There is no single food that can cure any given disease or make you healthier. However, your diet is a major key to health, well-being, and a happy life. There are ways that you can adjust your diet to help you take care of a condition and make you feel better in your own skin. A diet modification is never about just introducing or removing only one food, it is a wholesome all-round approach that should encompass not only all the foods you eat, but rather your whole lifestyle and take into account your mental well-being too.
I want to share several diet approaches and their pros and cons which I have found to be helpful in managing my glucose levels with you. Read on for 5 Methods to Help Control Blood Sugar in Type 1 Diabetics.
I live with Type 1 Diabetes. I control my blood sugars manually every day, as my body does not produce insulin – the hormone that controls the body’s blood glucose levels in a non-diabetic.
1. Lower Carb Diet
Carbs are the macronutrient that requires the highest amount of insulin per gram, but protein and fats do need insulin too. A diet that is lower in carbohydrates will generally require less insulin, which means less will need to be manually injected, hence reducing risk of hypoglycemia and blood sugar swings.
2. Slow-Release Carbohydrates
Fast release carbohydrates cause a higher blood sugar spike in diabetics, than slow-release ones. A slower release carbohydrate will match the insulin action profile better, which means that the blood sugar spike will be smaller, and blood sugars will be in range for a longer duration. Slow–release carbs will keep you fuller for longer, as the digestion is slower and the energy derived from the food endures over a period of time.
Drinking enough water ensures that your blood is viscous, and flows fast and easily through your blood vessels. When you are dehydrated, insulin resistance increases and the manually injected (in diabetes) will take very long to work, hence, not affecting blood glucose levels in the desired and expected manner. This is dangerous, as over-correction may happen, which may cause a low blood sugar later.
4. Balanced Meals
A diet balanced in protein, carbs, fibre and fats will help with a smoother digestion, and reduce the speed of glucose absorption. This will mean that digestion time will more ideally follow the insulin action profile. This will help with better blood sugar control.
5. Regimen & Regular Meals
Timing of meals and insulin injections in diabetes is crucial. The less variables we have, the easier our management will be. Keeping meal times the same and knowing our schedule can help a diabetic plan ahead and take the needed actions for easy blood sugar management.
Meal Timing Around Exercise
Exercising after a meal will reduce insulin needs for that meal and reduce the postprandial glucose spike. This will increase the stability of blood sugars and help reduce overall blood sugar swings. (This needs to be managed wisely and insulin doses will be different without exercise.) No single food can help control diabetes or any other disease. The only approach that works is to find a balanced life and a nutritional approach that works for you. Everyone is different, and different ways of eating will work best for each one of us. Discover it for yourself, learn what works for your body and work around that.