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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Diabetes & Food

Tips for healthy Eating to lower blood sugar levels


The goal of every diabetic should be – to lower their blood sugar levels. I suggest, “should be” because I know a couple of people who have diabetes and they really do not seem to care that their blood sugar level is through the roof. I don’t know if it is a tough guy machismo, or wanting to walk with a swagger, but consistently having blood sugar levels in the A1C range of 20 cannot be good for anyone.

How do many Try to Deal with This?

Approximately 45% of North Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and losing weight is amongst the most popular. I have lost count of how many resolutions I have personally made, but losing weight was always one of my big ones. Easy to say, but harder to do when there is no plan of what to do? Losing weight is a process and practice of a journey. This needs to be planned for, and at, we do a lot of planning and support for diabetes treatment and the journey of sticking to a diabetes diet that is all part of a journey to a better quality of life living with diabetes.

What is in Semantics?

There are two basic problems with attempting to change one’s eating habits; The first is the mentality of the word “diet.” The English word is derived from the Greek diaita, which, according to Webster’s, literally means “manner of living.” But people have a way of reinventing language, and now one of the formal definitions of “diet” is “a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight.” Eating sparingly? Who wants to do that? I revel in a great meal, just as I am sure you do, but without a plan, all good thoughts will go to waste.

We all know that eating “sparingly” is difficult to keep up for long. So the first thing that you should resolve to do before making any changes to your meal plan is to go back to the original meaning of the word and make your new diet a new way of life. This means that all foods are allowed in some amount, but that you will be making a shift in the foods and drinks that you consume most often or in larger amounts. If you think about your diet in this way, you will not look at the changes as temporary and restrictive, but as lifelong habits that include good, flavorful, healthy food and sometimes even high-calorie treats.

That brings me to the second major problem with the New Year’s resolution diet mentality: the idea that at midnight on December 31, you will be able to instantly transform your mind, body, spirit, refrigerator and cupboards into a model of healthy living — and make it last. This is extremely difficult because of the way that our brains form and break habits. Habitual activities, like driving to work or always eating cookies before bed, are hard-wired in our basal ganglia, an area of the brain that also controls addictions and learning procedures. Eating habits, therefore, are essentially our brains on autopilot.

This all appears very complicated and for a person with diabetes, planning for a diabetes diet goes well beyond a New Year’s Resolution. But, with some planning a diabetes diet can be well worth it as the best chance to losing weight and lowering A1C blood sugar levels.

A Personal Note

On a personal note, and from real-life experience, I can attest to the fact that lowering blood sugar levels with a diabetes diet is a journey. Yes, it did mean eliminating some of the food I love, such as bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice. But on the flip side, no one can complain when I eat a little more of some of my favourite meat. Although, at my stage in live, I have cut back on trying to consume a 500 g Steak Florentine.

Getting my diabetes diet right has been a journey and one that I will be on for the rest of my life. I am always looking for ways to improve my quality of life living with diabetes and am continuously “tweaking” what I can eat. So far, so good, my A1C level has dropped from 8.2 to 6.9. Nothing to sneeze about and look what I do not have to worry about.

What are the Risks of High A1C?

High A1C levels can indicate poor blood sugar control, which is a risk factor for several health problems. Some of the risks associated with high A1C levels include:

  1. Diabetes complications: High A1C levels can increase the risk of developing complications associated with diabetes, such as nerve damage, kidney disease, eye problems, and cardiovascular disease.

  2. Heart disease: High blood sugar levels can increase the risk of developing heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.

  3. Neuropathy: High A1C levels can damage the nerves, causing numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and feet.

  4. Kidney disease: High blood sugar levels can damage the kidneys and increase the risk of developing kidney disease or even kidney failure.

  5. Eye problems: High A1C levels can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision problems and blindness.

  6. Infections: High blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight infections.

  7. Wound healing: High blood sugar levels can also slow down the healing process of wounds and increase the risk of infections.

It is essential to maintain healthy blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of these health problems. If you have high A1C levels, you should consult your healthcare provider for appropriate management and treatment options. Top of Form Regenerate response Bottom of Form

What about Healthy Eating?

Healthy eating is a journey that never ends. Even if one does not have diabetes, adopting a healthy eating life-style is a good idea too. Here are a few tips that you can use to begin your journey and why not call on us at to give you a helping hand?

  1. Focus on whole foods: Eating whole, unprocessed foods is one of the best things you can do for your health. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

  2. Limit processed foods: Processed foods are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, and can lead to weight gain and chronic diseases. Try to limit your intake of processed foods and instead choose whole, nutrient-dense foods.

  3. Choose lean proteins: Lean proteins such as chicken, fish, tofu, and beans are important for building and repairing muscle, and can help you feel full and satisfied.

  4. Incorporate healthy fats: Healthy fats like those found in nuts, seeds, avocado, and fatty fish can help reduce inflammation and support brain health.

  5. Watch your portions: Even healthy foods can contribute to weight gain if you eat too much of them. Try to eat smaller portions and listen to your body's hunger and fullness signals.

  6. Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is important for maintaining good health. Aim for at least 8 cups of water a day, and limit your intake of sugary drinks.

  7. Plan ahead: Planning your meals and snacks ahead of time can help you make healthier choices and avoid impulse eating.

  8. Don't deprive yourself: It's important to enjoy the foods you love, but in moderation. Allow yourself the occasional treat, but try to make healthy choices the majority of the time.

Remember, healthy eating is a journey, not a destination. Start with small, sustainable changes and build from there.

Best wishes from all of us at ...

Wayne Drury was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes more than one year. He quickly discovered there was scant diabetes information providing a roadmap to a better quality of life living with diabetes.

With his passion for learning, helping and providing Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust (E-A-T) to the diabetes community, Damndiabetes began. A boutique firm in Vancouver, they live and breathe the consequences of treating diabetes daily. If you wish help with your diabetes management, are frustrated and have nowhere to turn, call on Damndiabetes and experience their EAT today. We are always happy to help.

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: Statements and opinions expressed on this Website do not constitute medical advice or recommendations. You should not rely on any information in such posts or comments to replace consultations and decisions with qualified healthcare professionals.


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