Alternative low carb/keto sweetener options for diabetics.
Did you know that there are currently 120 different names of sugar? Sugar is a major cause of inflammation. As diabetics, reading labels for sugar content can be very daunting, especially if you eat low carb or keto. Rest assured! I’ve researched and found at least seven options that are safe for diabetics on a low carb, keto lifestyle.
I’ve gleaned information from several websites including Healthline, Medical News Today and Nutrition & Diabetes.
I have not included fruit sources in this infographic, but if you’re one of the few that cannot tolerate alternative sweeteners or have an allergy to them, then using a small amount of natural, no-sugar added applesauce works fairly well. Some also use a little amounts of molasses and honey. I would recommend testing goods that you make with these sweeteners by eating to your meter:
Check your blood sugar before you eat
Check your blood sugar after one hour
Check your blood sugar for the last time after two hours. Anything over 20 points from your pre-meal after 1-2 hours means that the food should be avoided.
I hope you find this information useful on your journey!
The impact of changing lifestyle to improve diabetes and other connected illnesses.
Tonight I’ve sat through two meetings about how the new and updated health care legislation would affect the diabetes community.
There are current discussions about medical drug and device rebates and co-pays. Things that so many of us diabetes can benefit from right now and not a second later. Unfortunately, the process to put the new legislation into place will take some time due to issues within the current congress administration. There are numerous vacancies in the US Health and Human Services that have not been filled since the end of the Trump Administration into beginning of the Biden administration. President Biden’s efforts to reinvigorate the American Cares Act has made some strides, but there are some issues involving Medicaid expansion and deciding on the individual mandates. Plus, the Supreme Court has halted the Trump Drug Policy that was previously passed before the end of Trump’s presidency for further review. Until these vacancies have been filled, and the court settles out the logistics of the drug policy, we may not see and major changes in the near future.
This is very sobering news because the number of new cases of diabetes has greatly increased to an estimated 1.5 million cases in 2018 according to the CDC’s National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2020.
A 2017 study on the Cost of Diabetes Care by the American Diabetes Association stated that Diabetes account for $1 out of $7 spent on healthcare in the US. That accounts for 1 in 4 health care dollars spent. The average that a person with diabetes spend was $16,752 a year. There are many of us that are not able to cover any of that cost out of pocket. This is where affordable health care could really benefit.
Until things shift, there are ways that we could do to cut down on the costs of diabetes care such as taking advantage of health savings of flexible spending accounts, enrolling in health insurance (if eligible) and other health plans provided by the state.
However, there is a better way that diabetics, specifically type 2, in this case could do that can really cut down on diabetes expenses and possibly eliminate certain expensive medications. Want to know what it is?
CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE!
I’m not a doctor and not qualified to give medical advice; however, I am a diabetic and I can personally attest to this! Changing the way you eat and intentional exercise can do wonders for your health. Sticking to a lifestyle will help lower your A1c to levels that may result in eliminating certain medications and eliminate other illnesses that contribute to diabetes like heart and liver diseases.
Personally, I currently eat low carb/keto and walk two miles a day; however, simply eliminating eating processed and/or refined foods along with exercising a minimum of three days a week, will still be highly beneficial. Doing our part by sticking with a healthier lifestyle could not help put a dent in diabetes debt, but lower overall health care debt.
Even though the case is vastly different for type 1 diabetes because insulin is required regardless, a healthier lifestyle change could also benefit some type 1 diabetics, resulting in less insulin injections or elimination of other medications. Pre-diabetics that change their lifestyle can lower their chances of being officially diagnosed with diabetes and other illnesses.
A lifestyle changes will give you lifelong savings from complications of diabetes including, blindness, amputations, kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes. And the best benefit of all: you will be able to live again without the stress of health care cost burdening your mind.
Today, the American Diabetes Association and the Diabetes Research Company shared results from a recent survey conducted in March about the impact of COVID-19 on the diabetes community. There were 5,645 people with diabetes nationally since the start of the pandemic that participated in this survey.
Doctor’s Appointments During the Pandemic
Nearly 1 in 5 (19% of the respondents) diabetics have skipped doctor’s appointments since the start of the pandemic, because of fear of contracting the virus. Of the 19%:
• 26% missed one appointment
• 36% missed two appointments
• 38% missed three or more appointments
Managing Diabetes During the Pandemic
Based on the survey results, 23% of the respondents stated that COVID-19 has made managing diabetes more difficult. Of the 23%:
• 23% of adults with Type 1 diabetes
• 24% of adults with Type 2 diabetes
About 1 in 4adult respondentswith diabetes reported having trouble controlling their blood glucose levels during the pandemic.
New Health Complications
in 10 adults with diabetes say they have developed new health complications (high blood pressure, heart problems, peripheral artery disease, and eye disorders) since March 2020.
Diabetics and COVID Vaccine
The survey also included questions about receiving vaccines. According to the results, people with diabetes are getting vaccinated or intend to be more than the general public:
• As of March, half of adults respondents with diabetes have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
• 62% of adult respondents with diabetes said they have not been vaccinated, but intend to be when doses are available.
• Nearly 9 in 10 adult respondents with diabetes said they did not experience any change in blood glucose management after receiving the vaccine.
• 7% of the diabetes community do not intend to get the vaccine compared to the general population, 30% of whom report not planning to get the shot at all.
I want to hear from you! Has COVID-19 made managing diabetes more difficult for you? Also, if it has affected you negatively, what can you do to change your experience? Tell your experiences in the comments and feel free to read other comments on some tips in making this experience a little easier.
Starting as young teen and beyond, I’ve observed several family members battling many different illnesses, including diabetes.
Watching my grandmother injecting insulin in herself daily.
Witnessing my uncle losing another finger and leg because of diabetes.
Receiving phone calls about my dad, great-aunt, great-uncle and cousins being transported to the hospital because of diabetic complications.
Receiving calls about my dad falling numerous times.
Listening to my sisters battles with medical professionals and insurance companies about receiving proper treatments.
I’ve watched the health decline of many of my family members, from being independent to suddenly needing dialysis, going blind and even worse, losing fingers, legs and toes to this horrible disease. These painful memories are etched in my mind and serve as reminders as I continue to go through my own battle with diabetes that I cannot give up. I cannot cheat with exercise and diet. There’s so much more life to live.
I have a family that needs a wife and mom. A community that needs to hear my voice and tell my story.
This is what keeps me going even when it hurts. Whenever the feelings of isolation and anger creep into my mind, memories of my why begin to overtake my thoughts.
For the last several months, I’ve been contemplating my purpose and vision for this blog. I’ve started this blog to share the message to people who are at their lowest due to this disease, that it’s ok to feel the feelings that they feel, but not to stay in that despair.
Lately I’ve been feeling the urge to share more about the things that we are trying to instill to our children so they will not have to go through what I and numerous family members have to go through with diabetes. As I’m sitting outside watching my 11, 9-and-and 6-year-old play at a local park, I’m thinking about their future and well-being and I’m so concerned.
Our family stays very busy. My husband works long hours in the technology field; I am a work-at-home mom who co-runs an organization along with running another youth business and serving on the PTA.
And as many of you might have or are currently experiencing, our family’s eating habits are not the best and not the same as me. Even though I’ve made huge lifestyle changes, my family is not quite there yet. I’m scared because I don’t want to wait until it’s too late to change the narrative. I want different for our kids. I want them at their healthiest, so they do whatever God wants them to do. The current way is not working and we have to make changes now.
So in addition to sharing my experiences as a type 2 diabetic, I will also start sharing content about my family’s new health journey. Even though diabetes runs on both sides of their family, we have a chance to end the family stigma of type 2 diabetes with our children by changing the family’s eating habits and implementing more family exercise routines.
I’ll be sharing more food recipes and information about youth and diabetes and tips on how to get your own family involved.
I pray that the new direction of this blog will help inspire you to change the narrative for yourself and your family.
With the exception for my three pregnancies, my weight was under 110 lbs. Despite what I ate, drank or the amount of exercise I’ve done (which I did not dedicate any time to do), I was still underweight. Based on appearance, one would think that I was not at risk of being diabetic. Even now, as I tell my type 2 diabetes story, some don’t believe that I’m even type 2. In fact, a moderator from an online diabetes support group responded that she hoped that I was not being misdiagnosed as a type 1 diabetes because of my weight.
Mainstream media outlets tend to do stories on the connection between obesity and diabetes. However, there’s very few stories that highlight this strange phenomenon of being skinny and a type 2 diabetic. The first mainstream article about this topic was written in 2006 by The Guardian’s health editor, Jo Revill, called “Are you a Tofi?”
TOFI means “Thin on the outside, fat on the inside”. This happens when one’s body has a disproportionate amount of fat stored in their abdomen. People in this category are at risk of developing insulin resistance, type II diabetes, heart disease and fatty liver due to reduced physical activity and overconsumption of sugar (carbohydrates) by inducing inflammation-associated cortisol release.
Even though people like myself are thin, we tend to carry hidden layers of fat in our bodies, which could possibly store up around vital organs and muscles, which can be extremely dangerous. This is more of a reason why we all need to make that doctor’s appointment for a check-up and test your current A1C levels.
Getting Rid of Hidden Fat
What currently works for me for the past two years is a combination of intentional exercise for 35-40 minutes a day, eating low carbohydrate/keto and some intermittent fasting. I’ve eliminated all grains, processed sugar, refined foods, starchy vegetables and fruits with high amounts of sugar from my diet. This allows me to eliminate all of the hidden fat and ultimately keep stable blood sugar levels. My diet normally consists of protein, fat and very little carb intakes.
As a result, I’m currently at a normal weight and BMI. Plus, my blood sugar levels are now stabilized.
My treatment might be a little extreme to some, but small steps like eliminating processed and refined foods and a simple intermittent fasting period (at least 8-10 hours while you sleep) would make a great difference in getting rid of the excess and hidden fat.
I’m not a doctor or medical personnel, therefore, please seek with your doctor before changing any diet to see if a similar plan would work for you. There might be other medical issues that need to be considered that needs to be prioritized before this type of lifestyle change.
There’s much more research that needs to be done on TOFI and it’s connection to metabolic diseases; however, I believe that there’s enough information from the medical community on how to prevent and treat it so we can live our best and healthier lives.
DiNicolantonio, James J.; Mehta, Varshil; Onkaramurthy, Neema; O’Keefe, James H. (2017-12-07). “Fructose-induced Inflammation and Increased Cortisol: A New Mechanism for How Sugar Induces Visceral Adiposity”. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2017.12.001. ISSN1873-1740. PMID29225114.
So just tried hearts of palm rice from Natural Heaven and I am in love!
This brand uses three ingredients: palm hearts, sea salt and malic acid and only 4 carbs for 1/2 cup serving. The best thing is that there is no water in the packaging, which is great, because no one wants watery palm rice.
Of course, it is not going to taste just like traditional rice that we’ve grown up with, but the consistency is there and with enough seasonings, the flavor is there. There is a vinegary aftertaste (the best that I can explain it). If you ever put Accent seasoning in your rice, it also resembles that type of aftertaste as well, but it’s not bad at all.
There’s also a brown rice version made with one ingredient that I also plan to try soon.
A box of 6 of the white or brown hearts of palm rice costs about $34.00. However, it’s currently on sale for about $30.00 (does not include shipping & handling). A rice sampler can be purchased for the same price.
Out of all of the rice alternatives I’ve had so far, this is THE closest so far. Definitely Genetic Diabetic approved!
*Note: This is a Flashback Friday post from 2 years ago when it was just 4 days after my diagnosis. I’ve learned so much since then, but tonight I want to encourage you that there will be some overwhelming days, but it will not always be like this. A beautiful journey awaits. Keep fighting, you’ve got this!*
Finding out that you have a chronic illness and the first days and months is a very difficult and challenging ordeal. In an instant, your life changes. You have the initial shock that you have the diagnosis and then the realization that the life that you’ve been accustomed to will never be the same. Suddenly, you’re forced to adjust to the diagnosis itself and lifestyle changes and friends, it can be very daunting. It’s like you’re operating in a trance.
I’m writing this on Day 4 after finding out that I have Type 2 Diabetes. I’ve just had to rush my family member off the phone because it felt like they were giving directives. Before that, my doctor rushed me off the phone, even though I had tons of concerns because my blood sugar was high. Prior to that, I had to talk with the pharmacist so I could get my medical supplies. The next minute, I’m crying into the arms of my dear husband because I got annoyed that everyone was rushing me, shouting orders or sharing tips that I have already implemented.
Once I’ve shed my tears, I began to ponder about a time when I was battling Gestational Diabetes the first time and a friend of mine suggested that I speak declarations to getting rid of Diabetes. I’ve prayed and declared everyday until I gave birth to my daughter. God did answer my prayers at that time. But what happens when the same thing that you’ve prayed away returns and remains?
One thing about this health journey that you should know is that it’s also a faith journey. On this journey, you can get easily discouraged by so many things- high blood sugars, side effects of medicine, negative medical follow-ups. You may even question why you. Why now? It’s rough, but sometimes God will place us on an unwanted journey so we can become a blessing to someone else going through the same thing.
Keep this in mind whenever you feel overwhelmed and feel that you want to give up. The journey can be tiresome, but your health story can save another’s life.