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9 Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Managing Diabetes

Living with diabetes is a challenge, but we're here to make it as smooth as possible. Try these 8 diet and lifestyle tips to ease your condition and keep your blood sugar stable. 

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
April 14, 2017

9 Tricks for Dealing with Diabetes

Exercise Early and Often

If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will most likely recommend weight loss and exercise. To maximize your workout, do it in the morning, and it will help keep blood sugar levels down for the rest of the day. Aim for at least three to four workouts per week of 30-60 minutes each for best results.

Like Sweets? Try Sweet Potato

Believe it or not, if you’re diabetic you should choose sweet potatoes over regular potatoes. Why? Because they don’t raise your blood sugar in the same way that white potatoes do. Plus, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, fiber, and many other vitamins and minerals. What a tasty, healthy discovery!

The Benefits of Coffee Beans

People who drink several cups of coffee a day have a lower risk of developing diabetes. Scientists are not exactly sure why, but it’s supposed that there are some compounds in the beans that have a protective quality against the disease, so go ahead and enjoy that cup of joe.

Your Morning Cuppa

Not a fan of the java juice? No problem. Good ol’ black tea has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. Just don’t load it up with sugar, of course!

Load Up on Magnesium

To help prevent diabetes, eat plenty of magnesium-rich nuts. Scientists have found a link between low magnesium levels and diabetes, so make sure you’re getting enough. Other foods high in magnesium include quinoa, brown rice, spinach, and oatmeal. Magnesium can also give you an energy boost, so you’re not feeling sluggish throughout the day.

Be Friends with Beans

Beans, those fiber favorites, can help stabilize blood sugar levels, so start incorporating more of them into your diet. The best thing about beans is their versatility. You can eat them refried, in soups and stews, as a side dish with brown rice, or mashed and made into a veggie burger. Many world cuisines, especially Indian and Latin American cooking, incorporate beans into vibrant, flavorful main dishes. The possibilities for the humble legume are virtually endless!

Go for Guac

Is there anything more delicious than an avocado? It turns out that avocadoes are high in oleic acid, a “good” fat that can help keep diabetes under control. Mash up avocadoes into guacamole with a little onion, garlic, jalapeño, and a little chopped cilantro; slice them up on sandwiches; or simply eat a nice, fat wedge with a sprinkle of sea salt. Yum!

Choose Chromium-Rich Foods

Chromium plays an important role in the body, helping insulin regulate blood sugar. Some experts think that increased amounts of chromium in the diet could even help reduce blood sugar. Look for it in whole grains, brewer’s yeast, barley, organ meats, molasses, broccoli, nuts, and processed meats.

Sprinkle On the Cinnamon

Incorporate more cinnamon into your diet. A study has shown that cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar levels, as well as lower cholesterol and triglycerides in people who have Type 2 diabetes. Sprinkle it on your toast or oatmeal in the morning, or stir it into plain yogurt for an afternoon snack. You can even sprinkle a little into savory dishes like chili, as well as Moroccan and Indian dishes.

For everyday tips and lifehacks, tune in to the Who Knew podcast on iTunes and Stitcher! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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