Wellness Matters

3 Tips for Managing Diabetes

March 24, 2016

A healthy diet paired with exercise and proper medication management can significantly improve the quality of life of individuals living with diabetes.

  1. Now that it’s spring, it’s a great time to take a trip to your local grocery or farmers market to stock up on some of the non-starchy vegetables that are available this time of year, such as radishes, broccoli, asparagus and collard greens. The recommended portion size for non-starchy vegetables is ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw. You should aim for at least 3-5 servings each day. For a balanced meal, combine your veggies with three ounces of lean protein, such as baked chicken or fish.
  2. And don’t forget the power of exercise! The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetes patients participate in at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Now that it’s getting warmer and the days are getting longer, it’s a great time to dig out your tennis shoes and hit the streets for a walk, jog or biking session. Aerobic exercises like these help control and lower blood sugar levels. Fitting 30 minutes of exercise into your schedule five times a week is ideal for lowering blood sugar.
  3. Because people with diabetes are more prone to foot problems, it’s important for diabetic patients to check their feet every day. See your health care provider if you have cuts or breaks in the skin, or have an ingrown nail. Also, be sure to contact your doctor if your foot changes color or shape, or if you’re experiencing pain, sensitivity or discomfort.

If you’re incorporating new foods and an exercise routine into your daily life, it’s important that you closely monitor and check your blood sugar level more frequently than you might have been. Because exercise can lower your blood sugar, you may need to accommodate that change with modifications in your diet and/or medication. Symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling shaky, sweaty or nervous, so if you’re experiencing any of these, you may want to make an appointment with your physician. Fortunately, the team of registered dieticians and diabetes educators at the Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Management Center is dedicated to helping diabetic patients throughout the community manage their disease through proper diet and exercise.

The Cone Health Nutrition & Diabetes Management Center offers a free diabetes support group the 2nd Monday of every month from 5:45 - 6:45pm (located at 301 E. Wendover Avenue, Suite 415). Feel free to join us and get your questions answered! 

Tune into WGHP every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 am for a new "Housecalls" segment.

About the Author

Margaret May, RD, RN is a dietician with the Cone Health’s Nutrition and Diabetes Management Center


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