When managing diabetes, whether it is Type II or Type I, what you eat and when you eat is very important. Some people can control diabetes with diet and exercise alone. Others need medication to help regulate their blood sugar levels. Diet is very important whether or not you are taking diabetic medication. Working with a registered dietitian as part of a comprehensive fitness plan may have great benefits. Most people mistakenly believe that carbohydrates should be avoided; working with a dietitian will give you a true understanding of how many grams of carbohydrates you need. Here are four important life changes to help regulate your blood sugar levels:
1. Eat Often
Eating every three hours can prevent your sugar levels from dropping too quickly. Eating smaller meals will help prevent blood sugar from spiking. Smaller, more frequent meals can also assist in weight loss by helping you avoid overeating.
2. Pair a Carbohydrate with a Protein
Protein will prevent the carbohydrate from spiking your glucose levels. These two food groups like to be together and work well together. Adding peanut butter to your banana or apple is one way to create more balance within your meals and snacks.
Exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood. It is important to remember to eat appropriately to make sure the blood sugar levels do not drop too low. Many people prefer to work out on an empty stomach, but if you have diabetes this practice can be dangerous. Low blood sugar can cause dizziness, dissociation, loss of consciousness and seizures. It is important to fuel your body and reduce the dangerous risks of low blood sugar.
4. Consume High Amounts of Fiber
Higher fiber foods can also help ensure blood sugar levels do not spike. Look for whole fruits and vegetables and make sure to keep the skin on them because the skin is where you will find all of the fiber! The recommended amount of fiber for adults over fifty is 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men. Look for the label below to know if you are getting a higher fiber food.
Amanda Garant, MS, RD, CD
Motion 4 Life Fitness