The seven self-care behaviors are healthy eating, being active, monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, reducing risks and healthy coping.
1. Healthy Eating
This means having foods that provide all three nutrients: protein, carbohydrate and fat in reasonable quantities to help you maintain a healthful weight.
It means eating regular meals that are low in saturated fat and excess sodium and controlling the amount and type of carbohydrate you eat at one time. What it doesn’t mean is that you have to give up all of your favorite foods or that certain foods are taboo.
In order to do this you need to know the nutrient (especially carbohydrate) content of foods, how to read labels, how to cook foods to maintain nutrient content and avoid adding extra saturated fat and sodium and learn how to choose appropriately in restaurants.
2. Being Active
This means engaging in aerobic activity, strength building and flexibility training most days of the week. Being active can help control blood glucose levels if you have type 2 diabetes and improve cardiovascular health and assist in weight loss or control for both type 2 and type 1 diabetes.
You need to know what activities are appropriate for you to do, how often and how forcefully you need to do them and how to handle the possible side effects of exercise (hypo and hyperglycemia.)
Checking your blood glucose allows and your health care provider to see how your blood sugars are responding to the medications and lifestyle regimen you are following and whether changes are needed.
How to monitor, how often to monitor and how to interpret the results of blood glucose checks are all things you need to know in your search for good control.SEE MORE ON PAGE 2