Diet & Exercise
Dietary adjustments, called medical nutrition therapy (or MNT), are the front-line treatment in controlling blood glucose levels. Particularly important are carbohydrate and fat intake. Dietary carbohydrates are the bodys main source of glucose, and eating controlled amounts of carbohydrates in the form of high fiber, low fat, and low glycemic food choices helps even out blood glucose levels throughout the day. Cutting saturated and trans fat intake is also important in the prevention of cardiovascular problems.
Learn more about eating right with type 2 diabetes.
Exercise decreases insulin resistance and lowers blood glucose levels. It also benefits heart health by lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. And for those who are overweight or obese, a regular fitness routine is important for reaching weight goals. Finally, a good workout is great for reducing stress and improving your overall sense of well-being.
Keep in mind that some types of exercise can make certain diabetic complications worse. In addition, people with type 2 diabetes must take precautions before, during, and after a workout to avoid hypoglycemia (or blood sugar lows). Always consult with your diabetes care team before embarking on a new fitness program.
Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, M.D., 04/08
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