5 Easy (And Tasty!) Food Swaps For Diabetics

diabetes food swaps

This is a guest post from Dr. Shinde, owner and physician at Aayu Clinics Lakeview Immediate Care.

diabetes food swapsType 1 diabetes often develops before adulthood, but Type 2 diabetes usually manifests itself later in life, once the patient has long been set in his/her own eating and lifestyle habits. This can make bad habits really hard to let go. Holidays can become overwhelming as you try to keep track of your carbohydrate intake and deftly avoid making direct eye contact with the dessert table. But diabetes doesn’t have to put a damper on your diet. Start slowly replacing unhealthy snacks with these healthier morsels, which help lower your blood sugar, and promote health without getting in the way of what you love to eat.

1. Fork it
Burgers are a big part of barbecue season, and a popular item on most restaurant menus, but the buns are loaded with refined sugars. If you eat a burger, wrap it in a large slice of romaine lettuce, or opt for low-carb buns and bread. You can also avoid carb overload by simply using a fork and a knife to eat hamburgers and hot dogs. Decrease fat and cholesterol consumption while you’re at it by subbing a vegan or vegetarian alternative for the meat.

2. Try baking instead of frying
If french fries are your favorite go-to snack, you don’t need to give up hope just because you’re restricting carb and fat content. Baked sweet potato fries are a tasty alternative, especially when drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with cinnamon, a spice that’s been shown to decrease blood glucose.

3. Brown is better
White bread is considered almost as harmful as sugar because it’s made from refined grains that have been stripped of much of their nutritional content. Instead of slowly absorbing into the bloodstream, these starches take no time at all to process, so their impact on blood sugar is fast and extreme. Reach for brown rice and whole grain breads instead. Their high-fiber content will further improve how your body metabolizes sugars.

4. Ditch the chips
That greasy handful of potato chips can seem really tempting at the end of a tough workday, but it’s loaded with carbs and fats, which can wreak havoc on a diabetic’s glucose readings. What should you do if you’re craving something salty and crunchy, but relatively healthy? Grab a handful of raw almonds or walnuts to satisfy your chomping reflex, or chop some bell peppers or cucumbers, and dip them in fat-free hummus. The dip — made of chickpeas — can be found in a variety of flavors, and is packed with sugar-regulating protein.

5. How sweet it is
The worst time for a diabetic patient is that moment at dinner when a server asks you if you’d like to order dessert. Most diabetics have no other option than to drool over the dessert menu, or to compensate for their sugar intake by taking a large amount of insulin. Birthdays can be especially tempting, with all the cake and ice cream on hand. As an alternative to ice cream, you can freeze fat-free cool whip. Serve it with fresh strawberries or blueberries for additional flavor.

Whether you’ve had diabetes for a long time, or are newly diagnosed, you can keep your blood sugar regulated by swapping your food with these tasty alternatives. After a while, you’ll get the hang of it and put your own spin on recipes. These changes can do a lot to boost everyday health, and they may also help reverse Type 2 diabetes — if combined with a regular exercise regimen. Patients can also help fend off diabetes-related complications that range from heart disease and kidney failure, to an increased risk of stroke.

About the author:
Dr. Abhijit Shinde, owner and physician at Aayu Clinics Lakeview Immediate Care, has a long history of experience in primary care, urgent care, and ER. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Aayu Clinics, immediate care clinic in Chicago, is invested in every patient’s health, staying open 365 days a year to help patients when they need it.

Could Sticking to 800 Calories a Day Cure Type 2 Diabetes?

diabetes cure

diabetes cureAs diabetes sufferers, we can’t be blamed for taking any news regarding a so-called ‘cure’ with a liberal pinch of salt. It sometimes seems that we’re hearing stories of potential cures on an almost monthly basis – and yet nothing concrete ever materializes. But what would you think if the cure wasn’t a pill or injection of some kind, but rather a radical change in lifestyle? Diabetics already have plenty of tasty recipes to choose from, but recent research at Newcastle University in England seems to suggest that some types of diabetes could be cured in certain individuals by maintaining a strict diet of 800 calories per day. Is this another case of snake oil, or is there some truth here? Let’s find out.

A ‘crash diet’ for Type 2 diabetes

The team of researchers in Newcastle took eleven overweight individuals, all of whom were suffering from Type 2 diabetes, and placed them on what they refer to as a ‘crash diet’. This diet involved the daily intake of just 800 calories – quite a challenge for anyone used to eating the recommended amount of around 2000 calories. But the results really do speak for themselves; after just a few weeks abiding by this 800-calorie diet, all eleven of the participants were free of the disease entirely. It’s important to note that this is only a sample size of eleven, and so the results are perhaps not indicative of everyone, but the team hopes to launch a large-scale trial of 280 people to see if they can replicate their success. In any case, these results are hugely encouraging for anyone suffering Type 2 diabetes – and it genuinely seems that a drastic cut in caloric intake could be the key to eliminating diabetes altogether, at least for those with the Type 2 variant.

A growing concern

In the United States alone, diabetes affects over 25 million people – that’s more than 8 per cent of the entire population. With studies such as this one being carried out to find cures for this debilitating condition, it’s easy to see why it’s so important that scientists and researchers continue important work like this. And even better, if the solution is as simple as cutting food intake to 800 calories per day, it’s a cure that’s attainable by anyone – unlike some of the pharmaceutical treatments that are available for other health problems. There are many complaints that medicinal cures take advantage of those with less financial means – but the 800 calorie cure may actually save money on the grocery bill! Naturally there are nutritional considerations, so those 800 calories will likely come from many different sources (grains, fruits, proteins, etc.) but the volume of intake is so much less that the savings surely won’t be restricted to the waist line.

Preventing the rise of diabetes

Whilst the 800-calorie cure is fantastic news for anyone suffering from diabetes Type 2, there are still more ways that we can prevent diabetes getting any more widespread than it is. Education is key to this effort, especially among children and teens. Teaching kids why they should be focusing on healthy foods (which can still taste good) is vital. It’s never too early to introduce children to healthy eating, and a good grounding in food education will help prevent them making bad decisions as they get older and are responsible for choosing their own meals. When fatty and sugary foods are available in any school cafeteria, it makes it very difficult for children to avoid these problematic foods. The healthy eating experts at Kwikmed suggest that “guidelines are six to eighteen teaspoonfuls of sugar per person per day, depending on the individual characteristics of the person and their overall diet”, and this is a great starting point for any parent who wants their child to avoid the perils of diabetes.

The final word

It’s clear that progress is being made in the treatment of diabetes. Naturally, we do not recommend you attempting the 800-calorie diet without first consulting a medical professional. It’s not clear what constituted the diet in terms of nutrition, and so it’s not advisable to try to replicate the diet. This form of cure is still in the testing stages, and as such should be seen as an interesting step forward rather than a bona fide life-saver. Diabetes is not an issue that will be fixed overnight, but with the dedicated people like the research team at Newcastle University working tirelessly for a cure – there is always hope. Who knows? The cure for all forms of diabetes could be just around the corner.