Wednesday, April 21, 2010

To Eat or Not To Eat?

Here is a question I recently received from

Is it ok to eat peas & carrots if you have diabetes? I heard to avoid those two veggies.

Vegetables are something that you definitely do not want to avoid. However, with starchy vegetables, you need to monitor the portion sizes and what you eat them with.

Non-starchy vegetables are vegetables that you don not have to monitor your intake as carefully, as they do not affect your blood sugars. These include carrots, broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower, among many others. A reminder that portion sizes are 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked serving.

The starchy vegetables are those you have to monitor, due to their carbohydrate content. Remember that these vegetables contain enough carbohydrate as blood sugars. Starchy vegetables include peas, corn, and potatoes. Again, portion sizes are 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked serving.

Remember to "eat the rainbow"- eat a wide variety of starchy and non-starchy vegetables to obtain the maximum benefits friom your diet.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Here is a question I recently received from

Since I live alone, I rarely cook (if ever). I have type 2 diabetes and I’m wondering which is better… eating frozen dinners or restaurant food? Thank you for your help.

Unfortunately, both frozen foods and restaurant foods tend to be high in fat, sodium, and calories.

From a portion control standpoint, frozen foods are better, as you have more control of the amount that you eat. Also, by reading the nutrition facts before purchasing, you have the opportunity to choose the more healthy varieties.

Restaurant foods, on the other hand, serve very large portions. Consider doing your research prior to dining out; many restaurant chains provide nutrition information on their website. Many also usually indicate more healthy options. Look for leaner proteins such as chicken and fish. choose baked or broiled over fried, and limit or avoid heavy sauces. Even something as innocent as salad can be a disaster- be sure to ask for sauces or dressings on the side.

The most important thing is to do your research and order smart:
*Investigate food labels and compare frozen entrees prior to buying. Remember, just because it's on sale doesn't mean it's good for you.
*Do your research! Investigate and compare nutrition facts of food items prior to buying.
*Opt for broiled or grilled entrees.
*Avoid sauces or dressing or ask for them on on the side.
*Split an entree with a friend or bag it for another meal.
*Be mindful for portion sizes- eat as you normally would at home.
*Choose lean proteins such as skinless turkey, chicken, or fish.
Here is a question I recently received from

My 45 year-old husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a few months ago. Is it true that you can reverse diabetes?

Unfortunately, once diagnosed with diabetes, you have it for life. It is not reversible. However, the important thing is to take ownership of the disease and live a healthy lifestyle to manage diabetes and prevent further health complications.

Some tips include:
*Checking blood sugars regularly
*Not skipping meals
*Taking medications
*Exercising regularly
*Maintain a healthy weight, or strive for moderate weight loss if overweight
*Regularly visit your doctor

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sugar-Free Foods

Below is a question I received from

My doctor recently diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes. I know it is important to watch my sugar intake. Is sugarless candy really sugarless?

A lot of confusion brought on by the diabetic diet relays back to what is considered "sugar". People often use the words "sugar" and carbohydrate interchangabily without knowing the difference. Sugar is a substance that makes food sweet (think table sugar). Carbohydrates are found in foods (including sugar) that breask down into our body into glucose (blood sugar) to provide needed energy for our cells.

So, yes, while you need to watch your sugar and sweet foods for diabetes, it is more important that you watch your carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrate foods fall into 3 categories: starches (cereal, bread, pasta, starchy vegetables); dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese); and fruit/fruit juices.

Back to your question: while sugar-free candy may not have sugar in it, it may contain carbohydrate. Be sure to check the food label to make a wise choice.

However, candy doesn't have a lot of substance to it. When choosing carbohydrates, try to choose as many whole grains as you can (think fiber), to help you feel full longer.