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Archive for June, 2010

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic.  The doctor has not put me on any medication, but would like me to lose weight and watch my diet.  I’m not sure how much or how often I should be exercising.  Could you give me some tips?

Answer:  Exercise, also referred to as physical activity,  is part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone and is especially important for those with any variation of diabetes. Exercise doesn’t necessarily need to be ‘planned’  – the goal is to get active and stay active by doing things you enjoy such as walking, dancing, running, gardening, team sports, etc.  Below are some tips/information about exercise:

  • Strive for 30-60 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week
  • Helps reduce your blood sugars lowering the amount of pills/insulin you may need to take
  • A modest weight loss of 5-10% can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes
  • Improves circulation reducing the risks of heart attack and stroke
  • Exercise can raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides
  • Gain more energy and sleep better
  • Stress reliever (try going for a walk next time you are stressed rather than grabbing that comfort food)

Fore more information about exercise and diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association’s website.

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Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I have type 2 diabetes.  I’m kind of addicted to jawbreaker candy (especially fireballs).  How harmful is it to eat these candies and what alternatives should I try… Is fruit a good alternative?

Answer:  When comparing jawbreaker candies, including fireballs, to fruit, than fruit would be a better choice.  Both of these items contain carbohydrates, but fruit also contains vitamins, minerals and fiber that are not found in hard candies.  A medium piece of fruit contains about 15 grams carbohydrate per piece, whereas a piece of jawbreaker type candy contains roughly 10-15 grams carbohydrates.  Both of these foods will raise your blood sugar so it is important to watch your portion size.  If you find that on occasion you still need a piece of candy or sweet item to satisfy a sweet tooth, try sugar-free varieties of gums, candies, and gelatin.

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Here is a question I recently received at FOODPICKER.org

I have type 2 diabetes and am having trouble with breakfast.  It seems so many breakfast foods are high in carbs.  Could you give me some breakfast ideas that are diabetic friendly?

Answer:  Many ready-to-eat breakfast items such as cereals and breads are high in carbohydrate.  When planning your breakfast meal, try to incorporate foods with fiber, whole grains, and protein in addition to carbohydrates.  Including these nutrients will help to slow absorption and the peak in your blood sugar.  For example, you could choose whole grain toast with cottage cheese and piece of fruit or a fiber rich cereal such as bran flakes with a piece of fresh fruit.

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Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I am worried because I was just diagnosed with diabetes.  I drink freshly squeezed orange juice three times a week.  Does orange juice contain too much sugar and is it advisable for a diabetic to drink juice?

Answer:  In general, fresh, frozen and dried fruits are a better choice compared to drinking a juice beverage.  Fruit juices will raise your blood sugar very quickly compared to a whole piece of fruit, and lack the fiber that whole fruit has.  Typically, a ‘choice’ or item in the list below has 15 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat and 60 calories.

  • 1 small apple
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 cup or 12 small cherries
  • 1 small orange (plus more than 3 grams fiber!)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup grape juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup prune juice

I would also recommend setting an appointment with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator to learn more about diabetes and the basics of a meal plan.  For more information how to find an educator in your area, visit the American Association of Diabetes Educators website to find an educator in your area or call the facility that diagnosed you to see if they provide education services.  In the mean time, you can also take a look at the American Diabetes Association website to learn more.

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