Controlling Diabetes the Natural Way

There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be treated effectively through a combination of diet, exercise and the proper medication. While Type II diabetes can initially be controlled through diet and exercise alone, Type I diabetes
requires insulin as well as diet and exercise modifications.

Make Exercise Part of Your Program: Exercise is an essential part of treatment for anyone, and typically lowers blood glucose by increasing the need for glucose by the muscles. Try to make exercise part of your overall routine. By choosing activities you enjoy, you will be motivated to engage in them more frequently and make them part of your lifestyle.

Exercise Guidelines For The Diabetic: Before mild to moderate exercise, eat a high-carbohydrate snack such as peanut butter, fruit or yogurt. Always take some form of complex sugar along when you exercise. If you feel dizzy or confused, stop exercising and take some form of healthy sugar immediately. Try to work out with others and let them know you have diabetes so they know what to do if problems occur.

Simple Ways To Cook Healthier And Diabetes-Friendly
: For diabetics with a sweet tooth who like to cook but want to avoid sugar, diet sweeteners are marketed as your answer. But don't waste a lot of time and ingredients baking with the chemical sweeteners when you can bake healthier using modified natural ingredients. And as a diabetic, focus on "trading off" your meals.

When you have diabetes or if you simply want to avoid diabetes, your nutrition goal should include eating low-fat, low-cholesterol foods and meals, minus the invasion of chemicals found in the various diabetic food products. Typically in today's society, some of your favorite foods might not fit this mold. But don't get frustrated: they can with an easy adjustment. Whether it's an ingredient substitution (a natural one, that is) or a different cooking technique, the result can taste better than you ever 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. Marinating your meat not only tenderizes, but also adds flavor. Different marinades include Bragg's®, broths, citrus juices not from concentrate, vinegars, and herbs and spices.

- GRILL- Grilling intensifies flavors, concentrating the food's natural flavors due to 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 opposed to French fries, homemade whole-wheat tortilla chips, and breaded chicken.

You Don't Have To Give Up Baking If You Have Diabetes: These natural baking tips are not only great for people of all ages with diabetes, but they are a healthy way to satisfy a child's sweet-tooth with juvenile diabetes, for those with Adult Onset diabetics controlled exclusively by diet, and for people without diabetes. All these tips are to remind you that diabetics can enjoy food without artificial sweeteners. And, baking for children with diabetes using natural ingredients opposed to chemicals secures their long-term health and teaches them proper eating habits 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 non-fat equivalents with little change in taste or texture, such as:

1. Replace whole milk with fat-free, low-fat, soy or rice milk.
2. For regular sour cream, substitute buttermilk, low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt, or low-fat sour cream.
3. Replace cream cheese with low-fat cream cheese.
4. 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 any form of sugar.)
5. Another way to add flavor without fat is by adding citrus peel, 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.

1. For every ounce of melted unsweetened chocolate, substitute three tablespoons of cocoa powder dissolved in two tablespoons of water, mixed with one tablespoon of prune puree.
2. When using cocoa, dissolving it first in warm water enhances the cocoa flavor, making it stronger.
3. To replace semisweet chocolate with cocoa, add between three and five tablespoons of raw sugar to keep the sweetness in balance.

- COOKIES AND BARS
1. Melt the butter. You can reduce the amount of butter in a recipe ay 1/2 by melting the butter before adding it to the other ingredients. This lowers the amount of fat, and the butter "goes farther."
2. Use fruit in place of butter. Replace 1/2 cup of butter with an equal amount of applesauce or another fruit puree.
3. Cut back on nuts. Walnuts, almonds, and other nuts 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 while using a lesser amount.
4. Replace some or all the nuts in your recipe with toasted rolled oats.
5. 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.
6. Go easy on the chocolate chips, which contain a good amount of fat and sugar. (Check with your doctor about the chips,)
7. Automatically reduce the amount of chocolate chips to about 1/2 of what the recipe calls for.
8. Substitute miniature chips for the full-size chocolate chips.
9. 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:

1. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight opposed to room temperature, and it will be easier to separate the papery leaves.
2. Keep the leaves well wrapped until you're 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.
3. Stack the phyllo four or five layers deep, and lightly flick melted butter on the stack with a pastry brush to provide moisture.
4. To cut back on fat, add some cold pressed seed oil to the melted butter.

No matter what kind of illness, disease, or condition you might have, you are not your disease. With the many healthy, nutritional alternatives available, remember to think of yourself as a person with diabetes; you are not the
diabetes. May this information help you restore control of this disease - chemically-free!

Posted April 2005 | Permanent Link

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