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 […]
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.
Being given the diagnosis of Type I or Type II diabetic is like a punch in the gut. I was 12 or 13 and can remember feeling very alone. No one else in the neighborhood, my school, or family had even had it. I saw the fear and confusion in the faces of several friends at work after being told they had Type II, and my heart went out to them, and I remembered back to my diagnosis all those years ago and how I felt. Many years later I learned about the different events and rallys being held in support of finding a cure for this disease. I have always donated to several associations yearly, however, I never felt the full impact of the numbers of people who benefit from these donations until I did my first 5K walk for diabetes.
Pulling up to the event and walking into the crowd of people, young and old, all with there own personal relationship with diabetes, I truly felt connected. Not knowing anyone there, just simply going through the sign-up and listening to people around me who are “regulars” at these events, I felt a kinship. Needless to say, I soon was conversing with others and enjoying the events, but it wasn’t until we began the walk, looking ahead and behind me at the numbers of people who gathered in this place, who were affected by diabetes, and that they were all together to help, well, needless to say, my eyes watered up numerous times. I felt as if I was walking with all their arms around me, even though I did not know a single one personally. Sounds kind of silly I know, however, I’m getting misty right now remembering this feeling and trying to put it into words. I’ve done several since, and always get this feeling of overwhelming warmth and companionship.
It is now spring, walking, running and biking weather, so I recommend you do yourself a huge favor and attend one of these events. You don’t even have to complete the walk if you are not able, but the attempt is uplifting, physically and spiritually, and we can all use a day of up-beat, energetic people around us. Please be careful to bring monitors, meds and treats for a safe walk or run, remember be “proactive”. If you’ve been reading my blogs, you know to be prepared. You can find these events in your local bulletins, newspapers or get on one of the websites; Diabetes Forecast for example has a great list, diabetes.org/tour. Last years Tour de Cure, raised over 29 million dollars!!!