Healthy Diet, Active Lifestyle Can Help You Manage Your Diabetes

Eating right and exercising. This is a winning combination when it comes to your health on so many different levels. Those people who are managing their diabetes on a daily basis know this fact all too well.

November is a time when physicians and caregivers often put a spotlight on diabetes awareness. So, let’s take a look at the impact of a healthy diet and exercise on diabetes management.

Your diet doesn’t have to be boring. Establishing a sensible eating plan is an important tool. Knowing when, what, and how much to eat to get the nutrition you need while keeping your blood sugar levels in your target range is the top priority. A good meal plan will take into account your goals, tastes, and lifestyle, as well as any medicines you’re taking.

Have you heard of the Diabetes Plate Method? This method helps you create perfectly portioned meals with a healthy balance of vegetables, protein and carbohydrates. All you need is a plate.

The CDC recommends you start with a 9-inch dinner plate:
• Fill half with non-starchy vegetables, such as salad, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or carrots.
• Fill one quarter with a lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, beans, tofu, or eggs.
• Fill a quarter with a grain or starchy food, such as potatoes, rice, or pasta (or skip the starch altogether and double up on non-starchy veggies).

Of course, a healthy meal is only one part of managing your diabetes. Exercise can give you a leg up. Physical activity is an important part of managing diabetes or prediabetes. When you’re active, your cells become more sensitive to insulin, so it works more effectively.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not a “world-class athlete” or if you’ve never or rarely seen the inside of a gym. Become more active, whether it involves walks through the neighborhood or riding a bicycle or swimming. It is important to consult your physician about both exercise and your diet.

What seems like a small change in your routine actually might make a big difference in your lifestyle. Another reward for healthy lifestyle changes is your feeling better and perhaps even dropping a few extra pounds.

Remember to talk to your physician about managing your diabetes or prediabetes, and taking steps such as a healthier diet or more active lifestyle.

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