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.

1. People with diabetes have to eat different foods from the rest of the family.

diabetes foodsPeople 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 blood glucose and makes you gain weight.

food-cravings2Starchy foods, such as bread, pasta, rice and cereal, provide carbohydrate, the body’s energy source. Fruit, milk, yogurt and desserts contain carbohydrate as well. Everyone needs some carbohydrate in their diet, even people with diabetes. Weight gain occurs when you take in more calories than you burn off. So, if you eat too much of any food, you’ll end up gaining weight. The key is knowing how much of all the good food groups to eat to help keep blood glucose levels in a safe range and keep you at a healthy weight. Choose starchy foods that are whole grain and high in fiber for overall good nutrition.

4. People with diabetes do not have to worry about eating fat because it doesn’t have much of an effect on blood glucose.

Fat, found in margarine, oils and salad dressings, has little immediate effect on blood glucose levels. However, eating a fatty meal can slow down digestion and make it harder for your insulin to work, causing a possible high blood glucose level hours after your meal. Some fats can raise blood cholesterol, increasing your risk for heart attack or stroke. These fats are called saturated fat and trans fat and should be limited as much as possible. Sources of saturated fat include: butter, shortening, red meat, cheese and whole milk. Trans fat is found in some margarines, snack foods and fast foods. Also, fat is very high in calories and should be limited if you’re trying to lose weight. Click here to find healthy alternatives to your favorite foods.

5. People with diabetes should always follow a low-sodium diet.

diabetes foodsHaving diabetes doesn’t mean you have to cut salt and sodium from your diet. However, people with diabetes should cut back on their sodium intake since they are more likely to have high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease, than people without diabetes. Some examples of high sodium foods include:

  • canned soup
  • canned vegetables
  • cold cuts
  • salad dressings
  • some cereals

Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, it’s not a bad idea to watch your sodium intake, since some people are “salt sensitive” and may experience an increase in blood pressure after eating salty foods.

 

Craving fast food? Have a sweet tooth? As always, it’s important to keep in mind portion sizes of these healthier alternatives, and make sure that the calories per serving fit with the meal plan you’re following.

When you want something sweet…

diabetes foods

Instead of cake, cookies, or ice cream, try:

  • Sugar-free jello or hard candies (but always read the Nutrition Label on every food for serving size information)
  • Sugar-free hot cocoa
  • Fruit with cool whip
  • Lower fat cookies like ginger snaps, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, animal crackers (again, observe serving size)
  • No sugar added pudding or fudgsicles
  • Eating very small portions of your favorite treat

When you want something salty and crunchy…

food-cravings4

Instead of potato chips or tortilla chips, try:

  • Low-sodium pretzels
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Baked chips or baked tortilla chips
  • Cut raw veggies with low fat dip, salsa, or low fat cream cheese
  • Pickles

When you want something to drink…

Instead of soda or fruit punch, try:

  • Diet soda
  • Crystal light or other sugar-free beverages
  • Seltzer with just an ounce or two of fruit juice
  • Water with lemon juice

When you want fast food…

Instead of hamburgers or hotdogs, try:

  • Grilled or broiled chicken sandwiches
  • 1 slice of thin crust veggie pizza
  •  Low fat sub sandwiches

When you want “comfort food”…

Instead of high-fat, high-carb choices, try:

  • Macaroni and cheese cooked with fat-free evaporated milk, low fat cheese, and egg substitute
  • Mashed potatoes made with trans-fat free margarine and fat-free milk, or replace part of the potato with pureed cauliflower
  • Meatloaf made with ground turkey and egg substitute
  • Beef stew made with round cut beef, fewer potatoes, and more non-starchy vegetables like carrots, onions, green beans, and spinach
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Five Most Common Food Myths Associated With Diabetes

Unfortunately the myths surrounding the “strict” diet those with diabetes must adhere to are many, the truth of the matter is actually that a diabetic can eat everything that someone without diabetes can.

Here are five of the most popular diabetes diet myths:

1. A diabetic’s diet has to be different than the rest of their family’s diet.

People with diabetes are able to eat exactly like the rest of their family does. Modern day nutrition guidelines for those with diabetes offer quite a few choices, they are flexible and allow diabetics to fit in special-occasion or favorite foods. A healthy diet consisting of whole grains, vegetable, fruits, heart healthy fats and lean proteins should be kept by everyone regardless of whether or not they are diabetic. If you are diabetic you do not have to have “special” meals, the whole family can eat the same; healthy.

2. A diabetic should never succumb to cravings.

At some point or another, everyone has food cravings even diabetics, It is common for most diabetics to completely stop eating sweets or even eat smaller portions in an attempt to lose weight. Your body’s response to these changes many times are cravings. Nine out of ten times the choices of foods during these times will be high in sugar and or fat. Many times it is in fact the combination of both.

The healthiest way to deal with these cravings is avoiding them by eating healthy and occasionally allowing sweets within your diabetic meal plans. If you do get cravings allow yourself a small bit of what it is you are craving. This allows you to relish in the flavors being craved and prevents overeating at a later time.

3. Diabetics should avoid starchy foods regardless of whether they have a high fiber content due to the fact that your blood glucose levels can be elevated by starch and you will gain weight.

Foods such as pasta, cereal, bread and rice are considered starchy foods but they provide carbohydrates which are what give the body energy. Other foods that also contain carbohydrates are milk, desserts, yogurt and fruit, carbohydrates are something that everyone needs a bit off, even diabetics. When you consume more carbohydrates than you burn that is when you will gain weight.

As a matter of fact overeating any kind of food will cause weight gain. The important thing is to be aware of the amount of each healthy food groups you need to eat in order to maintain safe blood glucose levels and a healthy weight range. Starchy foods that are high in fiber and whole grain are a great choice for general good nutrition.

4. Eating fat should not be concerning to diabetics being as there is not a real effect on the blood glucose.

Fats that are found in oils, margarine and salad dressings do not immediately affect the blood glucose levels. That being said eating a fatty meal can slow down the process of digestion making it more difficult for your insulin to work, this could possibly cause elevated glucose levels hours after you have eaten.

Your blood cholesterol can be raised by some fats which increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack. These unhealthy fats are called trans fat and saturated fat and should be limited.
Shortening, butter, milk, cheese and red meat are all sources of saturated fat. Some snack foods, margarine and fast foods contain trans fats. Fat is also very high in calories so if your are trying to lose weight you should avoid it.

5. A low-sodium diet should always be adhered to by diabetics.

Just because you are diabetic you do not need to completely cut all sodium and salt from your diet. However, being as a diabetic is more likely than someone who is not diabetic to suffer from high blood pressure which can cause heart disease they should consider cutting back on the amount of sodium they consume.

Here are few examples of foods that are high in sodium:

  • canned vegetables
  • salad dressings
  • canned soups
  • cold cuts
  • certain cereals

Regardless of whether or not you have high blood pressure it is important to be careful with the amount of sodium you consume. There are individuals who are “salt sensitive” therefore after eating foods with a high salt content they may be experience a spike in their blood pressure levels.

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Natural Ways to Prevent or Reduce Diabetes

prediabetesIt doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why so many people are developing diabetes. Genes do play a role, but the less exercise you get and the more weigh, the greater your risk. If you aren’t part of the “diabetes epidemic” yet, congratulations. But there’s an epidemic of prediabetes – elevated blood sugar that’s not yet high enough to trigger alarms – that you should worry about now. Genetics definitely play a role, but it usually takes extra pounds and a sedentary lifestyle to develop type 3 diabetes. Excess body fat (especially visceral fat deep in the belly) and inactivity conspire to make cells stop obeying signals from insulin to absorb blood sugar. Your body compensates by pumping out more insulin, but if you can’t keep pace, you’ve got high blood sugar. Doctors don’t look for prediabetes often enough (a fasting blood test can give a pretty good indication I you have it), but now’s the time to prevent it from turning into diabetes.

Drop Just A Few Pounds
Excess weight is the number one reason adults and kids are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes now than ever before. Gaining weight can pack excess fat around internal organs at your midsection – especially if you’re stressed on a regular basis (stress hormones can send extra fat to the belly). New research shows that this dangerous abdominal fat sends out chemical that signals that desensitize cells throughout your body to insulin, the hormones that persuades cells to absorb blood sugar. Insulin resistance is the first step on
the path to type 2 diabetes.

The good news, in a landmark clinical trial that followed 3,234 people with prediabetes for three years, those who lost just 7 percent of their body weight (10.5 pounds if you now weigh 170) lowered their diabetes risk by 58 percent. In fact, weight loss worked better than insulin-sensitizing diabetes drugs at cutting the odds of diabetes! A brisk cardio workout three to five times a week can melt belly fat better than dieting, say Syracuse University researchers. Brisk walking for 30 minutes daily also works.

Aim For Five To Nine Servings Of Fruit And Vegetables Every Day, Plus Three Servings Of Whole Grains
Following a low-glycemic diet packed with produce and whole grain – and cutting back on white bread, white rice, foods like pancakes and bagels made with white flour, and sweets – helps keep blood sugar low and steady. Research shows it also cools chronic low-grade inflammation in the body, which interferes with the action of insulin and the absorption of blood sugar by cells.

In a recent study of 486 women, Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that those who ate the most fruit were 34 percent less likely to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors, including insulin resistance, that predispose a person to diabetes. Women who ate the most vegetables cut their risk of metabolic syndrome by 30 percent. Meanwhile German researchers who followed 25, 067 women and men for seven years recently found that those who got most fiber from whole grains were 27 percent less likely to develop diabetes than those who got the least.

Give Up “liquid Candy”
Start quenching your thirst with water, club soda (with a spritz of lemon or lime), unsweetened tea, or fat-free milk instead of soda, fruit punch, or sweetened iced tea drinks.

A single daily serving of soda raised the risk of metabolic syndrome (described above) by a staggering 44 percent in a headline-grabbing study from Boston University School of Medicine. The reason? Experts have many theories. It could simply by all those extra calories in soda and other surgery drinks or in the high-fat, high-calorie foods we tend to pair them with (think French fries and pizza). Experts are also finding that drinking even a single soda a day is associated with being overweight – perhaps because the calories in the beverages don’t register in our brains, so we don’t compensate for them by eating less food.

Yet another possible culprit: high-fructose corn syrup. It’s essentially table sugar in liquid form, expect that for technical chemistry reasons, some experts believe it’s more likely to lead to insulin resistance.

For a healthier thirst quencher, drop several teabags (black, green, or herbal) into a plastic pitcher filled with water and refrigerator overnight, then enjoy. And don’t discount a glass of fat-free milk. The calcium, vitamin D, and others mineral in dairy foods may be the reason that getting at lest one serving of low-fat or fat-free milk (or yogurt or cheese) a day lowered metabolic syndrome risk by up 62 percent in a British study.

walkingTurn Of The Tv And Go For A Walk
Exercise helps protect against diabetes by transporting blood sugar into fuel-hungry muscle cells and making cells more sensitive to insulin. A Harvard study of 40,000 women found that 30 minutes a day brisk walking plan a TV limit of 10 hours per week, cut diabetes risk by 43 percent. Bored by walking? Spend Friday night at the local YMCA recreational swim, take up bowling, gather the kids or grandkids for a nature hike, or just put on some music and dance.

Eat Less Fast Food

Does drive-through dining leads to diabetes? Consider this: When University of Minnesota researchers tracked the eating habits and health of 9,514 people ages 45 to 64 for up to 10 years, they discovered that those who ate two servings of red meat (like hamburger patties) a week were 26 percent more likely to wind up with metabolic syndrome. A daily helping of French fries or other fried foods raised it another 10 to 25 percent. These foods are high in saturated and trans fats, which have been linked to diabetes.

Trade Burgers And Butter For Fish And Olive Oil
Each bite of that burger and each smear of that butter is full of saturated fat. This stuff not only clogs arteries, it also increase insulin resistance, which jet-peoples you down the path to genuine diabetes. These fats also trigger inflammation, which is toxic to cells, including those that handle blood sugar. Fish and olive oil have the exact opposite effects and could actually lower your diabetes risk. The same goes for nuts (even peanuts) and canola oil.

Of course, you don’t want to overdo even these good fats, which are high in calories. Cutting total fat intake as well as saturated fat helped participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program study slash their diabetes risk. Participants limited saturated fat to 7 percent of total calories a day, about the amount in two ounces of cheese plus one part of butter if you eat 2,000 calories a day.

Eat Breakfast
In one study, people who ate breakfast were 35 to 50 percent likely to be overweight or have insulin resistance than breakfast skippers. What’s going on? An overnight fast puts your body into “starvation mode.” If you don’t eat breakfast, your liver churns out stored to keep your blood sugar levels up. At the same time, skipping breakfast flips biochemical switches that reduce the body’s response to insulin. And it raises levels of an appetite-stimulating hormone called ghrelin so you want to eat more all day long. Do this often enough, and you gain weight, say scientists from Children’s Hospital Boston.

What’s for breakfast? Certainly not a bagel (too much carbs) or store-bought muffin (too many calories and hydrogenated oils). Instead pour yourself a bowl of high-fiber cereal with fat-free milk and throw some berries on top for good measure. One University of Toronto study of people with prediabetes found that high-fiber cereals made their cells “listen” better to insulin than lower-fiber fare. Yogurt with fresh berries is also a good choice.

If You’re Depressed, Get Help
If you’re depressed, you are much less likely to exercise and eat well. But the health dangers don’t end there. Stanford University scientists think that depression itself alters body chemistry n profound ways that spell trouble for anyone at risk for diabetes. Rates of insulin resistance were 23 percent higher among depressed women than among women who weren’t depressed, regardless of body weight, exercise habits, or age.

Get Better Sleep
A chronic lack of sleep leads to weight gain and reduces your body’ sensitivity to insulin. In one Yale school of Medicine study of 1,709 men, those who averaged five to six hours of slumber per night doubled their risk of diabetes. Studies of women have found similar results.

Get Out The Tape Measure

Women whose waists measure 35 inches or more and men whose midsection measure 40 inches or more are more likely to have fat deep in their abdomens, which can triple the risk of diabetes while you’re probably overweight if your waist is big, researchers report that they’re seeing more people at a normal weight who also have big waists, so don’t think it’s enough to simply watch the numbers on the scale.

Think diet soda is safe? Think again. Sipping just one can of diet soda per day raised the risk of metabolic syndrome by 34 percent in one recent study and 48 percent in another. Experts aren’t sure why.

Strange Fruit That "Destroys"
Diabetes ... read more

Take the Quiz: Which of these 3 Cooking Oils Cures Diabetes?...

This Simple 3 Step Strategy Completely Reverses
Type 2 Diabetes In 28 Days! ... click here