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January 2017

Try These Tactics for Better Diabetes Care

Living with diabetes can be a challenge. Researchers are always looking for new ways to help people with the disease. Some strategies focus on new medicines or forms of insulin. Others give those with diabetes more power to better self-manage the condition. Here are 3 of those tactics.

Hand squeezing lemon wedge over salmon steak

Break up sedentary time

By now, you’ve likely heard that sitting less and moving more are good ways to control blood sugar levels. And any form of physical activity is better than none. Plus, being active can help you stay at a healthy weight.

The American Diabetes Association recently revised its recommendations on physical activity for people with the disease. Cutting back on sedentary time overall is vital. But you should also break it up. For every 30 minutes of sitting you do—such as at a desk or in front of the TV—stand up and move around for a few minutes. Studies show light activity, such as walking, every half hour or so can help keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

Eat some oily fish

People with diabetes are prone to eye problems. Eating fish with lots of omega-3 fatty acids may help protect your sight. How? These healthy fats may lower your risk for diabetic retinopathy. That’s when blood vessels inside the eye become damaged from high blood sugar levels. Vision troubles, even blindness, can result.

In a recent study, researchers tracked for 6 years the eyesight and eating habits of more than 7,400 adults with diabetes. Those who ate at least 2 servings of fatty fish a week were less likely to end up with diabetic retinopathy. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, tuna, trout, and shellfish like crabs and mussels. An added bonus: These foods may also fend off heart disease.

Use an app for that

Chances are, you use your cell phone to do more than make calls. According to a recent review, it could be a handy tool for controlling your diabetes. Researchers looked at 14 studies that assessed the use of applications, or apps, in the self-management of the disease. These apps helped people with diabetes track their blood sugar, physical activity level, and food intake. Some even gave quick feedback from a healthcare provider. The key finding: People who used these apps had lower blood sugar levels.

 

Looking for more ways to help you handle diabetes? Check out the Diabetes Health Center.

Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2016
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