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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!

Connect with a CHI Health Registered Dietitian for guidance on diabetes nutrition.

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner. She is the diabetes education program coordinator at CHI Health and sees patients at the Millard Clinic. She works with patients to identify root causes to health conditions and make changes to improve overall health. Ellen’s passion is to help others develop lifestyle habits that allow them to feel their best.

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