I was recently diagnosed with diabetes. What is the next best step?


Q: I was diagnosed with having diabetes today...I was told that my blood readings were normal at first after the fast then displayed a 160 and 185 reading after the first and second tests(glucose tolerance) my question is ....what should be my next step...?


A:   The first step is dietary and lifestyle modification. It can never be overemphasized that these modifications can significantly control blood sugar levels. For dietary changes, here’s a simple way of describing it: if you will imagine your plate, half of it should be vegetables, ¼ is meat and/or beans and ¼ is carbohydrate-rich food. For dressings, avoid cream-based dressings (ranch, Caesar) because these will not help in decreasing your weight; use vinaigrettes instead. Cutting down on sweets, carbohydrates (rice, pasta, white bread), using canola oil and/or olive oil, avoiding trans-fat or saturated fat can also be helpful. Exercise can dramatically control blood sugar levels. Muscles need fuel to work which means more work for muscles = more fuel (sugar) burned. Moderate exercise (treadmill exercises, brisk-walking) is enough for blood sugar control. Doing this at least 30 minutes to1 hour everyday is enough. Heavy exercise regimens are not proven to have better control of blood sugar levels hence it is not advised. I know this is easier said than done and it will take lots of discipline to do all these. However, these are still considered the best initial steps since these don’t have unwanted, unavoidable side effects unlike medications. I do hope I have answered your question and I wish you well always.

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