So what’s on the plate of a Diabetic?

Many diabetics have a challenge keeping their glucose levels controlled. Remember that it is a combination of the following 3 factors that ensures good glucose control

1. Use of medication (oral meds or Insulin injections)
2. Diet
3. Exercise

When it comes to diet most diabetics are familiar with the “AVOID” list of foods. Sugar, sweets & chocolates, sugar cooldrinks, cakes, pastries, biscuits, ice cream & puddings are the most popular. If you’re a diabetic and continue consuming the above list then you are literally accelerating the chances of complications of diabetes – blurred vision, kidney failure, sores on feet etc.

However there are many who are compliant to the “AVOID” list yet may still find elevated sugar levels. Many years of clinical experience of working with diabetics has allowed me to create a shortlist of other foods that are most likely spiking sugar and you are not even aware they are the cause.

These are 100% fruit juice, dried fruit, energy drinks, energy bars, muesli (containing nuts & dried fruit), popcorn & rusks.

Juices and dried fruits are a concentrated source of natural sugar resulting in blood sugar elevation. Most energy drinks are loaded with sugar and are not suitable for diabetics. Energy bars tend to be marketed as low fat however that is not equivalent to sugar free.

The key to remember (as discussed in a previous article about Understanding carbs) is that a diabetic should be aware of all foods that elevate bloods sugar levels. Grains, fruit & vegetables are all Healthy but they need to be eaten in the correct portions to keep sugar controlled. Protein helps to stabilize sugar and thus an extra serving of meat/ fish/ chicken/ egg/ coldmeat etc will not elevate glucose as much as an additional slice of bread/ rice/ potato.

The magic to a diabetic’s diet lies in the correct proportion of carb to protein at meals and snacks and to ensure correct portions at every meal and snack.

Omega 3 available from tuna, sardine, salmon and mackerel is an essential fatty acid that is protective towards cardiovascular health and is anti-inflammatory. Due to diabetics being at high risk of heart disease omega 3 supplements are highly recommended. Make sure that you use good quality omega 3 that is heavy metal free.

Alcohol is metabolized as a sugar so plan in your glass of wine (preferable red & dry) or Whiskey.

So my message in a nutshell would be – it’s not just about “no sugar” but rather getting the carb – protein balance. Remember to rest your glucose regularly and at different times of day. This enables you to monitor your control throughout the day. Test your sugar before a meal or 2 hours after a mail meal. Keep a record of your glucose values.

At Easy Health Wellness we assist our clients by teaching them how to exchange carbs and to count carbs to ensure that they always are in balance at each meal & snack and they can enjoy variety in their eating plans.
The diabetic way of eating is a very healthy way of eating. We can all do with avoiding the refined carbs and eating regularly.