When a person eats, the body digests the food and turns part of it into sugar, which your body is then able to use as energy for important bodily functions. Diabetes is a serious disease in which a person experiences higher than normal blood sugar levels because of the body's inability to properly control them. The body requires a hormone called insulin in order to take sugars from the bloodstream and transfer them into cells to be converted to energy. Those with diabetes experience high blood sugar either because of the body's inability to produce insulin or to absorb it properly. Dr. Brad Meltzer of Eye Vision Associates in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York cautions, “A failure to regulate both your blood sugar and your blood pressure properly may lead to diabetes related complications. One such complication is an eye condition known as diabetic retinopathy, in which blood vessels in the eyes either begin to leak fluids or become closed off altogether, causing damage to your eyes and possibly resulting in blindness. Among the most important ways to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure in order to prevent complications is to adapt to a diet and lifestyle that is considered 'diabetic friendly.'”
Those who use insulin, should be sure to get regular exercise and maintain a healthy diet. These are key elements of well controlled blood sugar and blood pressure levels. The timing, amount and type of carbohydrate should be considered in relation to the amount, timing and type of insulin you are taking. Users of tobacco products should stop use immediately. Smoking and chewing tobacco raise blood pressure in both the short term and long term, increasing your risk of developing diabetes related conditions.
A recommended diet for people with diabetes is similar to that of people without, and includes carbohydrates, protein, and fat. As a rule, foods should have low levels of salt and cholesterol to maintain a healthy blood pressure and low levels of sugar to prevent spikes in blood sugar. Diabetics should eat meals at the same time every day if possible, at properly spaced intervals and snack on healthy foods frequently throughout the day. You should base meals on high fiber complex carbohydrates like wholegrain breads and pastas, fresh vegetables and fruits.
Watching the amount of fat you eat and limiting saturated fats is extremely important in order to prevent diabetic complications. You should cut extra fat from your steaks, go skinless when it comes to eating chicken and try to avoid high-fat, low-nutrition foods like french fries, mayonnaise and bacon, since these are all considered to be unhealthy sources of fat. Instead, your fat intake should come from healthier sources such as nuts, avocados or seeds.
Finally, watching that you are always at a healthy weight is an essential part of keeping your blood pressure down and preventing complications that may result from improper diabetic care. Keeping careful track of what you eat, in order to match the number of calories you burn with the amount you consume is an easy way to be sure you are always on top of maintaining a healthy weight. This goes a long way toward a healthy lifestyle in general and for those with diabetes in particular.
For more tips and information, visit Dr. Meltzer's You Channel for informational and inspiring videos.