Living with Type Two Diabetes

As for many diabetic patients, it is important that you follow a suitable exercise and diet plan to help keep you as fit and healthy as possible. To aide you in this it is important that you have a good network of friends, family and doctors who are able to give you the advice and support that you need.

Diet with Type 2 Diabetes

There are many diets you can choose to follow, however it is likely that your dietician will pick one that is specially tailored for you. It is important that instead of cutting out all the fatty foods in your diet you just try to decrease your portion sizes, as removing them all together will often lead to cravings.

To help protect your heart, it is important that you have plenty of fibre rich foods, along with low levels of saturated fats and plenty of fruit and vegtables. You should also have plenty of anti-oxidants and omega 3 oils that come from oily fish.

As a general rule of thumb, you should aim for:

  • Carbohydrates to make up 40-65% of your diet. These should ideally be low GI carbs that release their energy slowly over the course of a few hours.
  • Fats should make up 25-35% of your diet. You should watch your intake of saturated and trans-fats as these can be bad for your heart. These are found in red meat, butter and full fat milk, so try using reduced fat products.
  • Finally protein should make up 10-20% of your daily intake of food. Ideally fish and poultry are better choices than red meat, which is usually high in fat.

The help of a dietician can be vital in helping to decrease your risk of developing further problems such as heart disease and stroke. As weight is such a large risk factor in type 2 diabetes, it is important that it is maintained at a steady state of preferably less than a BMI of 25. This can be achieved by taking adequate exercise whilst also reducing the number of calories you eat everyday.

Exercise with Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise is a vital component in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. A recent study highlighted that people who take more than 2.5 hours exercise a week had a 60% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. There are many different types of exercise that can be done to help protect your heart whilst also decreasing the amount of body fat you have. These include aerobic exercise such as walking and jogging, which have been shown to help increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin. Even though exercise is helpful, there are a few points you should be aware of:

  • Diabetics are at a higher risk of developing heart problems, so you should always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
  • Strenuous exercise should not be undertaken by people with uncontrolled diabetes. This is because the high pressure exerted on your body can damage fragile vessels in your heart and your eyes, which can lead to major problems.

You should also ensure that you monitor you blood glucose levels before, during and after exercise and adjusting it by eating sugary snacks when necessary. It is also essential that you stay well hydrated at all times and try to avoid alcohol as much as possible.

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