Bethany’s Story: My Eye Started Bleeding the Day My First Child Was Born

This content originally appeared on Beyond Type 1. Republished with permission.

By Ginger Vieira

“My first bleed was almost 12 years ago — the day my first baby was born,” explains Bethany, who’s lived with type 1 diabetes for nearly 40 years, since she was 3 years old.

Despite receiving preventative laser treatments to the concerning blood vessels in this area of her eye prior to and throughout her pregnancy, the stress of pregnancy and pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) were enough to cause them to bleed.

“There was a bunch of trauma around that, because the bleed was the catalyst for me to have an emergency c-section. That was the biggest bleed I’ve had and it took a long time to clear up.”

Since then, Bethany has experienced minor bleeds off and on, but has also gone long stretches of time without any new bleeds.

Ginger Vieira

Image Source: Beyond Type 1

“Last October I had another bad one,” says Bethany. “It was so discouraging, because I haven’t had any new abnormal vessel growth, I’m not pregnant, I don’t have blood pressure issues, and my A1C is stellar. It just happened.”

“It’s cleared up since then without traditional treatments like a vitrectomy or steroid shots, but it took quite a while because it leaked more blood and fluid for a few weeks after the initial burst,” she adds. “At this point, I’d say I’m back to where I was pre-October in terms of vision, but maybe it’s a bit messier.”

My Experience With Laser Treatments for Retinopathy

“I’ve only had laser treatments,” says Bethany, who’s been able to manage her retinopathy without more invasive treatments.

“I’m not sure the experience qualifies as ‘pain’ so much as ‘misery’. It’s horribly uncomfortable, and it does begin to be painful as the treatment goes on, but it’s not what I’d describe as particularly painful.”

Eventually, Bethany says she used a low dose of a mild sedative to help take the anxiety out of receiving laser treatments. While it can’t change how it feels physically, it can help make the overall experience a bit less stressful.

“It’s hard to catch your breath, and it feels like being tortured, and my eyes pour with tears, but it’s all more of a dull feeling other than a bit of a sensation that a rubber band is being snapped behind your eye.”

Parenting a Newborn With Low Vision

“Nursing a baby and not being able to see her face clearly when she’s on your left side was heartbreaking,” recalls Bethany.

“Struggling to read a book to a child, wondering if you’ll have another bad bleed when you’re at the store with your child, not being able to lift an older child because it might exacerbate the bleed—it all sucked.”

Fortunately, by the time her second pregnancy began, Bethany’s eyes were ready.

“It was so much easier,” she says. “No pre-eclampsia, no eye issues. It was such a relief after being so terrified to try it all a second time.”

Today, she says she’s careful how much to share with her children about her eye complications.

“After my recent bad bleed, it was my oldest daughter (the one who was born the day of my first bleed) who held me while I sobbed, because she was ready to support me,” recalls Bethany. “That was so bittersweet and beyond meaningful.”

What My Vision Is Like Today

“I wouldn’t say I live with ‘low vision’ today but there is a blobby mess in one eye,” explains Bethany. “My brain has learned to adapt, and I can see around it. I don’t read super fine print very well, but I’m not sure I would even without retinopathy since I’m getting old!”

However, Bethany would say she did have low vision for a period of time — and it wasn’t easy.

“After those two bad bleeds, I did have trouble with the vision in one eye for a while, until the blood cleared. That was hard, but I’m grateful it wasn’t long-term.”

However she says that it’s also affected her life in other ways when there are bleeds.

“My eyes feel strained, I have headaches, and I definitely don’t feel comfortable driving until the bleeding has cleared up.”

The worry and anticipation of a potential new bleed feels like a ticking time bomb.

“I try not to think about what my vision could be like later in life, but I do wonder if I’ll be able to see my grandkids clearly, and if I should retire early so I can make the most of my later years while I still have vision. In day-to-day life it’s pretty minimal, but in terms of mental/emotional load it’s huge and it’s always there.”

How My Diabetes Management Has Changed

“I smartened up with my diabetes management big time since the first time the doc saw something in my eye,” explains Bethany. “Since that day I’ve been highly motivated to do this well.”

Having lived with type 1 diabetes since age 3 in the 1980s with early glucose meter technology and insulin options were severely limited, Bethany feels quite sure the first 25 years of her life with diabetes led to the complications in her eyes.

“My A1c was usually in the low double digits when I was a child, because avoiding low blood sugars was considered the safest way to manage diabetes in a young child back then,” says Bethany.

By the time she was in her 20s, technology and advancements in insulin helped her manage an A1c in the 7s and 8s. Once she started using an insulin pump, she was able to maintain an A1c below 7.0 during both pregnancies.

“I’ve always, always, tried really hard with my diabetes,” adds Bethany, “but it was like I spent 25 years trying to solve a puzzle that finally started to come together in the last 15 with a pump, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and eating low-carb.”

While Bethany used an insulin pump for 5 years, she’s managed her diabetes with MDI (multiple daily injections) for the last 8 years, and maintained an A1c below 7 percent, and around 5.8 percent for the last year.

“Using a pump, two pregnancies, and eating mostly low-carb definitely taught me so much more than I knew before I used an insulin pump,” explains Bethany. “But I was having a lot of issues with scar tissue which made infusion sites for pumping complicated. And I hated being tethered to my pump.”

The mental game of diabetes, she adds, is a huge part of it.

“There’s always a fear lurking that it could happen again at any time. More so since this last one,” says Bethany. “You never really escape it because you never know that you’re safe. You can do everything right from a certain point on, but the damage is already done.”

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Review: Twisted Healthy Treats Keto Ice Cream Bars

Low-carb ice cream is hard to come by, and finding one that tastes good and is affordable isn’t an easy feat. I was thrilled to come across Twisted Healthy Treats Lick Keto Bars, which are both low-carb and sugar-free, perfect for me and my blood sugar management.

This Australian company was kind enough to send me their Lick Keto Bars to try out at no cost, so that I could try this low-carb treat (as a person living with type 1 diabetes) and share my experience with our community. I did not receive additional compensation for this review and all opinions are my own.

Who They Are

Twisted Healthy Treats is a company that was started by a mother looking for treats that didn’t come loaded with artificial flavors and sugar. Since her background was in Food Science and Technology, it only made sense that she took her expertise and put it to good use. Today Twisted Healthy Treats is all female-run company, manufacturing in a state of the art facility. All of their products contain:

  • All-natural ingredients
  • No sugar or low-sugar
  • Natural based sweeteners

Products

Here’s what the company is offering today:

  • Twisted low-calorie frozen yogurt in a variety of flavors, including Watermelon & Mango, Chocolate & Coconut, Strawberry & Vanilla Bean, and Chocolate & Vanilla Bean. These products are not recommended for those aiming for keto or perfect blood sugar lines, but they can be a nice treat, with around 20 grams of carbs!
  • Licks Frozen Juice Bars have no sugar added and only contain about 7.5g of carbs. They come in Pink Lemon Twist, Mango Delish Twist, and Berry Buzz, and all are made with 99% real fruit juice.
  • Licks Frozen Ice Cream Bars in Rich Chocolate and Vanilla Latte, which contain only 2 grams of net carbs.

My Review

It has been such a wonderful feeling to know I can open up my freezer and have a quick healthy choice that can satiate my sweet tooth without impacting my blood sugars or my weight loss efforts. The Lick Keto Bars are dense, unlike many other low-carb frozen treats that leave me wanting more. They have a great creamy consistency, and each bite is packed with flavor. Each pack comes with 4 bars, and prices vary according to retailers – at Costco you can buy a large pack of mini-cups for less than $1 per cup. Check their website for locations in both Australia and the United States.

As a person living with type 1 diabetes, I wanted to see how the Keto bars affected my blood sugar. I decided not to take any insulin beforehand and watch what happened. I started the experiment at a blood sugar level of 115 mg/dL and watched carefully to see if there was a spike or even just a slow rise. 2 hours later, my blood sugar was stable and coasting at 102. It really is rare to find something enjoyable that I don’t even have to take insulin for. I am sold! I highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a delicious dessert that is nutritious and blood sugar-friendly!

Have you tried any of these? What are your favorites?

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Why You May Be Experiencing High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar is part of a life with diabetes, whether it’s type 1type 2LADA, gestational diabetes, even the more rare forms of the disease. But sometimes, hyperglycemia can seem unexplainable, persistent, and stubborn.

This article will outline the reasons why you may be experiencing high blood sugar, and what you can do about it.

What Exactly Happens When Blood Sugar Is High?

High blood sugar, by definition, is when there’s too much glucose in the blood and not enough insulin to help the cells digest it. That extra glucose floating around in the bloodstream is what brings about symptoms of frequent urination, fatigue, brain fog, headache, body ache. In severe cases, it can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

People with diabetes manage their blood sugars by taking either oral medications or insulin, and monitoring both their food intake and exercise on a daily basis.

But even when you’ve done everything “right,” like counting carbohydrates and taking your medications, your blood sugar may rise and stay annoyingly (or dangerously) high. These are the top reasons why you may be experiencing unexplainable hyperglycemia.

You’re Stressed

Ever wonder why when you’re stressed about work or school your blood stays high? That’s because the release of natural hormones in your body, like adrenaline and cortisol, spike when you’re stressed, leading to insulin resistance, and in people with existing diabetes, high blood sugars. Whether you’re prepping for a big test, selling your home, hustling for that promotion at work, or fighting with your spouse, stress can send your blood sugars skyrocketing.

Dawn Phenomenon

Dawn Phenomenon describes the high blood sugars and insulin resistance people experience in the morning, usually between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. 

The phenomenon is natural: late overnight, the body releases a surge of hormones in preparation for the new day. These hormones can trigger the liver to dump glucose into the bloodstream. In people with diabetes, the body cannot produce a healthy insulin response, and therefore blood glucose levels spike up.

Many people with diabetes require more insulin during those hours, maybe even twice as much, to counteract this age-old hormonal effect.

A different, less common (but more dangerous) phenomenon may also explain morning blood sugar highs: Somogyi effect.

You’re Sick

When people with diabetes are under the weather (or fighting off an infection), their blood sugars tend to be much higher than normal, and they become much more insulin-resistant.

This can sometimes result in needing 75% (or more!) of your average daily insulin requirements. Make sure you’re staying hydrated, monitoring for ketones, and taking as much insulin as you need to keep your blood sugars in range.

If you cannot control your blood sugars during illness – especially if you’re having trouble eating or drinking – it’s very important to get in touch with your doctor.

You’re Eating Too Many Carbs

Let’s face it: carbohydrates spike blood sugar. It’s something that people with diabetes need to think about nearly every time they eat.

Test your blood sugar frequently to see how your own body responds to different foods. Some people may find that they can comfortably eat fresh fruit, but not added sugars or white rice. Some may find something completely different.

And if you use insulin before meals, you probably already know that carbohydrate counting can be an inexact science. The more carbs you eat, the more insulin you need to take, and the more difficult it is to deliver that perfectly dosed and perfectly timed pre-bolus.

Even a little carbohydrate restriction is likely to help reduce the frequency and intensity of blood sugar highs.

You’re Eating Hidden Carbs

Ever order a salad at a restaurant, thinking it will be a nice, low-carbohydrate option, only to experience debilitating high blood sugars for hours on end afterward? There are many deceiving foods that we think are low-carb, but are anything but.

Sugar and starches hide in many foods where you wouldn’t expect to find them, especially at restaurants and among the processed foods in the grocery store. Some examples of foods that seem “healthy” but can cause a blood sugar nightmare include:

  • Salads with sweet dressings and croutons or other toppings (or salad in a bread bowl)
  • Soups
  • Smoothies (especially fruit smoothies)
  • Fruit juice
  • Foods labeled “gluten-free”
  • Granola
  • Flavored yogurts
  • Fat-free ice cream
  • Restaurant foods (especially due to extreme portion sizes)

“Healthy” does not necessarily mean “diabetes-friendly.” Fat-free products are often fortified with sugars and starches. And many gluten-free products have even more carbohydrates than their standard gluten counterparts.

If you’ve chosen a restaurant that can provide nutritional information, ask for it, so you’ll know exactly how many carbohydrates you’ll be consuming. Consider asking for salad dressings and sauces on the side. 

Your Insulin Pump May Be Kinked

If you’re insulin-dependent, the first thing you should do at the sign of stubborn high blood sugar is to check to see if you have a kink in your insulin pump cannula. This can block the delivery of insulin, leading to a very frustrating day.

If you’re unsure, change your pump site! Make sure to call your insulin pump manufacturer to let them know of the issue, and they will usually mail you a replacement for free.

You’ve Injected Into Scar Tissue

If there’s no kink in the cannula, or if you’re using syringes to deliver multiple daily injections (MDI), you may have also just picked a “bad” site. When insulin is injected (either manually or with an insulin pump infusion set) into scar tissue, absorption suffers, resulting in unpredictable and high blood sugars.

Make sure to always rotate your sites as much as possible to avoid developing scar tissue and the inevitable high blood sugars they bring.

Your Medications Need Adjusting

Our bodies are constantly changing. It would be silly to expect the same insulin to carbohydrate ratio or insulin sensitivity factors or even the same number of milligrams of our oral diabetes medications for our entire lives.

Make sure you’re seeing your endocrinologist or diabetes doctor regularly; they can help refine your medication regimen.

You may be especially likely to require adjustments if you’ve recently lost or gained weight, have increased or decreased your activity levels, are going through a stressful life change, are pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant, or haven’t been to the doctor for a while.

Your Medications Are Expired

Always check to make sure your medications aren’t expired! At room temperature, insulin will lose potency

Oral medications can last much longer, but you still need to be cognizant of expiration dates and make sure you’re refilling your prescriptions regularly to avoid taking an expired (and potentially useless) dose.

What to Do When Your Blood Sugar Is High

High blood sugars can range from not-a-big-deal to a life-or-death emergency. Make sure to check your blood sugar often and monitor for any signs of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). If you have blood sugars that are over 250 md/dL for more than a few hours and you have moderate to high ketones, you will need to seek emergency medical care immediately. If you don’t have ketones, but want to feel better as soon as possible, try some of these tactics:

  • Exercise – cardio (a walk, jog or even jumping jacks) can bring blood sugar down quickly
  • Take a correction bolus of insulin
  • Change your pump site
  • Chug water
  • Take a hot shower or bath 
  • Manage stress with a quick yoga sequence or meditation
  • Test for ketones (if you have moderate or high ketones and your blood sugar has been high for several hours, call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away)

Understanding why you’re experiencing high blood sugars is one more way to improve your life with diabetes! Always work with your doctor before changing your oral medication and/or insulin therapy.

Have you ever experienced a mystery, stubborn high blood sugar? What helped you to get it down quickly? Share this post and comment below; we love hearing from our readers!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps

This content originally appeared on ForGoodMeasure. Republished with permission.

One-pan dinners are a go-to for family night, but in most cases a bit too real for guests. This recipe will change your dinner parties. Hearty Swiss chard leaves wrap a savory treasure of salmon and snappy vegetables bathed in lemon-thyme butter. Recyclable foil packets jazz up the presentation and keep everything in place, while minimizing cleanup so you can spend time with friends outside your kitchen. Perfect al fresco with fresh greens tossed in a light vinaigrette.

Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps

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Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps

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Hearty Swiss chard leaves wrap a savory treasure of salmon and snappy vegetables bathed in lemon-thyme butter. 
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword fish, one-pan, salmon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 405kcal

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon chives chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon thyme chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel grated
  • 8 pcs large Swiss chard leaves center stems trimmed. Remove stem to the leaf edge creating a solid surface
  • 2 cups summer squash sliced
  • 2 cups green beans trimmed
  • 4 6- ounce salmon fillets skinned
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup lemon sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine butter, chives, lemon juice, thyme and lemon peel.
  • Set lemon-thyme butter aside.
  • Tear four 12×12 squares of aluminum foil.
  • Working in batches, overlap two trimmed chard leaves stem-to-stem, making a rectangle.
  • Place arranged chard on each foil square.
  • Layer ½ cup summer squash and ½ cup green beans on each chard base.
  • Add one 6-ounce salmon fillet.
  • Sprinkle each fillet with ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  • Dot each with one tablespoon lemon-thyme butter, topping with a lemon slice.
  • Fold bottom chard leaf over each fillet, follow with the top.
  • Holding closed, fold aluminum foil, creating a sealed packet.
  • Place prepared packets on rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake until salmon reaches 145 degrees, approximately 12-15 minutes.
  • Open packets and serve.

Notes

* Naturally low-carb & gluten-free

Nutrition

Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 552mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

5 Simple and Healthy Summer Swaps

The warm weather is finally here, and the pandemic is subsiding. For me that means a lot of barbeques and entertaining in my backyard. It is very easy to be a people pleaser and get what you think everyone else wants, but that could leave you dealing with a roller coaster of blood sugars. When you are hosting, it can be hard enough to find time to actually enjoy yourself and the last thing you need is to be worrying about your numbers. So, make sure to get plan on some recipes that are blood sugar friendly so that you can be present and enjoy the day.

The warm weather makes me crave light and refreshing foods. Thankfully, these foods are typically lower in carbs than their hearty winter counterparts. It is also so easy to find lower carb options at the grocery stores nowadays, making swaps super simple! Here are five alternatives to some of everyone’s favorite go-to hearty foods:

1. Zucchini Linguini

Put down the pasta! There are so many healthy alternatives available to us that you really don’t have to take a gamble with your weight or your blood sugar! Zucchini linguini is a great go-to that can also be turned into a cold pasta salad which is perfect for summer barbeques (pro tip: edamame pasta is my personal favorite, check it out here).

healthy summer swaps

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

2. Cauliflower

People love comfort foods and meatloaf and mashed potatoes is a fan favorite. However, being hot and humid doesn’t really make me in the mood for such a rich and filling meal. You can lighten it up by replacing the mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. You can also create a cold potato salad, hashbrowns and so much more! Add your seasoning of choice to spice it up!

mashed cauliflower

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

3. Meat and Cheese Roll-Ups

I definitely have a weak spot for mozzarella sticks. Anytime my kids order them at a restaurant, I take an extra unit or so of insulin in the hopes there will be one for me. I decided to make a healthier version at home and it turns out to be something my son loves. I bake clumps of shredded cheese on parchment paper in a 400-degree oven until it looks melted and then throw a pepperoni in the center of each one and wait until the cheese is bubbling which means it’s ready to come out. You can broil it for another minute if you like it extra crisp. And if you need a quick lunch or high protein snack, opt for meat and cheese roll-ups. There are so many variations, you are sure to like one!

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

4. Guacamole

I love cheese and dips but many of them are very fattening and loaded with calories. Avocado, on the other hand, is a fruit full of healthy fats and vitamins. It contains 9 carbs each but 7 of those carbs are fiber leaving it with a total of 2 net carbs. You can prepare guacamole however you like it and I recommend using endive as the “scooper”.

guacamole dip with fresh vegetables

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

5. Make Your Own Low-Carb Pizzas

Pizza is quick and affordable which makes it an easy go-to when you are running around. The only problem is pizza is loaded with carbs and fat making this a food notorious for being hard to bolus for. Why not turn pizza into a fun family activity and make your own using almond flour, egg and mozzarella as the crust? Then everyone can personalize as they see fit. Store them in the freezer and make them on those hectic nights instead of having to make another trip before you head home!

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

It is much easier than you would think to find low-carb alternatives for some of our favorite foods. You just need to take the time and plan ahead. Both your blood sugars and waistline will be glad you did!

Have you found some healthy summer swaps for your heartier winter favorites? Comment and share below!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Review: Real Good Foods Does Low-Carb Right

Low-carb frozen and quick meal options that use quality ingredients that don’t cost an arm and a leg can be hard to come by!

Real Good Foods is one company that has recently launched a variety of new products ranging from microwavable lunches and breakfast sandwiches to even ice cream. They sent me some products to try out at no cost so that I could relay my perspectives on the taste, convenience, and from a diabetes management perspective. I did not receive additional compensation for this review and all opinions are my own.

Read on for my honest review.

Who They Are

Real Good Foods is a company committed to creating “REAL Food You Feel GOOD About Eating.” The family-owned business was founded in 2017 and today delivers a variety of convenience foods that are all:

  • Made with real, nutrient-dense ingredients
  • High in protein
  • Low in carbohydrate
  • Free of added sugar

Products

Currently, the company carries food items in the following categories:

  • Entrees, including enchiladas, as wells as a variety of bowls; Almost all of these items provide at least 15-20 g of protein per serving, and can contain as little as 2 g net carbohydrates (some are higher, but never over 11 g of net carbs). The enchiladas are made with a tortilla that is made from chicken and cheese, while many bowls incorporate cauliflower rice and non-starchy veggies to keep that carb count down.
  • Breakfast sandwiches, which are made with a cauliflower and cheese bun, and boast 18 g of protein and only 4 g net carbohydrate per sandwich.
  • Stuffed chicken and nuggets (mainly filled with cheese and vegetables) that often deliver over 30 g of protein and virtually no carbohydrates
  • Pizza, which is made with several different types of crusts (caveat: the chicken one has a lot fewer carbohydrates than the other varieties!)
  • Ice Cream, which is primarily sweetened with allulose, a newer sugar substitute that is naturally occurring and preferred by many to other alternatives

My Review

I tried out several products, including beef enchiladas, a chicken lasagna bowl, bacons and egg breakfast sandwiches, and finally, an array of ice creams. Overall, I enjoyed everything I tried, and it was very convenient to have a low-carb high-protein meal available when I am pressed for time. For me personally, I feel that the lunches I tried (enchiladas and bowls) were a little on the small side, although it could just be because I often skip breakfast, so tend to be more hungry at lunchtime.

I like to top the bowls and enchiladas alike with some sour cream and/or guacamole as well. I think the flavors were bold and the meals tasted quite good. Importantly, the ingredients were simple and so the meals were easy to bolus for and did not wreak havoc on my blood sugar levels. For instance, the chicken lasagna bowl was essentially just marinara sauce, ricotta filling, chicken, and cheese!

As far as the breakfast sandwiches, I was pleasantly surprised at the taste and texture. To be fair, the cauliflower and cheese “bun” does not taste anything like an English muffin, to me. But, it delivers a nice flavor and texture, and is a great breakfast or snack for me, on-the-go. My husband and daughter also agreed that these were pretty good!

Bacon and cheese breakfast sandwich (4 g net carbohydrates and 18 g of protein).

Finally, the ice creams, which are available in a multitude of flavors, really were a hit with everyone in my family who tried them! They are:

  • Chocolate
  • Tanzanian Vanilla
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Salted Caramel
  • Mocha Java Chip
  • Cake Batter

Truly something for everyone, and my four-year-old is especially partial to the chocolate. As I often say, it must be good if it passed the toddler test for what is an acceptable dessert!

The ice cream, of all the products, was probably my favorite as well. Is it particularly nutritious as compared to some of the other foods? Of course not; however, I think everyone needs a little ice cream in their life, and this line really delivered on that. You can’t go wrong with whole and simple ingredients when it comes to ice cream, and since it’s sweetened with allulose and a little bit of stevia, it hardly affects my blood sugar levels, even without any additional insulin.

In addition to enjoying the taste and feeling like these foods made it easier to choose healthier options for me, I was also happy with the price point. While not the cheapest convenience foods, this company strikes a very reasonable balance between quality and price. The entrees are right around $7, give or take; the breakfast sandwiches come in at right over ~$2 per sandwich, while a pint of the ice cream is typically priced at $7.99, on the company website. I also noticed they have some items on sale; for instance, last I checked, there were a few ice cream options that cost between $3.99 and $5.99.

You can purchase directly form the website, or use a mapping tool to find the distributor that is closest to you.

Overall, I was happy with the taste, effects on blood sugar levels, and the convenience of the foods I sampled, and was particularly impressed with the ice cream line. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for quick meals that are nutritious and blood sugar-friendly.

Have you tried any of these? What are your favorites?

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Keto Chocolate Cream Cheese Truffles

This content originally appeared on Low Carb Yum. Republished with permission.

Before fat bomb recipes were all the rage, I would whip up some simple cream cheese chocolate balls made with cocoa. Then I’d coat them with a little coconut, nuts, or cocoa powder.

The recipe for these cream cheese truffles is so simple. Plus, I usually have all the ingredients on hand. So I can make them for a quick snack any time.

Because this is such a quick and easy recipe, it’s sure to become a go-to for you too!

Cream Cheese Truffles

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Keto Chocolate Cream Cheese Truffles

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These low-carb almond fudge keto truffles are easy to prepare and look fabulous. Coat them in cocoa powder, chopped nuts, or unsweetened coconut.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 truffles
Calories 45kcal

Equipment

  • Food processor or mixer

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream optional – see note
  • cup Swerve Confectioners Powdered Sweetener or Truvia Sweet Complete Confectioners
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract or another flavor extract
  • cocoa powder
  • unsweetened coconut
  • chopped nuts

Instructions

  • In a food processor or mixer, combine ½ cup cocoa powder, cream cheese, cream (if using), and almond extract until well blended.
  • Using a small scoop or spoon, divide the mixture evenly and roll it into balls. Roll balls in the desired topping – cocoa, coconut, or chopped nuts.

Notes

The addition of heavy cream will give a sweeter taste and tone down the cream cheese.

You may want to place the cream cheese mixture in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes before forming it into balls if it’s too soft.

The easiest way to get uniform balls is to use a cookie scoop. It will also help to get the balls perfectly round.

For a smooth mixture, it’s best to use soft cream cheese. To soften it quickly, put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

The original recipe used 3 tablespoons of Truvia, a concentrated granular mix of stevia and erythritol. Since one-for-one powdered sweeteners are more common these days, the recipe changed to use one of those instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Keto Chocolate Cream Cheese Truffles Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Incredo Spreads: A Low-Carb Nutella?

Few sweets inspire devotion and enthusiasm quite like Nutella, the outrageously delicious hazelnut-cocoa spread. A jar of Nutella is almost universally recognized as a very dangerous thing to keep in the pantry, and it takes rare self-restraint not to attack it with a spoon as soon as nobody’s watching. People with diabetes: beware!

Along comes an innovative product named Incredo Sugar, which has just released its own hazelnut cocoa spread, named Incredo Spread. The business boasts that its spread has 48% less sugar, and that it tastes just as good.

A low-carb Nutella? Could it possibly be true?

Read on for our review. 

Incredo Sugar

The heart of the product is an ingredient that parent company DouxMatok calls Incredo Sugar. The formula is a “sugar reduction solution” that amplifies the taste of natural sugar, allowing manufacturers to use less of the stuff. The invention was named one of 2020’s best by Time Magazine.

Incredo Sugar is not a sugar alternative or replacement—it’s made with the good stuff, real sugar cane or sugar beets. The difference is in the shape of Incredo Sugar crystals, which are designed to more quickly interact with our saliva and taste buds. When we eat regular sugar, a high percentage gets washed down towards the stomach without actually contributing any flavor. Incredo Sugar connects with your taste buds, and therefore your brain, at a much higher rate, meaning that a smaller amount has a bigger effect.

The hazelnut spreads are the first product made with Incredo Sugar available to consumers, and the business promises much more to come.

Flavor

These spreads taste great

There are two options today: Hazelnut Cocoa and Dark Cocoa Salted Caramel. The former is the Nutella equivalent, and I think it would take a very sensitive taster to distinguish between the lower-sugar version and the real thing. 

The Dark Cocoa Salted Caramel flavor is also delicious, and would make a heck of good topping for vanilla ice cream.

Source: Incredo Sugar

I’m very sensitive to the weird flavors and aftertastes from alternative sugars, and there’s none of that here. It absolutely tastes like real sugar, which it is.

Don’t just take my word for it. I drizzled some of the hazelnut spread over banana pancakes for my children—two tiny humans with a pronounced preference for unrestrained high-carb eating—and they loved it.

Nutritional Profile

The fat, protein, and caloric contents of the Increado Spreads are very close to those of Nutella. The significant difference is the ratio of sugar to fiber. Nutella has 22 grams of total carbohydrates, 21 from sugar, and a scant 1 gram of fiber, presumably from the hazelnuts. Increado’s hazelnut cocoa spread has 20 grams of total carbs, but 8 grams of dietary fiber. Most of that fiber must come from chicory root inulin, a trendy and supposedly very healthy ingredient that probably helps to balance out the texture of the spread.

Many Nutella eaters have noted with regret that their favorite snack contains more sugar and palm oil than it does hazelnuts. Not so with the Incredo Spread: organic hazelnuts are listed first on the ingredients panel. The same goes for the cocoa & caramel spread.

Glycemic Impact

It’s impossible to predict how Incredo Spreads will impact your blood sugar. If you ask a group of people with diabetes how fiber spikes their glucose levels, you’ll get more than a few different answers.

If fiber reliably spikes you just as much as simple carbohydrates do, then maybe the Incredo Spreads won’t represent much of an improvement over the original Nutella. I can usually deduct fiber from total carbohydrates and bolus for net carbs, and my taste test suggests that for me, Increado Spreads do have a less significant impact on my blood sugar.

Is it diabetes-friendly? That’s up to you. There’s no question that 12 grams of net carbohydrates per serving is meaningfully less than 21 grams, but it’s still likely enough for insulin-users to need to deliver a bolus. For keto and low-carb dieters, it probably counts as a “cheat” item. (Especially considering how difficult it is to stop eat just one portion.) But as far as splurges go, you’re getting a ton of sweetness and flavor for a very modest number of carbohydrates.

Eating Ideas

So, how are you supposed to eat it? Nutella is almost always slathered on top of foods that are starchy, and oftentimes sweet—think toast, pancakes, and crepes. That might be good enough for most sugar-avoiders, but those of us with diabetes also have to factor in the blood sugar consequences of the other carbohydrates in these snacks. On a popular list of 50 Ways to Eat Nutella, only a handful don’t involve some kind of dessert or baked good, and one of them is “on celery.” (No thanks.)

Here are a few lower-carb ways you might enjoy these less-carby spreads:

– Dipped with berries

– Spread on low-carb toast or pastries

– In a keto ice cream sundae

– In a hot chocolate, with low-sugar soy/almond milk

– In a frosting for low-carb cake

– With a spoon … or your finger

Sustainability

There’s been some controversy over the years about Nutella’s environmental impact. A particular issue is the product’s high amount of palm oil, a ubiquitous ingredient that is a major driver of global environmental degradation. Nutella now claims only to use sustainable palm oil, but some advocates remain suspicious about the company’s ecological legacy and future. 

Incredo hopes to address such concerns. The product replaces palm oil with sunflower oil (although my brief research into the topic suggests that this may not be much of an improvement). The spreads are also made with organic hazelnuts, non-GMO ingredients, and claim that the reduced sugar content further reduces the ecological footprint. 

Bottom Line

Incredo Spreads are expensive ($22.95 for two tubs), but they’re also pretty darn delicious, and a ~50% reduction in sugar content is nothing to sneeze at. True hazelnut spread lovers may find the splurge worthwhile, and should enjoy the somewhat less intense blood sugar impact.

 

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Crustless Butternut Squash Tart

This content originally appeared on ForGoodMeasure. Republished with permission.

While technically a winter fruit, antioxidant-rich butternut squash is available year around either fresh from the farm or frozen. Embracing spring’s yellow blossoms, summer’s golden sun, autumn’s amber hues & winter’s hearty recipes – this flavorful, crustless tart is perfect any season as a savory breakfast or light dinner alongside fresh greens tossed in a snappy vinaigrette.

Crustless Butternut Squash Tart

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Crustless Butternut Squash Tart

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This flavorful, crustless tart is perfect any season as a savory breakfast or light dinner alongside fresh greens tossed in a snappy vinaigrette.
Course Breads and Baked Goods
Cuisine American
Keyword Butternut Squash
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Calories 140kcal

Equipment

  • Immersion blender or processor

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups butternut squash peeled, seeded & cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¾ cup goat cheese*

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  • Toss squash in olive oil and arrange on prepared baking sheet.
  • Roast for 40 minutes, until tender.
  • In a small bowl combine roasted squash, eggs, egg yolks, heavy cream, creme fraiche, salt and pepper.
  • Purée squash mixture, using an immersion blender or processor.
  • Grease a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.
  • Crumble goat cheese in prepared dish, distributing evenly.
  • Pour egg mixture over cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm.

Notes

Naturally low-carb & gluten-free

*I prefer creamy Capricho de Cabra for this recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 245mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

 

Crustless Butternut Squash Tart Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Review: RxSugar’s Zero-Carb Sugar and Syrups

It isn’t easy to find a natural sugar substitute that tastes good, keeps your blood sugars in check and doesn’t upset your stomach. I was pleasantly surprised to find RxSugar tasted great and was kind to both my blood sugars and my digestive system. I received RxSugar products free of charge, and all opinions are my own.

What Is RxSugar?

RxSugar is the first natural plant-based sugar that contains allulose and has been clinically proven to help support weight management and body fat reduction. It has 90% fewer calories than traditional table sugar, contains zero net carbs, and scores a zero on the glycemic index.

How Is RxSugar Different From Other Sugar Substitutes?

RxSugar, per the FDA, does not have to be listed on the Nutrition Facts label as a sugar or added sugar since it is not metabolized by the body like traditional sugar. Therefore, it does not significantly impact blood glucose levels.

Allulose is the only natural crystal alternative sugar that is patented non-GMO Certified and Tested, Keto Approved, FODMAP Friendly, Kosher, and Halal. It’s also naturally Vegan, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Soy-free, and Cholesterol-free.

How Does It Taste?

I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of RxSugar. It is about 70% as sweet as regular sugar, and I didn’t find it overpowering at all.

First, I tried their easy individual stick sugar packs in my coffee and found no weird aftertaste and no effects on my blood sugar or stomach. Next, I tried their sugar, which comes in an easy-to-use 1-pound canister, for some of my low-carb baking. I found it tasted great, with none of the cooling effect that some other sugar substitutes are known to have. And last but certainly not least, the syrups were the best sugar substitute that I have tried to date. For one breakfast, I sneakily replaced my daughter’s regular maple syrup with RxSugar’s pancake syrup, and she had no idea. She even asked for seconds! It is great knowing that my kids, who don’t eat as low-carb as me, can still enjoy their waffles and pancakes without so much added sugar. And for me, I enjoy making my own protein waffles and love that I can use this syrup liberally!

Where Can I Purchase It and How Much Does It Cost?

RxSugar products are now available nationwide in over 3,000 retailers, including Vitamin Shoppe; you can also order through their website. They offer granulated RxSugar in 1 pound canister or as a 30-pack of individual sticks (coming soon in a variety pack). The business also offers RxSugar in a liquid form, in addition to the pancake syrups, in both maple and chocolate flavors.

All of their products are $12.99, and the website offers free shipping on all orders over $40.

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the RxSugar products and will definitely be making them a staple in my house. The substitute sugar is great to have on hand for my coffee and baking, allowing me to enjoy delicious sweetness without worrying about my blood sugars. Additionally, the syrup has quickly become a family favorite, and I will be purchasing it for a long time to come. I can give RxSugar products my highest recommendation.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

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