Exercise lowers blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Not only does it lower your risk for, and help manage, diabetes, but it also lowers risk for heart disease and stroke.
According to the American Diabetes Association, a complete physical routine needs to include the following types of activity:
1. Activity such as walking, using the stairs, and moving.
2. Aerobic exercise such as water aerobics, swimming, biking, or dancing.
3. Strengthening such as lifting light weights, elastic bands, or plastic tubes.
4. Flexibility and stretching such as yoga or tai chi.
When exercising, drink extra water and always carry juice or food in case your blood sugar gets too low
Healthy and Balanced Diet
The goal is to eat a variety of healthy foods in all the food groups, in the amount that your meal plan offers. Here are some healthy suggestions for each category.
Vegetables- There are starchy and non-starchy vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables contain less carbohydrates, and can be consumed in a much greater portion than starchy vegetables. The American Diabetes Association puts starchy vegetables and grains in the same category. Some common, non-starchy vegetables include:
Try to avoid canned vegetables and vegetable juices that are high in sodium, fat, or sugar.
Fruits- Fruits contain carbohydrates so they need to be accounted for in your meal plan. A small whole fruit or 1/2 cup of frozen or canned fruit has about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Common fruits you can you can add to your diet include:
Grains and Starchy Vegetables- Choose whole grains to receive vitamins, minerals, phytochemical, and fiber. The following grains have whole grains as their first ingredient:
whole wheat flour
The best choices for starchy vegetables include:
Lentils, dry beans (black, pinto, and kidney), and fat-free refried beans can also be included in this category.
Protein- The best protein choices are plant based, fish and seafood, chicken and poultry, and cheese and eggs. Plant based proteins you can add to your diet include:
beans (black, pinto, and kidney)
For protein from fish and seafood try:
Chicken and poultry without the skin will provide for less cholesterol and saturated fats.
Dairy- Dairy is a good way for your body to receive calcium and protein. The best dairy choices are low fat or non-fat products. This includes:
low fat or non fat milk
unflavored fortified soy milk
plain non-fat yogurt
and non-fat light yogurt.
What foods will raise your blood sugar?
Sugar and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates turn into sugar, which will raise your blood sugar.
Also, eating too much food, with more carbohydrates than usual, will raise your blood sugar.
Foods that are notorious for raising your blood sugar are white rice, white bread, fast food, packaged food, red meat, soda, and whole milk.
What foods are indicated to help lower your blood sugar?
Some foods that have been found to either lower blood sugar, or lower the risk of developing Type II diabetes include:
Some people with Type II Diabetes can manage their blood sugar with meal planning, weight loss, and exercise. Medication and insulin may be prescribed to help meet target blood glucose levels.
Insulin: Insulin is injected into the fat below your skin so it can get to your blood. The different types of insulin are:
Rapid acting insulin- begins working 15 minutes after injection and lasts for 2-4 hrs.
Regular or short acting insulin- begins working 30 minutes after injection and lasts for 2-3 hrs.
Intermediate acting insulin begins working 2-4 hours after injection and lasts 12-18 hrs.
Long acting insulin begins working several hours after injection and lowers blood glucose fairly evenly over 24 hrs.
Oral Medication: There are many medications that work in different ways to lower your blood glucose levels. These medications include sulfonylureas, biguanides, meglitinides, and thiazolidinediones.
Check your blood sugar multiple times daily (depending on what your doctor decides). If your blood sugar is under control, you may only need to check a couple times a week
People with Diabetes have a high chance of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A statin, ACE inhibitor, or aspirin may be prescribed with your diabetes medication.
Eyes: People with diabetes have a higher risk of blindness than someone without diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are 40% more likely to develop Glaucoma and 60% more likely to develop cataracts. Diabetic retinopathy is all disorders of the retina that are caused by diabetes such as non-proliferative, proliferative retinopathy, and macular edema. Early detection, treatment, and management of these diseases will help prevent blindness.
Neuropathy: Nerve damage from diabetes can be prevented or delayed by good blood glucose management.
Peripheral neuropathy causes tingling, pain and increased sensitivity, and numbness or weakness. It is important to protect your feet with peripheral neuropathy.
Autonomic neuropathy affects the autonomic nerves, affecting your digestive system, urinary tract, sex organs, heart and blood vessels, sweat glands, and eyes. It often causes a loss of control over these systems.
Skin: People with diabetes can develop skin diseases such as:
Diabetic dermopathy- Light brown, scaly patches usually found on the front of the legs
Necrobiosis lipodica diabeticorum- Itchy and painful dull red, raised area
Diabetic blisters- Blisters usually found on the fingers, hands, toes, feet
Eruptive xanthomatosis- Itchy firm, yellow enlargements in the skin
Wellness Lives Here is a program through the American Diabetes Association that "helps communities, organizations, and companies educate and motivate to adopt healthful habits to reduce the impact of type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses."
The American Diabetes Association has online educational tools that help with healthy eating, managing type 2 diabetes, and assessing health risks.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers health information to the public about developing nutrition plans for diabetes patients.
The National Diabetes Education Program provides online publications about diabetes in children and adults