To slice or not to slice?

February 7, 2011 - Leave a Response

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

Friday nights my family & I have dinner at our favorite pizza restaurant.  Now that I’ve been diagnosed with diabetes I don’t know what to order.  Could you help me with what (if anything) I can order?

Pizza can actually be a healthy meal that you can treat yourself to every once in a while.  And it is great that your family has a weekly tradition that keeps you guys close and family oriented. 

 The trick to having a slice and eating it too is choosing the right toppings and portion sizes.  A better pizza option would be a veggie pizza with little or no cheese.  The pizza is just as good without the cheese as it is with it. Go ahead and try it!  If you are a meat lover try substituting your pepperoni for chicken or turkey.  When you fill your plate, try adding one slice at a time and chew slowly that way you can enjoy every moment of your slice.  Not only that but chewing slowly actually aids in digestion and allows you to feel full faster!  Drink water in between your bites to help slow you down.  Next time you go out ask if they have whole wheat dough and side salads with non fat dressings.  Now you have a little more power than you thought you did so you can now decide to slice or not to slice!

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It’s ok, go nuts!!

February 1, 2011 - Leave a Response

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I have diabetes and love snacking on nuts (particularly smoked/flavored almonds).  Are nuts ok to snack on and if so, are there certain types I should look for?

                                                    

Nuts really are a great snack that you can enjoy even if you do have diabetes.  Nuts have so much to offer nutritionally because they contain protein, fiber, and phytonutrients, antioxidants, and plant sterols.  When it comes to nuts you should be mindful of how much you consume because they do contain a significant amount of fat.  And although most of it is polyunsaturated and monounsaturated (the good kind), it is still fat.  So when eating nuts make it part of your diet by replacing foods high in fat with a serving of nuts.  Try incorporating more walnuts and flaxseeds into your nutty mixtures because they contain a higher ratio of omega 3’s (good fat) compared with other nuts.  Limit your servings of nuts to about 1 to 2 oz a day. 

                                          

How often should I check my blood glucose levels?

January 24, 2011 - Leave a Response

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

How often should I check my glucose if I have type 2 diabetes?

Checking your blood glucose regularly is very beneficial to all those living with diabetes because it gives you the opportunity to see if your diabetes plan is working or not.  It is important to speak to your physician because he or she may recommend you test more or less often depending on the history of your blood glucose and the severity of your diabetes.  It is also a good idea to keep a notebook with you so that you can record your results each time you test. 

                

Tracking your blood glucose can often times leave individuals feeling frustrated, upset, or irritated with your results, but don’t let this discourage you.  It is important that you keep on tracking your levels so that you and your physician can develop new methods for helping you take control.  Stay positive!

January 13, 2011 - Leave a Response

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org 

I have type 2 diabetes. I am wondering if I could have fruit smoothies? If I can, which ingredients I should include and avoid?

                                                                      

Smoothies are a quick and easy way to consume a serving of fruits and sometimes vegetables.  You do not have to eliminate smoothies from your diet, but try to have them every once in a while as a treat.  There are some ingredients you should avoid putting in your mixture because they will drag in extra calories, sugars, carbohydrates, and fats.  Ice cream is an example of one ingredient you should not use.  Here are a few tips to try for your smoothies:

  • Use sugar-free products
  • Use ice and water instead of juice, but if you must have the juice use only one serving (8 oz) of it and add ice and water to it.
  • Use plain non-fat yogurt instead of flavored yogurt.
  • If you are using milk choose non-fat milk.
  • Try adding a tablespoon of flaxseed powder to your mixture because it will add protein and fiber to it!
  • Or try adding dry oatmeal if you do not have flaxseed powder. 
  • Serve yourself one serving (8 oz) of the beverage rather than one full glass because it will cut down on your calorie and sugar intake.  Remember you want to eat your calories, not drink them.
  • And finally treat your smoothies as a treat or a reward for yourself! 

Holiday Sweets!

December 20, 2010 - Leave a Response

Here is a question I recently received from Foodpicker.org 

I have diabetes and this time of year is the toughest for me.  It seems holiday treats/sweets are everywhere tempting me!  Is it ok to indulge a little?  If not, how can I build up enough will power to avoid holiday sweets?

It is very hard to maintain a balanced diet during the holidays but with a few tips you can manage a few treats here and there.

  •  Serve yourself!  Portion sizes tend to be fairly generous during the holidays so save yourself the extra calories and take charge of smaller portions this holiday. 
  • Share your treats with someone because it will prevent you from over indulging.
  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoid drinking sweet traditional holiday drinks because they are loaded with sugars and calories. 
  • And finally, try to stay committed to your work out routine because this will you to balance out all the sweets.  

Holiday Feasting

November 22, 2010 - Leave a Response

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org 

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes as few months ago and has been working hard to lose weight and control his blood sugar.  Each year we have a family gathering for thanksgiving that includes lots of food (large turkey dinner with all the trimmings and assorted pies & cakes for dessert).  What are your suggestions to ensure my husband doesn’t overeat but also does not feel deprived this thanksgiving?

Here are a few things your husband can do to help keep his weight and blood sugar in check this holiday season:

  • Try to make the largest portion of the plate steamed vegetables, or whatever vegetables are available (however try to limit starchy vegetables like potatoes, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.)
  • Drink plenty of water before and in between meals as that will keep you from over eating. 
  • Eat your calories, but do not drink them.  Remember sodas, juices, ciders, and other flavored drinks may contain a high amount sugars and carbohydrates, which will lead to excess calorie intake.  The worst parte is those excess calories wont even leave you feeling full.
  • Choose light meat over dark meat. 
  • Try to cut all desserts in half and really try to limit the intake of them.
  • Try to limit or avoid creamy dressings like ranch instead go with a light Italian dressing.
  • Try to steer clear of creamy casseroles or really cheesy dishes due to the fat content. 
  • And most importantly try to stay active through out the day!

Soups for meals

November 15, 2010 - Leave a Response

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org 

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last spring.  I enjoy eating hearty soups in the fall and winter months.  Can I still eat soup?  Are there any soups that are better for me to eat than others?

Soups make for really great meals anytime of the year, and with hundreds of different types of soups to choose from it is important to know that some are better than others.  Since there are far too many soups to individually discuss, it may be easier to use a few tips as a way to choose a healthier soup. 

  • Choose soups that are rich in lentils, barley, beans, wild rice, and vegetables because they will provide plenty of fiber.
  • Choose clear broth soups instead of thick creamy soups because they contain less fat and calories compared to thich creamy soups.
  • Check the ingredients to see if oil or butter was added because this will add to a higher fat content of the soup. 
  • Choose low-fat meats such as turkey or chicken (without the skin) instead of red meats to reduce the fat content.
  • Choose reduced sodium and reduced fat soups whenever you get a chance and if you are making your own soup limit the amount of salt you add to your dish. 
  • Experiment with different types of herbs for flavor!

                                        

Diets for Diabetics

November 6, 2010 - Leave a Response

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

My doctor has diagnosed me with diabetes and has told me to lose weight.  I have heard about high protein diets, low fat/high carb diets, and many others.  I want a sound diet instead of a fad.  What type of diet is best given my situation?

There are so many different types of diets marketed each year that claim they have the best success rates of all.  And regardless of how true it may be, living with diabetes calls for its very own diet.  The reason for that is because each person has specific needs which is why you should speak to your doctor regularly especially if there are any other types of complications involving your health.  The American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association have developed specific guidlines to follow for people with diabetes. 

A few tips that can improve blood sugar levels:

  • Plan meals with fewer calories than  your current diet  
  • An even amount of carbohydrates (choose foods from the Exchange List for Diabetes)
  • Healthy sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
  • Follow the Diabetes Food Pyramid

Your diet is unique to your needs because it will reflect your current diet, your weight, and how often you exercise.

Diabetes Food Pyramid

Ideas for packing lunch

November 1, 2010 - Leave a Response

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I have diabetes and work long hours.  I usually eat lunch at my desk while working.  I’m struggling with what I can have for lunch.  Could you give me some tips on what to pack for lunch at work?

It’s great that you pack your own meals and take them to work because it really is a step in the right direction as far as controlling your diet and diabetes.  I want to tell you a little bit about the glycemic index and the glycemic load and perhaps this will help you find better food choices for you later on in the future.  The glycemic index is basically a measure of how much a food item will raise your blood glucose levels and the glycemic load is a  ranking system for carbohydrate contents in food portions.  There are many websites out there that have food lists that will tell you what is a good choice or a poor food choice, this may be useful to you because you have the ability to choose foods that will keep you full longer and will not cause a dramatic rise in your blood sugar levels. 

Here is a website that will give you more information about foods to choose from.  I hope this helps inform you about food choices so that you can have a variety in your lunch options! 

Glycemicindex.com

Veggies for Diabetes

October 25, 2010 - Leave a Response

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I was just diagnosed with pre-diabetes.  The nurse told me to eat lots of vegetables.  Could you tell me what “lots of vegetables” means and what type of vegetables to consume?  Also, how should I prepare them?

Incorporating more vegetables into your diet is a really great thing to do because you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes.  Vegetables contain a great source of essential vitamins and minerals and even contain a substantial amount of fiber, which will help curb your apetite. 

According to MyPyramid.gov women between the ages of 19-50 years old should eat about 2 1/2 cups per day and men ages 19-50 years old should eat about 3 cups per day. 

One serving of vegetables is about 1 cup of leafy greens or 1/2 cup of chopped veggies cooked or raw.  You should always consult your doctor about any questions you may have or suggestions you take.