WELCOME TO DIABETIC ENJOYING FOOD

I have chosen this name for this blog because it truly states my story. I am a type II diabetic who most certainly enjoys food. When I was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago, my blood sugar level was over 400. With some oral medications, a lot of research and some trial and error, I have found that unlike my ancestors I truly can continue to enjoy food. I hope this blog will help you to also enjoy food and be healthy. Some recipes are my originals and some I have collected. Everyone reacts different to various foods. Check your blood sugar readings so you will know whether or not a recipe works for you! And feel free to take a recipe and adjust it to suit your needs.

Monday, October 17, 2011

YOGURT: GREEK VS REGULAR

I have had several ask me if they should eat regular yogurt or Greek yogurt. As with all things, there are pluses and minuses on each side. It all depends on your nutritional needs. For us diabetics, Greek is probably better but only if you go for the low-fat or fat-free versions. Greek yogurt goes through an extensive straining process that removes much of the liqud whey, lactose, and sugar. This is the process that gives it its thick consistency. In basically the same number of calories, Greek yogurt can cut the sugar content to half that of regular yogurt. This straining process also makes Greek yogurt better for the lactose-intolerent.

This chart offers you a general nutritional value of the two types:
Greek - (5.3 ounces, nonfat, plain)
Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
Sodium: 50 milligrams
Sugar: 6 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Calcium: 15 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet
Regular (6 ounces, nonfat, plain)
Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol 5 milligrams
Sodium: 120 milligrams
Sugar: 12 grams
Protein: 9 grams
Calcium: 30 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

WATCH OUT FOR THOSE HIDDEN SUGARS

I know I repeat myself sometimes, but this is important.  As a diabetic, you cannot just purchase and eat an item because it is labeded "healthy."  Many foods, including those labeled "healthy" and many times especially those labeled "healthy," have way too much sugar!  For example; a popular Yogurt Parfait with Fruit has 38 grams of sugar per parfait!  An average Bran Muffin has 16 grams of sugar, and granola cereal - how often are you told to eat healthy granola? - averages around 13 grams of sugar per serving.  I am not belittling these foods, just reminding you that the word "healthy" does not mean low in sugar.  Beware!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

WHAT WE EAT AFFECTS BODY CHEMISTRY

‎"Everything you eat and drink changes the chemistry of your blood. Our cell membranes are lined with fats that are comprised primarily of those we've eaten in the last 90 days." Keith I Block, MD, Medical Director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment and Director of Integrative Medical Education at University of Illinois College of Medicine. Did you note he says "in the last 90 days"? You cannot change your body overnight. You do it steadily over time!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NEUROPATHY AND THE DIABETIC

Neuropathy is a functional change or pathological disturbance in the peripheral nerves. Know anymore than you did? Probably not. Let's see if we can get a better understanding of what all that mumbo-jumbo means!

The human body's nervous system has two main parts with the Central Nervous System being the one we hear the most about. This is the part of the nervous system that includes the brain and spinal cord. The one we hear less about is also a very important one. The Peripheral Nervous System is made up of the nerves that connect the Central Nervous System to the other organs and muscles in the body. As you can imagine, the peripheral nerves affect a lot of areas of the body. Now back to our original definition of neuropathy, a functional change or pathological disturbance in the peripheral nerves, one can see how neuropathy can become a big problem.

The peripheral nervous system is made up of three different types of nerves. They are motor nerves, which are responsible for voluntary movements such as waving goodbye, walking, etc. Another is sensory nerves which allow us to feel pain, hot and cold, etc. The third type is the autonomic nerves. As the name implies, these nerves control our involuntary movements such as breathing, heart beats, etc. Obviously, the nervous system is very complex and one of more nerves may be involved in neuropathy.

Symptoms of neuropathy can come on suddenly or gradually over time, depending on the types of nerves involved. Unfortunately, diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy so we diabetics need to be aware of the symptoms because early intervention is important in treatment and recovery. In most cases, the early symptoms are weakness, pain, or numbness. Symptoms such as difficulty walking, stumbling or tiring easily, muscle cramps, trouble holding onto objects, an unsteady gait, dizziness when standing up may be symptoms. Some people complain of their hands and feet feeling as though they are wearing gloves or slippers when they are not. Because the peripheral nerves involve so many areas, there are many different types of symptoms. This can lead to problems getting a diagnosis since so many of these symptoms also relate to other illnesses. If you notice one or more of these symptoms for an extended time, check with your doctor. He or she may refer you to a neurologist, a doctor whose specialty is the brain and nerve disorders. A complete history of the symptoms should be presented and such tests as an EMG (electromyography), blood tests and urine tests will probably be done.

The key to recovery is to seek help as soon as you suspect problems. Recovery time depends on how much damage has been done and if nerve damage is left untreated for a long period of time, the symptoms could become irreversible. Don't ignore the symptoms! This is your life, your future and your comfort we are talking about here. Most of us human beings have a tendency to think it's our imagination, it will get better on its own, the doctor will think I'm just a complainer, I'll mention it when I see the doctor in six months, etc. Wrong! At the risk of repeating myself, I feel that I must stress early diagnosis and treatment is important for this one. Don't let yourself have permanent nerve damage because you waited too long to admit you had a problem.

FRESH FRUIT VS CANNED FRUIT ESPECIALLY FOR DIABETICS

Diabetics should be aware of canned fruits. That is not to say all canned fruits should be avoided. Just be sure to read the nutritional label and be especially aware of the sugar and carbohydrate counts. Here is an example using my favorite fruit, peaches. One-half cup canned peaches in heavy syrup has 22 grams of carbs. A medium-sized fresh peach has only 14 grams of carbs. Now there are options in between including peaches in light syrup or peaches sweetened with Splenda. You know your situation better than anyone so the decision is yours. But diabetics should never choose the canned fruit in heavy syrup, and fresh fruit is always preferable.