Monday, August 21, 2006

food nutrition : The Nutrition Mission

One of the harder parts of being a diabetic is the endless struggle between sugar levels and food. Often times we forget just how much fat and carbohydrates we accumulate in the foods we eat. There are several key things we can do to make this transition easier for ourselves. Everyone loves sugar and sometimes it is hard to accept that this (our love) is making us sick.

Often we try to ignore the nutrition aspect of our plan all together, in hopes that if we don't look it will just go away. This is not a good option and can cause damage that cannot be repaired. When we look at our diet, first we must determine how many servings of carbohydrates we eat on a regular basis. You should spend at least a week to two week reviewing this information. Purchase a log or journal to take note of each serving you consume. (The important word here is EACH) if you are not being honest with yourself you will only hurt yourself!

After you have established a base amount, then you can determine what is healthy for a diabetic. Generally 100-150 daily is enough. Around 30 in the morning; 45 at lunch; and maybe 45 at dinner; everyone is different so consult your nutritionist for further details. In your mission to better nutrition you must also consider what types of food to eat. May people do not realize that natural sugars cause elevated sugar levels also?

Many fruits and fruit juices contain natural sugars. These are important to monitor closely. Just because they are fruit doesn't mean they can't hurt you. Listed on the back of the packages of all types of foods you eat is a nutrition chart. This contains all the information you need to determine if the food is right for you and how much of the particular food you should eat.

There are two listings to look for whenever you pick up a package: 1. Total Carbohydrates-2. sodium

The amount of total carbohydrates is very important. Carbohydrates once in your body turn to sugar, the more you have the more it affects your sugar level. The American Diabetes Association found that the level of sugar in a product didn't matter as much as the amount of carbohydrates a diabetic consumed.

Now it is recommended that the amount of carbohydrates is limited and controlled to lower blood sugar levels, along with medication in some instances, as well as exercise.

Sodium is also important because being a diabetic increases your chances of having high blood pressure and cholesterol. Consult you physician to determine the proper amount of sodium you should include in your diet daily.

Many of us don't realize the incredible amount of sodium we intake on a daily basis. Ever heard the saying "out of sight; out of mind"? Just remember taste it before you shake it!

There are many products out that have substitutions for sugar or salt, designed for diabetics. I have listed a few that maybe useful. Also listed are a few of the fruits and other foods containing natural sugars that need to be taken with care.

Another important part of preparing meals is making sure the portions are the proper size. Each food must be weighed in order to maintain a proper diet. There are a few sites listed below this article that maybe able to help you understand portion sizes and weight. You can purchase a scale at most department stores at a reasonable rate to allow you to properly weigh each serving. There are also books available that can give a nutrition chart for the foods that are not packaged and of course Americas favorite fast foods.

Though there are extra steps one must follow, when being a diabetic; you can still lead a healthy and productive live. With proper nutrition food and education you can learn to control and take care of this disease properly, this will cause fewer complications later on in life.

Recommended Fruits:

Apples Lemons Plums Grapes

Fruits Moderate In Sugar

Peaches Mangos Cherries Papayas Oranges


By Michael Russell


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