Monday, January 31, 2011

Five Not-So-New Year's Resolutions for Diabetics

Now that January 2011 has almost passed, it's a great time to make the one resolution for better living with diabetes that you'll follow all the way through the new year. Here are five suggestions:

1. Give up diet soft drinks. You'll be amazed how much more money you have (up to US $1500 a year!) and your kidneys won't have to work as hard maintaining normal pH of your bloodstream, giving the rest of your body greater access to calcium and glutamine.

2. Take up light exercise. It's true that easy exercise, like walking, does not do a lot to lower your blood sugars. But it does burn carbs, and it can burn fat. Every little bit helps! Even if you don't join a gym, keep moving, around the block, around your town.

3. Eat more veggies. Even one serving a day can help you deal with digestion and allergy issues better. And it's really not a good idea to suddenly start eating the whole nine servings a day most experts recommend. Give your system a chance to get used to the fiber, and spread out your vegetables throughout the day--even at breakfast!

4. Go nuts. Nuts are a paradoxically high-fat snack that help you lose weight. The "good" essential fatty acids in nuts help you control your appetite and help your body limit inflammation. Most people who add 1-3 oz (30 to 90 g) of nuts to their daily diets actually lose weight, up to about a pound (500 g) more every month, even without dieting.

5. Test, test, test. The only way to know if you are eating too much or too little to keep your blood sugars in a healthy range is to test--at least once a week if you are well-controlled type 2 who doesn't take medication to at least four times a day if you use insulin.

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