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• May 10, 2018

Healthy Hudson Valley

Ulster Publishing Co.

Managing diabetes It all comes down to diet and exercise By Jennifer Stack aving to view a restaurant menu through the lens of how a meal will affect your blood sugar or trying not to think about your Type 2 diabetes can take away some of the pleasure of the occasion. As a diabetes educator providing weight loss and wellness coaching, I am well aware of the challenge of living with diabetes in a region of really good food. You may be surprised to learn that there is no onesize-fits-all “diabetic diet,” but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to meet your blood-sugars goals and still enjoy great-tasting food. There are strategies that can soften the blow to your blood sugar and weight when you’re enjoying a meal out. Seeking out places that offer “small plates” such as tapas restaurants will help you avoid the calorie and carb bombs that throw blood sugar and weight management out of whack. Reasonable portion sizes make it easier to enjoy a special meal without a blood-sugar surge. Select dishes with plenty of non-starchy vegetables. Include proteins like poultry, fish, tofu or lean meats. Opt out of extras like bread, big portions of starches and sweetened beverages to keep blood sugars and your weight in a desirable range. Healthy eating is only one of the lifestyle behaviors a person with diabetes needs to adopt. Increased physical activity, which occurs simply by sitting less, makes muscles more sensitive to insulin. These two lifestyle

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Diet is one key to controlling diabetes, regular exercise the other. changes, healthy eating and increased physical activity, have been shown to be more effective at improving blood-sugar levels than just taking a medication. So try walking after a meal or better yet check out the miles of hiking and walking trails in the Hudson Valley. With the right clothing you can be comfortable outside at almost any time of the year. Search “Hudson Valley outdoor apparel stores” to gear up for a more physical lifestyle. Diabetes requires lasting lifestyle changes to maintain your health, and the incredible natural beauty of our region makes it much easier to stay motivated and in motion. Remember to first check with your physician to see if you are well enough to start a physical-activity habit.

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