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Control Your Diabetes Through Diet and Exercise

The number of people suffering from diabetes is almost four times higher than it was 40 years ago, and more and more people are living with prediabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can have many serious health consequences that affect the whole body, including the heart, eyes, kidneys, and feet. Diabetes is a progressive disease, and unless you address its root cause, you may experience serious complications that can reduce your lifespan.

Although Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune response, an unhealthy diet high and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to Type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet is part of a diabetes treatment plan, but knowing exactly what to eat when you have diabetes can be a difficult task because dietary advice is often confusing or contradictory. 

Here at Weston Medical Health & Wellness, our specialist, Dr. Andrea Bretal, is an expert at diabetes care. She shares some basic information about diabetes and the approach she uses to help her patients manage their health and live well with diabetes.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes involves a problem with insulin that prevents the transport of blood sugar into your cells to be used for energy. This can happen either because your pancreas can’t produce insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or your body doesn’t use insulin properly (Type 2 diabetes). In both cases, you end up with chronic high blood sugar levels. 

How do you optimize your diet for diabetes?

People with diabetes eat regular foods that you can buy at the grocery store. The key is to eat a variety of whole, nutritious foods and control your portion sizes to stay at a healthy weight and control your blood sugar levels. Dr. Bretal can work with you to customize a nutrition plan that works for you, based on your individual needs.

Dr. Bretal may recommend a diet that’s lower in carbohydrates which may reduce your need for medications and help lower your blood sugar. With a low-carb diet, your metabolism shifts from using glucose for energy into burning more fat for fuel. This decreases your need for insulin or oral medications and may even help you lose weight.

How does exercise impact diabetes?

Exercise helps lower blood sugar and increases insulin sensitivity. If you’re insulin resistant, exercise can increase your insulin sensitivity for up to 24 hours or more after your workout. 

Exercising also burns calories to help you manage your weight. People with diabetes who are overweight are also at a higher risk of developing heart disease and fatty liver disease. 

Research suggests that regular exercise is one of the hallmarks of successful weight maintenance. Dr. Bretal can suggest an appropriate exercise regimen for you based on your current health and preferences.

If you have diabetes, following your healthy diet plan is a must for good blood sugar control to help you prevent long-term complications from the condition. If you want to reduce your need for medications, contact our office in Weston, Florida, to schedule an appointment and find out how nutrition and exercise can help you manage your diabetes.

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