Illuminating Diabetes: Empower, Educate, Perservere
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November is Diabetes Awareness Month, a designated time to educate Americans on diabetes prevention and management. By embracing a wholesome diet, sustaining a consistent exercise regimen, and prioritizing early screenings, we have the power to limit the effects of this condition and promote overall well-being.
Approximately 37 million Americans contend with this condition, which emerges when blood glucose levels are elevated. Diabetes can damage the heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves and is linked to some types of cancer.
Research shows that taking proactive steps shortly after your diagnosis can aid in preventing diabetes-related health issues. A recent diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes doesn’t need to leave you feeling overwhelmed. You’re not expected to tackle everything simultaneously. Begin with focusing on your Diabetes ABCs.
● A is for the A1C test-this test measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 8-12 weeks. Work closely with your healthcare provider to set a target A1C level. Regularly monitor your blood sugar, take prescribed medications, and make dietary adjustments to keep your A1C within the target range.
● B is for blood pressure-Sustaining optimal blood pressure is a vital component of diabetes care. Monitor your blood pressure and follow the guidance provided by your healthcare professional. Lifestyle modifications such as adopting a low-sodium diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and considering the use of medications can be essential. .
● C is for cholesterol-It’s imperative to control cholesterol levels in order to prevent heart disease, a common complication of diabetes. Prioritize a heart-healthy diet, and incorporate regular physical activity. Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats and stay well hydrated. Consistent meal planning will help avoid less nutritious options and impulsive eating.
Living with diabetes requires a careful and balanced approach to eating. Your dietary choices play a significant role in managing blood sugar levels and overall well-being. The American Diabetes Association offers an excellent, easy to use tool to create healthy meals that can help manage blood sugar. With this approach, you can easily prepare well-balanced meals with appropriate portions of vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates, all without the need for counting, calculations, weighing, or measuring. The only tool required is a plate! Read more at diabetesfoodhub.org.