|Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health issues.|
After a blood test last year, my doctor sent me a note in the mail telling me that I am pre-diabetic, meaning that my fasting sugar level was higher than it should be, but not high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes. I asked what I should do. The answer was lose weight, eat healthier. Watch carbohydrate intake. But the question lingered, "What if I develop full-blown type two diabetes anyway?"
I learned there is a connecting factor between weight and diabetes; and type two diabetes is linked to obesity. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) states that 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. People managing type 2 diabetes should continue their prescribed treatment and work with their doctor and/or diabetic counselor, however, organizations studying diabetes say that losing weight and maintaining healthy nutrition can lower blood sugar, making the challenge of this serious disease much easier to manage.
Weight Control Helps Control DiabetesWeb MD states that losing 5% to 10% of your body weight significantly reduces blood sugar levels. Some diabetics, with the advice of their doctors, have been able to stop using insulin altogether. The American Diabetic Association (ADA) recommends cutting about five hundred calories per day by cutting down all food groups: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. So what is the recommended daily percentage for each food group?
- Proteins: 10% to 15%
- Fats: 30%
- Carbohydrates: 50% to 55%
|Fruits and vegetables are healthy foods for type 2 diabetics.|
Is there a diabetic diet and are there many recommended foods for type 2 diabetics?
What can a diabetic eat?A diet that incorporates superfoods and whole foods like fruits, veggies, proteins and complex carbohydrates. Another food that is recommended by the ADA are superfoods. These are foods that are low in calories, fat and starch, but rich in nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and fiber. They keep you fuller longer, help to maintain a healthy weight, and lower blood sugar. Of course, the ADA also warns that even too much of good foods will add unwanted calories, so portion control is necessary. The portion size plate on Web M.D. can help with understanding correct portions in each food group. You can also refer to two previous blogs that may provide insight on portion sizes: Healthy Eating Serve It Up and The Blue Plate Special: Food Serving Size.
What are these super foods and what is so super about them?
- Beans - high in fiber and protein, low in fat
- Dark green, leafy vegetables - low in calories and carbohydrates
- Whole grains - high in nutrients, folate and are digested more slowly than other starchy carbohydrates
- Fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids - salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids
- Citrus fruits - contain soluble fiber and vitamin C
- Nuts - an ounce of nuts is a source of healthy fats, fiber and are a good snack for controlling hunger
- Berries - high in antioxidants, fiber and vitamins
- Tomatoes - contain vitamins C and E plus iron. (Grape tomatoes make a great in-between meal snack instead of candy or chips.)
- Fat free milk and yogurt - high in calcium and fortified with vitamin D
- Sweet potatoes - great source of fiber and vitamin A
How do we do that without risking diabetes, or worsening it? The ADA recommends eating whole grain carbohydrates instead of refined grains: brown rice and whole wheat pastas versus white rice and pastas.
The benefits of whole grain:
- Provides needed fiber and nutrients
- Longer digestion, which means:
- Longer fuller feeling
- Higher utilization of calories for energy
- Lesser breakdown of carbohydrates into sugars
- No spiking of sugar unlike chips, candy, and cake and other foods a diabetic should avoid.
Even with proper food some people may need medications. If you use prescription medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, the FamilyWize discount prescription drug card can help you manage the cost of your prescription drugs and medical devices like: anti-diabetic (non-insulin), diagnostic and dietary products, and insulin.
You can get your free card on the FamilyWize website. You can also use the drug look-up tool to see if your medication or device is covered.
After studying this information, I realized that although dieting is a challenge and losing weight can be difficult; it can be made easier by becoming knowledgeable about diabetes and diet. The more I study about weight loss for diabetics, the more I realize that it's more about what we CAN eat and include and less about what we shouldn't eat or cannot have. Basically we don't have to diet harder, we need to eat smarter.