Managing diabetes: From cooking at home to walks after meals, here are some tips | fitness | Hindustan Times
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Managing diabetes: From cooking at home to walks after meals, here are some tips

Diagnosed with diabetes? No sweat. Just ensure that you manage it well -- from eating the right kind of desserts to home-cooked food, here are some handy tips.

fitness Updated: Jun 12, 2017 09:45 IST
Making smart lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing diabetes.
Making smart lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing diabetes.

Lifestyle is a decisive factor in preventing or stabilizing diabetes. From diet and exercise to stress management, here are a few lifestyle changes to consider.

Pick the right dessert

Diabetics don’t need to have to skip dessert, but they should definitely make wise food choices. Pick products that have a naturally low glycemic index to prevent spikes in blood sugar. Top fruits on that front are red berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries), apples, pears, oranges, grapefruit, peaches and nectarines. Note that cinnamon can help lower blood sugar levels. It can be used to sweeten coffee or tea or sprinkled on yogurt or fromage frais.

You don’t have to skip sweets, just pick the right kind of dessert--berries are a good option. (Shutterstock)

Certain bakeries make cakes and cookies specifically for diabetics. These sweet treats typically contain half the amount of sugar, notably by using natural sugar substitutes. Still, they should only be eaten occasionally and always as part of a meal in order to limit the hyperglycemic effect.

Get cooking

Nothing beats the goodness of home-cooked food. (Shutterstock)

Most diabetics know that they should avoid pre-prepared supermarket dishes and ready meals, which are often too high in fat and salt, and can be lacking in vitamins and minerals. Cooking from scratch with quality produce remains the best option. When it comes to grains, oats and barley are allowed. These cereals’ fibres are interesting for diabetics as they slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestine and therefore help control blood sugar levels and insulin requirements.

Walk for 10 minutes after meals

Even a short walk after work helps. (Shutterstock)

Walking for 10 minutes right after eating could be more effective for controlling blood sugar than walking at another time of day, particularly after an evening meal, when blood sugar can drop by 22%, according to research from New Zealand. Current recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend at least the equivalent of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day, five times a week.

Take time to relax

Taking time out and relaxing is very important. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Unfortunately, it is possible to develop type 2 diabetes due to chronic stress from work or personal lives. Permanent stress can contribute to increasing insulin resistance. That’s why it is recommended to take regular exercise, learn relaxation techniques and organize break times on downtime in your day. Keep an eye on shut-eye too (minimum seven hours’ sleep per night), as, according to several studies, this can help curb cravings for fatty or sugary foods, among other things.

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