Have you been told by your doctor that you are diabetic? If so, congratulations! You’re among the 20% of American adults who have this condition. While there are many positive aspects to being diabetic (such as the fact that you’ll need fewer daily medications), there are also some disadvantages. Chief among them are the dietary restrictions that accompany this diagnosis. Because of your condition, you may have been warned by your doctor to avoid certain food groups, especially those containing carbohydrates.
If this is the case, you’ll need to make some important lifestyle changes. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which you can improve your quality of life while also being sure to follow the dietary guidelines you’ve been given. In this article, we’ll discuss five smart things you can do when your doctor suggests a low-carb diet for treatment of your diabetes.
1. Eat More Produce
With the rise of clean eating and veganism, people with diabetes are enjoying the benefits of a greater variety of food options than ever before. If your doctor has recommended a low-carb diet, chances are you’ll be enjoying more fresh fruits and vegetables than you’ve had in years. These are important sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, as well as good fats that contribute to cell function and repair. By regularly consuming more fruits and vegetables, you’re also providing your body with more antioxidants, which help fight the effects of aging and cell damage.
2. Cut Back On The Booze And The Snacks
Although having a drink or two won’t hurt you (in fact, some studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may be beneficial for diabetics), you may want to consider cutting back on the amount you’re drinking. Alcohol is a source of empty calories that don’t provide your body with anything good. If you’re already drinking the recommended eight glasses of water each day, there’s no need to pour another drink on top of that. Alcohol isn’t recommended for people with diabetes because it encourages bad eating habits and contributes to obesity. If your doctor has suggested a low-carb diet, cutting back on the alcohol in your life is essential in order to achieve your weight loss goals. You may also decide to skip out on the snacks, which are often high in carbs. It’s preferable to eat a healthy, homemade meal or bring something from home instead. Remember, snacks are a pleasure in moderation, but they add up quickly if you’re consuming them frequently.
3. Increase Your Water Consumption
It’s important to stay hydrated, particularly if you’re active, and the simplest way to do that is with water. If your doctor has recommended a low-carb diet, you may want to increase your water intake to counterbalance the lack of carbohydrates in your system. Although there are no set rules regarding how much water you need to drink, you should aim to drink at least eight glasses each day. Some of the benefits of water include lowering blood pressure and raising your body’s metabolic rate, making it ideal for those with diabetes who’re trying to lose weight. Water also helps to regulate your blood sugar, so it’s always a good idea to drink more of this substance if you’re diabetic. While we’re recommending an increase in water consumption, it’s also important to stay hydrated by drinking sufficient amounts of liquid throughout the day. This means avoiding dehydration, which is often the result of excessive water intake. Dehydration can lead to a number of health problems, so it’s essential to keep your body hydrated at all times.
4. Embrace The Change
With any new dietary regimen comes the challenge of transitioning to a different way of living. If your doctor has suggested a low-carb diet, this is no different. You may find yourself in the unenviable position of having to give up the foods you enjoy the most in order to improve your health. This can be a difficult feat, and it’s an area where a lot of people with diabetes struggle. In order to make the change to a healthier lifestyle, you may want to consider the following tips. First, read food labels carefully so that you know what ingredients are in the foods you eat. Second, be mindful of portions sizes and how many calories you’re eating in general. Third, make note of how you feel after eating certain foods, particularly those high in carbs. If you feel bloated or heavy, you may want to steer clear of these foods. Fourth, enlist the help of family and friends who can hold you accountable for your choices. A healthy diet can be something to look forward to, but it’s also important to be aware of what you need to do to get there. A healthy lifestyle is achievable for those who truly want it, and it starts with each and every one of us taking responsibility for our own choices.
5. Seek Professional Help
If none of the suggestions above have helped you improve your quality of life, or you’re still struggling to make the change even after trying hard for a while, it may be time to seek professional help. There are many counselors and doctors who can assist you in making the transition to a healthier lifestyle. By working with a nutritionist or personal trainer who’s familiar with the unique challenges of diabetics, you can ensure that you’re making the right choices for your needs. It may also be helpful to work with a professional who has experience in dealing with this specific population. While there’s no guarantee that going through all of these steps will lead you to success, it’s certainly possible. A healthy diet and active lifestyle can help to prevent many of the serious health problems associated with diabetes. It’s never easy changing your habits, but with a little bit of patience and self-awareness, it’s definitely achievable.