Expert diet and exercise tips to manage diabetes (World Diabetes Day 2013)

Expert diet and exercise tips to manage diabetes (World Diabetes Day 2013)

By Neha Ranglani  on: 26 May 2015
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November 14 is World Diabetes Day.

Diabetes does not mean the end of a good life. It just means that it is time to change your lifestyle for the better. Though diabetes is a rising health concern for most Indians today, but if taken good care of, one can live a normal life as before. Here are some lifestyle, diet and exercise related dos and don’ts by noted nutritionist Neha Chandna that diabetics should follow to live well with diabetes.

General guidelines

It is essential that diabetics keep a constant tab on their blood sugar levels for better health and to avoid complications. Follow these tips:

  • Get your blood sugar levels and HBA1C checked in a laboratory every 3 months if you are above 30 years of age.
  • Check your blood sugar with a blood glucose monitor in the morning, after lunch and after dinner, every 2 days if you are a diabetic.
  • Keep a check on blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels as a diabetic generally tends to have high BP and cholesterol.
  • If you are on insulin, check your blood sugar before all the major meals to modulate the food intake.
  • Check your toes and legs for any hurt or wound and don’t delay the treatment.
  • If obese, try to lose weight and maintain it.

Diet guidelines

Monitoring your diet is highly vital as the food you eat directly affects your blood sugar levels and weight. In order to make sure you are eating healthy, follow these tips:

  • Eat every 2-3 hours in small quantities rather than eating 3 large meals.
  • Include complex carbs in every meal – whole wheat, ragi, jowar, brown rice, oats, etc.
  • Avoid refined cereal products like bread, noodles, polished rice, etc. as they can raise blood sugar levels.
  • Choose fibre-rich foods like vegetables, whole grains, etc. You should aim for 25-25g of fibre/day through diet to maintain blood glucose levels.
  • Low-fat milk products like curd, paneer and egg whites, lean chicken and fish are great protein sources which can prove helpful in diabetes management.
  • If you are a vegetarian, whole pulses and dals can provide little protein and good amounts of fibre.
  • You can enjoy all vegetables especially green, leafy ones. Limit your intake of potatoes.
  • Depending on your blood sugar, don’t have more than 2 fruits/day and if you are fond of mango/banana, opt for these early in the morning.
  • Reduce butter, ghee or oil intake. Also, avoid processed foods like cakes, biscuits, ready-to-eat foods as they are loaded with fats. Salt and sugar and can aggravate complications like blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Sugary foods are a complete no-no. You can use artificial sweeteners occasionally, but avoid overdependence on them.
  • Always carry a snack with you when travelling to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and dizziness. 

Exercise guidelines

Only monitoring your diet won’t work, you also need to get a fair share of physical exercise to maintain normal levels but there are certain guidelines diabetics need to follow:

  • Make sure you exercise at least 4-5 times/week to help you get your blood sugar in control.
  • You can choose moderate exercises like aerobics, brisk walking, weight training, swimming, dancing, etc.
  • Check your blood sugar at home before and after exercise. Avoid exercise if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low. If you are on insulin, modify your carb intake before and after exercise depending on your sugar levels.
  • Eat a complex carb snack like sandwich, wrap, oats an hour before you do any activity.
  • Eat immediately after exercise to avoid fall in blood sugar.
  • Carry sugar tablets or glucose water with you in case of an emergency hypoglycemia situation.
  • Avoid exercise in case of severe complications like kidney problems, nerve problems or wounds.

These guidelines will help you lead a normal life even with your existing diabetes condition and also make your lifestyle a healthier one preventing other heath complications. 



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Dietitian Neha Chandna (Ranglani) has 8 years of experience in the field. Food and Health is the matter of interest for most of the people today and realizing the need to create awareness and spread the right information to the society, Neha decided to extensively educate herself in the field of nutrition. As a known fact that diet and exercise go hand in hand, She went a step ahead to certify herself as a REEBOK Aerobic instructor. One of the Most Famous & Online Nutritionists Dietitians in Mumbai (Khar west).Neha Chandna, a dietitian in Mumbai, is a university topper in Dietetics from S.V.T. She has worked as a nutritionist for reputed gyms and fitness trainers and as a consultant with doctors and physiotherapists. She deals with sportsmen, individuals who are obese or victims of lifestyle issues- to name a few- diabetes, thyroid, osteoporosis, PCOS etc. and active/exercising sector of society. She educates and conducts seminar/workshops for corporates like banks (HDFC & Standard Chartered Bank), BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living. She also takes workshops on Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation. Neha Chandna also writes articles for magazines and newspapers like New Woman, Beauty and salon, Hello Mumbai, the afternoon etc. She has also done a couple of interviews for TV9 channel. She is an online consultant for a health social networking website www.ihealthu.com. Dietician Neha Chandna is one of the Best Dietician / nutritionist in Khar west , Mumbai.Neha Chandna is a Famous Nutritionist in Khar west & a famous nutritionist in Mumbai for weight loss diet chart and for other diet plan services. Popular dietcian in Mumbai. Consult her for best online Diet charts in Mumbai. 
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