Diabetes runs in my family. My brother has Type 1, my cousin has Type 2. I’ve managed to escape the disease, but I know first hand from watching my brother inject insulin since he was a little kid the toll it can take on your body and your life. If you want more information about Diabetes click here.
Diabetics can eat sugar. In fact, my brother eats whatever he wants so long as his insulin levels are managed correctly. But, not every diabetic can do that. Some need to be incredibly strict with their diets. Most people don’t know that it’s not the sugar that causes diabetes though. According to the American Diabetes Association, the biggest dietary risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes is simply eating too much and being overweight — your body doesn’t care if the extra food comes from cookies or beef, it is gaining weight that is the culprit. What’s most important is that diabetics or people at risk for diabetes eat a healthy well-balanced diet that limits sugars and carbohydrates which raise blood glucose.
Even though the American Diabetes Association says that sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes, there have been recent studies alleging that sugar is toxic. And they’re not just talking about table sugar, but high fructose corn syrup, drinks and processed foods that have tons of hidden sugars. Learn About Nutrition With Me is a great blog that recently posted a blog about the best and worst sugars/sweeteners to have in your kitchen.
I’m more of a salty person than a sweet person so it’s not that hard for me to cut out sugar from my diet but even I can’t say no to the occasional cookie. BUT, I’ve noticed that the more I cut back on added sugars, the better naturally sweet foods like fruit taste. In fact, there are a lot of things that I can no longer eat because they taste too artificially sweet (like some yogurts with sugar and fruit added).
Disclaimer: Diabetes is a very personalized disease – what one diabetic can eat, another may not be able to eat without a spike in insulin. My recipes labeled Diabetes-Friendly generally have very low levels of sugars and simple carbs and include lean proteins, but that doesn’t mean they are right for everyone. I do know that the best way to prevent Type 2 diabetes is a well-balanced diet that focuses on fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. I have plenty of recipes that fit that bill such as my Roast Cod Wrapped in Prosciutto with Vine Tomatoes. Click here for more Diabetes-Friendly recipes.