Category Archives: Diet And Exercise

A Prediabetic Diet

A Prediabetic Diet: Millions of individuals around the globe have been diagnosed with diabetes. It is presumed that there are millions more who are either undiagnosed or suffer from prediabetes.

A prediabetic is an individual who has a blood glucose level that falls outside the normal range, but is not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Roughly half of prediabetics will develop Type II diabetes. This leaves significant hope for those who have received the diagnosis.

The diet for a prediabetic is roughly similar to that of an individual with Type II diabetes. The primary difference is that the prediabetic will follow the dietary guidelines in an effort to avoid development of the disease while a diabetic will use the diet to help manage their diabetes.

Diabetes Australia provides some general guidelines in dealing with prediabetes.

  • Reduce total food and beverage intake by eating smaller main meals and reducing or eliminating between meal snacks.
  • Choose low fat milk, yogurt, ice cream and custard.
  • Choose lean meat and chicken, trim any fat off before cooking.
  • Avoid the use of butter, lard, dripping, cream, sour cream, copha, coconut milk, coconut cream and hard cooking margarines.
  • Limit the quantity of cheese you eat and try reduced fat and low fat varieties.
  • Save pastries, cakes, puddings, chocolate and cream biscuits for special occasions.
  • Avoid fatty take away foods such as chips, fried chicken, battered fish, pies, sausage rolls and pastries.
  • Choose tomato and soy based sauces rather than creamy sauces, and avoid creamy style soups.
  • Eat more vegetables (fresh, canned or frozen) and fruit (fresh, canned or dried).
  • Eat more wholegrain breads and cereals – preferably those with a lower glycemic index.
  • Limit alcohol intake.

You have to determine if your health is worth fighting for. It is possible to change direction, but you will need to do so utilizing healthy dietary changes coupled with physical exercise. For the prediabetic this is not simply a matter of finding some magic pill that will take care of the issue. This will take work on your part and it will take commitment.

GINews provides a recipe that should work well for prediabetics because it is comprised of ingredients low on the Glycemic Index (GI).

Lemon Spaghetti with Walnuts
(Serves 4)

160 g /5½ oz wholemeal spaghetti
1 bunch (160 g/5½ oz) asparagus, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
3 teaspoons walnut oil
1–2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped dill
½ cup (60 g/2¼ oz) walnut pieces, toasted
1 medium red chili, sliced thinly

  • Cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the packet, without adding salt or oil. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, place the bottom ends of the asparagus in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the asparagus tips and cook, uncovered, until almost tender, about 2–3 minutes. Watch the time as the thickness of asparagus spears varies.
  •  Add the peas and cook until they are bright green and cooked – just a few minutes.
  • To make the dressing, whisk the oil, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl.
  • Drain the asparagus and peas, return to the saucepan with the spaghetti and add the dressing and dill. Mix together well and serve sprinkled with the walnuts and chili.

We will deal more with the Glycemic Index in another article, but for now we leave you with the most common sense approach for managing prediabetes.

  1. Change what you eat
  2. Exercise

Those two rules will do more than anything else to increase your chances of reversing the course you may find yourself on at the moment.

An Exercise Support Team For Diabetics

An Exercise Support Team For Diabetics: Many diabetics gravitate toward safe alternatives for exercise and fitness. They will often select exercise equipment for their home or visit a fitness center to maintain weight and blood glucose levels. For some individuals this type of physical training isn’t enough.

Would it surprise you to learn that some individuals with diabetes run marathons or play professional football? We can also add baseball, hockey, boxing, wrestling skiing, biking, tennis and golf to the list. Every day men and women who have diabetes are launching into activity that some may feel would place them at risk, yet they are succeeding in their sports.

How do they do it?
Jay Cutler is the quarterback for the Chicago Bears football team. He also lives with Type 1 diabetes. He can survive and thrive on the field because his blood glucose is checked as many as four times during a game to make sure he doing all right. If there are issues, football trainers step in to help Jay get back on track.

Success in athletic endeavors for diabetics all comes back to self-managed care. That care can only improve when the patient knows as much as possible about how to treat their condition. The more they know about diabetes the better the athlete is at performing to the best of their ability.

Is there help for those diabetics who wish to be more active in sports?
What is now known as The Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association (DESA) was founded in 1985 by Paula Harper who was a nurse, but she was also a long distance runner who just happened to have Type 1 diabetes. Medical professionals at the time were telling diabetic patients it was not in their best interest to engage in strenuous physical exertion. Harper had successfully done so, but was having trouble finding good information on the subject of diabetes and exercise. This scenario is why Harper started what is now an international organization.

Harper had a shirt printed that said, “I run on insulin”. This allowed her to connect with other athletes who also had diabetes including some who participated in the grueling Iron Man competition. This was the humble beginning of DESA.

DESA organizational information states, “We are here to support and encourage exercise among all people with diabetes.  We seek members with type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes and those who offer them medical care and advice.   We use athlete and athletics in the broadest sense and uphold the efforts of “mall walkers” as well as Olympic level athletes.”

There are currently 12 local chapters of DESA in some of America’s largest metropolitan areas. These grassroots affiliates are helping educate diabetic athletes on positive ways to include exercise in their lives.

Yes, there have been many very successful diabetic athletes, but the goal of DESA is simply to encourage all diabetics to remain active. The role of exercise is very important to the long-term managed care and health of the patients who will make it an important part of their lives.

One of the greatest aspects of an organization like DESA is to allow people with diabetes to network with other diabetics. It can provide a framework for support along with motivation to pursue physical exercise even on days when you have absolutely no interest in doing anything physical to improve your health.

The website for DESA is

Diabetics Can Get Fit During Commercial Breaks

Diabetics Can Get Fit During Commercial Breaks: Exercise has always been a concern for diabetics. We have used this space to express bold encouragement for those living with diabetes to engage in meaningful exercise. That’s why we were interested to discover a report in the journal BioMed Central Endocrine Disorders.

This report suggests that it only takes seven minutes of extremely vigorous exercise per week to see enough change in how the body manages blood glucose that diabetes could be avoided or symptoms reduced.

Diabetes itself is often linked to a sedentary lifestyle so these short bursts of sustained energetic exercise can be profoundly beneficial. Many diabetics hear that the exercise recommendations include hours of physical exercise per week and generally give up in despair believing they could never achieve such a lofty goal. The research conducted by the University in Edinburgh seems to indicate even modest spurts of physical activity can have a great affect on blood glucose and by default diabetes.

Six out of every 100 people will die from complications related to diabetes. Worldwide cases are currently at close to one quarter of a billion people. Would the news about a short period of effective exercise mean substantial hope to diabetics? The authors of this research seem to think so.

How they conducted the study.
Sixteen men in their 20s were selected for the study. In each case these men were not conditioned to exercise, but were generally healthy. The test subjects were asked to ride a stationary bike as vigorously as possible for 30 seconds. They were asked to do this four times a day – two days a week.

The men were checked before and after the two-week study and there was a 23% improvement in the way insulin was able to flush glucose from the men’s bodies. Lead author James Timmons indicated that tense muscle contractions in the brief exercise enhanced glucose removal.

What this report is saying.
The intent of this report is to provide hope for those who do not lead an active lifestyle. If short bursts of physical activity can be managed it is entirely possible to assist your body in developing an atmosphere that helps insulin do its job more effectively.

What this report is not saying.
This report is not an encouragement to reduce exercise you may already be doing. This report was conducted to see if short bursts of physical activity would help clear glucose. It does not conclude that regular exercise is no longer important. The reason this is true is that this study did nothing to gauge other benefits of extended exercise such as weight control or hypertension.

This idea is a bold attempt to encourage those living with diabetes or fear they may be headed in that direction to include some meaningful physical exercise even if that time is relatively short.

With the millions of dollars spent annually for the care of diabetes this may be a message whose time has come. For some individuals this may be an effective starting point when it comes to exercise. The effectiveness of this exercise can be enhanced through the use of an accountability partner.

It should be noted that the research also indicates that these short bursts of highly vigorous exercise can have as much benefit for glucose clearing as hours of endurance training.

One might suggest that diabetics include short bursts of physical exertion in their routines for insulin effectiveness while maintaining longer endurance exercises for weight loss and improved blood pressure objectives.

Diabetes And The Exercise Engine

Diabetes And The Exercise Engine: Any exercise program that you may involve yourself in as a diabetic will need your doctor’s blessing. They can tell you if the exercise you are planning will work with your present physical health. They might even subject you to a stress test to find some reasonable limits in your exercise plan.

If you’ve visited with your doctor for any length of time he or she will have likely suggested an exercise program to help with blood glucose control as well as helping to achieve weight reduction goals. It can be easy to agree with the doctor in their office and forget all about it when you see your favorite chair with the remote waiting for you.

What exercise does for the diabetic…

  • Improves self-esteem
  • Improves mental clarity
  • Is an extremely good stress buster
  • Improves confidence in your ability to manage your diabetes.

The problem
In diabetics many of the body’s primary functions do not respond well to existing insulin. The way many diabetics work to improve the body’s ability to admit blood glucose into the muscles within the body is to inject more insulin.

Exercise – A natural aid
When you choose to engage in physical activity you not only burn calories, reduce cholesterol and lower your blood pressure, but you also kick your body into gear. In instances where exercise is common the body has a greatly improved chance to flush excess blood glucose from your system while improving the body’s ability to use blood glucose for the benefit of the entire body. Diabetics who engage in regular exercise generally require less medication and often feel much better than those who rely solely on pills and shots.

You need a plan
Not every exercise is a great alternative for every diabetic. If you suffer from conditions such as retinopathy or neuropathy you may find there are some activities that may actually be harmful to your condition. Your doctor may be able to help pinpoint activity that is not only beneficial, but also developed with all medical issues under advisement.

Do you need a heath club membership?
It’s not a bad idea, but the truthful answer is, “No.” You can achieve positive affects that accumulate throughout the day by simply choosing to be active. Walking more, working outside in the garden or taking the dog for a little sensory adventure may work together to bring exercise into your routine that can help in the management of your diabetes.

Know how to regulate
During exercise you need to understand how to raise your blood glucose if you see a sharp drop. This is generally managed through the use of carbs. While in most instances you don’t want too many carbs they may be essential during a workout. You will likely need to test before, during and after exercise to see how your body responds to the activity. This scenario may be more common in those with Type 1 diabetes.

Take it easy, but keep going
You want to be comfortable when you exercise. If you find it difficult to breathe or you have sharp pain you may need to either slow down or stop. No one benefits from over doing it. The result is often a quick abandonment of your objectives, because you remember how hard the exercise was on you. Don’t overdo it, but don’t quit either. Find a friend to work out with you and remember that every physical exertion can accumulate to help manage your diabetes more positively.

What Makes Blueberries so Friendly to Diabetics?

blueberries and diabetesWhat Makes Blueberries so Friendly to Diabetics?: Fruits and vegetables have been the subject of recent scientific studies. As expected they are viewed as strong contributors to the wellness of individuals who have diabetes. The most recent study from the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center took aim at blueberries.

Researchers at U-M worked with rats that had a strong predisposition to weight gain and diabetes. They fed some rats a high fat diet with blueberry powder while the another set of rats were fed a low fat diet with blueberry powder. They also fed some rats without any blueberries.

ScienceDaily reports that this study provides, “Tantalizing clues to the potential of blueberries in reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. The effect is thought to be due to the high level of phytochemicals – naturally occurring antioxidants – that blueberries contain.”

Realizing the rats may not be especially interested in eating actual blueberries researchers used freeze-dried blueberries that had been crushed into powder. The scientists then used this powder to mix with other food prepared for the rat. The total amount of blueberry mixture was 2% of the total diet.

By affecting the heart and metabolism the blueberries actually seem to be providing better conditions for the prevention or care of diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is a term used to describe a collection of problems including, “Too much fat around the waist, elevated blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, high triglycerides, and together these conditions increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes,” according to ScienceDaily.

WebMD indicates, “The results suggest that antioxidant-rich blueberries may change how the body stores and processes glucose or sugar for energy, thereby reducing the risk of both heart disease and diabetes.” ScienceDaily reports that following the 90-day study the rats “Had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity.”

Some of the additional benefits included a lower overall body weight, fat mass, and reduced liver mass. An enlarged liver is synonymous with obesity and a resistance to the effects of insulin.

Steven Bolling, M.D., a University of Michigan heart surgeon and head of the Cardioprotection Laboratory was quoted as saying, “The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables has been well-researched, but our findings in regard to blueberries shows the naturally occurring chemicals they contain, such as anthocyanins, show promise in mitigating these health conditions.”

E. Mitchell Seymour, M.S. was the lead researcher on this study and provided this insight. “We found by looking at fat muscle tissue, that blueberry intake affected genes related to fat-burning and storage. Looking at muscle tissue, we saw altered genes related to glucose uptake.”

As with most studies of its kind these initial findings will be subject to ongoing scrutiny and will likely result in additional testing for the foreseeable future.

Blueberries have been mentioned as a ‘super fruit’ and contain multiple antioxidants as well as a significant amount of nutrients. In the United States blueberries are in season from May through June with a peak in activity in July.

WebMD reported that, “A related study… showed that men with risk factors for heart disease who drank wild blueberry juice for three weeks seemed to experience slight improvements in glucose and insulin control.” This has prompted an interest in further research related to the antioxidants and other natural properties found in blueberries.”

Behold the Power of Grapefruit

Behold the Power of GrapefruitBehold the Power of Grapefruit: In the 1980’s diet fanatics swore by anything that included grapefruit, but for many individuals the idea of living day in and day out with little more than grapefruit, toast and hard-boiled eggs left them anxious to explore other dietary options.

The grapefruit diet offered fewer than 1,000 calories per day, which meant that virtually anyone on the diet lost weight. Your body will burn more than 1,000 calories per day so simply mathematics demonstrated that less was going in than being used. The net effect is weight loss.

The biggest problem was no one could seem to stand a steady diet of the tangy juice. Did that diminish the potential of grapefruit? Absolutely not.

Recent studies at the Nutrition and Medical Research Center at Scripps Clinic in San Diego, California suggest that grapefruit still is one of those wonder fruits that hold meaning for individuals who are seeking weight loss. What’s more this fruit may be an especially important ally to diabetics. Even better news comes when we discover that grapefruit can be an add on to a diet plan instead of a replacement of other foods you may enjoy.

The research was conducted on 100 people listed as obese. The participants were separated into three different groups. The first group ate a half a grapefruit prior to every meal of the day. The second group consumed a glass of grapefruit juice before each meal. The third group was offered no changes to their diet. All three groups were then monitored.

One report indicates, “After 12 weeks, those participants who ate grapefruit with each meal lost, on average 3.6lb. Only a third of a pound a week, but pretty good considering they didn’t make any other changes to their diet. Meanwhile, those who drank grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3lb in the 12 weeks. By comparison, the grapefruit-free participants lost, on average, only 0.5lb.”

If these findings hold true over an entire year there is a potential weight loss of around 15 pounds for those who simply add grapefruit to their daily diet. Without grapefruit the loss comes to 2 pounds.

This same report suggests, “The link between raised insulin levels and excess weight is complicated and multifaceted. To start with, high levels of insulin may indicate that sugar isn’t efficiently utilized for energy with the result that it’s more likely to be stored as fat. Secondly, high levels of insulin can make people feel hungry so that they eat more. And finally, high levels of insulin prevent the body from breaking down fat. Add these together, and it’s easy to see why lower levels of insulin may promote weight loss.”

Diabetes UK is quoted as responding to the research this way, “If grapefruit does significantly lower insulin levels this could be a potentially exciting discovery. We will be following any further research in this area closely to establish if grapefruit could provide genuine benefits.”

No one is saying that diabetics should automatically add grapefruit and expect their symptoms to abate. However, the potential of a fresh, cost effective means of managing blood glucose is worth note and celebration.

Ongoing tests have been requested.

You should know that if you are being treated for depression or other medical conditions the medication you are taking may interact negatively with grapefruit products. If you are taking medications prescribed by your health care provider you should contact them to see if grapefruit could be safely added to your diet plan.

Type 2 Diabetes and the Mediterranean Diet

Type 2 Diabetes and the Mediterranean Diet: Common sense would lead many individuals to conclude that it is possible to make lifestyle alterations to effectively manage Type 2 diabetes. Physicians have been telling patients to change eating habits for years. A new study from Italy shows the importance of such lifestyle alterations.

A study based on a four-year trial was published early this month in the Annuls of Internal Medicine. It suggests that the Mediterranean diet may provide a better overall result than a low fat diet. Dr Christine Laine is the editor of the published report. She told heartwire (an affiliate site of WebMD), “The study confirms that lifestyle changes are a basic part of managing diabetes [and] suggests that people might be better off if the dietary advice they receive is in line with the Mediterranean diet.”

It’s possible you’ve never heard of the diet Dr. Laine mentioned. The American Heart Association (AHA) provides a list of the most common traits in a Mediterranean diet.

  • High consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil is an important monounsaturated fat source
  • Dairy products, fish and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts, and little red meat is eaten
  • Eggs are consumed zero to four times a week
  • Wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts

In the recently released study it was noted that patients were placed on either a low fat or Mediterranean diet. This appears to be the first time these two diet plans were put head-to-head in an effort to establish a superior alternative food plan for those with Type 2 diabetes.

Patients received a substantial amount of counseling related to the foods they ate and how that food was prepared. Patients who participated in either group (low fat or Mediterranean) lost weight and saw a drop in the blood sugar levels, but the beneficial effects were more pronounced among those placed on the Mediterranean diet.

heartwire indicates, “The Mediterranean diet delayed the need for antihypertensive drug therapy independent of weight change. More participants in the Mediterranean diet met all three ADA goals and had consistently greater increases in HDL-cholesterol levels and decreases in triglycerides.”

SAWFNews indicates, “The trial tracked 215 overweight people between the ages of 30 and 75 who were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and had never been treated with antihyperglycemic drugs.”

It is true that a medical journal reported in 2008 that the Mediterranean diet is helpful for those who live with diabetes. This study was simply constructed to track the overall health benefits.

It may be tempting to believe that any drug therapies can be abandoned if an individual is willing to commit to using a Mediterranean diet. However the, “American Diabetes Association recommends that patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes be treated with pharmacotherapy as well as lifestyle changes… Lifestyle changes are often inadequate because patients do not lose weight or regain weight or their diabetes worsens independent of weight,” according to

Dr Elizabeth Klodas, editor-in-chief of is quoted as saying, “I don’t think we spend enough time teaching patients about diet and lifestyle and really reinforcing what a big difference that can make to their outcomes. [Patient management is] a synergistic combination between lifestyle change and medical therapy, and if we just concentrate on medical therapy alone we’ll never obtain the best possible outcomes.”

It would appear that what goes into our body really can make a difference in how we feel and how we live.

A Dietician’s Take on Diabetes

A Dietician’s Take on Diabetes: Andrea Holwegner is a Registered Dietician. She lives in Canada and sees many individuals who live with diabetes. We checked in with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to discover what food tips she might recommend for diabetics.

Holwegner’s first comment of note is, “Different foods influence your blood sugar.” The food types Holwegner discusses are carbohydrates, fiber, fat and protein.

Holwegner says, “Carbohydrates are the single most important component in your diet that determines your blood sugar level. A carbohydrate is simply a cluster of sugar units. When you consume foods that contain carbohydrates, such as breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits and sweets, these sugar clusters are broken down into individual sugar units during digestion and released into your blood.”

Holwegner indicates, “Fibre does not raise blood sugar levels. High-fibre foods, such as whole grain breads, some cereals, legumes and many fruits and vegetables, help to slow the rise in blood sugar after a meal and thus are beneficial for blood sugar control. Fibre-rich foods also lower blood cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease and are useful for weight control since they contribute to you feeling full.”

When it comes to fats, Holwegner suggests, “Fat is found in foods such as oils, butter, margarine, nuts and seeds as well as in meats, some milk products and some snack foods. Dietary fat does not raise blood sugar levels. But that doesn’t mean a high-fat diet would be appropriate for diabetes management and overall health. In fact, a high-fat diet can increase your cholesterol levels and raise your risk of heart disease, which is already higher if you have diabetes. Eating a high-fat diet often contributes to extra calories and might also make it more difficult to lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight.

Holwegner notes, “Protein does not raise blood sugar levels. In fact, protein has an important role in blood sugar management. Protein-rich foods, such as meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, eggs, peanut butter and nuts, help to slow down the release of carbohydrate-rich foods into the blood stream, thereby preventing fast surges in blood sugar. Protein is also helpful in weight control since protein-rich foods are slow to digest and contribute to the feeling of fullness.”

Holwegner suggests paying close attention to portion sizes. She indicates diabetics (pre-diabetics) should make an invisible line down the center of a plate and then take one half and cut that in half. One quarter of the plate should be reserved for protein, one quarter for grains and the last half for non-starchy vegetables.

Holwegner believes that food should be consumed every 3-5 hours although amounts should be smaller than what you may be used to. This should allow your body to deal with the excess blood glucose without too much pull on your body’s systems.

What follows are some tips from this dietician.

  • Fruits and grains/starches, such as cereal, pasta, rice and potatoes: choose an amount up to the size of your fist.
  • Protein, such as meat, chicken and poultry: choose an amount up to the size of the palm of your hand and the thickness of your little finger.
  • Vegetables: choose as much as you can hold in two hands.
  • Fats: limit fat to an amount the size of the tip of your thumb.

Holwegner suggests consulting with a dietician to explore options in your own personal managed care. The results can be as individual as the person who will be following the plan.

The Restrictions of a Diabetic Diet?

The Restrictions of a Diabetic Diet: Some readers may find it interesting to note that a diet designed for those who are diabetic may not be significantly more restrictive than diet plans simply designed to provide a healthy lifestyle.

WebMD suggests, “A diet for diabetes is really a healthy diet, controlled in calories, fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and salt. The foods that are good for controlling your blood sugar are good for everyone. Several components of your diet — including the amounts of carbohydrate, fat, and protein that you eat — affect your blood sugar levels. So to keep your blood sugar levels normal, you need to make healthy food choices, eat regularly without skipping meals, exercise regularly, and take the medicines your doctor prescribes.”

It’s safe to say that most people would like to have a diet plan outlined that would provide every meal choice with a promise of great health. Since that’s not possible WebMD provides a few tips in managing your food choices.

  • Eat a wide variety of foods. Having a colorful plate is the best way to ensure that you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and other forms of protein such as nuts, low fat dairy products, and whole grains/cereals.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing 5%-10% of your body weight could help improve your diabetes.
  • Choose foods high in fiber such as whole grain breads, fruit, and cereal. You need 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.
  • Watch your portions. Eat only the amount of food in your meal plan. Eat about the same amount of food each day.
  • Distribute meals three to five hours apart.
  • Do not skip meals.
  • Eat meals and snacks at regular times every day. If you are taking a diabetes medicine, eat your meals and take your medicine at the same times each day.

It is suggested that there may be some variations that might need to be used in your meal planning based on medications you may be taking. Always discuss your specific needs with your health care provider.

The process of healthy eating as a diabetic rests in knowing the differences between things like carbs and proteins and then understanding how much of each is needed to find a personal food safety zone.

Web MD does provide a sample day’s menu…

(360 calories, 52.5 grams carbohydrate)
1 slice toasted whole wheat toast with 1 teaspoon margarine
1/4 cup egg substitute or cottage cheese
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 small banana

(535 calories, 75 grams carbohydrate)
1 cup vegetable soup with 4-6 crackers
1 turkey sandwich (2 slices whole wheat bread, 1 ounce turkey and 1 ounce low-fat cheese, 1 teaspoon mayonnaise)
1 small apple

(635 calories, 65 grams carbohydrate)
4 ounces broiled chicken breast with basil and oregano sprinkled on top
2/3 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup cooked carrots
1 small whole grain dinner roll with 1 teaspoon margarine
Tossed salad with 2 tablespoons low-fat salad dressing
4 unsweetened canned apricot halves OR 1 small slice of angel food cake

(Each has 60 calories or 15 grams carbohydrate. Pick two per day.)
16 fat-free tortilla chips with salsa
1/2 cup artificially sweetened chocolate pudding
1 ounce string cheese plus one small piece of fruit
3 cups “lite” popcorn

You will find a registered dietician to be a valuable resource in finding ways to mesh your personal tastes with a menu plan that may work best to manage your diabetes and culinary preferences.

Getting Proactive About Diabetes

Getting Proactive About Diabetes: If, in most cases, type 2 diabetes is a preventable illness why do we wait to treat the illness instead of working harder to prevent it? That’s a question posed by the UK based They’ve come up with a solution.

As of this report there are around 2,000 individuals signed up to raise funds, donate, get the word out or adopt a healthier lifestyle as part of the Get Serious program. It’s a start.

So, what does this program aim to do? According to the website…

Get Serious is a national campaign underlining the seriousness of diabetes, led by Diabetes UK. Diabetes UK is the leading charity for the three million people in the UK with diabetes.

Get Serious aims to bring together everyone who has a connection with Diabetes UK as well as supporters and members of the public new to the cause – all working towards a shared goal: to Get Serious about diabetes.

Get Serious will get people involved in helping us achieve our mission; that is – to improve the lives of people with diabetes and work towards a future without diabetes.

The impact of this goal is to work first at mobilizing those who have diabetes and then spreading the message of better health, a more mobile lifestyle and a diet that promotes wellness without necessarily sacrificing taste to others.

The website even provides a menu planning option. For the purpose of this article I selected a male between the ages of 30-59 weighing 91 Kg (200 pounds), is moderately active and wishes to lose weight.

Here’s what this individual was offered as a menu…

Small glass of fruit juice or a portion of fruit (see below for what’s a portion)
4 tablespoons of muesli or 4 tablespoons of porridge oats or 2 weetabix or 2 shredded wheat or 6 tablespoons of other cereal with 200mls semi-skimmed/skimmed milk or 2 slices of toast or 2 crumpets or 1 bagel or 1 muffin with 2 teaspoons of sunflower or olive oil spread and 2 teaspoons jam/marmalade/honey

sandwich made with 4 slices bread or 2 bread rolls or 2 pitta or 2 tortilla/wrap or 8 crispbreads with salad and
4 – 6 oz (120 – 175g) of cooked meat/poultry or vegetarian alternative or 8 – 10oz (240 – 300g) tuna/sardines/mackerel or 7oz (200g) cooked prawns or 2 boiled eggs and
2 teaspoons low fat mayonnaise
with 2 teaspoons of sunflower/olive oil spread or 4 teaspoons of low fat spread
Dessert: 1 low fat or diet yogurt

9 tablespoons pasta/cous-cous/bulgar wheat/noodles or 6 tablespoons easy cook rice/basmati rice or 6 egg sized potatoes
with 6 tablespoons vegetables or large portion of salad with low calorie dressing
4 – 6 oz (120 – 175g) of meat/poultry or 8 – 10 oz (240 – 300g) fish or 4 eggs or vegetarian alternative or 6 tablespoons pulses, beans or lentils
Dessert: 1 scoop ice cream and a portion of fruit (see below for what’s a portion)

Additional daily milk allowance

1/3 pint (200mls) milk

2 portions fruit + 2 biscuits or a cereal bar + small slice cake. 1 portion =1 banana, apple, orange, pear, 1 slice of a large fruit like melon or mango, 2 small fruit such as plums or apricots, handful of grapes, cherries or berries, 1 tablespoon of dried fruit.

Finding ways to be proactive will be the world’s best hope at reversing what is commonly referred to as a pandemic. By working to lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle before the onset of diabetes we can reverse a trend that is alarming medical professionals around the world.