Following diabetic diets is the way to go. Why? Because healthful eating in combination with physical activity and medications if they are needed will help keep your blood glucose right on target. You have the target range suggested by the American Diabetes Association on the previous web page.
I hope you are not overly concerned that you would not like the food or that you may be eating the wrong food. Don’t be. Following nutritional guidelines doesn’t mean eating only lettuce and cabbages. It is the same food you have already been eating except in smaller portion and eating more often so you can keep your blood glucose levels on target.
How can you keep your blood glucose levels on target? There are three things you need to do. First and foremost is making wise food selection in your diabetic diets. Second, be physically active and last but not least is take medicines if deemed by your health care team as necessary.
When taking certain medicines on diabetes, one must remember that the best thing to do is to follow a schedule for exercise and meals and snacks. Mind you there is some flexibility with some medicines. Your health care team will outline a plan with you that will suit your individual needs.
The self-care plan that you will develop with your health care team will determine how many meals and snacks to eat each day. Generally speaking, these are the meals most diabetic people need: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and evening snack. Make a schedule of your diabetic diets as to the time you will have each of the meals.
As for your diabetes medicines and how they work for you, they are affected by your diabetic diets as to what you eat and when you eat so it is a good idea to plan a schedule when to take them. Keep a record of this in a chart as follows:
Name of Medicine: __________________
How much: __________________
Exercise also will determine what and when you should eat in your diabetic diets. Since exercise is an important aspect of maintaining a stable blood glucose level, not to mention keeping you healthy, this should be a part of your self-care plan. This is also discussed in other sections of this site but because it affects your eating schedule, it bears outlining some points to keep in mind:
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1. Wear well fitting shoes and socks should be kept clean and dry. After exercise, make sure you do not have sores or redness in your feet. If you have sores that do not heal, call a doctor.
2. Determine the safe forms of exercise for you with the help of your health care team.
3. It is important to do some warm up and stretch before you exercise and to cool down afterwards. Here is an example of how to do it. Start by walking slowly, stretch, then walk faster and conclude by walking slowly.
4. Check your blood sugar level before exercise so you will be guided accordingly. If your fasting blood sugar level is above 250 and you have ketones in your urine, don’t exercise. If the reading is below 100, have a small snack.
5. Make sure you know the signs of low blood glucose called hypoglycemia so you will know what to do when you manifest those signs.
6. You should carry food and/or glucose tablets that you can ingest as soon as you feel the signs of hypoglycemia coming.
7. It is best to have a friend do the exercise with you. Not only will this spur you on to continue with your exercise plan but also it will ensure you have someone with you when something unforeseen happens.
8. Wear your medical bracelet with you for this will alert people as to your condition when you may not be able to articulate what’s happening.
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The American Diabetes Association believes that most diabetic people do not take their diabetic diets seriously. You should, because a healthy one helps stabilize the glucose level. And if you start taking this seriously, your risks for developing complications later are reduced.
Here's a video about breakfast that has high sugar cereals, pancakes and waffles. They say this is the major reason why one out three kids today are expected to become diabetic. It's only around two and a half minutes long.
You can watch your diabetic diets in different ways. Remember though there is no one best diet for all. Individual needs have to be considered. Most dietitians recommend the following types:
1. Exchange Diet - You will have to follow a diabetic diets plan utilizing allocations which means you have to quantify your food but you can mix and match them. For example, if you are permitted to have a slice of bread exchange for breakfast, you can eat a slice of bread, or a cup of cereal or a biscuit. Ask for an exchange list if this is the way you want to go.
. Weighed Diet - You will have to eat a a detailed menu of specified food, in exact portion. All the foods must be measured and weighed.
3. Free Diet - You don’t have to weigh your food but you have to follow nutritional guidance. Although this requires quite a bit of self-discipline, I like this the best.