Why I Think Seeing a Dietician is Beneficial for Diabetics

Last year, I wrote a blog post about having your Diabetes Care Team and why it’s so important for you to choose the right people. Choosing the right people that support you and are helpful and sensitive to your current condition is so important. I’m part of a diabetes support group for women on Facebook and it’s always so sad seeing some women being mistreated by their doctors and wondering if what they’re doing is even right because their doctors make them feel dumb and inadequate. Having the right people by your side should NOT make you feel less than the amazing person you are.

Your Diabetes Care Team should consist of a Primary Care Physician (PCP), Endocrinologist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Opthalmologist, Podiatrist, Dentist, and a Registered Dietician. All of them specializing in fields that can help monitor and manage your diabetes.

Since I was diagnosed with Type 2 in February 2017, I have really slowly built my team. Like really slowly. I had my PCP who diagnosed me and started me on oral medication in hopes that by losing weight and eating better would naturally bring me back around,which it didn’t.

In 2018, I went to a diabetes education class with a diabetes educator. I learned a lot at that class and I’m really glad I went, but I don’t know if the lady that headed the class is still working there anymore. Also in 2018, I got my opthalmologist and podiatrist. They’ve been keeping an eye on how my diabetes has been affecting my eyes and feet, which so far has been good.

In 2019, I was referred to an endocrinologist who put me on insulin which I’ve been using ever since. My dose has gone way up to the point that he may have to prescribe me another insulin on top of that.

And finally in 2021, I got a dietician. My PCP was supposed to work it out for me but that never happened so I had to do it on my own. Thankfully I’ve been taking classes and other services from a local nonprofit that provides classes about diabetes, hypertension, and healthy eating among other subjects. They also work with dieticians and other specialists to bring their services to the Native Hawaiian population. I’m very grateful for their services.

Nonprofit organization that serves the Native Hawaiian health care system on Hawaii Island. They provide medical, behavioral health, and community education services.

Here’s why seeing a dietician is so important. Going to classes about healthy eating and diabetes will always go over what you should and shouldn’t eat. You can ask the instructor questions but you can’t have a conversation with them during class because there are others there as well. I suggest seeing a dietician so you can sit with them, one on one, and really get to the nitty gritty.

I saw my dietician for the first time yesterday and we talked about when I usually eat, what I ate in the last 24 hours, what my glucose reading was, what my concerns were, if there were any changes recently in appetite or anything really, and she gave me suggestions on what I could change. Talking to someone one on one is really getting the information to sink in better than during all of the classes I took.

I have to go back in and see her in a month to see if any of the changes I’ve implemented are working. The changes I’ve agreed to make are to eat brown rice instead of white rice, try whole grain bread instead of white bread, get more fiber in my diet is the big goal, try to incorporate more vegetables in to my diet, and continue to walk AT LEAST 15 mins for AT LEAST 3 days (the more the better).

I’m going to have to increase how many times a day I check my blood sugar which might now be about six times a day at least. I think my endocrinologist might also want me to check before and after I eat now too. But I’m willing to do this now more than ever! Why? Because I’m so close to breaking 200lbs! I haven’t been less than 200lbs since 2012. There was a short stint in 2019, but I gained it all back because of stress. I want to break 200lbs once and FOR ALL!

If you haven’t seen a dietician, I really suggest you do. They can come up with a menu of things you should eat more of as well as what kind of physical activity you can do to bring your blood sugar down. The one on one experience will also benefit you as well, I think.

I would love to hear your stories about your journey with diabetes. Feel free to submit your story. You can submit it anonymously if you want. I just really want to know that I’m not going through this alone, that others out there are going through similar experiences like I am.

App Review: DMP App

Last week, I was honored to have a guest post from DMP – The Diabetes App. I decided that I would download it and see how it looked. Right off the bat, I think it’s a GREAT app! It’s visually appealing, full of useful information, and we can connect with other diabetics. Below is a detailed review of the app.


Visuals: 5/5

I love the colors they chose and the art that was used. It’s not harsh colors or lines, everything is kind of soft and smooth. It’s easy on the eyes.


Messaging System: 5/5

The messaging system is almost like text messaging. You can choose who your message goes to and just start typing. You have to make a connection with people in order to be able to message them.


Profile: 5/5

The profile is really great. You have your profile picture, username, # of posts, followers, and following right at the top. Your About section tells people what Type of Diabetes you have and when you were diagnosed. Then you can go into your Bio and you can fit a lot of information in your bio. At the bottom you can see your Recent Posts. There’s a ‘+’ button at the bottom where you can start writing a new post.


Feed: 5/5

You can access your Feed that has posts from others from groups you follow. Right now there aren’t a lot of groups. You can also go to a Type 1 or Type 2 specific daily chat from the main menu and see what other Type 2 diabetics are posting about today and you can post your encouragement, like posts, and report posts. It’s kind of like Facebook for diabetics.


Resources: 5/5

You will have a lot of access to resources like blog articles, meal plans and recipes, exercise videos, podcasts, and more. I love the exercise videos because they’re easy to follow along. I can’t wait for more videos to be added.


Overall: 5/5

You have access to so much through the app and I personally like to connect with others with Type 2 diabetes. There’s so much relatable content on the app and you can also connect with professionals like pharmacists and mental therapists. It’s a really great app and I highly recommend the app for fellow diabetics.

To download the app, click on the link below:

iOS:https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1522262547

Android:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.disciplemedia.dmp

Find me! @courtneyacbdc

Guest Post: Monday Moves with DMP

Hello beautiful, wonderful people! Today I have a treat for you. We have a guest post from DMP – The Diabetes App, about their Monday Moves program. The app has exercise videos, recipes, a livestream archive of an array of topics, and a whole social media platform where we can connect with other diabetics. I will do an app review for you in the coming week, so keep an eye for that!


The benefits to working out are endless! From uplifting your mood, improving your cardiovascular health, to overall just feeling good about your body. However, despite all these known benefits, many people still find it difficult to get started. They ask themselves, what should I be doing? Am I doing this wrong? For those living with diabetes, exercise can provide even more benefits as it helps increase insulin resistance and can help some people with type 2 diabetes put their diabetes in remission. However, it can be daunting to do it all alone, and that’s why DMP created a plan so you don’t have to. 

DMP-The Diabetes App is a social platform in which people living with diabetes can connect with others going through the same thing. The app also offers a vast collection of resources including podcasts, recipes, exercise videos, articles, and more to help people with their diabetes management. DMP recently launched Monday Moves. Every Monday, DMP releases a new workout video for their users to follow along to. This keeps exercising fun and engaging. One of the main reasons that people quit their fitness regime is that they get bored of the same exercise routines week after week. With Monday Moves, DMP offers a fresh start to the beginning of every week. It reignites one’s passion for fitness and why they might have started this journey to begin with. Not only can people embark on this fitness journey with DMP, but by joining DMP they are connected to thousands of diabetics on the app. Another reason why people don’t stick to their workout? There is no one cheering them on. With an online support community, people can find the reassurance they need on days they feel like giving up.

Working out affects you more than just physically, it changes the way one sees themself. It shows them how capable they are and how strong they are. Like any journey, the important thing is to start slow and get informed. In the same way someone wouldn’t go down a ski slope without getting lessons, it’s important to get informed before starting any fitness regime. It’s recommended that people talk to their doctor before starting any fitness regime, and remember that DMP will be there along the way. After a workout, DMP urges its users to check out their recipe section for delicious recipes to support a healthy lifestyle.

If you are looking for a sign, this is it! Remember that fitness is about progress, not perfection. So strive towards getting better each and every day and try not to compare yourself to others. We are all in different stages and should be proud of what we have accomplished so far. To learn more about DMP and to enjoy our Monday Moves, visit our website www.thediabetesapp.com or download our FREE app today using the appropriate link below. At DMP, we believe that when we work together, we are stronger. 

iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1522262547

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.disciplemedia.dmp

Tips for the Holidays 2020

Hello there fellow diabetics! I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays. I know we may not be able to celebrate the same way this year as years before. You may even be celebrating alone this year. Please do not let this get you down, this is not an excuse to eat in excess this year.

There will be a lot of challenges this holiday season and I want to give you some tips to help keep you on track as much as possible.

  • Balance rich treats and special meals with super healthy, veggie-based snacks and meals
  • Fit in extra activity daily
  • Increase your water intake
  • Keep thinking positively
  • Engage with others
  • Don’t let others pressure you
  • Remember your overall health goals
  • Slow down and be present with the food
  • Capture the first bite
  • Take small portions – you can always go back for more
  • Enjoy the flavor and texture of the food
  • Remember family and friends no longer with us
  • Honor your memories, all the special people and moments with the food you make this year
  • Appreciate that you have enough food to eat
  • Appreciate that you have a choice in what you eat
  • Chew your food slowly and savor the flavors
  • I cannot stress this enough, get some extra activity in!

Remember, this is a time to spend being thankful for what you still have this year. I know 2020 freaking sucks, you may have lost a couple people this year. But there is still so much to be thankful for.

There’s a couple of really good looking vaccines that will be available soon. You are still alive right now. You may still have friends and family. You still have someone to talk to (me). You woke up this morning.

Times may seem dark right now, but I want you to know that wherever there is darkness, light is sure to follow. Just hang in there. You are the most amazing person in the world. You can make it through each day one step at a time. You’ve got this!

Some of them are bad quality but I want to share some photos of my fur baby that passed away a month ago. May it trigger your seratonin and make you feel better.

The Toll of Diabetes on Your Mouth

Diabetes can affect a lot of organs and systems in your body, I’m sure you know that. The nervous system, your kidneys and liver, your heart, even your immune system. But do you know the effects of diabetes on your mouth?

If your diabetes is left untreated, it can take a huge toll on your mouth.

  • You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry.
  • The absence of saliva puts you at a higher risk of tooth decay (cavities).
  • Gums may become inflamed and bleed often (gingivitis).
  • Problems tasting food.
  • Delayed wound healing.
  • Susceptible to infections inside of your mouth.
  • For children with diabetes, teeth may erupt at an earlier age than is typical.

Tooth decay (cavities) occurs when you ingest starchy and sugary foods and drinks. They interact with the bacteria in your mouth and create a sticky film known as plaque on your teeth. The acids in plaque attack the surfaces of your teeth (enamel and dentin) making it easier for bacteria to get within your teeth. This can lead to gum disease.

Early gum disease (gingivitis) occurs when plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing enough. The plaque hardens under your gumline into tartar (dental calculus). The longer the plaque and tartar remains on your teeth, the more they irritate the gums around the base of your teeth, called gingiva. In time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily.

Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) is when untreated gingivitis becomes worse and causes a more serious infection. Periodontitis destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Eventually causing your gums and jawbone to pull away from your teeth, which causes your teeth to loosen and possibly fall out.

Periodontal disease is a chronic, inflammatory disease that can destroy your gums, all the tissue holding your teeth, and even your bones. It is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes. People with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum problems because of poor blood sugar control. Serious gum disease may cause blood sugar to rise. This makes diabetes harder to control and makes you more susceptible to infections and are less able to fight the bacteria invading the gums.

To avoid gum disease, get on a Dental Health Action Plan. This includes:

  • Controlling your blood sugar levels. Change to a healthier diet, exercise more, and brush your teeth. Good blood sugar control will help your body fight any bacterial and fungal infections in your mouth and help relieve dry mouth caused by diabetes.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • If you wear any type of denture, clean it each day.
  • Make sure to brush twice a day with a soft brush and floss daily.
  • See your dentist for regular checkups.

Diabetes lowers the body’s ability to fight infection and slows the healing process making periodontitis a larger and dangerous possibility for diabetics.


REFERENCES

Mouth Healthy
Mayo Clinic

Cinnamon Tea & Diabetes

Cinnamon tea has a lot of health benefits. Just boil some water and steep a stick of cinnamon for 10 to 15 minutes and you can reap the benefits. Don’t have a cinnamon stick? A teaspoon of ground cinnamon works just as well.

The benefits of drinking cinnamon are numerous and don’t just benefit diabetics.

  1. Loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight off oxidation caused by free radicals that contribute to diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
  2. Lowers inflammation and may improve heart health. Inflammation is thought to be at the root of many chronic diseases including heart disease. Cinnamon may also increase levels of HDL cholesterol.
  3. May help reduce blood sugar. Cinnamon may contribute to the lowering of insulin resistance thus increasing insulin’s effectiveness. Cinnamon may also slow the breakdown of carbs in your gut which will regulate your blood sugar levels.
  4. May promote weight loss. Studies don’t completely control all factors, like calorie intake, but if you control your calorie intake and take about 5 teaspoons of cinnamon powder per day for 12 weeks.
  5. Fights off bacteria and fungi. Cinnamon has antibacterial and antifungal properties which prevents the growth of bacteria, fungi, and molds, like Staphylococcus, Salmonella, and E. coli bacteria. It can also help reduce bad breath and prevent tooth decay.
  6. May reduce menstrual cramps and other PMS symptoms. Cinnamon tea can help make symptoms more bearable. You can take 3 grams of cinnamon each day for the first 3 days of your menstrual cycle.
  7. May fight skin aging. Cinnamon may promote collagen formation and increase skin elasticity and hydration.
  8. May have anticancer properties. Cinnamon extracts may help kill certain types of cancer cells, including skin cancer cells.
  9. May help preserve brain function. Cinnamon can help protect brain cells from Alzheimer’s disease and improve motor function in those with Parkinson’s disease.
  10. May help fight HIV.
  11. May reduce acne. Cinnamon can help fight the bacteria that causes acne.

7-11 are not completely concrete benefits of cinnamon tea. More research is being done to come to strong conclusions.

So cinnamon tea has a lot of benefits for all. For diabetics, it can help with insulin resistance and might even help you lose weight. You can either have it as a tea or as infused water. Just remember to keep your cinnamon intake low. Too much could be toxic. The compound coumarin is both beneficial and toxic for your liver.

If you do drink cinnamon tea, stick to one or two cinnamon sticks a day, or two teaspoons max. But go ahead and reap the benefits.


REFERENCES

Healthline
NDTV Food


Spread the Word

Did you like this post? Do you know someone that could benefit from it? Share it with your family and friends!

Follow the Young and Diabetic to get a free Diabetic Log download!

Use it to log your medication, blood sugar, exercise, and food every day.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

You are following this blog (manage).

Want to see more from this blog? Take this survey to tell me what you want to learn more about!

Lifestyle Change vs. Diet

I’m sure you’ve heard both terms being thrown around a lot, but do you know the difference?

Diet has two definitions:
1. the kinds of food that a person habitually eats.
2. a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.

Which one do you hear more of? I’m forever hearing on the tv about commercials of miracle diets for weight loss. Diets don’t work. Why? Because diets are meant to be temporary. A diet consists of temporarily changing your eating habits to promote a certain outcome, like weight loss, before returning to your previous eating habits.

Now lifestyle changes are where it’s at. A lifestyle change consists of adopting healthy overall habits that promote long-term weight control and health. A diet focuses on food intake whereas lifestyle changes your diet with other factors that affect your weight and health, like exercise. In other words, a diet is a temporary solution and lifestyle changes are healthy habits for life.

What kind of lifestyle changes can diabetics make?

  • At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, like brisk walking, water aerobics, hiking, or using a manual lawn mower.
  • Cut back on sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Eat more fruits and veggies.
  • Get rid of junk food and snack on more nutritious foods.
  • Replace refined carbohydrates with wholegrain foods.
  • Reduce amount of saturated fats.
  • Choose lean meats over processed meats.
  • Apply stress management techniques in your life.

Did you know that stress can really mess your body up? Stress hormones can increase blood pressure, slow down your digestion, and can make blood glucose control difficult. Reducing stress can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, depression, and anxiety.

In my opinion, I never use the word “diet” unless describing something like diabetes diet, even then I don’t mention it often. Why? Because “diet” is a dirty word. I’m not looking for a temporary change, I’m looking to change my life. Your intentions are everything. If you only intend to diet, you are only looking for temporary. Speak it into existence and tell the Universe you are changing your life for the better.

Do you want to know more about a diabetes diet though? Here’s what I have found for you and for myself.

Healthy Carbohydrates:
– fruits
– veggies
– whole grains
– legumes
– low-fat dairy products
Fiber-rich Foods:
– veggies
– fruits
– nuts
– legumes
– whole grains
Heart Healthy Fish:
– salmon
– tuna
– mackerel
– sardines
Good Fats:
– avocados
– nuts
– canola, olive, and peanut oils

When you’re looking for things to eat, remember to avoid these foods:

  • fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury
  • high-fat dairy products
  • coconut oil
  • processed foods high in trans fats
  • high-fat animal proteins

You should aim for no more than 200mg of Cholesterol and less than 2300mg of sodium per day.

Diabetes management is a lifestyle change. We have to create new, healthier habits for our lives to better manage our diabetes. We can do this! Change your life for the better and not for the temporary.


References

Healthy Eating
Diabetes UK
Mayo Clinic


Spread the Word

Did you like this post? Do you know someone that could benefit from it? Share it with your family and friends!

Follow the Young and Diabetic to get a free Diabetic Log download!

Use it to log your medication, blood sugar, exercise, and food every day.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

You are following this blog (manage).

Want to see more from this blog? Take this survey to tell me what you want to learn more about!

Blood Sugar and Mental Health

You may have noticed when your blood sugar is too high or too low, your mood suddenly shifts. I know I certainly have. What I didn’t know was what is the link between blood sugar and mood or mental health.

The usual symptoms of low blood sugar are:

  • confusion
  • aggression and irritability
  • difficulties concentrating
  • hunger
  • difficulty with coordination and decision-making
  • personality or behavior changes

Some symptoms for high blood sugar are:

  • difficulty thinking clearly and quickly
  • feeling nervous
  • feeling tired/low energy

Fluctuations in your blood glucose can result in rapid mood changes. Low blood glucose readings can cause you to be slightly euphoric. The body compounds this pleasant sensation by releasing adrenaline in an attempt to convert any available glycogen in the liver back into glucose to boost levels in the bloodstream.

There have been some links between diabetes and mental health issues. Scientists have identified a mental health condition in diabetics called diabetes distress. It shares some elements with depression, anxiety, and stress. Most diabetics don’t show severe enough signs to be diagnosed as either depressed, anxious, or stressed but these symptoms can still affect our quality of life.

Did you know that 30 to 40 percent of diabetics are diagnosed with anxiety? Did you know 1 in 4 diabetics have depression and that women are more prone to depression than men? 

If you don’t believe the science, believe the experience. I have been going through anxiety, stress and depression related to my diabetes. How does it manifest? I’m stressed and frustrated that my blood sugar still isn’t within range. It’s more consistently out of range than within range. Because of my high numbers I’ve been getting depressed and overwhelmed that I may never get my diabetes under control. The price of my medications has given me anxiety that I may not be able to afford my insulin and diabetes pills and I have a fear of getting in trouble with a low blood sugar incident in public.

All of these things pile up on my mind and overwhelm me every day, but I’m trying to push forward every day. One day at a time, one hour, and one minute every day at a time.

You may also be feeling these things too. Stressed and powerless when trying to control your condition. Believing you’re not doing a good enough job managing your diabetes.

Maybe you’re anxious about going too high or too low and not being able to recognize when you go low causing a social embarrassment or danger while driving or sleeping. Maybe your rigorous insulin regimen and constant glucose checks could interfere with social interaction or employment.

Please remember, managing your mental health is just as important to your overall health as your diabetes treatment plan.

SOME TIPS FOR COPING

  1. Follow your diabetes treatment plan. Especially when it feels overwhelming, keep taking your medications, keep exercising and eating healthy.
  2. Check your blood sugar regularly. Especially when you feel a mood change, then you can see what causes your irritability and you can correct your sugar level accordingly.
  3. Automate your plan. If your trouble is not taking your medication on time (this could cause insulin distress), setup an alarm for your medication.
  4. Plan your meals. Plan out your meals ahead of time, by the ingredients you need when you need them, prep your ingredients ahead of time, and always have a set meal schedule. Eat healthy and regularly to keep your sugars in check.
  5. Seek out help. This is so important. There are so many resources out there for you to utilize. Go to your doctor, find a diabetes educator, go to a diabetes management class, seek out a therapist, keep a strong support network. If you feel like you have no one to talk to that understands you, you can try reaching out to me.

You are not alone in your diabetic journey. You always have someone to talk to. Take care of yourselves today. Remember to love yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself today. Safe journey and blessed be.

How to Have a Less Painful Insulin Injection

For all my lovely insulin dependents, are you scared of injecting your insulin tonight because the last one stung a lot? Are you having trouble finding the right place for injection? Have no fear, let me share with you what has helped me take on the fear of painful injections.

First of all, it doesn’t matter if you use a needle and vial or if you use a pen, if you’re dependent on insulin injections, you have to overcome the fear of the injection. If you’re on an insulin pump, I’m not sure if you’re lucky or not, I’d love to know what kind of experience that is to have an insulin pump attached to you at all times.

Before I continue, here is a .PDF file that answers some questions about injecting insulin that I think would be beneficial for all diabetics to know.

The best places to inject is your abdomen, thighs, arms, or buttocks. Injecting in to your abdomen has the quickest dispersal of insulin. You would choose sites 1-2 inches from your belly button in the fatty areas of your abdomen.

Injecting in to your arms and thighs are a slower dispersal of insulin. You should inject in to the fatty part behind the upper arm between the shoulder and elbow or the outer thigh 4 inches from the top of the leg and 4 inches from the knee.

Injecting in to your buttocks is the slowest dispersal of insulin. You should inject into the fatty tissue of the upper buttocks below the waist. Probably have someone you trust doing that.

Your goal is to aim for the fatty layers just under the skin. You need to use fresh needles with each injection to avoid painful injections. Your insulin should be at room temperature; cold insulin could cause a stinging when pushing down the plunger.

Before injecting, relax the muscles in the area you’re injecting in to. Pinch up as much skin and fat you can hold in your skin, then one rapid movement to penetrate the skin with the needle. A rapid penetration is less painful than slow-and-easy.

To help make it even less painful, use a short, thin needle. The thinner the needle, the better. You want to avoid long needles because it could penetrate in to the muscle. Injecting in to muscle is more painful and it could disperse the insulin too fast meaning the insulin won’t last as long as you need it to.

Another tip is rotating injection sites. DO NOT INJECT IN TO THE SAME LOCATION TWICE! This could lead to scarring and pain. Make sure there is at least half an inch distance between injection sites to avoid skin problems. Also, avoid scar tissue, moles, swelling or inflammation, and stretch marks. The thicker or tougher the skin, the more painful the injection. Rotating injection sites also helps the area heal nicer. Generally, you should inject in to the same area for at least 20 days so having 20 different sites in the same injection area is awesome!

To prevent insulin leakages after injection, pinch the skin before injection, rapidly penetrate the skin at a 45 degree angle, and release the pinched skin before you inject. After injection, leave the needle in for another 10 seconds before pulling the needle out, then place a clean finger on the injection site and apply a little pressure for 10 seconds.

As long as the insulin doesn’t come running out of the site like a little stream, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing the insulin that was lost.

A last ditch tip to help minimize pain, you can use an ice cube to numb the area before you inject, just make sure the area is dry before injecting.

I hope this helps you with insulin injections. I know I still experience pain while injecting. Only just now I learned that a quick penetration is better than the slow-and-easy route I’ve been going. I probably should have known this because that is the way my pharmacist gives me the flu shot, like throwing a dart into my arm. The .PDF has illustrations for what areas to inject in to. For the last five months, I’ve been using my abdomen for injections but it has become so painful for me and I have so much stretch marks that I don’t have anymore places to inject so I have switched to using my thighs.


References

Diabetes In Control


Spread the Word

Did you like this post? Do you know someone that could benefit from it? Share it with your family and friends!

Follow the Young and Diabetic to get a free Diabetic Log download!

Use it to log your medication, blood sugar, exercise, and food every day.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Want to see more from this blog? Take this survey to tell me what you want to learn more about!

Top 10 Food Swaps for Diabetics

One of the most important factors in diabetes management is food. You have to have some sort of idea how much sugar and carbs a certain food contains before you eat it because it could spike your blood sugar. Food is probably the only aspect in your life that affects your blood sugar that you can control. Here are some healthier alternatives to some of our favorites.


  1. Instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower. Potatoes are full of starch and calories, they also have a high glycemic index. Cauliflower has a glycemic index of 15 putting it low on the blood-sugar-spike scale. If you use fresh cauliflower instead of frozen, you will have better results. You can still use frozen cauliflower, but it might be a little runnier than you’d want it to be.
  2. Instead of rice, make quinoa. Quinoa is a relative to spinach and beets, therefore it has the nutritional value akin to leafy vegetables. Quinoa also has high levels of minerals, fiber, and it is a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids.
  3. Instead of buns or bread, use iceberg lettuce leaves. An average hamburger bun has about 20-25g of carbs, whereas iceberg lettuce is full of Vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, folate, and 19 amino acids, making it much more beneficial than a piece of bread. Iceberg lettuce is also low in calories, nutrient dense, and a good source of fiber.
  4. Instead of drinking sugary beverages, drink fruit-infused water. Fruit-infused water is low in sugar and calories, more hydrating, and very refreshing. It also helps to spruce up your daily water intake if you ever get tired of drinking just water all the time. I will do a post later of different combinations of infused water with some added benefits.
  5. Instead of using wheat flour, use almond flour. I’ll admit right out, almond flour is expensive. In my town at least, it’s cheaper to get almond flour in bulk than buy it packaged at the store. But here are the benefits, almond flour is much more nutritious, can reduce your LDL “bad” cholesterol, and improve insulin resistance. It’s also lower in carbs, higher in healthy fats and fiber, has a lower glycemic index and is gluten-free. My suggestion is to learn more about how almond flour is used before you bake with it, you won’t get the same results as wheat flour.
  6. Instead of using a large plate for food, use a smaller plate. Using a smaller plate helps with portion control and being able to control your portion sizes is very important. It can give the illusion of more food on a smaller plate tricking your brain into thinking you’re eating a lot of food. Another tip, slow down when you’re eating and enjoy your food. Make sure to thoroughly chew your food before slowing, it’ll make you feel fuller faster.
  7. Instead of eating cookies, candies, and chips, eat berries, nuts, seeds, and veggies. Cookies, candies, and chips are full of empty calories and carbs, whereas your healthier option has healthy carbs and proteins that will help keep your blood sugar spikes low.
  8. Instead of having little to no veggies on your plate, make sure more veggies make up half of your plate. Fill half your plate with veggies, 1/4 with protein and 1/4 with 100% whole grains to get a well-balanced meal. This will help you feel full and keeps your blood sugar more even.
  9. Instead of eating white potatoes, eat sweet potatoes. Frying white potatoes is high in unhealthy fats and oils, white potatoes are already full of carbs and have a high glycemic index. Sweet potatoes can be roasted or baked with olive oil and be a healthier option. Sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic index and lower in calories and carbs.
  10. Instead of microwave popcorn, try stove-top popcorn. Microwave popcorn is high in trans fats, almost 5g. Stove-top popcorn may take a little longer, but it’s much healthier. It has less calories and it doesn’t come already pre-buttered, you can add however much you want to your popcorn. Also it’s cheaper than the organic microwave popcorn brands, they may be healthier altogether, but who wants to pay $6 per bag? That’s theater popcorn pricing!

Hopefully, all of these food swap options can give you some ideas for a healthier diet and hopefully it gets you out in to the internet or books to find even more swaps you can make! There are many other options out there, just do your research and consult your dietician to make your diet healthier and diabetic-friendly.


Spread the Word

Did you like this post? Do you know someone that could benefit from it? Share it with your family and friends!

Follow the Young and Diabetic to get a free Diabetic Log download!

Use it to log your medication, blood sugar, exercise, and food every day.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Join 635 other followers

Want to see more from this blog? Take this survey to tell me what you want to learn more about!