9 Nutrients Essential for Diabetic Patients to Include in Their Diet

 

Nutrition plays a crucial role in managing diabetes, and including certain nutrients in your diet can help control blood sugar levels and prevent complications. In this article, we will discuss 9 essential nutrients that diabetic patients should include in their diet to maintain optimal health.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and they are found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products. However, not all carbohydrates are equal, and it’s important for diabetic patients to choose complex carbohydrates over simple ones. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are broken down more slowly by the body, resulting in a gradual rise in blood sugar levels. On the other hand, simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, sugary drinks, and candy, are quickly broken down and can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar.

Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested by the body and can help lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates. Studies have shown that including more fiber in the diet can improve glucose control and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2020)

Protein

Protein is essential for building and repairing body tissues and can also help control blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates. Diabetic patients should choose lean protein sources, such as fish, chicken, turkey, and plant-based options, such as beans and lentils.

Iron

Iron is a mineral that is essential for the production of red blood cells and can help prevent anemia, a common complication of diabetes. Good sources of iron include red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and leafy green vegetables. (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2020)

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a vital role in bone health and can also help improve insulin sensitivity, which can be helpful for diabetic patients. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, eggs, and fortified foods. However, many people, including diabetic patients, may not get enough vitamin D from diet alone and may need to take a supplement. (American Diabetes Association, 2020)

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of healthy fat that can help lower inflammation and improve heart health, which is important for diabetic patients who are at an increased risk of heart disease. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, and plant-based options, such as flaxseed and chia seeds. (American Heart Association, 2020)

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in many bodily functions, including muscle and nerve function and blood sugar control. Studies have shown that low levels of magnesium are associated with an increased risk of diabetes and diabetic complications. Good sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts, and seeds. (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2020)

Chromium

Chromium is a mineral that helps the body use insulin more effectively, which can be beneficial for diabetic patients. Good sources of chromium include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2020)

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for nerve function and the production of red blood cells and can be found in animal-based foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs. Vegetarians and vegans, who may have a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, can also obtain it from fortified foods or supplements. (American Diabetes Association, 2020)

Conclusion

Including these 9 essential nutrients in your diet can help diabetic patients control blood sugar levels and prevent complications. By choosing complex carbohydrates, fiber, lean protein sources, iron, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, chromium and vitamin B12, diabetic patients can improve their overall health and well-being. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to create a personalized meal plan that fits your needs and goals.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that a healthy diet is an essential component of diabetes management. By including these 9 essential nutrients in your diet, diabetic patients can improve their glucose control and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

References

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2020). Fiber and diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fiber/

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2020). Type 2 diabetes: What is it? Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-type-2-diabetes

American Diabetes Association. (2020). Vitamin D and diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/vitamin-d

American Heart Association. (2020). Omega-3 fatty acids. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/omega-3-fatty-acids

Top 15 Carb-Counting Tips for Diabetic Meal Planning

Introduction

Managing diabetes can be challenging, especially when it comes to meal planning. One of the most important aspects of managing diabetes is keeping track of your carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is the primary source of energy for the body. However, for people with diabetes, it’s important to control the amount and timing of carbohydrate consumption to help maintain blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

Here are the top 15 carb-counting tips for diabetic meal planning to help you manage your diabetes and stay healthy.

  1. Understand the Role of Carbohydrates in Blood Sugar Control

It’s important to understand how carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is the primary source of energy for the body. However, when glucose enters the bloodstream too quickly, it can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. This is why it’s important to control the amount and timing of carbohydrate consumption.

  1. Know the Different Types of Carbohydrates

Not all carbohydrates are created equal. It’s important to understand the different types of carbohydrates and how they affect blood sugar levels. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar and white flour, are quickly broken down into glucose and can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and fruits, are broken down more slowly and can have a more moderate effect on blood sugar levels.

  1. Get Accurate Carbohydrate Information

It’s important to have accurate information about the carbohydrate content of the foods you’re eating. Food labels can be helpful, but they can also be misleading. The best way to get accurate information is to use a carbohydrate counting book or app.

  1. Measure and Weigh Your Food

Measuring and weighing your food can help you get an accurate idea of the carbohydrate content of your meals. A food scale and measuring cups and spoons are essential tools for carb counting.

  1. Learn to Estimate Portion Sizes

If you don’t have time to measure and weigh your food, you can still estimate portion sizes. For example, a serving of cooked pasta is about the size of a tennis ball. A serving of cooked rice is about the size of a small fist.

  1. Learn to Read Food Labels

Reading food labels can help you understand the carbohydrate content of the foods you’re eating. The label will list the total carbohydrate content, as well as the amount of sugar, fiber, and other important nutrients.

  1. Be Careful with Liquid Carbohydrates

Liquid carbohydrates, such as juice and soda, can be especially problematic for people with diabetes. They are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.

  1. Be Careful with “Sugar-Free” Foods

“Sugar-free” foods can be misleading. They may still contain carbohydrates and can still affect blood sugar levels. It’s important to read the label and be aware of the carbohydrate content of these foods.

  1. Don’t Forget about Fiber

Fiber is an important nutrient that can help control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can slow the absorption of carbohydrates and help keep blood sugar levels in check.

  1. Be Careful with “Fat-Free” Foods

Fat-free foods can be misleading. They may still contain carbohydrates and can still affect blood sugar levels. It’s important to read the label and be aware of the carbohydrate content of these foods.

  1. Use a Carbohydrate Counting App

There are many carbohydrate-counting apps available for smartphones and other mobile devices. These apps can be

extremely helpful for tracking your carbohydrate intake and managing your diabetes on the go. Some popular options include MyFitnessPal and Carb Manager.

  1. Plan Your Meals in Advance

Planning your meals in advance can help you stay on track with your carbohydrate goals. You can use a meal planning app or a simple spreadsheet to plan out your meals for the week. This can help you avoid last-minute decisions that may lead to unhealthy food choices.

  1. Be Flexible

It’s important to remember that managing diabetes is a lifelong process, and there will be times when things don’t go as planned. Be flexible and don’t beat yourself up if you slip up. Just get back on track as soon as possible.

  1. Eat Regularly

Eating regular meals and snacks can help keep blood sugar levels stable. Aim to eat something every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism steady.

  1. Work with a Dietitian

Working with a dietitian can be extremely helpful for managing diabetes through diet. A dietitian can help you create a meal plan that is tailored to your specific needs and can provide guidance and support along the way.

Conclusion

Managing diabetes through diet is an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring and adjustments. By following these top 15 carb-counting tips for diabetic meal planning, you can take control of your diabetes and lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Remember to be flexible, and consistent, and consult with your healthcare professional.

A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that people with diabetes who use carbohydrate counting as a meal-planning method have better blood sugar control, as well as improved quality of life.

In addition, a research article published in “Current Diabetes Reports” found that carbohydrate counting and flexible insulin dosing are effective for achieving good blood glucose control in patients with type 1 diabetes.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional and a registered dietitian to create a personalized meal plan that is tailored to your specific needs.

7 Diabetes-Friendly Meal Ideas for Busy People

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels and can lead to serious health complications if not managed properly. One of the key components of managing diabetes is maintaining a healthy diet. However, for busy individuals, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to prepare nutritious, diabetes-friendly meals. In this article, we will share 7 diabetes-friendly meal ideas for busy people.

  1. Oatmeal with Berries and Nuts

Oatmeal is a great option for breakfast as it is high in fiber and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Adding a handful of berries and a sprinkle of nuts provides additional nutrients and flavor. Berries are low in sugar and high in antioxidants, while nuts provide healthy fats and protein. According to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care, eating oatmeal for breakfast can help to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.

  1. Turkey and Vegetable Wrap

Wraps are a quick and easy option for lunch or dinner. They can be filled with a variety of ingredients, making them versatile and customizable. For a diabetes-friendly option, fill a wrap with sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and avocado. Turkey is a lean protein that will help to keep you feeling full, while the vegetables provide important nutrients and fiber. Adding avocado will provide healthy fats. According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating a diet high in fiber can help to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

  1. Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Salads are a great option for a diabetes-friendly meal as they are high in fiber and nutrients. Quinoa is a great grain option as it is high in protein and has a low glycemic index. When combined with black beans, it makes a complete protein. Add a variety of veggies such as bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and some avocado to add healthy fats. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that following a vegetarian diet can be beneficial for people with diabetes.

  1. Grilled Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Grilled chicken is a great option for dinner as it is a lean protein that is easy to prepare. Roasting vegetables is a simple way to add flavor and nutrients to your meal. Try roasting bell peppers, zucchinis, eggplant, and tomatoes. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, consuming a diet that is high in protein can help to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

  1. Lentil Soup

Soup is a great option for a diabetes-friendly meal as it is easy to prepare and can be made in large batches. Lentil soup is a great option as lentils are a great source of fiber and protein. You can add vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onions to the soup to increase the nutrient content. A study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research found that consuming a diet that is high in fiber can help to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

  1. Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is a quick and easy option for lunch or dinner. Tuna is a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have benefits for heart health. You can make a simple tuna salad by mixing canned tuna, chopped celery, and mayonnaise. Serve it on top of a bed of lettuce or with whole wheat crackers. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that consuming a diet that is high in omega-3 fatty acids can help to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

  1. Greek Yogurt with Berries and Honey

Greek yogurt is a great option for a diabetes-friendly snack or dessert. It is high in protein and low in sugar, making it a great option for people with diabetes. Adding berries and a drizzle of honey provides added flavor and nutrients. Berries are low in sugar and high in antioxidants, while honey is a natural sweetener that has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that consuming a diet that is high in protein can help to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

Conclusion

Managing diabetes can be challenging, especially for busy individuals who may not have the time or energy to prepare healthy meals. However, by incorporating these 7 diabetes-friendly meal ideas into your diet, you can ensure that you are getting the nutrients you need to manage your blood sugar levels. These meals are easy to prepare, nutritious, and delicious. The studies that have been quoted in the article support the idea that meals that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, and low in sugar can help to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider and registered dietitian to tailor a meal plan that is right for you.

5 Diabetes-Busting Foods for Better Blood Sugar Control

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels, which can lead to serious complications if not properly managed. One of the most important ways to manage diabetes is through a healthy diet. Eating the right foods can help to keep blood sugar levels in check and prevent complications. Here are 5 diabetes-busting foods for better blood sugar control.

 

  1. Fiber-rich foods: Fiber-rich foods like leafy greens, berries, whole grains, and legumes can help to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and improve blood sugar control. They are also high in nutrients and can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied, which can help to prevent overeating and weight gain.
  2. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a spice that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can also help to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Consuming 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon per day can be beneficial for diabetes management.
  3. Vinegar: Vinegar, particularly apple cider vinegar, has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. It can also help to reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Consuming 2 tablespoons of vinegar per day can be beneficial.
  4. Fatty fish: Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to improve insulin sensitivity and lower inflammation. They are also a great source of lean protein. Eating fatty fish at least twice a week can be beneficial.
  5. Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice that is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Consuming 1 to 2 grams of turmeric per day can be beneficial.

It is important to note that incorporating these foods alone is not enough to manage diabetes. A balanced diet and regular exercise are important factors in managing diabetes. It is also important to consult with a healthcare provider or dietitian for personalized advice and recommendations.

 

10 Diabetes-Friendly Foods You’ll Love

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Managing diabetes requires making healthy food choices to maintain proper blood sugar levels. However, this doesn’t mean you have to give up delicious and satisfying foods. There are many diabetes-friendly foods that can be included in your diet to help manage your condition. Here are 10 diabetes-friendly foods you’ll love.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

  1. Leafy greens: Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce are low in calories and carbohydrates and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also have a low glycemic index, which means they won’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
  2. Berries: Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are high in fiber and antioxidants, making them a great choice for diabetes management. They are also relatively low in carbohydrates and have a low glycemic index.
  3. Fish: Fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity and lower inflammation in people with diabetes. They are also a great source of lean protein.
  4. Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied, which can help to prevent overeating and weight gain.
  5. Whole grains: Whole grains like quinoa, bulgur, and barley are high in fiber and nutrients and have a lower glycemic index than refined grains. They can help to improve insulin sensitivity and lower cholesterol levels.
  6. Legumes: Legumes like lentils, beans, and peas are high in fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates. They have a low glycemic index and can help to improve blood sugar control.
  7. Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats. They have a low glycemic index and can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  8. Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium. It also has less carbohydrates than regular yogurt, making it a good choice for diabetes management.
  9. Avocados: Avocados are high in healthy fats and fiber, which can help to improve insulin sensitivity and lower cholesterol levels. They also have a low glycemic index.
  10. Olive oil: Olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help to improve insulin sensitivity and lower inflammation. It’s also a heart-healthy oil.

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By including these diabetes-friendly foods in your diet, you can enjoy delicious and satisfying meals while managing your blood sugar levels. Remember to also consult your healthcare provider or dietitian for personalized advice and recommendations.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

15 Foods you can Binge without Weight Gain

Source:Unsplash 

In theory, dieting seems like a piece of cake. When you actually get down to business though, it’s a very grueling process, full of struggles and suppressed temptations. It’s so bad that you may even cry just looking at a plate of brownies. But we often go about doing it wrong – eat all the wrong things or eat nothing at all, which completely botches all our plans of having a perfect bikini body, or just a toned one.

Being on a diet means eating selectively and being very careful about the nutritional value of your food. Here’s a list of foods to binge on while you’re trying to shed off that fat.

1. Almonds

Packed full of Vitamin E, protein and fiber, they not only boost your skin, but also keep you from feeling hungry for long periods of time. Try swapping them for your usual mid-morning snack and see how they work wonders!

2. Potatoes

Surprising, right ? But they’re not just popular for their taste. They have a little bit of almost everything we need, so they help in maintaining a top-notch health as well.

If you boil potatoes and then allow them to cool for a while, they will form large amounts of resistant starch, a fiber-like substance that will keep you satiated and hence, prevent you from eating other foods, thus helping you lose weight. 

Source:Eye Swoon 

3. Leafy Greens

They’re the quickest way to flush out water retention and flatten a stubborn stomach. They have various vitamins, minerals, a high content of fiber and low amount of calories – basically, they’re the perfect mixture. Include them in your meals and wait for them to work their magic!

Source:Colour Box 

4. Avocados

Fats aren’t your enemy, as long as they’re the right kind. Oleic acid is a compound in the fats present in an avocado that helps in suppressing hunger for long periods of time. Eat a quarter or half of this creamy fruit each morning and say goodbye to the loose belly fat.

Source:Fly Wheel 

5. Olive Oil

That’s right! Oil is on the list too. Replace your mustard oil and ghee with olive oil which also contains Oleic acid and prevents hunger as well as aids the breaking down of fats.

Source:West Elm’s Blog 

6. Dark Chocolate

For those of you with a sweet tooth and an insatiable craving for desserts, pick a square or two of this. It contains way less fat than most deserts and calms down your hunger after it as well, even for long periods of time.

 

7. Eggs and Sausage

This just keeps getting better. Eggs and sausages, an extremely protein rich meal for breakfast makes you feel fuller right away, no matter how big your appetite is. This has a long-term effect and it is scientifically proven that you automatically consume less calories for the rest of the day.

Source:Gourmet Girl Cooks 

8. Beans

They may be little, but each of these come with a bunch of nutrients especially proteins and fiber. The best part is that they remain low in calories and full of slow-release energy. This, in simple terms, means that your muscles will get toned and you’ll not feel hungry for long periods of time.

Source:WordPress 

9. Peppermint

It’s known for its effective healing properties, but it is also very efficient for digestion. It’s very popular and easily available in tea form for consumption, preferably organic. Three cups a day, after every meal, will keep the weighing scale and your stomach very happy.

Source:500 px 

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

This digestive tonic kills harmful bacteria in the intestines, flushes out toxins and relieves water retention from the stomach. A few spoon-fulls everyday will help detoxifying the body daily. It can also be used as a salad dressing or to cook with vegetables.

Source:Get It Durban 

11. Apples and Pears

A very cheap but nonetheless, fruitful solution to your problem. Firstly, for juice consumers, eating the fruit itself is more beneficial because the chewing motion of our teeth makes the brain comprehend it as substantial eating and the high fiber content keeps us full. They’re also jam packed with antioxidants – it’s a win win situation.

Source:Wallpaperzi 

12. Cranberry Juice

An excellent antioxidant topped with high amounts of Vitamin C, it rids the body of excess fluids through excretion. Have a glass in the morning before starting your day for best results!

Source:WordPress 

13. Lemon

Along with being a great taste enhancer, it also has high amounts of Pectin fiber which will surely help you ward off hunger. They also raise the intestine’s pH levels, thus aiding digestion and weight loss.

Source:Interior Design Files 

14. Fish

Again, it is an extremely protein rich food but also very satiating. Many types of white fish are extremely lean, and fattier varieties such as salmon pack healthy omega-3 fats, but all prove to be extremely beneficial.

Source:Unsplash 

15. Tomatoes

The list of recipes to try with tomatoes is endless really. It’s not looking too bad right now. They’re full of antioxidants, reduce inflammation and water retention and reverse our body’s Leptin (a protein that helps us to regulate our metabolic rate and apetite) resistance! Honestly, miracle workers.

 

 

Can people with diabetes eat Cheese?

Mozzarella

 

People with diabetes can safely eat cheese as part of a balanced, healthful diet.

As with other foods, moderation is key, and so a diet that includes too much cheese would be harmful to people with or without diabetes.

A person with diabetes can consider the following when selecting a cheese to include in a diabetes-friendly diet.

Calories

Cheese is very high in calories and fat. Though calorie content varies between varieties of cheese, people with diabetes should avoid overindulging.

Type 2 diabetes has strong links to obesity and losing even a few pounds can reduce the risk of diabetes. More than 87 percent of people with diabetes are medically overweight or obese.

Several steps can help people with diabetes eat cheese and minimize weight gain, including:

  • Stick to small servings of cheese.
  • Choose lower-calorie varieties.
  • Use cheese for flavor rather than as the main ingredient of a meal.

Saturated fat

Cheese is high in saturated fat when compared with many other foods. In small quantities, saturated fat is harmless and can be beneficial to the body. However, too much can cause weight gain, high cholesterol, gallbladder problems, and heart disease.

The American Heart Association recommends a diet that contains no more than 5–6 percent saturated fat, meaning that in a 2,000-calorie daily diet, no more than 120 calories or 13 grams (g) should come from saturated fats.

Other experts advise no more than 10 percent of daily calorie intake of saturated fat, which raises the amount of cheese a person can consume.

People with diabetes can meet these goals by sticking to a diet that contains no more than one serving of cheese per day.

The connection between saturated fat intake and heart disease is not as clear as it once seemed. An analysis of previous research found insufficient evidence linking saturated fats and heart disease.

With that said, being mindful of overall intake is still a sensible position to take, particularly from red meat, bacon, sausage, full-fat dairy products, and other high-fat foods.

As people with diabetes already face a higher risk of heart disease than others, they may want to continue reducing their saturated fat intake until research provides clearer guidelines.

The emphasis for people with diabetes should be to follow a largely plant-based diet that is rich in unsaturated fats.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

Sodium

People with diabetes should keep their salt (sodium) intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day or less. Salt can elevate blood pressure, causing or worsening diabetes-related cardiovascular concerns.

Cheese is often high in salt, particularly processed cheeses. A 2018 study, for example, found a mean salt content of 863 mg per 100 g of processed cheese.

The study found that fresh cheese had a mean salt content of 498 mg per 100g. To minimize sodium content, people can choose fresh cheese over processed goods.

Will cheese affect blood sugar levels?

Cheese has a low glycemic index (GI), meaning that it releases glucose slowly and will not trigger significant blood glucose spikes. People often consume cheese alongside other foods, however, and some of these may spike blood glucose.

People often include sources of carbohydrates, such as crackers, fruit, or honey on a cheese plater. These will directly affect blood sugar, but pairing them with an appropriate portion of cheese can prolong feelings of fullness and satisfaction.

People with diabetes must also be mindful of the portion sizes of the foods they eat, along with the cheese itself, to manage their saturated fat and sugar intake.

Best and worst cheeses

People with diabetes should avoid processed cheeses, including single-slice packaged cheeses and cheese sprays. These cheeses are very high in salt and might also contain other, potentially risky ingredients for people with diabetes.

Other high-salt cheeses include:

  • feta
  • imported blue
  • Edam
  • halloumi

Lower-sodium varieties of cheese include:

  • low-sodium cottage cheese
  • Wensleydale
  • Emmental
  • mozzarella
  • cream cheese

Most cheeses contain similar quantities of saturated fat, but some contain more. American and Monterey Jack have slightly more saturated fat than many others, while provolone and mozzarella are slightly lower.

As well as looking at the salt and saturated fat content, people with diabetes may want to check out the overall nutritional value. Cheeses that are high in protein, calcium, or other minerals are particularly healthful.

People with diabetes may wish to consider the following:

  • An ounce of provolone offers a full daily value of calcium.
  • Neufchatel tastes similar to cream cheese but with a third of the fat content.
  • Parmesan is higher in protein than some other cheeses, with 8 g per serving, but with a slightly lower calorie content.
  • Fermented cheeses, such as some cottage cheeses, ricotta cheese, feta, Gouda, and Cheddar, provide probiotics.

Probiotics are healthful bacteria that have links to improving well-being and might reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, fight the yeast infections that people with diabetes are prone to, and improve gut health.

Low-salt varieties of cheese are the most healthful choice that people can make.

Benefits

Some research suggests that people with diabetes may actually benefit from cheese.

A 2019 study, although done on rats, looked at the impact of low- and regular-fat cheeses and found that they improved insulin sensitivity according to one measurement. This improvement reduced the risk of diabetes without affecting insulin production or body weight.

Cheese is also high in protein. A single slice or 1 oz of Cheddar cheese contains about 7 g of protein. Protein can help people feel fuller for longer, reducing the temptation to binge on unhealthful foods or eat too many sugary carbohydrates.

Cheese is an excellent source of protein for people who have a vegetarian diet and have diabetes.

How Obesity Is Related to Diabetes

You’ve probably heard of diabetes. And obesity. But what the heck is diabesity? It’s a new medical term for a condition that’s becoming a worldwide epidemic. And if you have it, losing weight is not just about looking better in your clothes. It could cure the condition. Endocrinologist Jay Waddadar, MD, explains.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

What is diabesity?

Diabesity isn’t an official diagnosis. It means you have both obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Together, these closely related conditions greatly increase your risk of heart disease — the leading cause of death in the country.

“Diabesity is a disease with enormous potential to cause ill effects on the body in the long run,” says Dr. Waddadar. “Some people don’t understand the importance of taking the steps to manage it because they’re feeling well at the time of diagnosis. But that’s a big mistake. Diabesity is a silent disease that damages your body if it’s not controlled, even while you feel fine.”

The good news: You can prevent, control and even reverse it. Dr. Waddadar shares more about how obesity causes and worsens diabetes. And why losing weight holds the key to possibly making it all go away.

How diabetes is related to obesity

Having obesity makes you more likely to develop diabetes, the condition of having too much glucose (sugar) circulating in your bloodstream. Obesity also causes diabetes to worsen faster.

Here’s what happens: Managing the level of glucose in your blood is the job of the pancreas. The pancreas creates insulin, which is a hormone that moves glucose out of your blood. Normally, insulin transports glucose to your muscles to use right away for energy or to the liver, where it’s stored for later.

But when you have diabesity, your cells resist letting insulin move glucose into them. To make matters worse, the area of your liver where excess glucose is usually stored is filled with fat. “It’s like trying to put food in a fridge that’s already packed. There’s no space for anything else,” Dr. Waddadar explains.

With nowhere to be stored, the glucose remains in the bloodstream. “So your pancreas creates even more insulin trying to accomplish the job of moving glucose out of the blood,” says Dr. Waddadar. “It’s trying to push against the resistance created by the fat. Your pancreas becomes overworked, and as a result, it wears out. It starts producing less insulin. Diabetes develops and then quickly worsens if the fat resistance remains.”

 

Does everyone with obesity develop diabesity?

If you have obesity, you’re about six times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those at a healthy weight. But not everyone with obesity automatically gets diabetes. Other factors are likely at play, too, including:

  • Family history.
  • Diet.
  • Exercise.
  • Stress.
  • Gut health.

It may be that some people with obesity can produce more insulin without overtaxing the pancreas, says Dr. Waddadar. Others might be limited in insulin production, making it more likely that obesity will lead to diabesity.

Effects of weight loss on diabesity

Since excess fat worsens diabetes, losing weight can greatly improve the condition. “When you have diabesity, you may start with one medication to get the pancreas to produce enough insulin. But very soon and much earlier, you need two or more anti-diabetic medicines. But if you lose weight, you may do fine with just one medication or even go off medication entirely,” explains Dr. Waddadar.

Losing as little as 5% to 10% of your overall body weight can greatly improve Type 2 diabetes. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, 5% of that is 10 pounds. So bringing your weight down to 190 pounds can significantly help your health. “The first treatment goal for diabesity is to get to and maintain a healthy weight along with eating a low-carb diet,” Dr. Waddadar says.

Changing your diet and increasing exercise to lose weight can be challenging. But the hard work is worth it to avoid serious complications of uncontrolled diabetes like heart disease, kidney failure, and nerve damage.

Ready to take the first step toward better health? Ask your doctor for resources and guidance to help you kick diabesity to the curb.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

Does Red Meat Raise Blood Sugars?

Recently I have heard more and more people use the phrase “I don’t eat red meat because it is bad for my blood sugars.” As red meat- along with any other cuts of meat- is a food made up of only fat and protein, eating red meat will have no immediate effect on your blood sugar.

Which nutrients increase blood sugar levels?

Foods can be broken up into three macro-nutrient categories: carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Blood sugars increase when we consume:

Carbohydrates

Foods high in carbohydrates include fruits, rice, beans, pasta, bread, milk, and starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, and winter squash. As these foods are digested into their basic components- glucose is released into the bloodstream. This glucose is what causes blood sugars to rise after eating food containing carbohydrates.

Proteins

High protein foods, however, do not have glucose as part of their elemental structure, instead they break down into amino acids. Amino acids aid in building muscle and repairing cells in your body.

Fats

Fats can be either saturated or unsaturated fats and fuel cells providing a required source of energy for our brains for survival.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

Red meat’s effect on blood sugar levels

Foods are often a combination of these three macronutrients. Take red meat for example. Beef contains both protein and fat, but no carbohydrates. Where then does the misconception that red meat hurts blood sugars come from?

Red meat is typically high in fats, especially saturated fatty acids. Foods containing fat are higher in calories which may lead to poor weight control if eaten in excess. As mentioned before, fats are essential for brain and cell health, but the American Diabetes Association recommends limiting fats to less than 30% of total calorie consumption with saturated fats making up less than 10% calorie consumption.

The impact of saturated fats on the body

Saturated fatty acids are the types of fat that stay solid at room temperature like butter, lard, and other animal fats. Eating a high amount of saturated fats in your diet can lead to internal inflammation which contributes to insulin resistance. As weight control and insulin resistance both play a large role in the development of type 2 diabetes, it is no wonder people may think that red meat may poorly affect blood sugars.

If eaten in large amounts over an extended period of time, any food high in saturated fats may contribute to worsening symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Current dietary recommendations suggest limiting red meats to 1-2 times per week.

A balanced diet for blood sugar management

The key takeaway is red meat will not directly raise your blood sugars as it is a source of protein and fats. Including carbohydrates, fats and protein are essential for our bodies to function properly. Limiting saturated fat intake to less than 10% of total calorie consumption will help overall health, weight control, and decrease inflammation in our bodies which plays a role in insulin resistance. If you do choose to include red meat into your diet, choose leaner cuts of meat such as reduced-fat ground beef, or trim some of the fat off of cuts of steak before cooking.

Can People With Diabetes Have Dessert?

When it comes to managing diabetes and keeping your blood sugar in check, enjoying dessert may seem impossible. But it doesn’t have to be! With just a little planning ahead, you can still keep dessert on the menu.

You’ve heard the saying, “Life’s too short. Eat dessert first,” and with so many decadent and indulgent options, it can be tempting. Many people enjoy dessert, but living with diabetes can make indulging in your favorite treat a little more complicated.

If you have diabetes, too many carbohydrates (like those found in some of our favorite desserts) can spike your blood sugar and increase your risk of developing diabetes complications. But where’s the fun in eating if we can’t have the foods we enjoy? Many people believe that desserts are off limits if you’re living with diabetes. But that’s simply not true. With a few considerations, people with diabetes can absolutely have dessert.

If You Eat It, You Might Spike

Imagine your typical dessert. How does it look? Smell? There are a few things you might envision—something warm and gooey that smells delicious, is freshly baked or cold and creamy. Regardless of your preference, one thing most desserts have in common is their high carbohydrate content. The combination of flour, sugar, and dairy found in most high-carb desserts can contribute to blood sugar spikes, making diabetes harder to manage.

For example, a single serving of strawberry cheesecake may contain more than 30 grams of carbohydrates. Eating too many carbs in one sitting can cause blood sugar spikes, but what if you could avoid a spike altogether?

Good news! If you’re looking to enjoy your favorite dessert AND stay on top of your diabetes management, read on. These diabetes-friendly tips can help.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

Count Carbs…Easy as 1-2-3

Carb counting allows you to keep track of the amount of carbs you consume throughout the day in your meals and drinks. This can help you better plan for your dessert and manage the number of carbs you’ll take in as part of your dessert or other meals.

If you take insulin before your meals, carb counting will help you determine the amount of insulin you should administer. By carb counting, you can keep track of the carbs in your desserts and adjust the rest of your carbohydrate intake accordingly. Let’s say you have that slice of the cheesecake we mentioned earlier at lunch. You could try to limit your other lunchtime carbs to allow for your dessert, and carb counting helps you do so. You could also eat a smaller portion of your dessert to cut carbs and calories.

Try to eat balanced meals that include nonstarchy vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. With the right planning, desserts can be added to this meal pattern. Having dessert with or right after a meal can help you eat a smaller amount without feeling deprived.

Choose Lower-Carb Options

Not all desserts are created equal, especially when it comes to their carbohydrate content. Aside from carb counting, you could also choose lower-carb desserts. For example, this delicious strawberry-lemon cheesecake has only 17 grams of carbohydrates. Choosing a lower-carb option allows you to literally have your cake and eat it too AND keep your diabetes management plan intact. You may also be able to use less insulin and lower your chances of spiking your blood sugar.

Make It Yourself

The only way to fully control what’s in your dessert is to make it yourself. There are a couple of tips and tricks you can use to cut down on the amount of sugar and carbs in your favorite treat.

  1. Use low-calorie or no-calorie sweeteners. Low-calorie and no-calorie sweeteners don’t typically contain sugar or carbohydrates. These sweeteners can be made from aspartame, saccharin, stevia, and sucralose to name a few. They provide a sweet flavor like sugar, and often a little goes a long way. If a dessert recipe calls for one cup of sugar, try substituting it with a low- or no-calorie sweetener instead. Doing so will help you get the sweet flavor you crave, minus the blood sugar spike. Just be sure to pay close attention to the sweetener’s packaging. Some sugar substitutes are much sweeter than sugar. The packaging frequently tells you how much to use in place of sugar.
  2. Use naturally occurring sweeteners. Some foods are naturally sweet and can be used to sweeten desserts. Take applesauce, for example. Try substituting the sugar in some recipes with applesauce for a “not too sweet,” more nutritious option.

Enjoy Responsibly

If you are living with diabetes, counting carbs, choosing lower-carb options, and making desserts at home can help you satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range. Moderation is key. When possible, choose whole, healthy foods and naturally occurring treats, like fresh berries and other fruits. It’s also important to note that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for all people. These tips should not replace your health care provider’s recommendations. Continue to take your diabetes medications and use insulin as directed. Taking your medications and following your meal plan can help you avoid diabetes complications and stay healthy—the sweetest deal of all.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes