If you are dealing with type 2 diabetes and are struggling to find delicious, healthy foods to enjoy, you may need some guidance. Fortunately, there are foods out there that work to control blood sugar. The five foods listed below will all help keep your blood sugar in control without requiring you to sacrifice taste. However, be sure to enjoy these foods in moderation; portion control is key.
Even though berries contain sugar, they also contain essential nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Compared with other fruits, berries tend to be lower in sugar and can be included in a diet for people with diabetes in moderation. Pair the fruits with other healthy foods like fat-free yogurt for a nutrient boost.
2. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate may be a sweet treat, but its lower sugar content makes it a safe choice when compared with milk chocolate. The flavonoids in dark chocolate are able to help regulate insulin production, so the sweet treat is ideal for people with diabetes who miss having candy. Not only is dark chocolate beneficial for insulin regulation, but it can also help suppress your appetite and reduce cravings.
3. Citrus Fruit
A grapefruit in the morning or a small glass of 100 percent orange juice can help those with diabetes get enough fiber in their diets while offering a healthy dose of vitamin C. Be cautious when adding citrus to your diet; adding sugar to citrus fruits negates its positive effects, and juice could contain added sugar. Be sure to read labels before purchasing any fruit juice to ensure that it only contains fruit juice and water. A splash of lemon or lime juice in a recipe can also give people with diabetes the nutritional boost that citrus fruit offers while enhancing the flavor of a dish.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Including sweet potatoes in a healthy diet can reduce fasting blood sugar, and the vegetable offers a healthy dose of antioxidants. The high amounts of vitamin A and fiber that can be found in sweet potatoes also make them a healthy alternative to white potatoes for people with diabetes who are trying to overhaul their diet.
Another sweet food that can be enjoyed in moderation, melon offers antioxidants and a healthy dose of vitamin C. High levels of vitamin A in melon protect eye health, and the water content of melon makes it low in calories.
Now that you know five foods that will help you keep your blood sugar in control, you can use them as ingredients in new recipes or favorite standbys to keep your meals and snacks interesting.
The onset of Type 2 diabetes can lead to a wide variety of health conditions including problems with eyesight, nerve pain, increased risk of heart and kidney disease, and even stroke.
In some cases, Type 2 diabetes can be controlled without medication. Typically this requires early detection and quick action. First, talk with your doctor about your plans for a lifestyle change and be sure to use your medication as prescribed until your next check up, where your doctors can decide if a dosage change is in order. Your doctor should monitor your weight loss and medication dosages throughout your weight loss process.
Being overweight is a major cause of Type 2 diabetes. Eighty to ninety percent of those with Type 2 diabetes have a Body Mass Index (BMI) that is classified as obese. Losing 5 to 10 percent of your current body weight can have a huge effect on regulating your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. This can be done with:
- Exercise: Exercising 150 minutes per week is recommended by the American Diabetes Association. That’s 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week. Try to exercise at least 3 times a week with no more than two days in a row without exercising.If you like to walk, aim for 10,000 steps in day. This can be tracked with a low-cost pedometer or one of the more advanced systems like Fitbit or the Apple watch. Using a schedule or a monitoring device is known to help people stay on-track with an exercise schedule.
- Fewer Calories Per Day: Reducing calorie intake helps you lose weight. Use a calorie calculator to better understand how many calories you need each day in order to lose weight. And then keep a food journal of what you eat throughout the day so you can be careful about how the calories are adding up.Be sure you never skip meals even when you’re trying to eat less! It can be dangerous for a diabetes patient and it reduces your ability to lose weight because your metabolism slows down, holding onto the calories that it gets.
Monitor What You Eat and Drink
Reducing calories isn’t the only way for you to bring Type 2 diabetes under control. You also have to regulate the amount of sugar in your diet. You might be surprised by how much sugar is actually in the typical American diet!
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a piece of fruit or a cup of berries instead of sugary treats like chocolates and pastries. Fruit can help you get rid of the craving for sweets while also providing fiber and vitamins your body needs. Be careful of using fruit juice, however. It can contain quite a bit of sugar. Other foods that will help you reduce sugar include protein-rich foods with good fats like fish and nuts, lean meats and whole grains. You’ll also need to reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption because alcohol is quite high in sugar.
Relax and Get Some Sleep
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep and reducing stress can also help you manage your diabetes. Lack of sleep releases stress hormones which are linked to increased glucose production. And that can increase your blood sugar levels.
Finding ways to reduce stress through exercise, deep breathing, meditation, or other enjoyable activities can help to reduce the everyday stress you experience.
Careful eating and regular exercise is known to bring Type 2 diabetes under control without the use of medication for some patients. Talk with your doctor about what’s right for you before starting an exercise or diet plan. Never stop taking medication without talking your diabetes specialist first. If you’d like to visit with one of our diabetes specialists in the Houston, Dallas or San Antonio areas, view our locations.
It’s the beginning of a busy day, and you’re facing the same challenge yet again: wondering what you’re going to snack on while you’re out and about during your day. There’s not always time to run to the grocery store in between meetings and more often than not, it’s easier to stop by a drive-thru restaurant or convenience store when you’re on the go, which don’t always offer healthy options. But when you’re trying to keep your blood sugar in control, a little planning can really help your health — and your waistline.
Here are six foods safe for diabetes patients that are great for on-the-go snacks.
1) Tuna Pouches
These pouches are great to grab out of your pantry and easy to bring along with you for a protein-packed, omega-3 rich snack in the perfect portion size. The protein will help to keep you full and there is no added sugar. Mix with fat-free plain yogurt and a dab of dijon mustard for a quick tuna salad!
2) Fresh Berries
Berries are naturally sweet and they’re good for you. The American Diabetes Association recommends berries because they include antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. Plus they are low-carb! Three-quarters of a cup of berries can help curb your appetite and keep your blood sugar levels in control. They’re a great option for those with a sweet tooth!
3) Baby Carrots
The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetes patients eat non-starchy vegetables as often as possible. Carrots are included in that list and they’re easy to take on the go! Most grocery stores carry portioned pouches of baby carrots, making it so easy to pop in your purse, bag or desk drawer to open up when you’re craving something crunchy. Or measure out about a cup of baby carrots in a baggie to take with you. They’re also a great source of Vitamin-A, which promotes eye health.
4) Dried Fruit & Nuts
As long as the mix is all-natural, there are no sweeteners added, and there’s no candy included in the mix, dried fruit and nuts are easily portable and don’t need to be refrigerated. You can buy prepared mixes or you can make your own combination of dried fruits and nuts that you like. If you do this, try to buy the “raw” version of the nut to avoid added salt and any sugary coatings that could be on the nuts in some mixes. Pop some in a baggie and you’re prepared wherever you go!
5) Oranges, Clementines & Tangerines
The introduction of the easy-to-peel clementines and tangerines makes it even easier to throw fruit in your bag when you leave in the morning — no measuring or label checking required! One or two of these can refresh your energy and keep your diet on track.
6) DietIQ Meal Replacement Bars and Shakes
The Diabetes America weight loss program, DietIQ, offers a variety of prepared food and drink options that ensure you have the right combination of nutrients to give you energy without a lot of sugar and unnecessary calories. Plus they contain essential vitamins and minerals and the right combination of carbs and protein! These are very easy to take with you and would be a better choice than most granola bars or drink mixes that use sugar as one of their main ingredients. The meal replacement shakes and bars include flavors like chocolate mint, vanilla pudding, and dark chocolate s’mores.
If you have questions about the right foods to choose to help keep your diabetes in control, visit with a dietitian. The Diabetes America locations offer a certified dietitian to help patients with their meal planning and lifestyle choices. Contact the location nearest you if you’d like to schedule an appointment.
We know it’s hard to schedule doctor appointments during the week with our busy schedules. But we also want patients to stay focused on their health and keep their diabetes care scheduled regularly. After receiving requests for appointment availability on Saturdays, we’re now able to see patients at our Katy location on Saturdays starting April 11, 2015. You asked and we listened!
Patients can schedule Saturday appointments to:
- See our diabetes specialist physician for an initial or follow up appointment.
- Draw labs that may be needed.
- Schedule a session with our diabetes educator.
- Start the Diet IQ physician-managed weight loss program.
- Schedule a Diet IQ weekly follow up appointment with the doctor or educator.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment at the Katy location please call 713-840-5150 or schedule an appointment online.
Saturday appointment availability is being piloted at the Katy location. If well-received, Saturday appointments may be added to the schedule at other Diabetes America locations in the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio areas in the future.
This weekend we spring forward with Daylight Savings Time. It is important for people with diabetes to integrate the time change into their diabetes management. Please remember to change the time on your pumps and glucose meters on Sunday as most do not automatically update on their own. It is also a good idea to closely monitor your blood glucose levels to detect any highs or lows that may be due to the change in time of meals and medications. Have a healthy weekend!
Heart disease kills an estimated 630,000 Americans each year and is the leading cause of death for both men and women. To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, DiabetesAmerica is proudly participating in American Heart Month.
In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack. You can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication.
Do you know your risk of having a heart attack? Use this risk assessment tool to learn more.
For more information on heart disease and prevention, please visit the American Heart Association’s website.