When people are newly diagnosed as suffering from diabetes, their immediate reaction is often that they will have to stick rigidly to a strict diet.
The type of diet recommended for people with diabetes is a to eat a healthy diet and adopt sensible eating habits. It is far better to include foods that are low in carbs and high in fat and fibre i.e. vegetables, pulses and certain fruits and to avoid chocolate, cakes and sugary drinks. It is important to reduce salt intake, as salt contributes to high blood pressure, which in turn can cause heart disease and strokes.
Being more active will also help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, as well as helping to control weight. Being overweight can have a detrimental effect on diabetes. If necessary, weight loss should be gradual; a crash diet is definitely not recommended. Maintaining a healthy weight in the long term will be beneficial and making an effort to reduce weight if necessary and improve diet will also increase the chances of being able to get good insurance cover.
It is also important to drink alcohol only in moderation. Too much alcohol contributes to high blood pressure and a person with diabetes should never drink on an empty stomach as this can cause hypoglycaemia or a “hypo”.
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