Heading back to school is an exciting and anxious time for most and no doubt diabetes can add to that anxiety level. Whether your child is very young, newly diagnosed or maybe just heading to a new school this year, the thought of going back to school may have you both on edge.
What do I eat? Diabetes & Diet If you are new to living with diabetes (or you've lived with diabetes for years and you are looking for information), you've likely heard a lot about food and how it can affect your blood sugar. Your favorite Aunt might have lovingly told you to stay away from “white” food, and your oh-so-helpful co-worker may have said to avoid “Carbohydrates” – it can lead to a lot of confusion. Food is a basic necessity of life – we need to eat – yes, WE ALL NEED TO EAT!! With the right information as well as some self-evaluation you’ll start to learn how food affects your blood sugar. However, it helps to have a place to start. There are plenty of diabetes friendly foods you should continue to eat and some that you might need to add to help keep your blood sugar levels under control. A good list to get you started will help with making a grocery trip a bit easier and give you some results that please you as well. The foods you eat have a direct effect on your blood sugar levels so eating food to help keep glucose levels in target is key when we talk about preventing complications down the road. It also helps to understand a bit about how the body works to move the food we eat into our body for energy. After eating our digestive system breaks food down into smaller pieces - the one that affects blood sugar most is carbohydrate. This is broken down into a simple form of sugar called glucose. When our body gets the signal that it has been fed, insulin is released by an [...]
Does protein effect blood sugar after a meal? Is there additional math we need to do for improved control after meals?
By Diane Herbert MSW, LSW, CDE (pending) If you’re living with diabetes, you have been told many times and in many ways – Check your sugar, test, monitor your glucose, do your finger sticks….. You have also likely been told that this is how you learn your current glucose (sugar) level. I’m wondering how much information you’ve been given about why checking your blood sugar is helpful to you and what it means at different points in your day? Your Body at Work The pancreas and the body are truly amazing when it comes to keeping checks and balances within our systems. As far as your blood sugar goes – the pancreas and the liver perform a seamless dance to metabolize food/energy/sugar to make sure that all the other systems get just the right amount they need at just the right time when they need it. When you live with diabetes, your body’s ability to do that dance breaks down and requires that a third partner be entered into the mix – that partner is you! Your non-diabetes pancreas and liver had blood sugar management skills literally hardwired into their DNA. These are skills that we from the outside continue to only dream about matching. Effortlessly these amazing organs knew how much to adjust for exercise, when to release insulin quickly, when to dole it out slowly over hours, and how to auto-correct with a perfect shot of glucose if we added a late variable to the mix (say going on a roller coaster after eating pizza). Now living with diabetes – that balancing act largely rests on you to perform manually. How can you hope to be able to return to the smooth, graceful [...]
I recently read about FDA Approval for a “NEW” sugar substitute…Advantame. Interesting name – it would appear the creators believe there is an “advantage” to using it. The positive for people with diabetes of course, is that it doesn’t cause a glycemic response. Similar to the other sugar substitutes already on the market in a plethora of foods and beverages, Advantame is an artificial sweetener developed by the Japanese food and chemical corporation, Ajinomoto. Advantame is about 20,000 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). The FDA has approved it for general use in foods and beverages. This new artificial sweetener is also FEMA GRAS approved in Dairy, Frozen Desserts, Beverages, and Chewing Gum, but isn’t approved for use in products with meat or poultry. This is the 6th sweetener to be approved by the FDA and is a white powder derived from aspartame and vanillin that dissolves in water, and continues to remain stable in high temperatures (unlike pure aspartame which breaks down and doesn’t provide the taste appeal in baked products). Advantame's structure is chemically similar to aspartame, and it was assumed a warning label notifying people with phenylketonuria (PKU) to the presence of phenylalanine was required, but after further evaluation the agency determined that, since advantame is approximately 100 times sweeter than aspartame and requires only a fraction of the amount to achieve the same degree of sweetness, no warning label is necessary. This fact alone should make one consider the nature of the word artificial. We tend to rely heavily on products with no sugar when living with diabetes – but how much is too much and should we be considering these alternatives as good, bad or ugly? Looking at each artificial [...]