Tweet There are a number of myths about diabetes that are all too commonly reported as facts. These misrepresentations of diabetes can sometimes be harmful and lead to an unfair stigma around the condition. Diabetes information is widely available, both from healthcare professionals and the Internet, but not all of it is true. It can be hard to know what is accurate, so this page aims to highlight the top ten of the most common diabetes myths. As well as diabetes myths, you may be interested in these diabetes facts. Myth 1: People with diabetes can’t eat sugar This is one of the most common diabetes myths; that people with the condition have to eat a sugar-free diet. People with diabetes need to eat a diet that is balanced, which can include some sugar in moderation. People with diabetes can eat sugar. Myth 2: Type 2 diabetes is mild This diabetes myth is widely repeated, but of course it isn’t true. No form of diabetes is mild. If type 2 diabetes is poorly managed it can lead to serious (even life-threatening) complications. Good control of diabetes can significantly decrease the risk of complications but this doesn’t mean the condition itself is not serious. Myth 3: Type 2 diabetes only affects fat people Whilst type 2 diabetes is often associated with being overweight and obese by the media, it is patently untrue that type 2 diabetes only affects overweight people. Around 20% of people with type 2 diabetes are of a normal weight, or underweight. Myth 4: People with diabetes should only eat diabetic food Diabetic food is one of the most common myths of the last ten years. The label ‘diabetic’ is often used on sweets foods. Often sugar alcohols, or other sweeteners, will be used instead of sugar. Diabetic food will often still affect blood glucose levels, is Continue reading >>
What Kind Of Bread Is Best For Diabetics?
Diabetes and bread… So many questions come up about good ‘ol bread. And not surprisingly because it's a staple food that we've all grown up on. Toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, a side of bread for dinner, it's a pretty common practice right? But if you're diabetic, should bread get the cut? Is it okay to eat? Are there certain types of breads that are better than others? These are all great questions so let's dig in and go over this together now. If you have any questions, just leave them at the bottom of the post and we'll chat about it. JUMP TO MENU: What Kind of Bread Is Best? | Wheat & Rye Breads | Sourdough Bread | Does Cutting Bread Help? | Making Low Carb Breads At Home | Is Bread Better Than Cereal? | Low Carb Bread Options You Can Buy | Free Bread Baking Class What Kind Of Bread Is Best For A Diabetic? We've recently covered the types of flours that are best for diabetes, so before we dig in and talk about breads, let's briefly look at the flour cheat sheet. See how everything above coconut flour goes up from 30 g net carbs and above, which is really getting up there. In reality, the best breads for you to eat are ones made from flaxseed, almond, chickpea or coconut flour, which are a bit more difficult to come by. Of course, the simplest way to overcome this is to make your own. But, I understand that not everyone wants to make their own, and thankfully, there are quite a number of companies that supply great low carb bread options you can buy. Whole Wheat & Rye Bread and Diabetes It's often recommended that you eat whole grains instead of the white stuff and it's true, whole grains are a better choice because they are complex carbs, rather than simple carbs. But, when you take the whole grain and grind it into a flour, it changes the way your bo Continue reading >>
What Should I Eat?
People with diabetes should follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Eating the recommended amount of food from the five food groups will provide you with the nutrients you need to be healthy and prevent chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. Australian Dietary Guidelines: To help manage your diabetes: Eat regular meals and spread them evenly throughout the day Eat a diet lower in fat, particularly saturated fat If you take insulin or diabetes tablets, you may need to have between meal snacks It is important to recognise that everyone’s needs are different. All people with diabetes should see an Accredited Practising Dietitian in conjunction with their diabetes team for individualised advice. Read our position statement 'One Diet Does Not Fit All'. Matching the amount of food you eat with the amount of energy you burn through activity and exercise is important. Putting too much fuel in your body can lead to weight gain. Being overweight or obese can make it difficult to manage your diabetes and can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. Limit foods high in energy such as take away foods, sweet biscuits, cakes, sugar sweetened drinks and fruit juice, lollies, chocolate and savoury snacks. Some people have a healthy diet but eat too much. Reducing your portion size is one way to decrease the amount of energy you eat. Being active has many benefits. Along with healthy eating, regular physical activity can help you to manage your blood glucose levels, reduce your blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) and maintain a healthy weight. Learn more about exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. Fats have the highest energy (kilojoule or calorie) content of all foods. Eating too much fat can make you put on weight, which may make it more diffi Continue reading >>
Problem Foods: Can Diabetics Eat Melons?
Amy Reeder is a Certified Diabetes Educator with a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of Utah. She has worked in the diabetes field since 2005 and has been a Certified Diabetes Educator since 2007. There’s nothing better than a juicy piece of cold watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew melon. While melon is refreshing and full of water, it can also be full of sugar and carbs and can cause a rise in blood sugar. As with any carbohydrate-containing food, there’s no need to restrict, but it’s beneficial for blood sugar management if you have an idea of how many carbs are in that melon bowl or melon slice you eat. Not only do melons contain both water and carbohydrate, but they are also plentiful in vitamins and phytochemicals. So yes, they are good for you (just like any fruit or vegetable in moderation)! But how much makes a serving? Most melons contain about 15 grams of carbs in a one-cup serving. If you haven’t measured a cup of melon before, it would be a good idea to do so. This will help you train your eye to know what a one-cup serving looks like. So, if you like to eat a slice right off the melon, cut off your normal portion. But instead of eating it right away, cut it up and measure out one cup. And remember to do the math if you are eating more or less than one cup! Specific carb counts of various melons (one-cup serving): Cantaloupe: 14 g carbs, 1.4 g fiber, 12.3 g sugar Watermelon: 12 g carbs, 0.6 g fiber, 9.4 g sugar Honeydew: 11 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 10.2 g sugar Casaba: 11 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber, 9.7 g sugar Since there’s more sugar in melon than fiber, there’s not much to slow down the digestion and absorption of sugar into the bloodstream once you eat the melon, especially if you are eating it without any other foods. In this way, the Continue reading >>
Can You Have Low Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes?
back to Overview Know-how Type 2 A tag-team approach on low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. Markus recently wrote an article on our German language blog talking about low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. The question (“can I have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes?”) is very common, and it’s easy to see why it’s of concern. So I’ve helped Markus bring his German post to life here in English. I hope it helps! Here’s Markus: Low blood sugar In 2014, results from the DAWN2 study were announced. It was the largest study of its kind (15,000 participants) on the “fears & needs of people with diabetes and their families.” One result stood out: The gravest fears are related to low blood sugars, especially at night. Up to 69% of the participants share this fear! So! Can you have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? Yes! Of course! But let’s think about who exactly is at risk – and why. It’s common to think: Type 1 diabetes = at risk for lows Type 2 diabetes = not at risk for lows But that isn’t correct at all, so we should wipe it from our mind. So… what do I need to know? Maybe it’s more accurate to say that people with type 2 diabetes who take certain types of medication are more at risk for lows. We’re getting closer! But to get to the truth, we should take a look at someone without diabetes. Is it possible for them to have lows, too? Theoretically yes, especially if doing long-lasting physical activities without proper food intake. Additionally, extreme stress and binge drinking are also common causes of low blood sugar for people without diabetes. However, it’s pretty rare because as soon as BG’s drop below 80 mg/dl (4.4 mmol/L), the natural counterregulatory system kicks in, raising blood sugar back to normal levels. I’ve never exp Continue reading >>
Diabetes Foods: Is Honey A Good Substitute For Sugar?
I have diabetes, and I'm wondering if I can substitute honey for sugar in my diet? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. Generally, there's no advantage to substituting honey for sugar in a diabetes eating plan. Both honey and sugar will affect your blood sugar level. Honey is sweeter than granulated sugar, so you might use a smaller amount of honey for sugar in some recipes. But honey actually has slightly more carbohydrates and more calories per teaspoon than does granulated sugar — so any calories and carbohydrates you save will be minimal. If you prefer the taste of honey, go ahead and use it — but only in moderation. Be sure to count the carbohydrates in honey as part of your diabetes eating plan. Continue reading >>
Eating With Diabetes: Desserts And Sweets
I’d be willing to bet that most everyone has been told—and therefore believes—that people with diabetes cannot have any sugar and are resigned to living without dessert for the rest of their lives. Well, as a Certified Diabetes Educator, I'm here to tell you that this is a myth. People with diabetes can eat sugar, desserts, and almost any food that contains caloric sweeteners (molasses, honey, maple syrup, and more). Why? Because people with diabetes can eat foods that contain carbohydrates, whether those carbohydrates come from starchy foods like potatoes or sugary foods such as candy. It’s best to save sweets and desserts for special occasions so you don’t miss out on the more nutritious foods your body needs. However, when you do decide to include a sweet treat, make sure you keep portions small and use your carbohydrate counting plan. No sugar ever again? No way! The idea that people with diabetes should avoid sugar is decades old. Logically, it makes sense. Diabetes is a condition that causes high blood sugar. Sugary foods cause blood sugar levels to increase. Therefore people with diabetes should avoid sugary foods in order to prevent hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and keep their diabetes under control. However, simply avoiding sugary foods does not go very far in terms of controlling blood sugar. Here's why. After you eat, your blood sugar level (aka postprandial blood glucose level) is largely determined by the total amount of carbohydrate you ate, not the source of the carbohydrates eaten. There are two types of carbohydrates that elevate your blood sugar levels: sugar and starch. Both will elevate your blood glucose to roughly the same level (assuming you ate the same amount of each). For example, if you were to eat a ½ cup of regular ice cream (1 Continue reading >>
Why Kiwifruit Is A Good Choice For People With Diabetes
Poor blood sugar control is linked to obesity and associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.It is therefore extremely important for people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels in check. Taking control of your blood sugar If you’ve got diabetes, you will know that the amount of carbohydrate you eat can have a major impact on your blood sugar levels—so you need to be wise about what you eat. The glycaemic index (GI) (Internal link to Happy and Healthy /Other Health Benefits) ranks carbohydrate-containing foods according to how they affect blood sugar levels: High GI foods (70 or more) are rapidly digested and absorbed, and cause a sharp increase in blood sugar levels. These types of foods, which include white bread, doughnuts, sweets drinks, should be limited. Low GI foods (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised, and cause a lower and slower rise in blood sugar. These types of foods, which include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes (beans, peas and lentils), are a better source of carbohydrates for you. How Zespri kiwifruit can help regulate your blood sugar Because most fruits are sweet and contain simple sugar, you might expect them to raise blood sugar dramatically (giving them a high GI). However, this is not the case with high-fibre fruits such as Zespri kiwifruit. Zespri kiwifruit can help regulate your blood sugar in two ways: Zespri kiwifruit have a low GI Zespri Green kiwifruit have a GI of 39,2 while Zespri SunGold kiwifruit have a GI of 49,3 putting them in the GI category of ‘low’. This is because the high fibre content of Zespri kiwifruit slows uptake of sugar during digestion, which means that the glucose is less rapidly taken up by the body and only slowly released Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in people aged over 40 years. However, an increasing number of younger people, even children, are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The first-line treatment is diet, weight control and physical activity. If the blood sugar (glucose) level remains high despite these measures then tablets to reduce the blood glucose level are usually advised. Insulin injections are needed in some cases. Other treatments include reducing blood pressure if it is high, lowering high cholesterol levels and also using other measures to reduce the risk of complications. Although diabetes cannot be cured, it can be treated successfully. If a high blood sugar level is brought down to a normal level, your symptoms will ease. You still have some risk of complications in the long term if your blood glucose level remains even mildly high - even if you have no symptoms in the short term. However, studies have shown that people who have better glucose control have fewer complications (such as heart disease or eye problems) compared with those people who have poorer control of their glucose level. Therefore, the main aims of treatment are: To keep your blood glucose level as near normal as possible. To reduce any other risk factors that may increase your risk of developing complications. In particular, to lower your blood pressure if it is high and to keep your blood lipids (cholesterol) low. To detect any complications as early as possible. Treatment can prevent or delay some complications from becoming worse. Type 2 diabetes is usually initially treated by following a healthy diet, losing weight if you are overweight, and having regular physical activity. If lifestyle advice does not control your blood sugar (glucose) levels then medicines are used to help lower your Continue reading >>
Here’s Everything You Need To Know About What It Does To Your Body.
Worried you’re eating too much sugar? Wondering how much is safe to eat? Or whether it’s bad for you… no matter what? It’s time we took a clear-headed look at this topic. It’s time you heard the truth about sugar. Want to listen instead of read? Download the audio recording here… ++++ Is sugar “good”? Is sugar “bad”? It’s hard to know for sure these days. Which is interesting because… Sugar is a fundamental molecule in biology. Human bodies need sugar. Sugar makes up the backbone of our DNA. Helps power our cells. Helps store energy for later. Plants convert sunlight into sugar. We convert sugar into fuel. Molecules like glucose and fructose (just two of the many types of sugar) are so basic to our biological needs, even bacteria love them. Indeed, sugar’s the breakfast of champions, chemically speaking. Yet, somewhere along the way, sugar became the bad guy. Why did we start hating on sugar? When did we start wanting to purge it from our bodies? Why do some of us fear it so much? At this point… do we just need a little relationship counseling? Or is it a toxic relationship? Is it time to part ways? The truth is, this is a difficult conversation to have because… Almost all of us are emotionally invested in our position on sugar. Talking about it brings up a lot of controversy and intense debate, even among scientists who are supposed to be “objective”. So why not step back and take a fresh look? In this article, we’ll explore five key questions about sugar: Does sugar cause obesity? Does sugar cause us to gain weight / fat? Does sugar cause diabetes? Does sugar cause cardiovascular disease? How much sugar is OK to eat? Yes, we’re biased too. At Precision Nutrition, we generally consider ourselves ‘nutritional agnostics’. (Case i Continue reading >>
25 Diabetic Foods For Stable Blood Glucose And Overall Health
Sticking to a diet of diabetic foods is one natural way to help manage your condition and feel as good as possible all day long. If you’re tired of the cycle of eating foods that spike your blood sugar levels, this list will help you avoid those foods and crowd them out with better, more healthy choices. 1. Spinach and Kale Spinach and kale are very similar to each other in terms of how they’re handled by the body and the amount of nutrition they provide. Diabetics can enjoy as much of either one as they care for, and there really isn’t a huge advantage of one over the other. You’ll be getting both Vitamin A and Vitamin C from each, as well as potassium, magnesium, and iron. Baby spinach and baby kale are very much alike in terms of usability, each having their own taste which is their major difference. You can use spinach and kale interchangeably in green smoothie recipes, but kale gets the edge in the snack department because it’s so easy to make kale chips that taste great and won’t leave you filled with regret when you’re done snacking. Eating Nutrient Dense Foods If you’re looking for some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet you can’t go wrong with spinach and kale. Once for once they provide more vitamins and minerals than just about any other food, including other vegetables and fruit. 2. Beans Beans are a great addition to most any meal because they’ll help to stabilize your blood sugar, rather than have a detrimental effect or no effect at all. Foods like this are important because they can help balance out other foods that aren’t necessarily diabetic-friendly, and they can reduce the amount of insulin needed to bring your levels back to normal. Beans are easy enough to add to a meal, and many recipes call for beans as part of t Continue reading >>
The Best And Worst Drinks For Diabetics
Drinks for Diabetics iStock When you have diabetes, choosing the right drink isn’t always simple. And recent studies may only add to the confusion. Is coffee helpful or harmful to insulin resistance? Does zero-calorie diet soda cause weight gain? We reviewed the research and then asked three top registered dietitians, who are also certified diabetes educators, what they tell their clients about seven everyday drinks. Here’s what to know before you sip. Drink More: Water iStock Could a few refreshing glasses of water assist with blood sugar control? A recent study in the journal Diabetes Care suggests so: The researchers found that people who drank 16 ounces or less of water a day (two cups’ worth) were 30 percent more likely to have high blood sugar than those who drank more than that daily. The connection seems to be a hormone called vasopressin, which helps the body regulate hydration. Vasopressin levels increase when a person is dehydrated, which prompts the liver to produce more blood sugar. How much: Experts recommend six to nine 8-ounce glasses of water per day for women and slightly more for men. You’ll get some of this precious fluid from fruit and vegetables and other fluids, but not all of it. “If you’re not in the water habit, have a glass before each meal,” recommends Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of The African American Guide to Living Well with Diabetes. “After a few weeks, add a glass at meals too.” Drink More: Milk iStock Moo juice isn’t just a kids’ drink. It provides the calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D your body needs for many essential functions. Plus, research shows it may also boost weight loss. In one study of 322 people trying to sl Continue reading >>
5 Reasons People With Diabetes Should Eat More Guava
Diabetics— there’s no need to deprive yourselves of healthy fruits—guava in particular is a superfood with amazing hidden health benefits. And it’s inexpensive, particularly now while in season. Guava is low on the Glycemic Index (GI) and many disease prevention benefits, so it’s an extraordinarily healthy snack for diabetics. The GI measures the degree of how rapidly a carbohydrate is digested and released as glucose into the bloodstream. The increase in glucose causes a rise in blood sugar and the release of insulin. If your body releases high levels of insulin, it stores excess sugar as fat and can increase bad cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and even your appetite. 5 Reasons to Eat Guava 1. Guava has a higher concentration of lycopene—an antioxidant that fights prostate cancer—than any other plant food, including tomatoes and watermelon. 2. For diabetics, eating guava without its skin can reduce the sugar absorption in your blood, according to an I-Shou University study. 3. Since guava is rich in dietary fiber, it’s easy on your tummy, helps ease constipation (a common diabetic complaint) and can even lower the chance of developing type two diabetes. 4. Guava also improves circulation, which can boost brain function. The tropical fruit regulates blood pressure because of high potassium content (potassium is said to reverse sodium’s impact on the body). 5. Guava is rich in the antioxidant Vitamin C (280 percent of your recommended daily value in just one!), which can prevent cell damage and lower your cancer risk. How to Eat Guava Though guava pulp has low GI, steer clear of guava skins, which can increase your blood sugar. Munch it whole or sliced. Peel it and eat it like you would an apple. Juice it. Guava also makes a delicious juice. Continue reading >>
Fitting Sugar Into Your Meals
It is commonly thought that people with diabetes should avoid all forms of sugar. Most people with diabetes can eat foods containing sugar as long as the total amount of carbohydrate for that meal or snack is consistent and sugar foods are added within the context of healthy eating. Many research studies have shown that meals which contain sugar do not make the blood sugar rise higher than meals of equal carbohydrate levels which do not contain sugar. However, if the sugar-containing meal contains more carbohydrates, the blood sugar levels will go up. Which will have the greater effect on blood sugar? ____ 1 tsp sugar or ____ 1/2 cup potatoes The potatoes will contribute about 15 grams of carbohydrates, while a level teaspoon of sugar will only give 4 grams of carbohydrates. Therefore, the potatoes will have about three times the effect on blood sugar as compared to the table sugar. Meal Planning Practice Using the following foods, plan two breakfast meals containing approximately 45 grams of carbohydrate. Notice that there are some foods on this list you might think would not be "allowed" on your meal plan. But again, any of these foods can be used as long as you limit the amount of carbohydrates you eat at a given meal to what is indicated on your individualized meal plan. (In the example below, this means you can choose whatever foods you want as long as the total carbohydrate equals no more than 45 grams). Food Amount Carbohydrate Grams 1% fat milk 1 cup 12 Bran Chex 2/3 cup 23 Frosted Flakes 3/4 cup 26 Raisin Bran 3/4 cup 28 bread/toast 1 slice 15 sugar. white table 1 teaspoon 4 pancakes - 4 inches 2 15 low-fat granola 1/2 cup 30 yogurt, fruited 1 cup 40 yogurt, fruit with NutraSweet fruit juice 1 cup 19 fruit juice 1/2 cup 15 banana 1/2 15 pancake syrup 2 tablespo Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes: Can You Eat Sweets?
If you have type 2 diabetes, you can still enjoy holiday treats. Careful carbohydrate counting, a sugar substitute or two, and changes in portion sizes can keep your sweet tooth happy. It's the start of the holiday season, which means lots of candies, cookies, cakes, and other goodies wherever you go. And many people with type 2 diabetes assume that their diagnosis means they must starve their sweet tooth and say no to these seasonal treats. But is that really the case? Happily, say experts, the answer is no — a careful approach to designing your diabetes diet means you don’t have to kiss sweets goodbye. But to be able to enjoy that pumpkin pie or piece of cake without guilt while keeping your blood sugar levels in check, you need to know: What you are eating How much you are eating (portion size) Carbohydrate, sugar, and calorie contents of everything you consume After that, do the math. Your decision to go with a natural sugar or a sugar substitute will depend on your overall carbohydrate and calorie counts as well as your personal taste preference. Carbohydrates are important because they affect your blood sugar control, and many people with diabetes are watching calories in order to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Natural Sugars Natural sugars are those that come from plant or animal sources. For example, sugar comes from sugar cane, beet sugar comes from beet roots, and honey is made by honeybees. Other types of natural sugars include: Maple syrup or sugar Agave Turbinado sugar All these sugars contain carbohydrate and calories — and they all can affect your blood sugar levels. Another sweetener, high-fructose corn syrup, is classified by some as a "natural" sugar because it is made from corn, but it is highly processed to give it a longer shelf lif Continue reading >>