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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June/July 2009

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In This Issue

Diabetes - The Medical Perspective

Many people with type 2 diabetes can manage their blood glucose with lifestyle changes like eating differently and exercising more. For others, an oral medication is needed. If the blood glucose targets can’t be reached by either of these methods, insulin may be needed to manage blood glucose.

There are many kinds of insulin to choose from, and your doctor will make a decision about which type of insulin should be right for you. It may also be a good idea to read about the insulin choices yourself.

To help with this, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality wrote a guide for consumers about pre-mixed insulins. Pre-mixed insulin combines 2 kinds of insulin, a longer acting insulin and a shorter acting insulin. The longer acting insulin helps maintain blood glucose within a target range throughout the day and is sometimes called basal insulin. The shorter acting insulin helps maintain a good blood glucose level at mealtime or with snacks. This type is sometimes called bolus insulin.

The guidebook is funded by the US government to look at how well pre-mixed insulins compare in terms of effectiveness in controlling blood glucose, any side effects, and cost. It is available at http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/repFiles/Insulin_Consumer_Web.pdf.

They also have published a guidebook for oral medications for type 2 diabetes called “Pills for Type 2 Diabetes: A Guide for Adults”. This guidebook is available at www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov.

Staying informed about your medications is an important part of staying healthy.

Diabetes and Food

Have you heard about using high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and gaining weight? A 12-ounce can of cola sweetened with HFCS contains about 140 calories, for example. Drinking two of these every day could cause a 1-pound gain every two weeks – or about 26 pounds in a year. The key is to keep the calories you eat balanced with the physical activity you do.

Sports drinks and sweetened tea may also contain HFCS, as well as some desserts. The term “added sugars” includes HFCS as well as sucrose (table sugar), honey, or glucose. In 2004 added sugars accounted for 32 percent of carbohydrate intake. The Institute of Medicine recommends no more than 25 percent of calories come from added sugars because people with higher intakes tend to have a diet poorer in other nutrients.

In 2008, after reviewing the evidence, both the American Medical Association and the American Dietetic Association issued statements that they found that HFCS does not appear to be more likely than other added sugars in promoting obesity. The key is to balance calories with physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.

Medication Update

A new medication for type 2 diabetes was approved by the FDA this month. The drug Cycloset is made by VeroScience, Inc. The medication has been used in a 1-year study to demonstrate its safety and effectiveness. It helps to lower blood glucose and has not had any negative heart health effects.

The company says that the drug may be used along or together with other hypoglycemic medications. The drug affects blood glucose differently than other medications, although the exact way it does this is not known. Scientists do know that the drug works with a chemical messenger between nerve cells, increasing its activity. Low activity of this chemical messenger, called dopamine, has been associated with metabolic disease states.

All medications can have side effects. The side effects of Cycloset include developing low blood pressure and fainting and nausea. For more information about Cycloset, talk to your doctor, or read about the drug at http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00377676.

Recipes To Try

Herbed Brussels Sprouts
1 serving, 5 servings per recipe

  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen petite Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, add 2 tablespoons water and Brussels sprouts. Cover. Heat on high 8 to10 minutes.
  2. Mix mustard powder and ground cumin together. Sprinkle on sprouts.

Nutrition facts per serving:
Calories 38
Fat .4 gram
Protein 3 grams
Calories from fat 9%
Carbohydrate 7 grams
Cholesterol 0 mg
Fiber 3 grams
Sodium 9 mg

Chocolate Almond Biscotti
14 servings, 1 piece each

  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • non-stick baking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place foil on baking sheet and spray with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Combine almonds, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Combine Splenda, eggs, and flavorings. Combine the two mixtures.
  3. Form 2 logs about 5 inches long and place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.  
  4. Cut each log into 7 diagonal slices. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.

Nutrition facts per serving:
Calories 77
Fat 3g
Protein 3 gram
Calories from fat 39%
Carbohydrate 9 grams
Cholesterol 30 mg
Fiber 1 gram
Sodium 83 mg

Menu Suggestions



2 servings Chocolate Almond Biscotti* 

1 starch

1 boiled egg

1 meat

1 grapefruit

1 starch

1 cup skim milk

1 milk

387 calories, 50 grams carbohydrate


2 cups Chef salad with 1 ounce each turkey, cheese

2 meats, 1 starch, 1 vegetable 

2 bread sticks 1/2 starch
2 tablespoons low fat dressing  1 fat
1 cup sliced peaches 2 fruit 
1 cup skim milk   1 milk 

380 calories, 54 grams carbohydrate


3 ounces lean pork chop, broiled 3 meats
1 cup rice pilaf 2 starches 
1/2 cup Herbed Brussels Sprouts* 1 vegetable
1 cup fruit cocktail, extra light syrup  1 fruit
1 cup skim milk  1 milk 
578 calories, 74 grams carbohydrate

Total: 1,588 calories, 231 grams carbohydrates

Meals may also include a calorie-free beverage (diet soda, tea, coffee, etc.)

*Visit http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/ and http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/diabetesrecipes/ for recipes in the menu above.

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

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