Diabetes affects 8.8% of India’s adult population with 72,946,400 cases being recorded in 2017 alone, according to the International Diabetes Federation. One of the country’s fastest-growing diseases, diabetes cases could number 134 million by 2025.
Early diagnosis and intervention is the starting point of living with diabetes. You need to analyse and learn what makes your blood sugar levels rise and fall and how to control these day-to-day factors. The more you know about factors that influence your blood sugar level, the more you can anticipate fluctuations and plan accordingly.
Keeping your blood sugar levels within the range recommended by your doctor can be challenging. That’s because so many things make your blood sugar levels change, sometimes unexpectedly. So, the rules of dealing with diabetes are simple, with proper care and the right nutrition, you can still live your life to the fullest.
Most of your day-to-day care of diabetes is up to you. You can make choices that will have a positive effect on your diabetes. Here are ten important choices that you can make!
1: Make Healthy Food Choices:
One of the main components to healthy living is healthy food and when it comes to diabetes, you need to be extra careful about your eating patterns and how they impact your blood glucose levels.
There are certain points to jot down in your brain that will help you manage your diabetes better:
Healthy meal planning is an important part of your diabetes treatment plan so here are some key points you should always remember:
- Control Your Carb Intake: Carbs are broken down into glucose, which, in turn, raises your blood sugar levels. Reducing your carbohydrate intake is a must for diabetics.
- Increase Your Fibre Intake: Eating plenty of fibre can help with blood sugar control as fibre slows carb digestion and sugar absorption. For these reasons, it promotes a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels.
Foods that are high in fibre include vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. The recommended daily intake of fibre is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.
- Implement Portion Control: The more control you have over your serving sizes the better control you will have over your blood sugar levels. Eat small portions at regular intervals to stabilize your blood sugar.
Here are some helpful tips for controlling portions:
- Measure and weigh portions.
- Use smaller plates.
- Avoid all-you-can-eat (Buffet) restaurants.
- Read food labels and check the serving sizes.
- Eat slowly.
Choose Foods With a Low Glycemic Index (GI): Eating low-glycemic-index foods has been shown to reduce long-term blood sugar levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetics
2: Stay Physically Active:
Staying physically active doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym. Just go for a walk every morning or ride a bicycle, or get involved in outdoor games. Your goal should be 30 minutes of any activity that makes you sweat and breathe a little harder at least 3 to 4 times a week. Regular exercise also lowers your chances of getting heart disease. Plus, it can help you lose extra kilos and lower your stress levels naturally.
The best and foremost thing is to lose some weight as maintaining a healthy weight improves your overall health and also prevents future health problems. Especially focus on your waistline, which is the basic standard for weight management; 35 inches (88.9 cm) or more for women and 40 inches (101.6 cm) or more for men is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes.
Some more points to keep in mind are:
- Talk to your doctor about what type of exercise is appropriate for you.
- Keep an exercise schedule
- Know your numbers (Blood sugar levels)
- Be prepared (Wear a medical identification bracelet when you’re exercising / Always have a small snack or glucose tablets with you during exercise )
Keeping a healthy weight and waistline will help you maintain normal blood sugar levels and decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
3: Regular Medical Checkups:
“What gets measured gets managed.”
Another useful tip for better self-management of diabetes is maintaining a log or journal of your blood sugar levels on a regular basis. We all know that regular medical checkups are necessary but in this case, visit your doctor at least twice a year.
Diabetes also raises your odds of heart disease, so you also need to keep track of your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and A1c (average blood sugar over 3 months). Get a full eye exam every year. And visit a foot doctor to check for problems like foot ulcers and nerve damage.
Checking your sugar and maintaining a log every day will help you adjust your diet and medications to manage your sugar levels better.
4: Control Your Stress levels:
When talking about a healthy lifestyle, you also need to factor in your mental health and well-being. This means you need to take a deep breath, relax and control your stress levels. After all, being stressed never helped anyone, did it? , Make sure all the factors that are causing stress in your life are taken care of, as stress plays a vital role in affecting your blood sugar levels as:
- When you’re stressed, your blood sugar levels go up.
- When you’re anxious, you may forget to exercise, eat right, or take your medicines.
- Hormones such as glucagon and cortisol are secreted during stress. These hormones cause blood sugar levels to go up.
What to do?
Look for patterns: Log your stress level on a scale of 1 to 10 each time you log your blood sugar level. A pattern may soon emerge.
Take control: Once you know how stress affects your blood sugar level, fight back. Learn relaxation techniques, prioritize your tasks and set limits. Whenever possible, avoid common stressors. Exercise can often help relieve stress and lower your blood sugar level.
Get help: Learn new strategies for coping with stress. You may find that working with a psychologist can help you identify stressors, solve stressful problems or learn new coping skills.
5: Stay Hydrated:
As 60% of the human body comprises of water, staying hydrated is also extremely important for better management of diabetes. Drinking enough water can actually regulate your blood sugar levels. In addition to preventing dehydration, drinking plenty of water also helps your kidneys flush out the excess blood sugar through urine.
Here we have a simple formula that will resolve all your doubts about ‘How Much water should I drink?’ simply check your weight (in kg)and multiply it with ‘0.04’ the result you get is the amount of water( litres) you need to drink.
( Your weight ) Kg x 0.04 = (Quantity of water ) litres
Drinking water regularly re-hydrates the blood, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces diabetes risk. Simply put, water is the best natural drink for you.
6: Improve Your Sleeping Patterns:
Sleeping, Wow! what could be better in life? A good night’s sleep and proper rest are the easiest ways to achieve good health and happiness in life.
Getting enough sleep feels great and is necessary for good health as poor sleeping habits and lack of rest also affect your blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. They can increase appetite and promote weight gain.
Sleep deprivation also decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels. Both of these play an important role in blood sugar control.
Furthermore, good sleep is about both quantity and quality. It is best to get a sufficient amount of high-quality sleep every night.
Good sleep helps maintain blood sugar control and promotes better weight management. Poor sleep can disrupt important metabolic hormones.
There are various other ways you can pair hummus with other healthy options like brown bread toast, crunchy roasted papad or just a selection of chopped, ready-to-eat vegetables like cucumber, carrots and baked veg kebabs.
7: Take Your Medication Seriously:
Diabetes and medication go hand-in-hand. If your doctor has prescribed certain medicines or doses that are to be consumed or taken on certain intervals, you need to follow those instructions religiously. It is important as they are designed to lower your blood sugar levels when diet and exercise alone aren’t sufficient for managing diabetes.
The effectiveness of these medications depends on the timing and size of the dose. Medications you take for conditions other than diabetes can also affect your blood sugar levels.
Some organized and easy ways to follow are:
- Store insulin properly: Keep your insulin away from heat and light. Any insulin that you don’t store in the refrigerator should be kept as cool as possible (between 56°F and 80°F.) Never let your insulin freeze. If your insulin freezes, don’t use it, even after it’s thawed. Keep insulin cartridges and pens that you’re currently using at room temperature (between 56°F and 80°F)
- Report problems to your doctor: If your diabetes medications cause your blood sugar level to drop too low or if it’s consistently too high, the dosage or timing may need to be adjusted.
- Be cautious with new medications: If you’re considering an over-the-counter medication or your doctor prescribes a new drug to treat another condition- such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, always check with your doctor.
8: Avoid Usage of Tobacco:
Diabetics are more likely to have health problems like heart disease, eye disease, stroke, kidney disease, blood vessel disease, nerve damage, and foot problems.
If you smoke or consume/chew tobacco, your chances of developing these problems is even higher as these habits also compromise your natural stamina and make it harder for you to exercise. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
Fact: Smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers.
It’s best advised to stay away from smoking as there is nothing better than self-control and willpower that can pull you out of such a chronic disease.
It’s better late than never say NO to tobacco.
9: Manage Your Sweet Cravings:
Living with diabetes can be a hellish experience if you have a sweet tooth as consuming sugar is strict no.
As we all know the sugar-free sweets and beverages contain preservatives and artificial sweetening agents so please look at the label for ingredients before you buy anything from outside.
Instead of going for packed food and beverages look for fruits, apart from their sweet taste, fruits provide a cocktail of nutrients without the additional fat, sodium, or cholesterol found in commercial sugar-free sweets.
10: Change Your Munching Habits:
We can’t disagree with the fact that every once in a while we want something or the other to eat in between our meals. So, what do you do when struck by those pesky mid-meal hunger pangs:
Keeros offers 3 amazing roasted supersnacks that are healthy for all and safe for diabetics:
- Keeros Multigrain Roasted Supersnack (Lightly Salted) : A delightfully healthy combination of 6 supergrains; white wheat, rice flakes, dew beans, soybeans, pearl millets, and green grams. It packs a punch of iron, protein and lots of fibre. Whenever your belly and your taste buds crave something crispy and tasty just munch on it.
- Keeros Multiseed Roasted Supersnack (Slightly Sweet): It contains the loving warmth of dry dates and a healthy combination of 4 superseeds; flax seeds (alsi), watermelon seeds, sesame seeds (til), and green pumpkin seeds. Satisfy your sweet cravings with a slightly sweet roasted supersnack. Have it on-the-go; with your meals or in-between.
- QuinoaGrain Roasted Supersnack (Lightly Spiced) : Experience the power of Quinoa and 4 supergrains dew beans (oas ki phali), soybeans, pearl millets (motee bajra), and green grams (hare chane) with our lightly spiced roasted supersnack. It’s rich in protein, iron, magnesium, and fibre. Keep it close by at all times or just carry it in your everyday bag and pop out whenever you get the urge to munch.
Our roasted supersnacks are 100% vegetarian and in addition, they are low on the GI (Glycemic index) i.e., completely safe for diabetics, completely free from trans-fats and contain zero cholesterol. Can you seriously ask for more?