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Sweet Surprises

People with diabetes often receive books, warnings and tips from healthcare professionals and dieticians about the importance of watching and counting carbohydrates (carbs). Carbs ARE important for people with diabetes—but they shouldn’t be the only factor in your food choices. What about sugar? Fat? Sodium? Cholesterol? Beneficial things like fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals? Limiting foods high in sugar and carbs is a great start, but it doesn’t guarantee the best food choice every time. Sometimes clever food packaging and “image specialists” can convince consumers a food choice is a “healthy” option. While it may have a high level...

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man insulin doctor

Insulin? But I have type 2!

With type 2 diabetes, many people think, "take a pill, watch your diet and all will be well." Right? Then, out of the blue, your doctor mentions insulin. Insulin is secreted from a healthy-functioning pancreas in response to food or stress—whenever your body needs to get glucose into your muscle cells. In doing so, it helps keep a healthy level of glucose in your blood. Without a doubt, insulin is the most natural, easiest way to keep your blood sugar in an optimal range. Still, some physicians don't recommend insulin because they think that their patients might be too scared. Diabetes is a progressive...

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Take a new look at your lunchbox

Whether it's your child's school lunchbox or something to eat at your desk, it's easy to get caught in a lunchtime rut. Here are a few diabetes-friendly lunchbox ideas to help you shake things up without a lot of extra prep or planning. Start with dinner. If you're already cooking, make extra. You can just reheat and eat, but you don't have to.  Tonight's roast chicken makes a great quesadilla with a little cheese and sweet red pepper. A baked pasta dish becomes finger food when cut into bite-sized squares and served at room temperature. Extra biscuits or dinner rolls...

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Handy Guide to Portion Control

Many people with diabetes learn how to count carbohydrates in order to manage blood sugar, and others are asked to watch their weight. But one of the easiest ways to miscount carbs or calories is by underestimating portion sizes, so here are a few handy tips. Measure now, feel good later Using a food scale and measuring cups can save you a lot of worry. This way, you'll know that you had a half-cup of brown rice with 22 carbs and 100 calories,1 instead of "about" that much and "20-ish carbs/100-ish calories." Over the course of a day, small inaccuracies can add up....

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woman checking and understanding her blood sugar numbers

How to make sense of blood sugar numbers

I don’t understand what my blood sugar range means! If you live with diabetes, you have probably been asked to check your blood sugar a lot. But what are you supposed to be checking? How do you make sense of the numbers you see? Managing your diabetes is easier when you know what the numbers mean and what you are trying to accomplish. What is the normal blood sugar range? Your doctor is the best person to ask what your blood sugar goals should be. Since everyone is different and unique, your goals may be different from the standard ranges. Things...

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9 diabetes etiquette tips for people who don't have diabetes

People living with diabetes often come across others who want to share their own views, or what they believe they've learned about how to manage the condition, and it doesn't always help. That's why we've created this list of diabetes tips for those who haven't been diagnosed. The bottom line? Diabetes is hard work and managing it is different for every individual. Enjoy these 9 tips to better support a friend or loved one living with diabetes. 1. Acknowledge that you don't know best. You may know something, but it's likely to be less than the person living with diabetes and...

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Finding Fats in Foods

If someone wanted to cut unnecessary fat from their diet, you might suggest they try eating soup and a sandwich for lunch, eating more salads and choosing desserts that are low in saturated fat. Sounds like a good plan, right?   Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. The fact is, saturated fats and trans fats are lurking in many foods that seem healthy. Here are a few examples:   Salad dressing. All those crisp, delicious vegetables are great for you—high in vitamins, minerals and fibre. But at 20 grams of fat per tablespoon, full-fat dressing can...

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How to stay in the guardrails of blood sugar range

How to know your blood sugar guardrails? Have you noticed the safety guardrails when you drive on the road? You have freedom to drive as you wish but veering outside the guardrails is dangerous and everybody wants to stay safe. We have them to tell us when we are getting outside the safe zone. It is kind of like that with your blood sugar ranges. Knowing the blood sugar ranges to stay in helps keep us out of bad situations and on the road healthy and happy. Your doctor can help you know what your normal ranges (or guardrails) should be. What is the difference in HbA1c and my checks using my meter? When...

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To your health! Enjoying a drink with diabetes

Any time you get together with friends or family, especially during the holidays, you may feel inclined to raise a glass. And why not? Having diabetes doesn't mean you can't enjoy a cocktail or some bubbly. Just know how alcohol can affect your blood sugar numbers or interact with insulin or medications before you start pouring, so you can avoid any surprises. Nobody wants a holiday low Drinking alcohol can affect you in a few ways:1,2 • When your liver is processing alcohol, it doesn't produce sugar to regulate your blood glucose levels. • If you take insulin or some oral...

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