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Living Well with Diabetes Type 2 - FREE ONLINE COURSE

If you have T2 or have just been recently diagnosed the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) has developed a free online learning program to help you learn more about living with diabetes, show you where to go for support and provide you with links to additional information.

It can be a tricky time when you are first diagnosed - there is so much to learn about and it can be a bit stressful so this free course is a fantastic help, and hopefully, will take some of the stress out of managing type 2 diabetes.

There are 10 short topics to choose from, and you can read them on your phone (for those on the move) or pc, or tablet.

You can start watching each or the ones that interest you and catch up on each interactive video if you run out of time. They're easy to understand and give valuable information.

You can find the FREE course here.

Inulin Powder - adding fibre

When we launched our new Spring menu in September of this year, we added Inulin (not to be confused with insulin! powder to our meals to increase the fibre content (we are always making sure we are bringing you the best possible product).

So what is Inulin?

Inulin is a supplement (usually in powder form which is what we use) which is added to foods to increase fibre content. It is made from chicory root fiber, a natural dietary fiber that is extracted using hot water from a plant that's part of the dandelion family.

Inulin has digestive benefits. A blend of short- and long-chain inulin has been shown to reduce discomfort and help with constipation. The fiber increases the amounts of beneficial bacterias in the gut also.

It may also help to reduce calorie intake and blood-sugar levels and increase calcium absorption. Getting 12 grams of inulin a day has been shown to help promote regular bowel movements also.

Inulin can be found naturally in foods such as:

  • artichokes
  • yams
  • asparagus
  • banana
  • garlic
  • leeks
  • wheat
  • onions

Of course still the best way to increase your fibre intake is to include a salad or steamed veggies in your diet each day. Although our meals are a larger serving and don't need anything added, eating extra veggies is definately good for your health!

Inulin is being added to many foods these days, and companies don't have to advise it in their ingredient list - it's always best to check with your health professional as to how much inulin is ok for you.

Inulin powder the diabetes kitchen

 

Read more about inulin here.

Read about its health benefits here.

 

Foods to avoid when managing diabetes

If you're managing , watching what you eat is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. "The basic goal of nutrition for people with diabetes is to avoid blood sugar spikes," says Gerald Bernstein, M.D., director of the diabetes management program at Friedman Diabetes Institute,  New York. Things like lollies and soft drink can be dangerous for diabetics because the body absorbs these simple sugars almost instantly. 

Some foods you should try and avoid (as they have a high GI value - see more about GI below) include:

  • white rice (substitute for brown or basmati)
  • white pasta (have small servings)
  • dried fruit
  • juices and smoothies
  • pretzels
  • fries
  • white breads
  • dry biscuits
  • soft drinks
  • blended coffees

If there is something here that you love, then just be aware of portion control, and enjoy once in a while. :)

Foods which can help lower blood sugars include:

  • nuts
  • legumes
  • avocado
  • greek yoghurt
  • grains
  • eggs
  • garlic
  • green tea
  • most green veggies

What exactly does GI mean?

Carbohydrate is an essential part of our diets, but not all carbohydrate foods are equal. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels.

There are three ratings for GI:
In individual portions:
Low = GI value 55 or less
Medium = GI value of 56 – 69 inclusive
High = GI 70 or more

 

So check with your health professional as to what is best for you - everyone is different, so what works for someone may not be best for you.

 

What is lactose in Milk?

We recently released our new French Vanilla meal replacement - a delicious product which can be used to help with weight loss (replace one meal with a glass of this each day), or can also be used to get those important vitamins and minerals into fussy or picky eaters. As it tastes just like a Vanilla Milkshake children will love it.

You simply mix a sachet of this with Skim Milk. Although there is no sugar in our meal replacement, there is sugar in the lactose in milk so we thought we would explain exactly what lactose is, and what it does.

Lactose, is the naturally-occurring sugar in milk.

There are many natural sugars – like glucose, fructose and sucrose – and these sugars are found widely in nature; from fruits, vegetables and grains to honey and maple sap. But lactose? It’s almost non-existent in nature outside the milk of mammals – humans, cows, goats and sheep alike.

Lactose is composed of glucose and galactose, two simpler sugars used as energy directly by our body. Lactase, an enzyme, splits lactose into glucose and galactose. According to more recent studies, lactose may play a role in the absorption of calcium and other minerals such as copper and zinc, especially during infancy. Moreover, if it is not digested in the small intestine, lactose may be used by the intestinal microbiota (the microorganism population that lives in the digestive tract) as a nutrient (prebiotic). Lactose and other milk sugars also promote the growth of bifidobacteria in the gut and may play a life-long role in countering the aging-associated decline of some immune functions.

When we drink milk or have a milk-based product, lactase in our small intestines breaks down the milk sugar. It then gets absorbed into the body through the small intestines.

But people who are lactose intolerant don’t have it so easy. In them, the lactose doesn’t get broken down. Instead, it goes on to the colon, where it mixes with normal bacteria and ferments. It can cause things like gas, bloating and diarrhea.

Thankfully, there are many lactose free milk and dairy products to choose from. Like regular milk, lactose-free milk is a good source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, riboflavin and vitamin D.

Helpful Links:

https://www.dairynutrition.ca/scientific-evidence/lactose-intolerance-and-milk-allergy/lactose-intolerance-health-authorities-recommendations

https://www.allergytestaustralia.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwrfvsBRD7ARIsAKuDvMMerwmfGe4Umt3G_SMbUfehpSocsV_k64VU9rLnMnZyQSm88Yyw_IgaAusfEALw_wcB

https://daa.asn.au/smart-eating-for-you/smart-eating-fast-facts/food-and-food-products/which-type-of-milk-should-i-drink/

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FIAL Celebrates Australian Food Innovation With Book Launch

Our team at The Diabetes Kitchen were thrilled to receive this email today:

Congratulations on being featured in FIAL's new Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations Book!


We appreciate the time and effort it took to apply, but more importantly, to develop your innovative product. This is what will keep growing the Australian food and agribusiness industries on the global stage.


This is the 4th edition of the book and the FIAL team has searched far and wide to find some of the best innovations in the country - from small businesses to multinationals, the new 2019 book edition showcases 50 innovations from across the whole value chain.

You're amongst great company.

(They are sending us a copy but if you'd like to buy one you can order them here: https://fial.com.au/celebrating-innovations-book)

Diabetes and Foot Care

When you are managing diabetes it is important to take extra good care of your feet. This is because, over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. Blood supply to feet can be hindered because of the vascular changes to the blood vessels.

When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Cuts may become infected.

Check your feet every day.

You may have foot problems, but feel no pain in your feet. Checking your feet each day will help you spot problems early before they get worse. A good way to remember is to check your feet each evening when you take off your shoes. Check between your toes. If you have trouble bending over to see your feet, try using a mirror to see them, or ask someone else to look at your feet.

Look for problems such as

  • cuts, sores, or red spots
  • swelling or fluid-filled blisters
  • ingrown toenails, in which the edge of your nail grows into your skin
  • corns or calluses, which are spots of rough skin caused by too much rubbing or pressure on the same spot
  • plantar warts, which are flesh-colored growths on the bottom of the feet
  • athlete’s foot
  • warm spots

Wear Shoes and Socks at all times.

Don't walk barefoot or in just socks – even when you are indoors. You could step on something and hurt your feet. You may not feel any pain and may not know that you hurt yourself.

Check the inside of your shoes before putting them on, to make sure the lining is smooth and free of pebbles or other objects.

Podiatrists recommend having a consultation every 8-12 weeks, as well as a thorough circulation and nerve test every six months to try and minimise possible difficulties and injuries.

Medicare may provide a rebate on podiatry fees if you have a referral from your doctor. You can find a podiatrist in your area here.

New Menu (and what we did with our remaining meals)

You'll probably know by now that this week we launched our amazing new diabetes meal range and they started despatching last week! We're so excited to hear your feedback.

We've kept some of your favourites and added some more fibre and reduced the salt - the flavours are even more tasty and we know you'll love them. 

From now on we'll be introducing new meals seasonally to keep our menu varied and give you lots of ready to reheat meals to choose from.

Our existing meals were expiring in October so whilst we could have kept selling them, we decided to launch our yummy new menu and donate the existing meals to the Salvation Army and Prahran Mission for their kitchens. These charities provide meals to the homeless and folk who need help. Both such very worthy organisations who are grateful for donations, so we were pleased to be able to do this.

In the meantime we've been busy formulating our new French Vanilla meal replacement and this will be ready late September. It's just divine!

Does cinnamon lower blood sugars?

A friend of ours was recently diagnosed with T2 diabetes and mentioned that she was advised to sprinkle cinnamon on her brekkie as it was helpful in lowering blood sugars. So we decided to investigate if that was true.

Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices and is derived from the inner bark of various trees in the species Cinnamomum. It has been used for centuries in herbal medicine to treat things like bronchitis, and is also used as a flavour in sweets, savouries and beverages. It has a very pleasant taste and smells delicious. But does it help in managing diabetes?

Does cinnamon help with diabetes

According to the Mayo clinic, although there have been several studies on whether cinnamon really does lower blood sugars there is no real evidence to suggest that it does. Some studies say yes and others say no. And of course it depends on what doses are being used in studies, and who they are testing them on.

The idea behind this is that cinnamon may help the body to use insulin more efficiently - but again, there are no studies that have proved this to be true. Cinnamon in high doses can be very dangerous for people with liver disease.

Cinnamon has been to show the following benefits:

  • Have an anti-clotting effect on the blood
  • Relieve pain in arthritis sufferers
  • Boost the body’s immune system
  • Stop medication-resistant yeast infections
  • Help in relieving indigestion
  • Reduce the proliferation of leukaemia and lymphoma cancer cells
  • Preserve food by inhibiting bacterial growth and food spoilage
  • Be a great source of vital nutrients, including calcium, fibre, managanese and iron

So there are various studies showing that cinnamon does help in lowering blood sugar but there are also studies showing it doesn't. It's always best to check with your health professional.

At the end of the day cinnamon is a delicious and aromatic spice that can be enjoyed on many dishes. 

Here at The Diabetes Kitchen our dietitian and food technologist are in the midst of developing our new Vanilla with a touch of cinnamon meal replacement now - it's simply delicioius and launches next month.

 

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-answers/diabetes/faq-20058472

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/natural-therapies/cinnamon.html

Type 1 Diabetes - Know the signs

640 people end up in hospital each year because the early signs of type 1 diabetes are missed. Do you know the 4T early signs of type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes signs

Visit itsabouttime.org.au to find out more.

Lipstick and a Smile - Living with Type 1

Today we share a blog from Renza S who is simply amazing. She talks about living with diabetes T1. She writes:

The other night, I cancelled going to a party – a cousin’s kid’s 18th– at the last minute. I seriously never do this. And I absolutely hated doing it.

But I’d had a couple of hypos during the day (Fiasp is absolutely kicking my arse) and I was feeling exhausted. These hypos weren’t what I’ve become used to dealing with (i.e. Loop hypos for me generally look like an alert telling me I’m going to head low, me ignoring it, alert saying I am really about to be low – but not really low because Loop is doing its thing, me having a couple of fruit pastilles, and that’s it). These were the types of hypos that spin me around, turn me upside down and resettle me feeling completely discombobulated. It had been a while.

After the second one, I was so knocked out that I lay down for a bit and ended up getting an hour’s sleep. It was mid-afternoon and when I woke up, I felt no more refreshed.

I contemplated going to the party – I had a shower and started to put on some make up. I looked fine – no different to how I usually look. If I’d gone, no one would have known any different.

Earlier in the day, after I’d already had the first hypo, Aaron had posted a photo of me online. The next day, when I mentioned to someone that I had cancelled plans the evening before thanks to a lousy diabetes day, said ‘Oh. I saw a photo of you online in the morning and you looked great.’

They didn’t mean this in a nasty way, or that they thought I had just cancelled because I couldn’t be bothered going out. It was just a comment. And they were right – I looked exactly the way I would look any other weekend morning when I was having breakfast with family and friends

The next day I was messaging a friend with diabetes and mentioned I’d cancelled my plans at the last minute the night before. ‘Oh babe,’ she said. ‘How’s the hypo hangover?’ and then she detailed all the things that are the inevitable fallout of nasty (and nasty-ish) lows; the things I’d not mentioned to others who’d asked after me.

I told her she had nailed exactly how I was feeling. I told her what had happened, and I didn’t hold back, and I didn’t minimise it. I knew she wouldn’t worry or be unnecessarily concerned or wonder if it was anything more than what it was. I knew she would know – because those feelings are wound into the DNA of diabetes and the people living with it.

Plus, she would know just how I felt about the last-minute cancellation, and feeling that I’d let people down.

‘So, I bet you’re feeling even more crap about cancelling that about the hypos now, right?’ she said.

I laughed. ‘You know it!’ I said to her

‘Don’t you sometimes wish that when you were having a shitty diabetes day it couldn’t be covered up so easily with lipstick and a smile?’ she said, hitting me right in the guts with that comment.

Because she was so right. Lipstick and a smile. That’s every diabetes day. It’s there when I’m feeling great and all is going well; when diabetes is behaving and not impacting on me much at all. And it’s there when I’m feeling crap and diabetes is casting far too large a shadow over my existence for that day. But for most people, they couldn't tell the difference.

You can read Renza's blog posts here.

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  • Living Well with Diabetes Type 2 - FREE ONLINE COURSE

    If you have T2 or have just been recently diagnosed the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) has developed a free online learning program to help you learn more about living with diabetes, show you where to go for support and provide... read more

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