Diabetes and The Sugar Myth

March 27, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

No Sugar Is Best?

For nearly all of the 20th century most people believed that to control their diabetes they had to avoid sugar completely. Sugar free candy, cookies, cakes, and other foods became the staple treat for diabetics all over the world. If you wanted to buy your sweetheart something for Valentine’s Day (or any holiday) you just looked for sugar-free chocolate.

The only problem with this is that diabetics were still having problems controlling their blood glucose levels. Even without their dreaded arch-nemesis, sugar, diabetics were (and still are) having high and low swings. Many were and are not able to figure it out. What were/are they doing wrong?

Food Raises Glucose Levels Higher

Back in 1994 a discovery that the foods you eat can raise blood glucose levels higher than sugar surprised many. This is one reason your doctor may warn you to avoid starches. The amount of carbohydrates in certain starchy foods can dramatically raise blood glucose levels. For example, normal white sugar has a GI (glycemic index) of 92 whereas white bread has a GI of 100, meaning the bread will cause a rise in blood glucose faster than sugar!

The Fat Factor

Another problem with sugar free diabetics foods is that they provide a false sense of security. You may believe that it is safe to consume more of a snack if it is sugar free. This is far from reality, though. Sugar free foods can contain more calories and fat than traditional ’sugared’ foods. Due to insulin and other medications causing a resistance to weight loss in some diabetics, adding extra fat in a diet can be extremely detrimental to keeping a healthy base weight.

So, What Do I Eat?

The good news? Pretty much anything you’d like, in moderation. Popular fad diets advocate high protein/low carbohydrates. The honest truth is that these diets will work. But, in a diabetic, the results can be weight loss plus a serious loss of health. Too much protein can put the body into ketosis which can be deadly for a diabetic.

Avoiding foods entirely can make you crave them more. Instead of avoiding a particular food or food group, allow yourself to enjoy it in smaller amounts. Be aware of what causes your blood glucose to rise and adjust your daily diet accordingly. Had a baked potato with your steak? Then skip the pie (or other dessert). Love steamed cauliflower? Just halve that brownie you want with a friend or your kid.

Remember to speak with your doctor before making any diet changes!

Strawberry Oat Bran Muffins

March 12, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

I am posting sugar-free and low sugar recipes today for you to enjoy. Please, let me know if you try them and how they turn out for you. If you have a request for a recipe to be modified for diabetics, email me! I’ll work on modifying it for you.

Strawberry Oat Mini Muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup oat bran cereal (uncooked)
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup thawed frozen apple juice concentrate
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup diced strawberries
¼ cup chopped nuts

1. Preheat the over to 400 degrees F. Spray or paper line 24 miniature muffin cups. You may also use normal sized muffin cups, if desired.

2. Mix the flour, oat cereal, baking powder, soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk liquid ingredients in another bowl.

3. Stir liquid ingredients into the flour mix until the dry ingredients are just moist. Do not over mix. Fold in fruit and nuts.

4. Pour or spoon batter into muffin tin. Bake 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick pushed into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool, serve warm or cool completely.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

February 15, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

I created the following recipe as a low fat, energy packed breakfast for my family.You can modify it by adding in other chunks of fruit or nuts. It really is very versatile. If you would like, try using a 50-50 ratio of white and wheat flour. If you use wheat, be sure to use molasses. I have also used soy flour to add a protein punch. Enjoy!

Oatmeal-Fruit Breakfast Fuel

*2 cups Oat meal, plain (the kind in the big cylinder)
*¾ cup flour (all purpose)
*1 ½ cup low fat granola (I just used some from a cereal box with almonds and raisins)
*½ cup raisins
*2 bananas, sliced thin
*2 eggs
*1 cup milk (more or less)
* 1/2 cup honey or molasses

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Mix everything in a large bowl. It will be slightly ‘goopy’. The milk will not completely absorb, but try to get all of the flour mixed into the liquid. If the mix is too dry, add a little more milk. Once it is all completely mixed, pour into a pan that has been lined or oiled well.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check at 20 minutes for browning. The top of the bars should be dry with spotty golden brown areas. Remove from oven, cool until you can cut and handle the bars without being burned. Serve warm!

Life Is Sweet With Stevia

January 16, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

Sugar Highs Are The Norm.

Stevia Plant
As a diabetic, desserts are often off limits. Super rich, decadent desserts are plastered all over magazines and television. Chocolate is drizzled onto cakes, pies, and cookies. Sugar glazes, towering sugar sculptures, and a flurry of powdered sugar snows the dessert buffet. It is not healthy to indulge too much as an individual without diabetes, but what about when your life depends on avoiding the temptations?

There Is A Solution.

Thankfully, every diabetic can now enjoy sugar free desserts and confections. In nearly every grocery store or other food outlet, you can find alternatives to the sugar filled offerings. You are by now probably familiar with the pink and blue packets of sugar substitutes. Most people have used or at least heard of Sucralose (Splenda). There is another alternative to sugar that you may not be aware of.

For those who are diabetic and concerned about their blood sugar, Diabetes and Stevia are a match made in heaven.

Source: Healthy New Age

Stevia is a plant that is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar and does not affect blood sugar levels. It has no calories. It has become very popular lately, though it is not approved in the United Sates by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food source. It is known as a dietary supplement.

This sweetener does well in nearly all applications, though it is recommended to not use it in recipes that require cooking over 389 degrees (F).

Can I still Use Sugar?

Yes, you can, in moderation. Remember that all carbohydrates turn to sugar in the blood stream. When using sugar in any recipe factor in the carbohydrates you will be eating along with it. A smaller serving of the sugar containing food should suffice. We all have slip-ups, so do not beat yourself up if you have a tad more.

One favorite among diabetics is Angel Food Cake or Chiffon Cakes. The variations using these cakes are endless. You can use any Angel Food Recipe (or Chiffon) and add in your own ingredients for variations. Here are some ideas:

Lemon zest.

Add the zest of one lemon, plus one teaspoon of lemon juice.

Orange zest.

Add the zest of one orange, plus the juice from the same orange.

Chocolate Swirl.

Two table spoons of cocoa powder dropped into the batter (in intervals)as it sits in the bundt pan. Swirl with a butter knife.

Pomegranate Cake

As the batter sits in the pan, drizzle the juice from one pomegranate over the top. Swirl with a butter knife.

Instead of icing or glaze, try drizzling your cake with reduced fruit juice. Reduce your fruit juice by simmering it until it is half of the original volume. Use in moderation, as all fruits contain sugar known as fructose.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.