Did you ever get diagnosed with gestational diabetes during your pregnancy and felt like a black cloud was placed over you? Were you told you have a likely chance of acquiring Type 2 diabetes? Did you feel helpless waiting for doom and gloom? Erase all that script from your mind – ALL IS NOT LOST! According to studies conducted at the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Laval University, Quebec City, Canada results of their study suggest you can do something to prevent it!! It’s called taking “preventive measures”.
Preventive measures involves examining your physical activity, dietary habits, and breastfeeding. The goals for each are as follow: exercise a minimum of 150 minutes/week, eat a healthy diet, and breastfeed > 6 months. For each addition of one preventive measure practice results in 30% less chance of having a body mass index (BMI) >25, 34% less chance of a waist circumference >.88cm, and 33% less chance of insulin sensitiviy <9.69. (Gestational diabetes need not necessarily lead to T2D, if interventions are put in place)
You may wonder what a BMI, waist circumference or breast feeding has to do with preventing diabetes. The answer is fat! Excess fat interferes with the muscle’s ability to use insulin. The key aspect of type 2 diabetes is Insulin Resistance, which is the diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in the transporting of glucose from the blood stream into muscle. By managing your weight, and waistline you are assuring your body less chances of lower insulin sensitivity. The benefit with breastfeeding is women who nurse may lose the weight gained in pregnancy faster, and more likely to
be true if she nurses for longer than 6 months.
For guidelines on a healthy diet go to choosemyplate.gov
Signed by Joanne Slyter, Registered Dietitian, Westminster, CO
Snacking use to be required if a diabetic was on insulin, otherwise they were expected to eat only three meals a day. Thank goodness rules have changed. It was finally determined that the diabetic needs to control their diabetes and not have the disease control their lives. So what are the new rules for snacking?
- Snacking for Type II is not required. If you generally snack then continue since your body is adjusted to that eating pattern.
- Protein use to be required with snacks to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream, but now determined no longer necessary. Carbohydrates (CHO) only or simple CHO snacks such as fruit are acceptable.
- For Type 1 diabetes, snacking is usually not necessary. If you decide to snack and it isn’t your usual routine then begin with 1 unit of short-acting insulin for every 15 grams (gm) of CHO eaten. Assess your insulin needs based on your blood glucose response.
- A bedtime snack is warranted if:
- taking Ultra Lente or NPH at dinner
- exercise during the day
- have a history of nocturnal hypoglycemia
- hypoglycemic at bedtime.
So what about the chocolate bar? Carbohydrate counting meal planning allows for any food item. Read the food label to determine how many CHO is in a serving. A 2oz Snicker Bar has 35 gms CHO equal to 2 CHO choices (1choice=15gms CHO), but has 271 kcal and 14 gm of fat = to 2 slices of bread and 3 pats of butter! Instead of having your usual snack of graham crackers and a glass of milk in the evening you can replace it with the candy bar, but beware of the calories and fat!! Fat and protein do not affect the blood sugar but it can play havoc on the waistline if you aren’t paying attention.
So how do you like to snack?
Signature Joanne Slyter, dietitian, in Westminster, CO
Being told you have diabetes is rough, but figuring out how to manage it through diet can seem overwhelming. The holidays is a major hurtle to get through when you are starting out and every food may seem taboo, especially sweets. A holiday sweet may now seem to be a thing of the past. I’m here to tell you though that eating that pumpkin cookie, or pecan pie is no longer considered cheating but a choice!
Snacks are an important part of the meal plan for all people with diabetes. Snacks help to stabilize blood glucose levels that can be erratic
due to insulin already working in the body, exercise and stress. They are also key to preventing hypoglycemia, which can be a scary event. People with diabetes can eat some sugar as long as it is worked into their meal plan just you would with eating any carbohydrate food item. Because sweets don’t contain the essential vitamins and minerals found in healthier carbohydrate food items and may be higher in fat, it would make sense to save a holiday treat as a special treat.
To have the sweet at your meal simply cut back on the other carbohydrate (CHO) foods at that meal. The key is keeping the amount of carbohydrates the same. An example is swapping the cookie for the slice of bread. Read the label on the cookie package. First determine serving size, and then total CHO. The total CHO tells you how much is in one serving. If you eat more than one serving you have to increase the amount of CHO that you count. One serving of CHO is 15 gm, therefore if the cookie has 17 gm you eat one cookie. Keep in mind, sweets contain fat so they will be higher in calories than that piece of fruit you substituted with. Bottom line – enjoy the holidays with that piece of pumpkin pie.
Signature Joanne Slyter, dietitian, Westminster, CO