Can Diabetics Eat Two Meals A Day
New study suggests that eating two large meals per day improves insulin sensitivity and promotes weight loss better in patients with type 2 diabetes than grazing. Conventional dietary wisdom holds that eating frequent but small mealsgrazinghelps to maintain steady blood glucose and promotes weight loss.
A Cautionary Word About Salt
Some people are sensitive to salt, which causes higher blood pressure when too much sodium is consumed. Since we have no way of testing who is salt-sensitive and who isnt, the best precaution is to limit salt and avoid sodium-containing foods if you may be at risk for high blood pressure.
Simply put, the excess salt in most peoples diets comes from processed foods, so check the package for sodium content. By adopting a diabetes diet that contains mostly whole foods, this issue will no longer present a problem. Also, foods that are flash frozen are as good as fresh.
Canned vegetables usually have added salt as a preservative. Your best bet when buying is to check the food labels for sodium content. Youll want to stay well below the upper recommended limit of 2,000 mg/day, and you can certainly look for low-sodium varieties of canned, and processed, prepackaged food products.
Foods And Drinks To Avoid With Diabetes
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Diabetes is a chronic disease that has reached epidemic proportions among adults and children worldwide (
Uncontrolled diabetes has many serious consequences, including heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and other complications.
Prediabetes has also been linked to these conditions .
Importantly, eating certain foods can raise your blood sugar and insulin levels and promote inflammation, which may increase your risk of disease.
This article lists 11 foods and drinks that people with diabetes or prediabetes should avoid.
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What Grains And Starches Are Recommended For A Type 1 Diabetes Diet Plan
Grains and starchy vegetables
Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal are good sources of fiber and nutrients and have a low glycemic load. This makes them good choices. Processed food labels make it very confusing to understand whole grains. For example “whole wheat bread” is made in many different ways and some of it is not really that different from white bread in its blood sugar impact . The same is true for whole grain pasta – it’s still pasta. Whole grains will require less insulin because of their low glycemic load. The best way to understand them is to check the nutrition label. Find the grams of dietary fiber and subtract that from the total carbohydrate. That number should be less than 25 per serving. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, squash, corn, and other root vegetables are higher in carbohydrates than green vegetables but lower than refined grains. They also are good sources of nutrients such as vitamin C. They are best eaten in smaller portions with an additional dose of insulin to cover 1 serving of carbohydrate.
Tricks For Cutting Down On Sugar
Reduce soft drinks, soda, and juice. For each 12 oz. serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage you drink a day, your risk for diabetes increases by about 15%. Try sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime instead. Cut down on creamers and sweeteners you add to tea and coffee.
Dont replace saturated fat with sugar. Many of us replace saturated fat such as whole milk dairy with refined carbs, thinking were making a healthier choice. Low-fat doesnt mean healthy when the fat has been replaced by added sugar.
Sweeten foods yourself. Buy unsweetened iced tea, plain yogurt, or unflavored oatmeal, for example, and add sweetener yourself. Youll likely add far less sugar than the manufacturer.
Check labels and opt for low sugar products and use fresh or frozen ingredients instead of canned goods. Be especially aware of the sugar content of cereals and sugary drinks.
Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar. Prepare more meals at home.
Reducethe amount of sugar in recipes by ¼ to . You can boost sweetness with mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla extract instead of sugar.
Find healthy ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Instead of ice cream, blend up frozen bananas for a creamy, frozen treat. Or enjoy a small chunk of dark chocolate, rather than a milk chocolate bar.
Start with half of the dessert you normally eat, and replace the other half with fruit.
Be careful about alcohol
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What Should You Eat If You Have Diabetes
In truth, a diet aimed at reducing the risks of diabetes is really nothing more than a nutritionally balanced meal plan aimed at supporting maintaining blood sugar levels within range and supporting a healthy weight.
For those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, the main focus of a diabetes-focused diet is being attentive to your weight. That said, a diabetic diet is simply an eating approach that works to keep you healthy, and so is not reserved only for people with diabetes. Your whole family can enjoy the same meals and snacks, regardless of whether others have diabetes or not.
YesThere are a few food decisions that will matter more if you do have diabetes. We provide you with some general guidelines to help you understand how much and how often to eat in order to maintain steady blood sugar levels. And, these recommendations hold true for anyone who has diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as prediabetes and gestational diabetes.
Diet really does matter, a lot!
In fact, if you were recently diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, by decreasing your weight by about 10%, you may even reverse your diabetes, putting it into remission.
How Often Should Someone With Type 2 Diabetes Eat
Regular meals can help in maintaining the blood glucose levels in your body. However, a sudden and excessive intake of nutrients can also spike your sugar levels. Hence, it is necessary to space out your meals and eat in small portions at regular intervals. Nutritionist and fitness coach Vedant Jauhari shares his inputs on how regularly people with diabetes must eat.
People with diabetes need to be extra cautious about their diet to manage insulin resistance. The diet must have a good amount of protein and fats, and a lesser amount of carbohydrates. Ideally, you should eat a light meal every two hours. However, if you are unable to manage that, it is advisable to have a minimum of four meals a day. This will help to maintain a regular supply of nutrients.
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Stay Safe When Blood Glucose Is High
If you have type 1 diabetes, avoid vigorous physical activity when you have ketones in your blood or urine. Ketones are chemicals your body might make when your blood glucose level is too high, a condition called hyperglycemia, and your insulin level is too low. If you are physically active when you have ketones in your blood or urine, your blood glucose level may go even higher. Ask your health care team what level of ketones are dangerous for you and how to test for them.Ketones are uncommon in people with type 2 diabetes.
Eating Well With Type 2 Diabetes
How to make healthy changes without giving up all your favorites
Forget the idea of the “diabetic diet” — a restrictive regime that puts certain foods strictly off-limits. The healthiest diet for people with type 2 diabetes is the same diet that’s best for everyone else.
That means eating a wide variety of foods, and including items from all the major food groups represented on the Food Pyramid — protein, dairy, grains, and fruits and vegetables — every day. It means watching your portion sizes. It means getting enough fiber, and avoiding an overload of fat, salt, alcohol, and sugar.
Following these steps will not only help control your blood sugar, but can also help you reach a healthy weight, something that’s especially important for people with diabetes.
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How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.
What Foods Should Be Avoided If You Have Type 1 Diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes should avoid many of the same unhealthy foods that everyone should limit. In short, this means restricting processed foods and food with a high glycemic load. This includes
- sodas ,
- processed/refined sugars ,
- trans fats , and
- high-fat animal products.
Restrict white foods i.e. pasta, bread, scones, cookies, flour, sugar, white potato, etc. This is an easy way to remove high glycemic load foods. It is important to remember that, unlike type 2 diabetes, food choices didn’t specifically contribute to developing type 1 diabetes but they do impact how someone manages diabetes. People with type 1 and 2 diabetes alike are at risk for the complications that stem from high blood sugar, such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. Because of this, attention to healthy eating is important and foods that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease should be avoided.
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Sugar Substitutes And Diabetes
The current belief is that people who need to follow a diabetes diet should avoid added sweeteners of all kinds, including sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners. Researchers have found that people who consume foods with any form of sweetener typically crave more of these foods, and end up gaining weight.
Your best bet is to begin using fruit to get your sweet fix. By adding fruit to foods, you totally avoid the added sugars and sugar alcohols and get the added benefit of dietary fiber, which is better for blood glucose control.
Of all the alternative sweeteners, stevia is the one I recommend most often, says Ms. Zanini. Its a great natural and zero-calorie option for blood sugar control when added to beverages, hot cereals, and other foods when you are looking for a little sweetness.
Youll have to experiment with stevia, she adds, because it works better with some foods than with others.
One of the best changes anyone with diabetes can make is to switch from white food productswhite bread, white potatoes in any form, and white ricethat can also cause notable spikes in blood sugar to similar products made from whole grains, like multigrain sourdough bread, shredded wheat or sweet potatoes, and roasted red potatoes that still have the skin on.
What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
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Whats The Best Diet For Diabetes
Whether youre trying to prevent or control diabetes, your nutritional needs are virtually the same as everyone else, so no special foods are necessary. But you do need to pay attention to some of your food choicesmost notably the carbohydrates you eat. While following a Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diet can help with this, the most important thing you can do is to lose a little weight.
Losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Losing weight and eating healthier can also have a profound effect on your mood, energy, and sense of wellbeing. People with diabetes have nearly double the risk of heart disease and are at a greater risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression.
But most cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable and some can even be reversed. Even if youve already developed diabetes, its not too late to make a positive change. By eating healthier, being more physically active, and losing weight, you can reduce your symptoms. Taking steps to prevent or control diabetes doesnt mean living in deprivation it means eating a tasty, balanced diet that will also boost your energy and improve your mood. You dont have to give up sweets entirely or resign yourself to a lifetime of bland food.
Trying To Lose Weight Meal Skipping Is Not The Answer
The diet market in the U.S. is a powerful force – reaching an estimated value of $78 billion in 2019. If you are a constant “dieter” and are still not getting the results you need, you might be lured into trying the next step. Why not skip meals to shed pounds? You’d save money and lose weight, right?
Skipping meals is definitely not the answer. In fact, skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do, especially if you have diabetes. It’s one thing to skip a meal because you are busy or something came up unexpectedly, but you should not skip meals intentionally.
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Be Consistent With Your Carbs
Try to eat three meals per day at regular times and space your meals no more than six hours apart. Eating at regular times helps your body control blood sugar levels. It also helps to try to eat about the same amount of food at each meal, especially carbohydrates.
Consider learning about counting carbohydrates as the amount of carbohydrate eaten at one time is usually important in managing diabetes. Having too many carbohydrates at a meal may cause your blood sugar level to go too high, and not enough carbohydrate may cause your blood sugar to go too low, depending on the type of diabetes medication you take.
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
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Know Which Foods Should Be Staples In Your Diabetes Diet
Kathy Honick, RN, CDCES, a diabetes educator at Mercy Diabetes and Nutrition Center in Washington, Missouri, provides additional details about what you should keep in your pantry and refrigerator:
- Fruits and vegetables are usually good choices, but enjoy fruit in moderation. Your healthcare team can tell you what in moderation means for you.
- Nonstarchy vegetables are a good choice. These include spinach, carrots, broccoli, and green beans.
- Eat whole-grain foods, such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and whole-wheat pasta.
- Include legumes like lentils, kidney, or pinto beans in your meal plans.
- Choose fish over meat two to three times a week.
- For meat, choose lean pork or beef, or chicken or turkey with the skin removed.
- Dairy is important, but go for nonfat versions, even for ice cream.
What Is The A1c Test
The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 2 or 3 months. The test is done at a lab or your doctors office in addition tonot instead ofregular blood sugar testing you do yourself.
A1C testing is part of the ABCs of diabetesimportant steps you can take to prevent or delay health complications down the road:
- A: Get a regular A1C test.
- B: Try to keep your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg .
- C: Manage your cholesterol levels.
- s: Stop smoking or dont start.
The A1C goal for most adults with diabetes is between 7% and 8%, but your goal may be different depending on your age, other health conditions, medicines youre taking, and other factors. Work with your doctor to establish a personal A1C goal for you.
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The Biggest Risk For Diabetes: Belly Fat
Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, your risk is higher if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen as opposed to your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat surrounds the abdominal organs and liver and is closely linked to insulin resistance. You are at an increased risk of developing diabetes if you are:
- A woman with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more
- A man with a waist circumference of 40 inches or more
Calories obtained from fructose are more likely to add weight around your abdomen. Cutting back on sugary foods can mean a slimmer waistline as well as a lower risk of diabetes.