By: Director of Education – Jessica Cook MS, RD, LD, CDE
Summer presents a great time to travel, explore and take a vacation with friends and family. Many people view vacation as a time to relax, get away and enjoy pleasures you may not experience the rest of the year. One of these pleasures may include food. Trying new foods, enjoying comfort foods and indulging in your favorite food choices may seem appropriate for vacation, but remember food intake makes a huge impact on blood sugar control! Even when you’re letting loose and enjoying the moment of vacation remember these easy tips to prevent a blood sugar disaster when indulging:
Thank you for taking the time to read our Living Well with Diabetes July Newsletter and we hope you have a great Summer season!
By: Paul Casanova MD
The best way to prepare and respond to an emergency is before it happens. Few people can think clearly and logically in a crisis or emergency, so it is important to do so in advance, when you have time to be thorough. Emergencies are especially difficult for people with chronic diseases such as diabetes which affects 29.1 million Americans according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So be ready in hurricane season!
Here a list of suggestion recommended by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)
So be ready and make your plan before the emergency happens.
By: Jessica Cook MS, RD, LD, CDE (Director of education)
Snacking has recently increased in popularity and it seems everywhere you go snacks are readily available. And although snacking can help prevent hypoglycemia, reduce hunger at meals and possibly prevent overeating at meal time, it can also add extra calories, translating into extra inches on your waistline. With a wide variety of snacks including pretzels, potato chips, candies, cookies, popcorn, crackers and ice cream it is no surprise Americans are consuming more calories from snack foods than actual meals during the day. The problem increases when these high carbohydrate snacks increase blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes resulting in increased medication use in efforts to control blood glucose levels. Instead of choosing low nutrient dense, but high energy dense snacks, reach for something delicious, satisfying but with half the calories and less carbohydrates!
The first rule of snacking includes listening to your body. You should not snack unless you are feeling physical hunger. Listen to the hunger cues in your body and if you are having cravings without physical hunger, try brushing your teeth, chewing sugar free gum, grabbing a glass of water or hot tea. If you are physically hungry mid-morning or mid-afternoon, then remember the next most important snacking rule… Fiber & Protein! Fiber and protein not only relieve hunger pangs, but add satiety for several hours and do not raise blood glucose levels. So which snacks contain low carbohydrates, but high fiber and protein? Here are a few examples:
(130 cals, 14 g carbs, 12 g pro)
(150 cals, 18 g carb, 5 g pro)
(98 cals, 2 g carb, 10 g pro)
(163 cal, 7 g carb, 5 g pro)
(103 cals, 9 g carb, 1 g pro)
(200 cals, 13 g carb, 5 g pro)
By keeping these healthy snacking solutions stocked in your fridge, at the office or by packing extra snacks when traveling, it will prevent you from hitting the vending machine or local gas station for high fat, high sugar snack food items.
Probably the worst time to snack however is after dinner. I have seen countless patients gain weight, need more diabetes medications and continue to struggle with elevated A1c levels due to night time snacking. You only need a snack before bed time if blood glucose levels are less than 100 before bed or if you have a history of nocturnal hypoglycemia. Again you may have a snack before bed if you are feeling physical hunger, but try to remember there are other factors affecting why we snack at night. Boredom, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and frustration are common reasons we reach for snacks even when we are not physically hungry. If you are experiencing any of these emotions regularly which are causing extra snacking in the evening, try going for a walk, practicing medication, join a group or find a hobby to help take your mind off of food. If you are feeling depressed, sad, distraught or anxious, speaking with a licensed clinical social worker or psychologist may help you to better handle your emotions rather than eating.
Lastly, do not be fooled by the food industry’s push for these high carbohydrate snack foods claiming they give you energy, no sugar added, sugar free, low fat or fat free. Always remember to read the carbohydrates on the food label to better understand how these foods will affect your blood sugar levels. Check out overall caloric content of your snacks as well because consuming an extra 500 calories a day can lead to steady weight gain and increased medications. If you need additional help designing a meal plan, creating healthy snacks and reviewing carbohydrate counting make sure to schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian at one of our four office locations. Regular meetings with a registered dietitian are often covered through insurance with a diagnosis of diabetes and may prevent you from needing additional medications to treat your diabetes or aid in weight loss! To schedule your appointment with a registered dietitian please call (561) 513-5100 today!
Join us at our healthy meal planning refresher class in West Palm Beach. We hold classes every month which include how to plan healthy meals, weight loss, tips on grocery shopping as well as dining out, healthy substitutions and more!
If you have tried losing weight on your own without success why not try our Healthy Meal Planning with Diabetes Refresher Course to help you get back on track with your weight loss goals. If interested attending this program please contact our scheduling department at (561) 513-5100 today!
At Healthy Living with Diabetes we want to ensure that you are satisfied with all services received. We also would like your input on educational workshops that you would like us to offer, information you would like to read about in Healthy Living with Diabetes Monthly or feedback on any workshop that you may have attended. You can contact the director of education personally by email jcook@PBDES.COM or leave a message at (561) 513-5100. We would love to hear from you!