Di­a­betes man­age­ment

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - STAR SPECIAL -

HAV­ING the right tools and in­for­ma­tion to help you bet­ter self-man­age di­a­betes is the key to liv­ing a health­ier, more pro­duc­tive life.

With regular blood sugar test­ing, count­ing car­bo­hy­drates at ev­ery meal, con­trol­ling stress­ful sit­u­a­tions, set­ting re­al­is­tic goals for suc­cess and de­vel­op­ing an un­der­stand­ing of di­a­betes, you can take con­trol of di­a­betes by mak­ing ad­just­ments along the way to keep your daily progress on track.

What do a few pieces of candy and half a bagel have in com­mon? More than you might think. Each will pro­vide your body with about 15gm of car­bo­hy­drates and, once in your blood­stream, will be­come sources of en­ergy in very much the same way.

Clearly there are dif­fer­ences too. Be­cause they are made up of sim­ple sug­ars, those hard can­dies will reach your blood faster, which is great news if you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing hy­po­glycemia (low blood sugar).

The bagel, on the other hand, is much more likely to fill you up. As a com­plex car­bo­hy­drate, it will take longer to ab­sorb.

Be­cause car­bo­hy­drates are the main source of sugar in your blood­stream, count­ing car­bo­hy­drates can be an ef­fec­tive, ac­cu­rate way to plan your meals.

Done well, count­ing car­bo­hy­drates can be more ac­cu­rate than food ex­change plans, be­cause it takes into ac­count vari­a­tions be­tween spe­cific foods in each group.

The key is to know how many car­bo­hy­drates are in a par­tic­u­lar food.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when count­ing car­bo­hy­drates:

Know your tar­get

How many grams of car­bo­hy­drates should you eat through­out the day?

The amount you need de­pends on sev­eral fac­tors, in­clud­ing your weight, ac­tiv­ity level, how of­ten you eat, how many, the di­a­betes med­i­ca­tions you are on, your blood sugar con­trol and your blood lipid con­trol.

Work with a reg­is­tered di­eti­tian to learn how much car­bo­hy­drate is right for you.

A di­eti­tian can pro­vide an in­di­vid­u­alised meal plan that meets your en­ergy needs, plus help you meet your di­a­betes man­age­ment goals.

Watch your por­tions

The sure way to eat the right amount of car­bo­hy­drates is to prac­tise por­tion con­trol at ev­ery meal. Weigh­ing and mea­sur­ing foods at home can help you eas­ily de­ter­mine the right por­tion sizes when you eat at restau­rants.

Main­tain a care­ful bal­ance

Count­ing car­bo­hy­drates is great, but it is not the whole pic­ture.

If you con­sume too many fats, pro­teins or to­tal calo­ries, you could put on weight, raise your choles­terol and miss out on im­por­tant vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, even while meet­ing your daily car­bo­hy­drate goals.

Think of count­ing car­bo­hy­drates as one com­po­nent of good nu­tri­tion – make sure that you eat a va­ri­ety of fruits, veg­eta­bles and pro­teins that your body needs, while keep­ing fats and salt to a min­i­mum.

For de­tails, look out for Roche’s ad­ver­tise­ment in this StarSpe­cial.

The sure way to eat the right amount of car­bo­hy­drates is to prac­tise por­tion con­trol at ev­ery meal.

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