Why healthy eating and regular physical activity is important for someone with diabetes?
Food intake must be balanced, healthy/nutritious with whole grains, legumes fruits, vegetables, non-fat or low-fat dairy, and lean meats.
These foods are high in vitamins, minerals, fibre, lean protein, and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and refined sugar.
Eating a healthy diet, not skipping meals or eating at irregular times prevents unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels.
A healthy diet that builds upon wholegrain starchy foods, vegetables and fruit fills you up, helps you reach a healthy weight and avoids risk of diabetes complications or further ailments.
Exercise also has many long term benefits with the main benefit being that it makes it easier to control blood glucose levels. Controlling blood glucose is essential to preventing long term complications.
People with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, either because their body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process it, or because their body doesn’t use insulin properly (insulin resistant). Exercise therefore reduces the glucose in your blood.
Muscles can use glucose without insulin during exercising so it doesn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant or if you don’t have enough insulin: when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose needed and in turn, your blood glucose levels drop.
If you are insulin resistant, exercise makes your insulin more effective (and reduces IR) so cells can use the glucose more effectively.
Additional benefits of exercise include:
1. Keeping your heart healthy and strong
2. Reducing the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease
3. Lowers blood pressure
4. Better control of weight
5. Increased level of good cholesterol (HDL) and that helps you avoid arteriosclerosis.
6. Leaner, stronger muscles
7. Stronger bones
8. More energy
9. Improved mood
10. Improved sleep
11. Stress management
12. Stronger joints and lower the risk of osteoporosis