Maintaining or losing weight for better health of people with diabetes

When you live with diabetes, it’s essential to put healthy and balanced food choices at the top of your list of concerns.

Why are diet and maintaining a healthy weight so important?

Diabetes is a disease that is characterized by the body’s inability to appropriately process sugar, which is like fuel for the body’s cells. This results in a rise of blood glucose (level of sugar in the blood). Frequent and prolonged exposure to increased blood glucose (hyperglycemia) is the cause of the medical consequences of diabetes, which are numerous and can be very serious. It is important to do everything possible to normalize blood glucose levels.

Several methods can be used to accomplish this, such as dietary changes, increasing physical activity and weight loss, which are the basis of treatment. These are effective measures in reducing blood glucose levels. In addition to this, there are drug treatments, including oral medication and insulin when non-pharmacologic measures are insufficient.

By choosing a healthy and balanced diet, you will reduce the amount of sugar and fat you ingest, which has numerous advantages. Furthermore, this promotes weight loss, which is particularly beneficial in the case of type 2 diabetes.

Ask for advice before making lifestyle changes or beginning weight loss

If you take insulin or medications to treat diabetes, speak to your pharmacist or healthcare professional before changing your dietary habits, starting physical activity or beginning weight loss. Your medication may need to be adjusted or it may be necessary to closely monitor your blood glucose.

Here is some nutritional advice for people living with diabetes:

  • Consult a nutritionist who can help you modify your dietary habits. This professional can provide advice tailored to your specific needs and help you to maintain or lose weight. They can give you advice while taking into account your tastes, lifestyle and eating habits. They can provide advice on possible dietary mistakes that could compromise your blood glucose control and your healthy weight.
  • Learn to read packaging labels when you purchase food; you will find useful information, including the amount of calories and carbohydrates it contains. 
  • Establish a regular meal schedule and prepare healthy snacks for yourself to eat between meals.
  • Follow the recommendations of the Canada Food Guide.
    • Choose variety and add colour to your plate by adding fruits and vegetables. This will allow you to enjoy the many benefits of nutrients such as vitamins and dietary fibre.
    • Increase your fibre intake by eating more foods that contain it, such as whole grain products and legumes.
    • Eliminate foods rich in sugar, fats and calories that are nutrient-poor, such as chocolate, potato chips, sweets, soft drinks, fast food, etc.

As you can see, managing diabetes goes far beyond taking medication. Your pharmacist can give you information and advice regarding several aspects of the condition. Don’t hesitate to speak to them!

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Maintaining or losing weight for better health of people with diabetes

In this fast-paced world, it can be difficult to eat well. When you are living with diabetes, it is essential to make healthy and balanced food choices a priority on your list of concerns.
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