Manage Diabetes for Healthy Living
Learning to live with diabetes can be difficult at first. It is important to understand the nature and other relevant intricacies of the disease, especially how nutrition plays a key role in managing diabetes. To begin with, there are two types of diabetes (and doctors are even typing a third, “pre-diabetes” or “borderline” diabetes which is actually a precursor to diabetes).
Diabetes is classified mainly into two types: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The former one is also known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus in which there is little or no generation of insulin in the body. Basically, production of antibodies against insulin cause their destruction. It can occur at any age but mostly it happens in the childhood and adolescence. Type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance or insufficient production of it which causes increased blood sugar levels in the body. Increased urination, thirst, appetite and unexplained weight loss are the few symptoms which should not be ignored.
Just about everything we eat causes blood sugar to rise, and managing diabetes well depends on effectively balancing food, exercise, and insulin. In the past, hard and fast rules about diet made it a battleground in families, but with today’s array of new tools, new insulins, and new strategies, children and adults have gained greater flexibility in deciding what to eat and when to eat it. It all starts with counting carbs.
Adapting carb counting, meal planning and insulin therapy (for type 1) takes work, particularly at the beginning. You must learn how to calculate insulin-carbohydrate ratios, how blood glucose levels react to different foods, and how to read food labels to determine carb content. You must also get used to frequently monitoring blood sugar levels throughout the day. When you become more experienced, you may find that certain foods will give you a bigger spike in blood sugar levels than you expected, while others will have less of an effect. It’s a good idea to record your food intake–including the type, amount, and timing–in a log book, so you and your diabetes care team can analyze patterns and improve your diet and blood sugar control. Once you’re on track, you’ll find that the freedom and flexibility that comes with this method is unmistakable and liberating.
One of the best things you can do to is to keep good insulin sensitivity, and thereby maintain relatively low insulin levels and good blood sugar control. Our spicy best friends for insulin sensitivity also offer benefits for curbing glycation. Looking at culinary spices and herbs to inhibit AGEs, researchers at the University of Georgia found cinnamon, clove, and allspice to be the most potent inhibitors, followed by Mediterranean herbs oregano, sage, rosemary, tarragon, marjoram. Ginger and black pepper are also potentially effective*. Another study found that cumin and green tea are good prospects as well.
Adults, parents and children new to diabetes still have to learn about eating out, portion control, label reading, and more. The basic nutritional mantra for people with remains the same for those who do not have the disease: good nutrition, variety, balance, and moderation.
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