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Five ways eating regularly rewards you when you're suffering from diabetes

by , 20 April 2015

You're busy, you're not hungry, you're trying to lose weight, or your blood sugar is too high, so you skip meals. But as a diabetic, this is dangerous and may actually increase your blood sugar!

It's tempting, and it even sounds logical, but skipping meals is not a shortcut to weight loss or blood sugar control.
Instead, you need to eat regularly to enjoy the rewards!

Rewards? What rewards?

Read on to find out about the best five.

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When you eat often, you reap the follow wins against your diabetes:


Reward #1: Eating regularly improves your fasting blood glucose numbers

During sleep, when you're not eating, your liver sends more glucose into your blood to fuel your body. For many people during the early years of having type 2 diabetes, the liver doesn't realise there’s already more than enough glucose present. “Your morning (fasting) blood sugars have much more to do with your liver and hormonal functions than what you ate for dinner last night,” says Kathaleen Briggs Early, assistant professor of biochemistry and nutrition at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences.
Eating regularly improves blood glucose numbers by keeping them stable and maintained. 

Reward #2: Stay off the blood sugar rollercoaster

Irregular eating can have you bouncing back and forth between normal blood sugars and high blood sugars! If you take one or more blood glucose-lowering medications that can cause low blood glucose (hypoglycemia), skipping meals or eating too little can increase the risk. 
But spreading out foods, especially carb-containing foods, over three meals each day (and snacks if you want them) can help maintain steady blood sugar levels.

Reward #3: Fight fatigue and boost energy

Eating meals spaced throughout the day provides a consistent fuel source and can help combat the feeling of fatigue
For diabetics who want to snack, a small amount of carbohydrate can help keep energy levels up while protein will help you feel full.
Good diabetes friendly snacks to try include:
• 1/2 cup carrot sticks and 2 tablespoons hummus
• 1/2 cup cantaloupe and 1/2 cup cottage cheese
• 1 small apple and 12 almonds
• 1 small apple and 1 string cheese
• 1/2 cup banana slices and 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Reward #4: Meet weight-control goals

Skipping meals is like skipping your medications. It causes erratic blood sugar levels, making weight control difficult. 
Well-controlled blood glucose helps manage appetite, and when blood sugar is high, the pancreas kicks out extra insulin (if it's still producing insulin) to compensate. Because one of insulin’s jobs is to store fat, it’s telling your body to pack on the pounds from any excess calories, not get rid of them. 
Last but not least, skipping meals can lead to overeating later, especially at your evening meals.

Reward #5: Helps your diabetes medication do its job

Insulin and some blood glucose-lowering pills “don’t halt their action if you decide to skip a meal,” says Kathleen Stanley, dietician and author of 50 Things You Need to Know About Diabetes. Instead, the medications that stimulate insulin production continue to lower blood glucose even if levels are not elevated. The result? An increased risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Having frequent low blood glucose reactions can make weight control more challenging due to the need to eat or drink carb-containing foods or treatments to quickly bring blood sugar levels back into a healthy range. 
Ask your doctor whether the glucose-lowering medication you take can cause hypoglycemia and what you can do to prevent it. If you’re experiencing low blood glucose reactions frequently, talk to your doctor about making medication changes or adjustments.

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