From leading sedentary lives to eating unhealthy foods, many things can make your blood sugar levels change. Knowing what day-to-day activities and habits make your sugar level rise and fall can help you better manage your diabetes. A few changes in your daily life can improve your overall health, stabilize your sugar levels, and reduce your chance of developing numerous chronic diseases.
On top of sticking to your treatment regimen, you should test your blood sugar level regularly using a home glucose monitor like the Contour®Next Ez Canada. This helps ensure your sugar level remains within the range recommended by your doctor. Your test records can also help your doctor better manage your blood sugar levels, helping you avoid complications related to diabetes. Here are some lifestyle changes that can help control your diabetes:
Eat Healthy Foods
Eating healthy is the first thing you want to do to stay on top of your blood sugar levels. That’s because the foods you eat and how much you eat affect your sugar levels. Limit intake of fatty foods and processed sugars. Watch your carbohydrates intake because they often have the greatest impact on your sugar levels. Ensure the right carb count and proportion sizes in your foods to get the right insulin dose, and check the types of carbs you take.
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are low in carbohydrates and rich in fiber that helps stabilize your blood sugar levels. Be sure to also include protein in your meals since it helps stabilize blood sugar and help you feel fuller for longer. However, only 20% of your calories should come from protein. Bring your healthy snacks and lunch at work to ensure you stick to a healthy meal plan. Always have a bottle of water so you can stay hydrated throughout the day.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle doubles your risk of developing diabetes and other chronic diseases. That’s because spending much of your time sitting means that you burn fewer calories, increasing your chance of gaining weight and becoming obese. Eventually, being overweight and not physically active leads to type 2 diabetes and makes your body insulin resistant, making it difficult to manage the condition.
Staying physically active is one of the most effective ways to manage diabetes. It does that by improving your insulin sensitivity, which is crucial for keeping your blood sugar stable. The good thing is that you don’t have to attend daily gym sessions or do cross-training to enjoy the benefits of exercising. Just walking a few extra steps daily, riding a bike, or doing any physical activity that gets your blood pumping and makes you sweat can help bring your blood sugar down, controlling your diabetes. It also helps improve your heart health, lose extra pounds, and alleviate stress.
Quit Smoking and Limit Your Alcohol
When not properly managed, diabetes can increase your risk of developing various health problems, such as kidney disease, eye problems, stroke, heart disease, foot problems, and many more. Smokers are more likely to develop diabetes than non-smokers. Smoking when you have diabetes also increases your risk of developing these problems, and increases your blood sugar levels, making it difficult to control your diabetes.
Apart from smoking, you should also watch your alcohol intake. Alcohol consumption, especially if you take insulin, can lead to low blood sugar. Excessive drinking can over time increase your blood sugar levels and cause other health issues. Limit your alcohol intake to one drink if you’re an adult woman and no more than two per day for adult men. Always check your sugar levels before you drink since that will make it easier for you to control your diabetes.
From observing a healthy diet to staying physically active, a few lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping control your diabetes. In addition to taking your diabetes medicines, be sure you get regular physical activity and follow a healthy eating plan to keep your blood sugar level under control.