Carbohydrates (Carbohydrates Foods) are a nutrient found in many foods that are converted into sugars during the digestive process. You might have heard that carbohydrates, or carbs, are bad for you, but this is not necessarily true. In fact, your body needs carbohydrates to function well and to provide energy. Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient found in many foods and beverages. Most carbohydrates are naturally occurring in plant-based foods, such as grains. Food manufacturers also add carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of starch or added sugar. The most basic carbohydrate is a sugar molecule, which joins together one or two units of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

Carbs are divided into main three groups: simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. The three different types of carbohydrates vary in nutritional value and are broken down in different ways during digestion. Learning about the three kinds of carbohydrates can help you make smart food choices in order to stay healthy every day. Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates food include fruits, vegetables, milk, grains, legumes, and other starchy vegetables.

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Potassium Rich Foods is a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body. It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function.

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Chances are, you’ve heard people talk about “diabetes” as if it’s a diagnosis where “everyone” living with diabetes shares the same symptoms, traits, and complications. In casual conversation, that’s understandable since each type of diabetes is related to problems with blood glucose. However, if you’re living with diabetes, you might need more information to work with – even talking about diabetes as a disease with two “types” is an oversimplification.

Are you wondering where you can learn more about the different types of diabetes? You’re in luck: in this article, the pros at ADS will help you learn more about all four types of diabetes and their defining factors.

The 4 Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Though it isn’t the most common form of diabetes these days, type 1 diabetes is still a condition you should be familiar with. Type 1 diabetes (previously called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes) is usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults, however it can develop at any age. Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2—approximately 5-10% of people with diabetes have type 1.

In America, nearly 1.6 million people have type 1 diabetes including about 187,000 children and adolescents as of 2018 per the American Diabetes Association.

People with type 1 diabetes begin experiencing symptoms due to problems with insulin production in the pancreas. When the pancreas can’t make insulin in sufficient quantities (or at all), glucose cannot enter cells like it usually would. That results in glucose buildup in the bloodstream causing high blood sugar which is damaging to the body and causes many of the symptoms and complications of diabetes.

T1d-juvenile-testing-blood-glucose

We’re still not sure what triggers type 1 diabetes, but we know it is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction that destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, called beta cells.

This autoimmune reaction can cause a person’s immune system to treat healthy body parts as a threat and attack them.

If you think you might have type 1 diabetes, look out for common symptoms such as unusually frequent urination, unexplained mood swings, increased thirst or hunger, and blurred vision. Untreated type 1 diabetes can lead to many complications like vision problems, and high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, and poor circulation.

Unlike type 2 diabetes, there is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes. The most effective treatment method for this disease is regular insulin injections and depending on your situation, you may use a standard needle or an insulin pump for these injections. Type 1 diabetes is also managed by following your doctor’s recommendations for living a healthy lifestyle, managing your blood sugar, getting regular health checkups, and seeking diabetes self-management education and support.

Type 2 Diabetes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 34 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more and more children, teens, and young adults are also developing it. Like type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes involves excessive blood sugar levels. However, the cause of this situation differs between the two “main” diabetes types. Many people with type 2 diabetes can produce enough insulin for their bodies. Despite this, they can run into problems with insulin resistance – that is, their cells cannot use insulin as effectively as they should. Eventually, the pancreas can’t meet this increased need for insulin, and blood glucose levels increase as a result.

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There are several factors known to play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Some risk factors include being overweight, an inactive lifestyle, a family history of diabetes, age, and ethnicity. Though many of these factors are out of one’s control, a person can lower their diabetes risk by addressing others.

Many symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes are similar to those seen in type 1 diabetes. In some (but not all) cases, these symptoms don’t develop as quickly in type 2 diabetes as they do in type 1. Meanwhile, some potential complications of type 2 diabetes are sleep apnea, nerve and organ damage, skin problems, and dementia.

Unlike type 1 diabetes, people can decrease their likelihood of type 2 diabetes by making healthy lifestyle choices. These include getting increased levels of physical activity, eating a balanced diet, making an effort to lose weight, and not staying inactive for extended periods. Treatment of type 2 diabetes focuses on taking similar steps and administering medication if and when needed. Plus, you’ll need to check your blood sugar regularly. Ask your doctor how often you should check it and what your target blood sugar levels should be.

Gestational Diabetes

The term “gestational diabetes” refers to diabetes initially diagnosed during pregnancy.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain that every year, 2% to 10% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes. Since it poses unique health challenges to expecting mothers and their children, you’ll want to have some understanding of gestational diabetes.

The precise cause of gestational diabetes is currently a mystery. What is known about the cause of gestational diabetes is that a hormone made by the placenta prevents the body from using insulin effectively. Glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells. Unlike type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes is not caused by a lack of insulin, but by other hormones produced during pregnancy that can make insulin less effective, a condition referred to as insulin resistance. Gestational diabetic symptoms usually disappear following delivery.

Unlike other types of diabetes, most women dealing with gestational diabetes don’t have noticeable symptoms, though increased thirst levels and urination are among the symptoms that can appear. With this in mind, it’s imperative to keep an eye out for risk factors like having gestational diabetes or prediabetes in the past, having given birth to a baby weighing over nine pounds before, and extra weight (pre-pregnancy).

Since gestational diabetes is so closely related to pregnancy, it stands to reason that its complications can affect both mothers and children. Expecting mothers may find themselves dealing with high blood pressure (including preeclampsia), an increased likelihood of a C-section, and more significant risks of gestational diabetes and getting type 2 diabetes in the future. Meanwhile, their children may have an early birth, heavy birthweight, low blood sugar, breathing problems, or a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes down the line.

Your doctor will test for gestational diabetes when you become pregnant. If you get diagnosed with this condition, you’ll have to monitor your blood sugar and make lifestyle changes, which can include eating a healthy diet and getting moderate exercise regularly. Along with this, you may need insulin therapy.

Prediabetes

Technically, prediabetes isn’t a distinct type of diabetes. Instead, it’s a condition where a person has elevated blood sugar levels that aren’t quite high enough to qualify as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is far from uncommon since over one in three Americans is believed to have it. However, it doesn’t always have distinct symptoms, so over 84 percent of people with prediabetes don’t know they have this condition.

Prediabetes can be diagnosed with a blood sugar test. If you have this condition, it doesn’t mean a type 2 diabetes diagnosis is inevitable later on. Instead, you can significantly lower your type 2 diabetes risk by losing weight, increasing your physical activity level for example getting at least 150 minutes a week of brisk walking or a similar activity. That’s just 30 minutes a day, five days a week, and making some healthy changes to your diet.

Let Us Help You Fight Diabetes

ADS can make living with diabetes more manageable – no matter what diabetes type you have. We serve customers across the country, and we can work with your medical team to make getting the supplies you need a breeze. Choose us for insulin pumps, CGM systems, and any other diabetes-related products!

 

An article appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics that caught our eye. It shined a spotlight on a recent Diabetic ketoacidosis study and diabetes testing supplies. We found it interesting for several reasons, the subject matter being one of them.

The ketoacidosis study focused on youth that were diagnosed with diabetes and how important early detection can be in regards to overall health outcomes. What the study’s team found was that many people are not familiar with the condition or the diabetes testing supplies that may be used to help detect it before the person’s health deteriorates.

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Fresh Fruit And Vegetables Month (National Month Celebration) is celebrated every month of June, so why don’t you challenge yourself to eat more fresh produce this month!

Fruits and vegetables are nutrient-dense, which means they provide lots of vitamins and minerals with fewer calories. They also contain fiber to keep you feeling full, and antioxidants that may protect you against certain chronic diseases such as cancer or heart disease. The USDA MyPlate guidelines recommend filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. That means most of us should eat 1.5-2 cups of fruit per day AND 2-3 cups of vegetables per day. If you choose, you can consume fruits and vegetables that are canned, frozen, dried, and in 100% juices.

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How Many Meals Per Day Should People With Diabetes Eat?

For years many Americans have lived with the misguided notion that it is better to eat a series of small meals each day as opposed to three large ones. Recently more information was released that further disproves the age-old myth. Only this time, the researchers involved looked directly at the relationship between meal frequency and diabetes.

The study in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that opting to consume three appropriately-sized meals a day may be best for blood glucose control, vs several small meals throughout the day. They feel that adopting such a routine may make diabetes management, at least for those diagnosed with type 2, much easier and more effective.

To better understand what those meals should be comprised of, diabetics should consider speaking with members of their healthcare team. There are also a series of breakfast and lunch meal ideas for diabetics available online. One good resource is the American Diabetes Association. They have a list of speedy-to-prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas that all diabetics may find helpful.

Recommended Foods for Diabetes

Let’s take a look at the important foods that people with diabetes should include in their meal planning.

understand-which-food-are best-for-diabetes

Breakfast

Try to include a protein-rich egg or low-fat meat with your breakfast. If you’re on the go, try making a veggie and fruit smoothie with a scoop of your favorite sugar-free protein powder.

Lunch

A light salad is always a good choice. Add greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other veggies you enjoy — also add protein in the form of boiled eggs, turkey meat, or tofu cubes. Watch out for take-out or restaurant salads as they can include unhealthy carbs and fatty dressings that are not heart or diabetes healthy. A homemade dressing such as olive oil and balsamic vinegar is an easy and diabetes-friendly option.

Dinner

For dinner, focus on lean proteins, whole grains, and more vegetables. Grilled chicken with asparagus and quinoa is an example of a diabetes-friendly delicious meal.

Conclusion

Of course, study aside, the use of diabetes testing supplies, frequent exercise and maintaining contact with one’s primary care physician are still widely advised by today’s experts. The list of approved, contemporary diabetes testing supplies includes glucose meters, lancets, control solution and more. Advanced Diabetes Supply is a leading national supplier of all diabetes testing supplies. We offer free shipping on all supplies, so contact us to get started today!

For those newly diagnosed with diabetes, we are here to help. Diabetes is a lot to live with, but really, it is manageable! In this article we’ll define a few terms about diabetes and provide a few basic tips to help keep you on track.

Meet An Endocrinologist

For the newly diagnosed the first thing to do is get a good doctor, if possible an endocrinologist, who is a doctor that specializes in diabetes. Have the doctor give you the tests that all people with diabetes are familiar with: the A1C. This test is vital to managing diabetes and the A1C number is an important stat for those managing diabetes to know. Simply put, an A1C is the 3-month average of one’s blood sugar levels.

using-a-glucometer Next, the doctor will prescribe a blood glucose meter, test strips, and lancets so blood glucose levels can be read at home. In most states, if you have a prescription for them they must be covered under your insurance policy. Test as often as the doctor says to or even more if you can afford more strips. The more you test, the more knowledge you will gain, and that will allow you to make better decisions regarding your care.

Find A Community

Learning about diabetes on the internet and through books will give you even more power over the disease. Don’t hesitate to “network” with others living with diabetes. Even from afar, getting support from others in the trenches with you will help stave off feelings of isolation and provide helpful advice from other who get it.

  • America Diabetes Association The ADA is great source of knowledge and support for those living with diabetes.
  • Centers for Disease Control The CDC has an extremely helpful diabetes hub and will keep you informed on the latest in medications and threats to your health.
  • Facebook Of course, Facebook has a wealth of private groups that make it simple to ask questions and receive crowd-sourced answers from those living with diabetes. Simply search for “diabetes” in Facebook’s search bar and you’ll be instantly connected with others dealing with similar diabetes-related issues.

Three Main Diabetes Management Tips

Besides this, everything that you can do to bring your diabetes under control falls under three headings, listed here.

1. Exercise daily.

Exercise is one of the simplest ways to manage diabetes. The CDC recommends that those with diabetes exercise daily for at least 20 minutes. That can be a daily walk, yoga, or other light activities. Start small and just concentrate on listening to your body and elevating your heart rate for 20 minutes. It really makes a difference! Be sure to consult with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.

2. Track what you eat.

Know how the food you eat impacts your blood sugar. You’ll find that eating fewer calories improves blood sugar even before any weight loss, and weight loss is usually a beneficial side effect of eating less. Try using a phone app like Fooducate to make it easier to track caloric intake.

3. Follow the doctor’s orders.

For some people living with diabetes, tips one and two aren’t enough. Take the medicine or insulin that the doctor prescribes and pay attention to their management advice. In between appointments write down any unanswered questions or thoughts that you have about your diabetes care in a journal so you can make the most of your doctor’s visits.

We hope this helps those newly diagnosed with diabetes feel a sense of control. Remember that Advanced Diabetes Supply offers a wealth of helpful information, products, and help, including on-staff Certified Diabetes Educators. Join our Facebook page to stay connected and to learn more!

Blood sugar control: Exercise helps to lower blood sugar in two ways. First of all, exercise decreases insulin resistance, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes. Secondly, exercise increases glucose disposal. An exercising muscle simply uses more sugar than a resting muscle.

Weight control: Besides burning glucose, exercise burns fat, which helps with weight control. Excess body fat increases insulin resistance and worsens type 2 diabetes. Achieving and maintaining a reasonable weight is a key to preventing and treating type 2 diabetes.

Blood sugar control: Exercise helps to lower blood sugar in two ways. First of all, exercise decreases insulin resistance, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes. Secondly, exercise increases glucose disposal. An exercising muscle simply uses more sugar than a resting muscle.

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A majority of people with diabetes will have to deal with high blood pressure – and this condition can make the complications of diabetes worse. Discover the connections between hypertension and diabetes and find out how you can control high blood pressure.

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For people with diabetes, one of the biggest obstacles to maintaining a normal blood sugar level is the amount of sugar found in all kinds of foods. While you don’t need to eliminate sugar from your diet if you have this condition, it’s essential to keep your sugar consumption in check. And sugar isn’t just found in foods where you would expect to see it – food manufacturers add sugars to many of their products.

Of course, sugar isn’t the only way to give foods and beverages a sweet taste. These days, many people with diabetes use artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes for this purpose. However, you should try to be smart about how you use any type of sweetener in your diet, so keep reading to find out more about artificial sweeteners and diabetes.

Know the Pros and Cons of Artificial Sweeteners

If you’re living with diabetes, you’ve likely researched sugar substitutes. The first options you’re likely to encounter are artificial sweeteners. This category includes popular brands like Splenda, Nutrasweet, and Sweet’ N Low, all of which add a sweet flavor to foods without impacting your carb count as much as “real” sugar does. They’re also much sweeter than sugar is on its own and can be as high as 500 times sweeter than ordinary sugar.

Artificial sweeteners may seem like they’re too good to be true, so it’s crucial to remember that they aren’t a magic bullet. Research into these products is still ongoing, and the results of studies focusing on their effects on glucose and insulin levels have been mixed. You’ll also need to be careful not to overindulge when eating artificially sweetened foods, as “sugar-free” foods aren’t always entirely free of carbohydrates.
At the same time, there’s no need to be overly cautious about artificial sweeteners. For example, back in the 1970s, studies suggested that saccharin had links to bladder cancer in lab rats. However, the National Cancer Institute states that human epidemiology studies have shown no consistent evidence that saccharin is associated with bladder cancer incidence.

Consider These Natural Alternatives

Would you like the benefits of alternative sweeteners without going the artificial route? If so, natural sugar alternatives may be suitable for you! Some prominent products in this category include:

  • Stevia. You may think of this as an artificial sweetener, but it’s made from the leaves of the stevia plant. Some stevia blends contain other sweeteners that can increase your blood sugar, but stevia on its own may increase your tolerance to glucose.
  • Tagatose. This is a newer sweetener option made from lactose found in dairy products. Studies regarding its health effects are still in the early stages, however, a few research studies have shown that tagatose may play a role in stabilizing blood sugar to help people reach their target goals.
  • Fruit-based sugar substitutes. It’s no secret that fruit contains sugar, and quite a few natural sweeteners take advantage of that fact. Dates are high in calories and natural sugars, but studies note that they don’t significantly affect blood sugar levels like table sugar does, even among people with diabetes. And monk fruit extract doesn’t have any calories or affect blood sugar levels, plus it may promote weight loss and improve blood sugar levels if used in place of regular sugar. However, there’s currently a lack of human studies on this sweetener. Also, keep in mind that monk fruit extract is often mixed with other sweeteners, so be sure to read the label before consuming it.

Don’t Overlook Hidden Sugar Alcohols

When you’re managing diabetes, finding “safe” foods isn’t as simple as looking for items that claim to be “sugar-free” or have “no sugar added.” Some of these products contain sugar alcohols – sugar substitutes that work differently than other artificial and natural sweeteners.
Despite their name, sugar alcohols don’t consist of either alcohol or sugar. They contain fewer calories unlike sugar, which has four calories per gram, whereas sugar alcohols has just over two. They can be found in some fruits and vegetables, but the sugar alcohols in packaged foods are synthetic. Unlike glucose, you can metabolize sugar alcohols without insulin and partially digest them in your intestine. Sugar alcohols are still carbohydrates, so you’ll need to include them when counting carbs. Along with this, they have some known side effects, like bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. If you’re concerned about sugar alcohols in foods you’re planning to buy, check the nutrition facts label for these names: xylitol, sorbitol, isomalt, erythritol, and maltitol. As always, your dietitian or diabetes health-care team can help you decide if including any type of sugar substitutes in your eating plan is the best choice for you.

Remember You Can Still Have Some Sugar

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While it’s a good idea to take your sugar intake seriously if you have diabetes, it’s easy to assume you can’t consume any sugar at all. There’s a good reason for that: people with diabetes were once encouraged to steer clear of sugar whenever possible. Despite this, newer research has shown that reasonable sugar consumption shouldn’t affect your ability to maintain a normal blood sugar level.

The trick is to eat controlled portions of foods containing sugars and make sure your overall diet is nutritious. Foods considered “sugary” often have low nutritional value and high levels of fat and calories, making them potentially dangerous to any diet – whether you have diabetes or not. But if you can eat small amounts of these foods, you should be fine.

That said, things get a bit more complicated when you look at sodas, fruit juice, and other sugary drinks. These beverages don’t just have high amounts of carbohydrates – the carbs they contain act faster than those found in foods. Still, even these have their place in a diabetes diet, as a few ounces of juice or non-diet soda can help counteract hypoglycemia.

ADS Makes Life with Diabetes Sweeter

It doesn’t matter if you prefer artificial sweeteners, natural sugar alternatives, or even small amounts of sugary foods. When you have diabetes, what’s truly important is eating a balanced, healthy diet. By combining this with other steps like taking your medication and getting physical activity, you’ll be able to keep your sweet tooth in check without causing problems for your diabetes management strategy.

To ensure your efforts to keep diabetes under control go smoothly, having access to the diabetes supplies you need when you need them is crucial. These days, more and more people appreciate the convenience of shopping online – and the internet’s best company for diabetes supplies is ADS. Take a look at our continuous glucose monitors, glucose meters, and other products today!