoes.
Fiber is key
Making sure you are getting the most out of your carbohydrates is critical when it comes to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber are the best way to utilize carbohydrates, more so than proteins and fats because of fiber’s ability to slowly release the carbs, which can help the body avoid producing too much insulin. Here are a few great sources of fiber:
- Brown or wild rice
- Whole wheat or whole grain bread
- Sweet potatoes or yams
- Steel-cut oats
- Spinach or other leafy greens
According to the Obesity Society, 90 percent of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are considered overweight. Both diabetes and obesity are generally the result of poor dieting as well as a lack of exercise. The less you exercise and eat nutritiously, the greater the likelihood of insulin complications, which can ultimately lead to amputation. Exercising 30 minutes for five days a week is all it takes to potentially improve insulin sensitivity and work off unwanted fat.
Monitoring how you eat can also be just as important as what you eat when it comes to relieving diabetes symptoms. Maintaining an eating schedule may help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Implementing actions such as never skipping breakfast, keeping your calorie intake approximately the same during every meal and avoiding larger portions are all ideal ways to reduce side effects of diabetes.
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