Nutrition Tips for Those with Diabetes or Blood Sugar Issues
Nutrition has a huge impact on blood sugar management. Whether you have type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, your food choices make a huge difference. Today, I’ll provide you with a few real life tips that you can integrate into your life related to nutrition and exercise.
Sugary Drinks Contain a Lot of Carbohydrates
First off, please stop drinking your carbohydrates! That regular soda or that sugary coffee drink can have 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates. That’s about as much as someone should consume in a meal and you’re having it just in a drink.
Consistent Meal Planning Can Help Manage Blood Sugar
Something else you can do to really help blood sugar management is to eat consistently. Do you find yourself frequently skipping meals or in the office break room holding yesterday’s donut? If so, maybe try to plan ahead for success. Try packing a lunch the night before, or even buying a pre-made salad at the grocery store for an easy on-the-go option. The next tips for balancing blood sugar is to try to find some balance in your eating plan. Instead of viewing foods as “good foods” or “bad foods,” try to find balance between protein, carbohydrates, and fats. If we tend to think of foods as “bad foods,” we might overindulge on them because we feel like we’re restricted. Instead, if you’re craving a donut have one donut, but maybe you pair it with an egg or go for a walk after breakfast. What if you’re at a pizza party, and you really want that slice of pizza? Maybe you order an entree salad to eat first, and then enjoy one or two pieces of pizza. But, always make sure you eat slow, eat mindfully, and most importantly enjoy the company of those you’re with.
Exercise to Lower Blood Sugar
Finally the last tip is to move your body. How often have we heard a physician say, “just work on exercise.” But what does that actually mean? Why not try something new like yoga, pilates, Tai Chi, kickboxing, or something else. Whatever it might be, just get out and move. If you feel like you’re struggling, try to recruit support from a friend, family member, or even neighbor to walks together, try a new DVD or even go to the park. Diabetes and blood sugars is a very complex issue. But try incorporating these easy tips into your everyday life, and see if you get some good results. I challenge you today after dinner, go for a 15 minute walk. Check your blood sugar 2 hours later, and that might be the encouragement you need to get your body moving!
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a clinical dietitian at CHI Health, working in Oncology and Functional nutrition. Ellen helps patients improve nutrition habits during cancer treatment and beyond. She is a group fitness instructor at the CHI Health Lakeside Wellness Center and enjoys helping people of all fitness abilities be active. Ellen is passionate about helping patients improve their lives through nutrition, activity and stress management.