Your body uses two types of fuel: carbohydrates and fat. Type 2 diabetes is a condition that impacts the way your body processes carbohydrates, preventing you from being able to extract energy from them.
Modern diets are usually carbohydrate-heavy. Due to farming and refrigeration, we now have access to fruits, vegetables, and grains from all over the world, all year long. If you’re a diabetic, keeping your blood sugar levels balanced can be challenging, as what you eat directly impacts your blood sugar levels.
Below, our experts at Bethel Family Medicine provide an introduction to what you, as a newly diagnosed diabetic, need to know about managing your condition.
Diet plays the biggest role in the management of diabetes, as carbohydrates have a direct impact on your blood sugar levels. As a general rule, about 10 grams of carbohydrates raise blood sugar by 2-3 mmol/l.
Fat doesn’t cause any changes to your blood sugar, and neither does protein. Protein can only cause your blood sugar to spike if your body isn’t producing insulin.
There’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation for people with diabetes. Everyone reacts differently to various carbohydrate intakes.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that at least half of your daily food intake contains carbohydrates. However, some patients can opt for a diet lower in carbohydrates if they wish to reduce the amount of medication they need.
Carbohydrate intake should be tailored to meet your daily blood sugar goals. Ideally, you should keep your blood sugar readings as close to normal, between 70 to 130 mg/dL, before meals.
Staying active, whether through talking walks or attending an aerobic class, can make your body more sensitive to insulin. This, in turn, lowers your blood sugar levels.
Exercising, in any form, also increases blood flow, which is often slowed down by high blood sugar levels.
When you are stressed out, your body produces more cortisol. This hormone makes you less insulin sensitive, which causes your blood sugar levels to go up.
A study that looked at the effects of guided meditation on insulin levels found that within six months of regular meditation, fasting insulin levels were significantly decreased. Meditation is known to be helpful in managing chronic stress, which could explain why the insulin levels dropped as well.
Lifestyle plays a big role in the management of diabetes. If you’re unsure about how to manage your blood sugar levels better and avoid highs and lows, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our specialist will provide you with a personalized treatment plan, along with dietary advice to keep your blood sugar stable for longer.