Diabetes and pizza

7 Feb

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

Friday nights my family & I have dinner at our favorite pizza restaurant.  Now that I’ve been diagnosed with diabetes I don’t know what to order.  Could you help me with what (if anything) I can order?

Answer: This new condition should definitively not be a hindrance to spending  time with your family. However, few modifications would be helpful in managing type II diabetes. Here are few suggestions:

  • Watch your portion size, order big salad on the side
  • Avoid extra cheese pizza with high-fat meets on top, lots of vegetables as topping is a better alternative
  • If there is whole grain crust that would be a better choice
  • Avoid sodas and sugary drinks that go along with pizza
  • If you know ahead of time that you are going to eat out, plan well to compensate with extra calories, for example more exercise or healthy foods.

Diabetes & Almonds?

31 Jan

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I have diabetes and love snacking on nuts (particularly smoked/flavored almonds).  Are nuts ok to snack on and if so, are there certain types I should look for?

Answer: Nuts are excellent protein and fat food that are not just nutritious, but also delicious. Numerous research has shown that nuts prevent from heart diseases and can significantly lower cholesterol. The best is to consume them raw, dry roasted, without added salt or sugar.

Nuts are also high in calories so you may want to make sure that you eat them in moderate amounts. One serving size is usually about 1 or 2 ounces. However, nuts appear to satisfy hunger sufficiently well to appropriately reduce the consumption of other foods. They also contain healthy fat, and are low in saturated fat.

The best is to consume a variety of nuts so that you can get the most from their nutrient content. If you like nuts, they are also a great substitute for meat and can be used in many dishes.

Diabetes and Smoothies?

17 Jan

Here is question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I have type 2 diabetes. I am wondering if I could have fruit smoothies?  If I can, which ingredients I should include and avoid?

Answer: Smoothies are a great way to include more fruits in a diet, however in moderation, since the carbohydrate digestion starts in the mouth rather than in the stomach. Here are few suggestions what you could add to your smoothies to make them delicious and nutritious:

  • Ground flax seeds (about 1-2 table spoons), they are excellent source of fiber, omega 3 fatty acids among other vitamins and minerals
  • Plain soy milk- a plant based alternative to milk, cholesterol and fat free, fortified  with important nutrients
  • Cashews or Silken tofu (Mori nu brend), for a creamier texture
  • Toss some healthy granola on top and make a delicious breakfast
  • Lastly, be careful about portion size

Pre-Diabetes & Sweet Potatoes?

30 Dec

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I was recently diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes and I’m trying to follow a low fat diet.  I have a question I hope that you can answer.  Are sweet potatoes considered a vegetable and are they ok to eat in my diet?

Answer:  Now is the best time to take charge of pre-diabetes, a low fat diet, mainly plant-based, in conjunction with daily physical activity will help you manage it successfully. Even though sweet  potatoes,  yams or regular potatoes, are in the starchy vegetable group sweet potatoes do differ in nutritional content as better, yet they contain more carbohydrates vs. non-starchy. There is 15 g of carbs in 1/2 cup (1 serving) . On the other hand non-starchy vegetables have 5 g per 1 cup.

You can definitively include sweet potatoes in your diet, however in smaller quantities than non-starchy vegetables. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, C,and  manganese among other nutritional benefits.

Since a low fat diet is recommended try avoiding added fat in preparation of sweet potatoes. Some research shows that when compared to roasting or baking, boiling has also been shown to have a more favorable impact on blood sugar regulation and to provide sweet potatoes with a lower glycemic index (GI) value. Drizzled with some walnuts on top, sweet potatoes can be a yummy treat.

A link below is a healthy 7 min sweet potato recipe.


Diabetes & New Year’s celebration?

27 Dec

I have recently been diagnosed with diabetes and my wife has pre-diabetes.  New Year’s Eve we always have a large celebration with cocktails and lots of food.  We are growing weary of the party this year given my new diagnosis.  Any tips on how we can still enjoy the party?

Answer: With that news in mind this New Year’s celebration needs to be different than usual. It’s not so easy not to eat with eyes when there is lots of food, however a mental note can help you deal with it successfully. Believe it or not it is more pleasurable to eat less and enjoy slowly while conversing with a friend than eating a lot and not feeling so well soon after.  Here are few thing you could do:

  • Healthy alternatives are not bad tasting foods, try out something new. (For example hummus with baby carrots, whole grain bread, nuts, use extra virgin olive oil instead regular dressing, dry fruit…)
  • Make sure you have larger portion of a plate filled with salad (it provided satiety with fewer calories).
  • Make yourself a desert sampler with 1-2 spoon fulls of each desert offered, this way you can still try everything without going over limits
  • Decide before hand how much you are going to eat: half of regular size plate salad, 1/4 protein, the other 1/4 carbohydrate (bread, pasta, rice, potato)

Diabetes & Holiday Sweets?

19 Dec

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I have diabetes and this time of year is the toughest for me.  It seems holiday treats/sweets are everywhere tempting me!  Is it ok to indulge a little?  If not, how can I build up enough will power to avoid holiday sweets?

Answer: Italian proverb says “Far from the eyes far from the heart”, and the truth is that the more you expose yourself  to sweet temptations the less likely you will be able to resist. Will power is our safe guide to overcome holiday temptations. It’s ok to have something sweet as long as you treat it as a treat.  Highly refined sweets usually come in a package with fat and lots of sugar thus working synergisticlly  to create more cravings. Making your own desserts may be a better option since you can control what goes in. Here are few suggestions:

  • For flour use whole wheat pastry, oats  (you can even grind them for a finer texture), rice flour.
  • You can use sweetener substitutes such as stevia, agave nectar; these are low in calories and diabetic friendly.
  • Avocado is a great substitute for heavy calorie cream and butter
  • Practice portion control
  • Avoid eating from a bag or a box
  • Exercise at least 30 min per day most days of the week

Diabetes & Weight Gain?

13 Dec

Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I have type 2 Diabetes but am not on meds yet.  I am trying to control by diet and exercise.  My problem is now that I am eating healthier I am losing weight, and I don’t to.  I am 5’5” and currently weigh 112 lbs.  What can I eat that is still good for me but will put some weight back on?

Answer: watching diet and combining exercise is an excellent way to maintain healthy lifestyle.  Since muscle weighs more than fat, building muscle will keep you in shape as well help with gaining healthy weight. Make sure to supply body with the right fuel. Include whole grains daily (whole wheat, brown rice, rye, quinoa, millet, whole oat groats…),  legumes (beans, lentils, garbanzo…) are also good source of calories as well diabetic friendly, as well as nuts. Additionally, nuts contain good fat. In balance these foods will provide you with good calories and nutrients that will supply your body with then things  you need.