Diabetics Can Have Cake And Eat It, Too
Feb. 12, 2002 -- For years, diabetics were told to stay away from sweets and keep fat consumption to a minimum, but it now appears that restricting certain types of foods is not necessary to keep blood sugar levels under control. Guidelines recently released by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) lift restrictions on products made from sucrose, or table sugar, and allow a diet high in monounsaturated fats like olive, canola, and peanut oils. The guidelines give diabetics more dietary options, but patients still must be vigilant about how they eat, experts say. "We often say that a good diabetic diet is really just a good diet," ADA spokesman Nathaniel Clark, MD, tells WebMD. "We have tried to get away from the concept that there is a special diet that people must follow when they have diabetes. Somebody with diabetes can eat anything that anyone else can eat. They just need to be far more careful about how they eat." The key to keeping diabetes under control is not avoiding particular foods, but keeping blood sugar at acceptable levels. The guidelines stress that regular exercise is key to achieving this goal for most diabetics. Moderate exercise not only lowers blood sugar levels, it is an important part of permanent weight control. High blood sugar levels increase the chance of problems from diabetes such as heart attack, stroke, leg amputations, and blindness. Fifteen million Americans have type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese is the most significant risk factor for the disease, which is reaching epidemic numbers among adults and being seen for the first time in large numbers of children. Clark says clinical experience and scientific research have highlighted the flaws in the one-diet-fits-all approach to controlling diabetes. An individualized approach to Continue reading >>
Diabetes Diet: Should I Avoid Sweet Fruits?
I've heard that you shouldn't eat sweet fruits such as strawberries or blueberries if you have diabetes. Is this true? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. It's a common myth that if you have diabetes you shouldn't eat certain foods because they're "too sweet." Some fruits do contain more sugar than others, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't eat them if you have diabetes. The total amount of carbohydrates in a food affects blood sugar levels more than does the source of carbohydrates or whether the source is a starch or sugar. One serving of fruit should contain 15 grams of carbohydrates. The size of the serving depends on the carbohydrate content of the fruit. The advantage of eating a low-carbohydrate fruit is that you can consume a larger portion. But whether you eat a low-carb or high-carb fruit, as long as the serving size contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, the effect on your blood sugar is the same. The following fruit servings contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates: 1/2 medium apple or banana 1 cup blackberries 3/4 cup blueberries 1 cup raspberries 1 1/4 cup whole strawberries 1 cup cubed cantaloupe or honeydew melon 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 >>
The Diabetes Diet
What's the best diet for diabetes? Whether you’re trying to prevent or control diabetes, your nutritional needs are virtually the same as everyone else, so no special foods are necessary. But you do need to pay attention to some of your food choices—most notably the carbohydrates you eat. While following a Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diet can help with this, the most important thing you can do is to lose a little weight. Losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Losing weight and eating healthier can also have a profound effect on your mood, energy, and sense of wellbeing. Even if you’ve already developed diabetes, it’s not too late to make a positive change. By eating healthier, being more physically active, and losing weight, you can reduce your symptoms or even reverse diabetes. The bottom line is that you have more control over your health than you may think. The biggest risk for diabetes: belly fat Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, your risk is higher if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen as opposed to your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat surrounds the abdominal organs and liver and is closely linked to insulin resistance. You are at an increased risk of developing diabetes if you are: A woman with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more A man with a waist circumference of 40 inches or more Calories obtained from fructose (found in sugary beverages such as soda, energy and sports drinks, coffee drinks, and processed foods like doughnuts, muffins, cereal, candy and granola bars) are more likely to add weight around your abdomen. Cutting back on sugary foods can mean a slimmer waistline as well as a lowe Continue reading >>
Diabetes: What's True And False?
KidsHealth / For Teens / Diabetes: What's True and False? en espaolLa diabetes: Qu es cierto y qu es falso? If you're like most people with diabetes, you'll get all kinds of advice about it from friends and family or online. Some of this information is wrong. Here's the truth about some of the common things you might hear. Does eating too much sugar cause diabetes? No. Type 1 diabetes happens when cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed. This happens because something goes wrong with the body's immune system . It has nothing to do with how much sugar a person eats. Sugar doesn't cause diabetes. But there is one way that sugar can influence whether a person gets type 2 diabetes. Consuming too much sugar (or sugary foods and drinks) can make people put on weight. Gaining too much weight leads to type 2 diabetes in some people. Of course, eating too much sugar isn't the only cause of weight gain. Weight gain from eating too much of any food can make a person's chance of getting diabetes greater. Yes! You can have your cake and eat it too, just not the whole cake! Like everyone, people with diabetes should put the brakes on eating too many sweets. But you can still enjoy them sometimes. People with type 1 diabetes don't grow out of it. With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops making insulin and won't make it again. People with type 1 diabetes will always need to take insulin, at least until scientists find a cure. People with type 2 diabetes will always have a tendency to get high blood sugar levels. But if they take steps to live a healthier life, it can sometimes lower their blood sugar. If people eat healthy foods and exercise enough to get their blood sugar levels back on track, doctors might say they can stop taking insulin or other medicines. Can you ca Continue reading >>
Can I Eat Sugar If I Have Diabetes?
The best way to include some sugar in your diet if to "budget" for it in your daily carbohydrate allowance. If you are on an 1800 calorie diabetic diet, you probably consume around 14 carbohydrate exchanges throughout the day. If you'd like to have a dessert one day with real sugar (not an artificial sweetener), decide what meal you'd like to have it with (i.e. lunch or dinner), and the type of dessert you'd like to have. Then, take a look at the diabetic exchange list (the American Diabetes Association has a great booklet) to see what the serving size is. For example, 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt, 1 Tbsp of honey, or 3 hard candies are all equal to 1 carb exchange. 2 small chocolate chip cookies are equal to 1 carb plus 2 fat exchanges. By calculating the sugar into your diet plan for the day ahead of time, you can make sure to get your treat. Diabetics can still consume minimal amounts of sugar if they are monitoring their total carbohydrate intake. However, some sugars are better than others. Empty calorie foods such as cookies, cakes, and ice cream should be limited as much as possible. Sugar that comes from fruit, milk, and yogurt would be a better choice for a Diabetic. It is important to remember that sugar is a carbohydrate and all type of carbohydrates will increase blood sugar levels. Choose carbohydrates that will provide the body with the most nutrition possible. Yes you can eat sugar but you have to limit the amount per serving. Learn the diabetic exchange lists. Know that 15 grams of carbs equal one serving. You need to limit the amount of carbs per day and if on insulin per meal. Generally you want to keep sweets to a minimum. Believe it or not, YES. But you have to plan ahead. If you really want cake, look at the total number of grams of carbohydrate. Then c Continue reading >>
How Much Sugar Can A Person With Diabetes Have?
How Much Sugar Can a Person With Diabetes Have? If you have diabetes , you have probablybeen told to watch your sugar intake or to eliminate sugar altogether. But does that mean you can never eat any sugar ever,or might you still be able to enjoy a sweet every now and then? Generally speaking, the chances are good that some added sugar will be allowed, although the amount can vary significantly from one person to the next. The larger problem is that, as Americans, we consume far too sugar as it is and don't seem to know where to draw the line whether we have diabetes or not. A national survey released in 2016 showed that American adults consumed no less than 77 grams of added sugar per day, while children consumed a startling 82 grams. That's far in excess of the recommended intake of 50 grams for men, 25 grams for women, and less than 25 grams for children as issued by the American Heart Association (AHA). Unfortunately, these statistics reflect the habits of the general U.S. population, not people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, your daily intake would clearly need to fall beneath the AHA recommendations. Putting this into context, 4 grams of sugar equal one tablespoon. Based on your doctor's recommendations you may fast approach your maximum intake with just a breakfast pastry and a couple of cups of sweetened coffee. As consumers, we don't often realize how much sugar is hidden in packaged foods and drinks. Even if we religiously read food labels, we may not be aware that certain ingredients are, in fact, sugar by another name. These include honey, molasses, fructose, sucrose, maltose, maple syrup, agave nectar, rice syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup. While different types of sugar can have a lesser or greater impact on your blood sugar, don't get hung up on Continue reading >>
If I Have Diabetes, Will I Have To Stop Eating Sugar?
What is that saying? Everything is good but only in moderation? Well this rings true when it comes to eating sugar with diabetes too. You probably already know that eating a lot of sugar is not great for your body. The problem is that sugar comes in a natural form and in an added form, so sometimes you have no idea that you are consuming it. Also, it is in many foods that you don’t even think to consider. Foods that you think are healthy, such as tomato sauce and protein bars, are packed full of sugar. This article breaks down the facts about eating sugar with diabetes and how you can make the best choices for your body in order to effectively manage your diabetes. How does sugar impact the blood sugar levels? Normally, when you eat something that contains sugar, your pancreas releases insulin. This insulin partners up with the sugar molecules and together they enter into the cells and provide energy to your body. When you have diabetes, your body either isn’t making enough insulin anymore, or your body is resistant to the insulin that you are creating. This prevents the sugar from being used by your cells and it just hangs out in your bloodstream causing high blood sugar levels. Having sugar in your bloodstream can lead to many problems and is dangerous for your health. Sugar, which is also known as carbohydrates or glucose, is found naturally in many different foods such as dairy, fruits, and starchy vegetables. It is also added to many foods like pastas, grains, baked goods, processed foods, and beverages. Since liquids are digested faster, they increase your blood sugar faster than solids do. More about what contains sugar is found later in this article. The myth about sugar and diabetes There are many myths about diabetes in general. One of the biggest ones is Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Dessert
Eating desserts with diabetes A popular misconception about diabetes is that it is caused by eating too many sugary foods. While sweets can and do affect your blood sugar, they do not cause you to develop diabetes. However, when you have diabetes, you must carefully monitor your carbohydrate intake. This is because carbohydrates are responsible for raising your blood sugar levels. While you can enjoy sugary foods when you have diabetes, it is important to do so in moderation and with some understanding of how it could impact your blood sugar. This includes sugars found in desserts. 10 Diabetes Diet Myths » When you have diabetes, your body is either not able to use insulin correctly or not able to make any or enough insulin. Some people with diabetes experience both of these issues. Problems with insulin can cause sugar to build up in your blood since insulin is responsible for helping sugar move from the blood and into the body’s cells. Foods that contain carbohydrates raise blood sugar. Carbohydrates need to be regulated when you have diabetes to help you manage your blood sugar. On nutrition labels, the term “carbohydrates” includes sugars, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. In desserts, a number of sweet-tasting ingredients can be added to enhance sweetness. While some foods, such as fruits, naturally contain sugars, most desserts have some type of sugar added to them. Many dessert labels will not list “sugar” as a key ingredient. Instead, they will list the ingredient as one or more of the following: dextrose fructose high-fructose corn syrup lactose malt syrup sucrose white granulated sugar honey agave nectar glucose maltodextrin These sugar sources are carbohydrates and will raise your blood sugar. They can be found in cookies, cakes, pies, puddings, ca Continue reading >>
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The Best And Worst Foods To Eat In A Type 2 Diabetes Diet
Following a type 2 diabetes diet doesn’t mean you have to give up all the things you love — you can still enjoy a wide range of foods and, in some cases, even help reverse type 2 diabetes. Indeed, creating a diet for diabetes is a balancing act: It includes a variety of healthy carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The trick is ultimately choosing the right combination of foods that will help keep your blood sugar level in your target range and avoid big swings that can cause diabetes symptoms — from the frequent urination and thirst of high blood sugar to the fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and mood changes of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). The Basics of the Type 2 Diabetes Diet: What Should You Eat? To follow a healthy diet for type 2 diabetes, you must first understand how different foods affect your blood sugar. Carbohydrates, which are found to the largest degree in grains, bread, pasta, milk, sweets, fruit, and starchy vegetables, are broken down into glucose in the blood faster than other types of food, which raises blood sugar, potentially leading to hyperglycemia. Protein and fats do not directly impact blood sugar, but both should be consumed in moderation to keep calories down and weight in a healthy range. To hit your blood sugar level target, eat a variety of foods but monitor portions for foods with a high carbohydrate content, says Alison Massey, RD, CDE, the director of diabetes education at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “[Foods high in carbohydrates] have the most impact on blood sugar level. This is why some people with diabetes count their carbohydrates at meals and snacks,” she says. How Many Carbs Can You Eat If You Have Diabetes? According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), you can calculate Continue reading >>
When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High Or Too Low
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep your blood sugar in the range your doctor has advised, it can be too high or too low. Blood sugar that is too high or too low can make you very sick. Here's how to handle these emergencies. What You Need to Know about High Blood Sugar If your blood sugar stays over 240, it is too high. High blood sugar usually comes on slowly. It happens when you don't have enough insulin in your body. High blood sugar can happen if you miss taking your diabetes medicine, eat too much, or don't get enough exercise. Sometimes, medicines you take for other problems may cause high blood sugar. Be sure to tell your doctor about other medicines you take. This chart shows the ranges of blood sugar. Having an infection or being sick or under stress can also make your blood sugar too high. That is why it is very important to test your blood and keep taking your medicine (insulin or diabetes pills) when you have an infection or are sick. Your blood sugar may be too high if you are very thirsty and tired, have blurry vision, are losing weight fast, and have to go to the bathroom often. Very high blood sugar may make you feel sick to your stomach, faint, or throw up. It can cause you to lose too much fluid from your body. Testing your blood sugar often, especially when you are sick, will warn you that your blood sugar may be rising too high. If your blood sugar stays over 300 when you check it two times in a row, call your doctor. You may need a change in your insulin shots or diabetes pills, or a change in your meal plan. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/expectations do not match CGM readings, and if not performed, may result in hypoglycemia. Please see important risk and sa Continue reading >>
Foods To Avoid With Diabetes
By:Lori Brookhart-Schervish | Diabetic Living Magazine These top food offenders contain high amounts of fat, sodium, carbs, and calories that may increase your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, uncontrolled blood sugar, and weight gain. The good news is you can indulge in your favorite foods and still eat healthfully with our satisfying and delicious alternatives. At Diabetic Living, we believe that eating with diabetes doesn't have to mean deprivation, starvation, or bland and boring foods. However, some foods really are best left on the table or in the store. Everyone -- with diabetes or without -- would be wise to avoid or limit the foods on this list because they are high in saturated fat, sodium, calories, or carbs, or might contain trans fats. High amounts of sodium and saturated fat can lead to heart disease, while excess sugars, high carb counts, and added calories can cause unwanted weight gain and blood sugar spikes. If you see some of your favorite foods on this list, don't despair: We've picked healthier options for you to choose from that taste great. So you can have your fries and eat them, too -- provided they're baked rather than deep-fat fried. *Nutrition information cited was gathered from company websites or food packaging. You walk into a restaurant and you're feeling starved. A quick scan of the menu and there they are: nachos, one of your favorites. You order them as an appetizer and also order a meal. Unfortunately, most restaurant nacho orders equate to and often exceed an entire meal's worth of calories, carbs, and fat. For example, a regular order of Chili's Classic Nachos has 830 calories, 59 grams of fat, and 39 grams of carb. You don't need to give up nachos to eat healthfully. Make a few changes to the basic rec Continue reading >>
Fruits For Diabetes: All You Need To Know
Eating fruit is a delicious way to satisfy hunger and meet daily nutritional needs. However, most fruits contain sugar, which raises questions about whether they are healthy for people who have diabetes. Is fruit unhealthy for people with diabetes? This article will look at what you need to know about fruit and diabetes. Contents of this article: What is fruit? Most people can probably name several fruits such as oranges and apples, but not know why they are fruits. Fruits contain seeds and come from plants or trees. People eat fruits that are stored in many ways - fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and processed. But aren't tomatoes and cucumbers also fruits because they have seeds? There are many foods that are classed as fruits that may surprise some people. Tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, peas, corn, and nuts are all fruits. It's fine to think of tomatoes and cucumbers as vegetables rather than fruits, however. What's important is how much energy (calories) and nutrients each food has. The bottom line: it's not important to know the difference between fruits and vegetables but to know that both are good for health. Does eating fruit play a role in managing diabetes? Eating enough fiber plays an important role in managing diabetes. A diet high in soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and control blood sugar levels. Many fruits are high in fiber, especially if the skin or pulp is eaten. Many fruits are filling because they contain fiber and a lot of water. Diets containing enough fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of obesity, heart attack, and stroke. Obesity has been linked to type 2 diabetes. Fruits are high in fiber and nutrients, so they are a good choice in meal planning. Fruits that have been processed such as applesauce and fruit juices have had their Continue reading >>
Diabetes & Diet: 7 Foods That Control Blood Sugar
When you have type 2 diabetes, what you eat can help you control your blood sugar, stave off hunger, and feel full longer. “Diabetes is when your blood sugar or glucose levels are higher than normal. It’s carbohydrate foods like breads, cereals, rice, pasta, fruits, milk, and desserts that can cause this rise," says Maggie Powers, PhD, president-elect of Health Care & Education at the American Diabetes Association. Your eating plan should focus on the amount and type of carbs you put on your plate throughout the day, Powers says. But it’s also important to have foods you enjoy. You want to eat enough so you feel satisfied and avoid overeating and poor choices. Here are seven foods that Powers says can help keep your blood sugar in check and make you happy and healthy to boot. These add color, flavor, and texture to a meal. Choose tasty, low-carb veggies, like mushrooms, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and low-carb squashes, like zucchini. Try them with dips such as low-fat dressings, hummus, guacamole, and salsa, or roasted with different seasonings such as rosemary, cayenne pepper, or garlic. Go beyond your regular salad and try kale, spinach, and chard. They’re healthy, delicious, and low-carb, Powers says. Roast kale leaves in the oven with olive oil for quick, crunchy chips. You can also mix greens in with roasted veggies to add texture and a different flavor, or serve them with a little protein, like salmon. Plain water is always good, but water infused with fruits and vegetables is more interesting. Cut up a lemon or cucumber and put it in your water, or make ice cubes with some flavoring in them. If you’re not a hot tea drinker, try cold tea with lemon or a cinnamon stick. “Not only are these beverages low-carb, they can also help fill y Continue reading >>
Can I Eat As Many Sugar-free Foods As I Want?
Can I Eat as Many Sugar-Free Foods as I Want? You might be surprised to learn that "sugar-free" does not necessarily mean carbohydrate-free or calorie-free. Although some sugar substitutes do not add calories or carbohydrate, many do. And it is the carbohydrate that has the greatest effect on blood glucose. People with diabetes do not manage their condition by cutting "sugary" foods out of their diet. If you have diabetes, you can eat sugar-containing foods as part of your overall meal plan, as long as you account for the carbohydrate and calories in the food as part of your overall meal plan. Similarly, if you eat lots of so-called "sugar-free" foods, they may have replaced sucrose (sugar) with sweet tasting substances like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, isomalt, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates. These are all "sugar alcohols," which are technically not "sugar" but are high in carbohydrate. Others may be sweetened with fructose, polydextrose, andmaltodextrin, which also contain calories and carbohydrate. These foods will affect your bloodglucose just as a sugar-containing food would, in proportion to the grams of carbohydrate in each serving of the food. In addition, foods containing these sugar alcohols can cause stomach discomfort and diarrhea if eaten in large quantities. Other foods may be sweetened with aspartame or other non-caloric sweeteners like saccharin, acesulfame potassium, or sucralose. These sweeteners contain no carbohydrate. But again, you need to check the food label to see how many grams of carbohydrate are in each serving, because "sugar-free" does not mean "carbohydrate-free." Some of the foods sweetened with non-caloric sweeteners (like aspartame-sweetened sodas) may indeed have no carbohydrate, and will have no effect on your blood glucose. Ot Continue reading >>