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The keys to the management of diabetes​ are diet​, exercise, and when required, insulin injections and oral medications.  Maintaining blood glucose and fat at a healthy level will help a person with diabetes lead a normal life. It can also prevent or decrease the risk of complications such as damage to the kidneys or eyes​, heart di​seases ​and circulation problems in the legs.

A proper diet is critical to disease management. It can help a person with diabetes ​achieve and maintain a desirable weight, hence controlling blood glucose. The food​ he eats will directly affect his blood glucose, the main sugar found in the blood and the body's main source of energy.

Below are some tips on diabetes diet planning which a person with diabetes can try:   

  • Eat consistent amounts of food each day.

  • Eat small, regular meals based on a wide variety of foods to maintain adequate nutrition.

  • Reduce fat intake in diet, particularly saturated fat such as butter, fried and fatty foods.

  • Include mostly carbohydrate and fibre foods such as rice, oats, vegetables, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) 

  • Experiment with new foods. Eating the same foods every day can lead to boredom. You may then be tempted to go off your meal plan. Buy a cookbook written for diabetes and try new recipes.

  • Do not skip meals.

  • Try to avoid snacks unless your doctor or dietitian recommends them as part of your medication regimen.

  • Limit alcohol consumption. If you do so, drink alcohol in moderation​ only​.

​​Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is important for people with diabetes. Weight control is extremely important in treating Type 2 diabetes (non insulin-dependent) because extra body fat makes it difficult for these patients to produce and use their own insulin.

Accumulation of at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity​ (eg. walking) on most days of the week and preferably every day is recommended. This will confer numerous benefits for a person with diabetes including helping the body use insulin better to convert glucose into energy in body cells, thus leading to reduced insulin requirements, and a reduction in the risk of heart diseases. You may also ask your doctor to plan an appropriate exercise programme catered to your needs.

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