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Managing your diabetes can seem like a full-time job. It certainly requires your attention at all hours of the day and night, as there are many things that can make your blood sugar levels go up and down.
One of the biggest factors in keeping your blood sugar levels where they need to be is your diet. Here are some things the Mayo Clinic and the American Diabetes Association suggest you consider as you plan your meals to help manage your blood sugar levels:
One of the best things you can do to manage your blood glucose levels is to be aware of what you are eating. Take the time to read the labels as you shop and choose wisely.
The more you know what’s in the food you eat, the easier it will be to make decisions that will keep your blood sugar levels in their recommended ranges.
Choose The Right Kind of Carbs
According to the American Diabetes Association, not all carbs are built the same. In fact, the type of carbs you eat can have a direct impact on your blood sugar levels. Carbs that are full of fiber, like brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, spaghetti squash, whole grain bread, and steel-cut oats, help keep your blood sugar levels stable. While carbs that are low in fiber, like white rice, potatoes, regular pasta, white bread, and instant oatmeal can cause your blood sugar levels to rise quickly.
Coordinate Meals with Medication
The Mayo Clinic emphasizes that taking the right amount of insulin is very important to managing your diabetes. If you eat too little food for the amount of insulin you are taking with that meal, it could result in low blood sugar readings. If you eat too much for the amount of insulin, it could result in high blood sugar readings, neither of which is good for you. Talk to your doctor about the best way for you to coordinate your meals and medications to best manage your diabetes.
Avoid Sugary Beverages
Under normal circumstances you should avoid any food or beverage that will cause a dramatic change in your blood sugar levels. Sugary beverages like soda or sweetened fruit drinks fall in this category. Because there is not much in these drinks other than sugar, there’s no fiber to slow the impact of the sugar on your system. Consuming one of these sugary drinks can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels right away.
Because of that, the only time to consider one is during a moment of very low blood sugar, when you need to bring your levels up quickly.
Working with your doctor and the rest of your diabetes care team is the first best step in managing your diabetes, but these self-care practices can be helpful in your day-to-day efforts.
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Last Updated 10012018Y0096_WEB_IL_CONNECT19_C