Diabetes is a genetic comorbidity that closes doors for insulin receptors and opens windows to other health complications in life. It is an irreversible disease, and hence, needs to be kept in check.
Diabetics are prone to infections, and with COVID having the potential to create complications, it makes such individuals more susceptible to health conditions. Hence, the need to take precautionary measures by adapting to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
With the lack of resources and supplies during the lockdown, it can be difficult for families to avail their dietary requirements. The lack of supplies has impacted the household, making it difficult for mothers to cook clean and healthy meals. However, there are several steps one can take to maintain a good diet and follow a healthy routine.
Tips for Diabetics to stay healthy during COVID-19
1. Consume whole grains:
Consumption of whole-grain cereals especially those with a low glycemic index can help in increasing the satiety level as well as provide nutrition and energy the body needs. Avoid consumption of cereals such as white bread, white rice, and all-purpose flour as these are highly processed and can raise glucose levels on meal consumption due to their high glycemic index.
2. Consume healthy fats and lean protein:
Healthy fats such as olive oil have the nutritional value of omega 3 fatty acid, which is very beneficial. Other healthy fats such as nuts can also be included in the diet keeping portion size in mind. Lean chicken, eggs, and fish can also be consumed by following the serving size recommended by the dietitian. Avoid the consumption of trans fat and saturated fat as these can increase the risk of high cholesterol levels. Consumption of red meat and processed meat should also be restricted, as these can cause obesity, especially in women.
3. Fruit and vegetable intake:
One must consume fresh fruits and vegetables as these help in elevating the nutritional value of the diet and provide the essential vitamins and minerals to the system. Intake of fruits and vegetables with low and medium glycemic index is advisable for diabetic patients.
4. Portion control:
Eat food in moderation as advised by the health professional and avoid overconsumption of food. High-calorie intake can lead to obesity which can, in turn, impose health issues for a diabetic individual, more so to women.
5. Avoid empty calories:
Sugar, aerated drinks and other junk food items have no nutrients to offer. These have empty calories that can raise the glucose levels instantly, which is dangerous for a diabetic person. Cut down on products with added sugar and consume fresh fruit juices instead. This will help in reducing calorie intake as well as expenses too. Keep your kids away from junk food.
6. Monitor glucose levels:
Making a note of glucose levels regularly helps in identifying the food that can be responsible for the rise or fall in sugar readings. This also helps in adjusting the insulin levels and having clear communication with the doctors too.
7. Increase physical activity levels:
Due to restrictions during the lockdown it can be difficult to go to the gym or get out for morning runs but physical activity can still be maintained by performing yoga, meditation, Zumba, HIIT, etc. It is also important to keep hydration in mind, and hence, you must continue sipping on water from time to time.
Allow your body to remain at rest and get 7-8 hours of peaceful sleep every day. Lack of sleep can trigger stress and anxiety thus altering the mood. Not giving enough rest to the body can also enable the feeling of lethargy and fatigue. Completing a good sleep can increase the activity levels thus can help in staying fit and active throughout the day.
COVID should not be allowed to become a reason for being lazy. Diabetes can be difficult to manage, but so can be infections due to COVID, and hence, mothers and children must stay updated and alert to practice a healthy routine.
Stay in touch with the doctor regularly and maintain a logbook that can document all the dietary intake and symptoms experienced daily. After vaccination, ensure to take rest for at least 2 days and not take any over the counter medicines without consulting the doctor as it can cause interactions with insulin medications as well.
To reduce the risk of infection, take care of the immune system and hygiene. Hence it is necessary to wash hands once home, leaving footwear at doorsteps, sanitizing packets and products bought from outside, and ensuring the use of a clean mask each time. Include immunity boosters such as foods rich in vitamin C, zinc, iron, vitamin E, vitamin A and folic acid. These are essential especially for growing kids as they are more prone to fall sick. Diet rich in nutrients will allow in protecting the body from oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and infections. When out, avoid touching the face and avoid making contact with anyone who is sick.