When you are diagnosed with diabetes, there is the fear that you must make a 360-degree change to every aspect of your life. But not to worry, making serious lifestyle changes can help you live better. Two areas of your life that can help manage the condition and keep you going are the food you eat and how much you engage in physical activities.
Exercising and having healthy foods are essential to healthy living. These two can help you maintain your blood glucose or blood sugar level.
Here are some exercises and healthy food choices you can throw into your diet plan if you are diabetic.
The best exercise for people with diabetes
Staying physically active as a diabetic is not as easy. It is best to begin slowly. You should also get help from your friends, family, and healthcare professionals.
Here’s a list of diabetic-specific exercises that are great for you.
Walking is especially great for newbies to exercise. The best thing about walking is that you do not need to get any equipment or pay for a gym membership. You can get started with walking with a pair of comfortable shoes and a safe space to walk around. Brisk walking for 30 minutes, from Monday to Friday, can reward you greatly. For a type 2 diabetic patient, walking can help you lose weight and reduce your blood sugar level.
The higher your stress levels, the higher your blood sugar level. However, Yoga helps to control blood sugar and lowers your stress levels. The best part is you can do it regularly. Yoga also has added benefits because it can help reduce depressive symptoms.
Arthritis is associated with type 2 diabetes, and both conditions have obesity as a risk. Diabetic neuropathy, which is a condition that happens when the nerves are damaged, can cause joint pain for those with type 2 diabetes. Cycling is a low-impact exercise that is great for anyone experiencing joint pain because of diabetes. Cycling can help you meet your fitness targets and minimize joint strain.
Aquatic activities are great because they are joint-friendly. Swimming is an effective exercise for your lungs, heart and muscles and puts little stress on the joints. Swimming can also help to reduce blood sugar levels, which is great for anyone with diabetes.
Foods to eat when you have diabetes
It is normal for anyone diagnosed with diabetes to think that they must immediately switch their diet to boring and bland meals after diagnosis. But not to worry, you can still throw in healthy foods and make them taste great with natural herbs and spices. But remember to cook with little or no salt.
Generally, your food choices should help you maintain a healthy blood glucose level. Your target is to have varying foods from several food groups.
Here are some foods that you should include in a diabetes diet;
Vegetables are a food that diabetics should constantly have in their diet. These vegetables include greens, tomatoes, carrots, and green peas. Vegetables are rich in good carbohydrates that reward the body with energy and nutrients, making them a nutritious addition to people with diabetes. Vegetables like carrots can improve blood glucose levels and lower your risk of weight gain. Leafy greens are also excellent sources of fibre, which is known for controlling blood glucose levels.
Fruits beneficial to diabetics include watermelon, oranges, berries, bananas, apples and grapes.
Fruits are filled with minerals, vitamins, as well as phytochemicals. Phytochemicals may help lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Not to forget that it can help better your general health. This is essential because diabetes increases one’s risk of having heart disease.
Fatty fish should be your go-to if you have diabetes and want healthy foods. Fatty fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This fat works to promote heart health and brain function. Not to forget that fatty fishes are a great source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats contain components that can improve your blood sugar. Healthy fatty fish options include mackerel and salmon. You can roast or bake your fish for added benefits rather than frying it.
Whole grains are packed with fibre. And eating food rich in fibre benefits diabetics because the nutrient slows down digestion. How does this help? Slower digestion means slower nutrient absorption, thereby providing a normal blood sugar level. Because whole grains are placed low on the glycemic scale, they have little effect on blood glucose. Examples of whole-grain foods include millet, whole-grain pasta and bread.
Also include protein such as turkey and chicken without the skin, eggs, fish, dried beans, and lean meat. Nuts (such as peanuts), yoghurt, and cheese would be a great addition to your diet.
If you are diabetic, eating well and staying physically active can help control your blood pressure, blood glucose level, and cholesterol. It would help if you also had an exercise to maintain a healthy weight and have energy. Remember to run every activity and diet with your doctor before continuing. Do not hesitate to book an appointment on Doctall if you have any concerns.