Is Diabetes Preventable

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Of the two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2- it is possible to prevent developing type 2 diabetes. Currently, there is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes, although there are ongoing studies to discover ways to prevent it in those people who are more likely to develop it.

Type 1 diabetes can be hereditary; however, many people who have the disease actually have no family history of it. If you have type 1 diabetes, it’s important to make sure you are following your treatment plan and maintaining regular medical appointments and checkups. While there’s no way to prevent type 1 diabetes, you can help prevent complications from the disease by keeping your blood sugar levels in the target range. Damage from complications can be stopped and even reversed entirely if they are treated early.

Type 2 diabetes prevention, on the other hand, is possible. People with type 2 diabetes have problems making and/or using insulin. When insulin is not being used by the body as it should be, glucose can’t get into the body’s cells, which leads to the cells not functioning properly. High glucose levels can damage blood vessels and nerves in the eyes, kidneys and heart and can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Tips for Diabetes Prevention

While anyone can get type 2 diabetes, the people who are most at risk are those who are over age 45, are overweight or obese, rarely exercise, and have high blood pressure.  Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include things like increased hunger and thirst, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, and numbness in hands and feet, just to name a few. If you are over the age of 45, it’s recommended to get tested annually for type 2 diabetes.

If you follow these diabetes prevention tips recommended by the American Diabetes Association, these simple lifestyle changes can help ensure that you’ll avoid serious complications as you age.  These tips include:

  • Maintain a healthy diet with lots of fiber and whole grains. Foods high in fiber include fruits, veggies, beans, nuts and seeds. High fiber foods can help improve your blood sugar levels, and they can promote weight loss since you’ll feel fuller faster. Likewise, whole grains also help reduce your blood sugar levels. Foods like breads, pastas and cereals come from whole grains- just make sure the words “whole grain” are on the package.
  • Start exercising regularly. Find a physical activity you enjoy participating in. Studies show that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help prevent diabetes. Spend at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week involved in some sort of physical activity that gets your heart rate up. You can even break the 30 minutes into more manageable, 10 minute intervals as you’re getting started.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra pounds puts you at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. In fact, certain studies have shown that being overweight was the single most important thing in developing type 2 diabetes. Through proper diet and exercise, you can maintain a healthy weight and help reduce your risk.

Along with maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, if you’re at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes there are certain medications your doctor may prescribe. Always discuss any concerns you may have at your medical appointments.

 

Monitoring, Testing and Managing Diabetes

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bigstock Healthy old woman holding gree 50969726 300x200 - Monitoring, Testing and Managing DiabetesIf you have diabetes, it’s not difficult to stay healthy through proper monitoring and management. If you were recently diagnosed, first spend some time learning about diabetes itself. Then you’ll be able to make smart choices for your diabetes management.

If you are over the age of 45, it’s advised you receive an initial blood sugar screening. If the results are normal, you’ll need to be screened every three years. There are a few different tests that can be conducted to screen for diabetes:

  • A1C Test: This is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests will indicate that you have diabetes.
  • Blood sugar tests: Random blood sugar tests or fasting blood sugar tests can also be conducted if the A1C test is inconclusive, unavailable, or if you have conditions like an uncommon form of hemoglobin that can make the test inaccurate.

After the tests have been concluded and you are given a diabetes diagnosis, learn about the type of diabetes you have. Type 1 diabetes means that your body does not make insulin; your body needs insulin to turn the glucose from food you eat into energy.  You will need to take insulin every day. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, means your body isn’t making or using insulin well. You will need medication or insulin to help control your diabetes.

You’ll need to check your blood glucose levels on a daily basis and keep a log of your results. This way, your health care provider will know how your body is reacting to your diabetes management care plan.

Along with checking and monitoring blood glucose levels, daily diabetes management will include eating a healthy diet and maintaining an exercise plan. Your diabetes meal plan should include foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, sugar and salt.  A meal should contain a balance of lean proteins like turkey and chicken, whole grains like brown rice or wheat pasta, and vegetables. Drink lots of water instead of sugary juices and sodas. Daily exercise is also vital, and you can start slowly by just walking for ten minutes at a time, three times a day. Do strength training exercises with stretch bands or try yoga.

It’s important to monitor your health and stick to your diabetes management plan. Take your diabetes medications every day, even on the days you feel fine. Try to keep your stress level down, because stress can raise your blood sugar.  If you’re struggling in any way with your diagnosis, you should talk to a mental health counselor or join a support group.

Remember to maintain routine care with your doctor.  Make appointments at least twice a year to get your blood sugar, feet and weight checked, as well as review the care plan you’ve been utilizing so you know if it’s working properly for you.

 

How to Live a Healthy Life with Diabetes

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bigstock beautiful senior female vegeta 66705622 300x200 - How to Live a Healthy Life with DiabetesMaintaining your health when you have diabetes is vital to ensure the best quality of life. It’s possible to live a normal, fun and healthy life with diabetes and not allow it to dictate your routine. You just need to learn proper diabetes management to take control of your health.

As you age, it’s important to take steps to manage your diabetes over the long term to help avoid complications from arising.

Tips for Healthy Diabetes Management

Proper diabetes management includes healthy eating, regular exercise, taking your medications, and staying informed of new treatments. Steps to take to live a healthy life with diabetes include:

1)      Healthy food choices. Choosing what to eat, as well as how much and when you eat, is very important in diabetes management. Healthy eating is important for everyone, even those who don’t have diabetes! Your dinner plate should include lots of non-starchy veggies like broccoli or green beans or a big salad, a small amount of starchy food like rice or noodles, and a small amount of protein. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and some low fat milk for your vitamin D. Try to avoiding eating before bedtime- this can elevate your blood sugar overnight while you sleep.

2)      Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, shedding some of those extra pounds helps with your diabetes management plan- even losing 10 pounds can help make a difference in your overall health.

3)      Regular exercise. It’s recommended to exercise for at least 30 minutes five days out of the week. Find an exercise you enjoy doing so it doesn’t seem like a chore.  Aerobic exercise helps keep your heart strong, and activities like walking, swimming, and even gardening gets your heart rate up. Also add strength training, stretching and balance exercises to keep you limber, build muscle and help you to stay steady on your feet.

4)      Properly managing medications. Take any prescribed medications as directed, following your doctor’s instructions as far as when to take them and the proper dosage.  Make sure you’re aware of possible drug interactions, and keep an updated list of all your medications. You can use a daily pill organizer to make sure you’re taking everything you need to, and set an alarm to remind you when it’s time to take your next dose.

5)      Regular doctor appointments. Maintain all your doctor appointments, and when you are there, make sure you discuss any questions or concerns you may have with a health care professional. Bring a family member with you so they can help you keep track of important instructions the doctor may give you.

6)      Treating yourself. You can still include some treats in your diet, even while eating healthy. Learn how to make some tasty sugar-free desserts by purchasing a diabetic cookbook or searching online for diabetic-suitable sweets. Allowing yourself a treat every once in a while will help you to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle.

7)      Being aware of possible complications. Knowledge is power, as they say, and knowing what complications to watch for will help you recognize signs that something might be wrong. People with diabetes have greater risk for complications like heart disease, stroke, eye problems, gum disease, foot problems, skin issues, and even depression.

8)      Seeking support. Reach out to others who have diabetes by joining a support group. Or, share your story with friends and family members who can help you maintain your healthy lifestyle.

Changing some of your old habits can go a long way in your diabetes management. Knowing how to lead a healthy lifestyle will allow you to enjoy your life to the fullest.

 

Is Diabetes Preventable

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bigstock Happy old lady eating fresh gr 73711600 300x200 - Is Diabetes Preventable
Of the two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2- it is possible to prevent developing type 2 diabetes. Currently, there is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes, although there are ongoing studies to discover ways to prevent it in those people who are more likely to develop it.

Type 1 diabetes can be hereditary; however, many people who have the disease actually have no family history of it. If you have type 1 diabetes, it’s important to make sure you are following your treatment plan and maintaining regular medical appointments and checkups. While there’s no way to prevent type 1 diabetes, you can help prevent complications from the disease by keeping your blood sugar levels in the target range. Damage from complications can be stopped and even reversed entirely if they are treated early.

Type 2 diabetes prevention, on the other hand, is possible. People with type 2 diabetes have problems making and/or using insulin. When insulin is not being used by the body as it should be, glucose can’t get into the body’s cells, which leads to the cells not functioning properly. High glucose levels can damage blood vessels and nerves in the eyes, kidneys and heart and can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Tips for Diabetes Prevention

While anyone can get type 2 diabetes, the people who are most at risk are those who are over age 45, are overweight or obese, rarely exercise, and have high blood pressure.  Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include things like increased hunger and thirst, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, and numbness in hands and feet, just to name a few. If you are over the age of 45, it’s recommended to get tested annually for type 2 diabetes.

If you follow these diabetes prevention tips recommended by the American Diabetes Association, these simple lifestyle changes can help ensure that you’ll avoid serious complications as you age.  These tips include:

  • Maintain a healthy diet with lots of fiber and whole grains. Foods high in fiber include fruits, veggies, beans, nuts and seeds. High fiber foods can help improve your blood sugar levels, and they can promote weight loss since you’ll feel fuller faster. Likewise, whole grains also help reduce your blood sugar levels. Foods like breads, pastas and cereals come from whole grains- just make sure the words “whole grain” are on the package.
  • Start exercising regularly. Find a physical activity you enjoy participating in. Studies show that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help prevent diabetes. Spend at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week involved in some sort of physical activity that gets your heart rate up. You can even break the 30 minutes into more manageable, 10 minute intervals as you’re getting started.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra pounds puts you at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. In fact, certain studies have shown that being overweight was the single most important thing in developing type 2 diabetes. Through proper diet and exercise, you can maintain a healthy weight and help reduce your risk.

Along with maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, if you’re at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes there are certain medications your doctor may prescribe. Always discuss any concerns you may have at your medical appointments.

 

Traveling with Diabetes

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bigstock Traveling Senior Couple 7395885 300x210 - Traveling with DiabetesWhen you’re planning a vacation, you’re looking forward to getting out of your normal routine and doing something fun, exciting or just plain relaxing. However, one routine you should never give up is your diabetes management routine. Traveling with diabetes just takes a little extra planning to make sure you’re keeping yourself as healthy as possible while you’re away from home.

The way you prepare for traveling with diabetes will depend on factors like where you’re going, what you’re doing or how much physical activity you will get (or won’t get!), how long you’ll be gone, and what kind of foods will be available.

Proper Diabetes Management While Traveling

Before you head out on a trip, take a few steps for proper diabetes management while you’re on the road. Some recommendations are:

  • Make an appointment with your doctor before you leave. It’s important to make sure your diabetes is under control before you head out on your trip. Also, have your doctor write out an extra prescription for you to bring with you in case of an emergency, and have them also write a letter that details your treatment and the supplies you use.
  • Keep your supplies close. Regardless of how you are traveling, make sure you have easy access to your diabetes supplies. If you’re flying, pack everything in your carry-on bag, including insulin, to ensure it stays at the desired cool temperature. Get a special travel pack for your car to keep your insulin cool, too.
  • Bring more supplies than you need. It’s recommended to pack at least twice the amount of supplies that you’ll need just in case of travel delays. It’s better to be prepared for the unexpected!
  • Wear medical identification. If you have diabetes, you should always wear an ID bracelet or necklace so emergency personnel can easily be made aware of your condition. Also, make sure to tell those you’re traveling with that you have diabetes so they know what to do in case of an emergency or a change in your health.
  • Pack healthy snacks. Don’t assume that the proper foods will always be available. Pack snacks for the time spent on the road or in the air to avoid a drop in your glucose levels. Things like whole grain crackers, light popcorn, or granola bars are good options that don’t need to be kept refrigerated. Also, make sure to bring some water in lieu of sugary sodas or juices.
  • Stick as close to your routine as possible. If you are traveling out of your time zone, it can throw off your whole schedule; perhaps when you’re normally sleeping you’ll be awake and feeling hungry. Flight delays or traffic might cause other changes to your normal routine, too. This is where having easy access to your supplies and some healthy snacks will be very important!
  • Research medical care available. Before you leave, take some time to find out where you can get medical care if needed while you’re traveling. Prepare for any emergencies that may arise by keeping a list of the facilities near where you’ll be staying or exploring.

Don’t let your diabetes dissuade you from traveling to new places or taking that relaxing beach vacation! Take the proper steps for diabetes management before you go and you’ll enjoy a stress-free trip.

 

How Your Lifestyle Can Affect Your Diabetes Management

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bigstock Senior couple on country bike 23668784 2 300x200 - How Your Lifestyle Can Affect Your Diabetes ManagementThe first step to proper diabetes management is being aware of your condition.  A diabetes diagnosis is a life-changing event, and knowing what can make your blood sugar levels rise and fall will help you learn to better control your disease.

It’s important to learn how your lifestyle can affect your diabetes management. Your diet is a major part of managing your symptoms, but there are many other choices you make that can affect how you’re managing your diabetes.

Lifestyle Choices and Diabetes Management

Talking with your doctor is key to coming up with a plan for managing your diabetes so you can lead as normal a life as possible- and it is possible! Here are a few other factors to keep in mind that can affect your diabetes management plan:

  • Food choices. Your diet plays one of the most important roles in managing your diabetes. Healthy eating is important for everyone, though, with or without diabetes! Learn the types of foods that affect your blood sugar levels; it’s not only the types of food you eat, but also how much and the combinations of foods you’re consuming on a daily basis. Carbohydrates will have the biggest impact on your blood sugar, so it’s crucial to know how many carbs your meals have. Meals should be well-balanced overall and feature a good combination of protein, starches, fats, vegetables and fruits.
  • Level of physical activity. Too often, we tend to live more sedentary lifestyles which can lead to obesity. Incorporating an exercise program into your daily routine can not only help you lose weight, but it can also help your body use insulin better so it can convert glucose into energy for cells. Find an exercise you enjoy doing and start off slowly- even just walking for 15 minutes per day will help. You can increase the amount of physical activity you get as you get more comfortable with it. Set a schedule to keep you on track, so you’re putting aside time to get exercise every day until it becomes routine.
  • If you’re on medications to help control your insulin and blood sugar levels, learn about what kinds of over-the-counter medications might affect your diabetes management. You should also know what time of day to take your medications and report any issues to your doctor, like if your blood sugar is consistently too high or too low.
  • Stress levels. Stress can alter blood sugar levels in a couple ways. People who are under a lot of stress may not take care of themselves as well as they should, skipping meals or exercise often. Also, stress hormones can directly alter blood sugar levels. To help manage the stress in your life, you can join a diabetes support group to help you cope and feel less alone. This can alleviate the stress and depression affecting your diabetes.
  • Eye, skin, foot and dental care. Because diabetes affects the tiniest blood vessels in your body, which tend to be in your eyes and nerves, early detection and treatment of any issues is key. Diabetes can cause people to lose their eyesight, gum problems, dry skin and nerve damage which can make you unable to notice pain in your feet. Maintain regular doctor appointments twice a year to make sure you are properly managing your blood glucose levels.

Diabetes is a manageable condition, and it’s still entirely possible to live your life to the fullest. Avoid complications by making the correct lifestyle choices for proper diabetes management.

 

5 Ways to Control Diabetes

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Learning how to control your type 2 diabetes is key to improving your health and living an active life. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder, affecting the body’s ability to use insulin effectively. Insulin is an important hormone that enables blood sugar in the cells of the body to be converted into energy. So, when insulin is not getting used properly, it results in an elevated amount of sugar in the blood which can damage the body.

When you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll need to monitor your blood sugar, eat healthy, get regular physical activity and take the proper medications. You’ll also need to make sure you’re maintaining regular appointments with your physician.

How to Control Diabetes in 5 Easy Ways

Proper diabetes management might seem overwhelming, but there’s actually a lot you can do to control it. Here are five easy ways to ensure you’re correctly managing your diabetes:

  • Keep an eye on your blood sugar. Monitor your blood sugar levels at different times of the day and keep track by writing down the numbers. You should also have your A1C tested at least twice a year. Along with your blood sugar, monitor your lipid levels and blood pressure to lower your risk of heart disease.
  • Make smart food choices. Think about what you’re about to put in your body before you eat it. Your meals should be a good balance of non-starchy vegetables and smaller portions of starchy foods like bread or rice. Start reading labels and weighing your food to learn how much you’re actually eating.
  • Increase your physical activity. It’s recommended to get your heart rate up for 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week. If you’ve been sedentary, talk to a doctor before beginning any physical activity and start off slowly. Even just three ten minute walks per week will help, and you can gradually increase the length of time. Or, find a class that’s right for your fitness level.
  • Lower your stress. Stress can affect your body physically by adversely affecting your blood sugar levels. Plus, stress can lead to poor eating habits. Learn how to decompress and relax through deep breathing exercises or meditation.
  • When in doubt, ask questions. If you’re just learning how to manage diabetes, seek the advice of healthcare professionals. Your doctor should work with you to create goals for your blood sugar levels and prescribe medications that can help keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. Be open to suggestions for proper diabetes management.

Managing Diabetes Daily

A few small changes in your daily routine can lead to properly managing your diabetes. Living a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, and especially those with diabetes. Reduce the risk of complications from diabetes by taking certain precautions and making healthy living part of your routine.

 

What Can I Eat if I Have Diabetes?

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bigstock Healthy diet and proper nutrit 84183689 300x201 - What Can I Eat if I Have Diabetes?After you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you might be worried that you’ll have to eliminate all the foods you enjoy from your diet. But living with diabetes doesn’t have to mean living in deprivation and constantly feeling hungry. It’s still possible to take pleasure from eating a healthy, balanced diet that will also increase your energy and boost your mood.

The first step in proper diabetes management is learning how to take control of your condition. Healthy lifestyle changes are important to help you lose some excess weight; studies have shown that losing just 5-10% of your total weight can help lower your blood sugar. This is especially true for those who have a lot of excess weight around their waists, because this type of fat is most closely linked to diabetes and insulin resistance. Adding daily exercise to your routine is very important (for everyone, not just those with diabetes!), but the foods you choose can have an even bigger impact on weight loss.

Knowing What Types of Food for Diabetes You Can Enjoy Daily

One of the biggest myths about food for diabetes is that you need to completely avoid any kind of sugar at all costs. In actuality, you can enjoy your favorite treats by planning ahead and incorporating them into your meal plans. Your dietary needs are virtually the same as the rest of the world. Eating nutritious foods that are low in fat and added sugar is important for everyone.

Choosing the best food for diabetics isn’t that difficult at all, as long as you are making informed selections. Here are just a few things to keep in mind:

  • Cut the sugar. As we already mentioned, it’s still possible to enjoy some sweet treats when you have diabetes. The key is knowing how much sugar is contained in the foods you’re choosing, and this can be tricky due to the fact that food manufacturers tend to disguise the word “sugar” in a variety of ways. Read the labels of some of your favorite products; added sugar can appear on the labels as “high-fructose corn syrup,” “maltose,” “dextrose” and many other varieties. If you’d like to add a sweet dessert to your meals once in a while, just make sure to plan for it by cutting out some of the other carbs in your meal to lower the sugar levels.
  • Know your carbs. Carbohydrates have a bigger impact on your blood sugar than fats or proteins, so being smart about the types of carbs you add to your diet is vital. Look for foods that are “whole grain.” A whole grain includes the bran, germ and endosperm or starchy part of the grain, and white flours are usually refined, meaning they only include that starchy part of the grain. Whole grain products include whole wheat bread, tortillas and pastas, as well as brown rice, quinoa, popcorn and much more. When choosing your grains, look for these whole wheats over the refined or enriched wheat products.
  • Be smart about fats. The best fats to choose are unsaturated, which come from plant and fish sources. Avoid damaging saturated fats found in dairy and red meat, and trans fats which are added to foods to help make them less likely to spoil. It’s easy to add more unsaturated fats to your diet by cooking with olive oil instead of butter, eating more fish or skinless chicken, and snacking on nuts and seeds.

Another good tip to finding the best foods for diabetes and managing your diet is to keep a daily food journal. This way, you’ll be able to see what choices you are making and where some adjustments need to be made.

 

Eating Out with Diabetes

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bigstock Waitress Serving Food To Senio 47117440 300x200 - Eating Out with DiabetesMost people enjoy eating a nice dinner out at a restaurant from time to time. Allowing someone else to do the cooking for you once in a while is one of life’s simplest pleasures. However, if you have diabetes, having another person prepare your meals can easily throw you off the diabetes meal plan set by your doctor.

However, it’s still entirely possible to enjoy eating out with diabetes and stick to your meal plan. It simply takes a little advance planning and knowledge to keep you maintaining a healthy diet.

Sticking to Your Diabetes Meal Plan When Dining Out

Before you head out to dinner, do a little research before even making your plans. Many restaurants these days have nutrition information available on their website, so before you even leave the house check their site and figure out some healthier options to choose from. The type of restaurant you choose is important, too. Try to avoid “all you can eat” buffet types of places, as you may end up tempted to overeat.

Here are a few other quick guidelines to eating out with diabetes:

  • Read the menu carefully. If you can’t view the menu online in advance, make sure you read it through thoroughly once at the restaurant. Some menus note what items are a healthier option.
  • Ask the server questions. If the menu doesn’t spell things out, don’t be shy about asking your services questions about the food. Ask the server how foods are prepared; for example, do they contain added butter or salt?
  • Make special requests. Don’t be afraid to ask to substitute steamed vegetables, a side salad or fresh fruit for French fries or mashed potatoes. You can also request that the portions are measured out to your specific needs and that sauces or salad dressings be served on the side.
  • Watch the carbs. It can be tempting to fill up on bread while waiting for your meal to get served, and while carbs are a necessary part of your diet, you need to make sure you’re choosing high-quality carbs like whole grains to keep your blood sugar level in the target range.
  • Avoid those “extras”. Save on calories by watching the extras like croutons, cheeses and savory sauces and gravy. Make smart substitutions, like mustard for mayo or vinegar and oil for salad dressing.
  • Maintain portion control. A good idea is to ask for a take-home box to be served with your meal, that way you can automatically portion out the right amount and save the rest for later. Portion sizes at many restaurants these days are huge, and are usually plenty for two meals!
  • Drink wisely. Sodas and juices can be full of sugar and add hundreds of calories to your meal. Stick with water with lemon or unsweetened iced tea, or even diet soda. If you’d like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, have just one and choose a drink that has less carbs, like light beer or dry wines.
  • Make smart choices. Yes, fried food is delicious, but it’s also very high in fat and calories! Choose grilled, broiled, roasted, steamed or baked options instead.
  • Timing is everything. Eating at the same time every day is an important part of your diabetes meal plan. Try to make reservations so you can be sure you’ll be eating at the correct time of day; or avoid busier hours so you won’t have to wait long to be seated.

Enjoy eating out with diabetes all you want! As long as you’re following your meal plan guidelines, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a nice dinner in a restaurant as often as you’d like.

 

The Best and Worst Food for Diabetes

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bigstock Fresh Fruits And Vegetables 432306 300x177 - The Best and Worst Food for DiabetesWhen you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you know that a big part of managing your condition is watching what you eat. Eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones are a key element of staying healthy and avoiding spikes in your blood sugar.

Certain kinds of foods can be downright dangerous to diabetics, and these foods usually include those occasional treats we all crave. But there are some great alternatives to those foods that can leave you just as satisfied. Let’s take a look at some of those foods to avoid with diabetes, as what as the healthier, better choices are.

Foods to Avoid with Diabetes

Here are some of the worst foods for people with diabetes:

  • Sugary treats. Your favorite sweets and desserts that are primarily made of sugar are lacking in nutritional value and are full of low-quality carbohydrates. They can cause a sharp spike in your blood sugar, as well as cause weight gain, both of which can complicate your diabetes further.
  • White bread, pasta, flour and rice. These are also on the low-quality carbohydrate list. In fact, a study showed that those who ate white rice regularly were at the higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Anything highly processed and made with white flour should be avoided.
  • Fruit juice. Fruit juice can contain just as much sugar and empty calories as a can of soda. Even sugar-free juices or blended juices from a specialty juicer should be avoided if you have diabetes.
  • Fatty meats. Red meat may be low carb, but that doesn’t make them a good food option for diabetics. High-fat cuts of meat are high in saturated fats and can raise your cholesterol, as well as put you at a greater risk for heart disease.
  • Full-fat dairy products. These products also contain high amounts of saturated fats like fatty meats, and should be avoided if you already have diabetes.
  • Trail mix. Trail mix seems like it would be a healthy option, but the dried fruit and milk chocolate that usually comes with it makes it a bad choice. Dehydrating fruit makes their natural sugars super concentrated.

Best Foods for Diabetics

Now that you know what foods to avoid, here are the better choices of food for diabetes:

  • Fresh fruit. When you’re craving something sweet, you’re much better off reaching for an apple or handful of fresh berries.
  • Brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Replacing white carbs with whole grains can make a big difference in your glucose levels.
  • Lean proteins. Switch out the burgers with grilled chicken breast, fish like salmon, or pork tenderloin.
  • Reduced fat or fat-free dairy products. Choose reduced-fat or even fat-free cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream, etc. When you’re ordering your morning coffee, avoid getting those blended coffees laced with cream, sugar and syrups and instead ask for non-fat or light versions of your favorite beverage to help cut out some of that fatty dairy.
  • Low carb snacks. Make your own mixes of sunflower seeds, soy nuts, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, etc. or cut up veggies for the week so when your stomach is rumbling for a snack, it’ll be easier for you to reach for a healthy alternative rather than a pre-packed, high carb treat.

Remember, the food choices you make when you have diabetes can have a huge impact on your overall health. Learning what the best foods are can help you make more informed decisions the next time you cook a meal, sit down to dinner at a restaurant, or reach for an afternoon snack.