Control Blood Sugar To Avoid Diabetes
Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is essential if you want to reverse or avoid diabetes. But diabetes and heart disease are so closely related that you need to take both of these diseases into consideration.
Diabetics have a 400% higher risk for heart attack or stroke. And cardiovascular disease hits earlier in life and is more likely to end in death for a diabetic.
Many people with diabetes and prediabetes take medications that control their blood sugar levels, but dont change their diet and lifestyle to both control blood sugar naturally AND prevent heart disease.
Yet high blood pressure contributes to many diabetes complications and 80% of diabetics die from circulation problems like heart failure.
This is why making natural healthy lifestyle changes are so important.
What To Eat To Better Regulate Your Blood Sugar
Dr. Danielle Weiss is the founder of the Center for Hormonal Health and Well-Being, a personalized, proactive, patient-centered medical practice with a unique focus on integrative endocrinology. She enjoys giving lectures and writing articles for both the lay public and medical audiences.
While high blood sugar is the characteristic symptom of diabetes, your blood sugar can also be high even if you dont have the condition. To avoid making high blood sugar worse, it is important to make good dietary choices and choose foods that can help you regulate your blood sugar.
Verywell / Danie Drankwalter
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Jillian Kubala is a Registered Dietitian based in Westhampton, NY. Jillian holds a masters degree in nutrition from Stony Brook University School of Medicine as well as an undergraduate degree in nutrition science. Aside from writing for Healthline Nutrition, she runs a private practice based on the east end of Long Island, NY, where she helps her clients achieve optimal wellness through nutritional and lifestyle changes. Jillian practices what she preaches, spending her free time tending to her small farm that includes vegetable and flower gardens and a flock of chickens. Reach out to her through her website or on .
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Can I Drink Diet Soda With Type 2 Diabetes
There are better choices. Although these beverages dont provide calories, consuming sweet-tasting foods and drinks may lead you to crave additional sweet items , even if theyre not sweetened with sugar. And diet soda provides no nutritional value. Better to drink water, tea, coffee, or milk, or have a small amount of fruit juice .
How May A Fiber
Fiber helps slow digestion, keeping you feeling full longer, which can aid in weight loss or prevent weight gain. And it helps slow the absorption of sugars in your bloodstream, which can help keep your blood sugar steady and prevent spikes. Some high-fiber foods include dried beans, fruits, lentils, nuts, peas, seeds, vegetables, and whole grains. Aim for 25 to 35 grams of dietary fiber a day.
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Eat Foods With A Low To Medium Gi Score
Look for foods with a low to medium glycemic index score. These are foods that your body absorbs slowly and decrease spikes in blood sugar. Some people pair low and high GI foods in order to balance their blood sugar. Another way to think about foods that lower blood glucose are ones that do not provide fast energy but give you more energy over a longer period of time. Foods with a low glycemic index have many health benefits besides their effects on blood sugar, so eating a diet high in protein, fatty acids, and fiber will benefit your whole family, not just those actively trying to achieve glycemic control.
Anaerobic Exercise Or High Intensity Interval Training
Anaerobic exercise and a high intensity interval training session can be initiated with a lower starting blood glucose because glucose concentrations tend to remain relatively stable and fall to a lesser extent than with continuous aerobic exercise, or they may rise slightly.
Blood glucose targets should always be individualized for your own needs. Check with your diabetes healthcare team before you start a new exercise program to determine your appropriate blood glucose targets.
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What Else Do I Need To Know About Diabetic Diets
If you have diabetes, it’s important to eat the right amount of food every day. Your eating plan will include how much to eat, so that you get the right amount of carbs in each meal or snack. You’ll learn how to count carbs and measure your food.
Eating at the right times is also important. You will want to plan for regular, balanced meals to avoid high or low blood sugar levels. Eating about the same amount of carbs at each meal can be helpful.
Your eating plan will also teach you how to stick with your plan at home and when you eat out.
Eating healthy to control your blood sugar does take some effort. But the reward is a chance to live your healthiest life with diabetes.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
What Can I Eat To Keep My Blood Sugar And Cholesterol Low
Cutting out refined carbs and eating whole foods can help you lower these markers at the same time.
Q: My blood test shows prediabetes and a cholesterol score of 208 mg/dl . Im finding it difficult to know what to eat because the recommended diets for these conditions seem contrary. For example, fruit is said to be acceptable on a low-cholesterol diet but not on a low-blood-sugar one, while meat is the opposite. How can I balance this out?
Many people who have high blood sugar also have high cholesterol levels. However, both can be managed with a healthy diet. Whats more, for some, its possible to reverse prediabetes through diet and lifestyle changes .
Its common to see misinformation about what foods are bad for certain conditions, including high cholesterol, prediabetes, and diabetes. Nevertheless, the overall quality of your diet is most important.
The three macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, and fats have different impacts on both blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
For example, sources of carbs like bread, pasta, and fruit affect blood sugar more than sources of protein or fat. On the other hand, cholesterol-containing fat sources, such as dairy and meat, have a greater effect on cholesterol than on blood sugar.
Get Your Minerals And Vitamins From Foods
Theres no evidence that mineral and vitamin supplements help you manage your diabetes. So, unless youve been told to take something by your healthcare team, like folic acid for pregnancy, you dont need to take supplements.
Its better to get your essential nutrients by eating a mixture of different foods. This is because some supplements can affect your medications or make some diabetes complications worse, like kidney disease.
Carbs That Keep Blood Sugar Steady
Our wide variety of food products contain different levels and types of carbohydrates, making it harder to eat wisely with diabetes. In general, you will want to choose carbs that have the least impact on your blood sugar. That means selecting items that are high in fiber and low in sugar since these are absorbed more slowly and so have little impact on blood sugar changes. Think whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products without added sugar.
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Avoid Eating Large Meals
One way to keep carbs under control is by eating in moderation. I always tell my patients to spread their food out over the day, Weisenberger says. Dont eat small meals to save up for a big dinner. Feeding your body throughout the day helps regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents highs and lows, Crandall Snyder says.
Both Weisenberger and Crandall Snyder say to keep an eye on carbs, even while snacking. Classically, less than 15 g of carbs per snack is a good standard approach, Crandall Snyder says. Thats about whats found in 1 cup of fruit, she says.
Can I Follow A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet With Type 2 Diabetes
Yes, definitely, and in fact plant-based diets can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes by providing lots of dietary fiber . Vegetarian and vegan are not necessarily synonymous with nutritious you could eat a vegetarian or vegan diet filled with highly processed junk, like chips and candy. So make sure your plant-based plan contains plenty of healthy items like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds and is relatively low in added sugar and processed fare.
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Key Components Of A Type 2 Diabetes Diet
Contrary to popular belief, a type 2 diabetes meal plan is not necessarily a low-carb diet, nor should it be a high-protein or very low-fat meal plan. In fact, the ADA recommends less emphasis on specific requirements for proteins, carbs, and fats, and more emphasis on eating a high-quality diet based around whole, unprocessed foods. The key components of a type 2 diabetes meal plan are:
Type 2 Diabetes Diet Sample Menus
Now that you know what foods are better if you have diabetes, putting the right foods on your plate is a matter of portions. The key to a balanced diet is planning meals using the diabetes plate methoddivide the plate into quarters: ¼ protein or meat, ¼ carbs, and ½ vegetable and fruit. If you want to lose weight, use 9-inch dinner plates and bowls so you arent piling the food on to a large dinner plate.
For example, fill half the plate with non-starchy veggies such as salad greens or steamed broccoli, and fill the remaining half of the plate with equal portions of a grain or starchy vegetable like mashed sweet potato and a heart-healthy protein such as broiled salmon.
Here are some sample dinner menus to give you an idea of reasonable portion sizes that make up a healthy meal for someone with diabetes . These menus will also give you an idea of the variety of delicious and balanced meals that can fit into a diabetes meal plan. In addition, the infographic above features a weeks worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas consistent with a diabetes diet plan.
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Grapes Blueberries And Apples
One of the biggest myths that still exists about blood sugar management, is that people looking to balance blood sugar shouldnt eat fruit. But, the truth is we have so much data to show that a diet that includes fruit is not only protective against developing pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, but it can also help manage existing diabetes. Specifically, research has shown higher consumption of grapes, blueberries, and/or apples is associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes And The Keto Diet
There has been considerable interest in using the high-fat, very-low-carb ketogenic diet to control diabetes, including type 1 diabetes. Normally, our bodies get energy from sugar, which comes from carbohydrate-rich foods. By restricting carbs and loading up on fat, the keto diet makes your body rely on ketones, which your liver produces from stored fat.
The subject is still a controversial one. One very small study found that adults with type 1 diabetes who followed a keto diet had well-controlled blood-sugar levels, but that the diet may have increased cholesterol levels as well as episodes of low blood sugar, which can be serious. Experts still don’t know much about how the keto diet affects our bodies, so don’t make any major changes in your eating without consulting a specialist.
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Eat More Fruit And Veg
We know eating fruit and veg is good for you. Its always a good thing aim to eat more at meal times and have them as snacks if youre hungry. This can help you get the vitamins, minerals and fibre your body needs every day to help keep you healthy.
You might be wondering about fruit and if you should avoid it because its sugary? The answer is no. Whole fruit is good for everyone and if you have diabetes, its no different. Fruits do contain sugar, but its natural sugar. This is different to the added sugar that are in things like chocolate, biscuits and cakes.
Products like fruit juices also count as added sugar, so go for whole fruit instead. This can be fresh, frozen, dried or tinned . And its best to eat it throughout the day instead of one bigger portion in one go.
Dont Rely On Supplements Or Vitamins
Theres no shortcut to maintaining good blood sugars. A supplement or vitamin alone will not give you healthy blood sugar levels and they can interact negatively with other medications. Speak to your healthcare provider and perhaps ask for a referral for a dietitian who specializes in blood sugar control before incorporating dietary supplements, shakes, or vitamins to achieve blood sugar control.
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What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels
- Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
- Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
- Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
- Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
- Drink water instead of juice or soda.
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
- For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
- Control your food portions .
Best Foods For Diabetics
Diabetes is when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Its carbohydrate foods, like bread, cereals, rice, pasta, fruits, milk, and desserts that can cause this rise. Your eating plan should focus on the amount and type of carbs you put on your plate throughout the day. But its also important to have foods you enjoy. You want to eat enough so you feel satisfied. Thats why its important to know the best foods for diabetics. Here are the 25 best foods for diabetics that can keep your blood sugar in check, and make you healthy as well.
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What Blood Glucose Range Should You Target When You Exercise
People with type 1 diabetes, or those with type 2 diabetes using insulin, should be aware of their starting blood glucose concentrations, and should also have blood glucose monitoring equipment and snacks if needed to treat hypoglycemia. It is also a good idea to wear or carry some form of diabetes identification.
Blood glucose monitoring before, during, and after exercise is essential for everyone living with diabetes to help make adjustments and maintain stable and safe blood glucose levels.
Keep An Eye On Your Carb Intake
Paying attention to carbohydrates is important for people with type 2 diabetes. Carbs are what cause your blood sugars to potentially fluctuate, Crandall Snyder says.
How many carbs per meal is ideal? Its tailored to each individual, says Weisenberger. How much you exercise, your weight, and your age can all affect how long sugars stay in your system, according to the CDC. A typical starting point for people with diabetes is to limit carb intake to 200 to 245 grams per day, which amounts to about one-half of your daily calories coming from carbs, according to the CDC. From there, make adjustments according to your blood glucose readings or as recommended by a dietitian, Crandall Snyder says.
And keep in mind that carbs arent only found in the usual culprits, like bread, potatoes, and pasta. They are also in fruits, vegetables, sweets, and dairy, so you have to take all of those into consideration as well, Crandall Snyder says.
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What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Stomach pain.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.