By Dr. Zubeda Tumbi, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a progressive metabolic disorder caused due to the lack of the hormone, ‘insulin’, in the body. It can be characterised by hallmark signs such as hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar). It is important for a diabetic person to keep his/her diet and lifestyle healthy in order to prevent this condition from worsening. Making small lifestyle and diet changes should be sufficient for a diabetic patient to live a healthier life.
Making these small dietary and lifestyle changes can help you manage diabetes better:
- Avoid sugary beverages: These are high in sucrose or fructose and cause your blood sugar levels to spike up. Because, they are high in sugar and low in nutrition, a diabetic patient should avoid sweetened beverages.
- Eat balanced meals: You should aspire to make every meal a well-balanced one with consists equal proportions of starch, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and other nutrients. You should be careful about the kind of carbohydrates you consume; fruits and vegetables are a good choice as they are rich in nutrients, fibre and low in carbohydrates; this helps you maintain blood sugar levels while providing all the essential nutrients.
- Exercise regularly: Most medical practitioners believe that exercise and overall fitness are very important for diabetic patients as it helps them stay fit and lose weight at the same time. However, before you choose a form of exercise, consult your doctor to make sure what you are plunging into is right.
- Stay hydrated: It is important to keep oneself hydrated by drinking sufficient amount of water and other recommended fluids as lack of water can cause a disruption in the blood sugar levels.
Along with making changes in your lifestyle and diet, it is necessary to keep monitoring your blood sugar levels constantly.