Tagged: complex carbs

Diabetes Diet For Diabetes Symptoms


For quite sometime, diabetes has been-and continues to be-the bane of a good percentage of the population of most countries. It affects about 20 million Americans alone, with another 40 million having prediabetes, an early precursor to Type 2 diabetes. Once food is digested, it is broken down into various nutrients which travel into the bloodstream.  Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin,  and the insulin cannot carry the glucose to the liver to be stored as glycogen, or to the muscles to be used for energy, but rather gets stored as fat.  Other times, insulin receptors are no longer sensitive to insulin, they can become desensitized, which happens after years of eating bad carbs.

There are two general classifications of diabetes, with another specifically afflicting women. Type 1 can affect an individual from childhood, often as young as several months, though many more are diagnosed as adolescents.  Fewer are diagnosed as young adults but it does occur. In this type the body produces no or very little insulin so that daily injections are needed. No amount of diet or exercise can maintain safe normal levels for type 1,  although there are now new ways for insulin delivery; pumps, insulin pens, and even pancreas transplants.  There has been no definitive cause or explanation for Type 1, however, they feel genetics plays a large role.  Read more »

Let’s talk “lows”, or Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia, let's talk "lows".

Generally,  hypoglycemia affects Type 1 diabetics much more than Type 2.  Insulin can always drop glucose too low if not correctly adjusted to carbohydrates consumed.  Most type 2 meds do not cause this action, although more do now than previously.

Everyones’  “low”  is different.  Normal blood glucose levels in my childhood (1960 – 1970s)  which used to be from 90 to 120 mg/dl used to be fine,  have recently been lowered by the FDA making just about every adult a diabetic.  Yes, there was sarcasm in my tone as the FDA has done the same with normal blood pressure ranges and cholesterol, assuring everyone is taking prescription meds.  O.K., sorry, back to my point…..   Our bodies become accustom to new lower levels if we frequently allow them to go there.  Used to be at 70mg/dl I would know I needed a “fix”  (orange juice, fig newton, Nab crackers), anything to bring my sugar back up.   Year after year of continued  lower numbers, always attempting to maintain a “normal”   glucose reading made my body adjust to my new norms.

My symptoms changed over the years, first warning signs used to be shakes, sweats and confusion,  things obvious to others around me.  Then, as my lows became lower, symptoms changed,  in the late 1980s  my arms would jerk or twitch, later I would start seeing double,  I have even forgotten whole moments in small segments.   After I thought I had gotten a handle on it,  things got worse; driving a friend home from classes one afternoon, just feeling “wrong”,  I stopped at a convenience store for crackers and juice.  Next thing I  new I was driving, it was now dark outside, and I had an empty bottle of juice and crushed up crackers in my lap.  Didn’t have a clue where I was.  This finally scared me enough to try to make changes.   I did  not have insurance due to “pre existing”, however, started visiting an internist who could not understand these extreme lows as I was on such a low amount of  insulin.  I was tested to make sure I “really was” diabetic?   Over the years, MDs were thrilled with my AICs because they were in the low 6. something ranges, however  I knew this was due to my blood sugars averaging out to normal from such extreme highs and lows.

Many evenings I would feel my husbands hand on my skin to check if I was sweaty.  He always sensed, through my  movements or  how I would answer a simple question, if I was needing  a “fix”.   He has saved me numerous evenings, as this is when I would drop, sometimes as low as 13mg/dl.  I would hear him pacing around the bed, repeatedly saying he was sorry but “I have to call for help”.  I would usually be coming out of it once they had arrived,  and I can hear him tell the EMTs her sugar was 14,  however, I’m talking to them like we are now, and they would say that’s impossible, they would check and I’d be up to 16  or 18mg/dl at this point.  They still could not believe the sensibility I had at this measure.   I laugh at my old endocrinologist from years ago who insisted my numbers should be no different  than  someone without diabetes.  My new endo is more realistic,  however, I am not comfortable with some of my readings now, BUT I have recently been more aware of my lows when they are floundering around 50mg/dl.   Here’s hoping we can all find our “happy place” in the numbers game,  with levels we can live with,  and be comfortable with,  and doctors who will listen to what we are saying.

Diet For A Diabetic – Tips For Better Blood Sugar Control


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 the tools or the options they have for better educating themselves to take care of it properly, so they will continue to  leave their care and control up to their quarterly office visit to the MD.   I see this time after time, especially with the elderly.  They are threatened with having to use insulin (the DREADED shot) if they do not maintain control, however, they are not told that most of the oral medications are more harmful to them, then insulin.   And it’s been  scare tactic that has worked, not to control their diabetes, but to make them fear the best control technique for them, the shot.

The food we eat and the activity we expend, directly affect our health in all ways.  This include the physical and mental well being.   A balanced and healthy diet control the spikes of blood sugar in the body thus alleviating  symptoms, however, not eliminating diabetes if it is present.  Blood sugar is glucose derived from the carbohydrates we eat. Some of these carbohydrates are broken down into glucose faster than others.  The ones which get broken down to glucose fast, or simple sugars, create a quick release of insulin  into the bloodstream, these  include white bread, polished rice and most of refined foods, pastas and starches.   Good carbohydrates, or complex carbs,  which get broken down slowly include brown rice, brown bread, sweet potatoes and foods with higher fiber content.  This is where the glycemic index is priceless,  to rate the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose in our body.

Foods with high glycaemic index value are bad for not only diabetics but to any one who is aiming for a healthy diet. Eating foods with low glycaemic index will stabilize the blood sugar and because of the fiber content, will make you feel full. This is an added benefit of weight management.  Another aspect of this surge of glucose in body is it creates a surge of insulin to counter it, meaning, from that corrective bolus of insulin, an impending low sugar (hypoglycemic) will result.  With this in mind, another favorite excuse for overweight diabetics to qualify why they ate that Snickers, is usually to alleviate the “low” they felt they were having.  Once they are informed that; 1. all the fat attached to that chocolate bar will slow down the absorption of glucose to help the low, and 2. once all the sugar does reach their bloodstream, their pancreas will release more insulin, creating another reason to have another candy bar.  This known as the “roller coaster” effect.

Almost 90% of those with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, which is extremely unhealthy. A good way to reduce weight is by cutting down on the amount of carbohydrates and calories you are consuming, and also in taking more healthy fats to improve your glucose levels. If these steps are followed, you will definitely notice a difference in your weight.

There are others factors though aside from the type of diabetes they have. Some other factors include their sex, age, physical fitness level, height, weight, etc… So clearly, someone who is heavier will most likely need more calories than their counterpart who is lighter. Also, since physical activity burns calories, those with higher level of physical activity will most likely require more calories, and vice versa.  This, being another reason for careful and planned monitoring of your glucose levels, especially before and after activities.

Eat more raw foods including fruits and vegetables – Foods in their rawest and freshest form are the healthiest foods and are an important part of a diet for a diabetic. They are high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, and complex carbohydrates all of which are a key part of blood sugar management.

Proteins can be another source of energy, which can be extracted from poultry, eggs, fish, nuts, and cheese. Not only are nuts, cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts sources of protein, they are excellent sources of fiber, too. Then, there are the fruits and vegetables, which should form an integral part of any meal, diabetic or not. They constitute the richest source of vitamins and minerals. Some vegetables like potato and sweet potato and fruits like mangoes, bananas, papayas and grapes, which are high in carbohydrate content, should be consumed in limited amounts. But other than these, fruits and vegetables are essential parts of a diabetic diet, and one should make it a point to have at least three servings every day.

Any diabetic diet will also include exercise in it. It’s vital to your health. We’re not talking about joining a health club, or sweating at the local gym. It can be going for brisk walks 4 times a week for 30 minutes.

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