Diabetic Lifestyle Tips Archives

Making Dietary Changes After Diabetes Is Diagnosed

What Can I Eat If I Have Diabetes?

One of the first things people ask after they have been diagnosed with diabetes is “what am I allowed to eat now?”.  No one likes to think that they are going to have to make radical changes to their diet because of a medical condition.  Getting diagnosed with a condition like diabetes and having to go on medication is bad enough,  without having to change your whole lifestyle as well.  But most medical professionals will recommend that the best way to getting into a healthy eating routine is to  make any changes you need to early on, make sure the foods that you are eating suit your requirements, and stick with it.

The Diabetes Food Pyramid

Diabetes Food PyramidWhen looking at your diet, many start with the Governments’ official guidelines on food groups, now called MyPyramid (but also referred to as the USDA Food  Pyramid).  The Pyramid was first developed in 1992 and is divided into 6 separate food groups such as grains, vegetables and meat and beans.  If you are looking specifically for a diabetes diet, then you could consider the Diabetes Food Pyramid.  This Pyramid is based largely on the old USDA Food Pyramid, and categorizes foods based on their carbohydrate content.  This is because foods with higher carbohydrate content have a greater effect on people’s blood glucose levels.  According to the Diabetes Food Pyramid, it is recommended that people eat between 5 to 8 servings of breads and grains such as bread, cereal and beans during the day, around 3 to 5 servings of vegetables, 2 to 3 servings of milk products such as yogurt, 2 to 4 servings of fruit, 8 to 12 ounces of meat such as poultry and beef and only small amounts of fats, oils and sweets. However, the problem with “food pyramids” is that they are pretty much “one size fits all” and do not take into account individual needs and differences. That is why it is better to consult a diabetic expert.

Consult An Expert In Diabetic Diets

If you would like expert help in developing a suitable diet you can always consider making an appointment with a nutritionist or a dietician. They will look into your requirements and provide you will a tailored diet that you can follow.  The advantage of this approach is that if you ever need to ask questions about your diet or are thinking about modifying what you eat you can always ask them (as well as your regular doctor). Many health professionals also run group classes on living with diabetes and managing diets.  There is also a wealth of information on diabetes treatments and diets on the internet, as well as a huge range of cookbooks for getting recipe ideas.

One of the best ideas is to look into creating your very own food diary.  Sometimes you might want to try new foods that are not on your diet, or maybe you just want to see whether you can pin down the times when you get cravings for certain foods.  A diary can keep track of not only what and when you eat, but also how your body responds in certain circumstances.  This can be such a valuable tool the next time you visit your doctor for a check up.  It can also document your progress over time giving you the motivation you need to stick to that diet!

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Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle With Diabetes

Diabetes  Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Diabetes lifestyleWhen you have been diagnosed with diabetes one of the first things a doctor will tell you is that you need to review all of the aspects of your lifestyle to see if you can make healthier choices.  Many people know that they will have to change to a diabetes diet to ensure that the food that they consume will help them manage their condition.  But there are other factors that you can look at to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid diabetic complications.

Make sure you get enough sleep

One of the areas that people often overlook when they think about a healthy lifestyle is sleep.  There is some evidence that deprivation of sleep may actually be one of the factors for developing diabetes, but if you already have the condition, getting a good night’s sleep can help to regulate blood glucose levels.  Also if you have high blood sugar then the body tries to get rid of it by urination, and this means you may be up during the night several times visiting the bathroom.  Ensuring you are eating the right food during the day to avoid increasing your blood sugar levels, and then making sure you are getting enough restful sleep at night is critical to being healthy.  The other benefit of a good sleep is that usually you wake up and feel like exercising or doing physical activity.  This is very important as increased activity can also help to keep your blood glucose levels stable.

Good hygiene is important for diabetics

Another factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle is focusing on good oral hygiene.  This is because when you have increased levels of glucose in your blood you will also have higher levels present in your saliva.  This can be one of the reasons people with diabetes often suffer much higher levels of periodontal disease.  Paying more attention to cleaning and flossing your teeth as well as using mouthwash is a good way you can keep periodontal disease at bay.

People with diabetes also have to watch for any changes in their feet, including excessively dry skin, calluses and foot ulcers and infections.  Diabetes can damage the nerves that control the amount of moisture to your feet, leading to serious complications.  All of these ailments can be prevented by regular examination of your feet, and quick preventative treatment for any minor cuts, abrasions or calluses.  Many doctors will recommend that patients with diabetes make regular visits to a podiatrist (an expert in foot conditions) for preventative advice and care of any issues.

Did you know that people with diabetes are much more likely to develop some form of hearing loss?  The National Institute of Health has found that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing problems than those without the condition.  As high blood sugar levels can damage nerves, some researchers believe that the nerves in the ear could be damaged as well, thus effecting the person’s ability to hear.  Just as it is important to keep an eye on your feet, it is also important then to monitor your hearing, and talk to your doctor if you feel there have been any noticeable changes.

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