Carbohydrates make your blood glucose level go up. If you know how much carbohydrates you’ve eaten, you have a good idea what your blood glucose level is going to do. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood sugar will go up.
One of my patients, aged 58, had an initial hemoglobin A1c of 7.2%. She was taking oral hypoglycemic agents, statins, and proton pump inhibitors—the basic treatment for every diabetes diagnosis. The patient was 28 lbs overweight and worked long hours. She didn’t exercise, mostly ate a processed food diet, and was sleep deprived. The patient had a family history of diabetes, and ultimately her lifestyle expressed her genetic tendencies.
Researchers believe certain genetic or environmental factors may make people more likely to get type 1 diabetes. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases say certain genes play a role, and other factors such as viruses and infections may also be involved.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, that acts like a key to let glucose from the food we eat pass from the blood stream into the cells in the body to produce energy. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose in the blood. Insulin helps glucose get into the cells.
The most agreed-upon recommendation is for the diet to be low in sugar and refined carbohydrates, while relatively high in dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber. People with diabetes are also encouraged to eat small frequent meals a day. Likewise, people with diabetes may be encouraged to reduce their intake of carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index (GI), although this is also controversial. (In cases of hypoglycemia, they are advised to have food or drink that can raise blood glucose quickly, such as a sugary sports drink, followed by a long-acting carbohydrate (such as rye bread) to prevent risk of further hypoglycemia.) Others question the usefulness of the glycemic index and recommend high-GI foods potatoes and rice. It has been claimed that oleic acid has a slight advantage over linoleic acid in reducing plasma glucose.
Red peppers are actually green peppers that have been allowed to ripen on the vine longer. They’re loaded with nutrients, including the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene. Like other red fruits and vegetables, red peppers deliver a healthy dose of lycopene. Vitamins A and C, along with lycopene, promote good health and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In fact, in the NIH’s eating guide for seniors, red sweet peppers are listed as one of four veggies with the highest amounts of antioxidants; the others are spinach, carrots, and tomatoes.
A: Everyone needs to eat about every four to six hours during the day to keep energy levels up. People with type 2 diabetes usually have better blood glucose control if their meals and carbohydrates are spaced evenly throughout the day. Too many carbohydrates at any one time can raise blood glucose too high, even if you take diabetes medicine. Many people tend to skip breakfast, eat a light lunch, and then eat too much in the evening. A person with diabetes should attempt to eat about the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal.
Another newer concern is an association of treatment with a small increase in the frequency of fractures of the distal long bones of the arms and legs. At present, this observation does not translate into fractures of the hip and spine, which would be more worrisome. More data is still needed to make a definitive statement about cause and effect.
Thanks for the recipes! And yes, it’s me the LADA/1.5 (a.k.a. “Type Weird”) diabetic, weighing in on beans: can’t eat ’em because even in small quantities they make my blood sugar spike. Dang. Oh. And starches? Bread? Sweet potatoes? Fageddaboudit! Thank goodness there are green veggies, eggs, full-fat cheese, plus tofu and nuts. P.S.: Love the blog.
The body obtains glucose from three main sources: the intestinal absorption of food; the breakdown of glycogen, the storage form of glucose found in the liver; and gluconeogenesis, the generation of glucose from non-carbohydrate substrates in the body. Insulin plays a critical role in balancing glucose levels in the body. Insulin can inhibit the breakdown of glycogen or the process of gluconeogenesis, it can stimulate the transport of glucose into fat and muscle cells, and it can stimulate the storage of glucose in the form of glycogen.
Combine brown sugar, sugar, corn syrup, barley malt extract, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, brown sugar molasses, and malt syrup, and they add up to a hefty dose of empty calories—more than one-quarter (27%) of this cereal is added sugar, which you might not guess from scanning the ingredient list.
Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes other veggies such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and bok choy. What makes this class of veggies unique is the high levels of sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates. Perhaps better known for their potential anticancer effects, these compounds may also have a role in reducing heart disease risk and heart-related deaths. In a study reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011, researchers found that cruciferous vegetable consumption was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease. Their recommendation: “Increase consumption of vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables and fruit, to promote cardiovascular healthy and overall longevity.”
In addition to the problems with an increase in insulin resistance, the release of insulin by the pancreas may also be defective and suboptimal. In fact, there is a known steady decline in beta cell production of insulin in type 2 diabetes that contributes to worsening glucose control. (This is a major factor for many patients with type 2 diabetes who ultimately require insulin therapy.) Finally, the liver in these patients continues to produce glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis despite elevated glucose levels. The control of gluconeogenesis becomes compromised.
Alcohol use: Moderate or eliminate consumption of alcohol. Try to have no more than seven alcoholic drinks in a week, and never more than two drinks in an evening. One drink is considered 1.5 ounces of liquor, 6 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer. Excessive alcohol use is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Alcohol consumption can cause low or high blood sugar levels, nerve pain (neuritis), and an increase in triglycerides.