Diabetes And Celiac Disease
People with celiac disease need to avoid products made with wheat, barley, and rye, as their bodies are unable to process the gluten that is present in these products.
A person with both celiac disease and type 2 diabetes should check food labels to ensure the food they buy is gluten-free.
What should people eat if they need to avoid gluten? Find out more here.
Your Weight Is Important
Losing weight will make it easier for your body to lower your blood sugar level, and can improve your blood pressure and cholesterol.
To know whether you’re overweight, work out your body mass index .
If you need to lose weight, it is recommended for most people to do it slowly over time. Aim for around 0.5 to 1kg a week.
The charity Diabetes UK has more information on healthy weight and weight loss.
There is evidence that eating a low-calorie diet on a short-term basis can help with symptoms of type 2 diabetes. And some people have found that their symptoms go into remission.
A low-calorie diet is not safe or suitable for everyone with type 2 diabetes, such as people who need to take insulin. So it is important to get medical advice before going on this type of diet.
Page last reviewed: 18 August 2020 Next review due: 18 August 2023
Introducing The Diabetes Plate Method
No matter which eating pattern works best for you, it can still be hard to know where to start when it comes to building healthy meals that help you manage your blood sugarwhile still being tasty.
Thats where the Diabetes Plate Method comes in. Using this method, you can create perfectly portioned meals with a healthy balance of vegetables, protein and carbohydrateswithout any counting, calculating, weighing or measuring. All you need is a plate!
And once youve got the Plate Method down, check out these tasty plates for some meal planning inspiration! Find articles like this and more from the nutrition experts at the American Diabetes Associations Diabetes Food Hub®the premier food and cooking destination for people living with diabetes and their families.
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Why Does Carb Intake Matter For People With Diabetes
Carbs, protein, and fat are the macronutrients that provide your body with energy.
Among them, carbs have the greatest effect on your blood sugar by far. This is because theyre broken down into sugar, or glucose, and absorbed into your bloodstream.
Carbs include starches, sugar, and fiber. However, fiber isnt digested and instead absorbed by your body in the same way other carbs are, so it doesnt raise your blood sugar.
Subtracting fiber from the total carbs in a portion of food will give you its digestible or net carb content. For instance, if a cup of mixed vegetables contains 10 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fiber, its net carb count is 6 grams.
When people with diabetes consume too many carbs at a time, their blood sugar levels can rise to dangerously high levels.
Over time, high levels can damage your bodys nerves and blood vessels, which may set the stage for heart disease, kidney disease, and other serious health conditions.
Maintaining a low carb intake can help prevent blood sugar spikes and greatly reduce the risk of diabetes complications.
Therefore, its important to avoid the foods and drinks listed below.
Sugary beverages are the worst drink choice for someone with diabetes.
First, theyre very high in carbs, with a 12-ounce can of cola providing 38.5 grams .
The same amount of sweetened iced tea and lemonade each contain almost 45 grams of carbs exclusively from sugar .
Artificial trans fats are extremely unhealthy.
Avoid Alcohol Or Drink Only In Moderation
Before you indulge in a cocktail or even a glass of wine with dinner, check with your doctor to make sure that its safe for you to drink alcohol, since it can interfere with your blood-sugar levels. If you do drink, keep it in moderation, advises the ADA. Moderation is generally defined as no more than one serving per day if youre a woman, and no more than two if youre a man. A typical serving is measured as 5 ounces of wine, 12 oz of beer, or 1.5 oz of distilled liquor.
Diabetes medication is processed through the liver, and so is alcohol, explains Kimberlain. This double whammy can be too much for your liver. If youre taking insulin, it can cause low blood sugar, especially if youre drinking and not eating.
As for best and worst choices at the bar, Kimberlain recommends mixed drinks like diet soda with rum , or hard liquor with ice or calorie-free mixers. Avoid sweet wines like prosecco and foofy umbrella drinks with lots of sugar.
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When Youre Managing Diabetes And Prediabetes Your Eating Plan Is A Powerful Tool
But figuring out what to eat can feel like a hassle, right? Well, it doesn’t have to because there are easy things you can do to add flavor to your daily routineincluding healthy twists on your favorite foods.
One key to feeling your best lies in the food you eat. You can start by working with a registered dietitian nutritionist to make an eating plan that works for you. In it, be sure to include the foods you likeand dont be afraid to try something new.
Most importantly, remember that eating welland adding activity to your daily routine by moving moreare important ways you can manage diabetes. And were here to help you every step of the way.
Impact Of Diet On Diabetes
Several factors can affect diabetes management. The individual can manage many of these, including:
- what they eat, how much of it, and how often
- carbohydrate intake
- how frequently they monitor their blood sugar
- the amount of physical activity
- the accuracy and consistency of any medication dosing
- duration and quality of sleep
Even small changes in one of these areas can affect blood sugar management.
When a person eats mindfully, measures portions every day, incorporates daily activity, sleeps well, and takes medication as directed, they can improve blood sugar levels significantly.
With good glucose management comes a lower risk of complications, such as coronary artery disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
It is also important for people to keep an eye on their weight. Managing what they eat and increasing physical activity can help a person achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
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What You Eat And Drink
The calories in, calories out philosophy is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don’t get me wrong, limiting calories, carbohydrates or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy .
I do, however, support calorie labelling as a tool to help people make informed decisions – the amount and type of calories matter.
Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods . This simple concept is paramount for diabetes and weight management, energy, and overall health and wellness.
Every day this is what you should strive for:
Begin A Vegan Diet: Avoid Animal Products
Animal products contain fat, especially saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease, insulin resistance, and certain forms of cancer. These products also contain cholesterol and, of course, animal protein. It may surprise you to learn that diets high in animal protein can aggravate kidney problems and calcium losses. Animal products never provide fiber or healthful carbohydrates. A vegan diet is one that contains no animal products at all. Therefore, youll have to avoid red meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
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Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Type 2 Diabetes
For most people with type 2 diabetes, the general guideline for moderate alcohol consumption applies. Research shows that one drink per day for women and two a day for men reduces cardiovascular risk and doesn’t have a negative impact on diabetes. However, alcohol can lower blood sugar, and people with type 2 diabetes who are prone to hypoglycemia should be aware of delayed hypoglycemia.
Ways to prevent hypoglycemia include:
- Eat food with alcoholic drinks to help minimize the risk.
- Mixed drinks and cocktails often are made with sweeteners or juices, and contain a large amount of carbohydrates so they will increase blood sugar levels.
- Wear a diabetes alert bracelet so that people know to offer food if you demonstrate hypoglycemic symptoms.
It also is important to know that hypoglycemia symptoms often mimic those of intoxication.
What You Need To Know About Eating With Diabetes
How much do calories matter? For people with diabetes, the exact number of calories to consume each day is based on the amount and timing of food that assures you can youre your blood sugar levels stable and your weight within a healthy range. That number can change, depending on your age, activity level, frame size, current versus preferred weight, and other factors.
When the goal is a healthy weight and blood sugar control, a good starting point for a woman is 1,400-1,600 calories a day, with main meals containing up to 30 grams of fiber-rich carbohydrates, and snacks containing 10-20 grams of fiber-rich carbohydrates, Ms. Zanini advises. For men and more physically active women who are already at a healthy weight, you may start with a 2,000-2,200 calorie meal plan, in which you may increase proportionately your carbs.
Recent research suggests that by eating a big breakfast, and a modest lunch, so you get most of your calories in by 3 pm, you will find it easier to lose weight and achieve better blood sugar control.
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What Is The Ada Diabetes Diet
The American Diabetes Association advocates for a healthy diet with an emphasis on balancing energy intake with exercise. Historically, they have advocated for the majority of calories coming from complex carbohydrates from whole grains such as whole-grain bread and other whole-grain cereal products and a decreased intake of total fat with most of it coming from unsaturated fat.
Recently, this has shifted to acknowledge that there is no one ideal macronutrient ratio, and that dietary plans should be individualized. ADA guidelines advocate:
- Low glycemic load
- Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages including soda
- The importance of fat quality as well as quantity
However, many people find these guidelines difficult to implement in real-life, and the dietary patterns described below can be easier and more common sense ways for people to manage their eating plan.
Three Diabetes Diet Strategies: Basic Guidelines For People With Diabetes
Finding your way to a healthy diet can reduce the risks associated with diabetes. There are three main goals, according to the American Diabetes Association , so following these proven strategies will help you to:
1. Achieve a healthy body weight. Body mass index uses your height and weight to determine how much body fat you carry. A BMI of 18.5 to 25 is considered to be a healthy weight range with a healthy amount of body fat.Another measure: waist circumference is considered by many to be a better measure of excess abdominal body fat. A waist circumferencegreater than 40 inches for men, and above 35 inches in womenhas been shown to increase the risk of developing health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
The closer you are to a healthy body weight or at least an acceptable waist circumference, the more likely you will be able to control and, possibly reverse your risks of diabetes.
Dont get overwhelmed by thinking about how much total weight you have to lose, Ms. Arevalo advises. Studies have shown that losing just 5-10% of your body weight will significantly improve your blood sugar levels as well as your cardiovascular health so set short-term goals of losing just 5-10 pounds to start.
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Plan Ahead For Healthy Meals
Planning healthier meals and snacks can go a long way to helping you reach your goals. Talk to your registered dietitian or health-care team about the amount of carbohydrates that are right for you and for help with meal planning. A weekly meal plan will help you shop for the right foods and encourage more cooking at home.
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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Foods For Other Conditions
Diabetes often occurs with other diseases, such as kidney and cardiovascular disease.
In some cases, the dietary needs between all these conditions change very little. In others, the person may need to follow their diet much more carefully. Doing this may help to address some of their symptoms.
Here are examples of foods to eat or avoid with some coexisting diseases.
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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Avoid Chocolates And Candy Bars
Chocolates are everyones favorites. Most of you are quite irritated to know that chocolates are also on the ban list but wait and cool down. While most of the chocolates do have a very high sugar content but you can totally substitute them for dark chocolates. Dark chocolates are also better for diabetics as they are heart-friendly and studies show that they can also help to check your blood sugar level. But the mantra lies in having everything in moderation. You can also try out milk chocolates that have less sugar content.
Candy bars, on the other hand, are best to be avoided. One candy bar alone has over 25g of carbs and so you can understand what you need to do. Cut these out from your life today!
Sip On Flavored Seltzer Rather Than Fruit Juice
While fiber-rich whole fruits are considered healthy carbohydrates for people with diabetes, fruit juice is another story. People with diabetes should avoid drinking juice, even 100 percent fruit juice, says Kimberlain. Fruit juice contains more vitamins and minerals than soda and other sugary drinks, but the problem is that juices have concentrated amounts of fruit sugar and therefore cause your blood sugar to spike quickly. Plus, sipping fruit juice doesnt fill you up the same way that eating a piece of fruit does, because juice doesn’t have the same fiber that’s found in whole fruit, she adds. If you want a refreshing drink, go for zero-calorie plain or naturally flavored seltzer with a spritz of lemon or lime. Infusing water with cucumber and mint is nice too, suggests Kimberlain.
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Type 2 Diabetes Meal Plan
We know that one of the hardest parts of adjusting to a diabetes diet can be the feeling like youre giving up a lot of your favorite foods.
Thats why weve put together a database of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and snacks that will make you feel like youre not missing a beat! See how a week might look in our sample meal plan.
You can reach out to our coaches if youd like help putting together one of your own.
Go On A Structured Education Course
Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can often feel like theres a lot to learn. But going on a course can help you understand what diabetes is and how food affects your body.
Ask your healthcare team about getting on a structured education course near you or find out more in our education information.
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