Exercise means moving your body. Exercise lowers your blood sugar and helps you stay healthy.
Try to eat 3 meals at about the same time each day.
Do not skip meals. Never go more than 4 to 6 hours without eating.
- Eat a protein (meat, fish, eggs, beans), a grain (bread, tortillas, rice, crackers), and a vegetable at each meal.
- Choose foods high in fiber.
- Cut down on how much you eat if you are trying to lose weight.
- Limit soda and other drinks with sugar like juice. Drink more water instead.
- Have low or nonfat milk, yogurt and cheese.
- Use small amounts of oil, butter and dressings. Look for the words “no trans-fats” on the food label.
Pretend your plate is cut into four parts. Protein and starch (grains) should each fit on one of the four parts and vegetables should fit on the other two.
- Any food can fit into your meal plan.
- Eat less grain as part of your meal when you eat sweets.
- You can use NutraSweet®, Equal® (aspartame), or Splenda® to sweeten your food and drinks.
There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be controlled. With the right care, people with diabetes can lead long, healthy lives. Taking steps to learn about and control this disease will help avoid long term problems with the eyes, heart, kidneys, feet, and nerves.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that causes high blood sugar. Blood sugar builds up when the body cannot use sugar (glucose) from the foods we eat in the right way.
A hormone called insulin is needed to move the sugar from the blood into the cells. When the body can’t make enough insulin or use the insulin the right way, sugar builds up in the blood.
Dealing with Emotions
Denial. Anger. Depression. Stress. With diabetes you may feel any or all of these. You can work through it.
- Denial. Denial is when you don’t believe something is true. Most people go through denial when they are first told they have diabetes. Denial can stop you from doing what you need to do to control your diabetes.
- Anger. You may be mad that you have diabetes. Mad that you need to make some changes in how you live. Anger can help motivate you.
- Depression. People with diabetes may feel depressed. Talk to your doctor if you feel sad or hopeless.
- Stress. Your blood sugar may rise when you are stressed. To reduce stress try deep breathing, tensing and then letting go of muscles in your body, going for a walk or talking to a friend.
Your blood sugar level is tied to the foods you eat. People with diabetes need to balance the type and amount of food they eat at each meal.
Do not worry. You do not need to eat special foods or have different foods for the rest of your family.
- Aerobic exercise uses large muscles (arms and legs) and makes your heart beat faster. Examples include fast walking, swimming, bike riding and playing sports. Aim for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Strength training helps build muscle. You can use hand weights, elastic bands or weight machines. Or try using items in your home such as soup cans or milk cartons. Aim for three times a week.
- Daily activities are things you do during the day to move your body like cleaning the house, playing with the kids, walking the dog or parking further away. Try to find ways to move more as you go about your day.
- Exercise can lower your blood sugar too much. Check your blood sugar level before exercise. If it is below 100 have a small snack and bring food or glucose tablets with you when you exercise.
- Do not exercise when your blood sugar is very high.
- Do not lift heavy weights if you have high blood pressure or eye problems.
- Check your feet to make sure do not have cuts or sores which can be made worse by exercise or make exercise painful.
- Drink plenty of water.
Talk to your doctor about the right type of exercise for you. Start slowly and choose things you like.