As obesity rates in the U.S. continue to increase, type 2 diabetes has become a large and growing problem. It has reached such levels that a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that two in five Americans will develop diabetes at some point in their adult lives. With diabetes impacting the lives of so many people, SPLENDA LIVING™ Blog is trying to help our readers by providing information to help explain the disease, teach you how to lower your risk of developing it, and provide tips on how to manage a diabetes meal plan. Check out our latest posts below!
You hear the terms “good carbs” and “bad carbs.” You get plenty of advice, solicited or unsolicited, about what you, as a person with prediabetes or diabetes, should include or exclude from your “diabetic diet plan.” But, if you’re thoroughly confused, I’m not surprised. It’s confusing!
Let’s flesh out the facts and set you on a path to healthier eating that best guides you to manage your prediabetes or diabetes.
November is National Diabetes Month.
- wonder about high blood sugar levels or prediabetes?
- worry that your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be in the morning and/or after you eat?
- have prediabetes or prediabetes symptoms?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prediabetes, consider yourself fortunate because knowledge is power! Being in the know means that you can take action now to reverse prediabetes or delay the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.
Most people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. Check out these staggering stats.
Maybe you’ve been a vegetarian for as long as you can remember, and then developed type 2 diabetes as an adult. Or maybe you received a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes as a child and decided during your teen years to become a vegetarian. Either way, if this describes you or someone you know, you may be wondering if it is possible to combine a vegetarian diet with one to manage diabetes.
The simple answer is yes, vegetarian meal plans and diabetes diets are compatible and both can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
The goal for any diet is to meet your personal nutritional requirements, but there are endless ways to do that based on what is available, affordable and acceptable to you. Vegetarians who only eat pizza and French fries are not making the best choices possible to meet their needs. People with diabetes who never eat fruit or whole grains aren’t either.
Prediabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. (Prediabetes refers to the condition that typically occurs before one develops type 2 diabetes.) The number of people estimated to have prediabetes is simply staggering. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts the estimate at 86 million Americans. That’s one out of three adults at risk for diabetes! Most people don’t know they have prediabetes because often there are no symptoms, nor have they been tested for it or told they have it.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) now recommends that all adults over 45 years of age be screened for prediabetes. Other risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes include being overweight or obese, having one or more parents or siblings who have or had type 2 diabetes or women who have had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy).
Should everyone with diabetes follow a low carb diet? Not necessarily, is the short answer. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) nutrition recommendations specifically state, “…there is not a ‘one-size-fits-all eating pattern for people with diabetes’ and there is no longer one so-called Diabetic Diet.” ADA’s recommendations promote a range of eating patterns for a healthy diet for diabetes, from vegetarian, typically higher in carbohydrate, to a lower carbohydrate eating plan. Most importantly, ADA’s guidelines encourage you to find an eating pattern that helps you accomplish your health and nutrition goals, initially and over time while being easy to follow over the years.
Now let’s dig into the low carb matter.
If you (or a loved one) has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, please know that you are not alone. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), “Approximately 30 million children and adults have diabetes in the United States. Out of that number, nearly 95% have type 2 diabetes.”
The ADA wants you to know this: “Having diabetes should not prevent you from enjoying a wide variety of foods. You can learn how to eat healthful meals and include your favorite foods so you can thrive with diabetes.” ADA emphasizes, “Eating healthful meals is an essential part of managing diabetes.”
Here at SPLENDA LIVING®, we cannot cover all of the recommended dietary modifications you’ll probably need to make if you’re diagnosed with diabetes. However, we can help a little with information about a very important dietary change: reducing your consumption of added sugars.
Is there only one “diabetic diet”? The cut to the chase answer is a resounding NO! However, you will continue to see and hear the terms “a diabetic diet” or “an ADA (American Diabetes Association) diet” used though they’ve been outdated for upwards of 20 years in the ADA’s nutrition recommendations and by diabetes nutrition management experts.
Why? Several reasons. For starters, we know much more today about the origins of and treatments for the different types of diabetes. We also have more tools and dietary strategies than ever before to help people manage their diabetes to live a long and healthy life.
Do you still have a can opener in your kitchen? It may soon become obsolete as more cans are being designed with pull-tops or replaced by microwavable tubs and pouches. I’m sure most of us will have no difficulty getting used to life without ever cranking a can opener again. Now imagine being told you have diabetes and must reduce the carbohydrate and added sugar in your diet. Not being able to dip into the sugar bowl as often as you want may be harder to accept, especially if you’re like me and enjoy a little something sweet every day.
Fortunately, there are ways to satisfy a sweet tooth while still following a healthy diet for diabetes.
In previous blogs here on SPLENDA LIVING®, we have discussed how to incorporate SPLENDA® Sweetener Products in a variety of recipes. Many of the recipes found at Splenda.com also are considered “Diabetes-Friendly” using a badge that identifies them as such. The SPLENDA® Brand defines “Diabetes-Friendly” as containing less than 35 percent of total calories from fat, less than 10 percent of total calories from saturated fat, and no more than 45 grams of carbohydrate per serving.
If you would like to try some of the most popular and highly-rated “Diabetes-Friendly” recipes from SPLENDA.com, the stats have been checked and here are four among the top-rated! Enjoy!
Limiting the type and amount of sweets and desserts consumed is important for anyone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle. Readily available nutrition information makes it easier to know what we are eating, and the availability of no calorie sweeteners can help satisfy the sweet tooth, without so many empty calories from sugar.
Let’s take cake for example. I love cake… one of my favorite desserts. Who doesn’t? With a few simple modifications in traditional recipes, you can have your cake and eat it too (although please be sure to still watch your portion size, since all cakes will have a reasonable amount of calories from other ingredients besides sugar)! If you love cake, you will want to check out some enticing cake recipes that are considered “diabetes friendly.”