Diabetes Nutrition is Not All About Calories

April 22, 2013

in Diabetes,Health Protection,Weight Loss

Diabetes nutrition is not all about calories. Yes, being overweight can contribute to diabetes as well as other associated diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, vision problems, joint problems, digestive issues, kidney disease, cancer, etc. In general conversations with diabetics, I have been told numerous times, “It doesn’t matter what I eat, it’s all about calories and taking my meds.”  Eating too many calories can put an extra burden on our body. Eating the wrong kind of calories also puts extra stress on our body.   However it is not all about calories!
Take these suggestions into consideration if you are a diabetic, live with a diabetic, or desire to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
  1. ·        Eat your veggies, raw and fresh. Several years ago, a friend who was a border line diabetic was having vision problems. He started eating at least 1/3 of his daily diet as raw, fresh, green veggies. Much of it was raw spinach. It was like magic, his eyesight improved. However when he stopped eating the large amounts of raw, fresh, green veggies; he would notice his vision problems returning.
  2. ·        Balance your proteins and carbs. Eat some form of protein when eating carbs. There are three basic kinds of carbs. Simple carbs are basically sugars that give quick energy – candy, cakes, cookies, etc. Complex carbs are foods that provide prolonged energy – grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit, etc. Dietary fiber carbs are the indigestible fibers that grab on to toxins and move them out of the body – most grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit, etc. have dietary fiber carbs. Protein can be used for energy but if it is eaten with carbs that supply energy, then the protein is saved to be used to build and repair cells, tissue, & muscle. For example, if you grab a few almonds with your apple; you will be eating protein for building & repairing, you will be eating the sugar from the apple for quick energy, you will be eating other nutrients from the apple for sustained energy, and you will be eating dietary fiber to keep the toxins moving out of your body.
  3. ·        Consider eating low glycemic response foods in order to keep insulin levels in check. High glycemic response foods like sugar, potatoes, white breads, and refined processed cereals can cause insulin to spike. Unrefined, unprocessed grains provide protein along with carbs thus keeping insulin levels where they should be. Vegetables, for the most part, are preferred over fruit as far as being low glycemic response foods. Carrots, beets, and peas are some exceptions. Raw carrots are lower in simple carbs (sugar) than cooked carrots. Cooking seems to bring out the sugar thus causing more of an insulin spike.
  4. ·        Eat colors, in other words, fruits and veggies of color that contain antioxidants. Antioxidants protect all parts of the body from oxidizing (rusting) and causing damage. Antioxidants protect the arterial walls thus reducing heart and cardiovascular problems. Cancer cells can be stopped in their tracks by antioxidants. Macular degeneration and cataract development can be slowed by consumption of antioxidants. Skin is protected from the aging process with antioxidants.  Fruit and veggies with red, purple, orange, yellow, blue, and green flesh are the best sources of antioxidants.
  5. ·        Yes, watch the calories as that helps prevent obesity. Of course, following some of the above tips will help with weight loss. Eating prolonged energy foods with protein will help increase your metabolism. Increasing your metabolism will cause you to benefit more from your physical activity. Eating food raw or cooked under low heat help the digestion (break down) of the nutrients. Heat, especially high heat, destroys the natural enzymes in food thus it puts a burden on the digestive tract and the nutrients are not able to be used by the body. Overeating is probably one of the most likely causes of obesity. Watch the serving sizes. Be reasonable, stick to single servings, eat slowly and enjoy your food.
  6. ·        Watch the bad fats. We need the good fats to be healthy so just eating low fat processed foods is not the answer. Do not cook with hydrogenated oils as they will clog you arteries and are like eating plastic. Just to keep my cooking oils simple, I use extra virgin first cold press olive oil for sautéing and most cooking. I use canola oil for baking. Margarine is typically hydrogenated and like eating plastic. Butter is much preferred but keep it to a minimum like 1 tablespoon or less daily. Meat is a good source of protein but does have fat. It is best to trim any layers of fat before cooking. For example, the skin of chicken is total bad fat. I remove all skin from chicken prior to cooking. I’ve done this for years – my mama taught me to skin chickens before it was popular to not eat chicken skin. I always purchase lean beef although a little fat improves the taste. Fish, of course is the best as far as good fat but it is difficult to find health screened non-farmed fish unless you are into deep sea fishing. Whole grains are a great source of essential fats. 
  7. ·        Move more and drink fresh, non-chlorinated water.  Choose an activity you enjoy and can stick to most days. To keep it simple, walking 2 to 3 miles a day can be very beneficial in preventing or reversing diabetes. I have a mini trampoline that I use on a regular basis. I walk/jog on it about 35 minutes daily and work my arms by using small 2 pound weights. Chlorinated water is unhealthy and can cause stress on your body organs especially your heart.
  8. ·     Consider using a good quality supplement to fill some of the gaps in the nutrients you need. A future post will cover tips on how to choose quality, safe supplements.
As you can see, diabetes nutrition is not all about calories and meds. I have known people who have been able to either reduce their diabetes meds or stop them altogether by making changes to their nutrient intake. (Please consult your health care provider before adjusting your meds.)
Make wise food choices and reduce your risk of diabetes as well as other associated diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, vision problems, joint problems, digestive issues, kidney disease, cancer, etc.
Happy Eating!
Pat Moon



  I am a grandmother who started as an Independent GNLD Distributor in 1985 because of family health concerns. After experiencing positive results for several family members, I chose to share the products with other people. My confidence in the GNLD products has continued to grow because the products work. My goal is to help others have the BEST REAL HEALTH possible.



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Comments on this entry are closed.


1 Moira Hutchison April 30, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Thanks for this amazing amount of information Pat!  I've heard before about spinach being good for eyesight – wonderful to hear that reflected in your wisdom too.  

2 Pat Moon May 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Moira, it is true that our entire body is affected by the balance of nutrients we include in our diet.

3 Barbara Griffin Billig April 29, 2013 at 11:56 am

Such an important topic.  I hope everyone reads this and thinks about it!

4 Pat Moon May 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Barbara, yes everyone needs to understand how what we eat affects our risk of diabetes and its symptoms.

5 Carolyn Hughes April 28, 2013 at 11:20 am

You are such a wealth of information Pat and your post is useful for everyone who want to keep healthy. Thank you!

6 Pat Moon May 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Carolyn, thank you for your support and encouraging words.

7 Sharon O'Day April 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm

My sister is an insulin-dependent diabetic and I've recently become more aware of what a jigsaw puzzle it can be to keep sugar in check. At least from the outside, that's how it looks.  Thanks for this compendium of great information, Pat!

8 Pat Moon May 1, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Sharon, I am so sorry your sister is having to deal with the jigsaw puzzle of living with diabetes. I hope she will be able to reduce the symptoms with her food choices.

9 Cathy Taughinbaugh April 25, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Wonderful post, Pat. Healthy eating is important for all of us. Great tips for those concerned about diabetes. Thanks for sharing!

10 Pat Moon May 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Cathy, thanks for your visit to my blog. I appreciate your support.

11 Sherie April 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Pat, this is much needed info. My Dad has adult onset diabetes and I am going to pass this post on to him. Thank you!

12 Pat Moon May 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Sherie, I hope your Dad can improve this diabetes. I wish him the best.

13 Daniele Holmberg April 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Great suggestions to keep diabetes. My grandfather on my father's side had diabetes and I regularly get tested to make sure it was not inherited.:)

14 Pat Moon April 30, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Daniele, it is important to watch out for diabetes when there is a history of diabetes in our family however our lifestyle habits such as what we eat and when we eat can also contribute to diabetes.

15 Meryl Hershey Beck April 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Pat, it is nice to learn methods of controlling diabetes that do not include pharmaceutical drugs. A healthy, well balanced diet is a great way to start! 

16 Lisa Frederiksen - BreakingTheCycles.com April 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Oh my gosh – you are a WEALTH of information. I'm printing this one out and saving copies for my daughters. Thanks so much, Pat.

17 Pat Moon April 26, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Lisa, glad you are planning to share this nutritional info with your daughters. Isn’t that what mother’s do?.. watch out for their children.

18 Anita April 23, 2013 at 8:45 am

I so need to take heed to this. Although, I am not diebetic…I think we can all learn from and benefit from this!

19 Pat Moon April 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Anita, you are not alone in taking heed to reduce the risk of diabetes. It is so wide spread today.

20 Explode Your Business ONLINE @Norma Doiron April 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm

"Make wise food choices and reduce your risk of diabetes"  That should be our mantra. Why are we so stubborn that we wait until we have no choice BEFORE making changes… Great post, Pat. Thanks!!!

21 Alexandra McAllister April 22, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Excellent post, Pat. Healthy and balanced eatins is important not only for diabetics but for everyone who wants to maintain a healthy weight. Your tips are very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing.

22 MarVeena April 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Great ideas!

23 Tom Holmberg April 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Great post Pat,

I was actually surprised that the same nutrition tips for diabetics also rings true for anyone trying to maintain a healthy weight or someone preparing for an athletic event. Good nutrition helps resolve many problems!

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