For people living with diabetes who want to learn more about how to make healthy food choices that fit their lifestyle and taste, it can be tough to make out fact from fiction with so much conflicting information in the media. The American Diabetes Association reviews the latest research looking at what is safe and works well for people at risk or living with diabetes. Studies show there are many different eating patterns that can be helpful in managing diabetes. In the long run, the eating pattern that you can follow and sustain that meets your own diabetes goals will be the best option for you.  

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It’s what we all did naturally, even until thirty to forty years ago. Your mom knew what she was taking about when she asked you to stay away from that evening snack. She said it so that you didn’t spoil your appetite for dinner! Sadly, with increased affluence and easy availability of processed foods, the fad of eating six small meals a day to stave off cravings has become popular. Eating frequent meals keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels consistently high. If you keep giving your body food, it has no incentive to burn fat. Stick to three meals a day at the most, with a clear 10-12 hour fasting period between dinner and breakfast. Intermittent fasting improves insulin sensitivity and helps you reverse your prediabetes really quickly.

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Islet Cell Cytoplasmic Autoantibodies (ICA)—Islet cells are clusters of cells in the pancreas that sense blood glucose levels and dole out insulin accordingly. This test looks at the reaction between islet cell antibodies from humans and a variety of islet cell proteins (including beta cells) from an animal pancreas, says Laffel. If your antibodies react with the animal islet cells, you have a marker for type 1. This is the oldest type 1 antibody test, and is not used as frequently today.

Weight loss: Dropping extra pounds can help. While losing 5% to 10% of your body weight is good, losing 7% and keeping it off seems to be ideal. That means someone who weighs 180 pounds can change their blood sugar levels by losing around 13 pounds. Weight loss can seem overwhelming, but portion control and eating healthy foods are a good place to start.
Large changes in your blood glucose levels over the past month will show up in your A1C test result, but the A1C test doesn’t show sudden, temporary increases or decreases in blood glucose levels. Even though A1C results represent a long-term average, blood glucose levels within the past 30 days have a greater effect on the A1C reading than those in previous months.
The carbohydrates are balanced throughout the day with each meal containing 2-3 carb servings (30-45 grams of carbohydrates) and each snack containing around 1 carb serving (15 grams of carbohydrates). The calorie and carbohydrate totals are listed next to each meal and snack so you can swap foods with similar nutrition in and out as you like. Eating with diabetes doesn't need to be difficult—choose a variety of nutritious foods, as we do in this diet meal plan, and add in daily exercise for a healthy and sustainable approach to managing diabetes.
Along with the hemoglobin A1c test, it's important for people with diabetes to have a dilated eye exam at least once a year as part of a complete eye exam. This important test can detect early signs of retinopathy, which may have no symptoms at first. A foot exam once or twice a year -- or at every doctor's visit -- is also imperative to detect decreased circulation and sores that may not be healing. Early detection of eye and foot problems in diabetes allows your doctor to prescribe proper treatment when it is most effective.

High blood sugar and high blood pressure can do a number on the tiny blood vessels in your eyes, but the damage can be prevented if your doctor spots it early. The best way to do that? A yearly dilated eye exam. With the help of eyedrops that enlarge your pupils for a short time, your eye doctor will examine the inside of your eyes for signs of leaky blood vessels. It's a painless test, but you won't be able to see clearly for a few hours afterward.
Thiazolidenediones can increase risk of heart failure and should not be used in patients with symptoms of heart failure. Liver enzymes should be checked regularly with use. Other side effects include weight gain, fatigue, swelling of the legs or ankles, increased risk for fractures in female patients. Avandia may have a potential increased risk for heart attack.
When Ellis was first diagnosed, his A1c results were 7.2%. Now, after following his doctor's prescription of a healthy diet and plenty of exercise (Ellis spends 30 minutes on a stationary bike every night while he watches TV), his A1c levels are in the 6% range. Instead of having an A1c test every 3 months, the recommended norm for people with diabetes, Ellis goes in every 6 months.
There’s more to diabetes than just cutting back on sugar. The misconception that eating sugar causes diabetes is far from the truth. The real culprit is simple carbohydrates that break down into sugars upon ingestion. Inactivity and a poor metabolism also play a significant role, which is why you need to clean up all your lifestyle choices and lose weight.
Portion control comes naturally when you choose the right grains, proteins and fats. You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight if you’re eating the right kind of food. However, eating in moderation never hurt anyone, even if they have to make a conscious effort at it in the beginning. Eat the right foods to regulate satiety, but eat slowly and chew your food well. That way, your brain has a chance to let you know when you’re full. If you gobble your food in no time, you mess up your digestion and eat a lot more than you need to.
The simple meals and snacks in this 7-day meal plan feature some of the best foods for diabetes: complex carbohydrates (think whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables), lean protein and healthy fats. We limited refined carbohydrates (like white bread, white pasta and white rice) as well as added sugars, which can spike your blood sugar quickly. We've also cut back on saturated fats and sodium, as they can negatively impact your health if you eat too much. What we definitely didn't skimp on is flavor. The meals and snacks in this diet plan feature fresh ingredients and plenty of herbs and spices that add flavor without adding extra sodium. You can plan to eat well over the course of this weekly meal plan. 
Your doctor will ask you to fast overnight and then drink a sweet liquid with 75 grams of glucose. Two hours later, a sample of your blood will be taken and sent for analysis. The normal levels are less than 140 mg/dL after two hours. If you have a level of 200 mg/dL or higher after two hours, then it means you have diabetes. Prediabetes means having levels at 140 to 199 mg/dL after two hours.5
Pramlintide is only appropriate for certain people with diabetes who use insulin and are having problems maintaining their blood sugar levels. Because of the potential for severe hypoglycemia with the use of pramlintide is with insulin, adjustments to insulin dosage and more frequent glucose monitoring may be necessary. Insulin and pramlintide should not be mixed in the same syringe.

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Although support groups aren't for everyone, they can be good sources of information. Group members often know about the latest treatments and tend to share their own experiences or helpful information, such as where to find carbohydrate counts for your favorite takeout restaurant. If you're interested, your doctor may be able to recommend a group in your area.

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