Diabetes – 5 Tips to Eat Sugar Wisely

Say you’re diabetic but have a sweet tooth. Are you doomed to a lifetime of deprivation, watching others enjoy but never partaking yourself? The surprising answer is no – at least for many Type II diabetics.

The reality is that most diabetics do eat sugar – and then feel guilty about it. Although as a physician I encourage my patients to avoid sweets and refined carbohydrates, I’m well aware that many do not. Complete abstinence is difficult, especially for premenopausal women, who often crave carbs on a cyclic basis.

Of course you hope to control your blood sugar, but everyone wants a piece of birthday cake now and then. What’s a person to do?

Here are 5 tips to eat sugar wisely.

1. Enjoy a little sugar in place of a different carb. Do you feel guilty about eating sugar but not mashed potatoes? Both raise your blood sugar about as quickly and about as much. If you are dying for dessert, skip the dinner rolls, the rice, the potatoes, the lemonade, the corn. After your healthy meal of lean meat and high-fiber vegetables, enjoy a 300-calorie dessert. If you keep your total calorie intake within a reasonable limit (1500 to 2000 calories for most people), eating sugar will affect your sugar little differently than other carbohydrates.

2. Enjoy an alcohol sugar. Although foods sweetened with alcohol sugars are not low in calories, they raise your blood sugar less quickly than those sweetened with regular sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. They also cause less tooth decay and less rebound craving for more sugar. Most foods labeled “no sugar added” contain alcohol sugars. Many varieties of no-sugar-added, reduced fat ice cream are available. Be careful not to eat too much, however, as this may cause diarrhea and may raise your blood sugar due to excess calories.

3. Enjoy a mix of sugar and an artificial sweetener. Much of the sugar we consume isn’t even tasted. There is a threshold for appreciating sweetness – for many people a little can go a long way. For instance, some people who claim they can’t abide a diet soda find that mixing in only a little regular soda with a diet soda makes the taste acceptable. Likewise, if you enjoy your coffee sweetened, try 1 teaspoon of sugar instead of 3, and substitute 2 teaspoons of an artificial sweetener – you may not be able to tell the difference.

4. Enjoy a little sugar with a meal instead of alone. One problem with eating sweets is that people often consume them alone, which causes an abrupt rise in blood sugar levels. If eaten along with a healthy meal of lean protein and low-calorie, high-fiber vegetables, the sugar will mix in with the other food, slowing the absorption and avoiding the immediate spike in blood glucose.

5. Enjoy a little sugar on instead of in a dessert. A lot of sugar within a dessert goes to waste, that is, it isn’t even tasted. Unless you take tiny bites, savoring each one as it melts on your tongue, it’s likely that over half the sweetness slips down your throat without encountering your taste buds. A piece of cake is high in calories, not only from sugar, but from flour (which turns to glucose in your body as quickly as sugar) and from fat (primarily in the icing). Rather than imbibe in a 400 calorie pastry, enjoy a heaping bowl of berries topped with a few spoonfuls of sugar. It’s unlikely you’ll use as much as a quarter cup of sugar, which contains under 200 calories.

Copyright ©2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, M.D.

Diabetic Symptoms – These High Blood Sugar Symptoms Can Mean Diabetes

High blood sugar symptoms can be sign of diabetes, a serious condition, that – if not treated – can lead to devastating consequences to your health, including kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, blindness, and diabetic coma.

However, the most common symptom of high blood sugar is having no symptoms at all! Which is why many people are living with diabetes without knowing about it!

Because of this fact, it's very important that you test your blood glucose levels on a regular basis using a blood glucose analyzer and also to be aware of the following high blood sugar symptoms.

But first, let me explain what it means to have "high blood sugar" or hyperglycemia. One is considered to have hyperglycemia, when one's blood glucose level elevates and stays elevated above the normal levels. Normal glucose levels are between 70 and 150 mg / dL. Levels typically are lower in the morning, when you wake up after a whole night of fasting, and increase after meals.

Levels rising consistently above 150 mg / dL are indicative of hyperglycemia.

If your blood glucose level is too high, you may experience the following symptoms:

– Increased thirst- it seams that you are always thirsty
– Frequent urination – you constantly have to go to the bathroom
– Dry mouth
– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Shortness of breath
– Extreme fatigue, feeling weak and tired
– Difficulty concentrating
– Blurred vision
– Slower healing of wounds
– Unexplained weight loss
– Frequent yeast infections
– Blood sugar higher than 180 mg / dL

It is important to know that not everyone with high blood glucose levels will experience the exact same symptoms. If your symptoms are not severe, you may feel normal and not think that may you have high blood sugar. Also, your symptoms can be very mild or develop at an extremely slow pace. Some people do not experience any symptoms at all. That is why it is important to pay attention to your body, and have blood sugar levels checked periodically.

The good news is that while diabetes is a serious and potentially devastating disease, it is also highly preventable. Even if you already have it, you can control the symptoms or reverse the disease entirely, with a few simple changes to your lifestyle. Because diabetes is caused mainly by poor diet choices, lack of or insufficient physical activity, and stress; simply by improving your diet, exercising, and eliminating stress from your life, can have a profound effect for your health!