Does Drinking Water Help Diabetes?

Why is water important for the body? According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs 83%, the skin 64%, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and bones 31%. In short, not drinking enough water deprives your body of one of its most essential ingredients causing it to perform inefficiently.

Why is Hydration Important with Diabetes?

Elevated blood Glucose levels draw out the body’s fluids, thereby placing people with diabetes at a higher risk of dehydration. This is why thirst is a common symptom of diabetes. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation heartburn, and stomach ulcers. Symptoms of mild
dehydration include flushed face, extreme thirst, dizziness, cramping in the arms and legs, sleepy or irritable, headaches, and dry mouth.

Does Drinking Water Flush Out Excess Sugar?

Drinking water helps the kidneys flush out excess sugar from the body. A great way to bring down high blood sugar levels is to drink LOTS of water. Not drinking enough water causes your blood to thicken, blood pressure to increase, and the glucose in your bloodstream to become more concentrated resulting in higher blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). Mild or severe dehydration will have a notable impact on your diabetes.

Drinking Water Helps Maximize Physical Performance

Hydration effects strength, power, and endurance. As you exercise, the oxygen that reaches your muscles converts the available glucose into Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), energy-carrying molecule found in cells. ATP captures chemical energy obtained from the breakdown of food molecules and releases it to fuel other cellular processes. These processes are dependent upon water, which carries the nutrients and oxygen to the muscle making performance and growth possible.

Drinking Water Helps You Lose Weight

Sixty percent of the human body is water. Muscle is seventy-nine percent water! Studies link body fat and weight loss with drinking water in overweight individuals. Drinking more water while dieting and exercising will help you lose extra pounds by enabling the body to efficiently rid itself of toxins, hydrate without adding unwanted calories, and help you to eat less.

These are only a few of the benefits to drinking water.

Thanks,

Steven M Collins

List of Diabetic Foods, Foods to Enjoy and to Avoid

My research for this site, has included the review of diabetes cookbooks, online articles, and books. I have discovered that developing a list of diabetic foods can be confusing. Diabetic cookbooks, often published by noted dietitians and physicians, are full of recipes that are supposed to be good for diabetics. However, many of the recipes contain grains, breads, even flour. From personal experience, avoiding grains, breads, and cereals is key to losing weight and managing blood glucose levels. In the past I struggled with what foods to avoid and which to enjoy, so let’s take a look at what is meant by diabetic food.

The Diabetic Food Market

A recent report by Market Research Trends explains global diabetic food market is segmented into dietary beverages, low calorie ice cream, low fat dairy products and jellies. Manufacturers have started using artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, Acesulfame K, and Neo-tame instead of sugar to bolster their product portfolio with so-called diabetic food products and attract a new target market of consumers. This has brought about a rise in the number of packaged and processed foods and drinks that are supposed to be good for diabetics. As a diabetic, however, it is important not only to avoid sugary items, but also artificial sweeteners. Many low calorie sodas contain these sorts of sweeteners as well as corn syrup and caffeine – all items as a diabetic you should avoid. The global diabetic food market, dominated by Unilever, Nestle, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Cadbury, Kellogg, Mars, and Fifty 50 Foods, has contributed greatly to the junk-food lifestyle that has caused the diabetes epidemic that we currently find ourselves in – their idea of diabetic foods is more of the same junk that caused this problem in the first place. Do not be fooled, in general a list of diabetic foods is limited to meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes, and nuts – no artificial sweeteners here.

Low-Carb Low-Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

I lived a number of years in Europe, in a wine valley, and developed a love of wines. When I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes the subject of my drinking came up and I was informed that dark red wines like Merlot, in moderation, were OK to drink. In fact, online there are numerous suggestions of what alcoholic drinks a diabetic can enjoy and even while losing weight. A quick online search reveals that whiskey and brandy are low calorie; on a Keto diet that alcohol is acceptable; and, that drinking alcohol while trying to lose weight works. Low-carb and low-calorie aside, once in your body alcohol metabolizes into sugar, which causes a spike in blood Glucose levels that can interrupt sleep and further elevate blood sugar levels. Furthermore, if you are trying to lose weight, particularly on a low-carb or Keto diet, the burning of fat for energy stops while the body processes the most readily available source of energy – the sugar from alcohol. In other words, drinking alcohol on a diet is like pushing the pause button on weight loss (may even contribute to weight gain), and as a diabetic it will elevate blood Glucose levels. Any serious diet to lose weight and control diabetes will be alcohol free.

Counting Carbs, No Magic Carbs

Atkins is often thought of as a low-card weight loss plan that may work for diabetics. We all want to believe we can sit on the couch and eat Atkins bars and drink Atkins shakes and gobble down low-carb foods all the while losing weight. Friends, it ain’t going to happen! Moreover, the way Atkins counts carbs by subtracting from the total carbs those sugars from fiber and alcohols to get the “Net Carbs” does not mean as a diabetic that those carbs not counted magically go away. In short, there are no magic carbs. Because we are diabetics, we are at a higher risk of kidney failure and cancer (blood sugar feeds cancer), among other problems. Low-carb and Keto diets have been linked to an elevated risk of colon cancer and kidney disease. Hence, eat fruit as part of your diabetes regiment. I have fruit in the morning that way I have all day to burn off the extra-carbs and flush out the excess sugar.

List of Diabetic Foods

Many recipes in the diabetic cookbooks that I have in my kitchen include grains, flour, and cereals. Although these recipes are supposed to be diabetic friendly, the carb content of some exceed 30g. This many carbs per meal is a lot of sugar over the course of the day and is not conducive to weight loss or blood sugar management. Moreover, breads, cereals, and grains are the culprits behind the diabetes epidemic – so why continue eating them? In the past, a fast way for me to lose ten pounds was to stop eating bread, rice, cereals, and potatoes. Today, to manage my diabetes, I avoid eating these items, so it amkes me cringe when I find them included in a diabetic friendly recipe.

Here is my list if diabetic foods: Meat, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans), nuts, almond flour, coconut flour, unsweetened almond milk, eggs, olive oil, tea (no caffeine), honey (small amounts) and lots of water! Notice this list contains no artificial sweeteners, no alcohol, no caffeine, and no processed foods from the global diabetic food market.

I do not discourage the use of diabetic cookbooks, I actually encourage it. Diabetic cookbooks contain many good recipes and those that ask for flour, substitute almond flour. You can always modify a recipe to fit your diet.

 

Happy eating,

-Steven M Collins

Why Wear Diabetic Socks?

People with diabetes have sensitive feet and struggle with various foot conditions. Because I have diabetic neuropathy, I pay attention to my feet and wearing appropriate socks as part of proper diabetic foot care.

Why Diabetic Socks?

Why do diabetics need special socks? Diabetic neuropathy causes a loss of feeling in the legs and feet making it difficult to know when your feet are too hot or cold, when there is a foreign object in your shoe, or when a blister or cut has developed. These issues may lead to infection and complications.

What makes a sock a diabetic sock?

Diabetic socks are typically seamless socks with padding. Significantly, they are non-constricting. A good indication that your socks are a potential problem is when an impression remains after removing them. For those with circulatory problems, constricting blood flow to the feet may lead to complications. Diabetic socks should be warm – warmth increases circulation – and absorbent. Moist feet may lead to skin infections. Diabetics socks are usually made from softer materials and should hardly be noticeable when wearing them.

Why Wear Diabetic Shoes

The correct shoes go along with the correct socks. Because diabetics are at a higher risk of developing bunions, corns, hammertoe, fungal infections, and gangrene, foot wear cannot be overlooked. Shoes for diabetics should not be opened-toed or open on the heel, these kind of shoes subject your feet to debris, such as pebbles, as well as the possibility of injury. In-depth shoes are best, these are shoes that leave extra room to accommodate for things like bunions or hammertoe. Orthopedic shoes are designed for comfort and leave room for foot problems like corns. Also absorbent shock resistant shoes or sole inserts are beneficial.

Where to Purchase Diabetic Friendly Shoes

This is a good question for your primary care physician or podiatrist. I generally follow the guidelines above when shopping and typically find appropriate shoes on the market. Hush Puppies and Dr. Comfort are two suggested brands for diabetics.

Thanks,

-Steven

Food Alternatives for Diabetics, What Can I Eat?


The list of bad foods for diabetics is daunting. When we diabetics are informed of which foods we should avoid, the next question is always “is there anything I can eat?” One in three adults over the age of forty will be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and many go dangerously un-diagnosed. I was one of those who avoided routine visits to the doctor’s office. In fact, I went years between checkups, as a result I also went years as an un-diagnosed diabetic. Let us go back forty to fifty years. Remember Saturday morning cartoons and the educational shorts like School House Rock’s Conjuntion Junction and I’m Just a Bill as well as the nutritional promos featuring the food pyramid. In the 1970s, the government’s notions of what we should eat normalized the consumption of sugary cereals and breads. Significantly, the pyramid was not designed with the consumer in mind, it served to promote American farm products, such as potatoes, corn, soy, and wheat. Even today, corn syrup and soy bean oil are found in many products. Consequently, sodas and junk foods became normalized and the portion sizes larger! Today, how’s that sandwich with chips or fries and a soda working out for you? It’s not, and there is nothing normal about such a meal. The food pyramid spawned a diabetes epidemic in America by normalizing the consumption of high-carbohydrate processed foods. So much for the government telling us what to eat. So, what food alternatives are there for diabetics?

Bad Foods For Diabetics

This is the list that diabetics fear, because most likely a lot of the items on this list are commonly consumed. No matter, let’s get started:

  • Tropical fruits like pineapples and bananas
  • Any kind of corm or corn byproduct, like corn syrup
  • No bread, potatoes, or rice
  • Avoid soy and soy bean oil
  • All processed foods like chips
  • Be cautious with dairy products, they tend to be high carb
  • No sodas of any kind, even the diet versions
  • No caffeine … this one I struggle the most with
  • No alcohol

So what the heck should a diabetic eat!!

List of Healthy Foods for Diabetics

Before I get started, there are dozens of great cook books for diabetics that make this list much more manageable. Also, remember, it was a combination of life style and diet that caused diabetes, and it can only be managed through a new life style focused on proper and consistent diet and exercise.

  • All kinds of meats and fish, however you may want to limit the consumption of fatty red meats (my doctor recently got on to me about this)
  • Vegetables, Salsa
  • Fruits (avoid tropical fruits and consume fruit early in the day so your body has time to process the sugar)
  • Beans
  • Nuts, Almond Butter, Peanut Butter (watch the sugar contents)
  • Olives
  • Eggs
  • Almond flour and Coconut flour (can use this to make pizza)
  • unsweetened Almond milk
  • Honey in moderation (a little to sweeten)
  • Caffeine free teas

Diabetic Food Ideas

The following are a few of the food things I figured out over time.

  • We love our hamburgers (at least most of us). You don’t have to do without it, just without the bun. What I do at home is to never cook just a hamburger. I season and stuff the hamburger meat with a combination of items like onions, jalapenos, black beans, sauerkraut, garlic and/or mix it with venison or bison to change things up. The idea is that it is never just a hamburger.
  • For a fast breakfast, I blend together an egg, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries (whatever berries we have in the frig), with unsweetened almond milk for a nice breakfast shake. Recently I’ve tried adding powdered chocolate found on the baking aisle and a touch of honey.
  • Frittata is great for getting rid of left-overs. Moreover, the plethora of recipes make this a very versatile dish.
  • Chili! Dead cow, stock, and seasoning – chili is always an easy meal to prepare. Per the list above, I use ground beef, beans, onions, celery, garlic, salsa, chicken stock, among other ingredients … you get the idea.
  • Polish Bigos is another good one for leftovers. Essentially, this is kraut mixed and cooked with stock, tomato paste, mushrooms, and meat or sausage. Online there is great recipes.
  • Panned cooked steak, with garlic and rosemary is another favorite of ours.
  • Sausage is another easy meal, but be on the alert for those with added sugar, corn syrup, soy bean oil, and other items to avoid.

Food Supplements for Diabetics

Supplements may help lower blood sugar include:

  • Cinnamon supplements help your body respond to insulin. This opens the door to your cells which in turn lowers the amount of sugar in the blood stream.
  • American Ginseng increases the body’s secretion of insulin.
  • Vitamin D improves pancreatic function.
  • Berberine improves insulin sensitivity, which allows better absorption from your blood to your muscles, thereby lowering blood sugar.
  • Magnesium helps with normal insulin secretion.
  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid increases the insulin sensitivity of cells, thereby improving sugar absorption and reducing blood sugar levels.
  • Chromium supports the production of insulin in the pancreas.

Conclusion

What can you eat as a diabetic? … a lot of stuff, it just rarely comes in a plastic bag or soda can. The list of healthy foods for diabetics necessitates back-wall shopping – along the outside walls of grocery stores is where you most often find meat, vegetables, fruits, and eggs. Your new life style involves getting past the old norms of eating, as represented in the food pyramid, and finding alternative healthy choices for diabetics.

Enjoy

-Steven