November is Diabetes Awareness Month, so it is the perfect time to share some tips for controlling blood sugars. Diabetes is a chronic health condition when the pancreas is not making enough insulin or your cells aren’t responding to the insulin your body is making. Diabetes effects about one in ten people and approximately one in three people have prediabetes. Treatment options for people with diabetes continue to improve, but following a healthy lifestyle is still the first line of treatment. Whether you have diabetes, prediabetes, or have a family history of diabetes, you could benefit from following these five tips.
Consistency is Key
- Have consistent meal and snack times throughout the day.
- Avoid skipping meals. Try to eat every 3 to 4 hours while awake.
- Try to eat around the same amount of carbohydrates for meals.
Importance of Carbohydrates
- Carbohydrates are the primary fuel that our body and brain use for energy.
- Become familiar with the foods that contain carbohydrates.
- Know the amount of carbohydrates in the foods you eat.
- Most adults need around 45-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. Please consult with a medical professional for individual recommendations.
Practice Portion Control
- Use smaller plates, bowls, and cups.
- Learn what a portion size looks like.
- Use a measuring cup to see what the recommended portion looks like in your containers.
Focus on Fiber
- Foods that contain 5 or more grams of fiber per serving are considered high in fiber.
- Fiber keeps your blood sugar from rising too high and fast after you eat.
- Good sources of fiber include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
Maintain Healthy Weight
- Stay active and find a way to move your body each day that you enjoy.
- Losing weight, even a few pounds, can help to bring the blood sugars down.
These tips can make a big difference, but if you are concerned about prediabetes or diabetes and would like to speak to a member of the Diabetic Education Team at Windom Area Health, visit our Diabetes & Nutrition Page to learn more or call 831-0662 to speak with Priscilla Comnick, RN/Certified Diabetic Educator or 831-0640 to speak with Abby Kipfer, Registered Dietitian.
By Abby Kipfer, MS, RDN, LD