Real Men Wear Gowns: Managing diabetes through diet

If you're diabetic, controlling your disease through a combination of diet and exercise is of the utmost importance.

If you're diabetic, controlling your disease through a combination of diet and exercise is of the utmost importance.

Keeping your blood sugar within healthy levels is imperative to keeping you healthy and having a long life.

"Diet definitely does help control blood sugars, because what we eat, depending on what they are, what elements it has, affects your sugars," Jonathan Diaz, a registered dietician and patient health educator with University Health System said.

Diaz says everyone needs fiber in their diet, but for diabetics, he says it has to be the right kind.

"Good examples of fiber...whole wheat bread is the common one. You also have beans, lentils. For the fruit category, it's going to be your pears and apples." Diaz said.

Diaz recommends eight to ten grams of fiber per meal, the equivalent of two fist-sized pears.

"A pear has five. That's not including your vegetables."

What food should be avoided? Processed foods. Especially fast food. "They tend to put a lot of fat, salt, sugar, because that is what brings people back," Diaz said.

Another no-no are sodas.

Diaz said, "For people with diabetes diet soda is a baby step from regular soda, because diet does not affect sugars at all. There's nothing in there, but the goal is eventually to get to water."

The reason diet soda is bad is because it's very acidic. It has nothing to do with sugar.

"Your body doesn't like it so to make your body neutral again it's going to withdraw calcium from your bones, so it puts people at risk for osteoporosis," Diaz said.

Lastly, Diaz told us that diabetics must avoid alcohol.

"The liver prioritizes to get rid of toxins, so it sees alcohol and the liver stops making sugar, so a person with diabetes is at risk of having low blood sugar with alcohol," Diaz added.

It's a delicate balance that those with diabetes or those at risk need to take very seriously.

For more men's health information call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories, just go to wearthegown.com.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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