Type 1 Diabetes usually affects younger people, although it may occur at any age. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder wherein the immune system mistakes the healthy beta cells in the pancreas as foreign invaders and attacks them. Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes is not a disease brought on by lifestyle choices, but healthy lifestyle choices CAN and DOES positively affect both types.
Choose a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet.
Choosing a healthy lifestyle is generally beneficial for everyone’s overall health, but especially for those whose blood sugar levels need to be controlled to help prevent the complications related to diabetes. Here are some tips to help you to help yourself:
☐ Timing your meals: Meal timing is crucial to the treatment and management of Type 1 diabetes, since it may affect the efficiency of your insulin intake. It’s extremely important for you to match your meals with your insulin doses. The best time to eat your meal depends on the type of insulin that you’re taking. Regular insulin should be taken 30 minutes before a meal. Eating foods with low glycemic load allows the blood sugar to slowly rise, giving the insulin ample time to take effect.
☐ Watch your carb intake: Make sure that you monitor your carbohydrate intake. Carbs include starches, sugars and fiber. Your body converts starches and sugars into glucose, enters your bloodstream and increases your BG levels.
☐ Avoid sugars: Sugar, in moderate amounts, is essential to our body. As a carbohydrate, it helps supply you with the energy you need for your daily activities. All of your cells use it. But at the same time, sugar is also a calorie, and once it is consumed in excess, negative effects to your health will follow. Excessive amounts of sugar can result in obesity, diabetes, heart damage or failure, cancer cell production, depletion of brain power, and shorter lifespans.
Avoiding foods with high sugar content is definitely easier said than done these days, given the massive amounts of it in everything. It’s everywhere, not just the usual suspects like energy drinks, sodas, candy bars, and cereals, but also bread, and peanut butter. Even more dangerous than sugar is the world of artificial sweeteners, often marketed as a healthy alternative to sugar, and are anything but healthy.
☐ Eat nutritious foods: Avoid eating processed foods. Most contain sugar, preservatives, trans fat, refined flour, and other unhealthy ingredients. Fill your plate with wholesome foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. You should consume foods that are high in healthy fats and probiotics, since these may help you gain better control of your blood glucose levels. Everyone has access to them.
☐ Exercise regularly — Following a consistently active lifestyle may help regulate your blood sugar levels, as it allows your body to use insulin more efficiently. It also helps reduce your risk of developing complications, such as heart disease and stroke. It’s important to note that your physical activities and diet plan significantly affect your blood glucose levels. Make sure that you consult your physician before making any changes to your lifestyle habits and dietary plan.
☐ Regular Monitoring your glucose levels is a must! — Don’t mess with this. Before and after mealtimes. Before and after exercising. Before sleeping. When you’re not feeling well.
☐ Don’t let Diabetes define you, depress you, or discourage you. Choose well, and you will live well. Enjoy life. Be healthy and be wise.