Just Diagnosed With Diabetes

For anyone that has visited a doctor and was just diagnosed with diabetes then this can be a nerve-wracking time, especially as there are large numbers of people who are uncertain about how to deal with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

It is most likely that there are going to be plenty of questions which need answering but one factor which everyone should take into consideration, is that with more than 2 million people in the UK alone known to suffer from diabetes, there is plenty of advice available which will help anyone manage the condition effectively.

Just diagnosed with diabetes?

This is something which may have come as a shock, even if there has been a lengthy history of diabetes in the family but it is important to try and not to worry. It may be easier said than done, but by dealing with the problem effectively will make it much easier to live with, and hopefully without any symptoms.

Controlling diabetes

Every case of diabetes is going to be different, as are the reasons it developed in a particular person in the first place. With this in mind, discussing all factors with a doctor is going to be essential so that this can help a patient establish exactly what can be done to make the process more manageable, and with less disruption to daily life.

These are a few of the points that could apply to anyone who was just diagnosed with diabetes:

  • Look at how much exercise is being done on a daily / weekly basis. Is it enough? The recommended amount is a minimum of 30 minutes per day (for 5 days) and this could consist of walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and much more.
  • A good diet is going to be an essential part of dealing with diabetes and if changes are required then eating more fruits and vegetables, as well as items that are low in fat and sugar are key to healthy living
  • Smoking is a subject which comes up time and time again and for anyone in this category who suffers from diabetes then it might be an idea to think about stopping as soon as possible
  • People who are obese are known to be at greater risk from numerous health related problems and with diabetes, it is no different. Losing weight will almost certainly be recommended and this can be done quite easily through regular exercise and a varied and healthy diet (as mentioned above)
  • Drinking alcohol is known to be another major problem for people who are diagnosed with diabetes and of course, the odd drink does not do any harm and as long as a person is staying within the recommended daily limits (2-3 units for women and 3 – 4 units for men), there should not be any adverse events

Trying to work out what foods are good and bad can be a taxing task and there are some people who consider visiting a dietician. This can be a major benefit because they will be able to provide key advice, as well as suggesting plans that are suitable for a specific individual.

What foods can a diabetic eat?

That is a very good question and this is a subject which has and continues to cause confusion, but listed below are the foods that can be eaten by someone who suffers from either type of diabetes.

  • Plenty of fruits and vegetables – the minimum recommended amount is 5 a day
  • Eat foods which are rich in carbohydrates. These could include brown rice, certain cereals (ones that contain whole-grain will be the best choice) and bread
  • Eating beans is another possibility. These are known to be high in fibre and it has been suggested that consuming items like lentils can actually (over time) start reducing blood sugar levels
  • Protein is another essential element to a diet and this can be obtained from products such as fish and eggs

Top tip: It is not just foods that a person should concentrate on, it is equally as important that any fluids consumed are healthy. For example, avoiding sugary drinks is vital and they should be replaced with water. Experts suggest that around 8 – 10 glasses of water is plenty to remain adequately hydrated.

Foods to avoid

No-one really enjoys being told what they can and cannot eat, but when it comes to healthy living and managing diabetes, it is vital to make as many changes as possible so that this particular condition does not end up taking control.

These are some of the items which should be avoided at all costs:

  • Products which are high in sugar, fat and salt. Not only can these lead to weight gain, they may also lead to a person developing a high blood pressure, as well as higher levels of cholesterol
  • Fried foods are well known to be high in calories and these should be avoided altogether
  • Similar to the point above, processed foods are often known to be very unhealthy and can have high levels of fat, salt and sugar contained with them

Top tip: Sometimes everyone deserves a little treat but with many restaurants offering super size meals, this can cause issues – due to the number of calories and other factors, like fat content etc. Therefore, it is suggested that portions are limited as much as possible. Enjoy, but just not too much!

Need extra help?

From time to time, it is possible that someone may need more assistance, especially when it comes to sorting out foods that can and cannot be eaten. Hopefully, the list above will provide the necessary guidance on how to work out an effective and safe daily diet.

There are however a number of handy tools which are regularly used to assist people with diabetes and these include the following:

  • The Glycemic Index – this operates by listing a large amount of different foods and the effect they have on blood sugar levels
  • Often known as the Food Pyramid, it will breakdown all foods that can be eaten and are arranged into different categories, such as carbohydrates and protein

Both of these tools could be a handy tool to use at some point, even if it is just to provide a little extra guidance. After all, everyone might need a push in the right direction and these are great places to start.

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