The more you know about good, basic nutrition, the more
you follow the general guidelines for wholesome, well-balanced meals and snacks
- the healthier you'll be. In fact, people living with diabetes often have
better insights into a diet that provides well-being than people who don't have
to be quite so vigilant about their nutritional needs. The American Diabetes
Association - perhaps the most trusted resource for information about diabetes
- points out that managing diabetes is a matter of carefully balancing diet,
medication and exercise. If you manage all three, you should do well.
Listen to your body
You need to eat
Listen to your body
People report to us that diabetes has made them experts on their own sense of
well-being. They're more attuned to what works to keep them feeling well and
get very sensitive to what doesn't work for them.
Exercise: Aerobically. Regularly.
Again, you don't need to go to extremes. A brisk walk everyday. Adding some
stretching makes daily life go more comfortably. Just taking a few extra steps
as part of your routine can keep your heart healthier. Good common sense: Don't
overdo. Do what you can. Then add a little more.
Control your weight.
Your blood sugar - and your knees - will thank you. Everyone benefits from
maintaining a healthy weight for their height and age - diabetes makes that
even more critical. But again, use moderation. Fit weight loss or weight
control into a plan that includes the nutrition you need and foods you
especially enjoy in the proper proportions.
Eat at regular times.
Your body prefers a reliable meal schedule for a stable glucose balance.
Be sensible with your medication.
Use it with care, in response to testing and your own awareness of your body's
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You need to eat well
Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, lean meats, fish,
poultry, dried beans and nuts. These wholesome, appetizing, fiber-rich foods
nurture your body and delight your taste buds. The good news is that, given
what doctors today understand, having diabetes doesn't mean you can't enjoy
your favorite treats. The secret, as you probably have guessed, is balance.
Choose foods from the four main food groups - it's good to have some from each,
every day. Just follow the proportional guidelines in the famous nutrition
pyramid as much as you can.
You need them all:
carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Every diet, every body
depends on these nutritional elements to grow up, to grow healthy, to grow
older with vitality.
Focus on fiber.
No kidding. We are coming to understand that fiber is a major player in all
kinds of health issues. Not the least - it's being advocated (25 - 30 grams a
day) as a way to lower blood glucose and bad cholesterol. In any case the fiber
foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, bran cereals, dried beans and peas and
nutty-flavored wholegrain breads are the staples of good eating.
Cut out some salt.
If you gradually use less, you'll find you don't miss it. Let the true flavor
of the food show through.
Watch out for sugar.
You know. There are many low-sugar, high-flavor choices. Pick them as much as
Water. Water. Everywhere.
Drink lots. Take it with you. It beats every other beverage for health and
genuine hydration and refreshment for you body.
Fat is not all bad.
Experts are finding that fat is an important factor in whether or not you feel
full and stay satisfied longer after a meal. The key is amounts.
A tip - not a rule.
At the supermarket, try to limit foods that come wrapped in cellophane. Think
about it. Chips, snacks, cookies, convenience foods are often high in calories,
saturated fats, preservatives - and they're often more expensive, too. Choose
fresh whenever you can.
Read the labels.
Nutritional facts and figures are surprising sometimes. You may find that some
foods you like a lot may have hundreds of calories less than foods you don't
care that much about. And, in any case, managing a healthy diet means being
aware of and responsible for what you eat every day.