Managing Diabetes with Diet and Exercise

As you probably know, there are two types of diabetes: Type I and Type II. Type II can often be managed and treated with the right exercises and diet. Type I is a completely different monster, though. If you or a loved one has Type I diabetes, here are some tips to help you manage it and stay as healthy as possible through diet and exercise choices.


Carbohydrates have gotten a pretty bad rep over the years. It’s not that they’re all bad, though. There are both good carbs and bad carbs. This is especially true if you’re trying to manage diabetes. Including carbohydrates in your diet can give you plenty of health benefits, it’s just you have to be smart about which ones you eat. Some of the carbs that you should generally avoid include:

  • White rice
  • White flour
  • White sugar
  • De-germed cornmeal
  • Fruit juices

Instead of eating any of the above, try to replace them with better, ‘nicer’ carbs. Foods that are generally considered to be good carbs are whole grain foods, brown rice, whole natural fruits and whole cornmeal.

Using Protein to Process Carbs

If you choose your proteins and carbs carefully, you can combine them to keep your blood sugar levels in-check and avoid those nasty spikes that lead to bad situations. While you don’t want to overdo it on carbs, you can usually get away with some of them by eating protein with it. Basically, the protein helps your body process the carbs more effectively and consistent to avoid sugar spikes. Some combinations that you might want to try are:

  • Add some unsweetened, natural nut butter to a piece of whole grain bread or crakcers
  • Top some whole grain crackers with your choice of low fat cheese
  • Cook up some brown rice and add some beans into it
  • Create your own “party mix” – combine some pretzels, peanuts and your favorite whole grain cereal in a bowl to snack on
  • Fill a whole grain pita with lean turkey breast

Good and Bad Fats

Just like with carbohydrates, not all fat is bad. Sure, you want avoid eating too much bad fat, but you want to make sure you’re getting enough good fats in your diet. Bad fat is saturated fat. It’s found in things like butter, sugar and shortening that you find on the shelves of the grocery store at room temp.

Try adding some of the following into your diet if you aren’t already doing so…

  • Fish,
  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Replace any of your cooking oils with canola oil


Exercise is pretty much considered a must if you want to properly manage your diabetes. One of the most important types of exercise in regards to managing diabetes is strength training. There have been cases where strength training benefits even rivaled that of diabetes medicines.

Aerobics or some type of cardio exercise is also important. You burn calories (even more if you’re strength training too, as muscle burns fat) and you get your heart rate going.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to get in about 30 minutes per day five days per week. You’ll feel better and you’ll manage your weight, which is directly connected to managing your diabetes. Getting enough exercise and staying healthy overall also helps prevent your chances of developing diabetes in the first place.

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