A healthy, balanced diet and regular
exercise are powerful tools for managing type 2 diabetes. They can
help you keep your blood glucose levels under control, and improve
your overall health and wellbeing.
Whether you're looking to make a complete lifestyle change, or just for some meal or activity ideas, you'll find useful information and resources in this section.
Making healthy food choices can be a challenge, especially when it
seems easier just to choose something convenient, or to have what
everyone else is having. But eating well means learning to make
healthy choices for you – regardless of where you are or who you are
Remember, a nutritious menu doesn't have to cost more or take longer to prepare. Your diabetes care team can help you create a healthy meal plan that fits with your daily routines.
Small changes can make a big difference to your diet. You can change the way food is prepared, for instance grilling instead of frying in oil, or substitute low-sugar or low-fat alternatives. Here are six simple food swaps that can make your meal instantly healthier.
It's important to read the labels on foods so you know their carbohydrate content. Glucose is a carbohydrate, so the amount and type of carbohydrate you consume may affect your blood glucose levels – as well the dosage of insulin you need if you are on insulin therapy.
Keeping track of your carbohydrate intake – also known as 'counting carbs' – can be complicated, but there are lots of tools, apps, and online references available to help you get started.
People with type 2 diabetes can still enjoy alcohol, but be aware that it can have unpredictable effects on your blood glucose levels. The sugar in alcoholic drinks causes a sharp rise in blood glucose, but when combined with diabetes medications alcohol can also cause hypoglycaemia, or low blood glucose. A sensible rule is to always drink in moderation and never on an empty stomach.
Regular exercise can help you control
your blood glucose levels, lose weight and improve your physical and
mental health. Even a small increase in physical activity can make a
difference. If you have not been active for a while, start with just
5–10 minutes exercise a day, and then add a few minutes each week
until you reach your goal.
It's also important that you find an activity that suits you. This will make you more likely to stick with it and enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle. Here are some ideas for low impact-activities to help you get started.
It is extremely important that you check with your healthcare professional before you start any exercise more strenuous than a walking programme.
DISEASE EXPERIENCE EXPERT PANELS
At Novo Nordisk, we consider people living with serious chronic
diseases to be experts in their own right. That's why we invite them
to become members of our Disease Experience Expert Panels (DEEPs).
DEEP members are able to provide disease-specific insights and advice
based on real-world experiences. This input guides us as we work to
develop better treatments and meaningful support for people living
with chronic diseases worldwide.
Share insights about your active life with type 2 diabetes
Insulin pumps are small portable devices that provide your body with mealtime insulin throughout the day. Pumps remove the need for multiple injections, and can offer more flexible insulin dosing when used during sports or exercise.
Having type 2 diabetes doesn't mean you should expect less out of life. But you will need to learn how to manage your blood glucose for different situations, and for different activities, so you can stay healthy and active. We have lots of information and resources to help you get started.