Diabetes Foot Care

It's more than a good manicure.

Keeping your feet soft and supple is essential to good diabetes care. 

Keeping your feet soft and supple is essential to good diabetes care. 

Our feet. Sometimes we forget how much we need them to get where we are going along with the wear and tear they take to get our destination.  Most of us need to take better care of our digits, especially individuals with diabetes. 

Why?

 Poor blood sugar(glucose) control for people with diabetes impairs blood circulation and causes nerve damage in their feet. Also, small sores on their feet can lead into infections and eventually amputations.

Here are some top tips to proper foot care for your diabetes.

1. Be proactive, keep your blood sugar under control.

Sounds obvious but it never hurts us to remember. Keeping your fasting blood glucose to 80-130mg/dl and your 2 hour post-meal(postprandial) blood sugar under 140mg/dl helps to prevent problems from occurring. 

2. Wash and lotion your feet daily to keep them clean and soft.

Dry cracked smelly feet are not only unattractive they are a haven for bacteria.  Too much bacteria can cause infections. Wash your feet and invest in lotion to keep your feet clean and soft. However, avoid adding lotion between your toes since this can create environment that favors fungal growth. 

3. Avoid over-the-counter products or sharp products for removing corns and callouses.

Over the counter medications to remove  foot warts  or corns are not recommended for people with diabetes. If you have neuropathy or nerve damage to your feet have a podiatrist or foot nurse provide foot care. 

4. Wear well fitting shoes and socks at all times.

Most foot specialists recommend padded socks made with acrylic and acrylic blends for people with diabetes. Change your socks daily and rotate your shoes daily to reduce wear and tear on your feet.  Also, make sure your shoes are actually comfortable to avoid corns and callouses.

6. Protect your feet from extreme hot and cold temperatures.

Wearing shoes at the beach and hot pavement, wearing socks at night when your feet are cold, never testing bath water with your feet and avoiding heating pads on your feet will protect your digits from potential problems. 

7. Exercise regularly and avoid any movement that restricts blood flow to your feet.

Try to get in at least 30 minutes of movement daily.  Wiggle your toes and move your ankles for 5 minutes several times daily.  Avoid crossing your legs for long periods of times. These are actions you need to take to keep proper circulation in your feet. 

The National Institute of Health or NIH has more detailed information and resources to provide for foot care.

If you have any comments or questions please share them in the comment section below. As always your input could help others.

 

Best,

 

 

Allison

 

Solving the Mystery of The Glycemic Index

Popcorn has a glycemic index of 55-89 depending on how this snack is prepared. 

Popcorn has a glycemic index of 55-89 depending on how this snack is prepared. 

Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.
— Robin Sharma

Every so often  someone will ask me about Glycemic Index.

"What is glycemic index?", you ask. 

Glycemic Index(GI) was invented in 1981 by researchers  Dr. Thomas Wolever and Dr. David Jenkins who were able to prove certain carbohydrates raise blood glucose(sugar) levels higher than other carbohydrates. 

Participants were given 25 grams of carbohydrates and based on the results foods were ranked from 0 to 100. High Glycemic Index(GI) food made blood sugar spike faster and low GI food absorbed carbohydrates at a slower rate. 

According to glycemic professionals, people with diabetes should aim for food with a glycemic index of 55 or less.  Fat and fiber helps decrease a food's glycemic index so don't be afraid to add either to decrease your blood sugar(glucose) load.  Many people with diabetes, hyperlipidemia and who  just want to lose weight have food success using the glycemic index . There are many websites with tips on how to decrease your glycemic load and look for foods labeled GI for more information. 

If you have any questions about the glycemic index or would like to share your experience using this technique to deal with your diabetes,  please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Your comments could help others. As always, you can schedule an appointment with me.

 

Best,

 

 

Allison

 

 

Carbohydrate Counting 101

The Basics of Carbohydrate Counting 

Spaghetti 101

Spaghetti 101

For  many people with diabetes, carbohydrates seem to everywhere and for many counting carbohydrates can be a jarring task. On the other hand, counting carbohydrates is an essential skill to manage your diabetes. But what exactly is a carbohydrate? 

Most food from a plant source contains carbohydrates. Fruits typically contain more carbohydrates than vegetables. Starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes contain more carbohydrates than leafy vegetables such as lettuce and kale.  Grains and pastas contains carbohydrates. The more processed the grain, typically the more carbohydrates it contains per serving. Also, many people are unaware most milk products contains carbohydrates. However, whatever the food source you should be mindful and count the total amount of carbohydrates.

 Now I will teach you basic nuts and bolts of carbohydrate counting.

Carbohydrate servings are also called exchanges. The rule of thumb is 15 grams of carbohydrates are equal to one carbohydrate exchange. Most people with diabetes are recommended to limit their carbohydrate intake each meal to  3 to 4 carbohydrate exchanges or 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates. Medical experts also advise your snack  to be no more than 1 to 2 carbohydrate exchanges or 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates.

Three meals is recommended to keep blood glucose(sugar) levels stable. Some individuals need two to three snacks daily to prevent hunger pains.  

Most of these foods contain 1 carbohydrate exchange:

Fruit Group

1 small apple, orange, pear or nectarine

1/2 banana or grapefruit

3/4 cup of fresh pineapple, blueberries or blackberries

1 cup of fresh melon or papaya

3 prunes

1/2 cup of unsweetened canned fruit

4 ounce of fruit juice

2 Tablespoon of Raisin

 

Milk Group

8 fluid ounces(1 cup) of milk, buttermilk or soy milk

2/3 cup of plain yogurt

2/3 cups of artificially sweetened yogurt

Starch Group

1 ounce slice of bread

1/4 of large bagel

1/2 hamburger bun, hot dog bun, pita bread or English muffin

1/3 cup of rice, pasta, millet or couscous

1/2 cup of oatmeal, grits, kasha or bulgur

1/2 cup of beans or lentils

1/2 cup of starchy vegetables(corn, peas, potato, sweet potato or yam)

1 small(6 inch) corn or flour tortilla

6 saltine crackers

3 graham cracker squares

3 cups of popcorn

 

The good news is  1/2 cup of cooked  or 1 cup of raw non-starchy vegetables contain 5 grams of carbohydrates or 1/3 of the carbohydrate content of the carbohydrates listed above.  Also, because many of these vegetables contain fiber high blood sugar is usually not an issue when eating these vegetables. Examples of non-starchy vegetables includes artichokes, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, eggplant, greens, spinach, brussel sprouts, cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes, leeks, kohlrabi, summer squash, turnips and zucchini. 

I provided a high fiber recipe to help you manage your blood glucose. It is a Greek Inspired Garbanzo Bean Salad. Enjoy

Greek Inspired Garbanzo Bean Salad

1/2 cup of Cooked Garbanzo Beans

1 medium chopped tomato

1/2 tablespoon of  chopped onion

1 small clove of  minced garlic

1 tablespoon of feta cheese

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar 

Juice of  1/2 a 1emon

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Combine Garbanzo Beans, chopped onion and garlic together. Add remaining ingredients. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour and serve. Enjoy