Karen Chapman Novakovski - Associate Professor of Nutrition

About Diabetes
Food & Diabetes
Medications & Diabetes
Current Issue
En Español
Recommended Websites
Your Guide to Diet and Diabetes
Recipes for Diabetes
Fiesta of Flavors: Traditional Hispanic Recipes for People with Diabetes


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April 2006/ May 2006

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In This Issue

Diabetes -The Medical Perspective

Your blood glucose is a little high.  You’ve not been told you have diabetes, so should you be concerned?

Yes, you should be concerned if your blood glucose is even a little high.  A normal blood glucose is 100 mg/dL if the person has been fasting for 12 hours or more.  A blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dL is considered “pre-diabetes”.  Many would call this “a little high” or sometimes “borderline diabetes”.   

Although diabetes isn’t diagnosed until a fasting blood glucose level is above 125 mg/dL, having “pre-diabetes” with a blood glucose “a little high” is often followed with a diagnosis of diabetes.
Taking action while your blood glucose is in the pre-diabetes range, however, could mean preventing diabetes.  For most people with pre-diabetes this means losing weight through portion control and sensible eating.   People with pre-diabetes can bring their blood glucose levels back to a normal range with healthy eating, exercise, and weight loss.

Experts recommend that people who are overweight and have pre-diabetes lose 5 to 10% of their total body weight.  So if a person is 180 pounds that would be 9 to 18 pounds.  You may not be at an “ideal body weight” for your height, but even this much weight loss could help lower your blood glucose level.

Diabetes and Food

Many people who are overweight eat in response to stress or boredom.  In fact, most people don’t eat because they are truly hungry.  Many eat because it is time for a meal or a way to socialize. 

All of these reasons for eating other than hunger can be barriers to weight loss.  To overcome these barriers, first think about why you ate everything you ate yesterday.  It may have been tempting, it may have just been available, or you may have wanted to not waste the leftovers.  To be successful in losing weight you’ll need to plan strategies to overcome these barriers.

Keeping a food diary may help you become more aware of what and why you are eating.  It is often helpful to consult with a registered dietitian (RD).  The RD can help plan strategies to overcome your own personal barriers to losing weight.  Together you can make a meal plan to fit your life.

To locate a nutrition professional in your area, visit the American Dietetic Association’s website www.eatright.org.  Click on the “Find a Nutrition Professional” link in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Exercise as a Part of Living

The American Diabetes Association suggests walking as a good form of exercise for people who have diabetes and have not been particularly active before. It may be difficult to start, but each step counts!

You don’t need to begin your new activity program with a goal of 30 minutes of activity on most days.  Starting with just 10 minutes of walking each day may be the best way to gradually build up your activity.  Make a goal to walk for 10 minutes after lunch each day.  Once you’ve met your goal, increase the walking time to 15 minutes or walking after dinner as well.

Remember to talk to your health care team before starting any new physical activity routine to make sure you have no other complications that have to be considered.  Even for walking, stretching before you begin can add flexibility and improve your walking stride.

Your feet are a very important part of your physical activity program.  Check your feet for sores or blisters before and after walking.  Make sure your shoes fit well, and enjoy the walk!

Recipes To Try

Basque Chicken   

6 servings

1.6 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons minced onion
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano

  1. Combine all ingredients for seasoning in plastic container with lid.  Add chicken and shake to coat.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours, shaking several times to coat chicken with seasoning.
  2. Add oil to non-stick skillet. Add chicken and cook to brown.  Add about 2 tablespoons water and cover to steam until chicken is done, about 20 minutes.

Per serving:

Calories 218
Fat 6 grams
Protein 36 grams
Calories from fat 25%
Carbohydrate 3 grams
Cholesterol 93 grams
Fiber 0 gram
Sodium 77 mg

Yogurt Berry Parfait

4 servings

2 graham crackers (8 sections)                                  

1 cup non-fat yogurt sweetened with low calorie sweetener
1 bag frozen berries, unsweetened (about 2-1/4 cups)
1 cup fat free whipped topping

  1. Place graham crackers in a sealed bag or between sheets of waxed paper. Roll crackers to make crumbs.
  2. Defrost frozen berries by rinsing with water, or microwaving according to instructions on bag.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs in bottom of parfait or wine glass. Spoon ¼ cup yogurt, then one-fourth of berries into each of 4 glasses.Add ¼ cup topping and sprinkle with remaining graham cracker crumbs.
  4. Per serving (1 slice):

Per Serving:

Calories 120
Fat 1 grams
Protein 3 grams
Calories from fat 6%
Carbohydrate 25 grams
Cholesterol 1 gram
Fiber 3 grams
Sodium 86 mg

Medication Update

Avandaryl is a new oral hypoglycemic medication for people with type 2 diabetes.  It is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and became available in January.

Avandaryl is a combination drug – one that has two previously used medications in one dose.  Avandaryl combines glimepiride and rosiglitazone (a sulfonylurea class of medication with a thiazolidinedione class of medication).  This way Avandaryl can stimulate the pancreas to release insulin while at the same time make the muscle cells more sensitive to insulin.

Avandaryl is not approved for use with insulin and may not be a good choice for everyone.  Potential side effects could include hypoglycemia (low blood glucose), fatigue, weight gain, and macular edema.  Your doctor will have to check your heart and liver function before prescribing this drug.

News & Resources

The incidence of diabetes increases every day, affecting not only those who may have diabetes, but also those who care for, live with, and work with people with diabetes. This site focuses primarily on the role that diet plays in the treatment of adults with diabetes. Food can have a significant impact on the successful management of diabetes. Meal management can be very confusing.  A new Extension website www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/diabetes2/ has been developed to help people be successful with meal management.

The Weight-control Information Network is a website that provides the general public, health professionals, the media, and Congress with up-to-date, science-based information on weight control, obesity, physical activity, and related nutritional issues.  One of the available publications Choosing a Safe and Successful Weight Loss Program can be a great resource for those with pre-diabetes.  Visit the website win.niddk.nih.gov/index.htm and choose the link “publications”.

About Diabetes | Food & Diabetes | Medications & Diabetes | Current Issue | Archive | En Español

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