Despite good intentions, we all find that we may have put on a little weight or drunk a little too much over the festive season. After the party season, with unusual eating patterns and late nights, you could find that your blood glucose levels have become erratic.
But don’t despair! With the New Year just around the corner, we have a free Four-Week Recovery Planner to help you get your blood glucose levels back to normal. The planner contains useful tips on how to manage your diabetes and some simple exercises to kick start your new healthy lifestyle.
All of us make New Year’s resolutions on December 31st, and often forget them by January 1st! But when you have diabetes, it’s even more important that you use this time to plan a healthier lifestyle. So why not base your New Year resolutions on the following advice, leading you to better control of your blood glucose throughout the year ahead?
- Take more exercise
- Eat more healthily
- Keep control of blood glucose
- Stop smoking!
Different types of exercise suit different people, so don’t feel you have to run a marathon straight away. Any exercise is better than none. Why not start small and build up gradually? Getting off the bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way or making more trips up and down stairs is a good start. If the weather’s too bad to take a brisk walk why not try our gentle
exercises for some alternative indoor exercise? The best exercise to undertake is one you enjoy; walking, swimming or cycling for example, are all excellent activities which will help to burn any unwanted fat and help to control your blood glucose levels. An ideal target is 30 minutes of
exercise, three times a week, but set whatever goals you feel comfortable with and you will soon find you are reaping benefits.
Remember, for safety’s sake, if your diabetes is treated with insulin or tablets, you must always check your blood glucose levels before and after you exercise and before you start any exercise programme, check its suitability with your diabetes care team or GP. Eat more healthily A
lot of information on healthy eating for people with diabetes often begins with ‘How to lose weight’, but many people with diabetes do not need to lose the pounds. Even if you are a healthy weight, it is still important that you choose your foods carefully to make a real contribution to your long-term health. Eating healthily is easy, just follow these two steps:
Step 1: Eat less…
Fatty food – food that is high in fat is high in calories and animal fats, such as butter, fatty meat and full cream dairy products, are also high in saturated fat, which can raise your cholesterol level. So, try and use them sparingly and choose some healthier alternatives such as corn oil, sunflower oil or monounsaturated fats such as olive oil. Also, try and change to skimmed or semi-skimmed milk (for children over 5 with diabetes it is recommended that they change to semi-skimmed milk) and low fat yoghurt or fromage frais instead of cream.
Salt – All of us could benefit from eating less salt as it can raise blood pressure. Try and use herbs and spices when cooking and use less salt at the table. Steer clear of very salty foods such
as crisps, processed foods and salted meats. Sugar – You do not need to cut out sugar completely, but try to avoid foods and drinks which contain a lot of sugar; look out for the many low sugar and sugar-free alternatives which can now be easily found in most supermarkets. Something sweet as an occasional treat is fine, but it’s best eaten after a meal, when it will be absorbed more slowly.
Step 2: Eat more…
Starchy foods – if you like pasta, potatoes and rice, then this is good news! Starchy foods should form the main part of your meals. But they should be eaten with.. High fibre foods – such as beans, peas, vegetables and fruit (you should try to eat 5 portions of fruit each day). These contain a so-called soluble fibre which slows down the rate at which you digest and absorb sugars in your food, making your blood glucose easier to control. Regularly! – Spread your meals throughout the day and eat similar amounts of starchy foods at the same meals everyday. This will help you balance the food you eat with the effects of your diabetes treatment.
Keep control of blood glucose
Whether you control your diabetes by diet, tablets or insulin, there is now excellent medical evidence to show that good control of your blood glucose can reduce or prevent many of the long-term complications that diabetes can bring.
MediSense makes several different types of blood glucose meters all of which have different benefits, depending on your needs.
The MediSense Precision Q.I.D. is a meter that’s quick and easy for everyday, frequent testing.
MediSense Optium – also quick and easy, it has additional features of date and time with every test result and measurement of blood ketone levels.
Soft-Sense offers normally pain-free testing for people with diabetes who want to spare their fingers from painful finger pricking.
If you monitor your blood glucose regularly you will gain the information you need to improve your blood glucose levels. For example, you can learn the effect of the food you eat and the exercise you take. Why not use our free four-week recovery planner to record your daily/hourly blood glucose results to identify your blood glucose level at a certain time of day or after a particular activity. Then if necessary your diabetes nurse can explain how you can alter your diet or your treatment to achieve your blood glucose targets.
But, if you have diabetes, this is the one resolution that you must strive to keep. When you have diabetes, you are already at a higher risk of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). If you smoke as well, you have an even higher chance of developing this condition, which can lead to angina, heart attack, stroke and circulatory problems.
So, it is vital that you STOP SMOKING NOW!