10 Diabetes Diet Myths
Have you heard that eating too much sugar causes diabetes? Or maybe someone told you that you have to give up all your favorite foods when you’re on a diabetes diet? Well, those things aren’t true. In fact, there are plenty of myths about dieting and food. Use this guide to separate fact from fiction. MYTH. The truth is that diabetes begins when something disrupts your body's ability to turn the food you eat into energy. MYTH. If you have diabetes, you need to plan your meals, but the general idea is simple. You’ll want to keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Choose foods that work along with your activities and any medications you take. Will you need to make adjustments to what you eat? Probably. But your new way of eating may not require as many changes as you think. MYTH. Carbs are the foundation of a healthy diet whether you have diabetes or not. They do affect your blood sugar levels, which is why you’ll need to keep up with how many you eat each day. Some carbs have vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So choose those ones, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Starchy, sugary carbs are not a great choice because they have less to offer. They’re more like a flash in the pan than fuel your body can rely on. MYTH. Because carbs affect blood sugar levels so quickly, you may be tempted to eat less of them and substitute more protein. But take care to choose your protein carefully. If it comes with too much saturated fat, that’s risky for your heart’s health. Keep an eye on your portion size too. Talk to your dietitian or doctor about how much protein is right for you. MYTH. If you use insulin for your diabetes, you may learn how to adjust the amount and type you take to match the amount of food you eat. But this doesn't mean you Continue reading >>
Carbs And Diabetes
When it comes to carbs and diabetes, there are so many conflicting views flying around in the media you could be forgiven for being confused. We're here to help translate all the evidence into practical advice, explain how carbs affect your diabetes and the role they play in your overall health. Carbs are our main source of energy, and provide nutrients for a healthy, balanced diet. The carbs you eat and drink – including potatoes, rice and pasta – are broken down into glucose (blood sugar), which is then used to keep you and your organs functioning. Read more about... Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should A Person With Diabetes Eat?
Knowing how many carbs you should consume isn't as tricky as you may think. By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE Figuring out how many carbs to eat when you have diabetes can seem confusing. Meal plans created by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) provide about 45% of calories from carbs. This includes 45–60 grams per meal and 10–25 grams per snack, totaling about 135–230 grams of carbs per day. However, a growing number of experts believe people with diabetes should be eating far fewer carbs than this. In fact, many recommend fewer carbs per day than what the ADA allows per meal. This article takes a look at the research supporting low-carb diets for diabetics and provides guidance for determining optimal carb intake. What Are Diabetes and Prediabetes? Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main source of fuel for your body’s cells. In people with diabetes, the body’s ability to process and use blood sugar is impaired. Although there are several types of diabetes, the two most common forms are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, a hormone that allows sugar from the bloodstream to enter the body’s cells. Instead, insulin must be injected to ensure that sugar enters cells. Type 1 diabetes develops because of an autoimmune process in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells, which are called beta cells. This disease is usually diagnosed in children, but it can start at any age, even in late adulthood. Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is more common, accounting for about 90% of people with diabetes. Like type 1 diabetes, it can develop in both adults and children. However, it isn’t as common in children and typically occurs in people who are overweight or obese. In this form of the d Continue reading >>
The 10 Best Carbs For Diabetics
Forget what you've been told—a diabetes diagnosis does not mean you've been sentenced to a life without carbs. Well, doughnuts may be off the list, but the right carbs can and should be part of a balanced diet for everyone, explains Anna Taylor, RD, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic. In fact, for those with (type 1 or 2) diabetes, getting enough good-for-you carbs is essential for keeping blood sugar levels under control. The key is to pick carb-containing foods that are also rich in fiber and/or protein, nutrients that actually slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, resulting in a more gradual rise and fall of blood sugar levels. Here are Taylor's top 10 diabetes-friendly carb picks, all of which pack additional nutrients that can help prevent chronic conditions or diabetes complications down the line. Lentils and Beans gettyimages-84763023-lentils-zenshui-laurence-mouton.jpg Lentils and beans are excellent sources of protein and fiber. The 19 grams of carbs from a half cup serving of cooked lentils come with 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber (3 grams per serving is considered a "good" source of fiber; 5 and up is considered an "excellent" source, per FDA guidelines). One thing to note: You get the same benefits from canned beans as you do from cooked, dried beans—but you may want to rinse them first, which can eliminate more than 40% of the sodium. (Diabetes doesn't have to be your fate; Rodale's new book, The Natural Way To Beat Diabetes, shows you exactly what to eat and do to prevent the disease—and even reverse it.) Peas Black-eyed, split, and classic green peas have protein and fiber benefits similar to those of beans and lentils. One cup of green peas (before cooking) packs 8 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and 21 grams of c Continue reading >>
Healthy Carbs For Diabetes
1 / 9 Making the Best Carb Choices for Diabetes "When you say 'carbohydrate,' most people think of sugar," says Meredith Nguyen, RD, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Methodist Charlton Medical Center Diabetes Self-Management Program in Dallas. But that's only half the story. Carbohydrates are also starches and valuable fiber, which are found in many nutrient-rich foods that should be part of a diabetes diet. Sugar is the basic building block that, depending on how it's organized, creates either starches or fiber. You need about 135 grams of carbohydrates every day, spread fairly evenly throughout your meals. Instead of trying to avoid carbs completely, practice planning your diabetes diet with everything in moderation. "There's nothing you can't have," Nguyen says. "The catch is that you might not like the portion size or frequency." Use this list of healthy carbohydrates to help you stay balanced. Continue reading >>
Carbohydrates And Diabetes: What You Need To Know
Carbohydrates are our main source of energy and provide important nutrients for good health and a healthy, balanced diet. All the carbohydrates you eat and drink are broken down into glucose. The type, and amount, you consume can make a difference to your blood glucose levels and diabetes management. The two main types of carbohydrates Starchy foods: these include bread, pasta, potatoes, yams, breakfast cereals and couscous. Sugars: these can be divided into naturally occurring and added sugars: Naturally occurring: sugars found in fruits (fructose) and some dairy foods (lactose). Added sugars: found in sweets, chocolate, sugary drinks and desserts. Fibre This is another type of carbohydrate, which you can’t digest. Insoluble fibre, such as is found in wholemeal bread, brown rice and wholegrain cereals, helps keep the digestive system healthy. Soluble fibre, such as bananas, apples, carrots, potatoes, oats and barley, helps to keep your blood glucose and cholesterol under control. Make sure you eat both types of fibre regularly. Good sources of fibre include fruit and veg, nuts and seeds, oats, wholegrain breads and pulses. How much? Everyone needs some carbohydrate every day. The actual amount that you need to eat will depend on your age, activity levels and the goals you – and your family – are trying to achieve, for example trying to lose weight, improve blood glucose levels or improve sports performance. The total amount of carbohydrate eaten will have the biggest effect on your glucose levels. Insulin and carb counting If you’re living with diabetes, and take insulin, you’ll need to take that into account when eating carbs. Learn about which foods contain carbohydrates, how to estimate carbohydrate portions and how to monitor their effect on blood glucose Continue reading >>
Managing Diabetes: Looking Beyond Carbs
I was taught to control my blood sugar by eating a certain amount of carbohydrates at every meal. Does this mean I can eat as many carb-free foods as I want? Answers from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. No, don't eat unlimited amounts of foods just because they're free of carbs (carbohydrates). Carbs aren't your only dietary consideration. Eating a healthy, portion-controlled diet helps you manage your blood sugar levels and reduces your risk of diabetes-related conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. The best way to do this is to choose a variety of nutritious foods — those rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber — and limit foods that are high in saturated fat and sodium. Consider the following sample breakfast menus. Although they provide almost the same number of carbs, breakfast No. 2 is a better choice because it's considerably higher in nutrients and lower in calories, fat and sodium. Breakfast No. 1 Carbs (g) Sodium (mg) Fat (g) Calories 2 fried eggs 1 190 13.5 180 2 sausage links 1 374 12.5 150 3/4 cup hash browns 41 400 14.5 310 1 slice white toast 15 145 1 78 2 teaspoons butter 0 61 8 68 1/2 cup orange juice 14 2.5 0 61 1 cup black coffee 0 5 0 2 Totals 72 1177.5 49.5 849 Breakfast No. 2 Carbs (g) Sodium (mg) Fat (g) Calories 3/4 cup cornflakes 18 153 0 75 1/2 medium banana 13.5 1 0 44 1 cup low-fat milk 12 107 2.5 102 1 slice whole wheat toast 13 141 1 76 1 tablespoon peanut butter 4 68 8 96 1/2 cup orange juice 14 0 0 59 1 cup black coffee 0 5 0 2 Totals 74.5 475 11.5 454 Continue reading >>
How Low Is Low Carb?
Many agree: People with diabetes should eat a low-carb diet. Last week we looked at what “carbs” are. But what is meant by “low?” How much carbohydrate should you eat? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, (PDF) recommend that healthy people get 50–65% of their calories from carbohydrates. A study posted on the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Web site agrees. For a woman eating a below-average 2,000 calories a day, 50–65% would be 250–325 grams of carb a day. The Dietary Guidelines call for “a balanced diet that includes six one-ounce (28.3 g) servings of grain foods each day.” This would mean 170 grams of carbohydrate from grains alone each day. And the average American diet includes many other carb sources. Most men eat closer to 3,000 calories a day, so their numbers would be higher. Sixty percent of 3,000 would be 1,800 calories, equivalent to 450 grams of carbohydrate each day. Anything less than the recommended range is sometimes considered “low-carb.” Most popular low-carb diets, like Atkins, South Beach, Zone, and Protein Power, are much lower, from 45% of calories down to 5%. Many diabetes experts recommend somewhat lower carb intakes than ADA does. On our site, dietitian Jacquie Craig wrote, “Most people need between 30–75 grams of carbohydrate per meal and 15–30 grams for snacks.” So that sounds like between 120 and 300 grams a day. Dr. Richard Bernstein, an MD with Type 1 diabetes and a long-time advocate of the low-carb approach to diabetes, suggests much lower intakes. He says eat 6 grams of carbs at breakfast, and snacks, 12 grams each at lunch and dinner. So that would be about 40 grams of carbs per day. If 12 grams per meal sounds like a small amount, it is. It’s about the amount in an average slice of bread. An Continue reading >>
7 Good Carbs For Diabetes Nutritionists Want You To Eat
Healthy carb: Oatmeal iStock/Magone Eating oats (the kind without added sugar) can slightly lower both fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c, a three-month measure of blood-sugar levels, shows a review study by Beijing scientists. Have ½ cup cooked. Make a savory oatmeal: Top with a soft-cooked egg and mushrooms and onions sautéed in low-sodium vegetable broth. Healthy carb: Sweet potato iStock/margouillaphotos These orange spuds are digested more slowly than the white variety, thanks to their high fiber content. Season with a dash of cinnamon, shown to help control blood sugar. Have ½ cup cooked. Make a snack: Top a baked sweet potato with cinnamon and almond butter. Healthy carb: Brown rice iStock/WEKWEK Whole grains like brown rice contain all three parts of the fiber-rich grain kernel, while white rice and other refined grains have only the endosperm intact. The fiber helps to slow the speed at which carbohydrates hit your bloodstream. Have ⅓ cup cooked. Make rice pudding: Mix rice with equal parts light coconut milk, and combine with dried cranberries and cinnamon; cover and soak overnight. Healthy carb: Lentils iStock/rimglow The new 2015-2020 Guidelines for Americans recommend eating more protein-rich pulses, such as lentils and beans. And for good reason: Along with 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, ½ cup cooked lentils contains potassium, which helps to control blood pressure. This is especially important because two in three people with diabetes have high blood pressure or take medication to lower blood pressure, according to the American Diabetes Association. Have ½ cup cooked. Make a salad: Combine with diced pears and apples, dried cranberries, fruit-infused balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Healthy carb: Freekeh iStock/PicturePartners Like rice Continue reading >>
How To Count Carbs In 10 Common Foods
What are carbohydrates? Carbohydrates are sugar-based molecules found in many foods, from cookies to cantaloupes. If you have diabetes, planning your carb intake—and sticking to the plan—is critical to keep blood sugar on an even keel and to cut your risk of diabetes-related problems like heart disease and stroke. Whether or not you have diabetes, you should aim to get about half your calories from complex carbohydrates (which are high in fiber), 20-25% from protein, and no more than 30% from fat, says Lalita Kaul, PhD, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. How to read a food label The Nutrition Facts label lists the total amount of carbohydrates per serving, including carbs from fiber, sugar, and sugar alcohols. (If you're counting carbs in your diet, be aware that 15 grams of carbohydrates count as one serving.) Sugar alcohols are often used in sugar-free foods, although they still deliver calories and carbs. Sugar alcohols and fiber don't affect blood sugar as much as other carbs, because they're not completely absorbed. If food contains sugar alcohol or 5 or more grams of fiber, you can subtract half of the grams of these ingredients from the number of total carbs. (See more details at the American Diabetes Association and University of California, San Francisco.) How many carbs per day? If you eat 2,000 calories a day, you should consume about 250 grams of complex carbohydrates per day. A good starting place for people with diabetes is to have roughly 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal and 15 to 30 grams for snacks. While snacks are key for people with diabetes who use insulin or pills that increase insulin production (otherwise, they run the risk of low blood sugar), they aren’t essential for non-insulin users. The goal for anyone with diab Continue reading >>
Carbohydrate Counting & Diabetes
What is carbohydrate counting? Carbohydrate counting, also called carb counting, is a meal planning tool for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Carbohydrate counting involves keeping track of the amount of carbohydrate in the foods you eat each day. Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients found in food and drinks. Protein and fat are the other main nutrients. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fiber. Carbohydrate counting can help you control your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, levels because carbohydrates affect your blood glucose more than other nutrients. Healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are an important part of a healthy eating plan because they can provide both energy and nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, and fiber. Fiber can help you prevent constipation, lower your cholesterol levels, and control your weight. Unhealthy carbohydrates are often food and drinks with added sugars. Although unhealthy carbohydrates can also provide energy, they have little to no nutrients. More information about which carbohydrates provide nutrients for good health and which carbohydrates do not is provided in the NIDDK health topic, Diabetes Diet and Eating. The amount of carbohydrate in foods is measured in grams. To count grams of carbohydrate in foods you eat, you’ll need to know which foods contain carbohydrates learn to estimate the number of grams of carbohydrate in the foods you eat add up the number of grams of carbohydrate from each food you eat to get your total for the day Your doctor can refer you to a dietitian or diabetes educator who can help you develop a healthy eating plan based on carbohydrate counting. Which foods contain carbohydrates? Foods that contain carbohydrates include grains, such as b Continue reading >>
A Guide To Healthy Low-carb Eating With Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that has reached epidemic proportions. It currently affects over 400 million people worldwide (1). Although diabetes is a complicated disease, maintaining good blood sugar control can greatly reduce the risk of complications (2, 3). One of the ways to achieve better blood sugar levels is to follow a low-carb diet. This article provides a detailed overview of low-carb diets for managing diabetes. If you have diabetes, your body cannot process carbohydrates effectively. Normally, when you eat carbs, they are broken down into small units of glucose, which end up as blood sugar. When blood sugar levels go up, the pancreas responds by producing the hormone insulin. This hormone allows the blood sugar to enter cells. In healthy people, blood sugar levels remain within a narrow range throughout the day. In diabetes, however, this system doesn't work the way it is supposed to. This is a big problem, because having both too high and too low blood sugar levels can cause severe harm. There are several types of diabetes, but the two most common ones are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both of these conditions can be diagnosed at any age. In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune process destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Diabetics must inject insulin several times a day to ensure that glucose gets into the cells and stays at a healthy level in the bloodstream (4). In type 2 diabetes, the beta cells at first produce enough insulin, but the body's cells are resistant to its action, so blood sugar remains high. To compensate, the pancreas produces more insulin, attempting to bring blood sugar down. Over time, the beta cells lose their ability to produce enough insulin (5). Of the three nutrients -- protein, carbs and fat -- carbs have the grea Continue reading >>
Carb Counting For Diabetes: Meal Planning To Manage Blood Sugar
Carb counting is one form of meal planning that can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Diabetes is an incurable, yet manageable, medical condition where the body's blood sugar levels are too high. This happens when there is not enough insulin in the body, or the insulin does not work properly. Insulin is a hormone that is made by the pancreas. It helps the body to process glucose (the simplest form of sugar), which is used by the cells to create energy. When this doesn't happen, sugar stays in the bloodstream. This can lead to serious health problems. This article explores carb counting as a meal planning method that can help people with any form of diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Diabetes and the role of carbohydrates In the United States in 2014, approximately 9 percent of Americans, totaling nearly 29 million people, were found to have diabetes. Diabetes is classified into different types and includes: Type 1 diabetes: In this type, the body does not produce insulin. This is due to the body attacking its own insulin producing cells within the pancreas. It is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. Type 2 diabetes: In this type, insulin is either not made in high enough quantities or not used efficiently. This form of diabetes affects people of all ages and is the most common type. Gestational diabetes: Some pregnant women will develop a typically temporary form of diabetes called gestational diabetes. This raises their risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Most times, once the baby is born, this form of diabetes disappears. What happens after carbohydrates are eaten? The digestive system breaks down the carbohydrates into sugar. This enters the bloodstream and is used by the body's cells for energy. Typicall Continue reading >>
Treatment Of Diabetes: The Diabetic Diet
The mainstays of diabetes treatment are: Working towards obtaining ideal body weight Following a diabetic diet Regular exercise Diabetic medication if needed Note: Type 1 diabetes must be treated with insulin; if you have type 2 diabetes, you may not need to take insulin. This involves injecting insulin under the skin for it to work. Insulin cannot be taken as a pill because the digestive juices in the stomach would destroy the insulin before it could work. Scientists are looking for new ways to give insulin. But today, shots are the only method. There are, however, new methods to give the shots. Insulin pumps are now being widely used and many people are having great results. In this Article Working towards obtaining ideal body weight An estimate of ideal body weight can be calculated using this formula: For women: Start with 100 pounds for 5 feet tall. Add 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet. If you are under 5 feet, subtract 5 pounds for each inch under 5 feet. This will give you your ideal weight. If you have a large frame, add 10%. If you have a small frame, subtract 10%. A good way to decide your frame size is to look at your wrist size compared to other women's. Example: A woman who is 5' 4" tall and has a large frame 100 pounds + 20 pounds (4 inches times 5 pounds per inch) = 120 pounds. Add 10% for large frame (in this case 10% of 120 pounds is 12 pounds). 120 pounds + 12 pounds = 132 pounds ideal body weight. For men: Start with 106 pounds for a height of 5 foot. Add 6 pounds for every inch above 5 foot. For a large frame, add 10%. For a small frame, subtract 10%. (See above for further details.) Learn More about Treating Type 2 Diabetes The Diabetic Diet Diet is very important in diabetes. There are differing philosophies on what is the best diet but below is Continue reading >>
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How Many Carbs Should I Eat In A Day?
If you have diabetes and are confused by carb counting, here's an easy-to-understand explanation from a registered dietitian. Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients in food that supply your body with energy. Once carbs are broken down into simple sugars and absorbed into your bloodstream, the hormone insulin attaches itself to the sugar and pulls it out of the blood and into body cells, where it is converted to energy. Insulin also helps store sugar in your liver when you have too much in your blood and release sugar when you don’t have enough. When you have diabetes, you need to balance the amount of carbohydrates you eat with the amount of insulin your body needs to perform these tasks. Your job, along with your dietitian or diabetes educator, is to find the exact number of carbs that will help you stay healthy in the long run and feel your best from day to day. The American Diabetes Association recommends starting with 45 to 60 g carbohydrate at each meal and 15 to 20 g for snacks. You may need more or less, depending on your weight, activity level, blood glucose goals, and the type of medication you take. Your daily starting goal should be to get between 45 and 65% of your calories from carbs. So, for instance, if you eat 1,800 calories a day, that translates to approximately 200 g carbohydrate each day. If you eat more or fewer calories, adjust your carb count accordingly. Keeping in mind that 1 g of carbohydrate contains 4 calories, here’s the math: 1,800 calories x .45 (percent of calories from carbs) = 810 calories 810 calories / 4 (number of calories in 1 g of carbs) = 202.5 g carbohydrate Not all Carbs are Created Equal You have to learn the number of carbs in individual foods in order to figure out how many carbs you are getting in each meal or sna Continue reading >>