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From Surviving to Thriving
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Prehistoric Workout
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Support During Labour
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Introduction
Managing Your Pain
Movement Matters
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Returning to Work
Understanding and Goal Setting
When Pain Doesn't End
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Antibiotics and Dental Surgery
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
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The Smile You Want
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Smiling through the Senior Years
Teeth for Life
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Tobacco Risks to Oral Health
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Your Healthy Smile
DIABETES
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10,000 Steps
A1C Test
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Alchohol and Diabetes
A Diabetes Success Story
ABCs of Diabetes Management
Alternate Site Testing
Artery Health
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Benefits of Insulin
Benefits of Breakfast
Blood Glucose Medications
Blood Glucose Myths
Blood Glucose Testing
Blood Glucose Testing Tips
Blood Sugar Lows
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Canada Food Guide Revisited
Carbohydrate Counting
Catastrophic Drug Plan
CDA Guidelines for Diabetes
Celiac Disease and Diabetes
Childhood Diagnosis of Diabetes
Children and Type 2 Diabetes
Cholesterol-lowering Medications
Colds and Diabetes
Constipation
Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring
Cutting Edge
Debunking Diabetes Myths
Driving and Diabetes
Diabetes and Menopause
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Diabetes Care Team
Diabetes and Celiac
Diabetes and Depression
Diabetes Diet
Diabetes Eating on a Shoestring Budget
Diabetes Etiquette
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Diabetes and Your Mouth
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Diabetes in Cats
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Diabetes Management ABCs
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Diabetes Myths
Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic Retinopathy
Diet Tips for South Asians
Dining Out
Drinking and Diabetes
The Discovery of Insulin
Eating Disorders
Easing the Strain of Stress
Eating to Protect Your Kidneys
Eggs in a Diabetic Diet
Emotional Eating
Emotions of Diabetes Diagnosis
Erectile Dysfunction
Exercise Excuses
Why Fad Diets Fail
Fats
Fibre
Fill Your Day with Energy
Financial Support for Diabetes
Food Temptation
Foot Care
Footwear and Foot Health
Fruits and Veggies
Gastroparesis
Gestational Diabetes
Get Active
Get Physical
Gift Ideas
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Loads
The Glycemic Index
Going Green in the Kitchen
Grocery Shopping Tips
Guidelines for Diabetes Management
Holiday Party Survival Guide
Health Information on the 'Net
Healthy Happy Holidays
Healthy Beverage Choices
Health Benefits of Soy
Healthy Restaurant Meals
High Blood Pressure and Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
HbA1c Test
Healthy Eating for Active People
High Blood Lipids
Home from the Hospital
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Hypoglycemic Unawareness
Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Immunization & Diabetes
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Injecting Insulin
Insulin Discovery-The Story
Insulin
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Insulin - the Key to Energy Management
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Ketones
Kidney Disease - Reducing the Risk
Living with Diagnosis of Diabetes
Living Powerfully with Diabetes
Low Blood Glucose
Managing Diabetes
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Nutrition Food Labels
Meal Planning
Your Medication Expert
Medication Research Studies
Metabolic Syndrome
Microalbuminuria
New Diabetes Technologies
Natural Medicines and Diabetes
No Need for Insulin?
Not Snoozing
Over-the-Counter Medications
Oral Health and Diabetes
Osteoporosis and Diabetes
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Pedicure Precautions
Peripheral Arterial Disease
Pet Diabetes
Planning for Pregnancy
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Preparing for Activity
Putting off Insulin
Reducing Stress of Surgery
Safe and Successful Travel
Schizophrenia and Diabetes
Sensible Snacking
Setting Health Goals
Setting Goals for Physical Activity
Sharps Disposal
Shorter Insulin Needles
Sleep - a Missing Link
Smart Snacking
Smart Summer Nutrition
Snack Bars
Snacking with Diabetes
Sodium
Social Media & Diabetes
Solving the Insurance Puzzle
Stress and Diabetes
Success in School
Supplements
Supporting Spouse with Diabetes
Sweeteners
Sugar, Carbs and Blood Glucose Control
Think Positive with Diabetes
Tiny Bites Equal Big Calories
Traveling with Diabetes
Tips for a Better You
Tobacco Use and Diabetes
Top 10 Reasons to Exercise
Treating Low Blood Glucose
Treating Hypoglycemia - Role of Glucagon
Tune up Your Diet
Type 1.5 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes Medications
Understanding Ketones
Used Sharps
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Vegetarian Eating for Diabetes
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World Diabetes Day
Your Medicine Cupboard
Zimbabwe Hand Jive
Family Medicine
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ADHD in Children
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Back Pain Myths
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Energy Drinks
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Food for Active Kids
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Healthy Diet, Healthy Smile
Healthy Eating for Boomers and Zoomers
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Healthy Eating on Business Travel
Healthy Ethnic Meals
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Fruits & Veggies - 5-10 a Day
Fats
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Feeding Your Kids
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Food Chemistry 101
Food and Mood
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Healthy Eating for Teens
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Managing Diabetes Magazine - diabetes

Fill your Day with Energy!
Start right and stay SMART

In today’s fast-paced world, eating well is often a low priority. We constantly try to balance work, family, school, friends and daily commitments. It can be hard to prepare nutritious meals on a tight schedule. Still, we need to eat regularly and choose a variety of nutritious foods. A healthy diet boosts energy, and fights off infections, colds and other illnesses. It helps your body function effectively. Whether you have diabetes or not, eating well is necessary to remain healthy. Setting SMART goals for eating can help you develop a good diet – the foundation for diabetes control.

The dietary recommendations suggested for people with diabetes are very similar to those for people without it.

Start with breakfast

Do you skip breakfast? You are not alone! Skipping breakfast is common for many people. However, adding food into the start of your daily schedule benefits you in many ways.

Eating breakfast does not have to mean eating typical foods like cereal and toast. Would you prefer to eat a piece of pizza, leftovers from supper, or a sandwich? Anything goes, as long as your choices are healthy and you have a reasonable portion size. Whatever you choose, include foods from three of the four food groups from Canada’s Food Guide.

If you find fitting in a sit-down breakfast tough, try some of these quick ‘on-the-go’ meals.

Most of these quick meals only provide two out of the four food groups. They are not fully balanced in providing the variety of vitamins and minerals that a meal containing three or four food groups might. However, eating something as you start your day and making healthy choices is most important. You can make up the missing food group by adding a beverage to the meal, or having a mid-morning snack.

Sugar-free and diabetic foods
How do they fit?

For people with diabetes, ‘sugar-free’ foods may help reduce the total amount of carbohydrate (sugar) eaten. Such foods include diet pop, sugar-free candies and chocolates, and diet yogurt, gelatin and pudding. Some of these foods may not add any sugar (or carbohydrate) to affect your blood glucose.

Foods marked ‘sugar-free’ may not have added sugar, but still contain a natural sugar source that changes blood glucose. Other products are just reduced in total carbohydrate in comparison to the regular version. Both of these can impact your blood glucose levels.

Diabetic foods are similar to sugar-free foods. They have been changed so that they do not contain as much added sugar, or have a different form of sweetener. Sugar alcohols like mannitol, xylitol, lactilol, and sorbitol are often the sweetener used. While this sweetener does not affect blood glucose as much as white or brown sugar, it still increases it. Diabetic food items can often be more expensive to buy and may cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea if eaten in too large a quantity.

Some sugar-free or diabetic products can be good choices as part of a diabetes meal plan. However, it is a mistake to think that they are a ‘free’ food that does not affect blood glucose. If you choose to use these items, remember that a carbohydrate (sugar) is a carbohydrate is a carbohydrate. The total amount of sugar coming from your meal is the key factor in your blood glucose control, not just the source of the sugar.

Most of the foods we eat break down into sugar. This includes breads, cereals, fruits, some vegetables, milk and yogurt. Including these foods every day gives your body the nutrients to stay healthy and function properly. The portions you eat at any one time will make the most difference to the rise in your blood glucose one to two hours later.

Less healthy, sugary or non-nutritious foods can be a part of your diet. However, be sure you are building a strong foundation with the nutritious foods from Canada’s Food Guide. Enjoy the others as an occasional treat.

Daily habits

Once breakfast is taken care of, look at your other eating habits through the day. Decide which habits are positive ones that you should continue. Think about what changes might improve your blood glucose control. These questions can help you assess your current eating habits.

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you are on the right track to control your diabetes with healthy eating. If you answered no to two or more of the questions, you know where to start making changes to your daily routine.

Set two or three small, realistic, and achievable goals that you can work on for one month. After that month, evaluate how you have done with the goals you set for yourself. Decide whether they are now newly established habits. If you feel you need to focus on the same goals for a longer time, do so. If you are ready to tackle one to three small new goals, then decide what they will be and get to work on them.

Everyone has some good dietary habits and some that are not so healthy. Try to build on your foundation of good habits, rather than focusing on what you are not doing right. Remember, we all have good and bad days. Stay positive! Keep moving forward with your lifestyle and dietary improvements.

Setting SMART goals can
help you make long-term,
successful lifestyle changes.What and how much you eat affects your blood glucose, so make good dietary choices and educate yourself on healthy eating. Find out if there are diabetes educators in your area, and make an appointment. An educator can talk with you about the importance of healthy eating, regular exercise and blood glucose goals. This will give you a better understanding of what affects your diabetes. Remember, you are the one in charge of the daily habits that affect your health! Make it a habit to see your health care team, and discuss your SMART goals for better diabetes control.

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FAMILY HEALTH is written with the assistance of
Alberta College of Family Physicians
FAMILY HEALTH is written
with the assistance of
The College of Family Physicans of Canada
Alberta College of Family Physicians
While effort is made to reflect accepted medical knowledge and practice, articles in Family Health Online should not be relied upon for the treatment or management of any specified medical problem or concern and Family Health accepts no liability for reliance on the articles. For proper diagnosis and care, you should always consult your family physician promptly. © Copyright 2015, Family Health Magazine, a special publication of the Edmonton Journal, a division of Postmedia Network Inc., 10006 - 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 2S6    [DI_MDab14]
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