November is national Diabetes Month. Treatment for diabetes begins with a lifestyle change, focus on exercise, a healthy eating plan and weight loss. We share ways to manage your blood sugar levels in order to combat diabetes.
By: Keletso Modisakeng
Manage your blood sugar levels with the following guidelines:
- Decrease salt intake: Avoid foods that are high in salt.
- Quit smoking: Smoking further raises blood glucose levels.
- Exercise: This has been credited as the third most important factor in managing diabetes, after receiving medical attention and initiating weight loss. Thirty minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise at least six days a week is recommended.
- Regular meals: Eat five to six small meals a day, and split up the carbohydrate portions equally between these meals to ensure they are supplied to your blood at a constant and steady stream.
- Fat matters: It is important to monitor your fat intake as with your diagnosis of diabetes is an increased risk of heart disease. Salt-water fish such as salmon and tuna are a great source of healthy fats and diabetics are encouraged to drink skim milk instead of low-fat milk, and eat lentils, chickpeas and beans in the place of red meat, chicken and cheese as often as possible.
- Protein: Dry beans, soya, lentils and peas are a great source of protein. Eat these foods on a regular basis as a part of your protein servings. They will help you balance blood sugar and fat levels.
- Monitor: Consult your healthcare professional about how frequently you should be testing your blood glucose levels.
- Medicate: If you have been prescribed medication for diabetes from a doctor, it is vital to stick to the recommended doses.