Potential Drawback Of Intermittent Fasting: It May Harm Blood Sugar Control
On the other hand, some experts say that IF carries risks, especially for people who need to keep their blood sugar levels stable. For starters, skipping whole meals can result in poorer blood glucose control, not to mention issues such as fatigue and reduced energyand, thus, an increased risk of injury.
Skipping meals may also cause people to make poor diet choices, which can have the opposite effect on their waistline and blood sugar. If you havent eaten for hours, you may be more inclined to reach for a carb-heavy pastry or plate of pasta, for instance.
Blood sugar management can be a real concern with intermittent fasting for people with type 2 diabetes, Sheth says. Thats why its important to discuss intermittent fasting with your physician, monitor your blood sugar closely, and know that your medications may need to be adjusted as well. Your dietitian and diabetes care and education specialist can help guide and support you through this process.
A plan that severely restricts a persons calories or asks them to skip meals can be hard to stick with long term, too, says Ruth S. Pupo, CDCES, who practices at Adventist Health White Memorial in Los Angeles. While losing weight can be beneficial for people with diabetes, because it increases insulin sensitivity, putting weight back on can have the opposite effect, increasing the risk for diabetes complications.
Symptoms Develop Gradually With Type 2 Diabetes
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop graduallyso gradually, in fact, that its possible to miss them or to not connect them as related symptoms. Some people are actually surprised when they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes because theyve gone to the doctor for something else .
If youre not insulin resistantand instead your body doesnt produce enough insulin to process glucose wellthe symptoms also develop gradually. Your body will be able to make do with lower insulin levels for awhile, but eventually, you will start to notice the following symptoms.
Tips For When Temptation Strikes
In diabetes diet terms, temptation translates to foods you shouldnt eat because they are loaded with sugar and empty carbs that will send your blood sugar skyrocketing. That piece of cake, cinnamon bun, brownie, or bag of chips usually contain more than just carbs, they usually contribute unhealthy fats, too.
The less often you eat these sugary, fatty desserts and snacks, the less you will come to want them. Some people do better allowing yourself an occasional craving. Striking the right balance will depend upon your goals, and urgency.
Heres the thing: this word of caution is not just for people with diabetes who need to watch their sugar and fat intake, in truth, it is a red flag for anyone who wants stay healthy and avoid chronic diseases. Thats why the whole family benefits from eating healthy foods and saving small indulgences for special occasions.
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Only You Can Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Its annoying but true: The best way to lower your blood sugar is to avoid a spike in the first place.
Eating whole foods that are low in sugar and exercising regularly will help keep your blood sugar in check. This can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, but medications may also be necessary to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
To avoid food-based spikes, try to steer clear of added sugars in your diet. The FDA recommends consuming less than 200 calories a day from added sugars.
That sounds pretty simple, but when you realize that 16 ounces of orange juice has 240 calories , its easy to see how sugar consumption gets out of hand.
Its best to avoid all sugary drinks and check the labels. There are hidden sugars in everything from bread to turkey slices, so double-check your favorite foods to make sure you arent getting any unnecessary sweetness.
Avoiding Hyperglycemia & Preventing Diabetic Ketoacidosis
The best way to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis is to treat high blood sugar levels appropriately, which means following the diabetes management plan prescribed by the diabetes health care team.
Make sure your child:
- takes insulin and diabetes medicines as prescribed
- follows the meal plan and/or makes appropriate adjustments to diabetes medicines when changes to the meal plan are made
- monitors his or her blood sugar levels regularly and ketone levels when indicated
- follows the instructions and advice of the diabetes health care team and diabetes management plan, which should include instructions for sick days
A number of things can cause hyperglycemia:
- If you have type 1, you may not have given yourself enough insulin.
- If you have type 2, your body may have enough insulin, but it is not as effective as it should be.
- You ate more than planned or exercised less than planned.
- You have stress from an illness, such as a cold or flu.
- You have other stress, such as family conflicts or school or dating problems.
- You may have experienced the dawn phenomenon .
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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.
When To Seek Medical Help
You should never ignore diarrhea. If you have tried the above-listed home remedies and still have loose stools, call your doctor or your pharmacist. They might recommend over-the-counter medicine that can help.
On the other hand, you should see a doctor right away if you or your child have persistent or severe diarrhea or show signs of dehydration, such as:
Sunken cheeks or eyes
Skin that doesn’t retract when pinched
Babies under 3 months old with diarrhea should be taken to a doctor or emergency room right away. Don’t wait or try to treat the condition at home.
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How To Lower Blood Sugar With Diet
What happens if you remove foods that raise your blood sugar from your diet? Is there anything good left to eat? We think so. In fact, we have a whole guide on the best foods to control diabetes.
But a picture is worth a thousand words. These are just a few of the delicious foods that dont raise blood sugar for just about everyone:
Many people with type 2 diabetes are now choosing a diet based primarily on low-carb foods, and many clinicians are catching on as well.14
A person with type 2 diabete will often notice that, starting with the first meal, their blood sugar improves. The need for medications, especially insulin, is usually dramatically reduced. Substantial weight loss and health marker improvements often follow.15 Finally, people usually feel better and have more energy and alertness. 16
Choosing foods low in carbs is an effective way to help you control your blood sugar and is safe for most people. However, if you are taking medications for your diabetes, you must work with your healthcare provider to adjust your medications when you change your diet since the need for medications, especially insulin, may be greatly reduced.17
If you are looking for a doctor who will work with you to control your diabetes with a change in diet, our map may help you find one.
Prediabetes And Type 2 Diabetes
If left untreated, prediabetes can turn into fully-fledged type 2 diabetes, a chronic health condition in which your body is unable to effectively absorb glucose for metabolism, resulting in high blood sugar. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to an array of health complications, from stroke and heart attack, to kidney disease, tissue damage, blindness, and a string of life-threatening infections.
While a prediabetes diagnosis should be a loud wake-up call, it doesn’t imply that you will automatically get type 2 diabetes. Reversing prediabetes is possible with certain lifestyle changes. But itâs important to note that prediabetes itself can be damaging – many diabetes already have tissue damage by the time of their diagnosis. A wake up call and a call to action.
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Fat Is A Source Of Energy That Does Not Raise Your Blood Sugar
Unlike carbs or protein, fat cannot be broken down or converted into glucose efficiently. Furthermore, fat does not require insulin to get into cells to be used for energy, thereby bypassing the problem of insulin resistance. In fact, high insulin levels impair the bodyâs ability to use fat for fuel, driving it instead into fat cells for storage.
To adapt your metabolism to using fat as your main source of energy, dietary carbohydrates must be reduced to below your unique tolerance level. When you do this, your blood insulin level will come down, giving your body increased ability to burn both the fats you eat and those which you have in storage. For most people, this means switching from the standard recommended high carb, moderate protein, and low fat diet to a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet. Fat adaptation does not happen overnightâit can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks for most of its benefits to occur, and possibly longer for the full benefits to occur.
Foods That Fight Diabetes
Pritikin eating means focusing on whole foods that are naturally rich in fiber and naturally low in fats, sugars, and industrial refinement. Pritikin foods are vegetables, whole fruits , whole grains, legumes such as beans and peas, nonfat dairy foods, and moderate servings of lean meat such as fish, skinless chicken breast, and game meat like bison and venison.
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Get Trendy With Apple Cider Vinegar
If you do a quick Google search, youll see that apple cider vinegar is good for pretty much everything. You can use it to tone your skin, clean your pipes, and possibly lower your blood sugar!
A clinical review found that taking ACV daily could reduce blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, most of the trials were very small and some had mixed results.
But since youve probably got it in your house anyway, try taking a swig or two before meals, testing yourself, and seeing if a little ACV shot works for you .
The Fattest People On Earth
The Pimas of Arizona are among the fattest groups of people in the world. The only populations more obese are people living on some isolated Pacific Islands. On the Gila River reservation in Arizona, children as young as six and seven are so obese they cannot run. They lumber across baseball fields, out of breath before they get to first base.
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Watch For High Glycemic Foods
Every treatment plan for prediabetes has a diet component. Healthy eating is non-negotiable, all the more important if youâre overweight. You must watch what goes into your body, lest it tip the scale in favor of diabetes.
While thereâs no single best diet for prediabetes, healthy foods you can nourish your body with should meet at least two criteria: the food i) must not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar, or ii) must not worsen insulin resistance.
Foods that rank lower on the Glycemic Index are better for prediabetes as they are less likely to affect your blood sugar. Prediabetes researchers are actually finding that high carb food can slow your metabolism, cause weight gain and increase insulin resistance. Lower GI foods include:
None of this is to suggest that you should cut off carbs however, the trick is to play safe with portion control. A general rule of thumb is to load roughly half your plate with non-starchy veggies while a quarter should be dedicated to proteins. The final quarter should be filled with low-GI starchy foods like peas, corn, sweet potatoes, and potatoes.
Goal : Attain Normal Lab Results
Your physician will work with you to establish individual goals for blood glucose, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure. Regular testing will help ensure that your diet plan, exercise strategies and medication, if necessary, are all working together to keep your blood sugar, lipids, blood pressure, and your body weight, in healthy ranges.
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Reductions In Average Blood Sugar
Diabetes is diagnosed by a fasting blood sugar over 126 mg/dL, or an HbA1c greater than or equal to 6.5%. Maintaining nutritional ketosis leads to lower average blood sugars, since eating fewer carbs means less overall sugar entering your bloodstream. Fasting and meal-time blood sugars can rapidly decrease in just the first few days or weeks of carbohydrate restriction. After 2â3 months, you are also likely to see reductions in your HbA1c, which is a measure of your blood sugar control over a 3-month period.
What Causes Prediabetes
The exact cause is not yet clear to the scientific community, but itâs often linked to insulin resistance. The hormone insulin is produced by the pancreas and its role is to regulate the absorption of sugar â or glucose to be more accurate â into the cells.
You can think of insulin as the special key that provides glucose with access to the cells where it will eventually be used to make energy. Insulin resistance is when body cells donât respond properly to this hormone, causing blood sugar to spike.
An estimated 9 out of 10 Americans with prediabetes donât know they have it, but it is easy to understand why. As a nearly silent condition, with very few symptoms that are apparent outside of a blood test.
Whatâs more, detecting the condition is fairly easy using a common blood test like the Fasting Plasma Glucose test, an HbA1C test, as well as other insulin resistance tests like a glucose challenge. Someone is diagnosed with prediabetes if their FPG test returns a result of between 100 and 125, or if your A1C results between 5.7% and 6.4%.
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Putting It All Together
Treating and managing diabetes can seem complicated at times. But your diabetes health care team is there for you. Your diabetes management plan should be easy to understand, detailed, and written down for you so that you can refer to it whenever you need to.
You also might hear about alternative treatments for diabetes, such as herbal remedies and vitamin or mineral supplements. These practices can be risky, especially when people stop following the treatment plan their doctor has given them. So get the facts by talking to your diabetes health care team.
How Long Does It Take To Reverse Diabetes
When Jeff first came to the Pritikin Longevity Center several years ago, he was a type 2 diabetic.
But by his third day of eating and exercising Pritikin-style, his blood sugar had plummeted to normal, non-diabetic levels. By the third day it happened that quickly! recalls the Pritikin guest.
There is much we can do with a healthy lifestyle alone, no medications needed, to prevent diabetes. How long does it take to control diabetes with food and fitness? Find out below.
And by the third day, I got this burst of energy, says Jeff. I felt as good as I did when I was in high school. And all this without taking any medications just eating healthy and exercising. Thats all it was!
Not everyones blood sugar tumbles as quickly as Jeffs, but there is plenty of research affirming that a healthy diet like the Pritikin Eating Plan combined with daily exercise can profoundly reduce blood sugar levels in just two to three weeks time.
Guests at the Pritikin Center learn about the best foods for reversing diabetes at a Diabetic Luncheon with Kimberly Gomer, Director of Nutrition.
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Whether Youve Been Diagnosed With Prediabetes Or Full
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A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or even prediabetes usually means the doctor has suggested that you make some changes to your diet or the diet of someone you care for. This is a good time to become wiser about how you are eating on a regular basis.
Fortunately, following a diabetes diet doesnt mean giving up the joy of eating or avoiding your favorite foods and special family meals. You can still enjoy pizza night, celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and partake in holiday meals and vacation dining. This is more about your routine daily food choices and meal planning.
Use the four sections of a plate as a guide when planning healthy meals for someone with diabetes. Photo: 123RF
Eating to control and prevent diabetes is much more about making wise food adjustments than it is about denial and deprivation. A better way to look at a diet when you have diabetes is one that helps you establish a new normal when it comes to your eating habits and food choices.