Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Managing diabetes is not easy, but it is essential for long-term health. Here are 3 easy tips for managing blood sugar.
Welcome back….I’m Toby Smithson, this is Diabetes EveryDay and if you’re not subscribed to my YouTube channel and my newsletter now is the time.
Table of contents
- Here’s some knowledge for you.
- Here are three simple and easy foundational lifestyle assignments to help you get started.
- Be Sure To Check Out – Diabetes 101- Looking For Hidden Sugar
- Be Sure To Check Out – Sneaky Exercise For Your Diabetes Health
- So Who Is In Control?
There’s nothing easy about managing diabetes… It’s a job we never applied for, and it has terrible hours and no retirement program. Two good things: we get to work from home, and it can be so much easier with a knowledgeable and patient boss. Oh yeah….you’re the boss! So, you get to choose how knowledgeable and caring the boss is.
Here’s some knowledge for you.
Managing blood sugar levels is our goal because, over the long haul, consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to really serious health problems. Chances are you have medication to help manage blood sugar, but medication alone is not enough. You have to help out by the choices you make every day… Lifestyle choices.
Here are three simple and easy foundational lifestyle assignments to help you get started.
1 – Pay attention to carbohydrate foods
Know which foods are “carbs,” know the appropriate portion sizes of different carbohydrate foods, choose the carbs you eat for their nutritional qualities, spread your daily carbohydrate intake out over meals and snacks, and eat carbohydrates in combination with protein, fiber, or healthy fat UNLESS you’re treating a low blood sugar. Look, it’s tempting to make carbohydrates the villain since they are the foods having the greatest impact on blood sugar, but you get essential nutrients from carbohydrate foods, including fiber.
Carbohydrate foods are fruit, starchy vegetables (like corn and potatoes), beans and lentils, grains, dairy products (but not cheese), and sweets. I’ve posted lots of videos on the details, like finding hidden sugar, but this is a good starting point.
Be Sure To Check Out – Diabetes 101- Looking For Hidden Sugar
2 – Get exercise, and especially resistance exercise.
Sugar stays in your blood, making your blood sugar high because it isn’t efficiently getting deposited into muscle cells and other cells for use or storage. That can mean there is a deficiency of insulin, like with type 1 diabetes or advanced type 2 diabetes. Most likely, it’s because those cells where sugar should go have lost their sensitivity to insulin. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity- that means sugar- glucose- leaves your bloodstream more efficiently, getting where it’s supposed to be. Getting exercise doesn’t mean suiting up and going to the gym. It can mean walking or swimming or just making sure you get out of your seat now and then for a stroll around the house. And don’t forget resistance exercise. Weight lifting would be the “poster child” for resistance exercise, but stretch bands, canned fruit, or a bag of groceries are fine for diabetes. With exercise, every little bit helps – don’t forget that.
Be Sure To Check Out – Sneaky Exercise For Your Diabetes Health
3 – Monitoring blood sugar levels in a useful way.
If you check your blood sugar once a day at the same time, say first thing in the morning, what are you learning? What if it’s 102 on Monday and 122 on Tuesday and 162 on Wednesday – why the difference? Would you know? Maybe you’ll assume it was last night’s dinner? But would you know? What if you checked your blood sugar 2 hours after dinner the evening before each day – wouldn’t that give you a better idea if it’s your dinner affecting the next morning’s blood glucose level….or not. And what if you found an apparent connection – well, you could change how you eat. The thing is, you can either make blood glucose checking just a thing you’re supposed to do, or you can actually collect information to compare with other information and make lifestyle changes.
So Who Is In Control?
There you go. Carbohydrates – the foods that raise blood sugar, exercise – the activity that helps lower blood sugar more efficiently, and monitoring blood glucose levels to acquire actionable information – the way you see what works. And, by the way, learning that YOU can take control goes a long way in making your life as a diabetes manager easier.
Thanks for watching.
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