Prediabetes story: getting a diagnosis of prediabetes, what I did and some great low-carb snack recipes!
- Today we will be talking about: Prediabetes and some great low-carb snack recipes!
- Questions we hope to answer:
- Getting diagnosed with prediabetes and what you can do about it?
- What are some of the items a person with prediabetes can eat?
- What are some great low-carb snack recipes?
Please note this blog and podcasts are not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual.
What is prediabetes and how many people have it?
- Having prediabetes means your blood glucose (or sugar) levels are higher than normal—but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. It can be called “early diabetes”.
- 86 million Americans now have Prediabetes, affects more than 38% of US adults —that’s 1 out of 3 adults! And of those 86 million, 9 out of 10 of them don’t even know they have it. Not all people with pre-diabetes will develop diabetes, but the majority will. In fact, up to 70% of those with pre-diabetes may acquire the diabetes over their lifetime.
- Almost 10% of America has diabetes when you then add the almost 40% of prediabetic together; that equals 50% or 1 out of every 2 Americans. So listen it up. It could be you.
- Having too much glucose in the blood stream can cause damage to your blood vessels and organs. Diabetes causes accelerated aging of the blood vessels and artery plaque. Complications include nerve damage, kidney disease, blindness, heart disease, stroke, hearing loss, and eye diseases like cataracts and glaucoma, etc.
- If you have prediabetes, join a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program. It can help you lose weight, become more active, and prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. To learn more about the diabetes prevention program, visit Research-Based Prevention Program
Melissa: My Prediabetes STORY
1. So tell us your journey of getting diagnosed?
- This is a personal story about my diagnosis of prediabetes.
- For years, I had some symptoms that correlated with diabetes but I just attributed it to my upcoming low thyroid diagnosis because both my sister and mom had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s which is an autoimmune thyroid disorder and I attributed my symptoms to that. I had symptoms of increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue; and getting the shakes if I didn’t eat right away. I also had carpal tunnel in both hands and tingling in my feet.
- Then I went to a specialist doctor for my thyroid who performed an A1C blood test and it came out high. I was in shock as my fasting glucose in the morning was always normal. But an A1C measures your average glucose levels over 3 months. I was told I am “prediabetic” and to cut back on sugar and carbs.
- I have to admit I did ignore the diagnosis for six months after my doctor told me because I kept saying why me? Why me? I thought I was pretty healthy: I am normal weight; I walk up to 6 miles a day; have good blood pressure and cholesterol numbers; I don’t eat sweets a lot; I ate only whole-grain carbs? Why me?
- So since I’m on a very analytical person, I researched as much as I possibly could on the disease, my symptoms and the complications. I don’t want to be a downer here but the complications are very serious which really woke me up to start to do something.
- All my reading led to the idea that I had to get my own glucose monitor and check it out myself. I got a free sample kit form my doctor’s office staff and started to test my blood glucose after meals. I was in for quite another shock—-just a bowl or 2 of whole grain cereal put my glucose level up to 200 mg/dl which is not good at all.
- From what I had read over 135 mg/dl can start to cause potential complications. Frequent and high after meal glucose readings contribute to the development and progression of metabolic disorders, like cardiovascular disease.
2. So what did you do about your prediabetes diagnosis?
- I researched information on what level your glucose should be at; what foods to eat; and how many carbs per meal. Carbohydrates raise your glucose levels the highest. Don’t only look at it as carbs per day, look at it as carbs per meal sitting. Next proteins raise your glucose numbers but usually a lower and a lot slower over time than carbs. Then fats hardly raise your glucose levels at all.
- So basically I use my blood sugar monitor (and it doesn’t hurt that much by the way) and started testing out different foods that were lower carb.
- What I didn’t equate before I was diagnosed was that organic whole-grain breads or cereals can raise your blood sugar as much as eating some chocolate cake. What I thought before, which was wrong, was that if I was eating whole grain then that was healthy. Well, its not healthy for everyone and too much can be a bad thing. For me, even half cup of oatmeal can raise my blood sugar too high.
- I also thought an apple was healthy. Well a big apple is about 25-35 grams of carbohydrates. Four grams of carbohydrate equals one teaspoon of sugar. So that is about 6-8 teaspoons of sugar in one large apple. Species of apples have been changed so much that they now are much larger and contain more sugar than the species your great grandparents ate off of the tree in their backyard.
- I knew I had to eat low-carb so I devise some breakfasts that wouldn’t raise my glucose more than 10 points. An example that worked was 2 scrambled eggs with cream cheese and a quarter piece of whole-grain high-fiber bread with some coconut oil spread and cinnamon. An example that did not work was 2 pancakes with eggs and a small glass of orange juice which raised my glucose up 90 points.
- So I devised these breakfast, lunch and dinner meal plans. For each, I figured out the foods and number of carb grams per meal. Based on my glucose numbers I basically could eat lots of low carb vegetables with some eggs, meats and fish with some diary fat.
3. So what do you eat?
- Now I only eat meals with limit of 15 carb grams per meal not including vegetables. To find out how many carb grams in your meals just go on any app like MyFitnessPal or LOSEIT. So the moto is EAT TO YOUR METER! This way you are listening to your own body.
- I increased my green vegetables to 8-10 cups a day whether in salads or shakes for lunch or as 2 sides for dinner. This means high nutrient lower carb vegetables: kale, spinach, watercress, cucumbers, romaine lettuces, green and yellow squash or zucchini; cabbage, chard, Brussel sprouts, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, snow peas, and mushrooms. Spices have a lot of nutrients so I use cinnamon/ parsley/ oregano/ rosemary/ thyme/ sage/ basil and cayenne powders.
- I eat some eggs, meat and small fish like sardines everyday. I use avocado oil to cook with as it can stand the highest heat without breaking down. In no-heat situations, like salads, I use only olive oil, coconut oil and grass-fed butter.
- I include seeds like chia, hemp, flax, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I include nuts like walnuts, almond butter, pecans, macadamia and hazel nuts. For fruit, I only eat limited berries, lemon, grapefruit, black olives and avocados. If you do eat fruit it should always be right after a mixed; don’t eat it by itself.
- I stopped eating all high carb foods (even whole grain) like processed crackers, bread, cakes, cookies, popcorn, pies, cereal, pancakes, waffles, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc. The only processed carbs I eat now are WASA 7-grain Light crackers, All-bran high fiber cereal and Nature’s Own Double-Fiber Wheat bread.
- For baking, I use almond flour and coconut flour. For sugar substitute, I use stevia powder that does not include maltodextrin. For cooking I use Truvia® which is stevia-leaf extract and erythritol.
- I have for “DESERTS” that include: almond milk, kefir, coconut milk, Greek yogurt full fat; sour cream full fat; brie cheese, blue cheese, cheese cream, and other cheeses.
- In these “DESERTS”, I try to recreate foods that are low carb. I bake my own almond/coconut flour crispy crackers & freeze chocolate avocado pudding and yesterday I made cheese pancakes. These recipes are all our website http://www.innovateology.com/episode-15-prediabetes/
4. What motivated you to change?
- Deep inside of me something changed. I am not going to eat anything that raises my sugar too high. Having too much glucose in the blood stream can cause damage to your blood vessels which increases your risk of complications.
- I just decided this was for the long term; it was not a quick fix. Those high glucose readings were like flipping a switch; pulling an emotional trigger inside for me that I am going to do this. This is the new me. This is the secret…change your mindset!
5. Can you suggest some low-carb snacks?
- Yes, I’ll go through some low-carb snacks or deserts I make. They are lower carb but higher in fat which does not raise your sugar very much.
- Again check with your doctor to see what you should eat and what your glucose target numbers should be.
Low-carb Chocolate Snack Recipes
Chocolate Energy Smoothie
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- ½ cup almond milk or cold water
- 2 tsp. unsweetened chocolate powder
- 2-4 tbsp. blueberries, fresh or frozen (optional)
- 2 tbsp. whey protein with stevia or another no sugar sweetener
- ¼ tsp or 2 dashes of vanilla extract
- 1/8 of banana
- Pinch of salt
Mix in high speed blender.
This drink gives me tons of energy for a few hours. I think it’s the coconut milk!
- Chocolate Seed/ Nut treat
- 1 bar 90% cocoa bar like Lindt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tsp butter
- 2 TBS cream (optional)
- 2 Truvia packets r other no-sugar sweetener
- Any seeds or nuts chopped up: Pumpkin seeds/ Sunflower seeds/ Chopped almonds/ Chopped pecan pieces
- Pinch of salt
Melt the chocolate in a double broiler pan on the stovetop. After just melted add the next 4 ingredients. Then pour the chocolate mixture into your bowl of seeds and nuts. Coat well. Put in the freezer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper either as cookie shapes or one big bar to be cut up after frozen.
Break it up and leave it in the freezer for some chocolate treats! Love it!
6. What is an action plan?
Actionable items are:
- Make sure your doctor does an A1C blood test to measure glucose over 3 months. A link is included to read about. Don’t be satisfied with just a fasting glucose test from your doctor. 1 out 3 people have prediabetes. It could be you.
- If you get diagnosed with prediabetes, get a free glucose meter to measure your levels. Eat by reading your glucose meter and setting limits by your numbers.
- Figure out your foods and meals that keep your blood glucose low. Write down how many grams of carbohydrates are in those foods and meals. Make up weekly chart of those meals you can eat.
- Change your mindset about your thinking about food and exercise and what is good for your body. Make sure you eat a lot of low-carb vegetables. Exercise by doing strength training to build muscle, take as many steps per day as you can and walk 10 minutes right after each meal. You can do it!
7. where can I get a copy of the low-carb snack recipes?
- Go to the website innovateology.com to find the a copy of the low carb snack recipes.
- Get an AIC test that measures your glucose nonfasting for average of 3 months:
This blog and podcasts are not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual.
The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.
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