May 12, 2015

Diabetes Diet Myths – Part 2

Continued from the prior blog.

Developing your own meal plan is important. Often your meal plan can be a family meal plan or can be modified slightly to satisfy the family without extra cooking or work. Some family members may fuss and complain, but a healthy food plan is a must. Learn for yourself what your blood glucose testing tells you about the food.

The list in this blog includes:

Myth 5 This is definitely not a plan and can lead to problems. Yes, you should learn how to count carbs and inject insulin to cover the meal, but this is not a license to eat as more than your meter says is okay or to over treat yourself and cover the excess with insulin.

If you use oral diabetes medications, matching the extra food will generally not work. Unless your doctor gives you special instructions to do this (and most will not), do not do harm by attempting to adjust them yourself. Generally, diabetes medications work best if taken consistently and as directed by your doctor.

Myth 6 This is one I hear all the time and people complain and complain about having to stop eating their favorite foods. Sometimes this is necessary, and for some people, but for those that are comfortable with food, they are able to adapt. Sometimes the change is simple and with some foods, it can take a lot of planning and experimenting.

I often suggest several of the following for foods you love. Try these tips:
  • Changing the way your favorite foods are prepared.
  • Changing the other foods you usually eat along with your favorite foods.
  • Reducing the serving sizes of your favorite foods.
  • Using your favorite foods as a reward for following your meal plans.
A nutritionist, or a great chef, can help you find ways to include your favorites in your diabetes meal plans.

Myth 7 This is one many refuse to give up and it can destroy your food plan and make diabetes more difficult to manage. If they want the desserts, then they need to take the steps necessary to make it possible.

Here are some ways that you can have your cake and eat it, too:
  • Use artificial sweeteners.
  • Practice portion control. Instead of two scoops of ice cream, have one. Or share a dessert with a friend.
  • Use desserts as an occasional reward for following your meal plan.
  • Make desserts more nutritious. Eat fresh fruit if possible when preparing desserts. Many times, you can use less sugar than a recipe calls for without sacrificing taste or consistency.
  • Expand your horizons. Instead of ice cream, pie, or cake, try fruit, or yogurt.
Myth 8 Even though I don't totally agree, the American Diabetes Association approves the use of several artificial sweeteners in diabetes diets, including:
  • Saccharin (Sweet'N Low, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin)
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal)
  • Acesulfame potassium (Sunett, Sweet One)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Stevia/Rebaudioside ( A Sweet Leaf, Sun Crystals, Steviva, truvia, PureVia)
A nutritionist can help you determine which sweeteners are best for which uses, whether in coffee, baking, or cooking. Artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than the equivalent amount of sugar, so it takes less of them to get the same sweetness found in sugar. This can result in eating fewer calories than when you use sugar. Artificial sweeteners have received much attention from the media and researchers. The sad news is opinions about them are conflicting.

To be concluded in the next blog.

No comments: