When diagnosed with diabetes, there is a lot of new information to process. You can’t dive into treating your diabetes without having a real understanding of what it is. So, to put it as simply as possible, diabetes means that your body is not properly turning the food you eat into energy. When you consume food, most of it gets turned into sugar, or glucose, for our bodies to use as energy. To turn these sugars into energy your body makes a hormone called insulin to help the sugar get into the cells of our body. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or it can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. 1
Diabetes is currently the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and blacks are 1.7 times more likely to develop diabetes as whites, making the death rate for blacks from diabetes 27% higher than for whites. The prevalence of diabetes among blacks has skyrocketed over the past 30 years, about 2.3 million blacks over the age of 20 have diabetes. 1
There is no magic pill or single solution to treating your diabetes. It varies depending on the type of diabetes you have, lifestyle choices, personal obstacles, and personal motivation. It also takes a team of people and support to make the necessary changes. Taking to your doctor, a Registered Dietitian, or Certified Diabetes Educator would be great places to get the support and information you are looking for.
Although there is no ‘simple fix’ to curing your diabetes, and treatment varies depending on the type of diabetes, there are still a few tips to start considering.
Carbohydrate counting can be a great tool in managing your diabetes, it is also referred to as “Carb Counting” and is a tool used to help plan your meals throughout the say. By counting the grams, or servings, of carbohydrates you consume throughout the day you can better understand what makes your blood sugars rise and fall. Paying attention to the nutrition label is important as well as the serving size, servings per container, and amount of carbohydrate per serving on the package. One serving of carbohydrate is equivalent to 15 g of carbohydrate, however determining how many carbohydrates you have at each meal varies based on your weight, height, blood glucose control, daily schedule, and physical activity. Talking to a registered dietitian will be helpful for determining your carbohydrate intake and learning how to properly carb count. 3
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