Your Four Health Goals in Type 2 Diabetes
1. Manage Your Weight
To give yourself the best chance of controlling Type 2 diabetes, and avoiding some of the many health risks it can expose you to, it is important that you are a healthy weight. People who are overweight can improve their diabetes control, lower their blood pressure, and reduce levels of fats in the blood, including cholesterol, by losing weight. The two key factors in controlling your weight are a healthy diet and regular exercise.
2. Balance Your Blood Glucose Levels
Keeping blood glucose levels within a healthy range is a vital part of managing diabetes. If you have too much glucose in the blood for long periods of time, it can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. The type and amount of carbohydrate you eat are the main dietary factors that determine blood glucose levels. Slow-release carbohydrates keep blood glucose on an even keel; carbohydrates that are digested rapidly cause unwelcome surges in blood glucose levels.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, make these four health goals your priority. They will help you to manage your condition and live life to the fullest.
3. Look After Your Heart
People with diabetes are five times more likely to suffer from heart disease or a stroke, so it is vital to eat the right foods to keep your heart healthy. One of the most important steps you can take is to reduce your intake of saturated fat. Saturated fat causes the body to produce cholesterol, and in the same way that hard water can clog water pipes and appliances with limescale, cholesterol clogs the blood vessels and causes them to narrow, restricting the flow of blood to the heart and brain.
4. Control Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems. A diet high in sodium is a major factor in the development of high blood pressure – but sodium isn’t the whole story. The DASH study (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) carried out in America found that people who had a moderate sodium intake, but who increased their intake of potassium, calcium, and magnesium by eating plenty of fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, showed more significant reductions in blood pressure that those who simply restricted sodium. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure regularly.