Living with Diabetes

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthUnfortunately, diabetes has become highly prevalent in the Latino community, mostly affecting youth. This past weekend, the American Diabetes Association hosted an expo which provided many families with basic information on how to manage diabetes and live a healthy lifestyle. With their help we compiled some tips on how you and your family can keep on the healthy track.

The Better You Eat, The Better You Feel
Here are some basic guidelines to help you and your family make healthier food decisions.

  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.
  • Choose whole grain foods over processed grain products. Try brown rice instead of white. Substitute whole wheat bread for white.
  • Eat fish 2 – 3 times a week.
  • Select leaner cuts of meat like those that end in “loin.”
  • Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
  • Eat non-fat dairy
  • Drink water and calorie-free non-carbonated beverages.
  • Use liquid oils for cooking instead of solid fats.
  • Cut back on high calorie snacks like chips, cookies, cakes, and regular ice cream. Look for baked chips and reduced calorie snacks. Or have a piece of fruit instead.
  • Watch your portion sizes. Even too much “healthy” food can cause weight gain.

A Little Physical Activity Goes a Long Way
Anything that gets you up and moving is good for you. Here’s what it can do:

  • Reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Reduce blood glucose (sugar) levels if you have diabetes, which can reduce your risk of developing diabetes-related complications
  • Relieve stress
  • Help you lose weight
  • Give you more energy
  • Help you sleep better
  • Build stronger bones and muscles

If You Have Diabetes…
Eating healthy and staying active are even more important if you have diabetes. Well-balanced meals can help keep your glucose (sugar) level as close to normal as possible. Being active also helps you lower your blood glucose. If you increase your level of physical activity, you may be able to take less insulin or diabetes pills. If you’re very inactive, have heart disease or a history of foot ulcers; consult your doctor about safe exercise for you.

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