Background On The Biology Of Type 2:
Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. If you become insulin resistant, your cells don't take in the glucose, which is vital to the functioning of your cells. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn't able to keep up and can't make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
A good guideline for diabetics is to limit total carbohydrate consumption to 45-60 (no more than 180 grams per day.) \
A good guide for a diabetic plate would be 1/4 protein, 1/2 non starchy vegetables, and 1/4 starch.
Nutrient dense carbohydrates are recommended. For example; wheat instead of white bread, whole fruit juice etc.
The daily ratio of percentage of grams in the diet should be 55:20:25 (carbs:fats:proteins)
To follow a healthy diet, you must first understand how different foods affect your blood sugar. Carbohydrates, which are found in grains, bread, pasta, milk, sweets, fruit, and starchy vegetables, are broken down into glucose in the blood faster than other types of food, which raises blood sugar levels.
Protein: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends lean proteins low in saturated fat, like fish or turkey. Aim for two or three servings of seafood each week. Nuts, which are protein and healthy fats powerhouses, are also a great choice. Make sure to watch portion sizes as they're very high in calories. Processed deli meats and hot dogs have high amounts of fat along with lots of sodium, which can increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Grains: When choosing grains, make sure they’re whole. Whole grains such as wild rice and whole grain breads and cereals contain fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. Whole grains also contain healthy vitamins and minerals. Refined white flour doesn’t contain the same health benefits as whole grains. Processed foods made with white flour include breakfast cereals, white bread, and pastries, so avoid these options. Also try to steer clear of white rice and pasta.
Dairy: Greek yogurt is a healthy and versatile dairy option. You can add berries and enjoy it for dessert or breakfast; you can use it in recipes as a replacement for sour cream, which is high in saturated fat. Avoid all full-fat dairy products and especially packaged chocolate milk, says Massey, as it also has added sugar.
Vegetables: Non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and carrots are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and other nutrients. Half of your plate should be filled with these veggies. Stick to small portions of starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, and peas. These items are nutritious, but should be eaten in small portions.
Fruit: Fresh fruit is the best option when craving something sweet. Berries are a great option because they allow you to have a larger portion. Avoid added sugar by limiting fruits canned in syrup, and be aware that dried fruits have a very high sugar concentration. Also, fruit juices should be consumed in moderation as they’re high in sugar and don’t contain the same nutrients as whole fruit.
Fats: Choose the monounsaturated fats found in avocados, almonds, and pecans or the polyunsaturated fats found in walnuts and sunflower oil, which can also help to lower bad cholesterol. Limit butter, cheese, gravy, and fried foods. Keep calories from saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your total daily intake. Trans fats are even worse than saturated fats, so avoid them as much as possible. Look for the term “hydrogenated” on labels of processed foods such as packaged snacks, baked goods, and crackers.
Blood Sugar Monitoring and A1C:
The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test. The A1C test is the primary test used for diabetes management and diabetes research.
The A1C test and monitoring of blood sugar are very important in making sure that your blood sugar stays stable and you don’t go way over the amount of sugar intake that you’re supposed to have per meal, as well as per day. As a diabetic, it is vital that you are keeping up, and monitoring, your blood sugar so that you are aware of the blood glucose content in your bloodstream. A normal patient is below 5.7 percent and a diabetic patient is above 7 percent.
Type 2 diabetics should check their blood sugar two or more times a day if on insulin medication. If you monitor your diabetes with a non insulin medication, you may only need to check your blood glucose levels daily. When you wake up, your blood sugar should be under 100 mg/dl. Before a meal, normal blood sugars are 70-99 mg/dl. Two hours after a meal, your blood sugar should be under 140 mg/dl.
Exercise and Lifestyle:
Types Of Exercising: Walking, jogging/running, tennis, basketball, swimming, biking, etc.
You should aim to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week. If you think that you can’t find 30 minutes, you can break up the exercise into chunks—10 minutes here and there. Build up to 30 minutes gradually.
Strength training gives you lean, efficient muscles, and it also helps you maintain strong, healthy bones. It’s really good for you when you have type 2 diabetes because muscles use the most glucose, so if you can use them more, then you’ll be better able to control your blood glucose level. With flexibility training, you’ll improve how well your muscles and joints work. Stretching before and after exercise reduces muscle soreness and actually relaxes your muscles.
Benefits Of Exercise: Lower blood pressure, better control of weight, increased level of good cholesterol (HDL), leaner, stronger muscles, stronger bones, more energy, improved mood, better sleep, stress management, etc.
Location: Chanhassen, MN
"First I needed to forgive myself for not eating right or working out. I accepted that I have type 2 diabetes and now I face it head on."
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a little over a year ago. I never liked going to the doctor, but I felt so sick that I forced myself to go. After conducting a physical, my doctor diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and said that I probably had it for years. I remember that I just sat in my doctor's office in shock and thought to myself, "My life was just saved."
After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I took some time to reflect and realized that between my work and hobbies, I would put in 14-16 hour days with erratic meal schedules. When I did eat, I didn't make good food choices. Food was my comfort when I was stressed. My diet was heavy in carbohydrates and fats, and as a result, my health declined. I decided that no matter how much my life was centered on food and how much I loved to eat unhealthy foods, it wasn't worth dying for and it was time to make a change. I began to research tips and recipes on the Internet to find out how to cook healthy foods. It took time to get used to it, but I've learned how important it is to focus on healthy cooking. I also continued to see my doctor, who was very proactive. She taught me how to monitor my blood pressure, blood sugar and A1c. She also put me on medication and enrolled me in diabetes education classes. During these classes, I learned more about what I needed to do to get my blood sugar under control, including daily monitoring, taking my medication and getting some exercise. For the first time in years, I began to exercise daily and I started to lose weight. After sticking to my treatment plan, losing 30-35 pounds and adding exercise to my daily routine, my type 2 diabetes is now under control.
My advice to someone just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is to accept it and face it head on. Get it under control as soon as you can and don't rely on any one solution. If that means you have to get up and start exercising, do it. If that means that you can't eat mashed potatoes again, replace them with something else. It gets better after you get over the initial hurdle and first few months.
Managing this disease takes time, but it's important to keep your mind and spirit positive and hopeful. Keep moving and work with your care team to find the solutions that work for you. Try to live as healthy as possible to help manage type 2 diabetes and reduce the risks of other complications.