When it comes to diabetes, vigilance can sometimes eliminate the need of insulin as well as help you control your diabetes. Most people with type II diabetes, are not made aware of the severity of this diagnosis, are not given […]
I know first thing in the a.m is not the best time to have to make smart decisions, however, it IS the most important time. I have just had fits trying to find the most satisfying, yet healthy breakfast foods as lately, I am trying to seriously cut back on grains and whole wheat, so I started reverting back to a snack I learned from a physical therapist I used to work with; 1/2 cup cottage cheese (low fat), less than a 1/4 cup steel cut whole oats (uncooked), with assorted berries and a sprinkle of raisins. Like a wet granola, tasty and not too bad for you. Then I was told to cut out dairy, as I was recently diagnoses with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Well that took care of the wet granola breakfast.
1. Doughnut and pastries: A recipe for weight gain
Doughnuts will cost you 250–550 calories, but the 20–50 grams of sugar in each is the real problem. With such a huge amount of sugar in a small package, your body pumps out lots of insulin to accommodate. A huge blood sugar peak leads to an even bigger sugar crash. This extreme up-and-down leaves you hungry soon after your breakfast — and you’ll crave more refined carbs. It’s a vicious cycle of unhealthy eating that starts with the first doughnut.
2. Sausage biscuit: Hypertension’s helper
The sausage biscuit is basically a saturated fat and sodium bomb nestled in a trans fat sleeping bag. If your blood vessels could talk, they would plead, “Please don’t do it to us!” as you place your order at the fast-food drive-through. The sky-high sodium in the highly processed sausage can make your blood pressure surge. If you have hypertension, it may increase your risk for stroke. Nitrates and nitrites in sausage have been linked to increased risk in certain cancers, too.
3. Flavored non-dairy creamer: A coffee disaster
If you think non-dairy creamer is a healthy option, think again. Many non-dairy creamers simply swap saturated fat for trans fat (check the label for “partially hydrogenated” oil), plus sugar and artificial sweeteners. Trans fat increases your risk of heart attack and stroke by increasing LDL cholesterol. Predictions say decreasing trans fat consumption by even a little could help prevent more than 10,000 deaths a year. To perk up your coffee, try unsweetened vanilla almond milk, low-fat milk or a small amount of chocolate milk instead.
4. Bright, sugary cereals: A rainbow of hyperactivity
Those magically colored kids’ cereals aren’t such a bright choice. The FDA has noted that food dyes may contribute to hyperactivity in children with ADHD, even if not in other children. A 2012 study backed up that idea but said more research is needed. The UK and EU recently banned food dyes in food manufacturing; perhaps you should ban the fake stuff from your breakfast table. Even if food coloring’s effects aren’t fully understood, these cereals are usually loaded with sugar — empty calories for your little ones.
5. Loaded bagel: An invitation for diabetes
Your body works hard to keep you functioning at night. Don’t thank it with inflammation-causing calories in the form of a bagel loaded with cream cheese or margarine. Except for the occasional 100 percent whole grain option, most bagels are 300–500 calories worth of starch. Slathering on cream cheese or butter adds more calories and saturated fat. Diets high in refined carbohydrates have been linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, so don’t make bagels a regular morning meal.
I’ve just recently returned from a nutrition class in Asheville, “Diabesity” is the new catch phrase, which to me, is stereotyping, however, mostly true. Loved the speaker, highly educated and straight to the point. Her healthful advise for a satisfying breakfast, or even snack later in the day; 3/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt, a variety of sliced/diced berries, or whichever is your favorite, and a 1/4 of a cup of chopped walnuts, squirting a little raw honey on this will make your children love it. It is not as difficult as it sounds, you just have to want to be healthy and make a conscious effort to do it. Your kids will learn through you, and seeing you make the effort for yourself and them, will instill good habits in their little heads.
Many foods considered to be healthy, can be a fat trap waiting to happen when we let our guard down. Just because they are considered “healthy” does not mean eat to your hearts content. Some just take common sense and possibly re-reading my Nutrition Trap article (1/7/2014) to familiarize yourself with serving size and carb counts on packaged foods ie; pasta, granola etc, and smart measuring on fruits and nuts before eating. And by all means, do not eat all the high calorie dense foods in one day. They are meant to be eaten sparingly as they carry loads of calories in a very small amount, these are considered “calorically dense foods” and will put weight on you.
The following list is from BioTrust Nutrition, (5/13/14).
Here are some “healthy” examples of calorically dense foods:
1. Granola – granola, especially the varieties mixed with nuts can pack as many as 500 cals per cup!
2. Pasta – a moderate 1 and 1/2 cups of most pastas yield more than 60 grams of carbs and almost 350 calories
3. Avocado – avocado is awesome and a great source of monounsaturated fat, but one single avocado is over 300 calories and 30 grams of fat
4. Nuts and Nut Butters – nuts are super healthy, but one of the most calorically dense foods around. A few ounces could mean 400+ calories
5. Fruit Juice and Smoothies – all fruit juices are loaded with sugar and so are most “smoothie” shop smoothies (make your own with whole fruit)
6. Dried Fruit – dried fruits remove the water content which dramatically decreases volume…what’s left is high in sugar and very calorically dense
7. “Whole Wheat” Breads – even the 100% whole wheat variety can pack a mean calorie punch if you’re eating a lot of grains as part of your diet
8. Whole Grain Bagels – a large “deli” bagel is loaded with carbs and calories, many times over 400 cals in a single bagel
While some of the foods above are only “thought” to be healthy (fruit juice, whole grain bagels, etc), stuff like nuts, nut butters, and avocado are foods that they recommend in just about everyone’s diet and they are indeed great choices, if used sparingly. Personally, I’m staying away from as much whole wheat grains, bagels and breads as possible and even less of the pasta, however, that is a personal decision due to poor control of my sugar after eating, unless I jack up my pump.
That said, these calorically dense foods require that you monitor your intake of them closely. A few ounces of nuts, a couple tablespoons of nut butter, and an avocado is NOT a lot of food, but if you ate all of these every day, you’d be getting close to 1000 calories just right there.
So enjoy a treat now and again, allow yourself to enjoy them as a treat, a little at a time, not all you can eat food supply, and as always, monitor how YOUR blood sugars to see how your system handles these foods. Remember, if something in high in fat, it takes longer to raise you blood sugar than a quick, simple sugar/carb.
Early on, I remember reading how Diabetes ages a person at least 10 years. I never quite understood this theory but I knew I didn’t like it, and would do whatever I could to slow or prevent this from happening to me. Recently, there has been much more written about this phenomenon and when broken down into phases, we diabetics should have enough understanding of carb counting to keep this at bay.
I’ve come across a recent article, “Do Carbs Age Your Body Faster?” by Mike Geary, a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Catherine Ebeling, an RN, BSN and author of The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging. Simply put, NO, it all depends on the amount and types of carbs consumed. It is however, high spikes in glucose levels that cause the aging, and THIS IS caused by consuming carbs with no thought to the consequences. As diabetics, we should be aware of carb counting, if you are not, there are small, pocket sized books, that should be like your bible until you are comfortable with it. All carbs will increase your blood sugar, but the difference is the timing. Is it a slow process or a rapid spike, leaving your meds playing catch up later. The author illustrated a good example of the difference as follows:
2 slices of whole wheat toast; 45 mins after eating, blood sugar spiked from an 86 fasting level to 156.
1 bowl of oatmeat, (equivalent grams of carbs as 2 slices of toast above) 45 mins after eating; blood sugar raised from 86 fasting to 112.
Now, everyone’s numbers will be different, however, the food and portion is in your control. Please reread my earlier posting on “Glycemic Index Basics” from April. We have all been taught that whole wheat is the healthier choice if breads and muffins are going to be eaten, however, now we are learning that whole wheat and other grains have a unique type of starch which spikes blood sugar more that pure table sugar. These high blood sugar spikes are what, over time, are responsible (at least in part) for accelerated aging. High blood sugars circulating around in our bodies leave deposits known as Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) this is known as glycation. It is these compounds which speed up the aging process including damage, over time, to your organs, joints and wrinkled skin.
Of course now we all want to run out and totally never eat another carb, however, carbohydrates DO have a necessary place in our diets. Extreme low-carb diets like the once very popular Adkins was excessive. Thyroid hormones, as well as, Leptin hormone levels can drop too low to maintain a healthy metabolism (weight gain). Since being diabetic, our main concern should, as always, be keeping out blood sugars down to a healthy number, avoid spiking highs and lows, which in and of themselves are dangerous. Always remember, there are such things as healthy carbs, in moderation, with attention to BS testing and getting to know how a particular one affects YOUR blood sugar.