Thursday, September 22, 2011

Diabetes and Healthy Tailgating

Question:  My husband has diabetes and this time of year we attend a lot of football games.  Before the game we often will meet up with friends for tailgating parties.  Can you give me some healthy ideas of what we can eat during the tailgate?

Answer:  Here are some ideas for healthier versions of traditional tailgating foods:

Turkey hotdogs or reduced fat beef hotdogs
Chicken or turkey sausages
Turkey burgers or burgers made with ground sirloin - top your burgers with lots of veggies!
Veggie burgers
Healthy Life low carb breads/buns or 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich thins for burgers
Baked chips or pretzels - buy in small individual bags to help with portion control
Fresh salsa or bruschetta for dipping
Veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, etc.) and lowfat dip
Chili made with beans and ground turkey or sirloin
Air popped or light microwave popcorn
Diet soda, sugar-free flavored waters, flavored seltzer waters

Enjoy the game!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Symtoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Question:  Diabetes runs in my family and I think this puts me at risk.  Could you tell me what are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

Answer:  Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes often has no signs or symptoms.  Even if lab work indicates diabetes, a person may not feel any different from usual.  If blood sugars are extremely high over a period of time, a person may start to feel frequent thirst, frequent hunger, lethargy, and may experience more frequent urination. 

If you have a family history, you may be at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.  I would recommend regular checkups with your doctor and request that your doctor check your Hemoglobin A1C in addition to a fasting glucose/metabolic panel.  The A1C may be more likely to show postprandial blood sugar spikes which are an earlier sign of the development of type 2 diabetes than an elevated fasting blood sugar. 

Also try to live a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise, healthy food choices and smaller portions, and stress management techniques.  Healthy lifestyle changes may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 58%.

Diabetes and Baking

Question:  I have type 2 diabetes and love to bake.  When cooking or baking, if I substitute Splenda or Stevia for regular sugar does this make the recipe sugar free?

Answer:  Depending on the recipe the use of Splenda or Stevia may reduce or eliminate the sugar content of a recipe, but there is usually still going to be some carbohydrate in most baked goods.  Some baked goods actually require sugar for a good end product so a sugar/sugar substitute blend may be recommended.  I recommend using recipes from Splenda and Stevia companies to experiment with sugar-free baking.  Most of these recipes will likely contain nutrition information as well.