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Ask Dana:  Simple Solutions to your Diabetes Dilemmas


Dear Dana,

I used to have pretty good control of my blood sugars after I ate but now I am struggling to manage my high blood sugars after almost every meal.  The only thing that has changed is that I am now eating a gluten-free diet.  Could that make a difference?

~ Colleen Portion, Chicago, Illinois


It can make a difference!  Anytime we change our eating habits, we need to adjust our diabetes management as well.  Now that you are eating a gluten-free diet, there are a few things that could be causing a higher blood sugar after eating.  Many gluten-free products use ingredients that will impact your blood sugars quickly.  Tapioca, rice and potato starch are often used in prepackaged gluten-free foods.  These can also be the cause of spikes in post-meal blood sugars.  There are a couple of ways to manage your blood sugars with your new diet: 1.) Remember that timing counts!  Taking mealtime insulin 15-20 minutes before eating meals that you know will spike your blood sugar more than others.  We often refer to these foods as having a “high glycemic index.”  It can be hard to remember to take insulin before eating these high glycemic foods so try setting reminders on your phone or having visual prompts in your kitchen to help you remember to take your insulin ahead of a meal.  2.)  Also, look for higher fiber gluten-free foods.  Gluten-free doesn’t have to be high glycemic and create post-meal havoc.  Foods that are naturally gluten-free can have slower absorption times.  Gluten-free products made with almond flour, as an example, will have less meal spikes than a rice flour product.  Fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts and lean proteins are all naturally gluten-free and probably already part of your diabetes nutrition plan.  A registered dietitian from IDS can help you gain control of your post meal spikes again and feel like you have that good control you were so proud of….Just give us a call if you need extra support!

Please submit your most nagging questions about diabetes, nutrition or wellness to dana@integrateddiabetes.com.

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