Control over the foods you consume is the first step towards blood glucose management. To achieve this, there is a need for consumption of balanced nutritious meals and a healthy lifestyle.
Diabetes will be well controlled if blood glucose levels are always kept close to the normal range. When you suffer from type 2 diabetes, your body develops insulin resistance and controlling blood sugar becomes a problem. This is due to the cells of your body not being able to store and use glucose from the food you eat. However, it is still possible to manage your diabetes by good control of your blood glucose through being careful with your choice of foods, the amount you consume and the timing of the meals.
According to the latest study which has just been published in The Lancet, the right diet is necessary to help manage blood glucose levels in diabetes. This study divided recently diagnosed type 2 diabetics into two groups, with one group given standard diabetes meals while the second group was given an “intensive” diet. The group with the “intensive” diet was given monthly nurse teaching and support. Six months into the study, there was better blood glucose control in the group with the intensive diet while the group with the standard diet’s blood glucose control had deteriorated.
Blood Glucose Control With A Diet: The Basics
According to a certified diabetes educator stationed at the Cleveland Clinic in the state of Ohio, Shannon Knapp, RN, CDE, the first step taken by a diabetic is to find out from a dietitian or a doctor the right amount of calories for the particular diabetic. The amount of calories needed depends on the body weight of the diabetic and the ideal weight of the diabetic’s body.
The following are pointers on a healthy diet which are used by Knapp to help patients check and manage their blood glucose:
- Diabetics should have three meals at almost the same time each day with intervals of between four and five hours.
- Meals must not be missed.
- Do not drink sugary beverages as they use up your planned limited calories intake without supplying any nutrients to your body.
- Be careful with the amount of the various types of foods taken. For such control over your foods, the Idaho Plate Method ought to be tried as it gives your plate 50 percent leafy vegetables, 25 percent starch and 25 percent protein. It allows you to have a little dairy and fruit.
- Time for medication and your meals is important for the control of blood glucose. However, you should seek the advice of your medical practitioner since certain medicines need to be taken at a different time from the others, some before and some after meals while there are some that can be taken at any time.
- A smartphone can help as it may have plenty of apps which assist you to count carbohydrates and calories. Your medical practitioner can help you to choose certain health-diet apps suitable for you.
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The Right Foods To Control Blood Glucose
The Idaho Plate Method uses a plate which has a nine-inch diameter filled with food an inch high. It is planned to give a diabetic carbohydrates weighing 45 grams in each meal and approximately 1,400 calories each day. Consult your diabetes educator or a dietitian on meals that are suitable for you. You can start with the following pointers:
- Simple carbohydrates can make it more difficult to control blood glucose. Therefore, avoid simple carbohydrates like syrup, honey and candy.
- Consume various types of foods from every food group.
- Make sure fat consumption makes up not more than 30 percent of each day’s calories.
- Fill 50 percent of your plate with vegetables of various colors such as green beans, tomatoes, beets, peppers and lettuce.
- Fill your plate with 25 percent of its contents from protein which can be tofu, fish, poultry and lean meats.
- Fill another 25 percent of the plates’ contents with starch, making high-fiber choices such as lentils, beans and whole grains.
- For desserts or snacks, you should choose yogurt, six ounces; milk, one cup; fruit, one small piece; or sugar-free pudding, half a cup.
Whole grains, vegetables and fruits are complex carbohydrates. Since they are rich in fiber, the are suitable for the diet of diabetics. When there are more fibers, they digest slower and stave off hunger longer. There is also less possibility of low or high blood glucose swings.
Lastly, check your blood glucose regularly and if there are problems, you should tell the doctor. During sickness or when your diet has been changed, have more frequent checks on your blood glucose. This will help you to have a healthy weight, control your blood glucose, and manage your diabetes well.