Controlling blood glucose is indispensable for patients with Diabetes, reducing the risk of complications and unfavorable long-term outcomes, but it is also a valuable tool for those seeking a healthier life.
And although there is no magic formula to achieve this goal, specific steps are always present in the recipes of success: knowledge about the subject, being up to date with the exams and guidance of the nutritionist, and including physical activities in the routine.
If you already follow these steps and want to know what else you can do to control blood glucose, be aware of these tips:
1 – Control your weight
Obesity and an unbalanced diet are risk factors for glycemic lack of control and evolution to type 2 diabetes, especially if the fat is accumulated around the waist. This is because fat affects the production and performance of insulin, a hormone that regulates the entry of glucose into cells and keeps blood glucose (blood sugar level) controlled.
2 – Choose foods with low glycemic index carbohydrates
Carbohydrates with a low glycemic index are absorbed more slowly by the body. This means fewer blood glucose spikes and lowers insulin production to control them right after meals.
To find foods with a low glycemic index, look for high amounts of fiber and water compositions. The following are part of the group: whole grains (chia, oats, rice, bread, and whole-grain pasta), vegetables (sweet potato, pumpkin, broccoli, and carrots), and fruits (pear, strawberry, apple, avocado, and banana).
Bonus: in addition to controlling blood glucose, foods with low glycemic index carbohydrates are also allied in the diets, promoting satiety.
3 – Maintain a consistent dietary routine
Respecting meal times is one of the golden rules to keep blood glucose under control. And when establishing an excellent dietary routine, it is essential, especially for diabetics, to consider three large meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and small snacks between them, at least two hours apart.
4- Care for alcoholic beverages
In addition to being very caloric, alcoholic beverages have other points of attention for people with Diabetes: they uncontrollably control blood glucose, facilitating episodes of both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
This is because alcohol interferes with the action of insulin, insulin secretagogues, and glucagon, increasing the risk of hypoglycemia in individuals who use these substances to control Diabetes.
According to the Brazilian Diabetes Society Guidelines, the daily intake of alcohol for adults with Diabetes should be limited to one dose or less for women and two doses or less for men.
One dose = 150 mL of wine (one glass), 360 mL of beer (one small can), or 45 mL of distillates (one shot with standard shot glass).
5 – Increase the consumption of dietary fibers
The World Health Organization suggests that the consumption of dietary fiber should be at least 25g per day. This is because the fibers are linked to lower cholesterol levels, lower incidence of cancer, control of Diabetes, and regulation of the intestinal microbiota.
In glycemic control, soluble fibers contribute to the moderation of carbohydrate absorption, slowing the speed at which glucose enters the bloodstream and avoiding peaks. Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, act by contributing to satiety and weight control.
Fibers are found in vegetables, mainly in leaves, stalks, seeds, and pulp. The primary food sources are fruits, vegetables, oatmeal and barley, flaxseed, in addition to legumes such as beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils.
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body does not produce insulin or cannot correctly employ its insulin. In 2017, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimated that 8.8% of the world’s population aged 20 to 79 years (424.9 million people) lived with Diabetes. If current trends persist, the number of people with Diabetes was projected to exceed 628.6 million in 2045.
The World Health Organization (OMS) estimates that high blood glucose is the third major cause of premature mortality, surpassed only by increased blood pressure and tobacco use.*
*With information from the Brazilian Diabetes Society
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