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.
Also, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 90 million Americans are estimated to have pre diabetes. Well over half of these people are over 65 years of age. And at last count only 11 percent of people with pre diabetes know they have it. This last stat is of particular concern because the ideal time to take action to prevent or delay pre diabetes progressing to type 2 diabetes is early.
With diabetes impacting the lives of so many people, the 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.
Start with a few key actions to change your eating habits. For example, take steps to reduce the amount of added sugars you eat and drink. A helpful resource to develop a diabetes meal plan and plan a pre diabetes diet is the diabetes-friendly recipes on Splenda.com. Plus, read through the blogs in this Diabetes Management section of SplendaLiving.com for additional tips, support and guidance.
Check out our latest posts below!
The holidays are a time for being thankful. Although I am thankful for many things, this year I am especially thankful for pumpkin pie. I know this may sound out of place, but I regularly celebrate my health, my family, my career and everything really important in my life. Now I’m ready to be thankful for the delicious desserts of the season. Let me explain.
Several decades ago, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of eight, right after Halloween. So, every year in early November, on the anniversary of this life altering occasion, I take time to reflect upon my life – managing diabetes every day – and all I have to be thankful for. First and foremost, I am always thankful for my health after all these years and for the support I’ve received from family, friends and colleagues. I’m thankful for advancements in diabetes management technology – insulin quality and blood glucose monitoring, for example. And, I’m thankful for the evolution of diabetes self-management – the lifestyle that has preserved my personal health and given me an inspired career helping others with diabetes. By the time Thanksgiving Day arrives, I’ve been focused on this thankfulness for weeks. This brings me back to pumpkin pie.
Pre diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. (Pre diabetes refers to the condition that typically occurs before one develops type 2 diabetes.) The number of people estimated to have pre diabetes is simply staggering. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts the estimate at 84 million Americans. That’s one out of three adults at risk for diabetes! Most people don’t know they have pre diabetes because often there are no symptoms, nor have they been tested for it or told they have it.
November is American Diabetes Month®. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) now recommends that all adults over 45 years of age be screened for pre diabetes. Other risk factors for pre diabetes 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).
People can develop pre diabetes and have it for several years or more before blood glucose levels rise high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Think of the diagnosis of pre diabetes as a window of opportunity to take action to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with pre diabetes take action today. Don’t delay! According to CDC, 15 to 30 percent of people with pre diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years if they don’t take action immediately.
Let’s switch gears to discuss the specific actions to take if you have pre diabetes or diabetes symptoms and, more specifically, to what is a pre diabetes diet plan.
With all the myths and media hype about low-calorie sweeteners that are swirling around, if you are a person with diabetes, I bet you wonder if you’re wise to use them. As a long time dietitian and diabetes educator with extensive expertise in the research and practical use of low-calorie sweeteners, it’s important to me that you have accurate knowledge on this topic.
Here’s the bottom line upfront: YES, people with diabetes can safely use FDA-approved low-calorie sweeteners as part of a diabetes management plan, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Your next logical question is likely: if it’s OK to use SPLENDA® Sweetener Products, how can you fit them into your diabetes diet plan.
Let’s bust a few myths and offer practical pointers to help you make your diabetes diet plan just a bit sweeter.
Are you in this situation? You, a loved one or good friend, has prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. You’re constantly searching for answers to the all-important question: what and how much to eat. But you’re left scratching your head about whether following a low carb diet is a must. Let’s sort it out with science and current recommendations from the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Once you learn about how foods or beverages that contain carbohydrate raise blood glucose levels, it likely seems very logical to strictly limit the amount of carbohydrate you eat. However, and this is very important, resulting blood glucose levels do not solely depend on or can be controlled by the amount of carbohydrate you eat. To control glucose levels you must have a sufficient supply of available insulin (whether made by your pancreas or taken as the medication insulin) at the ready to help control your blood glucose levels after you eat.
While there’s lots of noise touting low carb diets for people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, the research evidence doesn’t make this a slam, dunk conclusion. In fact, according to the ADA...
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.
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.