Lifestyle Tips to Control Diabetes

Published: April 20, 2017

By Lisa Zarny, MS, RD, CD-N, Clinical Nutrition Manager


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Whether you have been diagnosed with type 1, 2 or gestational diabetes, it’s important to understand what role food, nutrition and exercise play in the management of diabetes.

Part of managing diabetes is maintaining proper blood sugar levels. Medication, physical activity, and balancing the foods you consume are also very important in the disease management. Consider these tips to help you better control your diabetes.

1. Eating Healthy with Diabetes

  • Choose healthy carbohydrates such as whole-grain foods, brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal and whole grain breads and cereals. 
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables and choose whole fruit instead of fruit juices. 
  • Eat less fat by choosing lean meats, poultry and fish. Take the skin off the chicken before eating.
  • Lower your salt intake by using herbs and spices, such as pepper, basil, garlic, cinnamon.

2. Controlling Diabetes through Lifestyle Changes

  • Avoid skipping meals to maintain steady blood sugar levels.
  • Focus on your food and avoid multitasking. Eating while doing other tasks may lead to overeating. Also, do not eat while watching TV; eat at the kitchen table to enjoy the meal with family members.

3. Exercise and Diabetes

  • Exercise helps your body utilize insulin more effectively.
  • Exercise improves blood circulation to all organs, especially the kidneys, brain, heart and eyes which can be affected by poor diabetes management. 
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after exercise.


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