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

The Difference between Type 1 Type 2 Diabetes and How to Live with Type 2 Diabetes

When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes I did not know the difference between Type 1 Type 2 Diabetes or how to live with Type 2 diabetes. It was a scary time. My doctor and RN took the time to explain things thoroughly and made a few suggestions like trying the Mediterranean Diet, losing weight, and exercising. When I was younger I did all these things, but it had been years since I hit the gym or jogged. Consequently, I gained weight, was out of shape, and now had diabetes. I have since lost over twenty pounds, go to the gym or for a swim daily, and eat a simple low carbohydrate diet (I don’t complicate things). My efforts to live a healthy life with diabetes has been successful. My A1C is below 6.0 and I feel better than I have in years. This article imparts a few important things I learned living with diabetes. Please note that I am not a medical doctor and I do not give medical advise.

What is the Difference between Type 1 and 2 Diabetes

Although Type 1 diabetes may occur later in life, it typically happens in childhood. With type 1 diabetes the body stops producing insulin and as a result insulin by injection or via pump is necessary.

Type 2 diabetes is more common and generally occurs after the age of forty. Although there are various causes, Type 2 diabetes is frequently the result of life style. It develops as the result of high levels of fat in the liver and pancreas. The strain on the pancreas causes insulin resistance or your pancreas stops producing enough insulin.

Diabetes Monitoring Guidelines

Using a digital blood sugar monitoring kit, apply a drop of blood to the appropriate test strip.

  • Normal range is 70 to 100 mg/dl
  • Pre-Diabetic is 101 to 125 mg/dl
  • Diabetic is over 125 mg/dl

As a Pre-Diabetic or Diabetic the goal is to keep your blood sugar levels within the normal range, as tested two hours after eating.

The A1C test provides an estimate of your average blood sugar over the past several months and is usually done as part of a regular check up routine.

  • Normal range is below 6.0 percent
  • Pre-Diabetic is 6.0-6.4 percent
  • Diabetic is over 6.5 percent

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plans

Before you start any diet talk to your doctor. Also there are some good plans out there. Diets can be tricky, because you have to make sure you are getting the right amount of protein, vitamins, and other nutrients. Many physicians suggest the Mediterranean Diet others have devised their own. I have tried both and ended up with a hybrid of these that enables me to enjoy meals with my family, yet control my blood sugar – of course I do most of the cooking now. Some basics about diet and diabetes:

  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sodas, energy drinks, processed foods, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods.
  • You may want to limit the consumption of breads, potato, rice and daily products.
  • Enjoy fruits (before noon), vegetables, meats, nuts, beans (I make a mean chili), unsweetened almond milk.

For breakfast I often place a mixture of berries (Black Berries, Raspberries, and Blue Berries) in a blender with a little honey and unsweetened almond milk. During the day I may snack on boiled eggs, nuts, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, or olives. Dinner involves a combination of meat, most often chicken, with vegetables. We also enjoy home made chili. Another favorite of ours is a Polish dish called Bigos – great recipes online. More important, I keep a daily food log where I record what I eat as well as my fasting blood sugar in the morning and weight.

Diabetes Exercise Program

Which is better, aerobic exercise like walking or jogging, or strength training in the gym – that is the debate. First speak with your doctor before starting any fitness program. Thereto, find an exercise regiment that you feel confident with, one that you can do on a consistent and progressive basis that you reasonably enjoy. I do strength training Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and swim at the local indoor pool Tuesdays and Thursdays. At the pool I have met other diabetics shaving off pounds. The pool is easy on the joints, refreshing in the morning, and is more than just swimming. I combine walking laps with swimming, and using a kick-board. TIME! Yes I said the “T” word. Time is something many of us do not have. Really, who has time for a work out!? I made time for exercise by getting up at 5:00 a.m., beginning my workout no later than 6:00 a.m. and making it to work by 7:30 a.m. Few want to get up that early, but as I have mentioned life with diabetes requires a life style change. I feel like I’m in the Army again, I do more before 8:00 a.m. than most do all day. The fact of the matter is that to live a healthy life with diabetes, diet and exercise is imperative – there is no magic pill or injection.

Keep an exercise log – it keeps you honest and find a workout buddy who gets you past the excuses. Also, research the literature on your workout choice. Here you will find tips and tricks that are important and help you avoid injury. Make sure you have good shoes for walking or jogging and foot care creams if you swim.

Proper Diabetic Foot Care and Diabetes Accessories

Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet. Diabetic Neuropathy may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Also, reduced blood flow to the feet may make it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. As a diabetic, injuries to the feet, such as cuts or blisters, can easily become infected or not heal putting you at risk for an amputation. Avoiding trimming toe-nails too close, wear house shoes, remove pebbles and other discomforts from shoes, and keep you feet clean and conditioned. Diabetic accessories include diabetic socks, shoes, skin creams among many other items.

How to Live with Type 2 Diabetes

Living with diabetes is about taking care of yourself – it is a new life style. As I like to say, my life style and diet got me into this mess, and it is my life style and diet that will get me out of it.