TRUE Read Glucose Meter Review

The TRUE Read Glucose Meter is another “ham and egger” monitor by Home Diagnostics. The meter is nothing fancy, but gets the job done. Not surprisingly, the TRUEread is covered by multiple Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs.

Key Advantages

true-read-meter

  • Economical. If you can’t get it for free, the meter sells for less than $20 dollars. Fifty (50) test strips are typically less than $24 dollars.
  • Small Sample Size. The meter requires only 1.0 microliter of blood. Testing results takes approximately 10 seconds.
  • Alternative Site Testing. You can test your finger and forearm with this meter.

Disadvantages

The meter is not small nor does it have many advanced features or an ergonomic design. Let’s be honest. The meter is a bit boring. Although, who says testing your blood is supposed to be exciting?

Test Strips

The meter uses TRUEread Blood Glucose Test Strips. To Compare the BEST prices on strips, check out our Test Strip Price Comparison page.

Bottom Line

If you want a good accurate meter and don’t need lots of advanced features, the True Read is a good choice. It is even better if you have Medicare or Medicaid, as there are numerous price concessions. The meter is reasonably priced, as are the test strips.

Other Considerations

Nipro Diagnostics provides basic support. You get 24/7 technical service and a limited customer care program called True Care. Nothing fancy, compared with other companies, but the service is probably still more than most people will ever use.

The meter can download results to management software called TRACK Record. The date transfer cable is an additional fee.

ModelTRUE Read
Auto Shut Off2 Minutes
Battery Type1 CR2032
Battery Life1,100 Tests approx.
Alternative Site TestingYes
Memory Capacity200 Tests
Storage Temp.NA
Operating Temp.50 to 104 F
Result Range20 to 600 mg/dL
Sample Size1.0 microliter
Test Time10 Seconds
Weight (battery)1.66 oz.
Size (inches)3.52 x 2.15 x 0.67
Backlit DisplayNo
WarrantyLifetime
Coding RequirementYes
Software AvailableYes

Whole Food Plant Based Diet

plant based diet

plant based dietA whole food plant based diet is receiving growing attention as one of the healthiest diets you can follow. This is particularly true if you have diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

There are two very common questions people have when getting started with this type of diet. They are:

What can I eat?
How do I get the right nutrition?

Another related question is: Do you have to join PETA to try the diet!!?

I can’t answer this question for you, but will try and get started on the first two!

CAVEATS

Caveat 1: If you have not read my article on the health benefits of a Plant Based diet and diabetes, you will want to read this first.

Caveat2: This diet is so powerful, many participants have been able to lower, if not eliminate their blood sugar regulating medication. You need to work with your doctor to make sure you are monitoring your blood sugar and adjusting the medication properly. There is a real danger that the diet, combined with the medication, can lower your blood sugar too much!! Don’t be scared about this. The whole point of eating this way is to reduce or eliminate your medications. Be happy about this, but also be careful!

What Can I Eat on a Plant Based Diet?

While I bill this diet as a whole foods, plant based diet, some people may view it as a vegan diet. Technically, it is a vegan diet, although it has some important differences. For example, this diet avoids processed foods such as white flower. So, while that slice of white bread may be vegan, it is not a whole food. We want to stick with the whole food, as discussed below.

The food choices below are a combination of recommendations found in the The China Study,
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure, and Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes without Drugs.

EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains

MINIMIZE

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Processed Carbohydrates

ELIMINATE

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Fish

Pretty simple, huh? While simple, I am sure you may have some questions. I will try and cover most of these below.

Please be aware that there is some discrepancy amongst the literature regarding the use of fish, oils, nuts and avocadoes. I will also talk about these below.

TIPS and TRAPS

Avocados and Nuts: Depending upon your current health condition, you may want to avoid avocados and nuts. These foods have huge calorie and fat content. If you have heart disease, diabetes or are over weight, then it would be best if you avoided these foods entirely.

Vegetable Oils: The same caveat holds true for all vegetable oils. Olive oil is the most common example of a “heart healthy” oil that people cite to as being good for you. As Dr. Esselstyn puts it, 14-17 percent of olive oil is made up of saturated fat. While olive oil is “better” for you than other oils, it is still not appropriate, particularly if you are at risk of heart disease, which you are if you have diabetes. Sorry!

Fish: The China Study allows for minimal fish consumption. Dr. Esselstyn and others maintain that fish is so full of toxins and/or antibiotics (from fish farms) that they are a danger to your health. Yes, Omega-3 is helpful, but he recommends other sources. Personally, I try and avoid all fish.

Whole Grain Notes: Pasta, rice and other grains are just fine, there is no limitation. This seems counter to the advice given by the ADA and others that have you absolutely paranoid about even looking at a plate of spaghetti! Do not buy any refined or processed grains. Always choose whole grain. Whole grains have not had the most nutritional parts of them stripped away. White pasta, white bread, etc., have no real nutritional value. Stay away from them.

Added Salt, Oil and Sugar: Once you tune into food labels, you will be astonished with the sheer volume of crap that food companies add to your food. Don’t even get me started on most restaurants. You need to start comparing food labels to see the amounts of any given harmful ingredient that has been added. For example, choose “No Salt Added” soup instead of the salted variety. You can add a little salt at home, but it will be way lower than what is normally a part of the average can of soup. Added oil and sugar, including high fructose corn syrup and other trendy and devious sugar names are flat out killing you. Added sugar is added sugar. Stop it!

Moderation: Most diets talk about moderation. This may be the size of portions or the amount of calories. Generally, there is no such caveat with this diet. Eat as much of the good stuff as you want. Most people following this diet get full faster, thus eat less. The type of food you will be eating fills you up faster than animal based and processed food does. The flip side of this is that you will tend to lose a lot of weight, if you are over weight!

It’s not Working: Not losing weight? Not lowering your cholesterol? Not lowering your blood sugar? The vast majority of the time, the person is not strictly following the diet. Did you cheat? Are you eating exclusively whole grains? Are you paying attention to the added ingredients on the food labels? Alternatively, you are following the diet, but you are eating avocados, oils, nuts and fish. Cut these out and re-commit to the diet and it should work.

How Do I Get The Right Nutrition on a Plant Based Diet?

The biggest objection people always have to following this type of diet is: How do I get the right nutrition? This objection manifests itself in a variety of ways such as how do I get enough protein if I am not eating meat or dairy products.

Variety: Look, you can’t just sit down with a box of whole wheat pasta and think you are getting a balanced meal. Add 2-3 vegetables to the sauce and it becomes much more tasty and healthy. Or, add a side salad sprinkled with some garbanzo or red kidney beans. The point is that each meal should have a variety of ingredients to offer a full range of nutrition.

Meal Plan:
I find it hard to meal plan, but I typically do have at least an informal one, such as:

  • 2 Quick Breakfast Options
  • 2 Quick Lunch Options
  • 5-7 Dinner Options

I shop with these 7-9 meals in mind and buy extra so I have the ingredients covered. I would suggest buying the Fork Over Knives Cookbook (see bottom of page) and picking meals that you think fit your lifestyle (e.g., like to cook, don’t like to cook, etc.).

Cheater’s Meal Plan: I also have 2-3 go to “cheat” meals. What’s a cheat meal? It’s a meal I can eat when the last thing I want to think about is cooking. Here are some examples:

  • Frozen Veggie Burgers (I have the burgers and buns in the freezer)
  • Frozen Vegan Burritos
  • Frozen Vegetables (great as sides, when I didn’t pick up fresh ones)
  • Other Frozen Dinner Options

Do you want to eat these every night? Probably, not. But, if you had to work late or had a stressful day; you have these on hand and are less likely to cheat with the meat lover’s pizza from Domino’s!

Resources

This book has a wealth of knowledge in it. Try some of the meals and incorporate your favorites into an ongoing plant based diet meal plan.

For an extensive list of whole food plant based nutrition resources, please follow the link and look at the bottom of the article.

Also, check out our Diabetes Recipes. We have a lot of vegan and vegetarian recipes and are adding many more!

Sources:

The China Study, T. colin Campbell, Phd., and Thomas Campbell II, M.D., Benbella Books (2006).
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., Penguin Group (2008).
Dr. Neal Bernard’s Program For Reversing Diabetes, Neal Bernard, M.D., Rodale, Inc., (2007)
The Starch Solution, John McDougall, M.D., Rodale, Inc. (2012).
By Erich Schultz – Last Reviewed April 2013.

Pre Diabetes – You Didn’t See This Coming Did You?

pre diabetes

pre diabetesAdmit it, you are a little apprehensive about pre-diabetes, aren’t you? All the questions: what is the pre diabetes diet? What signs and symptoms did I miss? What is the treatment?

Incredibly, in 2010 79 million Americans had pre-diabetes. This represents and increase of almost 39% since 2007. WOW!

Yet, most of them are surprised to find out.

The condition occurs when a person’s blood glucose readings are elevated above normal, but lower than is considered a diagnosis of diabetes. This condition almost always exists in people prior to developing type 2 diabetes.

The condition was previously known as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG). Either name referred to whatever test was used to determine the elevated glucose in the body. The name change is simply meant to clarify the condition and more fully describe its relationship to diabetes.

What are the Benefits of Early Detection?

Early detection and diagnosis is paramount for two critical reasons. First, studies show that long term damage can occur during pre-diabetes, particularly to the cardiovascular system. People with the condition are 1.5 times more risk of developing cardiovascular disease, than a person with normal glucose levels. Early detection and treatment can minimize this damage. Second, early action can delay and even prevent it from developing into type 2 diabetes.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Interestingly, it is estimated that millions of people are unaware that they have the condition. The signs or symptoms can be very subtle.

Signs or Symptoms include:

  • Unusual Thirst
  • Frequent Desire to Urinate
  • Blurred Vision
  • Unexplained Fatigue

Additionally, if a person has the following characteristics, a test is recommended:

  • Genetic (family) History of Diabetes
  • Ethnic Background (defined below)
  • Overweight and Over 45 years old.
  • Overweight and under 45 years old (if other issues present such as high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides, prior gestational diabetes, delivering a baby over 9 pounds, and any of the other signs or risk characteristics mentioned above).

Who Is at Greater Risk?

Like all forms of diabetes, pre-diabetes can strike at all ages and races. Nonetheless, certain groups have a higher than average risk of contracting the condition. Ethnic groups with elevated risk include African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Those over weight and over 45 years old also have elevated risk.

What are the Diagnosing Tests?

The FPG test measures a person’s glucose level in the morning before eating. A normal fasting glucose level is below 100 mg/dL. A positive result is defined by a level between 100 and 125 mg/dL. Above 126 mg/dL level is defined as diabetes. If you tested positive with this test, you were said to have Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG).

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). The OGTT measures the glucose level after a fast, then again two hours after a person has consumed a glucose drink. A normal glucose level two hours after consuming the drink is below 140 mg/dL. A positive result is defined by a level between 140 and 199 mg/dL. Above 200 mg/dL is defined as diabetes. If you tested positive with this test, you were said to have Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT).

Testing should be done every three years if your blood glucose is normal. If you have the condition, you should be tested every 1-2 years. If you want to learn more about your Readings and A1c Numbers check this article out.

UPDATE: In 2010, the ADA added the A1C test as a diagnostic tool for identifying people with diabetes and with the high risk of developing diabetes. A reading between 6 percent and 6.5 percent is high risk, while a 6.5 percent result or above is considered to have diabetes.

Treatment

Ok, so you have it, How is it Pre-Diabetes Treated?

The basic treatment for pre-diabetes consists of a healthy diabetes diet and exercise. Of paramount importance is maintaining the appropriate weight. Most people need to lose about 5-10 percent of their current weight, approximately 10-15 pounds. This weight loss is very important. A proper diet, exercise and weight can reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 58 percent.

One study on the Mediterranean Diet and diabetes even found that a particular diet and exercise program could lower the risk of developing diabetes (even in high risk people) by 83 percent!

Modest exercise can be as simple as walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Many people can even return to normal blood glucose levels. As cardiovascular disease is a greater risk for diabetics and pre-diabetics, a doctor usually discourages risk factors such as tobacco use, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Check with your local public health board about receiving a DVD on the condition.

Diet

As alluded to above, the pre diabetes diet is critical to progressing to diabetes. However, how do you choose the right diet? What exactly is the right pre diabetes diet? Take a look here!

Diabetes PCOS Link

PCOS stands for polycystic ovarian syndrome. It is estimated that as many as 30% of women could have the condition and it is often a direct pre-cursor to diabetes. If you are a woman, especially if you are overweight, you need to read this PCOS article.

SOURCE:

American Diabetes Association, diabetes.org, Pre-Diabetes (Accessed December 2008).
National Institute of Health Publication No. 09-5099, Diabetes Prevention Program, October 2008 (Accessed December 2008).
National Institute of Health Publication No. 06-5334, Small Steps Big Rewards, October 2006 (Accessed December 2008).
By Erich Schultz – Last Reviewed January 2013.