These are Drinks that Diabetics Should and Shouldn’t Have

These are Drinks that Diabetics Should and Shouldn’t Have-1

These are Drinks that Diabetics Should and Shouldn’t Have

These are Drinks that Diabetics Should and Shouldn’t Have-1

When it comes to diabetes, it is imperative that you take the utmost care and precaution in what you eat and drink on a daily basis. You can never be too careful in maintaining your blood sugar levels such that zero-calorie or low-calorie drinks are the only ones that diabetics should consume. While living with diabetes is no easy feat, there are ways to ensure that your condition is stabilized. This means taking into account what you eat and drink so that you can prevent your condition from worsening. You may think that diabetics can’t enjoy themselves in choosing what they want to drink but there are still some healthy and harmless options that are surprisingly yummy and beneficial for your health. Here are five drinks that diabetics can have.

1. Water

You can never go wrong with some water. Not only does it hydrate your body to the fullest, but it is also great for your blood sugar levels as it won’t cause them to increase at all. What’s more, if you drink a sufficient amount of water daily, your body will be able to remove extra sugar in the form of glucose when you urinate. Fret not if drinking huge amounts of water seem boring and frankly, quite unbearable after a while as there is an array of variations that you can consume. Some of these options include adding fruits like lemon, lime, orange and frozen fruits into your drink. They will add a mildly sweet and fruity taste to your otherwise plain beverage and make it all the more pleasurable to consume. If fruity tastes are not to your liking, you can try adding mint or basil instead for a more refreshing take! 

2. Tea

Tea has always been known to provide a myriad of health benefits when consumed regularly. In particular, green tea is great for reducing blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels which can be detrimental to your health if they get too high. You can also choose to drink other teas like black, herbal, earl grey and jasmine green tea which are all just as beneficial. Not to mention that teas like earl grey and jasmine green tea contain caffeine so if you’re looking for a morning drink before work, definitely give them a try. For tea lovers, drinking a couple of cups a day should be a breeze and we recommend that you drink six cups a day to decrease your likelihood of getting type two diabetes. Be sure to drink your tea unsweetened and add rooibos or lemon if you want additional flavor. 

3. Coffee

For those who can’t start their day without a steaming cup of coffee, the good news is that you don’t have to give it up. What’s more, drinking more than one cup a day is good for your health as your likelihood of getting type two diabetes dramatically decreases. This is regardless of whether you prefer drinking caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee; both have the same advantages for your body. The only downside is that you cannot add any form of sweetener to your drink. This means no milk, cream or sugar in order to prevent your overall calorie count from increasing which will badly impact your blood sugar levels. 

4. Vegetable Juice

If you like to drink a cup of fruit or vegetable juice to detox in the morning, you don’t have to ditch this habit because of diabetes. All you need to do is switch your usual juice blend with tomato juice or a substitute for vegetable juice. Your daily detox drink can still be yummy even without fruit juice that is rich in sugar; simply throw in vegetables like celery and cucumbers as well as some naturally sweet berries and we guarantee that you will have yourself a healthy concoction that is packed with all the vitamins and minerals you’ll need for the day. 

5. Low-fat Milk

The ingredients in the drinks you consume on a daily basis can heavily impact your health and condition and it is imperative that you pursue a low-carb diet. Many may not know that dairy products like milk are actually high in carbohydrates but this does not mean that you can’t drink milk at all. The next time you go grocery shopping, opt for unsweetened, low-fat, or skim forms of your favorite milk brand. While you should avoid soy and rice milk, feel free to pick up a fortified nut or coconut milk if you are looking to try something new for your diet. 

Mojito alcohol drink with mint and lemon

This may seem like a limited list of options when it comes to the type of beverages you can consume, but it will be beneficial in the long run. On the other hand, be sure to steer clear of the next five drinks that we are going to list here as they will significantly increase your blood sugar levels. 

1. Regular Soda

High in carbohydrates and calories, soda is rich in sugar and does nothing to keep you healthy. Drinking soda will cause you to gain weight and increase your blood sugar levels; the number one thing you want to avoid when you are diabetic. 

2. Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are great for keeping you awake when you have a ton of work to complete but definitely opt for alternatives like coffee instead. This is as energy drinks will cause a rise in your blood sugar and insulin resistance which will lead to a higher risk of developing type two diabetes. 

3. Diet Soda

At first glance, diet soda seems healthy because it boasts of reduced sugar but many do not know that regular sugar is just replaced with artificial sweeteners. This, in turn, causes an increase in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight gain, which are all health dangers for diabetics. 

These are Drinks that Diabetics Should and Shouldn’t Have-03

4. Sweetened Fruit Juices

It is hard to resist sugar most of the time but it is important to get fruit juices that are 100 percent natural and pure with no added sugar at all. Just a little sugar goes a long way in increasing your blood sugar and carbohydrate levels.

5. Alcohol

Frequent and high consumption of alcohol can lead to the onset of prediabetes and type two diabetes among both men and women. If you have to drink alcohol, we recommend that you choose red wine as it is low in carbohydrates and does not negatively impact people with type two diabetes. 

At the end of the day, it is best to play it safe and opt for natural drinks like water and naturally sweetened juices. It is possible to still enjoy your drinks even without sugar; all you have to do is get creative with your concoctions and soon enough, you won’t find yourself missing sugary drinks at all. 

Why Carbohydrate Counting Can Be Good For Diabetics

Why Carbohydrate Counting Can Be Good For Diabetics-1

Why Carbohydrate Counting Can Be Good For Diabetics

Why Carbohydrate Counting Can Be Good For Diabetics-1

Carbohydrate counting may sound like a fairly foreign term to most of us, but it is extremely important for people living with type one and type two diabetes. Even if you do not have diabetes, this meal planning tool can be useful for you to take note of your daily food and nutrients intake so that you can avoid developing diabetes. Some of the reasons why it is important to include the fact that carbohydrates greatly affect your blood sugar levels. The very first step is in knowing what are the good and bad carbohydrates that you are currently consuming. This article will give you all the information you’ll need to know about the foods you should and should not eat as well as why carbohydrate counting is good for you. Read on to find out more about what diet plans are suitable for your health in the long run. 

Which Foods Contain Carbohydrates?

We often do not know what types of vitamins and nutrients we are eating on a daily basis but when it comes to carbohydrates, it is fairly easy to recognize what type of foods contain them. Some common food items that contain carbohydrates are grains, fruits, dairy products, legumes, snack foods, juices, soft drinks, energy drinks, and vegetables. We’re sure that you can easily identify most of them from your grocery list but it is imperative to know that not all of these items are good for you. If you are watching your blood sugar level and want it to decrease or maintain, you should definitely avoid anything with added sugars. Foods like sweets, cakes, energy drinks and fruit juices with added sugar all contribute towards raising your blood sugar level. Besides those, you will be glad to know that plenty of meat, fish, poultry, and cheese do not contain carbohydrates so be sure to adjust your diet to exclude carbohydrate-rich foods the next time you stock up your kitchen. 

What Happens When You Eat Foods containing Carbohydrates?

Whenever you eat, your body digests the food in various stages. The digestive system works to break the sugars and starches in foods that contain carbohydrates to produce glucose. The insulin in your body then aids cells in your body in absorbing glucose and in turn, raising your blood glucose levels. For people with type one and type two diabetes, your insulin sensitivity may be relatively low such that your body produces more insulin than needed, thus causing your blood sugar to rise infinitely. This is if precaution is not taken with respect to your daily food intake. 

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How Can Carbohydrate Counting Help You?

With carbohydrates being one of the main culprits in raising your blood sugar levels, carbohydrate counting will impede the development of diabetes by maintaining your blood glucose levels. This is beneficial for you as you can stay healthy longer and avoid problems like kidney disease, blindness and nerve damage, among other ailments. Besides carbohydrate counting, you may also need diabetes medicines and insulin shots to further help you to keep a healthy blood sugar level. 

How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need Each Day?

When it comes to how much carbohydrates and other nutrients a person need for their daily intake, it varies and depends on each person. There is no set number that you can follow but experts recommend that the amount of carbohydrates most people should consume is between 45 and 65 percent of total calories. This depends on how regularly you work out and how many calories you require to get energy. In general, one gram of carbohydrate equates to around four calories so carbohydrate counting is fairly simple; just divide the number of calories you want to get from carbohydrates by four to keep track of the number of grams you are consuming. Be sure to keep a list of what you eat throughout the day so that you can take note of your carbohydrates intake.

How Can You Find Out How Much Carbohydrate is in the Foods You Eat?

This can be tricky if you are not used to buying foods with nutrition labels attached to them. However, fret not for common foods like a slice of bread, ⅓ cup of pasta or rice and ½ cup of canned or fresh fruit contain around 15 grams of carbohydrate. It will get easier to calculate once you get the hang of it and know what are the usual foods you consume; definitely research online if you are unsure. For food items with nutrition labels, all you have to do is take note of the serving size and total grams of carbohydrate per serving to calculate your carbohydrate intake for that meal.

Can You Eat Sweets and Other Foods and Drinks with Added Sugars?

You can still satisfy your sweet tooth once in a while with a small dessert or two but it is important that you are disciplined and only consume small amounts. Added sugars are commonly found in soft drinks, cakes, ice cream, and candy so be sure to look out for their ingredients list; ingredients like corn syrup and fructose are just some added sugars to be aware of. 

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How You Will Know Counting Carbs is Working 

The simplest way to tell whether carbohydrate counting is working for you is by regularly checking your blood glucose levels. You can do so with a glucose meter or an A1C blood test, which you should have minimally twice a year. If your blood glucose levels are still too high after you have cut down on your carbs, you’ll need to make more changes to your diet and lifestyle as well as your medication. 

Moderating your diet and cutting down on your carbohydrates intake is no easy feat, especially in the initial stages. Set mini-milestones for yourself when you start carbohydrate counting and reward yourself with a small sweet treat whenever you successfully manage to cut your carbohydrate consumption. Making small changes to your lifestyle and diet can go a long way in keeping you well and healthy so don’t be afraid to try something new like carbohydrate counting to improve your life. 

11 Foods That Diabetics Should Keep Away From

11 Foods That Diabetics Should Keep Away From-1

11 Foods That Diabetics Should Keep Away From

11 Foods That Diabetics Should Keep Away From-1

Living with diabetes can get tricky when it comes to adjusting your food preferences. When watching your blood sugar and insulin levels, there are various foods that you can no longer indulge in. Even if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, it is best that you watch out and take note of the list of foods you should avoid. This is so that you can steer clear of developing health ailments like heart disease, kidney disease, and blindness, among other things. The top of the list will have to be carbohydrates as they have the most impact on your blood sugar. When consumed regularly and in large amounts, carbohydrates will cause a spike in your blood sugar levels which will result in many health complications. However, this is all avoidable as long as you know what foods to avoid. Here are 11 foods that people with diabetes should keep away from. 

1. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

The high carbs content in sugar-sweetened beverages will do a lot of harm to your blood sugar levels as they can lead to insulin resistance and belly fat. Insulin is produced by your body to absorb sugar into your cells but with insulin resistance, sugars like glucose and fructose remain in the bloodstream and cause your blood sugar levels to skyrocket. Not to mention that drinking such beverages can lead to significant weight gain that is detrimental for your condition due to the risk of getting fatty liver. Instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, you can opt for naturally sweetened drinks like fruit-flavored water the next time you’re craving something sweet.

2. Trans Fats

Trans Fats are unsaturated fats found in most spreads like peanut butter and margarine as well as frozen dinners and baked goods like cakes. They are a more stable form of fat as hydrogen is added to them. One of their main uses is as a food preservative and they can cause inflammation, insulin resistance, and belly fat. Although more countries are banning the use of trans fats in food products, they still exist and it is imperative that you watch out for them on the ingredients list. 

3. White Bread, Pasta and Rice

If you have type one or type two diabetes, consuming wheat products like white bread, pasta and rice will lead to higher blood sugar levels and even decreased brain function. This is because they are high in carbs and low in fiber; what this means is that eating these foods will increase your blood sugar levels while the lack of fiber will make it even harder for sugar to be absorbed into your cells. Regardless of that, you don’t have to completely ditch these food items; simply replace them with high-fiber alternatives and you are good to go. 

4. Fruit-Flavored Yogurt

There is a common misconception that yogurt is always a healthier dessert option but this is not true for fruit-flavored yogurt. Despite the fact that it is low in fats, it is full of sugar and carbs. So, the next time you want to eat yogurt, be sure to purchase plain or whole-milk yogurt; you can still derive all the benefits that yogurt can give you while avoiding all the health detriments that come with sugar and carbs. 

5. Sweetened Breakfast Cereals

Grabbing a bowl of cereal before you head out in the morning is the easiest way to get your energy fuel without spending much time. However, if you have the habit of eating sweetened breakfast cereals on a daily basis, your blood sugar levels will rise to astronomical levels. This is as they are low in protein and high in carbs. Protein is the nutrient that will give you the fuel you’ll need every day so look for breakfast options that are high in protein for a hearty and healthy meal.

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6. Flavored Coffee Drinks

Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up caffeine just to stay healthy. In fact, coffee is one of the best beverages that you should consume if you are diabetic but this is with the exception of flavored ones. Sweetened coffee is loaded with carbs and calories so while it will keep you awake, it will also make you gain more weight. Keep it simple with plain coffee and your blood sugar levels will thank you for it in the long run. 

7. Honey, Agave Nectar and Maple Syrup

Besides the usual white and table sugar that you should steer clear from, there is an array of other sweeteners and syrups that are equally bad for you. It is best to avoid sweet delights at all costs but they are not the only culprit as there is also brown sugar, honey, agave nectar and maple syrup which contain just as many carbs. Consuming these forms of sugar not only affects people with type one and two diabetes but people but prediabetes as well; even taking small amounts will go a long way in hiking up your blood sugar levels.

8. Dried Fruit

They may be easier to carry around and eat as a midday snack, but they definitely do not have the same health benefits that fresh fruit do. While you shouldn’t avoid fruit altogether as low-sugar ones like fresh berries are still beneficial for your health, keep dried fruit at bay. Sugar content becomes more concentrated and carb content increases when the fruit is dried; making it relatively unhealthy and damaging to your health. 

9. Packaged Snack Foods

Snacks that boast of being the healthier choice may be true for non-diabetics but their high carb count makes them a bad choice for diabetics. Made with refined flour and providing extremely little nutrients, snacks like saltine crackers, pretzels, and graham crackers are not a good snack option between meals; avoid them and choose a low-carb salad or nuts and berries instead. 

10. Fruit Juice

You will probably be surprised to know that fruit juice, even unsweetened ones, can contain more sugar than sweetened beverages like soda. Rich in fructose, fruit juice can cause insulin resistance, obesity and heart disease so replace them with plain water and mint or lemon for an equally refreshing taste.

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11. French Fries

Potatoes alone are loaded with carbs and the process of making french fries result in high amounts of Advanced glycation end-product (AGEs) and aldehydes which will lead to inflammation and put you at risk of developing various diseases. 

Nothing beats keeping yourself healthy, especially when you have diabetes. There are steps you can take to maintain your blood sugar levels and food plays a big part. It might be difficult at first but we guarantee that making some sacrifices in your diet will be rewarding in the long run.

What Makes Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Different?

What Makes Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Different?-1

What Makes Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Different?

What Makes Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Different?-1

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects a large group of people around the world. It is fairly common and stems from high blood sugar levels due to the body’s inability to absorb sugar into the cells. While this is the overall definition of diabetes, this disease can be split into Type One and Type Two diabetes; with each meaning something different. 

On one hand, type one diabetes develops when a person’s body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone in the body that allows sugar to be absorbed from the food we eat into our cells. When there is insufficient or no insulin in our bodies, little to no sugar is absorbed which means that the sugar broken down from our food stays in our bloodstream; resulting in high blood sugar levels. 

Type Two diabetes, on the other hand, refers to people whose bodies do not react well to insulin and don’t produce enough insulin during later stages of the disease. There are also many health complications and ailments that come with diabetes and this article will give you an overview of how Type One and Type Two diabetes differ. 

What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

While both types of diabetes have a lot of symptoms in common, they differ in the speed that they develop. Some common symptoms are incessant urination, constant hunger, and thirst, fatigue, deteriorating vision and injuries that don’t completely heal. Symptoms that are unique to type one diabetes are things like irritability, mood changes and a loss in weight. For type two diabetes, some unique symptoms include numbness and tingling. The biggest difference in their symptoms is that the symptoms for type two diabetes develop gradually over a period of many years while the symptoms for type one diabetes usually develop rapidly over a few weeks. 

What Causes Diabetes?

For type one diabetes, the disease develops when there is a flaw in the body’s immune system, causing it to fend off healthy cells instead of viruses. The result is that healthy insulin-producing beta cells are crushed in the process. As this continues, the body loses its ability to generate insulin and blood sugar levels will rise indefinitely. 

In contrast, type two diabetes is the result of the body’s inability to use insulin. This can be the outcome of being overweight or unfit. As such, the pancreas will attempt to repair the body by generating more insulin but since the body is not apt in using it, sugar will concentrate and remain in the body’s bloodstream. 

How Common is Diabetes?

Although there are two types of diabetes, type two diabetes occurs in more people in the world than type one. However, as people grow older, the chances of getting diabetes increases. While gender does not affect the speed at which one develops the disease, some races and ethnicities are more prone to the disease than others. For example, American Indians and Alaskan Natives have a higher percentage of their population getting the disease. 

What are the Risk Factors for Type One and Type Two Diabetes?

Lifestyle and diet habits play a part in getting the disease but this is not always true. For type one diabetes, it is unavoidable as the risk factors stem from family history and genetics. If you have a family member who has type one diabetes, there is a higher chance that you might get it as well. Other factors are things like age as young children and youths are more likely to develop type one diabetes. Where you stay also plays a part as people who stay a greater distance away from the equator are more at risk. 

On the other hand, type two diabetes is different in the fact that there are things you can do to prevent its occurrence. Type two diabetes develops when one has prediabetes, is overweight, over the age of 45, have gestational diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome before, a lot of belly fat or is unfit, among other things. Despite so, there are ways to reduce the risk of getting the disease; some ways include keeping your weight within the acceptable range, increasing the amount of physical activity you partake in and eating less sugary and over-processed food items.

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How are Type One and Type Two Diabetes Diagnosed?

It is a fairly simple procedure when it comes to checking if you have diabetes. All you’ll need is to go for a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test which will measure your blood sugar level over the past few months. If your A1C level exceeds 6.5, you will be diagnosed with diabetes. 

How are Type One and Type Two Diabetes Treated?

There is no remedy for someone with type one diabetes and they will need to rely on constant injections of insulin throughout the day to keep their insulin levels steady. They are usually injected in the stomach, arms, or buttocks; some may even use insulin pumps. Another point is that they’ll need to check their blood sugar levels regularly.

In comparison, type two diabetes is less tricky to treat if you are willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes. This means paying close attention to the food you eat and making it a point to exercise more. Sometimes, that is insufficient and some people may need medications to aid their body in using insulin better. Similar to type one diabetes, the constant checking of blood sugars is imperative to avoid health ailments.

Diabetes Diet

In order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, your diet is of utmost importance. For type one diabetics, you’ll need to take note of the types of food you eat and count your carbohydrates as they are the number one culprit in raising your blood sugar levels. This will then determine the amount of insulin you’ll need to match what you eat. 

For type two diabetics, you will need to concentrate on decreasing the amount of junk food you consume. Losing weight is often the focus of most and you can do so by watching your calorie intake. 

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Diabetes can happen to anyone so it is imperative to educate yourself earlier and pre-empt yourself for what’s to come if you have had a family member with this disease. Attempt to make lifestyle changes starting today if you are worried and definitely adjust your diet and physical activities if you have been diagnosed to play it safe.