- Type 1 which is often called juvenile diabetes, whereby a child fails to produce insulin which is necessary to flush out the glucose from the blood, otherwise it can turn toxic.
- Type 2 which is called the adult onset diabetes, whereby a patient develops insulin resistance due to obesity and lack of physical activity.
However, for a person diagnosed with type 2 diagnosis, it is not the end of life. You can lead a healthy life with few simple dietary, exercising and medication tips. Here are a couple of points worthy of remembering if you are a diabetes patient or caring for someone who is a diabetes patient.
Diet for diabetes patient
The whole idea of having a dietary regimen for a diabetes patient is to lower the blood sugar level and increase the efficacy of insulin. Some quick points to remember:
- Choose high fiber and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs like white rice, pasta, cornflakes, white potatoes, rice crispies and sweets are high in sugar and spike up the sugar level instantly. Instead go for slow release, complex carbohydrates that will keep you filled for a longer period of time. Some delicious options are brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, multigrain bread, oats and coarse grains like millet, rye etc.
- Further you should also be careful about the sugar content of your food. Fruits, sugary drinks, packaged foods and colas contain high levels of sugar. Additionally alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee also contain sugar. Try to cut down on your sugar intake. If it is impossible to cut it down at one go then progressively decrease your sugar content. Try having black coffee instead of cream coffee. Instead of desserts, try small amounts of fruits which contain natural sugars. Instead of rum, have red wine in moderation which has been proven to significantly prolong lifespan. Non-sugary fruits like tomatoes and avocadoes can be taken in plenty. Most importantly, never take artificial sweeteners. They are worse than the real stuff. Some popular sweeteners are stevia, sucralose, aspartame etc. Although they are approved by the US food and drug administration, there is some controversy regarding their potential health hazards.
- Fats and proteins are important but should be taken in moderation. Saturated fats found in fried food and junk food should be avoided but remember to replace them with healthy fats found in nuts and seafood and olives. Lean protein like turkey, chicken and seafood should be included in moderate proportions in daily meals. You should aim for 1 gram of fat per pound of body weight. So if your weight is 80 kilograms then a total intake of 160 grams of protein is considered as safe. Since diabetic patients are also overweight with significantly high cholesterol levels, caution should be exercised in choosing your fats and protein
- An average adult human being should not consume more than 2000 calories per day divided into six small meals. Never go hungry as your sugar levels may drop, while eating a large meal may spike up your blood sugar.
Exercise tips for diabetes patient
Lose your belly and love handles to decrease your sugar level. As you exercise, you use up all your reserved carbohydrate sources in your body. The body has no other option but to burn up your fats for energy. Further cardio-vascular exercises and weight training helps you to build muscle which in turn increases your Basal Metabolic Rate or in other words the amount of calorie you burn while at rest. So incorporating exercises like running, walking, swimming and weight training will help you to burn excess calories and keep your sugar levels in control. So put on the pair of running shoes or head straight for the nearest gym. Alternatively you could also try high intensity workout like dancing, swimming or running. Even simple activities like doing household work and taking the staircase instead of the lift and walking to office instead of driving may help you to control diabetes.
Medication for diabetes
Regular blood sugar monitoring and medications help you to maintain the ideal sugar levels. Metformin is the generic drug, usually prescribed for type 2 diabetes. Sulfonylureas increase insulin levels. Other drugs include DPP-4 Inhibitors and Meglitinides. Consult your doctor before you take any medicine. Also take help of electronic blood sugar monitors to check your sugar levels at regular intervals.
Through these simple steps, positive changes can be made to your health and diabetes can be kept in effective check.
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