Do you have Diabetes
because you're overweight?
What is diabetes?
is a disorder
of the metabolism of food resulting in high blood sugar levels. Sugar, or glucose, is the body's fuel.
Like a car that won't run without gas, your body won't run without
glucose. But before glucose can be used, insulin, produced in
the pancreas, is needed.
There are two
types of diabetes. Type I Diabetes occurs
when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin. Type II Diabetes
when insulin cannot be used by the body's cells. This is referred
to as "insulin resistance."
What causes Type II
The primary cause of Type II Diabetes is obesity. Too much body fat causes cells to become resistant to insulin,
therefore, glucose cannot be transported inside the cell.
What happens when blood
sugar levels get too high?
Sugar, the breakdown product of carbohydrate, comes primarily
from the food we eat. Once broken down, sugar travels to the
blood stream and attaches to insulin which transports it across
the cell wall. It is here, inside the cell, where sugar is metabolized
into energy. If insulin is not available or if the
cells have become insulin resistant, sugar cannot get into the
cell and instead builds up in the blood. Several processes begin
to happen at this point:
- In an effort
to normalize the body's sugar level, the kidneys begin pulling
excess sugar from the blood - with it comes fluid. This process
causes frequent urination, thirst, and eventually dehydration.
- In an attempt
to provide an alternative source of energy to be used instead
of glucose, the liver begins making ketones through a process
called ketosis. However, ketones are
composed of fatty substances that don't provide the same energy
level as glucose, therefore, symptoms of weakness, dizziness,
and lethargy will result.
- In severe cases,
when blood sugars get too high, diabetic coma and death can occur.
How is diabetes treated?
In both Type I and Type II Diabetes, your physician may prescribe
oral medication or insulin injections. If you have Type II Diabetes, weight loss to achieve ideal body
weight can bring blood sugar levels back to normal. Even small
amounts of weight loss, as little as
10 pounds, can promote a helpful decrease in blood sugars.
What kind of food should
I eat if I have diabetes?
high in complex
moderate in protein, and low in fat is appropriate for both types
of diabetes. Eat plenty of vegetables and grains complemented
with fresh fruit. Avoid foods made with table sugar and high
fat foods that cause additional weight gain. Use artificial sweeteners
like Nutrasweet, Equal, Saccharin, or Stevia. Drink diet sodas
instead of sugared soft drinks. A small amount of fructose is
Ok because it doesn't cause a severe rise in blood sugar, however,
it may cause elevated levels of blood lipids and cholesterol.
Gum and candy sweetened with Sorbitol and Xylitol are also acceptable
when consumed in small amounts.
"But I can't eat
carbohydrates because it makes my blood sugars go up!"
You need sugar in your blood to survive. The goal of diabetes
treatment is not to get rid of sugar in your blood - the goal is
normal blood sugar levels.
There are two
kinds of carbohydrates - Simple and Complex.
- Simple carbohydrates
made with table sugar, honey, and molasses, like candy, cakes,
and pies. These foods should be avoided because they will cause
a rapid rise in blood sugars. They are also high in fat and calories
which promotes further weight gain.
- Complex carbohydrates
in plant foods like fruit, vegetables and grain products. These
foods trigger a slow release of sugar into the blood and will
help keep blood sugar levels normal. Complex carbohydrates are
low calorie, healthy foods that promote weight loss. Once you
begin to lose body fat, your blood sugars will normalize. A diet
high in protein (meat, cheese, and eggs) should be avoided because
these foods are high in fat and will promote further weight gain.
"I've heard it's
Ok to eat some sugared snack foods if I have diabetes?"
is a simple carbohydrate, named so because it's molecules consist of a simple structure that breaks apart easily. It's this rapid
breakdown that causes a quick release of glucose into the blood
and those "high" and "low" feelings associated
with changes in your mood. If you're taking oral medications
or insulin, you'll want to keep your blood sugars on an even
level during the day. Small amounts of sugared foods are acceptable
if eaten with or after a meal, but should never be eaten on an
empty stomach. If you are a "fragile" diabetic, avoid
sugared foods. If in doubt about whether or not to consume sugared
foods, consult with your doctor or nutritionist.
How many meals a day
should I eat if I have diabetes?
With both types of diabetes, you should eat three small balanced
meals a day with two or three between-meal snacks, especially
if you're taking insulin or oral medication. Eating small amounts
throughout the day will allow for a more even and constant flow
of sugar into the blood.
What's the most important
thing to know about Type II Diabetes?
important thing to know if you have Type II Diabetes is that
weight can correct this disease! So, if you have diabetes because you're
overweight, get started today on the CarboH 14 Day Lifetime Diet
Note: If you're taking insulin
injections or oral diabetic medication, be sure to notify your
physician before beginning a weight loss diet. A small amount
of weight loss can be significant enough to lower blood sugar
levels and require adjustment of medication.
For more information
on diabetes, call the American Diabetes Association at 800-342-2383
or visit their web site at www.diabetes.org.
develops during pregnancy. This condition is usually temporary
and goes away after delivery.
-If you have diabetes, beware
that alcohol lowers blood sugars. When alcohol is ingested along
with insulin or oral diabetic medication, blood sugars can drop
to a low level and cause insulin shock.
-Diabetes causes other diseases
like gout, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke (CVD), and gangrene
of toes and feet.
-You can't lose fat by eating
fat! Did you know that the fat you eat is not used for energy?
Instead, it's metabolized directly back to body fat stores?
-The terms "glucose"
and "sugar" are used synonomously. Glucose is a type
of sugar found in the blood. Glucose is never found in food.
Where do you get your nutrition
information? Most states now have licensure laws for Dietitians
and Nutritionists. Be sure your nutrition advisor is "Licensed"
by the State as a Licensed Dietitian (LD) or Licensed Nutritionist
(LN), or in states that don't have licensure laws, a Registered
Barbara Herondorf, L.D.
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