Diabetes is a complex and challenging condition. It can be hard to know what steps to take to make your journey easier. The good news is that there are lifestyle changes you can make today that can help! In this newsletter we’ll focus on sharing information and tips around nutrition and exercise to help keep your blood glucose levels in check and help you feel healthier and more in control of your condition. Always consult with your healthcare professional prior to making changes to your lifestyle, treatment, diet or exercise schedule.
If you have diabetes and you are able to exercise based on the guidance of your healthcare professional, staying active is essential! Exercising regularly is an important way to improve your blood glucose levels, as it can help your body cells to use insulin more effectively.1,2 Physical activity can also improve cholesterol,2 improves blood pressure3 and can lower your weight sustainably besides helping to improve your overall wellbeing, and reduce stress and anxiety.3
If you are looking for ideas on how to incorporate exercise into your daily life, take a look at the tips below:4
Please speak to your healthcare professional before making changes to your exercise regime, to ensure you understand the impact it could have on your blood glucose levels and any necessary steps you should take to stay safe and healthy.
In addition to staying active, sustaining a healthy and balanced diet is key to taking charge of your diabetes journey! If you take insulin, managing your carbohydrate intake is especially important to keep your blood glucose in check. In addition to helping you control your blood glucose levels, eating the right foods may help you maintain your heart health and prevent long-term complications associated with diabetes.
Here are a few tips you can try to help maintain a balanced diet. Talk to your healthcare professional if the following may be suitable for you:5,6
You can calculate how much insulin you should take to manage your blood glucose levels after eating:
If you take mealtime insulin, take note of each gram of carbohydrate that you eat and calculate your dose of insulin based on that number. This advanced form of carb counting is recommended if you are on intensive insulin therapy using shots or a pump.
If you don’t take mealtime insulin, detailed carb counting may not be critical to keep your blood glucose levels stable, but noting your carbohydrate intake can help you keep an eye on overall nutrition and health.
Need some culinary inspiration? Check out Diabetes UK’s website for a collection of recipes specifically for people with diabetes https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/recipes
How are you already staying active in your daily life? Do you have any favourite recipes or diet tips you’d like to share with the diabetes community? We would love to hear from you so please share them with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and they could be featured on our social media channels.
Stay tuned for our next update, which will be focused on diabetes and mental health!
The information brought to you by Ascensia Diabetes Care UK provides general information. It is not intended to be used as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not replace the advice of your healthcare professional. Always speak to your healthcare professional prior to making changes to your diet, exercise or treatment.
1. Kirwan JP, del Aguila LF, Hernandes JM, et al. Regular exercise enhances insulin activation of IRS-1-associated P13K in human skeletal tissue. J Appl Physiol. 2000;88:797-803.
2. Colberg SR et al. Physical Activity/Exercise and Diabetes: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care 2016;39:2065-2079.
3. Wing R, The Look AHEAD Research Group. Cardiovascular Effects of Intensive Lifestyle Interventions in Type 2 Diabetes. N Engl J Med 2013;369:145-54. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1212914
4. AADE7 Self-Care Behaviors® BEING ACTIVE. https://www.diabeteseducator.org/docs/default-source/living-with-diabetes/tip-sheets/aade7/aade7_being_active.pdf?sfvrsn=12. Accessed February 2021.
5. Ascensia Diabetes Care. Quick Guide to Carbohydrate Counting 2017. Accessed February 2021.
6. American Diabetes Association. https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/understanding-carbs/carb-counting-and-diabetes. Accessed February 2021.
7. Center for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/eat-well/meal-plan-method.html. Accessed February 2021.