If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes and told to lose weight, don’t despair. The good news is that losing just a few pounds can significantly improve your glucose levels and help you control your diabetes better.
If you are severely overweight or obese, losing a significant amount of weight might eliminate the need for diabetes medication altogether. Of course, only your doctor can make this determination. What you can do is to start changing the way you eat in order to help the pounds melt off and ensure that your glucose levels improve at the same time.
What You Should Do
Cut down on the amount of sugar you eat. This doesn’t mean completely eliminating all of your favorite desserts, but it does mean cutting down on foods that have lots of added sugar. For example, pick low-sugar ice cream over the regular kind. And go with blueberries over bananas (which have high sugar content). Don’t add sugar to your coffee or tea and get used to buying natural sweeteners like Truvia or Stevia.
Perhaps even more important
- than all this is to look out for hidden sugars in foods that you consume regularly. Did you know canned fruits are often much higher in sugar than frozen and fresh varieties? That’s because of the yummy thick syrup that fills the cans. Sugar is everywhere, including many salad dressings, ketchup, dairy products, fruit juices, cereals ,and even canned soups and tomato sauce. Get used to reading labels and comparing food ingredients and choose the brand that contains the smallest amount of sugar, or better yet, none at all.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Although the old-time recommendation was to eliminate carbohydrates if you have diabetes, times have changed. Now, doctors believe it’s all about choices. So if you’re willing to go with whole grains (brown rice, rye bread) and eat them in moderation, carbs are okay.
Even better, with whole grains you’re getting an additional benefit: lots of fiber. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar and will help you lose weight –which in turn benefits your glucose levels as well.
Being and staying healthy is and always will be about choices we make. With Diabetes, as long as we make the right choices to lower our weight and reduce sugar intake, we will ensure that the disease is under control.