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Posts Tagged ‘Diabetes’

The White House has announced a change to nutrition labels that is a very welcome change for everyone, but especially hypoglycemics and diabetics. Within the next two years, the labels will have a separate line showing the amount of sugar added (vs naturally occurring, such as milk sugar in yogurt).

While sugar is sugar, added sugar can really impact blood sugar levels and we should strive to eat as little added sugar as possible.

Cheers to the Gov!

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One of my idiosyncrasies when it comes to food is that I never learned to like cooked fish, only raw fish. I know, I’m strange. Anyway, this means I’m a big fan of sushi. But sushi usually has a ton of white rice in it, which is not low-carb diet and/or hypoglycemic-friendly.

So I did some research (which was a great excuse for a trip to my favorite sushi spot in Houston, Soma Sushi) and you can eat sushi on a low-carb diet or a hypoglycemia diet, but you have to be careful.

Here’s the tips for enjoying sushi on a low-carb and/or hypoglycemic diet:

  • The white rice is the main culprit of blood sugar issues, although be wary of sauces and other sources of carbs.
  • Opt for non-rice rolls or low-rice rolls, such as the Summer Spring Roll and the Mermaid Roll in the photo above (note, one is fried, so it’s not completely innocent, but still low rice and DELICIOUS)
  • Opt for sashimi (no rice)
  • Research and ask about the amount of rice and carbs in each roll and choose wisely. For example, according to Diabetes Daily, a Shrimp Tempura Roll has 75 grams of carbs where a Philadelphia Roll only has 30 grams of carbohydrates.
  • If you aren’t sure about a particular roll’s amount of rice, take a look at online review sites for photos of the rolls.
  • If you’re like me, and your limit is 30-45 grams of carbs per meal, opt for one roll in that range and then fill-in the rest of the meal with no-carb options (such as sashimi, low-carb spring rolls, edamame, etc.)
  • Skip the alcohol as that adds carbs
  • Skip the group sharing experience. I always opt-out of this partially because I’m so picky (I don’t eat shellfish either) and because it’s too easy to lose-track of what you eat.
  • Ask for brown rice: This one I’m not 100% convinced of. While it helps, it doesn’t really fully solve the carbohydrate issue. And, I’m worried that some traditional sushi places will be offended if you ask for this. After not being able to find a good answer online, I contacted several sushi places to ask this question and only one responded (Soma Sushi again!) and said that it’s not offensive to ask, but they don’t  have brown rice.

 

Helpful links:

  • Diabetes Daily.  This article has wonderful suggestions as well as nutrition information (including carbohydrate counts) for many common rolls.
  • The Diabetes Experience. This article has great suggestions, especially related to portion control if you are eating with a group.
  • Just Hungry. This is a guide to chopstick etiquette. It’s really easy to offend accidentally using your chopsticks, so please read this.
  • Sushi FAQ. How to eat sushi etiquette. Very helpful tips on how to eat sushi in general and the etiquette of eating sushi.

 

 

 

 

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Here you go! Enjoy!

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A photograph of three sugar cubes

Sugar is a main culprit in disease and obesity. From Flickr: Uwe Hermann

 

This month’s National Geographic cover story is an article titled, Sugar Love: A not so sweet story. I would really encourage you to read this. Not only is it a fascinating account of the history of sugar and sugar’s ties to slavery, but it really made me realize just how much sugar I am really eating because of added sugar in most of my processed foods.

It also does a great job of explaining why, after we as Americans cut so much fat from our diets, we are still unhealthy and obese. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the article:

“As a result, fat makes up a smaller portion of the American diet than it did 20 years ago. Yet the portion of America that is obese has only grown larger. The primary reason, says Johnson, along with other experts, is sugar, and in particular fructose.”

This article definitely made me rethink some of the foods I’ve been eating; even some of the protein and energy bars I’ve reviewed positively on here! Join me in paying attention to the sugars in your diet and let’s work together to get our needed carbohydrates from natural sugars.

 

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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)!

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Exercise motivation

Regardless of your political/social beliefs, check out this photo George Takei posted on Facebook (and a lot of my friends subsequently reposted).

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=561573177205473&set=a.223098324386295.105971.205344452828349&type=1&theater

If a 50 year old, fat, diabetic man running ahead of you in a race isn’t motivation, I don’t know what is. So, if you aren’t sick like I am today, go work out! Your body will thank you for it!

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