There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be treated effectively using a combination of diet, exercise, and the proper medication.
Type II diabetes can initially be controlled through diet and exercise alone, but Type I diabetes requires insulin, as well as a strict diet and exercise adjustments.
One thing we do know, life can still be sweet without artificial sweeteners, especially if you are diabetic.
So, ditch the artificial sweetener substitutes (saccharin is an exception only if nothing else is available), and learn to be satisfied using stevia or no added sweeteners at all.
Make Exercise Part of Your Program
Exercise is essential for anyone, and exercise typically lowers blood glucose by increasing the need for glucose in the muscles. Just because you have diabetes, don’t avoid exercise as a consistent part of your overall routine. Choose activities that you enjoy, and stay motivated to engage in them frequently, making them part of your lifestyle.
Before mild to moderate exercise, eat a carbohydrate snack such as nut butter, fruit, or yogurt (not sugar-free). Always bring a complex sugar with you when you exercise. If you feel dizzy or confused, stop exercising and eat a form of healthy sugar immediately.
Try to work out with others and let them know that you have diabetes so they will know what to do if problems arise.
Simple Ways To Cook Healthier + Sweet
Diet sweeteners are marketed to diabetics with a sweet tooth and who like to cook. Don’t waste time or ingredients baking with chemical sweeteners when you can bake healthier using modified, natural ingredients. As a diabetic, focus on “trading off” your meals.
Your nutrition goal should include eating low-fat, low-cholesterol foods, minus the invasion of chemicals found in pre-packaged, diabetic products. Typically these days, many of your favorite foods might not fit this mold, but don’t get frustrated – they can with some adjustment.
Whether it’s an ingredient substitution, or a different cooking technique, the result can taste better than you imagined without using chemical sweeteners. Best of all, you’ll feel really good knowing that you’re taking care of your diabetes while you’re enjoying real food!
Try these “chemical free” suggestions:
MARINATE TO ADD FLAVOR – Lean meats are less tender and much drier than fatty meats, but the fat must be avoided in the diabetic diet because of the high carb content. Marinating your meat not only tenderizes, but adds flavor that can cut the carbs. Different marinades include Bragg’s®, broths, citrus juices not from concentrate, vinegars, and herbs and spices.
GRILLING – Grilling intensifies flavors, concentrating the food’s natural taste from the high heat. Instead of sautéing your vegetables, try marinating and grilling them.
“FRY” IN THE OVEN – Baking at high heat creates the same results as frying, but without as much fat. This works best with oven-fried potatoes as opposed to French fries, homemade whole-wheat tortilla chips, and breaded chicken.
DON’T GIVE UP BAKING – These natural baking tips are great for everyone, and they are an especially healthy way to satisfy a diabetic child’s sweet-tooth.
Let me reiterate that diabetics can enjoy sweet food without artificial sweeteners. And, baking for children with diabetes using natural ingredients instead of noxious chemicals secures long-term health and teaches your young healthier eating habits they can pay-forward as they mature.
Try these natural solutions for baking:
– USE FRUIT PUREE INSTEAD OF BUTTER – Replace butter or shortening with an equal amount of fruit puree. You can replace up to half the butter with puree without noticing the difference.
When making chocolate desserts, prune puree is the best. Soften prunes briefly in hot water, drain, puree with a mixer or food processor until smooth. Or use baby-food prunes.
– USE NATURAL LOW-FAT SUBSTITUTES – Many cake ingredients can be replaced with low-fat and no-fat equivalents with little change in taste or texture, such as:
- Use low-fat soy or rice milk substituted for whole milk;
- For regular sour cream, substitute buttermilk, low-fat plain yogurt, or low-fat sour cream;
- Replace cream cheese with low-fat cream cheese;
- Flavored sugar adds extra taste to any recipe without adding any fat. To make flavored sugar, press a vanilla bean into a jar of raw sugar and let it stand for two weeks. (Note: check with your doctor first before using raw sugar.)
- Add citrus peel for flavor, adding generous amounts of cinnamon, cloves, and other favorite baking spices.
– REPLACE CHOCOLATE WITH COCOA – When you want the taste of chocolate without the carbs from fat, use cocoa, which contains a very small amount of fat, and :
- For every ounce of melted unsweetened chocolate, substitute three tablespoons of cocoa powder dissolved in two tablespoons of water; mix with one tablespoon of prune puree;
- When using cocoa, first dissolve it in warm water to enhance the cocoa flavor, which makes it stronger;
- To replace semisweet chocolate with cocoa, add between three to five tablespoons of raw sugar to keep the sweetness in balance.
– COOKIES AND BARS
- Melt butter. You can reduce the amount of butter in a recipe by 1/2 by melting the butter before adding the other ingredients. This lowers the amount of fat, and the butter “goes farther”;
- Use fruit in place of butter. Replace 1/2 cup butter with an equal amount of applesauce or another fruit puree;
- Cut back on nuts. Walnuts, almonds, and other nuts that are high in fat can go a long way if you simply reduce the amount by 1/2. Chopping the nuts also makes the flavor stronger and uses a lesser amount;
- Replace some or all the nuts in your recipe with toasted rolled oats;
- Toasting nuts before adding them gives them extra flavor. To toast, place nuts in a dry nonstick skillet over medium heat. Toast while shaking the skillet for three to five minutes until golden;
- Go easy on the chocolate chips, which contain a good amount of fat and sugar. (Check with your doctor about the chocolate chips,) Reduce the amount of chocolate chips to about 1/2 of what the recipe calls for;
- Substitute miniature chips for the full-size chocolate chips;
- Replace some of the chocolate chips with dried apricots or raisins.
– PIES – Fight the fat in pies with phyllo (or filo), which is low in fat (as long as you don’t slather on the butter, that is). Phyllo is found in the freezer section of grocery stores, resembles strudel dough, and is a great replacement for traditional piecrusts. It is fragile, nonetheless, and tends to break apart rather than flake, so here are some tips on how to handle phyllo:
- Defrost in the refrigerator overnight as opposed to room temperature, making it easier to separate the papery leaves;
- Keep the leaves well wrapped until you are ready to use them. Unroll and cover the stack with plastic wrap under a damp kitchen towel. This prevents the dough from drying and cracking;
- Stack the phyllo four or five layers deep, and lightly flick melted butter on the stack with a pastry brush to provide moisture;
- To cut back on fat, add some cold pressed seed oil to the melted butter.
Remember that you are not your disease. Think of yourself as a person WITH diabetes; you are not THE diabetes.