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American Diabetes Association Alert Day

As March 23rd is considered American Diabetes Association Alert Day, we’re devoting this week’s blog to diabetes education, awareness, and tips!

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes can be divided into different types: Type 1, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.

Type 1: This type of diabetes is where your pancreas is unable to produce insulin or only very little. Insulin is important because it is your hormone that allows sugar, or glucose, to enter into your cells to provide your body with energy! 

Type 2: With type 2 diabetes, most people can produce the correct amount of insulin, but your cells have become insulin resistant, meaning the insulin cannot get the glucose into your cells. 

Prediabetes: This is where your blood sugar stays consistently higher than normal, but not high enough to have type 2 diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes: This is diagnosed during pregnancy due to high blood sugar levels. While gestational diabetes does go away after birth, the risk of type 2 diabetes is greater later in life.

What Are The Symptoms?

Some symptoms of diabetes can be frequent urination, constant thirst or hunger, feeling tired, blurry vision, numbness in hands or feet, or slow healing of sores. 

Nausea, vomiting and stomach pain is often associated in people who have type 1 diabetes. With type 2, it can be a very slow onset of symptoms that may take years to notice or detect. 

How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?

The American Diabetes Association recommends that you get screened for diabetes if you have a BMI over 25, are older than age 45, have had gestational diabetes, or you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes. 

The most common test for type 1, type 2 or prediabetes is testing your Hemoglobin A1c. This shows your average blood sugar levels over the course of 2-3 months. If you have an A1c of 6.5% or higher on two separate tests, this shows you have diabetes. Prediabetes is indicated by having an A1c of 5.7%-6.4%. A normal A1c is anything below 5.7%.

There are other tests that may be given and these could include: random blood sugar test, fasting blood sugar test, or an oral glucose tolerance test. 

Treatment For Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes requires insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump. Blood sugar must be monitored throughout the day and carbohydrate counting may be recommended.

For type 2 diabetes, there can be a variety of treatments. Some of these include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, diabetes medication, insulin and monitoring blood sugar.

Diabetes And Diet

Diet plays a crucial role in diabetes prevention and management. Below are a few tips for how to eat to help manage blood sugar levels.

  1. Increasing your fiber intake can help slow down carbohydrate digestion and also how quickly sugar is absorbed. This may lead to a gradual increase in blood sugar instead of a quick spike. One way to increase fiber is by vegetables into soups, stir fries or homemade sauces!
  2. Look for low glycemic foods. These foods are absorbed slowly and may reduce blood sugar levels. While there are tons to pick from, some of my favorite low glycemic foods include apples, berries, brussels sprouts, peppers, kidney beans and lentils!
  3. Find the right sweetener! Purecane is safe for diabetics because it has a low glycemic index, zero net carbs, zero calories, and no effect on blood sugar levels! Use Purecane™ in drinks, baked goods or wherever you prefer sweetness.

    Check out our extensive range of diabetic-friendly, all-natural, and zero calorie Purecane Sweeteners.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips For Diabetes Prevention & Management 

While diet is a key piece to help manage diabetes, lifestyle tips are also important for prevention and management. Some of these things include exercising for 30-60 minutes most days of the week, getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night, managing stress levels, and staying hydrated! While all these changes may feel overwhelming, it can be as simple as adding one new habit to your week at a time. Small, yet consistent daily habits can make a big impact! 

For More Healthy Lifestyle Inspiration...

Megan Roosevelt is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, mom of two and the founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com Her passion is sharing simple, healthy recipes and natural living tips that the whole family can enjoy!

You can stay connected with Megan on Instagram at @HealthyGroceryGirl or watch recipe videos at YouTube.com/HealthyGroceryGirl 

Have a happy and healthy day!