Diabetes is a condition where your body cannot manage the blood sugar/glucose levels. Blood glucose levels are managed
by the hormone, insulin. Lower levels of insulin or insulin insensitivity, can lead to diabetes. Due to the lack of control over blood glucose levels, diabetics tend to vary between having hyper-glycemic (high blood sugar) & hypoglycemic (low blood sugar). So, the key to control type-2 diabetes naturally is to manage your lifestyle. Read on for more information.
Diabetes is a growing health problem in India. Various studies have shown the high incidence of diabetes mellitus type 2 in India is mainly because of sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, obesity, stress and a diet rich in simple carbohydrates. India expected to a diabetic capital by 2050. New England Journal of Medicine stated that dietary changes, coupled with an increase in physical activity, can reduce the risk diabetes by more than half. The Medical Journal of Armed Forces reported that oral medication pills only reduces blood glucose levels by maximum of 50 mg/dl.
To manage your diabetes, or to prevent diabetes, the changes are not drastic. Read on for tips that can help you manage your diabetes:
Your Weight- Excess fat actually decreases the number of insulin receptors present in the body, thus increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes or aggravating it further.
Food Habits- It’s not just what you eat that affects your blood sugar level but how much you eat and when you eat matters, too.
- Eat small, frequent meals.
- Eating complex carbohydrate (low/medium GI foods) and managing the amount of carbohydrates at each meal or snack will help keep your blood sugar level steady throughout the day.
- Here’s a list of surprising food diabetics should avoid.
- Some studies reported that omega-3 fish oil improves glucose tolerance, high triglycerides, and cholesterol levels in diabetics.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, seeds, oats, and whole-grain products improve glucose tolerance.
Exercise- Regular exercise promotes cardiovascular fitness and weight loss, lowers high blood pressure, improves lipid profiles, improves blood sugar control and leads to an overall sense of well-being. The more strenuous your workout, the longer the effect lasts.
Alcohol- Alcohol worsens glucose tolerance, increases risk for eye damage and possibly hypoglycemia. So, its best to refrain from alcohol if you have a tendency of diabetes.
Smoking- Diabetics who smoke are at a higher risk for kidney damage and heart disease.
Sleep- Latest research indicates that not getting a minimum of 6 hour sleep may impair insulin use and increase the risk for obesity.
People with diabetes are required to manage their bloog sugar levels. So, many diabetics watch out for sugar in their diet,
but is that enough? We have a list of foods besides sugar that could be equally harmful for diabetics, because they have a high Glycemic Index. Foods with high Glycemic Index increase blood glucose levels. For non-diabetic people, when your blood glucose level rises, your body produces insulin to reduce the increased blood glucose levels. People with diabetes are not able to produce enough insulin to reduce blood sugar levels. As a result of this, its important for them to avoid foods with high Glycemic Index.
So, what are the foods that diabetics must watch out for, besides sugar and sugar based foods? Let’s find out…
Dates: It sounds like a healthy fruit, but it has a Glycemic Index of 103 (sugar has a glycemic index of 68!).
Corn Flakes: Mistaken to be healthy, this breakfast cereal has a high Glycemic Index of 87. Often, HFCS is used in corn flakes, that has been linked to obesity- read more about corn flakes.
White bread: We’ve warned you before about how white bread is your weight loss enemy. Besides having a high Glycemic Index of 73, this food has truly no nutrition besides empty calories.
Biscuits/Cookies: Another food that is often mistaken to be healthy, besides the fact that biscuits can promote weight gain, the primary ingredients are refined flour and sugar, both of which have a high Glycemic Index, so it raises your blood sugar significantly. Definitely a no-no food for diabetics
Packaged fruit juices: The Glycemic Index of most fruits fall into the low or medium category, which is acceptable, but packaged fruit juices are not good for diabetics. Most packaged fruit juices have added sugar. Even without the added sugar, many fruit juices have a high Glycemic Index. Find the Fitho choice of healthiest orange juice and healthiest mango drinks.
Our list of surprising no-no foods for diabetics is not over yet. Part 2 of this series, for the complete list of danger foods for diabetics, including the one that’s advertised as a health food!