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I Just Got Diagnosed as a Diabetic. What Diet and Lifestyle Changes Should I Make?

I Just Got Diagnosed as a Diabetic. What Diet and Lifestyle Changes Should I Make?

Receiving a diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming. You're suddenly faced with a slew of new terms, medication, and lifestyle changes that you need to incorporate into your daily routine. But you should know that with the right steps, you can manage diabetes and live well with this condition.

Dr. Samuel I. Fink and our team strive to provide the best internal medicine care in Tarzana, California. Dr. Fink is committed to guiding patients through every stage of diabetes management, whether you're dealing with Type 2 or prediabetes. 

We have the resources and knowledge to help you lead a healthier life. Here, we describe practical lifestyle changes you can make right now if you’ve just received a diabetes diagnosis. 

Know your carbohydrates

Understanding carbohydrates is crucial when managing diabetes. While carbs aren't inherently bad, it's essential to choose the right kinds and amounts of carbohydrates for your diet. Opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; limit simple sugars found in soda, candy, and processed foods.

At your appointment with Dr. Fink, you can discuss a tailored carbohydrate plan suitable for you. Diabetes management isn’t about eliminating carbs but learning how to include them in a balanced diet that won't spike your blood sugar levels.

Incorporate healthy fats

Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t completely eliminate fat from your diet, even if you're living with diabetes. Healthy fats found in nuts, avocados, and olive oil can be beneficial by helping provide sustained energy and keeping you feeling full for longer.

Dr. Fink emphasizes the importance of understanding which fats are healthy and how to incorporate them into your daily meals. Over time, healthy fats can even help stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Get moving

Physical activity is another cornerstone of diabetes management. Exercise helps your muscles absorb sugar from the bloodstream, effectively lowering your blood sugar levels. It also improves insulin sensitivity, making your body more efficient at regulating glucose.

Doctors recommend aiming to get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. You can break this down into smaller segments, making it easier to fit into your schedule. The keys are exercising consistently and choosing activities that you enjoy.

Monitor your blood sugar

Regularly monitoring your blood sugar levels is crucial for understanding how different foods and activities affect you. This also helps Dr. Fink in adjusting your medication and treatment plan as needed.

Keeping a detailed log can be very useful. Note the time of day, your activity, foods and beverages you've consumed, and, of course, your blood sugar levels. Over time, this record can offer invaluable insights into the pattern of your condition.

Practice portion control and meal timing

Paying attention to portion sizes and the timing of your meals can significantly impact your blood sugar levels. Eating smaller, balanced meals at regular intervals throughout the day helps prevent drastic spikes and lows.

Dr. Fink can work with you to create a structured meal plan that aligns with your lifestyle and medical needs. Regular consultations are useful so you and Dr. Fink can adjust this plan as you make progress or encounter challenges.

Manage stress

Stress can raise your blood sugar levels, so finding ways to manage stress effectively is an essential aspect of diabetes care. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or even speaking to a counselor can be helpful.

Pay attention to sleep quality in diabetes management

Often overlooked in conversations about diabetes management is the importance of good sleep quality. 

Lack of sleep can lead to increased stress, which in turn can raise your blood sugar levels. Additionally, poor sleep can make it difficult to manage your weight and make healthy food choices, both crucial aspects of diabetes management.

A good sleep regimen is important to your overall diabetes care plan. If you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, it’s wise to discuss sleep strategies or even undergo a sleep study. Good sleep not only helps you manage your blood sugar, but also improves your overall well-being and quality of life.

Understand your diagnosis and take action

Managing diabetes requires a comprehensive approach that goes beyond simply taking medication. To discuss how our team can help you best manage diabetes, we invite you to schedule a visit with Dr. Fink by calling our Tarzana office or requesting an appointment online today. 

When you partner with Dr. Fink to tailor a treatment plan designed for your unique needs, you can turn your diabetes diagnosis from a setback into an opportunity for positive change.

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