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 >>
What To Eat, How Much, And When
Meal planning is one of the most important things you can do to keep your blood sugar in control. Paying attention to what you're eating, how much, and when might seem like a huge challenge at first, but these tips can help make it easier. Quality: What Can I Eat? Having diabetes doesn't mean you can't eat food you enjoy. You can keep eating the foods you like. Just make sure to include lots of nutritious, healthy choices. Healthy, nutritious choices include whole grains, legumes (dried beans, peas, and lentils), fruits, vegetables, non-fat or low-fat dairy, and lean meats, such as fish and poultry. These foods are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and lean protein, and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and refined sugar. Healthier food choices aren't only good for people with diabetes. They're good for everyone. People who eat a variety of these foods every day have a well-balanced diet and get the nutrients their bodies need. Quantity: How Much Can I Eat? Learning about serving sizes is key to meal planning. Food labels on packaged foods and many recipes tell you what a serving size is. These labels tell you how many calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat are in each serving. You'll need to know serving sizes to help you choose foods that keep your blood sugar from going too high after you eat. If you take fast-acting insulin to control your blood sugar, knowing the serving size will tell you how much insulin you need to take before you eat. Eating carbohydrates affects your blood sugar more than other foods. The more you eat, the faster and higher your blood sugar will rise. Eating fat and protein can affect how quickly your body turns carbohydrates into sugar. When you know the amount of carbohydrate, protein, and fat you're eating at a meal, you can learn to c Continue reading >>
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 >>
Is Grazing Good For Diabetes?
What if you ate frequent, small meals, instead of a few big ones? You wouldn’t need as much insulin at any one time. Maybe postmeal spikes would be much smaller. What does science say about this approach? The question mainly applies to people with Type 2 who still make some insulin. They may have enough insulin to cover a small meal, but not a normal American meal. If you are injecting rapid-acting insulin, more meals would mean more, smaller shots. Eating very frequent, very small meals is sometimes called “grazing.” Some evidence shows that it improves insulin function. In one small study, people were assigned in random order to eat a “nibbling diet,” which consisted of 17 snacks per day, or the usual three meals per day. (Both diets had the same amount of total food and types of food.) The nibblers made less insulin, although their sugars were about the same as the regular eaters. That shows their insulin was used more efficiently. Grazing has been very popular at times for weight loss and diabetes management. It’s not so popular now. A Czech study presented in 2013 found that grazing was less effective for weight loss than eating two main meals a day. No differences were found in glucose levels or insulin function. Some experts still strongly recommend grazing. The Pritikin Longevity Center compares frequent very small meals to weight-loss surgery. Weight-loss surgery is often touted as a diabetes “cure,” or at least a highly effective treatment. But why does it help? Weight-loss surgery leaves a person with a very small stomach, maybe the size of an egg. Pritikin’s website says, “Post- surgery life means very small meals, eaten very slowly and chewed thoroughly, for the rest of one’s life.” That grazing diet may be what appears to be “curi Continue reading >>
Diabetes Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity
Nutrition and physical activity are important parts of a healthy lifestyle when you have diabetes. Along with other benefits, following a healthy meal plan and being active can help you keep your blood glucose level, also called blood sugar, in your target range. To manage your blood glucose, you need to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity and diabetes medicine, if you take any. What you choose to eat, how much you eat, and when you eat are all important in keeping your blood glucose level in the range that your health care team recommends. Becoming more active and making changes in what you eat and drink can seem challenging at first. You may find it easier to start with small changes and get help from your family, friends, and health care team. Eating well and being physically active most days of the week can help you keep your blood glucose level, blood pressure, and cholesterol in your target ranges prevent or delay diabetes problems feel good and have more energy What foods can I eat if I have diabetes? You may worry that having diabetes means going without foods you enjoy. The good news is that you can still eat your favorite foods, but you might need to eat smaller portions or enjoy them less often. Your health care team will help create a diabetes meal plan for you that meets your needs and likes. The key to eating with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups, in the amounts your meal plan outlines. The food groups are vegetables nonstarchy: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes starchy: includes potatoes, corn, and green peas fruits—includes oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes grains—at least half of your grains for the day should be whole grains includes wheat, rice, oats, co Continue reading >>
Snacking When You Have Diabetes
Learning how to count the carbohydrates that you eat (carb counting) helps you plan what to eat. It will also keep your blood sugar under control. Your health care provider may tell you to eat a snack at certain times of the day, most often at bedtime. This helps keep your blood sugar from getting too low at night. Other times, you may have a snack before or during exercise for the same reason. Ask your provider about the snacks you can and you can't have. Needing to snack to prevent low blood sugar has become much less common because of new types of insulin that are better at matching the insulin your body needs at specific times. If you have type 2 diabetes and are taking insulin and often need to snack during the day, your doses of insulin may be too high and you should talk to your provider about this. You will also need to ask about what snacks to avoid. Your provider can tell you if you should snack at certain times to keep from having low blood sugar. This will be based on your: Diabetes treatment plan from your provider Expected physical activity Lifestyle Low blood sugar pattern Most often, your snacks will be easy to digest foods that have 15 to 45 grams of carbohydrates. Snack foods that have 15 grams (g) of carbohydrates are: Half cup (107 g) of canned fruit (without the juice or syrup) Half banana One medium apple One cup (173 g) melon balls Two small cookies Ten potato chips (varies with size of chips) Six jelly beans (varies with size of pieces) Having diabetes does not mean that you must stop eating snacks. It does mean that you should know what a snack does to your blood sugar. You also need to know what healthy snacks are so you can choose a snack that will not raise your blood sugar or make you gain weight. Ask your provider about what snacks you can Continue reading >>
Eating Well With Type 2 Diabetes
Forget the idea of the "diabetic diet" -- a restrictive regime that puts certain foods strictly off-limits. The healthiest diet for people with type 2 diabetes is the same diet that's best for everyone else. That means eating a wide variety of foods, and including items from all the major food groups represented on the Food Pyramid -- protein, dairy, grains, and fruits and vegetables -- every day. It means watching your portion sizes. It means getting enough fiber, and avoiding an overload of fat, salt, alcohol, and sugar. (Yes, you can have dessert -- in moderation, and with a little planning!) Following these steps will not only help control your blood sugar, but can also help you reach a healthy weight, something that's especially important for people with diabetes. As with any medical condition, people with type 2 diabetes should check with their doctors before starting any diet or exercise program. It's also a good idea to work with a registered dietitian and/or diabetes educator to come up with an eating plan that suits your needs. Two of the main tools doctors and dietitians use to help you plan healthy meals are: Food exchanges. This system divides foods into major categories -- starches, fruits and vegetables, dairy, proteins, and fats -- and tells you how many portions of each you should have each day. Carbohydrate counting. With this system, you keep track of the grams of carbohydrate (starches and sugars) you consume, with the idea of spreading them out through the day to help keep your blood sugar steady. The end result should be a plan tailored to your needs: one that takes your age, gender, lifestyle, and eating habits into account. While you should be able to eat most of the same things as everyone else, people with diabetes often have to limit the amoun 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 >>
How Often Should I Eat?
Q: How often should a person with type 2 diabetes eat? A: Everyone needs to eat about every four to six hours during the day to keep energy levels up. People with type 2 diabetes usually have better blood glucose control if their meals and carbohydrates are spaced evenly throughout the day. Too many carbohydrates at any one time can raise blood glucose too high, even if you take diabetes medicine. Many people tend to skip breakfast, eat a light lunch, and then eat too much in the evening. A person with diabetes should attempt to eat about the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal. Breakfast is especially important if you need to control your weight. It helps to jump-start your metabolism and makes you less likely to overeat later. If you are unusually active or on fixed doses of medication, you may need a snack. Monitoring your blood glucose will help you to decide that with your medical team. Sometimes diabetes medication can be adjusted so you do not need snacks if you are concerned about your weight. Connie Crawley, M.S., R.D., L.D., is a nutrition and health specialist for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service and a registered dietitian Continue reading >>
The Truth About The So-called "diabetes Diet"
Despite all the publicity surrounding new research and new nutrition guidelines, some people with diabetes still believe that there is something called a "diabetic diet." For some, this so-called diet consists of avoiding sugar, while others believe it to be a strict way of eating that controls glucose. Unfortunately, neither are quite right. The "diabetes diet" is not something that people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes should be following. "That just simply isn't how meal planning works today for patients with diabetes," says Amy Campbell, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, a nutritionist at Joslin and co-author of 16 Myths of a Diabetic Diet. "The important message is that with proper education and within the context of healthy eating, a person with diabetes can eat anything a person without diabetes eats," Campbell states. What's the truth about diabetes and diet? We know now that it is okay for people with diabetes to substitute sugar-containing food for other carbohydrates as part of a balanced meal plan. Prevailing beliefs up to the mid-1990s were that people with diabetes should avoid foods that contain so-called "simple" sugars and replace them with "complex" carbohydrates, such as those found in potatoes and cereals. A review of the research at that time revealed that there was relatively little scientific evidence to support the theory that simple sugars are more rapidly digested and absorbed than starches, and therefore more apt to produce high blood glucose levels. Now many patients are being taught to focus on how many total grams of carbohydrate they can eat throughout the day at each meal and snack, and still keep their blood glucose under good control. Well-controlled blood glucose is a top priority because other research studies have concluded that all people with diab 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 >>
How Many Times A Day Should A Diabetic Eat?
Controlling blood sugar levels is the most important task in managing diabetes effectively. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause serious complications, including heart disease, organ failure or stroke. Eating the proper foods with the correct frequency is important in improving blood sugar levels. Video of the Day Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than they should be. This occurs because either your pancreas does not secrete enough insulin to allow blood sugar to enter into cells and tissues or the cells and tissues are resistant to the effects of insulin. To manage this biochemical process, you can control the amount of sugar in your blood, which puts less strain on your pancreas and body to regulate blood sugar levels. How Food Affects Blood Sugar Many variables in your diet affect how high your blood sugar will be after a meal. You must choose foods with a low glycemic index, which is a measurement of how fast your blood sugar will rise after a meal. Furthermore, eating small portions of high-fiber, low-calorie and low-fat foods will help avoid serious complications. Strive to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean meats and low-fat dairy products to improve your blood sugar control. Frequency of Eating Eat smaller portions up to six times per day to control your blood sugars, states SmallStep.gov. To begin, you can try using a smaller, saucer-sized plate to learn how to reduce your portion sizes. Although the foods you may eat per meal may have a different calorie content, you will take in fewer calories per meal than if you are eating on a full plate. For example, a smaller plate of pasta will have fewer calories than a larger plate. Medline Plus further recommends eating your meals at the same times 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 >>
5 Common Food Myths For People With Diabetes Debunked
There are many misconceptions that people with diabetes must follow a strict diet, when in reality they can eat anything a person without diabetes eats. Amy Campbell, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, nutritionist at Joslin Diabetes Center and co-author of 16 Myths of a "Diabetic Diet," debunks some common food myths for people with diabetes. 1. People with diabetes have to eat different foods from the rest of the family. People with diabetes can eat the same foods as the rest of their family. Current nutrition guidelines for diabetes are very flexible and offer many choices, allowing people with diabetes to fit in favorite or special-occasion foods. Everyone, whether they have diabetes or not, should eat a healthful diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein foods, and heart-healthy fats. So, if you have diabetes, there's no need to cook separately from your family. 2. People with diabetes should never give in to food cravings. Almost everyone has food cravings at some point, and people with diabetes are no exception. It's not uncommon for people with diabetes to cut out all sweets or even cut way back on food portions in order to lose weight. In turn, your body often responds to these drastic changes by creating cravings. Nine times out of ten, your food choices in these situations tend to be high in fat and/or sugar, too. The best way to deal with food cravings is to try to prevent them by following a healthy eating plan that lets you occasionally fit sweets into your diabetes meal plan. If a craving does occur, let yourself have a small taste of whatever it is you want. By doing so, you can enjoy the flavor and avoid overeating later on. 3. People with diabetes shouldn't eat too many starchy foods, even if they contain fiber, because starch raises your blo Continue reading >>
Eating With Diabetes: Smart Snacking
20 Diabetes-Friendly Snack Ideas Whether you want to lose weight or simply eat healthier, enjoying a couple of snacks each day is a smart habit for many people. Eating a planned snack between meals can help curb your hunger (and therefore prevent overeating at mealtime) and also increase your energy levels when you need a boost. Snacks offer an additional benefit for people with type 2 diabetes: They can help optimize your blood glucose control. So if you haven't incorporated snacks into your diabetes meal plan yet, now may be the time to start. Here's what you need to know to snack smart, along with some carbohydrate-controlled snack ideas you can try today! 3 Considerations When Planning Snacks The number of snacks a person with diabetes should eat during the day depends largely on your eating preferences, your weight-management goals, and the timing of your major meals. People with diabetes can eat snacks throughout the day for a number of reasons—simply enjoying a mid-morning snack or planning them into their day for better blood glucose control. Exactly how many snacks you should eat—and when you eat them—is very individualized. Meeting with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator is the best way to make sure your diabetes meal plan meets your needs. However, here are a few basic guidelines that can be helpful when planning snacks. How many hours pass between your meals? In general, people with diabetes who want to optimize blood glucose control should not go longer than five hours without eating. If you consistently eat your main meals every 4 to 5 hours, then you may not need any snacks between meals. However, if your main meals are generally spaced out at longer intervals, snacking between meals can help you achieve your best blood glucose co Continue reading >>