Diabetes…The Juggling Act
Managing diabetes can seem like a juggling act for many busy people. Making time for you is important and necessary to manage diabetes effectively. Managing diabetes effectively requires eating a healthy diet, getting daily exercise and regular check- ups with your doctor to monitor your progress.
Managing diabetes means maintaining close to normal blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association recommends 80-120 mg/dl before meals and 100-140 mg/dl before bed. A blood test called Hemoglobin A1c measures the average blood sugar over 3 months. It should be less than 7%. Ask your doctor if these goals are right for you.
Eating healthy is the first step to good blood sugar control. It is important for the whole family, not just the person with diabetes. A healthy lunch or dinner meal should include the following: 1-2 cups of non-starchy vegetables, 3-4 oz of lean protein, ½ cup serving of potatoes or pasta or rice or a slice of whole wheat bread, 1 cup of non-fat or 1% milk and a small piece of fruit. The carbohydrate content of your meal will raise your blood sugar. Following a meal plan such as this one will give you about 55 grams of carbohydrate at lunch and dinner. Include 30 grams of carbohydrate at breakfast and not more than 15 grams for any snacks throughout the day. Be sure to keep the fat and salt to a minimum.
An increase in activity will lower blood sugar. 30 minutes of exercise helps the cells in your body accept and use blood sugar more efficiently. This benefit of lower blood sugar from exercise lasts for 24-48 hours. Exercise also burns calories for weight loss, improves flexibility, reduces stress and increases energy.
Finding time for planning healthy menus, shopping for healthy foods, preparing meals and daily exercise can be a juggling act. With a little planning and practice you’ll become the master of your juggling act.
For more information about diabetes contact Health Educator, Debbie Jones at Northeastern Health Center 1850 Spring Ridge Drive in Susanville at 530 251-5000 Ext.223. Free monthly diabetes classes are available the 3rd Tuesday each month.