Fuji Apple Chips

Fuji Apple chips are a great lower calorie snack for those with diabetes.
They are crunchy and have a slight sweet taste. One ounce contains 105 calories, 25 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of protein, and 0 grams of fat.

October 22nd, 2007 by Jacqueline | 1 Comment »

Dannon Light n Fit Yogurt

Dannon’s Light n fit yogurt is a great lower calorie treat for those with diabetes.  It supplies 60 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, and 150 mg of calcium. It comes in 12 flavors. It can be put in the freezer for a frozen treat or you can add a couple of teaspoons of grapenuts to add a crunch. This would add an extra 17 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrate, .5 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat.


October 22nd, 2007 by Jacqueline | 54 Comments »

Personal Experience with Diabetes in Pregnancy

Going through a pregnancy complicated with diabetes was one of the most difficult times in my life, but also one of the most rewarding. When I became pregnant over 27 years ago, the area of diabetes in pregnancy was in its infancy. I was one of the first women to use glucose monitoring to insure that my blood sugars were in good control before I got pregnant.

Insuring the most ideal blood sugars during the first trimester can reduce the chances of birth defects in the baby which are increased with poor diabetes control. When I started on glucose monitoring, the machines were large and there was no digital read-out. A dial pointed to the number to show what the blood glucose was at that moment.

One of the disadvantages of being one of the first doing blood glucose monitoring was that there was no history of the validity of the testing. For that reason, I was hospitalized for a total of eight weeks with each of my pregnancies to insure that the results that I was getting on my own matched with what the laboratory results were. 

Another great advantage that I had was that I was the research dietitian for the Diabetes In Pregnancy Center at Northwestern University/Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. As I worked with my patients, I was expected to follow the exact same protocol that they followed. That even meant the same diet that they followed!  On March 3, 1981 my son Christopher Joseph King was born. He was a perfectly healthy 8 lb., 11 ounce baby.  His blood sugar was low initially, but with an early feeding it was normal and I was able to begin nursing and becoming a mom.

Today, Chris is in media marketing and is married. He has been tested a number of times for diabetes, but to date he has shown no signs of diabetes. Due to his risk of developing Type II diabetes, Chris has always been active and maintains his normal weight. He is still an avid hockey player. 

My daughter, Loryn, was born on March 30, 1984. Again, Loryn was a healthy baby born at 7 lbs., 6 ounces. Loryn has also shown no signs of diabetes and is an avid athlete. She was the Number 1 woman’s soccer player in the state of Illinois in her junior year of high school and the Number 2 cross-country runner in Illinois that same year. She went on to run cross-country at University of Notre Dame and was on the number three NSAA cross country team that year. She is presently in her second year of Medical School at University of Illinois. She is contemplating going into the area of diabetes. 

October 22nd, 2007 by Jacqueline | 28 Comments »

Gestational Diabetes

Receiving the diagnosis of gestational diabetes can be upsetting for the mother to be.  Not only does the mother fear the risk to her own health, but also for the baby. Gestational diabetes is generally diagnosed during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. In some instances, it can be diagnosed in the first trimester.  This is usually due to diabetes being undiagnosed prior to the pregnancy. It is commonly a routine to have a blood test during the end of the second trimester or beginning of the third trimester. This test includes fasting and then drinking glucola which is a mixture of concentrated sugar.

Approximately 3-10 % of pregnant woman will develop diabetes. It is generally more common in African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. It is typically more common in women who are overweight and have a family history of diabetes.  Gestational diabetes is controlled in the majority of women with diet and exercise. Some women will require insulin, but generally the diabetes can be managed with diet and exercise alone. When a woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes by her doctor, the next step is to make an appointment with a registered dietitian since diet is the main method of treatment. 

If possible, try to pick a registered dietitian who is also a certified diabetes educator since a good knowledge of diabetes is essential.  The registered dietitian will take a detailed dietary history to determine the best diet plan for you. You will then be educated on the importance of the diet in the treatment of gestational diabetes. You will also receive an in depth instruction on carbohydrate counting, nutrient needs, and the importance of distributing the carbohydrate throughout the day.  Glucose monitoring is an important aspect of your care and the registered dietitian/diabetes educator can get you started on proper monitoring of your blood sugars. Goals should be set pre and post meal for you to aim for. 

Monitoring blood sugars is crucial because if the baby is exposed to high blood sugars its pancreas will begin to make more insulin. This production will cause the baby to deposit more fat which predisposes the baby to being overweight at birth. This is also a risk to the baby later in life since the production of added insulin by the baby puts a strain on its pancreas. This will cause the baby to be more prone to obesity and Type II diabetes throughout its life.  The mother must also be careful to manage her weight gain since the added weight will make it more difficult for delivery causing an increase in caesarean sections.  After pregancy, mothers will need to concentrate on losing weight since obesity will increase her chances of developing diabetes in the future.

Mothers with diabetes in pregnancy should take heart that good control of blood sugars, eating a healthy diet, and doing moderate exercise with physician’s permission will reduce health risks to both mother and baby. And losing weight postpartum will set a good example and reduce her child’s chance of becoming overweight and developing diabetes.Women with a history of gestational diabetes need to be a role model for good eating habits and exercise.

October 22nd, 2007 by Jacqueline | 13 Comments »

Walnuts may reduce risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Recent studies have shown women who ate a 1 ounce portion of nuts five or more times a week had a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who rarely or never consumed nuts.  This is due to the high omega-3 polyunsaturated content of nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pecans.  Walnuts, in particular, have gained recent attention because according to Simopoulos, “Walnuts are unique because they have a perfect balance of n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids at a ratio of 4:1.”

Not only do walnuts play a role in lowering the risk of diabetes, they also benefit those with diabetes by acting as a cardioprotective agent.  According to the American Diabetes Association, 65% of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.  Therefore, it is important that those with diabetes follow a heart healthy diet and maintain low cholesterol levels.  Walnuts have been shown to lower cholesterol, increase the ratio of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol to total cholesterol, and reduce inflammation.  Also, a recent study showed that people with type 2 diabetes who began eating walnuts five times a week decreased their LDL or “bad” cholesterol by 10%. 

Walnuts, although energy dense, play an important role in a heart healthy diet.  Consuming a 1 ounce portion of nuts per day in foods such as cereal, salads, soups, yogurt or just as a snack can improve your cholesterol and therefore lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

October 22nd, 2007 by Jacqueline | 29 Comments »

Kool-Aid Jammers

A New Diabetes Treat – Kool-Aid Jammers

10 calorie pouches with only 2 grams carbohydrate

  • 5 flavors-Kiwi Strawberry, Tropical Punch, Grape, Cherry, and Orange
  • Sweetened with Splenda
  • Great to pack for kid’s lunches
  • Great frozen for beach lunches
  • Can be taken to parties, movies, or trips for a low-calorie drink like the rest of the kids

* Recommended by our dietitian/certified diabetes educators

October 22nd, 2007 by Jacqueline | 53 Comments »

The Truth About Red Meat

Stay away from red meat.  Red meat will give you cancer.  How many times have we heard comments such as these?  Red meat has received public attention due to recent studies that show red meat causes health problems such as heart disease and cancer.  However, the problem may not solely lie with the meat itself, rather, the way in which the meat is prepared may be the cause of concern.  It is true that high fat red meat and processed meats such as high fat steak and bacon raise cholesterol levels and saturated fats which can increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.  For this reason, red meat consumption should be limited to 2 to 3 times a week.  However, lean red meats do provide essential nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc, niacin, B6, and B12.  One of the richest sources of iron, lean red meat can prevent iron deficiency anemia, a health concern many women encounter.  Anemia can cause fatigue, impaired immune function, and impaired thermoregulation.

Studies have associated red meat with heart disease and cancer in many studies, however, they fail to determine if these causations are related to unprocessed lean red meat.  One study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that lean red meats do not increase oxidative stress or inflammation in humans which has been a cause of concern in certain diseases.  Therefore, a nutritionally complete diet including lean red meat 2 or 3 times a week may benefit and promote a healthy lifestyle.

October 22nd, 2007 by Jacqueline | 34 Comments »

Remembering to test: Just like flossing!

So many times patients say they don’t mind testing they just can’t seem to remember to do it. It reminds me of the question I get asked at each dental visit, “Are you remembering to floss?”  Like testing, it isn’t the process of flossing that prevents me from doing it regularly, it is remembering that’s the challenge.


I’ve finally arrived at the conclusion that I won’t floss regularly unless I make it easy not to forget. Visual cues are the strongest, so I put my floss right next to my tooth brush where my before bed and early morning ritual is. In fact, making it a new ritual or habit is my goal. It has to become as much a part of my routine as showering or brushing my hair.  


Think about ways to make testing easier. Keep your kit nearby. If you begin and end your day in a certain room in your house, e.g. bedroom, bathroom, keep it there so you won’t be able to ignore it. Like a cell phone, purse or keys take your meter with you when you leave the house.


Why test? There are lots of good reasons to test blood sugars. For those individuals on diet or oral medications you can see the affect of different types of food, especially carbohydrates on your blood sugars. Gathering this information helps you to manage and understand your diabetes.


Exercise can have a huge impact on blood sugars and by testing you’ll see the positive effect of lower blood sugars. Also, you’ll discover if you need to change your medication to avoid low blood sugars when exercising. Remember, every time you treat a low blood sugar with 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrate you take in unplanned and unnecessary calories. Individuals with frequent hypoglycemia tend to gain weight.


If you are following a diet for weight loss, you may find that your blood sugars reflect your efforts faster than the scale. This will reinforce your efforts and you’ll stick with your diet plan.


For those individuals on insulin, matching food to insulin by learning to carbohydrate count can give you flexibility in your meal plan and improve your blood sugars.  Remember too, if you are on insulin, when you check before each meal you’ll know if you gave yourself enough insulin at your prior meal. With this information you’ll be able to make the appropriate changes in your carbohydrate to insulin ratio if that’s the method you are using.  Testing frequently allows for what I refer to as “developing good clinical judgment”. Keeping blood sugars as close to normal through out the day relies on a combination of carbohydrate counting and good clinical judgment.


Last but not least when you test before each meal, if you find your blood sugar higher than your target blood sugar, you’ll have the opportunity to take extra insulin to bring it to target. This is called the supplemental rule.  For those individuals on insulin a combination of a carbohydrate ratio and a supplemental rule can mean better blood sugars and a feeling of being in control.

October 16th, 2007 by Monica | 1 Comment »

New Diabetes Medication Byetta Helps to Lose Weight

Byetta is a hard working new medication developed by the pharmaceutical company Lilly. It comes in a prefilled syringe that delivers a premeasured dose of a protein that can improve blood sugar control in adults with Type 2 Diabetes.

Byetta belongs in a new class of drugs for people with diabetes. These drugs have a similar affect on blood sugars, much like a very important hormone called glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1). Gastrointestinal hormones that are released after eating and stimulate insulin secretion are called incretins. GLP-1 is one of the major incretins, and a major player when it comes to blood sugar control.

GLP-1 lowers blood glucoses by increasing insulin secretion by the beta cells and reduces the secretion of the hormone glucagon. People with diabetes have abnormally high levels of glucagons secreted by the alpha cells of the pancreas. Glucagon is a hormone that increases the glucose that is produced by the liver contributing to high blood sugars both in the fasting state and after meals. At any given time blood sugars are the result of the food we eat and glucose produced by the liver.

Byetta also may have an affect on appetite, helping people to lose weight. Patients taking Byetta feel less hungry during the day and find themselves often snacking less and eating less at meals. The majority of patients on Byetta experience a weight loss and better blood sugar control. Some patients may be able to lower their medications or delay taking insulin.

The most common side effects of Byetta are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, feeling jittery, and an acid stomach. When first starting Byetta patients usually experience some nausea that goes away in time.

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can also occur from improved blood sugars. Medications may need to be adjusted to prevent low blood sugars. Frequent blood sugar monitoring can help prevent lows. You should discuss this medication with your physician. Byetta, oral medications, diet, and exercise can be a winning combination in your efforts to lose weight and improve your blood sugar control. Together with help from your doctor and diabetes dietitian, Byetta can help you lose weight and get your diabetes in better control.

Monica Joyce,MS,RD,CDE

September 17th, 2007 by Monica | 143 Comments »

True Lemon for Diabetics

A new diet product developed to give your food more flavor with no additional calories

-Provides consistent fresh lemon taste
-Is 100% all natural and has 0 calories and 0 carbs
-Has no artificial or natural sweeteners, preservatives or sodium
-Provides 25% of an adult’s daily Vitamin C requirements
-Encourages people to drink more water
-Is a flavorful and satisfying salt substitute

True Lemon is a great addition to a balanced diet, weight loss program, sodium-restricted diet or diabetes management plan and is perfect for patient trays. Now available in most major grocery stores and through foodservice distributors.

Toll-free at 866-885-3666 OR email professionals@truelemon.com
Visit www.truelemon.com for more information.

And to find out about True Lemon’s Healthy New Year Challenge check out www.truelemon.com/healthy4.html

May 3rd, 2006 by Jacqueline | 95 Comments »