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Statistics indicate that more than 2 million people in South Africa are diagnosed with diabetes. 90 percent of diabetics are known to suffer from Type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, the problem in developing countries like South Africa is that not even half of the population is diagnosed in the early stages. Without prompt and effective treatment, diabetes can put you at risk of other problems including heart disease. Medication can only prevent your condition from deteriorating, but only a healthy and balanced lifestyle can control diabetes. Here are some of the things that every diabetic ought to follow:
Every diet plan begins with calorie restriction. Begin your weight plan by restricting your calorie intake to just 500 calories/day; although your intake would generally depend on your weight, gender, age and lifestyle. To count your ideal intake, multiply the ideal weight by 12-15 calories. For instance, a 50 year old woman with a mildly active lifestyle looking to maintain an ideal weight of 135 pounds would need to consume only 1,620 calories per day. But a 25 year old woman with an active lifestyle would need around 2,025 (25 per pound) calories per week.
Fat: A single pound of fat contains more than 3,500 calories. This does not mean that you banish fat completely from your diet, but it shouldn't be more than 30 per cent of your diet. Even this fat should be in the form of monounsaturated fats. Instances of monounsaturated fats include olive oil, avocados, almonds, peanuts, tea seed oil etc. Avoid unsaturated fat such as bacon, sausage, lard, butter, chicken skin, ice cream etc.
Carbohydrates: Besides fat, carbohydrates have a major impact on your blood sugar. Average carb intake should be anywhere from 45-65 percent of your diet depending on your age, gender and lifestyle. A single gram of carbohydrate is known to contain 4 calories. But make sure that your carb intake does not fall below 130 gms/ day or you risk hypoglycemia (low sugar). Try and eat complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole grains, vegetables and fruits instead of white bread, pasta, white potatoes, etc. Simple carbs add calories and hence increase blood glucose levels immediately without adding nutrients. Your fiber intake should be anywhere around 50 gms/day.
Moderate but regular exercise is key to control diabetes. Even activities such as brisk walking can improve insulin sensitivity and keep heart problems at bay. Studies have found that aerobic exercises are very beneficial to diabetics, but strenuous exercises aren't advisable for people with uncontrollable diabetes. Such exercises may weaken the blood vessels in the eyes and the feet. It's best to consult a physician to know more about balancing exercises and medication.