Diabetes self-management requires attention to detail and consistency in care. Discover how you can take it a few steps beyond the basic treatment methods typically prescribed by your health care team. Learn how to trick diabetes and maintain better blood sugar levels with these simple tips.
Stay Calm and Move On
Diabetes management and the demands the routines of daily life can become stressful. Learn how to stay calm and move on from those feelings of anxiety. Take three long, deep breaths during the day to help reduce stress and regain focus. Even when you are busy, you can fit this into your schedule. Try meditation, Tai chi or yoga. Fit a half hour of fun exercise into your day. Find something that you will stick with on a long term basis. This can help you have a healthier heart, improve blood sugar levels, and maintain a reasonable weight with the added benefit of reducing your stress. Get at least seven or eight hours of sleep every night. Eat a balanced diet to minimize fatigue and feel energized throughout the day. Ask your doctor about C.A.L.M. to help lower your blood sugar, which is an acronym for chromium, alpha lipoic acid, l-arginine and magnesium.
Live and Laugh
Laughter feels good and studies reveal it has true healing power. Laughing can lower your blood pressure and help keep your heart beat steady. It may reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and boost your immune system. Watch a comedy on TV or the Internet. Watch funny cat videos. Read a funny book or cartoons in the newspaper. Tell jokes with a friend. Be silly with the children. Find the humor in your own daily life. Join a community comedy performance club. There is laughter all around us if we look for it and the benefits for people with diabetes/high blood pressure are notable.
Learn the Real Deal About Fiber
Fiber is found in certain types of carbohydrates and it acts differently in your body when it comes to blood glucose levels. Fiber does not raise your blood sugar levels because it is not broken down by the body. This means fiber is very good for people with diabetes such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. An average American should have about 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily. A recent study showed people with diabetes who consumed 50 grams of fiber each day had better blood sugar control than those who did not. The two types of fiber are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber, such as oatmeal, can improve blood sugar control and reduce your cholesterol level. Insoluble fiber, such as whole wheat bran, can improve your digestion. Fiber makes you feel full so you are satisfied for many hours. Include 6 to 8 glasses of water in your daily fiber-rich diet to avoid getting constipated.
Keep Up With Friends
Many studies have revealed people with a strong network of friends and family live healthier, happier lives. Positive friendships reduce the risk of heart disease, minimize inflammation in the arteries, and help lower blood pressure. Choose friendships and human connections that make you feel better through a safety net, enjoyable activities, and healthy behaviors. Friends and family can provide essential support to help improve your well-being. If they live far away, stay connected by talking on the phone or Internet and writing letters. Reduce loneliness by joining a book club, a support group, volunteering and engaging in activities you like with others. Pets are also wonderful companions- like family for people with diabetes. A pet can also give you a good reason to exercise such as walking a dog. Pets also offer you unconditional love and support.
Coffee or Tea
People with diabetes can enjoy coffee or tea in moderation. Recent studies showed coffee and black tea may reduce the risk of diabetes. A study showed the flavonoids in black tea may reduce the tendency for obesity. Talk to your doctor about coffee and tea. Monitor your blood sugar control after drinking coffee or tea to see how it impacts you. Avoid heavy creamers, non- dairy creamers, flavored artificial creamers, honey, Agave, brown sugar and regular white sugar. Drink coffee or tea black or add a sugar substitute with a dash of low-fat milk.
Bold and Tasty Cinnamon
Studies have shown cinnamon in moderation may help people maintain better blood sugar control. Large amounts of cinnamon may aggravate liver problems. Cinnamon can also interact with other drugs and herbs so talk to your doctor before you consider taking a cinnamon supplement. According to certain studies, adding natural cinnamon to your food and beverages could be a tasty way to help control your blood glucose levels and lower your cholesterol.
Learning From Portion Plates
Portions matter for everyone but especially for people with diabetes to help with blood glucose control and maintain a healthier weight. Serve meals on smaller plates to visually satisfy your needs without eating too much. Use portion control plates to help you determine how much to eat of various foods. Half the plate should be filled with raw or cooked vegetables with smaller portions of protein and carbohydrates. Use toddler size silverware to take smaller bites. Work with you doctor, a dietitian or a diabetes nurse educator to help you create a healthy meal plan.
The Delicious Mediterranean Diet with Diabetes
A recent British Medical Journal study revealed eating a delicious Mediterranean-style diet can reduce your risk of diabetes by more than 80 percent. This healthy diet includes fish, whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. It is also rich in virgin olive oil, which contains antioxidants called polyphenols that can reduce inflammation. Make simple changes such as putting olive oil dips on a slice of whole grain toast rather than butter on white bread. Try to add three- four tablespoons of olive oil to your diet daily. Olive oil is high in calories so do not exceed portions. Mix in slices of avocado and a handful of olives to your salads. Try eating carbohydrates with fiber, such as lentils and beans to help blood sugars and feel full longer.