Mayo Clinic Connect
How can you safely lower your sugar levels
I am glad you are ready. Cut the sugar and high carbs from your diet. There are lists of big offenders on the web. To be safe means to have a balanced diet which means that almost every meal should have protein, veggies, maybe bread, fruit, and maybe dairy. Some fat slows down the spike when you eat sweet or high carb foods. Sugar alone spikes faster than complex carbs, Cut down the amount of sugar gradually and you won't miss it. If you get hungry, have a handful of nuts instead of something sweet. Food is your cure, not pills. Some meds can lower your blood sugar too much if you are between meals. It is important to eat regularly, by the clock if possible. My body can go four hours between meals and then I am nauseated. A heavy meal with sugar makes me want to keep eating all evening. I gave that up. Milk satisfies my tummy because it digests slowly. Get lists from the web and pick out what foods you think you might like to eat. It is an adventure, like going to a new country and trying their food. Maybe you like it and maybe you don't Choose what you enjoy.
Let us know what new foods your have tried. We want to hear about good eating. Dorisena.
Liked by Leonard, areggleston
One very easy way is simply to cut back on the amount of food, that is, if you’re like most people, eat half the portions you’ve been eating for many years. Get a 12-14 ounce bowl and use that as a guide; if it doesn’t fit in the bowl, it doesn’t go into your body.
Nice and simple and an effective start. You will notice an effect on your blood sugar readings very soon afterward.
Liked by John, Volunteer Mentor, Leonard
Good idea, Howard. Years ago I ate grape nuts for breakfast every morning in an effort to lose weight. But it didn't last very long and I was hungry most of the day. Now I try to get some protein in my breakfast, an egg or a small piece of cold salmon and an All-Bran muffin I bake with very little sugar. If you want better results, you can skip the sweets. Now that my blood sugar is near 100 every morning, I don't have to worry about getting lower, and I concentrate on not overdoing later in the day. I like that result. I know not to buy the wrong foods in the store and then I am not tempted. Dorisena
Liked by Leonard
Dorisena, I don’t do much cooking. My idea of cooking is to take someone out of the microwave to stir it!
But there are some great packaged breakfasts, like Jimmy Dean breakfast bowls that have a choice of meats (sausage, bacon, or meat lover’s) with eggs, cheese, and a small amount of potatoes. They average around 20 carbs and each have over 20 grams protein. With a half cup of cantaloupe or cup of watermelon, it makes a great breakfast.
Because of my condition I have to nap during the day, often when it’s time to eat. Since I don’t want to lay down after eating and have it lead to weight gain, I’ll instead have a cup of cottage cheese. It has around 20 grams of protein and around 10 grams carbs, and makes a great snack. (However I find that the regular works much better for my blood sugar than the low fat version, not sure why) This also works well as a night snack, and the protein helps to keep from getting hungry.
You are doing well, Howard. Recently my grand- daughter ordered fresh meals shipped to her house because she lives alone and wants food that can be ready in no time, as she is teaching at a vocational school. I will ask her if she has tried more than one company and if they are worth the cost. It certainly would be a time and work saver. I like to put meat and veggies in my crock pot and have more than one meal cooked at a time. I am not liking potatoes at breakfast because it would require a nap right afterwards if I ate that much. Yes, I have read that full fat, which isn't much, diary foods and milk work better because the fat helps move along the metabolism process. I know that years ago when I dieted and avoided fat, I would get very cold. Lack of fat shuts down your body because it thinks bad times are coming so the body gets ready and doesn't work so hard. I learned this in my college classes in my forties, and it is now a big thing to add coconut oil or olive oil and even butter for better metabolism. Still, I avoid packaged food because a lot of it is too salty.
Liked by Leonard, trellg132
The big reason I avoid packaged food is that years ago the food nutritionists decided that as we age we need less calories for longevity because our bodies slow down and we don't work as hard to burn up the calories. And I crave fresh, high quality foods and go to the effort to make it as healthy as possible.
Also, as a culture, we are living longer so I work hard on the diet so I am not old and feeling bad. I really like ordering a big meal at a restaurant, when we can safely go there again, and then bringing half of the meal home so I don't have to cook much the next day.. I will admit it is difficult to limit pasta meals that are flavored so yummy. I don't care for sausage at all anymore because I had to cook so much for my family and we raised hogs on the farm. I do like a lean pork roast with saurkraut and I skip the potatoes. I flavor the kraut like the chef in Germany recommended when we went on a farm tour. Dorisena
Liked by John, Volunteer Mentor, Leonard, trellg132
Don't think I am biased. I really love working with hogs, especially the babies in the nursery. They grow fast and go to market in less than six months, and are getting bigger and leaner each year. They are very smart and you can train then if you are patient, and it is easier than it looks. Even with lean pork, I don't need a lot of protein if I choose a variety of meats. I like lean beef but am eating less these days because it is good for me to do that. No politics or philosophy here, just being practical. Our family beef and pork come directly from our farm friends, so we are privileged. It is expensive. Dorisena.
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I have 2 types in the freezer, one has 29% recommended daily sodium, the other has 43%. There are very few potatoes, and only 20 carbs; it would be higher if there were a significant amount.
Salt has been one of those “politicized” heath concerns, as the media thinks everyone’s the same. Years ago I cut back, just stopped adding salt to foods, and wound up passing out and was sent to the hospital. The doctors told me I was one of those people who needed salt, and that was all it was. They said there are more folks in that condition than we are led to believe.
However, I also only usually eat 2 meals a day, with snacks in between. Things seem to work out better for me that way.
Yes, Howard, you are correct. It is not the salt that is the problem, but it is the sodium/potassium balance that is the problem. I learned about it in my physiology class years ago and have paid attention to a balanced diet ever since. My efforts didn't prevent the diabetes years later because I overloaded on my delicious baking and of course, the homemade ice cream. I had low blood sugar which the doctor told me nothing except to carry cheese if I felt bad.
I worked on that on my own and thought I was cured, and was surprised when I was diagnosed with diabetes. It is about balance. And stress. And how much exercise or work you do each day. And how much you drink. It doesn't come out of the air like measles. Dorisena
I have read quite a few of your posts and you seem very knowledgeable on the subject.
I have a developmentally delayed cousin who was just diagnosed with diabetes. I have been told by his young caregivers he was pre-diabetic but the doctor said that’s not true. His HbA1C was 6.0 initially and now is 6.1. Isn’t six considered to be over 120? Isn’t anything 100 or over bad? The doctor says its well controlled but I’m wondering if it really is. He doesn’t take any medication for it and I’d certainly like to keep it that way.
The doctor has never mentioned anything about checking his blood sugar. Do you think he should should? I checked into one of those devices that you just put on your arm with no needle gadget and are they ever expensive, $130 a month and an $80 one time upfront fee.
I absolutely hate cooking and am a lousey one at that. With him here I have no choice but therein lies the problem, choices. I give him fish and his favorite is salmon but although the fats are supposedly healthy I know they will turn into glucose but even at a slower rate what is the max fat content for a meal? He weighed 224 pounds but has lost 11 pounds since being with me. I saw “no sugar ice cream” and sugar free candy. Could he have either of those?
Is there a diabetes cookbook you’d recommend? Is there a diet that you’re aware of for people with diabetes. My main concern is what feed him. I also have another question this one has to do with being called diabetic. I have epilepsy myself and I don’t mind if they say a person with epilepsy or an epileptic neither one bother me but it’s a major deal for some people to be called epileptic so I was wondering if the same thing applied in the diabetes world?
I appreciate any help you’re able to give me.
Thank you very much in advance,
I forgot to mention about exercise. He’s had three heart operations and during one of them his diaphragm was partially paralyzed so his lungs don’t work as they should, he is on 24/7 oxygen.
We are working on walking for 30 minutes but haven’t gotten there yet.
I will try hard to not play doctor here because that is not something I can do. I have never read about fats turning to sugar so I don't know that there is any problem with salmon. I have not worried about fat content of a meal but it is good that your cousin has lost weight. I have many years experience with developmentally challenged students and employees living with us, so I know it is sometimes difficult to keep the inspiration going for good eating. Salmon is leaner than beef and pork so it is an excellent choice as ir provides omega-three benefits which are important for good health. 6;1 is a good number for A1C but unless you are disciplined, it may creep up over time without you noticing it, as mine did until I worked harder on my diet. At this point, skip the expensive apparatus and test in the morning so you know what to cook, or test at night to see how much you have overdone on the carbs. I have the Mayo diet book and understand that they also have a diabetic book which I think would be a good reference to follow.
I don't know your cousin, but your biggest issue, from my experience is he will tend to develop bad eating habits for comfort food and can easily sneak behind everyone's back to make it happen. Most handicapped people I have worked with or taught at school smoked. It is a stress thing and everyone knows that eating comfort food can ease stress for a short while. And then you eat some more.
The number I learned is that anything over 126 is diabetes and under that is pre-diabetes. Even then, it is a number most diabetics would love to reach and many do not. It is the really high numbers that do damage over time,, as I witnessed with my late husband.
It has been my experience with elderly people I know that they think diabetes is a funny joke and a result of doing what you want to do, so they think they are entitled to eat desserts because they worked hard all their life and now can enjoy eating without damage. I left a church full of elderly who focused on fat foods and desserts as a reward in their life, and they didn't appreciate my discipline or respect my attitude toward good health. So diabetes was not a social concern for them and I was the odd person out of the social circle.
I understand about your epilepsy because it is not a disease of choice, but diabetes can be a choice it you do not eat well. My number one issue is that people eat balanced meals and snacks, with protein, veggies, fruit, dairy, and whole grains for good health. The Mayo Clinic diet book does an excellent job of explaining in practical terms how to eat.
Remember to reward your cousin with anything but food. He always needs praise for doing well. And he is doing well right now.
Checking the blood sugar guides you on how to cook. Your doctor may not have confidence that you will do the discipline with daily testing and he prefers a machine which records the body function. It has done wonders for me to become knowledgeable about keeping my body healthy since I have so much garden produce to use. The test strips are outrageously priced these days but Medicare pays for mine now. In the beginning I paid for them myself because it is so helpful in knowing how to eat. I don't need to test to confirm that I have eaten the wrong foods or eaten too much at a meal. And I never eat a sweet snack alone with nothing else at 4:00 p.m. No No!
I consider myself at well person, not a sick person, and I use food wisely to extend my life. It is a little harder with your cousin but I admire your respect for him to do the right thing with food to extend his life. Mozart died before the age of 40 from diabetes. He was ignorant of how to make the choices for a longer life. But he was a brilliant musician and wealthy so he indulged badly. Think about it.
For those who don't like to cook, buy a crock pot, throw in some meat, pour Lipton Onion Soup dry mix on the meat, top it with vegetables, and plug it in.
There are easy chicken recipes for the crock pot. It can be a casserole meal on the counter. Try it. Dorisena
For years I walked into the pharmacy and purchased diabetic test strips without a prescription and paid the cost. Then the price jumped from over $ 1.00 per strip to $178.oo for 100 strips. I was furious so I got a prescription from my doctor and Medicare pays. If you have insurance, find out what they will pay for the test strips. Also I can say as a former teacher, that some doctors are not teachers at all and you are left to educate yourself about how to handle chronic health issues. If you get too educated, you might get well and then the doctors won't have as much business. I know that is a harsh thing to say, but doctors were not trained to educate us. Dorisena
I can't produce a list of foods and say that is the food to eat because our family has always eaten what the garden produces when it is in season. We vary what we plant each year to widen our tastes and our diet so we tend to eat a wide variety of foods, and cut some we don't prefer off the list if they are not popular. The weather makes some food taste good one year and not so good another. The two foods we have given up on are sweet corn, not only for the high glycemic value, but also for the high cost of production. And it is so much work to preserve for the winter. We gave up on white potatoes partly because of beetle infestation and the hard work of spraying. Then the beetles also destroyed our raspberry patch one year. Now we deliberately grow something new every year and if one of us doesn't eat it, another family may like it. The variety and the hard work growing food helps with our good health. Three of us have survived cancer and two of us are dealing with diabetes. It is very important to us to eat for good health and to avoid obesity. I can't list all the steps we take but we are having a measure of success. Living in the country helps, but the weeds and bugs are a constant problem. Right now we have turnips growing.
Yuck. I might eat one….raw, as I did when I was a kid. We lost part of our onion crop so I will have to purchase onions soon. It's a lifestyle. Dorisena
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