Saturday, October 30, 2010

7 Deadly Diabetic Myths Exposed

Blood glucose testing, showing the size of blo...Image via Wikipedia
There are a lot of people who have thier own myths about Diabetes. Some could prove lethal if a diabetic is not informed of the right thing. So I would like to expose some of these deadly myths.

Myth 1: Sugar Causes Diabetes

Sugar may be a factor in diabetes, but it does not cause it. Research shows that one of the main contributors to the sudden increase in blood glucose levels are simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates on the other hand show a slow and gradual increase in blood glucose levels.

Myth 2: Only Fat People Get Diabetes

This myth is really wrong. Some are so sure that they won't get diabetes because they are fit or slim. It's not a lifestyle dependent disease, although it can highly influence or trigger insulin resistance, but according to my doctor it has a lot of other factors and the source of it is still a mystery.

Myth 3: If you're diabetic limit your food intake

Although type 2 diabetes has been closely linked to obesity, another deadly myth is the thinking that once you limit your food intake you can recover from it. This is somehow related to the first myth I mentioned, eating right (avoiding simple carbohydrates) with the right amount of activity like exercise can do much in controlling your blood glucose levels. Too little may cause you to go hypoglycemic where your sugar levels go so dangerously low.

Myth 4: Once you're on medication you can eat anything you want

Whether you're on oral medication or on insulin, you still have to manage your diet as well as exercise. Health supplements can also help but it's still eating right and losing weight which makes the big difference. A total change in an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.

Myth 5: Standard Diets or Low Carbohydrate Diets are good for any diabetic

Though standard low carbohydrate diets help in controlling weight, doctors still recommend that diets should be individualized and specifically programmed for each patient. That's why your medical care team should always include a dietitian or a meal planner.

Myth 6: You only need to test your blood glucose levels once in a while

This is very dangerous. Not testing right means letting your blood glucose go uncontrolled. Invest on a good meter. Technology has really evolved nowadays, meters are now very portable and accurate as well. It is also standard practice to have your blood checked via a reputable laboratory on a regular basis or as your doctor would advise.

Myth 7: My whole family is diabetic, therefore I'm certain to get diabetes

This myth is often the most common misconception. Surrendering to the fact that you have a family history of diabetes and you're sure you'll get it is totally wrong. You always have the power to take control of your life and watch what you eat. Stay active, eat right and avoid excess. You can control your life.

Til next post!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

How to Create your Diabetic Meal Planner for Type 2 Diabetics

Testing the blood glucose level yourselfImage via Wikipedia

One of the few things I learned when I was diagnosed with diabetes, was the fact that I could no longer eat anything that I wanted to eat at anytime. That's why in my last two posts I was looking for a new recipe book to change the monotony of my meals. My dietitian has prepared an easy meal plan for me early on. Here is how to start your own Diabetic Meal Plan for Type 2 Diabetics.

Step 1: Know your Glycemic Index

To start your meal plan, work with your endocrinologist to determine your target Glycemic Index. Your meal plan should revolve around this index and you should carefully map how your index moves before, during and after your meals. Your target Glycemic Index or GI must be between 70 - 130. Once you start to eat, list down all the food you ate and check your GI one to two hours after eating. Ideally, your glucose level should not exceed 180 with the food you just ate. Avoid those foods or combination of foods which cause your GI to spike beyond 180. Monitor your meals for a month clearly identifying which foods you should avoid or eat more of.

Step 2: Follow your Doctor and Dietitian

Normally, after your first month you would have generous list or a variety of foods to either avoid or eat more of. Always heed the advise of your doctor and dietitian specially on how much to eat and what medication to take at which time. Think of them as your lifelines. Consult them regularly. Become partners.

Step 3: Know the Basic Food Groups and How it Affects your GI.

The following article from can explain how the basic food groups affect your blood glucose levels. Check out the article below.

Carbohydrates and Starches

Refined carbohydrates will drastically increase your blood sugar. Examples of refined carbohydrates include foods made with white flour and sugar, such as cakes, muffins, and bagels. Instead, choose six to 11 daily servings of starches made from whole grains. Select bran cereal with no added sugar. Cook whole-grain pasta and brown rice. And avoid products (such as bread) that use the label “enriched.” Bear in mind that if you’re carbohydrate-counting, count starchy vegetables as carbohydrates. These include corn, potatoes, and peas.

Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables should always have a significant presence in all type 2 diabetes diets. Not only do fruits and vegetables contain essential minerals, vitamins and fiber, but they are also low-fat and low-calorie. Experiment with different vegetable and fruit choices to find your favorites: try bok choy, kale, melons, or kiwi. Try to eat at least three to five servings of vegetables every day, and two to four servings of fruit. Just keep in mind that how you prepare vegetables is as important as how much you eat: avoid high-calorie buttery sauces or dressings.

Dairy and Protein

The American Diabetes Association recommends choosing two to three servings of dairy products per day. Add low-fat or non-fat milk or yogurt to your type 2 diabetes food list to obtain calcium and protein. You should also select four to six ounces of meat or meat substitutes daily. Eat lean cuts of meat and fish. If you’re a vegetarian, you may prefer tofu, cottage cheese, eggs, or peanut butter.


Being a type 2 diabetic does not mean you have to restrict yourself to an utterly draconian diet. Once you understand what kind of foods to eat with type 2 diabetes, you can also fit in small treats – in moderation. While you should typically avoid alcohol, candy, and fried foods, if your blood sugar levels are stable, you may indulge once in a while. A serving size of ice cream is considered to be a half cup, or you could eat two small cookies, or one small muffin or cupcake. Double-check your blood sugar before and after you indulge.

Read more:

Step 4: Religiously follow your Diet Plan

Now that you know how to monitor and identify what and when to eat. Stick to your meal plan. It means living a normal life even with a chronic disease like diabetes.

Have a great time creating your meal plans!

Till next post!

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Recipe Review : Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes"

I was craving for mashed potatoes. My dietitian warned me that potatoes contain a lot of carbs which could eventually lead to spikes in your blood glucose. I wsa so dissapointed. But I was so happy when I saw this alternative on So I tried it since it was a simple recipe to do. The verdict?

Here’s my review.

Let me say that except for the fact that I was struggling to find an alternative gravy sauce and ended up buying one of those instant gravy mixes to add to the authenticity of the mash potatoes. Honestly, I cannot tell the difference.

I asked my wife and daughter to guess what I used, and they said “why would you use anything other than potatoes, or is this a trick question?” They got the shock of their lives. My daughter actually said, now I love Cauliflowers even more!

Have a try at it and let me know what you think about it.

Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes"

1 head cauliflower

1 clove garlic (optional)

1/8 cup skim milk, plain yogurt, or good butter

Salt & pepper


Steam cauliflower (optionally with a clove of garlic) until tender. Cut the cauliflower into pieces and place
in a blender with the milk, yogurt or butter. Season with salt and pepper and then whip until smooth. Pour
cauliflower into small baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika and bake in hot oven until bubbly.

Serve with roasted Aspauragus. (Optional)

Servings: 6

Amount Per Serving :: Calories: 57 • Carbohydrates: 12g • Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 5g • Total Fat: 0g • Saturated: 0g • Trans: 0g • Sodium: 91mg • Protein: 4g

Just a reminder though, you may want to watch how much gravy you would be adding as this could cause you to spike. It tastes good even without the gravy but I was looking for the classic style mashed potatoes so I indulged a tiny bit of gravy(around a tablespoon). Enjoy!!

Till next post

List of Safe Snack Food to Eat

As a diabetic, I learned that one important thing is to watch what you eat. has prepared a list of safe snacks which can control our hunger pangs in between regular meals. This also gives us a variety of snacks to rotate at a given period. Take note, if you are a newly diagnosed diabetic or a pre-diabetic person, it is always best to consult your health care professionals first.

Recommended Fruit (Take note of the serving size when applicable)

Apple, small, 2”
Bananas, small, around 4 ounces
Blueberries or Blackberries, 3/4 cup
Cantaloupe, honeydew or papaya, cubed, 1 cup
Cherries, 12
Dates, 3
Grapefruit, large, 1/2
Grapes, small, 3 oz or about 17 pcs.
Kiwi 1 pc.
Mango, cubed, 1/2 cup or 1 slice /cheek
Orange, small
Peach, medium
Pear, large, 1/2
Pineapple, cubed or chunks, 3/4 cup
Strawberries, 1 1/4 cup
Watermelon, cubed, 1 1/4 cup

Vegetables (typically 1.5 cups of cooked or 3 cups raw)

Baby corn
Bamboo shoots
Bean sprouts
Brussels sprouts
Green beans
Green onions or scallions
Jicama or Sweet Turnip (Sinkamas)
Mung bean sprouts
Oriental radish or daikon
Pea pods
Peppers, all varieties
Soybean sprouts
Sugar snap peas
Summer squash

Dairy Products (Choose 1 serving per day or as prescribed)

Milk, 8 oz
Chocolate Milk, 8 oz
Soy Milk, 8 oz
Yogurt, 1/2 cup
Frozen yogurt
Egg nog, 1/2 cup


4oz of most juices
Hot chocolate
Lower-sugar sports drink
Vegetable juice cocktail

Packaged Snacks* (always check the labels first)

5 Biscuits
Jello Sugar Free puddings
2 Rice Cakes

Other Fun Stuff (May be taken occasionally or as prescribed)

Peanuts, 2 1/2 oz
Small tortilla pizza
Slice of bread with peanut butter
Greek yogurt with berries or a dash of balsamic vinegar
A few crackers and cheese
Hummus and veggies

Desserts (Once a day or as prescribed)

Small brownie
2” chocolate chip cookie 

Many professionals like you and me often forget that eating the right food means being able to take control of your blood glucose level and still get that balanced diet you need for the day.

Keep healthy till next post.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I've Discovered New Recipes for Diabetics

I'm getting bored with the diet my dietitian gave me and I wanted to explore safe recipe alternatives for a change. As I was searching the net, I came across a lot of suggestions from dietitians, health buffs, diet programmers and the like. Some were promoting a new diet scheme but did not really provide recipes until you subscribe to them; the others were just giving one or two recipes which seems promising but leaves me with only two suggestions. Then when I was lurking in one of the diabetic forums, I downloaded a recipe book which looks tempting and well thought of. So I am going to try this out scientifically of course, as I want to see how these recommended recipes help me manage my blood glucose level. If it looks promising, I'll definitely share them.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The 4 Deadly Mistakes I did Before I Understood How Deadly Diabetes Is

When I look back five years ago, back to the time when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I realized I made a lot of mistakes early on which made me depressed, irritated,insecure and hopeless. I took a look back at what were those mistakes. I'm going to share 4 deadly mistakes I did before I realized that Diabetes was not just a simple, ordinary disease.


1. THINKING THAT THIS WILL GO AWAY SOON - After the doctor had given me the bad news, I though to myself, it's just a disease. It will go away. It took me a month to realize that this was not a simple cold that will go away once you take your medication and drink plenty of fluids. It occurred to me almost a month after that fateful day, that I was marked for dead..dead man walking..why? I was in the hospital being scolded by my older brother who is a doctor, over the phone. Not only because I missed a few medications, not because I drank 2 liters of cola, and not because my blood glucose was pegged at 320 mg/dl. 

It was because I thought that once I finished drinking the medicine for 30 days I can go back to drinking cola, or eating too much. My brother said your disease is lifetime. There is no cure for it. All you can do at this point is keep it under control, else you die, or lose your leg, or you go blind, or suffer a stroke, or die of a heart attack. That was the first mistake.

2. I CAN STILL EAT WHATEVER I WANTED - My dietitian told me I can eat whatever I can as long as it's in my diet plan. I looked at it and saw most foods that I would also find good to eat. Then she said that     I cannot miss any of my meals (yoohoo) I said to myself, all I need was to follow my diet plan! I said yes this is doable. I was wrong! My dietitian and doctor looked at my fist monitoring report. I was asked how big was the meat portion that you ate? It was either too big or too much, but I was hungry. Diabetics need to learn that having diabetes needs control, you can exchange the food groups using the Diabetic Exchange method but the portions and amount must be followed. Counting calories is not only important but a must, I learned to read the labels, learned to weigh my food with my diabetic scale and avoid temptation.

It is still a struggle. The family must support you too. Isn't it hard that you're at a party and you stick with the raw salad with no dressing, then everyone else gets to eat cake, pastries and drink beer or cola? Family members must realize that in order to help those loved ones cope, they have to bear with the person with diabetes. Share and understand their difficulty and their pain. Never taunt or ridicule them specially if its about food.

3. SKIPPING MEDICATION OR THE I'LL DO IT LATER MISTAKE - This is the mistake I always commit, even now I would sometimes forget my medication. Often it's due to lack of money. Medication can be expensive specially if its a chronic disease, but most of the time, or's almost never back when I was starting out. I had no excuse for it, I was simply careless. The sad part was that I needed to get rushed to the ER to realize that this was priority numero uno, or else it's curtains for me.

4. FORGETTING TO MOVE AND HAVE FUN - One thing I realized when I talked to a fellow diabetic,(he's a close friend who had type 2 diabetes for 10 years, he's 46 year old.) He used to be obese like I am, he was a gym buddy who saw my medication and glucose meter in my locker. We shared stories. His life style was sedentary. He says he would sit and work in the office, eat junk food, go drinking with the boys, he partied big time.Then it struck him, one day. He went into a diabetic coma. His wife thought he was going to die. He recovered after they pumped 8 units of insulin into his system. That event in his life pushed him to improve. Now he runs marathons, plays golf, tennis and badminton. His best achievement was keeping his blood glucose at an average of 115 mg/dl. He changed his lifestyle. I was inspired by how he changed his life.

I hope my mistakes can help all of you who are new to this disease. I hope they inspire you to take control of your life and have fun and most of all stay as positive as you can and share your own light to others.

Till next post.


Friday, October 1, 2010

10 Easy Ways to Control Diabetes

1. Learn to Manage Your Disease – follow the advice of your health care providers (your doctor, dietitian or diabetic nurse). Control or management starts with understanding how the disease could be controlled, regardless of type. Both types should be considered equally lethal if left uncontrolled. Invest in personal monitoring equipment as well as the latest medication methods available.

2. Smoking is ALWAYS bad for your health – If you smoke, make an effort to stop. Smoking intensifies your chances of getting or worsening the disease. Smoking increases your risk of various diabetes complications, including heart attack, stroke, nerve damage and kidney disease. In fact, smokers who have diabetes are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than are nonsmokers who have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

3. Have regular physical exams and eye tests – having a partnership with your doctor is always a good means of controlling your disease, or any condition you might have. Don’t let fear or the cost of medication hamper you from getting the right information and treatment for your condition.

4. Watch your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels – always be mindful of these two conditions as these are always closely related to your diabetes. One important concern is that diabetes tends to amplify the complications of having high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels and puts you at a higher risk of suffering from those complications. Eat Healthy and have regular exercise activities to help you control your levels.

5. Keep your vaccines up to date. - High blood sugar can weaken your immune system, which makes routine vaccines more important than ever. Ask your doctor about:

■Flu vaccine. - A yearly flu vaccine can help you stay healthy during flu season, as well as prevent serious complications from the flu.

■Pneumonia vaccine.- Sometimes the pneumonia vaccine requires only one shot. If you have diabetes complications or you're age 65 or older, you may need a five-year booster shot.

■Other vaccines. - Stay up to date with your tetanus shot and its 10-year boosters, and ask your doctor about the hepatitis B vaccine. Depending on the circumstances, your doctor may recommend other vaccines as well.

6. Visit your Dentist Too – have a regular schedule with your dentist at least twice a year, as you run the risk of getting gum infection. If your gums start to bleed or get swollen, see your dentist right away. Practicing good dental hygiene also works best in avoiding gum problems.

7. Take care of your feet - High blood sugar can damage the nerves in your feet and reduce blood flow to your feet. Once you ignore them, cuts and blisters can lead to serious infections. To prevent foot problems:
  • Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water. 
  • Dry your feet gently, especially between the toes.
  • Moisturize your feet and ankles with lotion.
  • Check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, sores, redness or swelling.
  • Consult your doctor if you have a sore or other foot problem that doesn't start to heal within a few days.
8. An Aspirin a Day Keeps your Doctor away - Aspirin has the ability to minimize blood clotting. Doctors recommend a daily dosage of aspirin to minimize the risk of heart attacks and stroke, two of the more dangerous complications which may result from having diabetes.

9. If you must drink alcohol - Alcohol can cause low blood sugar, but it depends on how much you drink and how much food goes along with it. Anything in excess can never be good for you, specially alcohol. Also take into consideration, how many calories you are taking in once you take a sip from that wine glass of yours.

10. Stress Can Kill - Too much stress over a long period can lead you to forget or ignore your medication as well as your routine must dos. Prolonged stress can affect your insulin levels too, which we all know is dangerous for us with sweet blood. Adopt a stress management technique which suits your lifestyle.

Over-all, stay positive and enjoy life. Do your share in controlling this disease. Take control of your life.

Till next post.