Live healthy with diabetes
- By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi
Learning to live with diabetes takes a lot of patience and courage. However, with the support of your loved ones and with self-motivation one can quickly find a way to outsmart the dreaded disease.
Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder. It alters our life like no other disease ever did. This is mainly because diabetes is something that can be prevented and also kept well under control. Follow these simple measures daily and lead a healthy life free of diabetes-worry.
- Eat right: The kind of food we eat is very crucial in managing diabetes. Choose foods that have a low glycaemic index. Low glycaemic index means the body takes a long time to break them down into sugars. Go for wholegrain foods, fresh fruits and vegetables. Dump the fries, burgers, canned food, processed foods and foods with artificial sweeteners. Replace your white rice with brown rice, regular bread with wheat bread, regular pasta with wheat pasta and cornflakes with bran flakes.
- Avoid sugary drinks: Packaged fruit juices do more harm than any good. They contain empty calories and leave you thirsty and reaching out for the same thing again. This leads to weight gain. This weight gain leads to several complications of diabetes, especially cardiovascular ones. Switch to fresh juices instead. You may also drink coconut water, buttermilk or good old plain water.
- Stay away from red meat: Red meat contains very high iron content that breaks down the cells in the pancreas. It is well known that these cells are the ones that produce insulin - the body’s weapon for fighting diabetes. Instead go for fish and chicken. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, the most heart-friendly fats on earth that will guard your heart against atherosclerosis.
- Eat smart: For many people diabetes means quitting sweets. This is not so. Occasional indulgences are allowed. However, make sure you cut down on some other carbohydrate consumption when you are having something sweet. This is because you don’t want your body to be overloaded with glucose.
- Alcohol pleasures: Drinking in moderation is allowed. However, we suggest you to quit!
- Go for walks: Walking is the best form of exercise ever. It helps burn the excess sugar in your blood and thus keeps your sugar under control. Moreover, walking helps you to stay fit and keeps your weight under check, thus protecting you from several other diseases and diabetes related complications.
- Yoga wonders: Yoga, the ancient art of healing, has a very positive effect on diabetes. Enroll yourself for a yoga course. Practising the poses under a professional yoga guru will help you to not only keep the diabetes under control, but it will also help you to face the situation with a smile on your face.
- Regular exercising: Exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes a day has several benefits. When you sweat it out, it is an indication that the body is using the excess sugars in the blood. Exercises also keep you fit and free from other complications.
- Self-monitoring the blood glucose: When you check the sugar levels yourself at home, you realize and learn many things. You understand how the sugar levels fluctuate after eating certain foods, how exercising affects the sugar levels and how stress can alter the sugar in your blood. Knowing all this helps you to actively participate in the diabetes management and be responsible towards your body.
Having diabetes doesn’t mean that you have to stop living your normal life. It also doesn’t mean that you will have health problems in the near future. All you need to do is to adopt a healthy lifestyle and ensure that your sugar levels are in control.