Diabetes is one of South Africa’s biggest health problems and it’s something that a lot of people you know struggle with. If you have diabetes or a loved one is living with diabetes – it is a good idea to educate yourself on what to eat, what not to eat, and what general lifestyle choices are best for your health and for keeping your body in balance.
A short definition – diabetes is a condition where your body does not respond to the hormone insulin. This simply means that your body won’t metabolize sugar properly, leading to higher than normal levels of sugar in the blood, which is bad for your health. So logically – if you have diabetes you need to make sure that you physically regulate your blood sugar levels yourself. This can easily be done with eating the correct foods at the correct times. Here are some top tips:
- Snack and snack often. We don’t mean go eat a pack of chips or a cookie or two. We mean snack responsibly. Choose healthy options. Our favourite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit are fantastic choices to regulate your blood sugar! Nuts and seeds contain a lot of protein and vital fats that are essential for the working of your cells and your brain. Both our nuts and our dried fruit at Capedry contain high amounts of fibre which does two important things:
- Fibre keeps you feeling fuller for longer – so you won’t be needing to eat another snack half an hour after you’ve eaten your handful of nuts and dried fruits.
- Fibre stabilises your blood sugar. What this means is that it actually slows down the rate at which sugar gets taken up into your blood and used in your cells. Ever heard of the Glycemic Index? Well nuts are low on this index and an excellent way to balance those sugar levels and avoid spikes and falls (and the mood swings that come with them).
- Try and avoid refined carbohydrates (white pasta and bread) and introduce some wholegrain/unrefined options like brown rice, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat pasta. The fibre in these options help to regulate your blood sugar as we mentioned above.
- Eat those vegetables! They contain vital vitamins and minerals, not to mention loads of fibre to balance your blood sugar.
- Get regular moderate exercise. Go for long walks, take the stairs instead of the elevator, make sure you get up from you desk every hour and walk around the office. It’s the little things that make a big difference!
Diabetes is something that can be managed. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you have a family member living with diabetes make sure to support them the best way you can by educating yourself! They will appreciate it more than you know.