What is the key to healthy diabetes management?

There is no diabetes cure. Diabetes management includes the control of diabetes symptoms through:

Diet: There is no official diabetes diet. Different diets work for different patients. The goal of a healthy diabetic diet is to provide nutrients and balance energy requirements. The recommended diabetes diet is very similar to that suggested for people who don't have diabetes. It's important to eat at least 3 meals per day and not to skip a meal. Patients should eat a variety of foods, including high-fiber foods such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Less than 30% of daily calories should come from fat. Carbohydrates and monounsaturated fat (such as olive oil) should provide 60% to 70% of calories. Protein should provide 15% to 20% of total calories.

Exercise: Exercising helps the body use insulin and lower blood sugar levels. Ideally, diabetics will exercise 4-6 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes each time. Because some people are healthier than others, they will be able to exercise more. Some patients with diabetes need to limit activity because of other health problems. It's important to discuss an exercise plan with a doctor or health care provider, especially if you haven't exercised in awhile.

Blood Glucose Testing: One of the most important goals of diabetes management is to keep blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as safely possible. What is the normal range? According to the National Diabetes Education Program, the target glucose range for most people using whole blood to monitor their blood glucose is 80 to 120 before meals and 100 to 140 at bedtime. The target glucose range for most people who use plasma to monitor their blood glucose is 90 to 130 before meals and 110 to 150 at bedtime.

How is blood glucose tested? Most diabetes patients use a blood glucose meter to test their blood glucose level. These meters use a small drop of blood to monitor the amount of glucose in the blood at any given time. Some meters use blood from a drop of blood from the finger, others use the arm.

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