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Diabetes Positive Approach, Issue #1212-- Cope with Diabetes; Live Healthy
December 04, 2012

Before we start this issue, let us talk about self image so we can improve it, if not ours then help others develop a better one. We know some people have poor self-image though no fault of their own. Knowing the reasons for the poor self-image may uncover ways to heal. For example, one reason behind a poor self-image is the influence of well-intentioned people in our lives telling us what we have done wrong.

If such is the case, think it's the past and it ended last night. Today is a new day that we can start in a positive way. It is a brand new day and you own it. You can do what you like with it. So banish any thought you may have on this and face this new day with optimism that everything will be all right.

In This Issue:

Three Tips to Make Carb Counting Less Complicated

Don't worry if after all these years, you still have not mastered carb counting. Even experts who make a living out of helping people learn how to do carb counting still get thrown off by some food every once in a while. I think it is because we are all unique people and so respond differently to certain foods. As long as we watch how our body responds in a weird way to a certain food, then we can at least do something about it.

There are however three tips that I have gathered from my researching for materials that will help our readers. They will help deal with this carb counting dilemma. Don't put down yourself just because you think that by now you should have learned how to do carb counting. As I mentioned before, even experts don't know it all. So there you are, the following tips are all I got:

1. Understand how to use the glycemic index to help control the blood sugar. It really is simple when you come to think of it. Just exchange the foods with high glycemic index with those that have low glycemic index. For example, instead of eating instant oatmeal, have the steel cut oatmeal. You see, the food's glycemic index is the percent of the food that turns into blood glucose inside of two hours. That is why even two carbs of the same quantity can affect a person's blood glucose differently.

Foods with low glycemic index of 55 or less like beans, most fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, pasta and nuts turn to blood glucose slowly.

Foods with moderate glycemic index of 56 to 69 like sweet potatoes, white rice, and corn turn into glucose a little faster than usual.

Foods with high glycemic index of 70 or higher like cakes, white bread, doughnuts, and waffles turn into blood glucose quickly.

There are a few warnings however. One cannot fully rely on the glycemic index alone to choose a healthy meal plan. Carrots for instance have a high glycemic index but have little carb so do not have much of an effect on the blood sugar. Then the glycemic index of a particular food is affected by what one eats with it. Eating a certain food with olive oil or something acidic like vinegar lowers the time it changes from starch to sugar. The glycemic index just offers us some information as to the food we choose to eat.

2. Fat does affect the blood sugar but the rise is delayed. So when you have done your due diligence in counting carbs really well, you would think the blood sugar will be fine and I don't blame you. But the trouble is the carb is not the only enemy we have within. There is fat to consider despite the fact that carb does cause a rise in the blood sugar but fat slows down the rise, making it go up several hours after eating.

So why does the blood sugar go up greatly despite the carb counting and all? The reason for the rise is the fat content of the meal or snack eaten. A low-fat meal can make the blood glucose rise quickly inside of an hour. In contrast, a high fat meal may make the blood glucose reach its peak two to four hours after a meal.

The moral of the story? Reduce fatty foods intake and instead choose healthier fats. Go with our friend the unsaturated fats that include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. An example of polyunsaturated fat is omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like trout, salmon, mackerel and catfish. It is also found in walnuts and flaxseed. Get the omega-3 from food but if you must get it from supplements, this Coromega Omega-3 Supplement, Orange Flavor, Squeeze Packets, 90-Count Box is a good bet.

How about monounsaturated fats? They are found in pumpkin seeds, olives, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, avocados, cashews, and peanut and canola oil. Contrast these good fats to the bad ones called saturated fats found in animal products like dairy that are high fat, eggs, poultry skin and meat and you will see how the monos love us more..

So how do we keep on top of our fat consumption? Eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Use only skim or low-fat dairy products and salad dressings. Use lemon juice, vinegar and mustard instead of fatty sauce. Reduce intake of fried foods, processed foods and sweets. Eat lots of beans once a week. And please read the labels.

3. Spread out the meals evenly throughout the day, typically between three to four hours before eating. Why? It is because the blood glucose goes up when we eat. If we eat again before the insulin could get the BG back down, then the food will make the blood glucose go back up without having had the chance to level out.

2.Must-Reads from Around the Web

Valley Voice: Diabetes Can Erode Your Vision

In Pregnancy, Type 2 Diabetes May Pose Less Risk Than Type 1

Best Snack for Blood Sugar

Thankful in Life with Diabetes

Early Detection Key to Fighting Type 2 Diabetes Increase

3. 10 Foods Containing High Carbs May Surprise You

We all know things like bread, pasta, rice, soft drinks, potatoes, and sugar-loaded bakery foods are high in carbohydrates.  But some who think some foods have low carb content may be surprised to find they are high in carbohydrates. So keep an eye on the following that may ruin your hard work of counting carbohydrates.

Two tablespoons of tomato sauce could add as much as 7.3 grams of carbs to your low carb meal of salad and a small steak. Use Low Carb Pasta Sauce, Tomato Basil, 26 oz.

One cup of regular milk contains 11.8 g of carbs while low fat milk has 15 g. Drink L.C Milk instead.

Be careful about sausages because the filler is breadcrumbs that add quite a few carbs. Coles brand sausages seem to be the good alternative.

Packet Mixes are convenient but read the nutritional labels first as they carry as much as 18.3 g of carbs for one serving. For this Master foods recipe base for sausages that are curried has just 3.5 carbs for each serving.

Two tablespoons of regular barbecue sauce can add up to a whopping 22.2 g of carbohydrates.

Mayonnaise is really quite a surprise because one tablespoon of a low fat type adds up 4.5 g of carb but the regular one adds only 2.5.g . Can you believe that? I was really so flabbergasted to say the least.

Salad dressing was a quite a surprise too with one tablespoon of a low fat type adding 2.5 g of carbs while a regular Italian dressing will only add 0.5 g.

Protein bars should be great as a snack but check carefully as they are not just for those on low carb diet but also for the body builders and so could be loaded with proteins and carbohydrates. Quest Nutrition Protein Bars could be a good alternative.

Low fat foods and light ones could also surprise us. Why? It is because when a company creates a low fat product they usually remove the fat and add sugar. So I am glad you are reading this because then you will be on the watch. You don't have to worry why you are diligent in counting carbohydrates and still your BG is high. It is not your fault! Let me shout that up on the roof top: IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

Most fruits are avoided by those on low carb diet so we hunted for fruits which have low-carb but watch the dried variety because a lot of sugar is usually added in the process.

4. A Success Quotation of the Month

"Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." Ralph Waldo Emerson

5. And here’s the dessert recipe we promised you.

Dessert Recipe: Red Plum Tart

6. Some Humour - Let's laugh together at this joke even if it's not funny. We just want you to forget, just for a moment what you are going through. Laughing will help get us healthy. You know what an Oxford University's study found? Laughter makes the body release the same endorphins that exercise gives out.

This leads to the feeling of euphoria mixed with serenity. This is what we want you to have. Mind you, the laughter is not just the type they call polite titters. To maximize the benefit, the laughter should be the full-fledged belly laugh. It is the kind that gives the diaphragm a workout.

In Doubt

A family man who ran around on his wife died. During the funeral service, this is what happened:

Priest: This man is an honest man. He is really a good man. (He kept saying all nice things about the dead.)

Mother whispered to her daughter: "Darling, would you peek into the casket to see if it's your dad in there?"

7. Do you have a question or comment for the team?

Drop us a line at our contact form and write your questions or comment there.

You may see your question answered in an upcoming issue of Diabetes Positive Approach like this one below.

Question: "How Can I Avoid Eating Too Much Carb?"


We all need carbohydrates as it is the major source of energy but too much of it can derail our health train engine. That is why it is important not to eat a lot of them in one go. Rather space them out throughout the day. Eating a balanced meal is key and this requires that we learn that it is composed of protein, carbohydrates, fiber in fruits and vegetables and to mix them up without eating too much of anything in one meal.

But how do we identify a carbohydrate? By knowing that carbohydrate is composed of the sugars and starches found in dairy products, grains and fruits and vegetables. Most of them affect the body the same way. It matters not whether the carb is from a potato or from a cake. And don't allow the labels to make a fool of you because sugar-free does not mean it does not have carbs.

It is very important for the diabetic to know the carb content as it will help with blood sugar label every day as well as with the A1C. High fiber will help counter effect some mistakes because foods containing high fiber slows the assimilation of the sugar content and so will reduce the bad result too much carbs will have on the blood sugar. So eat those beans and other high-fiber foods.

It is good to know which carbs are good and which ones are bad because although they have the same effect on the body, those that contain fiber will give you an edge. This is where the glycemic index comes in. Foods in the low glycemic index group are slow acting as it takes longer for them to get absorbed and so the impact on the blood sugar is reduced.

Need to know the glycemic food index of a particular food? Access the database at . Be aware though that the GI is not the be-all and the end-all of meal planning as it has some drawbacks like the age of the food, how it is cooked and what else you eat with it. So it is good to focus on fruits, vegetables and fiber and unprocessed foods. The processed ones like low-carbs are often high in chemicals and fat.

Managing the blood glucose level entails the use of a tool called carb counting. It means counting the actual amount of carbohydrates you eat at every meal and snack. Type 1 diabetics usually use this to know the insulin dose they need. Carbohydrates is calculated in grams and one carb serving has 15 grams of carbohydrate. Since it is recommended that the diabetics should consume no more than 3 carb servings per meal for women and 4 carb servings for men, it follows, the carb intake should be not more than 45 g and 60 g respectively.

When calculating the carbs of the foods that are not labelled, the kitchen scale is your friend so you will have an idea how big is a serving size. Without a kitchen scale, you can still estimate the number of carbs by comparing the carbohydrate with your fist which is about 15 carbs. So if the carbohydrate food item is as big as the fist, then the item has 15 grams of carbohydrate. If it is the size of two fists, then it has 30 grams of carbs.

Calculating the carbs in packaged foods is another challenge because nutritional labels separate sucrose and glucose. You have therefore to look at the total carbohydrate. Pay attention to serving size. If it says it has 20 grams per serving and that there are 5 servings in the package, then if you eat the whole thing, you consume 100 grams of carbs. Don't you find this exciting? I feel like a food detective.

The nutritionists will be a lot of help either via one-on-one session or a group one. They will have answers to your questions complete with visual aids to illustrate what is right and what is wrong. You doctor may know someone and your insurance may cover your cost. Search for one at Find a Dietician.

Here is a handy pocket book that may help you. The last time I looked the used one was only 64 cents: The Official Pocket Guide to Diabetic Exchanges: Choose Your Foods

8. Got something to say? Please write down your questions and comments in the contact form in our website.

Just go to the contact form and write your questions there. Also go to the disclaimer.

Thank you for being a subscriber of Diabetes Positive Approach, !

Here we are at the end of this issue, glad that we do not make excuses like other people do. I am glad that this does not apply to us. Perhaps in another time and place, we might have. For now let us just say we are in the right place.

You took a big step when you signed up for this newsletter. The fact that you have come this far shows how serious you are about your progress no matter what challenges come along the way. In my mind, I know the years ahead will be more exciting and rewarding.

Warm Regards,

Roger and Evelyn Guzman

Did you like this newsletter? If so, please recommend it to your friends. If you have any questions or tips, please leave a comment at our contact form and write your questions or comment there. This newsletter is copyright 2012 Roger Guzman, M.D.

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Did you miss the following back issues of this newsletter? Here are two of them:
Diabetes Positive Approach Newsletter 805

Diabetes Positive Approach Newsletter 806

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