How to manage Diabetes with a good diet and lifestyle: When you have diabetes, one of the most important steps to take is to correct your diet, and in particular, cut down on the number of carbs you consume since carbohydrates are one of the major reasons for blood sugar spikes and it’s imperative to watch what you eat.
Do low-carb diets help stabilize blood sugar levels?
Going low-carb is something that is very popularly recommended, and a number of low-carb diets such as the Ketogenic diet have been shown to well manage and even reverse diabetes. However, while you go low carb, there are some caveats. As helpful as cutting down on sugar and excess carbs is to treat and control blood sugar flare-ups, it needs to be remembered that like a lot of dietary hacks, it isn’t exactly fool-proof. Therefore, just as important it is to pay special focus to your diet, also remember to avoid some mistakes while you work to cut down carbs and control blood sugar level.
Mistaking Keto to be the only low-carb option
It’s essential to cut down carbs for better diabetes management. However, a mistake a lot of people make is simply confusing Keto to be the only option to cut down on carbs. The Ketogenic diet is an extremely low-on-carbs diet, and may not suit everyone. If your goal is to follow a low-carb diet, the only principle to follow is to have fewer than 130 g carbs on a daily basis (or less than 26% of your total calorie intake should comprise carbs). Thus, when you go low-carb, remember to explore all your options, consider the risks, and follow what suits your needs better.
Not monitoring blood sugar levels regularly
Just because you go low-carb doesn’t automatically mean that you can ditch blood sugar management goodbye! As experts point out, while fewer carbs may help stabilize sugar levels, there could be chances of encountering hyperglycemia, or hypoglycemia if you do not regularly monitor your blood sugar readings.
Following-up and getting a rough idea of what your blood sugar levels, with good carb monitoring can also help you get a better idea of the meals you need to have, medication, if it needs to be curtailed. Remember to consult with your doctor and take an informed call.
Focussing on total carb intake, and not the quality of your carbs
An often-committed mistake, when it comes to diabetes and lowering down the number of carbs, is to focus on the entire carb intake in a day, and ignore the source and quality of the carbs one’s consuming. Remember, a low-carb diet isn’t completely about the carbs you are cutting down on, but also the nutritional value, and the quality sources you are adding into your diet, since the carb intake is limited.
For most benefits, while you follow a low-carb diet, focus on improving your intake of good fats, nuts and seeds, good oils, and high protein sources, all of which will help the body stay healthy and give you needed energy and nutrition.
Not spreading out carb intake through meals
Diabetics are advised to have small, frequent meals in a day, which would not just help regulate insulin levels, but also maintain weight and frequent hunger pangs one gets with high blood sugar levels. So, just as you spread your meals in a day, what you should also be doing is to spread the number of carbs you can have with those meals. Resist the urge to save your carbs for a particular meal, and instead, include healthier options and distribute carb intake through all of your meals. Also make sure that you measure the number of carbs included in your snacking meals as well, and not just full meals.
Missing other important dietary aspects for diabetes management
While we talk of the benefits of following a low-carb diet for better diabetes care, it’s also critical that every individual focus on balancing out other nutritional aspects and dietary control- from making sure you are having enough fiber and proteins in your meal, and meeting your water requirements in a day. All of these are crucial in making sure blood sugar levels are well-balanced, and remain stabilized. Thus, ensure that you are having a lot of hydrating liquids, protein in every meal and enough fiber needed for the day.