According to the CDC, approximately 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, a number that represents around one out of every 11 people. It’s also reported that one out of three people are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes specifically, a condition in which the body cannot utilize insulin properly. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, affecting almost 26 percent of adults age 65 or older.
5 Health Tips for Proper Management of Diabetes
By keeping your diabetes under control and properly managing your blood glucose levels, you’ll be less at risk for complications involving your nerves, heart, feet and vision. And, it’s totally possible to enjoy a normal, vibrant lifestyle if you’re maintaining your health. Making nutritious food choices, getting regular exercise and taking your medications correctly can all go a long way in managing type 2 diabetes.
What are some specific health tips for diabetes? Here are five things you can do to stay healthy and enjoying a high quality of life:
- Stick to a regular schedule for meals. Experts have recommended that a diabetes diet should include regularly scheduled meal times as a better way to control your metabolism. Plus, regular meal times help prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels and can even promote weight loss. Eat three proper meals around the same time every day, with some light snacks in between – this is especially important if you are currently on insulin.
- Stay as hydrated as possible. Recent studies have shown that drinking water can also help control blood sugar as well as flush toxins out of your system. Plus, it’s not uncommon for those with diabetes to become dehydrated quickly, which slows down the metabolism and can cause feelings of fatigue.
- Include fresh foods with every meal. Of course, healthy eating habits are important for everyone, not just those with diabetes. However, for diabetics, it’s even more vital that you’re thinking about the type of foods you’re putting into your body. Try to include a fresh, green salad or other veggies with your meals whenever possible.
- Complete 30 minutes of daily exercise. Exercise helps your body use insulin and control blood glucose levels. As you exercise, cells in your muscles use more oxygen and sugar than when you’re sedentary. In fact, your body uses 20% more oxygen when you exercise! This means you’re getting more out of the insulin your body produces when you’re staying physically active.
- Lose some of that excess weight. According to a Harvard Health report, about 90 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. And, being overweight is actually the number one risk factor for diabetes. Losing weight will help decrease insulin resistance, lower your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, all which can lead to serious complications if not managed properly.