August 30, 2016

Diabetes Terms to Learn – Part 2

Part 2 of 3 parts

Fat:  A nutrient you need for energy and other bodily functions. Although some fat is necessary, it's important not to overdo it. Try to pick healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) over less healthy fats (saturated) and avoid this fat (trans).

Fiber:  A type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. It can’t be broken down into glucose.  You'll find it in fruit, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts. High-fiber foods tend to be bulky and require extra chewing, so they may boost your weight loss efforts by helping you feel fuller longer. Fiber plays an important role in the digestive process and getting enough may also help improve your blood glucose levels.

Food journaling (meal tracking): The process of writing down or otherwise recording what you eat. Research has shown that keeping track of your food intake can help you lose weight.

Glucose tablets: Chewable glucose used by people with diabetes to raise their blood glucose quickly when it drops dangerously low (hypoglycemia). These products come in a variety of flavors and forms such as gels, liquids, and powders, as well. If you take a medication that makes you prone to this problem, your doctor may tell you to carry glucose tablets with you -- especially during exercise.

Hyperglycemia: An excess of glucose in the bloodstream (high blood glucose). People with high blood glucose (including those with type 2 diabetes) don't produce enough insulin, or their bodies have trouble using it.

Hypoglycemia: Blood glucose that is too low. It may cause shakiness, dizziness, confusion, or even fainting. This problem is more common in people with type 1 diabetes, but it can happen to those with type 2 as well -- especially if you take certain medications.

Insulin: A hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the body use glucose (sugar) for energy. People with type 2 diabetes either don't make enough insulin, or their bodies don't use it effectively.

Insulin resistance: This means that the body isn't properly using the insulin it produces. Getting regular exercise -- both aerobic exercise and strength training-- can help with this problem.

Meal plan (meal planning): Any strategy used to map out what you're going to eat. This term may refer to following a specific diet, or it may just indicate the process of thinking through what you plan to eat beforehand. This can become a weekly plan or for a longer period.

Metabolism: The process of converting food into the energy that allows your body to function. People who have a fast metabolism (metabolic rate) use up calories more quickly than those with slower metabolisms. One way you can increase your metabolism is by exercising.

Natural no-calorie sweeteners: Similar to artificial sweeteners, except these come from a natural source. Stevia (Truvia, PureVia, etc.) is considered a natural sweetener because it comes from the stevia plant.

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