If you’re a diabetic, you know that keeping your blood sugar stable is important. It’s also very difficult. Things like what you eat and how active you are can throw off your balance end land you with dangerous highs and lows. If you’re having trouble managing your blood sugar and other diabetes symptoms, talk to your doctor for advice on setting activity goals, making good meal choices, and making sure that you are on the best medication for you. Meanwhile, consider these 5 key tips to regulate your blood sugar.
- Avoid Simple Carbs
Simple carbs are the things that you think of as sugars. They come from unhealthy sources like sweets, sodas, and a lot of store-bought baked goods. They also come from some healthy sources, especially fruit.
Simple carbs are easily accessed by the body, so they are released into the blood quickly and either burned or stored quickly. This results in blood sugar “spikes” that can do a toll on your body and on your mood.
- Take Your Carbs Complex
Complex carbs come from places like whole grains. They take more time for your body to break down. They do make your blood sugar go up, but it goes up gradually and doesn’t drop back down very quickly. Complex carbs are a good way to get the energy that you need throughout the day and because they take more time for the body to use, they make you feel fuller for longer, so you won’t be tempted to snack between meals.
Watch out though. Complex carbs are better for stable blood sugar than simple carbs are, but you still can’t have too many complex carbs. Your doctor should have given you a set number of carbs that you can have throughout the day or with each meal. If you are on a special diet, they will have prescribed carbs for you too. If you don’t know what this number is, ask your doctor how many carbs you should be getting and be sure to satisfy that requirement with complex carbs.
- Stay Active
Activity is also important for keeping your blood sugar down. Staying active can also help you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. That’s good for anyone, but it’s especially good for people with type 2 diabetes.
Be careful though. If you exercise too much it can use up your blood sugar resulting in low readings. If you plan on exercising, have some complex carbs one to three hours before you work out. Complex carbs provide energy more gradually than simple carbs, so complex carbs before a work out can give you energy and won’t run out too quickly. If you have a prescribed number of carbs that you can have, ask your doctor if you should have a few extra carbs before a work out too.
- Keep Up Your Immune System
If you’re sick, your body may run a fever to fight it off. Keeping your body temperature high takes extra energy. It can also be difficult to eat food or keep it down, which can make it hard to get your body the carbs that it needs. This can result in dangerous lows.
You probably can’t avoid sickness entirely, but keeping your immune system healthy can be a good first step so wash your hands often, keep up a varied diet, and get the right amount of sleep.
- Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol, especially in excess, can really mess with the diabetic body for a number of reasons. First, alcohol can also be broken down for energy, though it doesn’t get a lot of credit for that. Second, alcoholic drinks are loaded with carbs and sugars.
Alcohol made from fruits, like wine and other spirits, can pack in lots of sugar. Alcohol made from grains, like beer and other spirits are full of carbs. Craft beers are often sweetened with creative ingredients that can hide lots of sugars as well. It’s even worse because a lot of alcoholic drinks don’t have nutrition labels. It’s best to just avoid them, or at least not go too hard.
Keeping your blood sugar stable when you have diabetes can be difficult. If it’s really a challenge for you, you should talk to your doctor for advice. If you haven’t had too much trouble, follow these tips and you should be okay.