Managing your diabetes

There are many healthy ways to help manage your diabetes, but the the right way is one that works for you. You and your diabetes care team can work together to create the right plan for your lifestyle.

Guidelines for a healthy diet

For many individuals with diabetes, the most challenging part of their treatment plan is determining what to eat and following a food plan.

Changing the way you eat doesn’t happen overnight—it’s a process. If you prepare for the obstacles that may get in your way, you are less likely to be discouraged. Every healthy change you make will have an effect on your diabetes care plan. Talk to your health care provider about what method of choosing and tracking your food is right for you.

Learning which foods affect blood sugar more than others can help you control spikes

Foods that can increase spikes
Sugary drinks may increase blood sugar spikes


Sugars

Starches may increase blood sugar spikes


Starches

These foods have a high glycemic index.
Foods that can help you limit spikes  
healthy fats may help limit blood sugar spikes


Healthy fats

whole grains and fiber may help limit blood sugar spikes


Whole grains and fiber

proteins may help limit blood sugar spikes


Proteins

some fruits and vegetables may help limit blood sugar spikes


Some fruits and vegetables

These foods have a low glycemic index.
The glycemic index is a measure of how a food will affect blood sugar.

Staying active with diabetes

Physical activity is an important part of your diabetes care plan. The good thing is, you get to choose the activities that you do.  And you’re more likely to stick with activities that you like and that fit into your routine. Be sure to check with your health care provider before you start any plan to increase your physical activity.

"I'm bored..."

Try exercising while you listen to podcasts, audio books, or music. You might also enjoy an interactive walking/running app that turns your walk or run into a game or a story.

"I don’t have time…"

The National Institutes of Health recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day—but it doesn’t have to come all at once.

Just parking your car a 10-minute walk away from your house will cover 2/3 of the daily activity you need.

"I’m ready for something more challenging…"

You can find many guided, 10-to-30 minute workouts for different fitness levels online. Talk to your health care provider about what kinds of exercises to look for. Remember, you can adjust the activities if they hurt or if they’re too difficult.

Daily activities count as exercise
  • Walking, including while shopping
  • Chores like washing dishes by hand or vacuuming
  • Bringing in groceries 1 bag at a time
  • Playing with your pet, or taking them for a walk
  • Tidying your house

Hypoglycemia—what to watch out for

Sometimes exercise can cause low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia. It is a good idea to bring a snack or glucose tablets in case your blood sugar gets too low while being active.

Once you have your blood sugar under control again, write down what it felt like. That way you will know what hypoglycemia feels like to you. Learn about the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia at Cornerstones4Care.com.

Talking to your health care provider about your care plan

Your diabetes care team is there to help you stay healthy. Telling them about your concerns, successes, and setbacks will help fine-tune your diabetes treatment plan.

When you pick up a prescription, your pharmacist will ask if you have any questions. This is a good opportunity to talk about interactions between a new medicine and any other medicines you may be taking—or to review all your medicines for potential interactions.

Join a personalized support program

Cornerstones4Care® is a free program from Novo Nordisk that offers personalized support to help you or your child meet your diabetes goals. You'll also find diabetes information, videos, downloadable books, recipes, interactive trackers, a digital coaching program, and more.