Tips for Blood Sugar Control When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Know Your Numbers

Check your blood sugar levels daily with a blood glucose meter and keep a record of the readings. Understand what’s normal, high, and low so you can spot patterns and provide your healthcare team with the necessary information to adjust your treatment plan.

Pay Attention to Portions

Even healthy foods can be over-consumed. Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, and split the other half between a lean protein and a grain.

Fill Up on Fiber

Fiber helps bulk up your meals and doesn’t raise your blood sugar since it’s not digested by your body. Aim for at least 25 grams a day from sources like fruits and veggies with skin, whole grains, and legumes.

Be Carb Smart

Carbohydrates turn into glucose after eating, so it’s important to manage them carefully. Choose fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans over less healthy options like white bread and white rice.

Keep Your Cool

With diabetes, you may feel hotter faster. High temperatures can affect blood sugar management. Wear loose, cool clothing, use a hat, and seek air conditioning during peak heat.

Get Physical

Regular exercise improves insulin efficiency and helps lower blood sugar. Find activities you enjoy, like walking, swimming, yoga, or dancing, and make them part of your daily routine.

Go Small With Alcohol

If you drink, do so wisely. Women should limit to one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor per day; men can have up to double that. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach or when your blood sugar is low.

Snooze So You Don’t Lose

Poor sleep can raise your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling grumpy and tired. Prioritize good sleep habits: shut off screens before bed, wind down, and aim for 8 hours of sleep each night.

Watch Your Weight

Extra weight can strain your body and elevate blood sugar. Make small, daily changes towards a healthier weight, such as tracking your meals and snacks and moving your body for at least 30 minutes a day. Losing even 10-15 pounds can make a significant difference.

Mind Your Meds

Some people with type 2 diabetes can manage without medication, but only a doctor can determine that. If you need insulin or other meds, take them as prescribed, even when you feel well, as they directly affect your blood sugar levels.

Be Travel-Wise

Diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from traveling. Manage your blood sugar with careful planning: talk to your doctor before trips, pack enough meds and snacks, and always bring more than you think you’ll need.

Fill In Your Family

Diabetes management is easier with family support. If your family understands what’s healthy and what’s not, they can help you manage your blood sugar. Consider taking a diabetes lifestyle class together.

Take Some Pressure Off

High stress increases cortisol, which can disrupt blood sugar management. Reduce stress where possible and change how you react to it. Try meditation, eat well, sleep adequately, see a counselor, and exercise regularly to boost both mental and physical health.

Filter Your Fats

Choose healthy fats like monounsaturated, omega-3, and polyunsaturated fats. Opt for fish and lean meats instead of red meat, avoid fried foods, choose low-fat dairy, and limit sauces.

Drink Up

Diabetes can cause dehydration, making it harder to manage blood sugar. Drink water regularly and don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Carry a water bottle with you, ask your doctor how much you should drink daily, and limit caffeine.

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