Archive for March, 2011

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org:

I have heard I should avoid fruit juice since I have diabetes.  What about vegetable juices?  Can I have tomato juice and other vegetable juices?

Answer:  In general, fresh, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables are a better choice compared to drinking a juice beverage.  Vegetable juices do contain less carbohydrates than fruit juices, however also contain less fiber and more sodium.  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 roughly 15 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat and 60 calories.

  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup corn, peas or potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables (carrots, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage)
  • 1 cup raw vegetables or salad greens
  • 1 small apple, banana or orange
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup or 12 small cherries
  • 1/2 cup apple, orange,  tomato juice and other vegetable juices
  • 1/3 cup grape or prune juice

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Here is a question that I recently received from FOODPICKER.org:

I have type 2 diabetes and cannot tolerate milk.  What may I substitute for my recommended two milk servings per day?  Would I substitute a carbohydrate or a protein?

Answer:  What you substitute for milk depends on the reason you can not tolerate milk – is it because you are lactose intolerant, have a milk allergy or simply because you do not care for the taste?

If you are lactose intolerant, I would suggest speaking with your doctor and inquire about utilizing a lactase enzyme prior to your meals.  This would then allow you to consume dairy without having a reaction. You could also try a lactaid milk, rice or soy milk in place of regular milk.  In some instances, individuals who are lactrose intolerant can tolerate yogurt more easily due to the presence of beneficial bacteria.

If you have a milk allergy, I would suggest trying non-flavored soy or rice milk.  Flavored varities such as almond, vanilla and chocolate contain additional simple sugars which need to be accounted for in your diet.

If you simply do not care for milk to drink, I would suggest incorporating other sources of dairy in your diet such as low fat varities of cheese and yogurt which would provide your body with protein, calcium and vitamin D.

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Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org:

I am writing on behalf of my sister. She does NOT cook.  She is living alone and has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes.  She lives mainly on microwave dinners and convenience foods.  She is not open to learning to cook.  Do you have any helpful hints for someone like this?

Answer:  Microwave dinners and convenience foods can contain high amounts of fat, calories, sodium and carbohydrates.  With that being said, it is important to read the labels when choosing these items.  Below are some helpful hints for healthier meals that do not require extensive cooking:

  • Try to choose prepared meals with <500mg sodium that contain a variety of vegetables
  • Incorporate fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables rather than canned
  • Use fresh deli cuts of meat rather than processed luncheon meats for sandwiches
  • Choose meals with low fat varieties of meats such as skinless chicken, turkey and beef
  • Perhaps family and friends would be willing to prepare extra foods that can easily be stored in the freezer and re-heated


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Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I was recently told by my doctor I have pre-diabetes and that I need to lose weight, eat right, and get my sugar levels down.  On a 12 hour fast, my glucose level was 73 yet my A1c was 6.1%.  If my glucose is low, why is my A1c still high?  What can I do?

Answer:  An A1c test is a test that measures your average blood glucose level over the past 2 – 3 months. An A1c of 6.1% equates to an average blood glucose level of about 135.   Since it is an average, you are likely to have some above and below this average blood glucose level.

Having an A1c test is important as it can verify the results of self-testing, help to assess whether a treatment plan is working and can show you if your lifestyle changes are making a difference in your diabetes control over a period of time.  Typically, it is recommended to have this test done 2x/year, but can vary on an individual basis.

Speak to your MD or CDE about when to be testing your blood sugar – i.e. before or after meals.  Testing after meals can be more beneficial to help you understand the immediate affect foods have on your blood sugar.


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