The season of cold nights, fuzzy blankets and hot chocolate is here! With winter, comes challenges especially for people with diabetes. When the temperature starts to get out of control, so can your blood sugar. And therefore it is essential not to let the changing season take a toll on your health.
Worry no more! We won’t let the environment have the upper hand. Our Diabetes Care Expert, Vrutuja Mone shared these hacks to outsmart Mother Nature.
1. Test, Don’t guess:
Change in temperature can affect your blood sugar levels. Excessive cold temperatures make the body dull and lazy and are unable to balance your blood sugar fluctuations, due to specific hormonal changes. Cold weather can leave you with cold hands which make the testing more difficult. But it shouldn’t keep you away from testing your blood sugar levels regularly and keeping your diabetes in control.
To warm your hands, you can use a radiator or a warm mug with a towel over it before testing your blood sugar.
2. Keep moving:
How comfy is it to stay wrapped up, snuggling in your cosy blanket. Right? But staying physically active or working out indoors will help you in managing your diabetes. Apart from keeping you warm and your mind active, regular activity can help increase your insulin sensitivity. This, in turn, helps your body to deal with your blood glucose levels more efficiently. We know that stepping out of your house in this cold weather doesn’t sound appealing. No worries! Here are some safe exercising tips you must follow.
You can try jumping, dancing, climbing stairs, doing some yoga, aerobics, tai chi, or even cleaning the house to stay active and get your muscles working.
3. Choose healthier versions of winter comfort food:
During winters, your body might require more calories to protect itself against the cold. A hot steaming bowl of pasta or a plate of hot pakoras with a piping hot cup of tea sounds mouth-watering. But, instead of giving in to your cravings, getting takeaways, and ready meals which give short-term satisfaction and raise blood glucose, choose healthier options. Check out these tips on how to make your home-cooked meal diabetes-friendly.
Foods such as eggs, chicken, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, Ajwain, Garden cress seeds, Black gingelly seeds, Bajra, fruits (apples, papayas, pomegranates, etc.) and nuts in moderate amounts, as well as home-cooked meals can be consumed.
4. Stay Hydrated:
It is common to not feel thirsty during the winter, but keeping your body well-hydrated is essential for diabetes management. So, make sure you drink enough water, plenty of sugar-free fluids, during the winter season.
5. Beat the winter blues:
Did you know that cough syrups, lozenges, and tea are full of sugar?
People with diabetes who fall sick have a harder time controlling their blood glucose. Colds, flu, and viruses leave you feeling low on energy and with higher levels of blood sugar.
Therefore, make sure that you’re following a healthy diet and keeping yourself warm. It is best to consult a pharmacist for sugar-free alternatives. Keep tabs on your feet. Winter can dry out and crack your skin acting as an open door for infections and wounds.
You don’t need to stick to a strict diet plan always. Enjoying traditional winter food like a bowl of pakoras, cocoa, noodles, steaming hot tomato or sweet corn or chicken soup once in a while is okay as long as you are active for 30 minutes throughout the day.