Are you one of the 12 million adults over 65 managing Type II diabetes? While many factors like exercise and medication play an important role in your treatment plan, few things are as important as monitoring your diet.
What Happens to Sugar When You Eat?
When you eat and drink and your body breaks down carbs specifically, it releases sugar (glucose) into your bloodstream. Your pancreas produces insulin that acts as a type of transport mechanism to take sugar from your bloodstream and attach it to your cells which absorb it for energy.
If your body becomes insulin resistant and simply stops producing enough insulin to facilitate this metabolic process, your blood sugar levels become unregulated and Type II diabetes develops. High blood sugar levels over time can compromise your entire cardiovascular system as well as your eyes, kidneys, and nerves increasing your risk for everything from heart attacks and stroke to vision loss, kidney disease, high blood pressure, nerve damage, even amputation.
8 Foods with Hidden Sugar
Sugars are often additions to foods that inherently offer you nothing but “empty calories”. Empty calories are calories derived from drinks and food that give you little to no nutrients at all (i.e. no fiber, no protein, no vitamins, etc.). These types of empty calories contribute to weight gain that also increases your risk of complications from diabetes.
Diet modifications, like limiting carbs, can help mitigate the negative impacts people experience with Type II diabetes as well as potentially prevent the disease from worsening. If you have Type II diabetes, make sure that you start a dialogue with your doctor about your nutrition. They may recommend working with a dietician who can help you nail down the foods you should eat more of, the foods you should avoid, serving sizes, and more.