Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how the body processes blood sugar (glucose). There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin effectively or does not produce enough of it, leading to high blood sugar levels.
While there is no cure for diabetes, it can be managed through a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and insulin therapy. One important aspect of diabetes management is following a healthy diet.
A healthy diet for diabetes management typically includes:
-Plenty of non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, and tomatoes -Moderate amounts of whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, and whole wheat -Protein sources that are low in saturated fat, such as beans, nuts, and lean meats -Healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts -Limited amounts of added sugars and refined grains
It is important for people with diabetes to monitor their intake of carbohydrates, as they can significantly impact blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes aim for 45-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal and 15-20 grams of carbohydrates per snack.
In addition to following a healthy diet, it is important for people with diabetes to be physically active on a regular basis. Exercise can help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults with diabetes aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity.
It is also important for people with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly and take any prescribed medication as directed by their healthcare provider. Insulin therapy may be necessary for people with type 1 diabetes or those with type 2 diabetes who are not able to manage their blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and medication alone.
While diabetes cannot be cured, following a healthy diet, being physically active, and properly managing medication and insulin therapy can help people with diabetes live long healthy lives. It is important to work closely with a healthcare team, including a primary care provider, a registered dietitian, and an exercise specialist, to develop a diabetes management plan that meets your individual needs and goals.
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