Diabetes Myths … Busted!
Does it seem like everyone wants to give you diabetes advice? Eat this, but don’t eat that. Stop eating by 7 pm. Don’t go more than four hours without eating. As both a registered dietitian nutritionist and a certified diabetes educator, I see so many overwhelmed and confused patients with diabetes. In observation of American Diabetes Month®, I’m taking the role of diabetes myth buster. Actually, I take that role nearly everyday. Today, I’ll clear up two smart-sounding but misguided recommendations. I’ll tackle several more during the month.
Don’t forget that in observance of this important month, I’m offering you a chance to win a free copy of my book Diabetes Weight Loss – Week by Week and another chance to win my third book 21 Things You Need to Know about Diabetes and Your Heart. To enter, please leave a comment below. Tell me one thing that you will do this month to improve your health. I’ll randomly choose two people at the end of the month. This contest is now closed. Thank you for participating. The winners have been notified.
Diabetes Myth: You can’t eat fruit
While it’s true that fruit contains carbohydrate, and carbs raise blood sugar, it’s not true that carbs or fruit are bad for people with diabetes. Even with their natural sugars, fruits nourish your body with fiber, vitamins, minerals and a host of health-boosting phytochemicals. These are the same compounds you need for good health and to prevent common complications of diabetes.
What to do: Enjoy a variety of fruits in reasonable portions. Learn the carb counts of your favorite ones and count them in your total allotment for your meal or snack.
For example, each of the following contains about 15 g carbohydrate, which is about the same as a small slice of bread.
- apple, about the size of a tennis ball
- 1/2 banana (about 4 inches in length)
- 3/4 cup blueberries
- 1/2 grapefruit
- medium orange
- 1/2 cup canned pineapple (in natural juices)
- 1 1/4 cups diced watermelon
- 1/2 cup orange juice
If you don’t already have a meal plan tailored to your health needs and food preferences, schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian nutritionist who is also a certified diabetes educator.
Diabetes Myth: The best time to measure blood sugar is before breakfast
Measuring fasting blood sugar or fasting blood glucose gives a pretty good indication of how well your diabetes medications are working and how your liver is dealing with glucose during the night. It tells us almost nothing about how your food choices affect your blood sugar.
What to do: To learn the effect of your meals and snacks, measure your blood glucose right before eating and about two hours after the first bite. The difference between the two numbers is largely the effect of the meal. Consider this: if your post lunch reading is 200 mg/dl, you might think that it’s high because of your lunchtime choices. However, it’s quite likely that your blood glucose was high before you even started eating lunch. An after-lunch reading of 200 means something quite different if your pre-lunch measurement was 110 mg/dl than it does if you started your meal at 185 mg/dl. If your post-meal blood glucose is more than 50 or so points greater than your pre-meal reading, look at how much you ate. Chances are you ate more carbohydrate than usual.Find out why measuring your blood sugar first thing in the morning isn't enough.Click To Tweet
Win one of my books!
Don’t forget to leave a comment below for your chance to win one of my books. Please tell me one thing that you will do this month to improve your health.
Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.
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Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.