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Archive for March, 2013

Woman holding up a Nutrisystem bag of caramel crunch popcorn

Yeah….I doubt Nutrisystem meets our blood sugar needs either. Photo from Flickr: miss_rogue

Last week in Rotary, a Chiropractor was presenting on overall health including, of course, spinal health. What I thought was interesting was that he spent a great deal of his allotted 20 minutes talking about diet and exercise. I give the doctor kudos for emphasizing this, but his diet/nutrition plan left a lot to be desired, especially if you are hypoglycemic or diabetic.

He recommended eating the majority of your daily intake of carbohydrates in the morning, a minimal amount at lunch, and very few or none in the evening. Side note: I couldn’t help notice that this seems to be the same model as My Fit Foods. Anyway…

That might be all well and great if you have no sugar issues at all (although I’m not entirely convinced of that), but that’s a bad, bad plan if you are diabetic or hypoglycemic. If you have blood sugar issues of any kind you must eat a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein at every meal (see below for a link to a hypoglycemic diet outline).

When I asked him about it (because you know I couldn’t help myself…but I was nice), he said that his nutrition plan was general and that he could spend a whole day if he was trying to address small populations and their dietary needs. Small population???  I bet these American Diabetes Association statistics might change his mind. Considering who is in Rotary. I’d estimate that about 20% of the audience or more has blood sugar issues. So, he gave bad advice for at least 1 in 5 of us.

Moral of the story? Don’t just take one of these cookie-cutter diet plans or nutrition plans and implement it. You could be putting your health or life at risk by doing so. Instead, talk with your doctor and dietitian about your specific needs.

You might also be interested in: 

Outline of a hypoglycemic diet

Travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters

How I lost the weight (and keep it off)!

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Pieces of chocolate

From flickr timsackton

Yes, I know. Giving up chocolate or even severely cutting-back is a really hard thing for a hypoglycemic.

But now that there’s sugar free chocolate, you can eat all you want, right???  Not so fast. You need to be VERY aware of what we hypoglycemics like to call the “laxative effect.”

Candy makers have to still make sugar-free chocolate  minus the sugar still taste good. So, they use mannitol, sorbitol and/or xylitol, which are sugar alcohols that the human body cannot digest.  So, yep, if you eat too much of it, you are going to get sick.  And this goes for all kinds of sugar free products including baked goods.

So how much can you eat? I found this statement on many websites (but was unable to verify it on the American Dietetic Association’s website): The American Dietetic Association advises that more than 50 grams of sorbitol or 20 grams of mannitol per day can cause diarrhea.

For me, it’s just a rule of thumb not to eat more than two small pieces of the sugar free chocolate or to only have a very small piece of cake/baked good that is sugar free.

Also, don’t forget that sugar free doesn’t mean calorie free or fat free. You can still gain weight by eating sugar free products.

 

For more information, I recommend this article: 

The Dieter’s (and Diabetic Person’s) Guide to Buying Chocolate

 

You might also be interested in: 

Pillsbury Sugar Free Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix review

Black Bean Brownies

Outline of a hypoglycemic diet

Travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters

How I lost the weight (and keep it off)!

Read Full Post »

One of my favorite foods is fajitas. I love, love, love, love, LOVE fajitas. And, when I make-up my fajitas, I have to hold back on guacamole and sour cream, two of my favorite toppings. Now, normally, if you mess with my food, I’m not gonna be happy. But, I have to admit, when I went to a healthy eating luncheon with a wellness coach about a year ago and we had fajitas, I could not tell that she used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream until she told us.

A photograph of a fajita with chicken, sour cream, vegetables, and queso cheese

See that dollop of sour cream? Try Greek yogurt instead (and ditch the queso!). Photo from flickr: jeffreyw

So, long story short, it works! I now use plain Greek yogurt (I recommend Okios Greek yogurt) in place of sour cream quite often. Is it perfect? No, but it works pretty good.

I’m guessing if you asked for this substitute at an authentic Mexican restaurant, they’d back-hand you faster than a news anchor asking an Italian cook if she can swap cottage cheese for ricotta (true story, the camera cut-away REAL fast), but if you happen to be making fajitas or other sour cream-friendly dishes at home, I recommend giving it a try.

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