Part of diabetes management is taking control of your blood sugar level. Here’s how healthy eating coupled with physical activity helps you stay in control.
It is a condition when the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Usually occurs in children, young adults and occasionally in older people.
It is a condition when the pancreas produces insulin but the body does not use it effectively, also known as insulin resistance. It usually occurs in adulthood, people who are overweight and is hereditary.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 39, find out your risk by taking the Diabetes Risk Assessment.
Poorly controlled blood sugar level may result in damage to the blood vessels in the heart, eyes (retinopathy), kidneys (nephropathy) and nerves (neuropathy), which may lead to coronary heart disease, blindness,
kidney failure and numbness of limbs.
1. Lose weight if you are overweight
Aim for a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) ranging from 18.5 to 22.9kg/m2 to reduce the risk of heart disease and insulin resistance.
2. Adopt a well-balanced diet which includes a variety of food
3. Eat an appropriate and consistent amount of carbohydrate or starchy food at each meal to help achieve a constant blood sugar level.
A nutrient in food which when digested becomes sugar in the blood. This sugar is then used as fuel for the brain and body.
CARBOHYDRATE FOOD SOURCES
Sugar and Sweets (e.g. syrup, honey, dessert, sweetened drinks)
Milk & Yoghurt Beans & Lentils
All fruits Starchy vegetables (e.g. corn, peas, tapioca, yam)
Starches (e.g. rice, noodle, bread, biscuits, potato, oats, chapati, thosai)
4. Have regular meals at similar timing each day
5. Eat more fibre-rich food
6. Eat less fat or oily food especially saturated fat and trans fat
7. Reduce the intake of salt
8. Active lifestyle
9. Take your medications/insulin as prescribed by your doctor
These products are not an essential part of your diet. Many diabetic food products such as “diabetic” chocolates and biscuits are often sweetened with artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol which may have a laxative effect if consumed in large amounts. Some diabetic products may also be high in fat and hence are not suitable for overweight people with diabetes mellitus. Remember that all these food products may still contain carbohydrates such as flour, milk and fruit. Other forms of sugars such as lactose may also be added as fillers.
In summary, it is important to do the following to maintain a good blood sugar level:
Your Guide to Healthy Eating for Managing Diabetes (PDF)
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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