Living with diabetes can be challenging. But with dedication to managing the condition and making the necessary lifestyle changes, you can lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Maintaining stability in your blood glucose levels requires constant vigilance, but the resulting health benefits are worth the effort. Here are some tips from Dr Arun Arora to help you stay on top of your diabetes and enjoy the best possible health outcomes.
Understand Your Condition and Set Realistic Goals
Education is key to successful diabetes management. Fully understand the type of diabetes you have, whether Type 1 or Type 2 and familiarize yourself with your treatment plan. Consult with your healthcare team regularly and be proactive about asking questions. Set realistic goals for yourself, and track your progress to maintain motivation.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Regularly
Tight control of your blood sugar levels is crucial to managing diabetes. Regularly monitoring your blood sugar—at least twice a day—is an essential habit, as it can help you adjust your insulin usage, meal planning, and physical activities. Work with your healthcare team to establish your optimal blood sugar levels and identify ways to maintain them.
Create a Balanced, Diabetes-Friendly Diet
A well-rounded diet is vital for overall health and diabetes management. Focus on incorporating foods with low glycemic index—including whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats—into your meals.
Also, Dr Arun Arora states that you should limit your intake of saturated fats, sugary beverages, and processed snacks. Consult a dietician or certified diabetes educator to create a personalized meal plan that fits your nutritional needs and preferences.
Manage Your Carbohydrate Intake
Carbohydrates play a significant role in blood sugar management, as they directly impact glucose levels. Keep track of your carb intake and distribute your consumption evenly throughout the day to avoid drastic fluctuations in your blood sugar. Emphasize high-fiber, complex carbs like whole grains, legumes, and vegetables over refined, simple carbs like pastries and white bread.
Make Exercise A Priority
Staying physically active is crucial for people with diabetes. Regular exercise helps maintain blood sugar control, decreasing insulin resistance and promoting overall well-being. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, including walking, swimming, or cycling. Also, incorporate strength training exercises like lifting weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight movements at least twice a week.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of complications. If you’re overweight, even a small amount of weight loss—around 5-10% of your body weight—can lead to noticeable health benefits. Combine a balanced diet with regular exercise to create a sustainable weight management plan.
Quit Smoking And Limit Alcohol Intake
People with diabetes should quit smoking, as it is a risk factor for numerous health complications. If you need help quitting, consult your healthcare provider for support and resources. In addition, consume alcohol in moderation, as excessive consumption can lead to erratic blood sugar fluctuations.
Monitor And Control Blood Pressure And Cholesterol
Lastly, for Dr Arun Arora, monitoring and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels are vital for managing diabetes complications. High blood pressure and cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage in people with diabetes. Regular check-ups and a healthy lifestyle can help keep these conditions in check.