Diabetics and High Protein Diets

It is incredibly important for diabetics to make sure that they maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet, which can actually be a large part of diabetes treatment, as well as many other health conditions, such as cancer, hypertension and heart disease.

There are different types of diabetes, and the dietary needs are different for each. For instance, those who have type II diabetes have extremely high blood glucose, which often fluctuate, and they must be regulated. This can be done with insulin shots, but in some cases, a very well-planned healthy diet may be all the patient needs to keep their sugars regulated. According to the American Diabetes Association, as well as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, a healthy diet should be made up of 35% protein, 50% carbohydrates (not the3 simple ones that digest quickly) and 15% fats.

Now, in the case of some diabetics, they may need to have an even higher intake of protein, sometimes up to 30 or 40% of the daily caloric intake. But, when a diabetic, or anyone else, is on a diet that is high in protein, it is essential to make sure that they are eating the right types of high protein foods, to ensure that there is no weight gain, which may actually defeat the purpose of eating healthy to treat diabetes. Some of the best high protein foods to eat include lean meats, oily fish, turkey or chicken breast, soy beans, nuts, milk and milk products, and whole grains, just to name a few (be careful with red meat, as it can lower insulin resistance). So as you can see, this type of diet neither needs to be tasteless or boring. High protein diets have been proven to be helpful in the treatment of diabetes, and the September 2004 Diabetes magazine reported that not only can high-protein, low-carb diets help to regulate blood sugar levels, they can even help to lower the levels.

The Right Proteins for Diabetic Diets

Many people think that being diagnosed with diabetes means having a boring, bland diet for the rest of their lives. This is absolutely untrue. Although it is essential to monitor everything you eat when you have type II diabetes, there are still many delicious foods that can be included in your diet. And, it is important to have snacks between meals, contrary to popular belief. Some great snacks for diabetics that are really tasty include unsalted nuts, such as peanuts and almonds. Beans are great, so enjoy any type of beans, because they are absolutely loaded with protein. One thing you do need to avoid is processed foods, because often, they are loaded with salt, and have saturated and trans-fats, which are not good for anyone, let alone diabetics. Foods that you should be eating to get the right amount of protein, and other nutrients, in your diet include milk and milk products, eggs, whole grains, peas, and all kinds of other delicious foods. If you are unsure which foods are best for you to eat on a diabetic diet, check with your physician, nutritionist or dietitian.

Diabetics and Protein Supplements

In order to get the protein they need in their diets, many diabetics opt to use protein supplements, which can not only be used as delicious snacks, but also as actual meal replacements (although this is not usually advised as a regular thing). Protein supplements are a great way to get an added boost of energy during the day. Now, a lot of diabetics fear that using protein supplements will make them gain weight, but, there are all kinds of diet-friendly protein supplements out there that taste really great, and are also loaded with other important vitamins and nutrients. With these supplements, you get the protein, without all of the fat, calories and carbohydrates.

Popular Types of Protein Supplements

There are a number of different types of protein supplements you may be interested in giving a try. All of these supplements are easy to use, and they are also portable, so you can take them with you anywhere. Some of the most popular types of protein supplements include liquid protein supplements, protein powders and liquid protein shots.

Liquid Protein Supplements – There are liquid proteins that are already pre-mixed, and can be drunk immediately. Or, you may want to get another type of liquid supplement that you mix into drinks yourself. This way, you can be sure that you are going to get the flavors you love.

Protein Powders – If you are looking for a protein supplement that is incredibly versatile, powders are for you. There are unflavored protein powders, which can be added to any of your favorite recipes to give them an extra protein boost. And, there are flavored protein powders, which can be used to make delicious shakes and smoothies. Some of the flavors you will find include chocolate, vanilla, berry and fruit punch.

Liquid Protein Shots – This is a great way to get your protein on the go. Liquid protein shots are becoming more and more popular

Types of Proteins Used in Supplements

There are a number of sources for protein supplements. Some of these sources include:

Whey – This is one of the more popular proteins used in supplements, because it digests quickly, and easily. Whey is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential and non-essential amino acids. Because it is a milk derivative, whey may not be the best type of protein supplement for those who are lactose intolerant, or who are allergic to milk and milk products.

Casein – Here is another milk derivative, and actually, casein is what whey comes from in the first place. Casein digests slower than whey, and many people combine whey and casein to get the full benefits of both types of proteins. Casein can be used by some people who are lactose intolerant.

Soy – Soy is another complete protein, and it is ideal for vegetarians, since it is vegetable-based. It is also great for those who are lactose intolerant.

Rice – This is another complete protein, and, it is ideal for everyone, because it is hypoallergenic and vegetable-based. It has very little flavor, so it is very popular for use in recipes.

Egg – This is one of the first types of protein supplements, and is still often used. If you are allergic to eggs or poultry, you should stick with one of the other types of protein supplements.

A Perfect Read for Type 2 Diabetics and Their Families

Daryl Wein, a physician assistant, writes with personal insight and medical authenticity on the subject of type 2 diabetes, in his book Type 2 Diabetes: the Owner’s Manual.

While I’m not a diabetic myself, I have a family member who is, and found this book very helpful. Wein starts the book off by redefining the word “diabetes” for those with type 2. A better word, he says, is “carbosis,” because the word simply means “Problem with carbohydrates.”

Unlike type 1 diabetes, where the body’s immune system turns against itself, “carbosis” is the person’s inability to handle carbohydrates. Wein gives a clear definition of the difference of the two, and then in turn another excellent description of how the body works (or doesn’t) with carbosis. A type 1 diabetic doesn’t produce enough insulin, but carbotics (or type 2 diabetics), Wein says, “produce plenty of insulin in most cases… The root of the problem is that our cells, primarily our muscle cells, have become resistant to our own insulin.” That helped me to really understand what is going on when we’re told we have type 2 diabetes.

At the end of each chapter and throughout, Wein repeats the sentence: The single most important thing to do to manage carbosis is to avoid eating carbohydrates.

Sounds easy, right?

While a low carbohydrate diet isn’t the most fun you could ever have, ignoring your symptoms can lead to severe medical problems and even death. In the book, Wein has a pencil drawing of “Blood Sugar Blanche,” which, while disturbing, brings home the stark picture of how you could wind up if you don’t take this disease seriously.

But he doesn’t leave you stranded. He tells you how to take care of yourself, how to say goodbye to daily finger pricks, lose weight, and he even lists pages of foods with their carb counts.

Although Wein recommends medication as the last resort in controlling your carbosis, he admits that sometimes it’s necessary. His chapter on medications gives a clear understanding on what he feels are the best medicines, along with side effects and benefits of each.

One of my favorite sections in this book was reading the personal stories of real patients. Although there is a lot of information packed into this book, it’s very short and easy to read.

This “Owner’s Manual” is an easy, step-by-step user’s guide for either the newly diagnosed or the person who has been living with type 2 diabetes for years. It would also be a helpful resource for medical professionals, and someone who knows a person with type 2 diabetes. I am thankful I read it, and now feel more knowledgeable to help my family member who is a type 2 diabetic. This book has even given me ideas of how to live and eat healthier myself.

Diabetics May Not Qualify For Professional Teeth Whitening

It has recently been discovered that diabetics may not qualify for professional teeth whitening services offered by cosmetic dentists. This is largely due to the fact that gum disease is often experienced by individuals that have this medical condition. Medical professionals often refer to gum disease as “Periodontal Disease”. This occurs when an infection develops in the soft tissue in the mouth. This tissue assists in keeping the teeth in place. There are many reasons why diabetics are known to experience this condition. The main reason relates to how well the sufferer takes care of their condition. If gum disease is experienced, many cosmetic dentists will not agree to perform teeth whitening procedures.

Individuals that have a general lack of control over the sugar levels in their body often develop disease of the gum. It has been discovered that the circulation in the diabetic is nearly almost slower than that of someone that does not have the condition. As a result, the soft gum tissue has a high susceptibility of becoming infected. This, on top of the suppressed immune system that the diabetic is already experiencing is not considered to be ideal when it comes to professional teeth whitening treatments. Furthermore, diabetics often experience a high level of glucose when it comes to the saliva. This could increase the actual growth of any bacteria that is in the mouth area. Certain types of bacteria may not respond favorably to the strong chemicals contained in teeth whitening gels that dentists use.

Despite the fact that diabetics may not qualify for teeth whitening offered by cosmetic dentists, it has been shown that at home teeth whitening kits are suitable for this group of individuals. One of the main reasons for this is that the over-the-counter whitening products contain only mild ingredients. If a sufferer starts to experience any type of adverse reactions, they can simply discontinue use and recover quickly. If you are a diabetic that wants a bright, beautiful smile you can still experience it – you just may not be able to receive the treatment from the cosmetic dentist in your community.

Should Diabetics Eat Bagels?

Should bagels be added to the list of foods diabetics should avoid? Isn’t it bad enough to ban birthday cake and chocolate cream pie?

For many, bagels have long been considered a healthy food choice. Surely the chewy goodness is better for you than pasty white bread. But what if you learned it was worse?

Both bagels and white bread are made of flour, water, and a few other ingredients. The white flour in standard bagels is the same as that in white bread. Nowadays nearly everyone knows white bread is bad for diabetics. It raises blood glucose levels as quickly as table sugar.

So how could a bagel be worse than bread?

A single slice of white bread provides 60-80 calories in the form of carbohydrates. Two slices of toast or bread for a sandwich amounts to about 150 calories. But what about a bagel? A mini-bagel also provides about 150 calories, but a regular-size bagel has 250-300 calories, whereas one of the yummy over-size varieties can be as much as 500 calories! That’s how a bagel can be worse than bread. It’s unlikely you’d sit down and eat 7-8 slices of bread, but that’s exactly what you’re doing if you indulge in a large bagel.

All bagels are not created equal in other nutritional regards. For example, a whole wheat bagel may have about the same calories as a french toast bagel (250 to 300 calories), yet contain only a third as much sugar but three times the fiber. Whole grains take longer for the body to digest and therefore do not elevate the blood sugar as quickly. Dietary fiber improves bowel function and promotes a feeling of satiety (fullness after eating). A bagel loaded with melted cheese will be higher in fat than a blueberry or raisin bagel.

And what about toppings? Two tablespoons of reduced-fat cream cheese adds another 70 calories, not a bad choice for a light breakfast or lunch. However, two tablespoons of peanut butter (or butter, or mayonnaise-based spread) amounts to an additional 200 calories, most of which comes from fat. A better choice would be an equal serving of sugar-free preserves (as little as 10 calories per tablespoon) or a few slices of lean turkey breast (about 50 calories).

People like bagels largely due to the texture. It feels like you’re eating more when you have to chew more vigorously. That’s not a bad thing, especially for diabetics who feel deprived much of the time.

While it’s true a diabetic should avoid eating a giant bagel slathered with peanut butter (a 700 calorie feast), a whole-wheat mini-bagel with low-fat cream cheese provides less than half that many calories and is fair game for the famished female diabetic craving a carbohydrate fix.