Effective meal planning
Plan your meals
By weighing your food, you make meal planning and potion control easier. By planning meals, it means you are less likely to overindulge in food which can increase you blood sugars.
- ½ of your plate should be vegetables and a small amount of fruit if you wish. Ensure to vary the colours and varieties of fruit and veg aiming for at least 2 portions. By having half your plate full of delicious vegetables, you are increasing your health and reducing the likelihood of diseases.
- ¼ of your plate should be dedicated to carbohydrates. Choose wholegrain where possible (brown rice, brown pasta, leave skins on potatoes, quinoa).
- Protein should be the size of the palm of your hand. Protein source can be from animals: chicken, turkey, fish, meat and eggs or vegetables (e.g.) nuts, seeds, beans, lentil, and tofu. Throughout your day (not only at dinner) aim to get a good balance between animal and vegetable protein.
Exercise promotes a healthy circulation and maintains a healthy weight. At least half an hour of moderate activity on at least five days a week is recommended. A Cochrane review showed that exercise significantly improved glycaemic control and reduced plasma triglycerides and visceral adipose tissue even without weight loss. A high level of leisure type physical activity has been associated with a 33% drop in fatal cardiovascular disease while moderate activity showed a 17% drop compared with the most sedentary group.
It is especially important for diabetics to quit smoking. This is because a diabetic already has a five-fold increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease or circulatory problems compared to non-diabetics. Smoking makes the chances of developing these diseases even greater.
There is no need to give up alcohol completely, but it is important to drink in moderation. Do not drink on an empty stomach. Eat food containing carbohydrate before and after drinking (as alcohol reduces glucose levels). Monitor blood glucose levels more regularly if drinking alcohol.
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).