Diabetic foods: What's good and what's not
There are foods that diabetics need to avoid or eat in moderation
Foods maybe you’ve never thought of can affect the blood sugar so be informed of what you’re consuming and how it can affect your blood sugar readings. I’m going to give you a list, keep it handy for your weekly meal prep:
Pasta - are carbohydrates. Meaning they can spike blood sugar readings. So, if you’ve been running high all day - avoid! Carbs are fuel for the body and serve a purpose, so if your sugars run low, consume small portions. Try subbing out for a whole-wheat pasta. *avoid whole-wheat if you’re on a renal diet.
Rice - yes, rice. When consuming rice, be aware, once it’s in your stomach, it sits there because it takes your body longer to break down, so it physically swells inside your stomach releasing sugar. And like I said, it takes longer to break down so it’s raising blood sugar and making your body work twice as hard or your insulin shot to work.
Corn - I know, right? Corn is a natural producing sugar itself so be cautious of your sugars for the day before eating this veggie that no one thinks about being filled with natural sugars.
Bread - the simple pleasures of being a bread lover. This one’s difficult. We stayed completely away from white bread, eating more organic wheat bread, until he became a renal failure/diabetes patient. Then we kicked bread all together to the curb because on a renal diet, avoid wheat, but diabetics avoid white.
Milk/dairy - If you’re already running high for the day, lower your dairy intake. Milk/dairy contains its own natural sugars.
Helpful tips if your sugar drops and you need to bring it up quickly.
I want to provide you with some tips and recommendations that we’ve learned over the years from our doctors to help you if your blood sugar drops and you need to stabilize it up quickly.
Peanut Butter and/or milk - will raise up your sugars quickly and stabilize it. Meaning if your blood sugar suddenly plummets, the common mistake most people think is “orange juice or candy” to hurry up and raise it back to “safety”. Sure, this works great in a pinch when PB or milk isn't available BUT what juices and candies are really doing on the inside is spiking your blood sugar then to plummet again.
Instead - Milk and peanut butter will raise it naturally to safer readings and then your sugars stay up vs spike the fall with candy/juice.
*Be careful, it's natural to get scared because your sugar is in the 50/60 range and you're feeling sick only to consume too much of either of these methods, because your frantically trying to raise your sugar levels or you simply feel sick and your body is craving more and more food. You could eat/drink too much leaving your sugar too high to control as the end result. Experienced this many times.
Learn to know your patients body from head to toe! My husband's sugar has dropped in the blink of an eye and we've had to call the squad for medical help. By the time they reached us, his sugar was 25. At a certain point of the blood sugars dropping, it can be hard to make a diabetic eat and causing them to become unresponsive. Learn their signs - cold sweats, a look in their eyes, "tired and just wants to sleep", unable to speak are some of our few key signs.
The sweet cravings
This is the truth for many diabetics that non-diabetics don’t understand.
Our EMS advised that Glucose Gel is their #1 choice to keep on hand at all times in the need of an emergency. I can't tell you how many times it saved my husband after our last 911 call.
Another helpful tip from our doctor and dietitian is if you’re still hungry after dinner and you want seconds but know you’ve already ate your portion size for the meal. Eating green foods such as: green beans, broccoli and spinach, because they are low in carbs and full of other nutrients so they are safe for blood sugar levels.
I’m a big advocate of doing your research and work with a dietitian to gain knowledge of how foods affect the sugar, portion eating and so on, these are a diabetics lifeline.
I’m supplying you with knowledge from my research, advice from doctors and dietician and trial and tribulations of our findings of testing different foods.
If you have a diabetic that is living care free and feeling as though they are invincible to the disease, but you do the cooking, you have the power during dinner time of what you can control. The sad truth is so many diabetics don’t follow doctor’s orders, as was my husband’s problem leading to so many health issues.
Studies have also shown that when an individual is a diabetic, they crave sweets and sugary foods. This has also been known to an early indicator long before other diabetic symptoms. My husband craved candy and anything filled with sugar years before he was diagnosed. It was ridiculous how much candy he ate. He seriously ate a bag of candy in one sitting like it was dinner before he was diagnosed.
Once he was a diabetic discipline to reduce or stop his obsession of candy, ice cream, cakes, cookies and so on was beyond his control.
It’s so easy for people not living with the disease of diabetes to say “if you’re diabetic, stop eating sweets”. Take time to learn and understand what you don’t live with daily and learn the disease.
Living the life of a diabetic where essentially every food will raise your blood sugar, it’s easy for others to judge and say things they know nothing about. Put yourself in a diabetics shoes. Even simply eating fruit raises blood sugars.
I’m here to help you understand both the emotional and realization of diabetes.
When you live with a diabetic, eat what they eat and eat how they eat. I looked at it as this: if you’re on a diet, trying to lose weight, but your husband is scarfing down bread with spaghetti and then eats ice cream after dinner while you’re fighting to eat like a bird - it’s hard to live with someone that isn’t “eating like you’re trying”. See what I mean? Same for a diabetic.
When my husband’s potassium has been dangerously high during dialysis and after the double transplant - WE were restricted from potatoes and tomatoes. WE, not just him.
Be their light in the darkness.