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What Are The Best Carbs To Eat For Diabetes?

A Guide To Healthy Low-carb Eating With Diabetes

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 >>

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan: List Of Foods To Eat And Avoid

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan: List Of Foods To Eat And Avoid

Currently, there are nine drug classes of oral diabetes medications approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Sulfonylureas, for example, glimepiride (Amaryl) and glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL) Meglitinides, for example, nateglinide (Starlix) and repaglinide (Prandin) Thiazolidinediones, for example, pioglitazone (Actos) DPP-4 inhibitors, for example, sitagliptin (Januvia) and linagliptin (Tradjenta) What types of foods are recommended for a type 2 diabetes meal plan? A diabetes meal plan can follow a number of different patterns and have a variable ratio of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. The carbohydrates consumed should be low glycemic load and come primarily from vegetables. The fat and proteins consumed should primarily come from plant sources. What type of carbohydrates are recommended for a type 2 diabetic diet plan? Carbohydrates (carbs) are the primary food that raises blood sugar. Glycemic index and glycemic load are scientific terms used to measure the impact of a carbohydrate on blood sugar. Foods with low glycemic load (index) raise blood sugar modestly and thus are better choices for people with diabetes. The main factors that determine a food's (or meal's) glycemic load are the amount of fiber, fat, and protein it contains. The difference between glycemic index and glycemic load is that glycemic index is a standardized measurement and glycemic load accounts for a real-life portion size. For example, the glycemic index of a bowl of peas is 68 (per 100 grams) but its glycemic load is just 16 (lower the better). If you just referred to the glycemic index, you'd think peas were a bad choice, but in reality, you wouldn't eat 100 grams of peas. With a normal portion size, peas have a healthy glycemic load as well as being an excellent source of pro Continue reading >>

What Is The Best Diet For Gestational Diabetes?

What Is The Best Diet For Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes can cause a range of complications during pregnancy. Fortunately, a woman can help reduce complications by following a healthful diet. What foods should women eat and what foods should they avoid if they have gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes occurs if a woman's body cannot produce enough insulin, during her pregnancy. This deficiency leads to high blood sugar. High blood sugar levels may cause problems for the woman and her baby if not managed properly. This article explains what type of diet a woman should follow during pregnancy if she has gestational diabetes. It also considers other treatment options for gestational diabetes and what complications may occur if the condition is not properly managed. Contents of this article: Understanding gestational diabetes Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2 and 10 percent of pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes each year in the United States. This type of diabetes occurs when a woman's body cannot make enough of the hormone insulin. Insulin is made by the pancreas and helps the body's cells to use sugar from the blood as energy. When a woman is pregnant, her body will produce more hormones, and she may put on weight. Both of these changes may mean that her body's cells may not use insulin as well as they used to. This is called insulin resistance. Becoming resistant to insulin means that the body needs more of it in order to use up the sugar in the blood. Sometimes a woman's body cannot produce enough insulin to keep up. This leads to a sugar buildup in the blood, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of gestational diabetes may include: being unusually thirsty Continue reading >>

Carbohydrate Counting & Diabetes

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 >>

31 Healthy Ways People With Diabetes Can Enjoy Carbs

31 Healthy Ways People With Diabetes Can Enjoy Carbs

Photo by cookieandkate.com Whether you've just been diagnosed with diabetes or you've been managing it like a pro for years, chances are you always need new recipes to add to your repertoire. Or maybe you have a family member/friend/date who has diabetes, and want to cook dinner for them. Fear not. You don't have to cook special, "diabetic" meals. Or, despite popular myths, obsessively avoid carbs. Many people think that if you have diabeetus (as Wilford Brimley would say) that means you can't eat carbohydrates. But, in fact, people with diabetes should get about 50% of their daily caloric intake from carbs — like anyone else looking to follow a healthy diet. You just need to consider three things before chowing down: the type of carb, adding a protein, and portion sizes. These factors all impact blood sugar and can help keep sugars within normal range (aka glycemic control), which is the ultimate goal in diabetes management. NBC Studios / Via uproxx.com Here's what's going on: When you eat carbs, your body breaks them down into sugar (aka glucose) which is used for energy. Glucose is the ideal energy source for most bodily functions, including — most important — brain power. And insulin is a hormone that takes care of keeping your blood glucose in a safe range by transporting glucose from the blood into your body's cells. When a person has diabetes, their insulin is either not working effectively, is being produced inefficiently, or in some cases not being produced at all (depending on the type of diabetes). As a result, they have elevated levels of glucose in the blood. That's likely where the whole no-carbs-or-sugar misconception came from. "Just don't eat carbs or sugar and you'll be fine," right? Nope. It's not a carb thing, it's an insulin thing. Your body d Continue reading >>

The 10 Best Carbs For Diabetics

The 10 Best Carbs For Diabetics

Forget what you've been tolda 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 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 beansbut 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 diseaseand even reverse it.) 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 carbohydrates. Bonus: They have more than 20% of your daily value of vitamin K, manganese Continue reading >>

7 Good Carbs For Diabetes Nutritionists Want You To Eat

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 >>

Healthy Carbs For Diabetes

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 >>

Dietary Recommendations For Gestational Diabetes

Dietary Recommendations For Gestational Diabetes

Diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs in about 7 percent of all pregnancies. It usually arises in the second half of pregnancy and goes away as soon as the baby is born. However, if gestational diabetes is not treated, you may experience complications. The first step in treating gestational diabetes is to modify your diet to help keep your blood sugar level in the normal range, while still eating a healthy diet. Most women with well-controlled blood sugar deliver healthy babies without any complications. One way of keeping your blood sugar levels in normal range is by monitoring the amount of carbohydrates in your diet. Carbohydrate foods digest and turn into blood glucose (a type of sugar). Glucose in the blood is necessary because it is the fuel for your body and nourishment your baby receives from you. However, it's important that glucose levels stay within target. Carbohydrates in Food Carbohydrates are found in the following foods: Milk and yogurt Fruits and juices Rice, grains, cereals and pasta Breads, tortillas, crackers, bagels and rolls Dried beans, split peas and lentils Potatoes, corn, yams, peas and winter squash Sweets and desserts, such as sugar, honey, syrups, pastries, cookies, soda and candy also typically have large amounts of carbohydrate. Carbohydrates in foods are measured in units called grams. You can count how many carbohydrates are in foods by reading food labels and learning the exchange lists. The two most important pieces of information on food labels for a carbohydrate-controlled diet is the serving size and grams of total carbohydrate in each serving. Dietary Recommendations It is important to be meet with a registered dietitian to have your diet assessed. The dietitian will calcula Continue reading >>

How To Start A Low-carb Diabetes Diet

How To Start A Low-carb Diabetes Diet

There is strong evidence that eating fewer carbohydrates helps improve blood sugars. This makes sense intuitively: carbohydrates are broken down by the body into sugar, directly leading to high blood sugars. Eat fewer carbohydrates and you will typically end up with less sugar in your blood. For those with type 2 diabetes or are newly diagnosed with type 1, fewer carbohydrates mean that your body’s natural insulin production will have an easier time processing your blood sugars. If you take insulin, you will have a much easier time taking the appropriate amount of insulin. Before you start a low-carbohydrate diet, talk with your healthcare provider. If you are taking blood sugar-lowering medications, then eating fewer carbohydrates without lowering your medication dosage may cause dangerous low blood sugars. There are studies that show that people with diabetes can achieve success on both low-carbohydrate and high-carbohydrate diets. Those pursuing high-carb diets are often primarily eating more vegetarian or vegan diets that are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber. They are also frequently athletes who burn large amounts of sugar during exercise. We will look at other dietary approaches in a future article. If you would like to dive into the research on low-carb diets for diabetes, please skip to the last section in this article. Also, be sure to read Key Facts About Carbohydrates Everyone with Diabetes Should Know. What Is a Low-Carb Diet? There are many different ways to define and follow a low-carb diet. In this article, we are generally looking at people who wish to eat fewer carbohydrates than they are currently eating. There is no one way to follow a low-carb diet. Generally, people try different amounts of carbohydrates until they reach an amount per day t Continue reading >>

Healthy Carbs For Diabetes

Healthy Carbs For Diabetes

Choosing "good" carbs can help you manage diabetes and provide plenty of energywithout blood sugar spikesto fuel your day. If you have diabetes, you probably know to watch your carbohydrates. Carbs can cause spikes in blood sugar which, over time, can lead to dangerous diabetes complications. "By no means are we going to avoid carbs," says Chaparro, who has type 1 diabetes herself. The trick is choosing smart carbs: whole grains, fruits, dairy and other foods with low glucose impactmeaning they're less likely to cause those blood-sugar peaks and lows. Smart carbs, Chaparro says, "can actually do a lot of good for you and your diabetes control." Here are nine super-smart carbsplus some tasty, diabetes-friendly recipesto add to your menu planning. When you have diabetes, it's important to spread your carbs throughout your day to be consistent with your intake. Timing in your actual meal counts, too: a recent small study published by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York found that starting with a non-carb, like a protein or vegetable first, and saving carbs for last may help keep blood sugars steady. Why we love them: Stacks of recent research show that eating more plant-based foods is good for your heart healthand that's especially important if you have diabetes. Lentils deliver protein, carbs, fiber and iron all in one tasty package. Why we love them: Berries of any kind are a great choice if you have diabetes, and blueberries are a superhero. Low in calories and high in carbs and fiber, they also pack plenty of vitamin C and heart-healthy antioxidants. Recipes to try: Berry-Almond Smoothie Bowl (pictured) or Wild Blueberry Bagel Why we love them: We're sweet on sweet potatoes for plenty of reasons. They're tasty, versatile, loaded with carbs, fiber Continue reading >>

The Diabetes Diet

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 >>

Reversing Diabetes | Carbs That Are Good For You

Reversing Diabetes | Carbs That Are Good For You

Do you have type 2 diabetes? Have you been told you have to give up juicy watermelon or sweet grapes? What if we told you those foods really aren’t taboo? Learn how participants at the Pritikin Longevity Center have success with their blood sugars… even while enjoying fruit! For people who need to watch their blood sugar, a high-carbohydrate diet is actually good for you. What’s critical is the type of carbohydrate. Certainly, if you’re eating refined carbs like white bread and sugary desserts, blood sugar levels can shoot up. But if the bulk of your diet is fiber-rich, unprocessed carbohydrates like vegetables, whole fruit, whole grains, and beans, you may be able to normalize blood sugar levels and even reverse the diagnosis of pre-diabetes and diabetes, scientists are now discovering. An investigation conducted by UCLA researchers followed diabetic men at the Pritikin Longevity Center for three weeks. It reported that the Pritikin Eating Plan, high in whole, fiber-filled carbohydrates, plus daily exercise, not only helped the men lose weight and improve cholesterol levels, it also decreased blood sugar levels by 20% and insulin levels by 30%.1 Reversing Diabetes What’s more, by the end of their three-week program, the majority of the men had controlled their fasting blood glucose, or blood sugar, so well that “they were no longer classified as diabetic,” wrote lead investigators Drs. James Barnard and Christian Roberts of UCLA. Some of the men left Pritikin completely free of their diabetic medications, and others had their medication dosages reduced. In addition to normalizing blood sugar and reducing classic heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, the Pritikin Program of diet and exercise also substantially improved r Continue reading >>

Best And Worst Foods For Diabetes

Best And Worst Foods For Diabetes

Your food choices matter a lot when you've got diabetes. Some are better than others. Nothing is completely off limits. Even items that you might think of as “the worst" could be occasional treats -- in tiny amounts. But they won’t help you nutrition-wise, and it’s easiest to manage your diabetes if you mainly stick to the “best” options. Starches Your body needs carbs. But you want to choose wisely. Use this list as a guide. Best Choices Whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, millet, or amaranth Baked sweet potato Items made with whole grains and no (or very little) added sugar Worst Choices Processed grains, such as white rice or white flour Cereals with little whole grains and lots of sugar White bread French fries Fried white-flour tortillas Vegetables Load up! You’ll get fiber and very little fat or salt (unless you add them). Remember, potatoes and corn count as carbs. Best Choices Fresh veggies, eaten raw or lightly steamed, roasted, or grilled Plain frozen vegetables, lightly steamed Greens such as kale, spinach, and arugula. Iceberg lettuce is not as great, because it’s low in nutrients. Low sodium or unsalted canned vegetables Go for a variety of colors: dark greens, red or orange (think of carrots or red peppers), whites (onions) and even purple (eggplants). The 2015 U.S. guidelines recommend 2.5 cups of veggies per day. Worst Choices Canned vegetables with lots of added sodium Veggies cooked with lots of added butter, cheese, or sauce Pickles, if you need to limit sodium -- otherwise, pickles are okay. Sauerkraut, for the same reason as pickles -- so, limit them if you have high blood pressure Fruits They give you carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Most are naturally low in fat and sodium. But they tend to have more carbs Continue reading >>

Are There Any Good Carbs?

Are There Any Good Carbs?

Refined carbs, bad; whole carbs, good. Diabetes educators and nutritionists have repeated that saying for years. Low-carb advocates say they’re wrong, that almost all carbohydrates are bad. Who’s right? Are whole carbohydrates really good for us, and how whole do they have to be? To answer this, we have to know more about carbohydrates and more about diabetes. In particular, we have to learn about insulin signaling. As we know, people with diabetes have trouble dealing with sugars and foods that break down into sugar. Some people can’t produce enough insulin, as in Type 1, LADA, often called Type 1.5, and MODY. For others, their insulin signaling systems are not working, which is usually called Type 2. This could mean that the beta cells are not receiving signals to produce insulin, or that the muscle cells and liver are not getting signals to cooperate with the insulin. This failure of muscle and liver cells to cooperate is called insulin resistance (IR). We used to think that the beta cells wore themselves out trying to overcome IR. Then they would fall behind, start to die, or fail to produce, and you would be left with Type 2 diabetes. But now it appears that beta cells are not “wearing out.” They are either being damaged, or they are not receiving the signals they need to grow and to start producing insulin. Like all other cells in our body, beta cells only know what to do because chemical messengers, produced by other cells, tell them. There are thousands of these messengers, and many are still undiscovered. One key messenger is GLP-1 or glucagon-like peptide-1. As I explained last month — please reread that blog entry if you’ve forgotten — GLP-1 is produced by glands at the far end of the small intestine, in the distal ileum. These glands produce Continue reading >>

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