How friends, family can promote healthy lifestyles among individuals with type 2 diabetes

Although many loved ones mean well when they insist that their friends or family members who have type 2 diabetes improve their eating and exercise habits, these requests may sometimes be met with a negative response or refusal.

To help spouses and caregivers of individuals with type 2 diabetes effectively communicate the need for lifestyle changes, a recent article published by Peace FM Online offered tips from several diabetes experts.

Family practitioner Anne Simons said that people should avoid nagging their loved ones who have type 2 diabetes.

“The message shouldn’t be, ‘We have to change you,'” Simons told the news provider. “It should be, ‘I love you and I’ll do whatever I can to support you. What are you willing to do?’”

Sacha Uelmen, director of the Adult Diabetes Education Program at the University of Michigan, told the news source that although many people develop type 2 diabetes because they are obese, small and gradual changes in eating and exercise may be more sustainable than extreme dieting for weight loss.

For example, caregivers who usually buy whole milk for the household may consider purchasing 2 percent dairy one week, and then 1 percent on the next shopping trip.

Finding fun ways to incorporate exercise into the daily routine of an individual who has type 2 diabetes may promote better diabetes management. Uelmen told the news organization that women can encourage their husbands to walk instead of using a cart when playing golf, or organize bowling nights with friends.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that whoever is responsible for preparing diabetic meals should keep in mind the "50-25-25 rule." This means that servings consist of 50 percent vegetables, 25 percent proteins, such as lean meats, and 25 percent grains or starches.