Nutritional Needs if You Have Diabetes

Diabetes is the #1 cause of non-accident related amputations in the US.

Those who smoke, are overweight, have high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, are more likely to suffer a range of complications of diabetes, including amputation.

Could YOU be one of the 8.1 million people non-diagnosed? What you don’t know about your health CAN hurt you. The non-diagnosed are at great risk of serious illness if their diabetes is left uncontrolled.

The statistics from the CDC are shocking:

Diagnosed and Non-diagnosed diabetes in the United States
-Total: 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the population have diabetes.
-Diagnosed: 21.0 million people.
-Non-diagnosed: 8.1 million people. That means 27.8% of people with diabetes are non-diagnosed.

A diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes can be devastating for anyone, but particularly those over 50. The biggest questions are, “What exactly is diabetes?” and “What can I eat safely now that I am a diabetic?”

Special Nutritional Needs if You Have Diabetes


Type 2 diabetes is an imbalance in your body between your blood glucose (sugar) levels and insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas. Insulin controls how much glucose goes to your cells to support them and how much remains in your bloodstream.

If you have too little glucose in your bloodstream, you can become hypoglycemic. Too little, you can become hyperglycemic. Both conditions pose their own health dangers. Therefore, the ideal is to keep your glucose levels well-controlled.

Some diabetics use oral medications to keep their glucose under control. Others may have to inject insulin to keep their glucose and insulin levels in balance.

To avoid blood sugar extremes, it is important to monitor your glucose using a meter and testing strips. Above all, know what foods to eat, and which to avoid.

There are no ‘forbidden foods’, but there will be a few to eat less often as you plan a range of meals that will keep you in balance and still allow you to enjoy your meals foods.

The American Diabetes Association has put together a wide range of resources to help you stay on track. A lot of people cut carbs, carbohydrates, when they discover they have the disease, but that means missing out on a whole range of important B vitamins.

Special Nutritional Needs if You Have Diabetes

If you are going to eat bread or cereal, be sure it is whole-grain. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and choose lean cuts of meat. Enjoy low-fat dairy, and aim for low-sodium foods.

Above all, avoid ‘diabetic’ foods, which can be full of chemicals and very expensive. They are also rarely any healthier than the regular versions of these items.

They also tend to be non-nutritional snack foods like cookies and candy. They might taste great, but they can often have an unfortunate laxative effect if you eat more than the suggested portion on the package.

A diagnosis of diabetes can seem like the end of the world as you know it, but in reality, it will just be a ‘new normal’ as you work with your doctor to find a safe and sensible eating plan that is right for you.


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