Diabetes Diet

Welcome to my favorite diet!
Eating your meals with a “Low Glycemic Load” means that you are going to stay fuller longer and thus less likely to go out and binge on a bunch of junk.
Staying full is as simple as eating foods with a high protein, fiber, and water content.
Keeping yourself feeling satisfied is the most important aspect for success with any weight loss program. Regardless of it you have diabetes or not, you are in the right place when it comes to learning the basics on how to eat correctly to stabilize your blood sugar. Stabilizing your blood sugar translates long term in to weight loss, ridding yourself of that jittery, irritable, faint feeling associated with hypoglycemia, improving energy and mood, as well as providing the foundation for an anti-aging program!
Wow all that from just one diet!
How exciting.
I bet right now you really want to buy whatever I am selling. Well I am not selling anything, except healthy diet and lifestyle.
I am simply here to teach you how to change your eating habits permanently over the long term, and field any questions or concerns that come up as you start this new adventure to a healthier you.
The most exciting thing about this diet, is that I can sum up how to do this diet in one simple sentence:
Every meal you eat should be high in protein and fiber.
Yes, it is that simple.
Memorize that.
Make that your new mantra.
Fiber is your new best friend forever!!!
Lean proteins are your new favorite friends.
The next step is to memorize what high fiber foods are and what foods are healthy sources of protein and to stock your cupboards with all these foods.
Trust me we will get fussy about the numbers later. But you need to get the basics down before you will be ready for anything like.
Most foods high in fiber are either fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. Begin to make best friends with vegetables now as for diabetics and those trying to lose weight they are essentially “free foods”, meaning the calorie count is relatively insignificant, with of course some occasional exceptions.
Here is a list of good lean protein choices: Chicken, fish, white cheese, plain nonfat yogurt, beans, and whole grains.
Now let’s keep in mind that certain proteins high in saturated fat like beef, bacon, and cheddar cheeses are just not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Especially for those of you with diabetes we want to be on the look-out for heart disease and kidney problems. If you are having a hard time giving these up then simply treat them like the garnish for your plate. Instead of a pile of bacon you get just have one little piece.
Over time you will begin to feel so much better on this diet that it will be WORTH it for you to get rid of the offending foods. Remember “nothing tastes as good as being healthy and looking good feels”.
Be sure to drink plenty of water in between your meals. A high fiber diet will naturally require more water. Water will also help keep you feeling full. Sometimes we feel hungry when really we are thirsty.
Now most patients that have Type II diabetes (non-insulin dependent) have it because they already have a very unhealthy relationship with food, if not engage in compulsive eating patterns, and use food as a drug. For my patients having a hard time making these necessary dietary changes, I recommend counseling. Counseling may help treat the underlying problems of anxiety or depression.
While they are trying to make the necessary changes to change their emotional relationship with food, I recommend that they keep chewable fiber tablets on hand so that if all else fails they can at least lower the Glycemic Load of the binge. Now you have to be careful not to get the chewable fiber tablets high in sugar! But sometimes a glass of Metamucil or your favorite fiber supplement can help offset the huge quantity of sugar consumed. Yes this is a quick fix tip, and no it is not addressing the root cause of the problem, it is simply offering a solution to a common problem and trying to approach it realistically while we work towards a permanent solution.
Now that you are eating lean proteins and high fiber foods, the next question is…
“Can I have carbohydrates on this diet?”
Most doctors agree that in most cases a “Slow” carbohydrate diet is better than a “Low” or “No” carbohydrate diet. Personally I am not a fan of the No/Low carbohydrate diet unless it is for specific therapeutic purposes.
“So how do I know if my Carbs are “slow” or not?”
Well that is where the magic of the low glycemic index diet and the numbers assigned to certain foods come in to play. This usually is a bit too complicated for me to just start patients out with right off the bat. I prefer to have my patients on a whole foods diet of lean proteins and fruits and vegetables before playing around with various carbohydrates.
Glycemic Index numbers are determined in a laboratory by measuring how quickly a test panel of humans blood sugars rise after consuming the food. The higher the blood sugar rises, the higher the glycemic index number is as a result. For instance a piece of white bread has a high index number as it will raise your blood sugar rapidly.
Interestingly enough after analyzing the numbers on the Glycemic Index chart one can conclude that not all carbohydrates are created equally. Some will release more rapidly in to the system than others. This might explain why you have a half cup serving of pasta at dinner and your numbers are different than when you have a half cup serving of corn.
The take home message with all of this, is that if you have diabetes…especially type II, it is sincerely in your best interest to get off all the “white” refined foods and stick with the healthier choices of carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables and whole grains as they are high in fiber as well as packed full of vitamins and minerals which will not only protect your system from long term damages associated with diabetes, but will also keep you younger and feeling more fabulous as part of an anti-aging program.
Switching to this diet can be challenging and require a great deal of support, feel free to leave your questions in the comments of this post!
~Dr. Nicole Sundene

22 Comments
  1. awesome work Doc, You deserve The big buck’s as you put it…
    Thank’s so Much

  2. Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed 😀

  3. Doc can you tell me, when i,m suppose to check my gluocose,? when I’ve fasted? when I know it’s low…. or after I’ve eaten, when i know it’s high?? only talk to my doctor couple times a year, at the Vetran’s Hospital in Portland, she says she wants me under 150, when i’m in the hours after eating mode, like now it’s 80 – 107 (107) but am gonna go eat smart, as you suggest, but still i’m afraid to take it when i get back. so how long after i eat should i check it. I take 5mg.glyburide in the morning, and seems as i sleep the numbers go up.. Hate to bother you with this and I am reading up on it on this site, but its alot to absorb and i’m not there yet, My Deepest Gratitude… Thank’s Thomas

  4. Dr. Jody Stanislaw July 2, 2008 at 8:33 pm Reply

    Hello Thomas,
    I am one of Dr. Sundene’s colleagues and also have diabetes. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 7 years old and have now lived with it for 28 years. I would like to answer the question you posed above.
    Anytime is a good time to check your levels. The more you know about what your numbers are, the better in touch you are with your body. Learning how meals affect your blood sugar is important, regardless of if its 30 min or 120 min after you’ve eaten. What you must understand is that things are always changing inside of your body….food takes a long time to digest, and insulin takes time to work. So just because you are 100 2 hours after dinner does not mean it will stay that way until you eat again. You are likely having an increase in your blood sugar levels at night because of one or both reasons: #1) your food hasn’t fully digested so some sugar from your meal has not yet entered your blood stream even 2 hours after the meal. #2) your medicine dose is too low to cover your needs while you are sleeping.
    Personally, I do not like the unknown of what my dinner will do to my blood sugar levels while I sleep so I just avoid the problem by generally avoiding carbohydrates at dinner. Also, I prefer to eat at 5 or 6 pm as well and/or choose to eat only small amounts at dinner.
    The best way to really know what your body needs is to test your blood sugar often. Learn what makes your numbers go up and what makes it go down….then you will be able to make informed decisions about what is good for your body and what is not. The challenging thing about diabetes is that there is no set answer that works everyday. Everyday our activity levels are different. Everyday what we eat is different. So you just be informed as much as you can be with what makes your numbers go up and what makes them go down. And then you just do the best you can to make healthy decisions each day. Some days, your numbers will be better than others…that’s just the life of a diabetic. So being informed about how your blood sugars react based on the different choices you make each day is a very wise thing to do.
    All the best to you,
    Dr. Stanislaw

  5. Dr. Stanislaw; Thank you for the insight into this, Guess I need to research more and eat less, I try to stay away from sugars and carbs but, it’s hard, Seems I’ll have to find a list of absolute NO EAT Items, bread, rice, sugar,ect. cause I need a comprehensive diet plan. When I last did blood work 2 week’s ago, my Doctor called me and told me I need to start living a Diebetic lifestyle, she was not happy, had the food triangle long while back, but not now. will have to find knowledge on this and the forbidden food’s, is there a link possibly where i can find this. As I seem to get lost and go in circles alot,Very much appreciate all you do, My most Heartfelt Thank’s,, Thomas…

  6. P.S. I work the grave yard shift at a grocery store, so my world is already turned upside down, and am single also, so the eat and run thing is all to common… but I’m trying to get there Thank’s again

  7. Hello Doc nicole,I am diabetic,I know that there are certain foods that keep
    your blood suger under control. Does drinking a glass of red or white wine
    help lower your blood suger?.Thank you. Your responce would be very helpfull.

  8. GREAT article! I learned about this when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and have used it to help keep away the ‘snackies’ ever since. If I’m feeling like I just want to snack and eat even though I’m not hungry I know I haven’t included enough protein and fiber into my meals.
    I’m so glad your site is back up!

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