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Archive for May, 2010

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and a friend told me I should eat low carb and no sugar.  What is considered to be low carb and low sugar in specific numbers?

Answer:  A diagnosis of pre-diabetes means that your blood sugars are elevated, but not high enough to diagnosis diabetes.  Weight loss, regular physical activity and a healthy meal plan will help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes diagnosis/development in the future.

Following a healthy meal plan means eating a well balanced diet with some carbohydrates at all meals.  It does not mean avoiding sugar and eating a low carb diet.  Carbohydrates are needed in your diet to fuel both your brain and body.  Eliminating them from the diet can have detrimental effects.  Although carbs are essential to ones diet, it is important to watch portion size and types of carbs.  Choose carbohydrates that are energy dense and full of nutrients such as fruits, low-fat dairy products and whole grains rather than cakes, cookies and snack crackers.

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Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I am very new to the diabetes lifestyle.  I have started working out and so far have dropped 8 pounds (I have about 100 pounds still to lose).  I am excited about the weight loss so far, but I am scared that I won’t drop the weight and that I will slip somehow.  Can you offer any advice in regards to cravings (I have a big sweet tooth and enjoy greasy foods such as burgers and fries)?

Answer:  Congratulations on your weight loss thus far!  You will find that as you continue to loose more weight, you will feel better and your blood sugars will be under better control.

As for cravings, these can be difficult.  To control these, I would first recommend considering the portion size.  Rather than eating a whole slice of pie or bowl of ice cream, limit yourself to a bite or two and savor the flavor.  Another suggestion is to save these items for special occasions.  Remember that sweets contain a lot of calories and fat, and dont always offer the best nutrients.

In regards to fast food, it is important to watch your portion size and cooking method.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Choose grilled chicken instead of fried
  • Substitute the fries for a side salad or apple wedges
  • Choose a single burger instead of a double or even triple
  • Substitute regular soda with water or a diet variety
  • Now days, most fast food restaurants have an online website and post nutrient information.  Take some time and explore these websites so you are aware of just how many calories and fat are in these products.

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Here is a question I recently received at FOODPICKER.org

I have pre-diabetes and am trying to learn about carbohydrate and sugar.  Does the sugar in fruit count as sugar?

Answer: Fruits play an important role in your diet providing many vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  They contain a type of sugar we refer to as fructose.  Like other carbohydrate containing foods, the sugar found in fruit does raise your blood sugar.  This does not mean that it should be omitted from your diet, rather it should be counted towards your total carbohydrate consumption.    When choosing fruit, remember to pay attention to serving size and choose colorful varieties!

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Bars and Shakes

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I was diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago.  I’m wondering about those bars and shakes I see advertised for people with diabetes.  Are they good to use?  Sometimes I’m out and need a snack or quick lunch.

Answer:  This is a great question!  There are many different bars and shakes available these days, and when you are in a hurry or on the run, they are an OK meal replacement.  When looking at these products, make sure to pay attention to the label.  You want to choose a product that has protein in addition to calories and fat, and the calories should be comparable to what you would normally eat at a meal.  Some products available are much higher in fat, carbohydrates and calories than others, so read the label.  Also, remember that although these are advertised for people with diabetes, there are still carbohydrates in them which means they will still raise your blood sugars.

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