DIABETES

Diabetes Burnout? Be Empowered For Control: Back to the Diet Basics

Your every food choice matters. With the food environment around you evolving daily, are you still getting your diet foundation right?
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Suffering from ‘Diabetes Burnout’? Be Empowered For Control Today.

Learn more about ‘Diabetes Burnout’ here! (Click to expand)

Diabetes Burnout is a natural and rational response to living with this demanding, long-term condition. It affects 44% of people diagnosed with diabetes and, has been consistently linked with higher HbA1c levels. Symptoms can include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed and defeated by diabetes.
  • Worrying about not taking enough care of your diabetes but unmotivated or unwilling to change.
  • Not caring about blood sugar levels.
  • Reverting to unhealthy behaviors e.g. poor diet.1

Every food choice you make has the potential to send your blood glucose soaring, some more than others. Selecting the right foods in the right portion at every meal and snack is fundamental to good control. So, no matter how many years you have had diabetes, you need to get the diet basics right. Start now.

Start getting your foundations right by clicking on below tips to start learning more now!

  • Ask to See a Dietitian. (click to expand)

  • No two people with diabetes eat the same way and, everyone responds to food differently. So, ask your Doctor for a referral to a Dietitian. Dietitians are the ONLY qualified experts to provide guidance on diabetic diets. Your Dietitian will educate you on essential diet fundamentals and, work with you to personalize your eating plan to suit your lifestyle, personal eating preferences and, the state of your health so you can sustain the changes and achieve good glucose control. Remember that your body’s ability to manage blood glucose will diminish overtime. So, do attend planned follow-up sessions to tweak the plan along the way.

  • Use the Healthy Plate. (click to expand)

  • A healthy and well-balanced diet is what everyone needs to eat each day to meet daily nutrition goals and stay energized. So, do people battling with diabetes. Designed by the Health Promotion Board, My Healthy Plate can help everyone get the proportion of food from each food group right at each main meal. There’s more to the recommendation than the plate infographic. Study the accompanying resources in detail to get very familiar with the basic food groups, number of servings recommended each day as well as the quantity of each food item that makes up a serving. Knowledge is power. Once you know it well, then plating up a well-balanced meal becomes easier whether you eat at home, a restaurant or a hawker stall.

  • Control & Space Carbs. (click to expand)

  • Carbohydrates (carbs in short) raise blood glucose more than protein or fat. You need to include carbs in your daily diet to stave of blood glucose lows as well as to ensure you are not overeating proteins or fats. Keep ‘added sugar’ to a minimum as it can cause sugar spikes and, use up precious calories without delivering any essential vitamin, mineral or fibre. But, all carbs are not evil. Every main meal and snack should include some starchy carbs, preferably of the wholegrain variety, as they provide energy for daily tasks but, the quantity at each meal and snack needs to be adjusted and spaced through the day to suit your lifestyle and medications to achieve glucose control.

  • Go for Low Glycemic Index (GI) Foods. (click to expand)

  • All carbs are not the same. So, while counting carbohydrates is one way to get very basic control of your diet or to estimate your insulin jab dose (for patients who use insulin only), you may be surprised to know that by exchanging equal portions of carbs from different foods, you will get very different blood glucose results. Low GI foods are food items or meals that cause lower blood sugar surges that are sustained for longer periods compared to High GI foods. For example, replacing white rice with a low GI rice portion may give you better glycemic results. Some food items at the supermarket are labelled as ‘Low GI’ and, they can be a part of your regular shopping basket. To learn more and find out the GI of other foods, you can visit the Home of Glycemic Index.

  • Stay Fully Engaged. (click to expand)

  • Take charge of your diabetes. Don’t make it just your doctor’s problem. To sustain essential lifestyle changes, keep on learning, keep on asking questions and always evaluate your treatment and progress. Monitor key health parameters such as weight, blood glucose, blood pressure and blood lipids. While most of these can be effectively done at your medical reviews, consider including more frequent self-blood glucose monitoring to provide immediate feedback. With wearable technology easily available, blood glucose feedback may help you stay in the know. Knowing how your body responds to foods, meals and snacks will help you make better choices and control portions.

  • Avoid Burnout. Get Support. (click to expand)

  • Speak up to your healthcare team and family when you feel upset and angry about the demands diabetes is placing on your food choices and lifestyle. It is natural to feel upset about diabetes. But, never give up, rework your goals and, allow for some balance. Small wins each day are better than completely rejecting all dietary guidance.

Learn how you can be empowered with Diabetes Specific Formulas (DSFs)!

Eating healthy and well-balanced meals and snacks that are carb controlled and made up of low GI foods is the right way to get your diabetic diet on track and, enjoy and sustain it over time. However, if you are not able to figure out the details or put the instructions to practice daily and, are struggling with blood glucose highs and lows, a diabetes specific formula as part of your individualized meal plan may help you achieve better glycemic control with greater convenience and confidence.

Designed for people with diabetes, diabetes specific formulas deliver complete and balanced nutrition, and, are scientifically designed with slowly absorbed carbohydrates to be low GI as well. Here’s how you may include it in your individualized meal plan:

  1. Swap A Snack. Tempted by the calorie and carb laden curry puff or kueh lapis? Replace unhealthy, high GI snacks with an equal calorie portion of diabetes specific formula.
  2. Do a Partial Meal Replacement. A favorite meal choice sending your blood sugar out of whack? Eat only half the portion and top up the remaining allocated calories for the meal (if any) with a diabetes specific formula.
  3. Replace an Entire Meal. Want to lose weight effectively to attain good blood glucose control? Find that you are either missing a meal or giving in to temptations at a meal time? How about giving up your roasted chicken rice meal (534 calories*) for a controlled portion of diabetes specific formula to save 309 calories immediately. Sustained over time, you will see the extra pounds peel off.
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Reference:

*Source: HPB’s ‘Energy & Nutrient Composition of Food’ website

1Source: Accessed on 23 November 2019 at https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Life-with-diabetes/Diabetes-burnout

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