Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Recently Answered

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    It's obvious that low-fat yogurt has had fat removed, and that seems like a good choice if you have diabetes. While low-fat yogurt has a (small) positive impact on calorie count, it's not so great for your blood sugar. Manufacturers compensate for that loss of fat by adding stabilizers, thickeners, and sugars that can have a detrimental impact on blood glucose. A better approach is to skip the fruit-flavored yogurt and choose plain yogurt sweetened with real, whole fruit.

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    Fast food restaurants have more healthy options than ever. There are many side items that feature vegetables and fruits such as salads, apple slices, and carrots. These are some of the obvious healthy foods that you can choose. Order these options as often as possible instead of French fries or onion rings.

    Some establishments dedicate a section of their menu to healthier options. For example, Taco Bell offers their Drive-Thru Diet menu and Dunkin Donuts has their DDSMART menu. Remember, these menu items are usually better choices than what is on the rest of the menu, but you still need to consider portion size, calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium.
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    This recipe has all the flavor of pumpkin pie -- without all the carbs and added sugar. This low-carb creamy custard uses sugar-free maple syrup for sweetness and comes in a cup instead of a slice.

    Pumpkin Spice Custard

    Ingredients

    cooking spray
    2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
    1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
    2 eggs
    3 egg whites
    4 oz sugar-free maple syrup (or brown sugar substitute)
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1 small apples, sliced thinly (optional)
    2 cups water
    3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Lightly coat eight, 6-ounce baking cups with cooking spray and arrange in shallow, flat-bottomed baking pan.
    3. In small saucepan, bring water to boil.
    4. In food processor, blend pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, egg whites, syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger until smooth.
    5. Ladle mixture into baking cups.
    6. Pour 2" of boiling water into baking pan around custard cups.
    7. Bake 45 to 60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
    8. Remove cups from hot water and cool to room temperature.
    9. Refrigerate until chilled, garnished with fresh apple slices or whipped cream, if desired, and serve.

    Additional Information
    Be sure to use unsweetened pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.

    Makes 8 servings
    Note: Optional items are not included in nutritional facts.

    Calories 125.1
    Total Carbs 13.5 g
    Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
    Sugars 6.7 g
    Total Fat 5.4 g
    Saturated Fat 2.8 g
    Unsaturated Fat 2.7 g
    Potassium 202.5 mg
    Protein 7.1 g
    Sodium 126.2 mg
     
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    Quinoa is a super grain for many reasons: It's one of the few non-animal proteins that's considered a "complete protein" in that it has all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build protein molecules. Plus, quinoa is a whole grain with germ, endosperm, and bran intact, bringing a host of nutrients and healthy fat to the mix. Even better, all those benefits come with very little impact on your blood sugar level. A half-cup of cooked quinoa ranks just under 10 (that's low!) on the glycemic load scale. It's easy to add quinoa to meals. Try using it in place of white rice as a side.

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     A dietitian can help you learn any of these approaches to managing your food:

    • What types of foods and how much you need to eat every day.
    • How many grams of carbohydrates to eat each day to keep your blood glucose within your target range—and how to count carbohydrates (see more on carbohydrate counting in the next section).
    • How many grams of fat to eat if you want to keep your fat intake low. Generally, this means that the fat in your diet provides no more than 30% of the calories you take in per day. You may also want to discuss how to count fat grams.
    • How to adjust your meals for exercise.
    • Which foods to have on hand to treat hypoglycemia and sick days.
    • New ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
    • How to reduce your sodium intake—and how to count sodium in milligrams.
    • How to read food labels.
    • How to meet your nutritional needs when following a specific meal plan such as a vegetarian diet.
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    This soothing tea recipe has a surprising ingredient: rhubarb. Rich in vitamins and low in carbs, rhubarb is a great ingredient for people with diabetes. And it gives this chilled tea a bright color and tangy flavor.

    Rhubarb Tea

    Ingredients

    3 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
    3 cups cold water
    2 tbsp light honey
    1 cinnamon stick
    2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, more or less to taste

    Directions

    1. In large saucepan, place rhubarb, water, honey, and cinnamon. Bring to boil.
    2. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and simmer additional 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let rest for 1 hour.
    3. Using fine strainer over a large pitcher, strain contents of pot (do not squeeze). Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours. Stir in lemon juice and serve over ice.

    Makes 4 servings

    Calories 57.3
    Total Carbs 14.7 g
    Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
    Sugars 9.2 g
    Total Fat 0.2 g
    Saturated Fat 0 g
    Unsaturated Fat 0.1 g
    Potassium 278.2 mg
    Protein 1 g
    Sodium 11.4 mg
     
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    Too much dietary salt or sodium can increase blood pressure. People with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, may already have high blood pressure, so they may need to reduce their sodium intake.

    • Put the saltshaker away, and use less or no salt when cooking.
    • Read food labels to assess the sodium content (80% of your sodium intake comes from processed foods).
    • If you are using canned vegetables, rinse them to remove the salt or choose no-salt-added or reduced-sodium options.
    • Avoid fast foods.
    • Use flavorings such as herbs and spices to make your food tastier.
    • Cook using fresh foods whenever possible.
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    Diabetes is still the leading cause of blindness among Americans today. High blood sugar can lead to glaucoma, which in turn can cause damage to the eyes optic nerve, causing loss of vision. High blood sugar can also cause damage to the eye’s retina and increase the risk of developing cataracts.
     
    Eat more produce, namely a broad variety of colored fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in fresh produce including vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin help to stabilize the retina of the eye and also reduce the risk of developing cataracts and other eye ailments.

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    When you have diabetes, you want to land fish on your plate, especially fatty, cold-water fish. Sardines and other small, fatty fish are high in essential omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies can only get from the food we eat. Sardines and other omega-3-rich fish help in a couple of ways: They're a great source of fat and protein to slow absorption of blood sugars, and they help protect your cardiovascular system, which irregular blood sugar fluctuations that can come with diabetes can damage. The healthy fat in sardines is good for your brain, too, and may help fend off Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

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    Some rice cakes are really not a good choice at all. Rice is a high glycemic index grain, even when it's whole grain (brown), so it can spike blood sugar levels. What's more, some brands add sugar or corn syrup to their rice cakes. If you want to try rice cakes as a snack, top them with some peanut butter, cream cheese or another spread that contains fat and protein and test your blood glucose two hours later. You may find that you can have rice cakes without a problem.