Diabetes Nutrition

Diabetes is not a choice! Your body should be able to regulate any food you eat by putting out the precise amount of insulin to keep your blood sugars within a normal range.

When you have diabetes, your pancreas makes little or no insulin or your body prevents the insulin you do produce from working properly. The pancreas is the organ in your abdomen that makes the substance, insulin, that moves the breakdown of food into your cells for energy. Insulin is a hormone. A hormone is a communicator between your glands and your tissues and cells and regulates how the body functions.

When you eat food, your body breaks down the foods into sugar from starch, fruit, vegetables and milk, amino acids from protein and fatty acids from fat.  The sugar is called glucose.  The sugar travels in your blood to your cells and insulin takes the food into your cells.  The body prefer sugar as fuel.  The insulin is like a key in a lock that opens the door to the cell so your body can get energy to function.  There is another hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that is made in your intestines.  It helps the pancreas release more insulin when there is food in the stomach and intestines.  Another hormone, amylin, along with GLP-1 tells the liver to reduce the amount of sugar it makes and slow the emptying of food from your stomach. Another hormone, glucagon tells the liver to release stored sugar if your blood sugar gets too low or if you haven’t eaten for many hours. Adapted from Diabetes and you, Cornerstones4Care, Novo nordisk.

Some Common myths, from the American Diabetes Association website, www.diabetes.org.

If you’re overweight, will you always develop type 2 diabetes?

Being overweight is a risk factor for developing diabetes, but other risk factors such as how much physical activity you get, family history, ethnicity, and age also play a role. Unfortunately, many people think that weight is the only risk factor for type 2 diabetes, but many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight.

Is diabetes caused by eating sugar?

A diet high in calories from any source (including sugar) contributes to weight gain and weight gain increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease. Type 2 diabetes is not caused by sugar, but by genetics and lifestyle factors. 

Do sugary drinks cause diabetes?

Research has also shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people avoid drinking sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent type 2 diabetes. 

Sugary drinks also raise blood glucose (also called blood sugar) and can provide several hundred calories in just one serving. Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda has about 150 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrate. This is the same amount of carbohydrate in 10 teaspoons of sugar!

Sugar-sweetened beverages include beverages like:

  • Regular soda

  • Fruit punch

  • Fruit drinks

  • Energy drinks

  • Sports drinks

  • Sweet tea

  • Other sugary drinks

Is diabetes a serious disease?

Diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined, and having diabetes nearly doubles your chance of having a heart attack. The good news is that managing your diabetes can reduce your risk for diabetes complications.

At A+ Nutrition of San Diego, we work with you to identify the risky foods and lifestyle choices that can cause or worsen diabetes, and to provide you with healthy alternatives. We help you spot the signs of diabetes early enough to manage the condition, and we equip you with the tools you will need to monitor your own blood sugar, manage your food intake and exercise, and keep to a safe testing and treatment plan. This produces effective results for people all over our Southern California community, many of whom manage to slow diabetes' progress and keep healthy for the rest of their lives. Our dietitian diabetes specialists can help create your customized diabetes diet and plan for success.

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Client Success

“Thank you for changing my life ... by teaching me about proper carbohydrate intake, you soon returned me to the energy level I had twenty years earlier and helped me lower my glucose levels.”