Diabetic Food List: 20 Best Superfood Choices

If you are constantly asking yourself, “What should I eat?” it’s time to stop worrying. We’ll help you figure out the right foods that can help keep your diabetes on an even keel.

Including these foods in your daily diet will help you meet your nutritional requirements and lower your risks of diabetes complications. Certainly, the foods in the list below shouldn’t be the only foods you eat, but incorporating them in your daily diet would help improve your overall health.

Best Food Choices Diabetes

  1. Broccoli: An anti-diabetes superhero, Broccoli, is highly recommend for diabetes since it contains chemical that help prevent damage caused to the blood vessels.
  1. Blueberries: The American Diabetes Association titles blueberries as a diabetes superfood, as they are packed with various antioxidant vitamins and fiber that help dealing with diabetes.
  1. Steel-cut Oats: Oatmeal is a powerhouse when it comes to managing diabetes. Steel-cut oats, having lower glycemic index, are full of nutritional value and high in Vitamin-B, fiber, protein and calcium.
  1. Olive Oil: A diet rich in olive oil is not only a good alternative in managing diabetes, but it could also help prevent the beginning of the disease.
  1. Beans: The American Diabetes Association advises people to add dried beans to their meals each week. Beans have low glycemic index and contain protein and fiber that help to manage blood sugar levels.
  1. Spinach: Spinach is very low in calories, which is a major benefit to diabetic people. One cup of spinach contains 40% of your daily magnesium value, which can help control your blood sugar level.
  1. Sweet Potatoes: High in Vitamin A, C and fiber, sweet potato are a great alternative of potatoes who people with diabetes.
  1. Nuts: Nuts are good and full of life, as they are seeds and fruit combined. Eating two servings of nuts in a day can help stabilise blood sugar level in type 2 diabetes.
  1. Carrots: Rich in Vitamin A, B, C and k, folate, dietary fibre and antioxidant beta-carotene, carrots are a good choice of you have diabetes. They are low-carb and crunchy smack.
  1. Flaxseed: A nutritional powerhouse whole grain food, flaxseed, has many benefits for fighting diabetes. tablespoon of flaxseeds for a month can help improve blood sugar levels.
  1. Garlic: garlic provides you a natural method to help control diabetes. It is touted as an antidote for many ailments and is packed with number of health benefits.
  1. Kale: Kale is naturally low in calories and high in protein. It contains special array of compounds to manage diabetes, beyond high level of vitamins and minerals.
  1. Quinoa: When compared to other grains, Quinoa contains more antioxidants, protein and fiber. Evidences suggest that eating more quinoa can help fight diabetes.
  1. Raspberries: This nature’s candy has antioxidant power and a unique combination of minerals and vitamins. Many studies have suggested that consumption of raspberries can help fight diabetes.
  1. Red Onions: Onions are low-calorie, provide you with iron, potassium, vitamin C and other micronutrients. They are a healthful nutrition to include in your diabetic diet.
  1. Yogurt: Yogurt is a great nutrient-dense option. It is low in carbohydrates and can be one of the best foods for diabetic people. But avoid products that say they were heated after culturing.
  1. Dark Chocolate: Surprisingly, researchers have discovered many health benefits of dark chocolate. Consumption of 20 gm per day helps increase in sensitivity to insulin, which is important to control blood sugar level.
  1. Fish: Diabetes experts recommend fish for cardiovascular health. It is low in unhealthy, trans fat and cholesterol and mostly contains healthy, unsaturated fat.
  1. Apples: A new report suggests, an apple a day, keeps diabetes away. They are loaded with Vitamin C and fibre. Don’t peel the skin though, it is the most nutritious part and full of antioxidants.
  1. Tea: Being one of the nation’s favourite drinks, tea (without milk) is also suggested as a healthy drink. It helps improving insulin sensitivity and maintain healthy blood pressure.

Testing Your Blood Sugar at Home – When and Who Should Check?

If you have diabetes, checking blood sugar can be a significant tool in preventing log-term diabetes complication. Even if you have not been diagnosed of diabetes but there is a doubt, you can always check your blood sugar level at home.

Testing your blood sugar level allows you to manage your diabetes it no matter the time of day. It is important to keep a log of your results. Your healthcare provider will have good picture of their diabetes care plan, when you take these results to them.

While it is important to consult your doctor to stay on top of your diabetes treatment plan, you can also test your blood sugar on your own.

check blood sugar home

There are few ways to test your blood:

  1. From your fingertip

The traditional method to check includes pricking your finger with a small, sharp needle (also called lancet), putting a drop on a test strip. Then place this strip into a meter that would show your blood sugar level. You can expect results in next 15-20 seconds.

With some meters, you should be sure the strip code matches the meter code.

Blood sugar meters and strips are easily available at local pharmacy.

Some meters also have feature kits that can show you the average blood sugar level and graphs and charts of your past results.

  1. Glucose Meters

A device called, continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a good tool to track your blood sugar levels at home. This FDA-approved system collects readings automatically every 5 minutes. It also helps to identify patterns and trends which can give your consultant a complete view of your diabetes and help you manage your diabetes condition well.

CGM uses a small device placed under the skin of your tummy, which measures the glucose amount in the fluid present in your body. A transmitter on the device then directs the info to a monitor which you can clip on your belt. In case your blood sugar level drops at very low level or high level, it will sound an alarm.

Devices are accessible for children and adults. But you would need a prescription from your specialist to get one.

When to check your blood sugar?

Check your blood sugar level whenever you require information to take decisions. The way you make use of this information is more vital than how often you test.

Often people find it useful to check their when they first get up in the morning and again before going to bed. Some test before and after their meals. Many test after and before exercising.

Testing blood sugar level at different times of the day can give you varied information about how plan is going.

  1. Testing in the morning, before eating or drinking anything will tell you if you have sufficient insulin in your body to control blood sugar level at night, when you are sleeping.
  2. Testing before taking meal would help you decide how much food you can consume and how much medicine to take.
  3. Testing after taking your meals and before sleeping would tell you if you are taking sufficient medicine to cover the meals you have in the day and making the correct diet choices.
  4. Before doing activities such as exercising would help you ensure blood sugar levels stay close to normal during and after you are done exercising.
  5. Every time you feel something odd, you may feel like your blood sugar level is unexpectedly increasing or decreasing. But you wouldn’t know for sure without testing. Thus, testing will help eliminate the guesswork, helping you take better decision about the actions you need to take to manage your diabetes.

Who should check their blood sugar levels?

Consult your specialist whether you should be checking your blood sugar level. However, it is recommended for people to check their blood sugar level who:

  • are pregnant
  • have trouble controlling their blood sugar levels
  • are taking insulin
  • have ketones because of high level
  • have low blood glucose level

Understanding your results

If you blood sugar level is under 100 mg/dl, your blood sugar level is completely normal and may not worry about it.

If your blood sugar level didn’t reach 140 mg/dl for an hour after consuming a high dose of carbohydrates and was below 120 mg/dl for two hours after consuming a high dose of carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels are normal.

The image below describes the blood sugar levels:

Diabetes Levels

Source: http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/16422495.php

Managing Diabetes During Pregnancy

Diabetes and Pregnancy

Having children is the biggest decision we take in our lives. If you are a woman having diabetes, this decision requires more planning and thought.

Most women (having diabetes) deliver healthy babies, but this doesn’t mean it’s an easy experience – it needs dedication and lot of work on your part. If you have diabetes, pregnancy presents unique challenges and give higher risk of some complications.

When you are pregnant, three types of diabetes can affect you – Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are long-term conditions and may have developed before getting pregnant. Gestational diabetes is developed only during pregnancy and goes away after the baby is born.


Diabetes and Pregnancy

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is developed when your body doesn’t produce any insulin.

It is advisable to gain control of the blood sugar level throughout pregnancy. “The most important thing for type 1 diabetics is that if they consider pregnancy, they should make sure blood glucose control is under optimal conditions,” recommended obstetrician and gynecologist Raul Artal, chairman of the obstetrics and gynecology department at St. Louis University in Missouri.

Since type 1 diabetes usually starts in the childhood, women will be aware of their condition before they are pregnant. To prevent complications, they need to take insulin so their blood glucose is in control.

Type 2 Diabetes

This type of diabetes is developed when your body can’t produce enough insulin or the developed insulin doesn’t work properly. Managing this diabetes means being good to yourself.

Women with type 2 diabetes are mainly at risk of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), which can also create pregnancy complications. They should consult both their obstetrician and endocrinologist who can help them be at their healthiest to conceive.

Women with type 2 diabetes usually manage their blood glucose level by exercising, taking healthy food and pills. However, when you become pregnant, hormones may alter the way your body handles blood sugar. Often type 2 diabetes is treated with tablets but some women may need insulin injections.

Gestational Diabetes

Usually, glucose amount is controlled by insulin. However, during pregnancy, some women develop more than normal level of glucose which insulin can’t control.

Gestational diabetes affects women only during pregnancy. It is developed in the third trimester and often goes away after the baby is born.

You are expected to get gestational diabetes if diabetes runs in your family or you are overweight before getting pregnant. It can be controlled by diet; your doctor will advise you with foods that help keep your blood sugar stable.

It is important to note that if you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy, you are twice likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

How diabetes can affect you and your baby?

Diabetes during pregnancy could lead to complications for you and the baby:

  1. Birth Defects: Uncontrolled blood sugar in women can affect organs, which are formed during the first two months and cause severe birth defects such as those of the brain, heart or spine.
  2. C-Section Delivery: If your diabetic is not well controlled, there is a greater chance of having a C-section delivery, in which it a woman takes longer to get well from delivery.
  3. Long-term Problems: Diabetes during pregnancy can worsen your long-term problems such as kidney disease, heart disease and eye problems.
  4. Having an Extra Large Baby: Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can increase of blood sugar level of the baby which leads to overfeeding of the baby and the baby grows extra-large. Apart from the discomfort caused to the mother, it is possible that the baby may be born with nerve damage.
  5. Stillbirth or Miscarriage: While miscarriages and still births can happen for number of reasons, but women with uncontrolled diabetes have a higher chance of stillbirth or miscarriage.

The Action Plan

Your consultant will help you establish your target blood sugar level. However, it’s on you to make healthy lifestyle choices to control your diabetes. Here are few basics:

  1. Plan your pregnancy as dealing with pregnancy complications, especially if you have diabetes, can be a game-changer.
  2. Don’t ignore physical activity in your daily routine, after consulting with the doctor. Check your blood sugar before and after exercising, especially if you take insulin.
  3. Probably your diet already includes health fruits and vegetables, your dietitian may suggest changes in your diet to help you avoid low or high blood sugar level.
  4. Schedule your check-ups early and often during pregnancy. Your doctor might recommend prenatal screening tests and ultrasound to monitor baby’s growth and development.
  5. Check your blood sugar level often because pregnancy may cause the body’s requirement for energy to change and consequently blood sugar levels can change very frequently.

References: http://www.everydayhealth.com/type-1-diabetes/having-a-healthy-pregnancy-with-type-1-diabetes.aspx

Does Cinnamon Help Diabetes?

If you like the taste of cinnamon, it’s fine to sprinkle it on the cereal or use in baking, but if you are expecting it to help in your diabetes, you could be a bit disappointed.

Cinnamon_Diabetes

 

A 2011 meta-analysis of various studies confirmed that both whole cinnamon and its extracts reduce fasting blood glucose. A review conducted in 2013 echoed this study and discovered that not only it cinnamon helps to reduce fasting blood glucose, but it also reduces total cholesterol triglycerides, while increasing the “good” HDL cholesterol and reducing the “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Whether cinnamon is helpful in Diabetes is a topic of debate – but studies suggest that it could be a helpful supplement in type 2 diabetes. Although, cinnamon seems to be helpful for people having type 2 diabetes, but it’s hard to know if it could work for everyone.

Is Cinnamon Safe for People With Diabetes?

If you are talking about cinnamon capsules, check out for water-soluble extract like Cinnulin PF. Talk to your doctor first taking these, especially of you are on medications. Also, make sure that the brands are labelled with quality seal which consist of NSF International, Consumerlab seal or Prarmacopeia.

Be careful if you have liver problems because cinnamon may contain a compound called coumarin which could be toxic for liver. Taking cinnamon with drugs affecting liver is likely to make liver problems severe.

“The evidence is still inconclusive,” says Emmy Suhl of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, but cinnamon “is inexpensive,” “and it tastes good.”

The bottom line

Efficacy of cinnamon as a treatment for diabetes has not yet been established. No doubt, it’s natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s either effective or safe. Cinnamon is not an alternative to medicine if you have diabetes, but for people who want to control their blood sugar, it’s worth considering.

Remember that the treatment for diabetes is a lifelong commitment of blood sugar monitoring, regular exercise, healthy diet and sometimes insulin therapy or diabetes medications.

Diabetes and Your Diet: 10 Deadliest Myths

Myths about diabetes are everywhere. And when it comes to diet suggestion, everybody has an opinion. But you don’t want to make diet choices based on fiction – even if suggestions are coming from friends or family, who may have good intentions and mean well but are not the experts.

The first step in treatment of any disease is learning the facts. You can make smart choices without giving up your favourite foods in diabetes. Use this guide to separate fiction from fact.

Diabetes_Diet

Myth 1: Diabetes is caused by too much sugar

Fact: Your diet is not responsible for Diabetes. There are two types of Diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 Diabetes is caused by genetics, when the cells in pancreas that make insulin are damaged. While Type 2 Diabetes results when the body doesn’t respond to insulin properly or produce enough insulin. This type is mostly caused by genetics which means that it is inherited from the parents.

However, eating sugar in large amount can lead to weight gain, a major trigger for Type 2 diabetes. But so can eating too much of unhealthy food, not simply diet with high sugar content.

Myth 2: Diabetes is not that big of a deal

Fact: Many people underestimate the disease and believe that it won’t kill you. To them, you just have to go through a ‘special diet’, but diabetes is more serious than that. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diabetes causes more deaths in a year than AIDS and breast cancer combined. So, don’t assume that it is not a serious disease. The chance of having a heart attack doubles in people having diabetes and should not be taken lightly. However, the good news is that good diabetes control can trim down the risks for complications. If you manage it right, some diabetes-related health complications can be easily avoided.

In reality, diabetes is a silent killer.

Myth 3: People with diabetes are more more susceptible to flu and cold

Fact: This is not true. You are no more susceptible to cold or illness than anyone who doesn’t have diabetes. However, diabetic people are advised to get flu shots. As the body responds to infection and illness by increasing blood sugar levels, glucose management becomes more complicated.

People with diabetes should get flu vaccine, irrespective of the type, since illness can make diabetes hard to control and diabetic people are more at risk of flu complications. If you are senior, do everything to avoid flu to avoid complications.

Myth 4: Losing a lot of weight can help in improving diabetes

Fact: A modest weight loss can improve blood pressure, blood fat levels, blood sugar and reduce diabetic complications. You doctor may have told you a number if time: “Lose your weight and do more exercise.” What is rarely told, however, is that while getting your weight to a healthy range is ideal, number of benefits can be achieved simply by losing 5-10% of your body weight. In simple words, you don’t need to lose a lot of weight to help diabetes.

Myth 5: People with diabetes can’t donate blood

Fact: People with diabetes can donate blood as long as the other medical requirements are met.
If a diabetic person is on oral medication or simply controlled by diet and not dependent on insulin, he is a good candidate to donate blood. But, there are a few parameters that should be kept in mind before donate blood. The person should be healthy and should not have donated blood for at least 56 days.

People suffering from high blood pressure or any other heart disease should consult their doctors before donating blood.

Myth 6: There is a ‘special diet’ for diabetic people

Fact: There is nothing called as a special diet for a diabetic person. The diet for a diabetic person is typically identical for a healthy diet for anyone. Such diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, wheat grains, lean meat and moderate amount of healthier fats found in olive or canola oil. And of course, a diabetic person can have sweets as well, as long as they include them in their meal plan cautiously.

With diabetes, you just need to keep a closer watch on things such as the type of carbohydrates, calories, protein and fats you eat. You can easily have food with your family and friends, if you eat in moderation.

Myth 7: People with diabetes can’t eat sweets or chocolates

Fact: Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too, just not all of it.

This myth related to sweets is decades old. Logically, it makes sense too. Sugary diet causes an increase in blood sugar levels. However, sweets or chocolates, if eaten in small portion, can be consumed in diabetes. In fact, everyone – people with diabetes or no diabetes – should avoid food with zero nutrition value and limit the consumption of total amount of calories. (Yes, most sweets are high in calories).

Save sweets for special occasions and focus more on healthy foods.

Myth 8: Diabetes is contagious

Fact: Diabetes is not contagious like cold or flu – you cannot catch it from another person. Diabetes isn’t caused by germs. So even if you get a blood transfusion from a diabetic, you will not get diabetes.

Diabetes develops inside the body in people who have genes for it. While the causes of Diabetes haven’t yet been pinpointed exactly by scientists, but they know it’s not contagious. Type 1 diabetes take months or years to develop.

Myth 9: If you have diabetes, alcohol is off-limits

Fact: It is often assumed that for diabetic people alcohol is off limits. Not so! If you keep an eye on what and how much you drink, it would help avoid such pitfalls of weight gain, low glucose level and high blood pressure.

Diabetic people can include alcohol in a responsible way – and take the right steps to be safe. Check your blood pressure before consuming alcohol and up to 24 hours to make sure it is at the safe level.

Regular drinking can interfere with diabetes self-care. Do not drink on an empty stomach, and calories do count. As Carolyn Brown, a nutritionist in New York says, “You’re drinking your dessert.”

Myth 10: Kids can outgrow diabetes

Fact: Diabetes can be managed efficiently but cannot be outgrown. In type 1 diabetes, the cells producing insulin are destroyed. Once destroyed, the will never make insulin again. Children with type 1 diabetes will always need insulin to survive (until treatment is found). This type of diabetes is a lifelong challenge for parents.

In many cases, kids with type 2 diabetes may see an improvement in stability after puberty and lifestyle changes, but they will always have the tendency toward having high blood sugar levels.