Tips for Living with Diabetes
November is National Diabetes Month – a perfect time to raise awareness of a disease that affects millions of people. For those with and without diabetes, it’s important to treat your disease with care or take preventative measures by eating well, exercising, and engaging in healthy habits. Here are some tips that will help keep you strong and healthy during the holiday season and every day.
> Most drinks have more added sugars than you would expect. To quench your thirst and cut back on added sugars, switch to drinks with alternative sweeteners or no added sugars such as La Croix or Dasani® Sparkling to get some carbonation and fruit flavors.
> Skip the quick fixes between meals and have a complete snack that includes a good carbohydrate, protein, heart-healthy fats and a fiber source to help control hunger cravings. Try an apple with peanut butter, or whole grain crackers with a cheese stick or hummus.
> Eat meals and snacks around the same time every day to help prevent highs and lows. Avoid lows by taking insulin or diabetes medication around your meals as well.
> Not only is diet important in controlling diabetes, so is exercise! Get moving in whatever way works best for you! If you like to dance, try taking a Zumba class. If walking or hiking is more your style, lace up those tennis shoes and move!
> In addition to keeping your carbohydrates balanced, it’s important to select whole grains and high fiber foods. A “diabetic diet” is a balanced meal plan that all individuals can follow, whether you are diabetic or not.
> When going out to eat, split your entrée with another person, ask for dressings and sauces on the side and check out other options on the menu to find better-for-you entrées. Don’t be afraid to try new foods!
> If you drink alcohol, it’s important to limit intake. Alcohol can cause lows, so if you choose to drink, limit yourself to one or two drinks. Be sure to have a small snack or meal including carbohydrates and protein or fat, and drink plenty of water.