Diabetes is a severe illness when the pancreas (an abdomen organ responsible for converting the food into fuel for the body cells) fails to produce insulin. It is a hormone made by the pancreas that controls blood sugar or glucose. Whenever this body mechanism fails to complete balance, health problems start happening.
As per WHO, in 2014, 8.5% of adults had diabetes, and in 2019, it caused 1.5 million deaths in the world and increased to 5% premature mortality rates. Also, the International Diabetes Federation says that 1 in 10 adults will have diabetes by 2040. Moreover, the IDF also noted the significant impact of this disease on the world economy.
There are two types of diabetes.
- Type 1 Diabetes
It occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, also called juvenile diabetes, as it is usually found in children and teenagers, but adults can also be affected by it.
- Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body fails to use insulin properly. At first, doctors thought that type 2 diabetes affects adults only, but in current times children are also at equal risk of this type of diabetes. Obesity or being overweight is the leading cause of this disease in children.
However, the terrifying thing about diabetes is that it has no cure and only can be treated and controlled. So, to treat this chronic disease effectively, a constructive diabetes management plan is required. Only a diabetes management plan can help you understand what factors influence your blood sugar level and how to control and keep it within a range.
How do Foods affect blood sugar levels?
Carbohydrate is the primary cause of sugar in the blood. Foods with high carbs include candies and sweets, sodas, bread, tortillas, and white rice. In other words, the more carbs you eat, the more blood sugar will be present in your body. Whether you are a patient with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, consuming the right food is critical for managing your blood sugar level and maintaining a diabetes management plan. Keeping blood sugar in a moderate range lessens the chances of having health issues from diabetes, such as losing the ability to see, heart issues, liver failure, and other severe ones.
Hence, diabetes management becomes essential to control your blood glucose level. Here below are some factors that can affect your blood sugar levels effectively.
Note: A blood sugar level below 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is considered normal, and more than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) after two hours is a sign of diabetes.
A healthy diet is a foundation for healthy living with diabetes or even without it. But if you are a diabetes patient, diet becomes crucial as everything you eat impacts directly your blood sugar levels. What type of food do you need to eat, how much to eat, and the nutrition values often referred to as critical components of a healthy diet plan?
Keep Track of Carbohydrates
Keeping track of carbohydrates in the diet is the most challenging part of most diabetes management plans. Carbs significantly impact blood glucose levels; people with diabetes should know the number of carbohydrates in their food.
Say No to Sugar
Altogether, avoid and cut off sugar-sweetened beverages and other products containing considerable amounts of sugar. Sugar is known as the “white poison” because it is loaded with calories but lacks nutrition. Consumption of liquid sugar directly raises the blood glucose level, so it is best to avoid such drinks and products if you suffer from high blood sugar levels.
On the contrary, if your blood sugar level is low, these sugar beverages like soda, juice, and sports drinks can be beneficial as it helps in boosting the glucose level.
Exercising is another significant factor in the diabetes management plan. While exercising, your muscles use glucose for energy. Hence, consistent physical activity helps your body use insulin more competently. Both factors work together to lower your blood sugar level, and a simple physical activity can also help you manage your blood sugar.
Stay connected with your doctor and ask about the roadmap of physical activities. For adults, performing at least 150 minutes of exercise in a week is suggested. If you are not active for a long time, you may need to ask for an overall health check before initiating exercising. Also, you need to stay hydrated while doing physical exercise because dehydration can significantly lower and raise blood sugar levels.
In case of dropping sugar levels, the liver comes into play and releases the stored sugar. But if you drink alcohol, your liver may get busy metabolizing alcohol, so that blood glucose may see a declining level. Still, the decline is temporary, and all it does is store harmful acids in your body. Consequently, consumption of alcohol is restricted for diabetic patients as it can cause complications in the body, resulting in nerve damage.
We all know that stress is a slow death, and for diabetic patients, it could be highly destructive. Because during stress, the body generates hormones that may result in a spike in blood sugar levels. Also, it is extremely tough to follow a diabetes management plan when you are under a lot of stress. So, follow diabetes management, include relaxation methods in your regime, arrange your tasks, and set limits. Exercising can also help release stress and lower your blood sugar level.
What is the Significance of the Healthy Meals Plan?
Every doctor suggests you have a healthy diet if you have diabetes or prediabetes. A diabetes management plan with a healthy meal is the key to managing your blood sugar (glucose), controlling weight, and reducing heart disease risk.
Every time you eat fat and extra calories, it upsurges your blood sugar level, and uncontrolled blood glucose can lead to severe health issues like hyperglycemia. If it stays for a more extended period, it may cause nerve, kidney, and heart damage. Hence, a healthy meal plan is compulsory for diabetics and non-diabetics.
Following your diabetes management plan with healthy eating and making slight changes in your diet is ideal for managing your blood glucose level in the range. Apart from controlling blood sugar, a healthy diet has many advantages. A meal loaded with fruits, vegetables, and fiber keeps your organs healthy and functions properly.