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Smart Snacking for Living With Diabetes

Friday, October 30, 2009 General News J E 4
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LE MARS, Iowa Oct. 29 -- A new case of diabetes strikes every 20 seconds. With nearly 24 million Americans of all ages affected by the disease and an additional 57 million at risk for diabetes, diabetes has reached epidemic proportions.(1) If current trends continue, one out of three children will live with diabetes sometime in their future.(1)

Type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the immune system mistakenly destroys cells that make insulin, is juvenile-onset diabetes; while type 2 diabetes has an adult-onset and can often be prevented. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 percent of cases.(1) According to the American Diabetes Association, those living with diabetes can lower the occurrence of health complications and those at high risk for developing diabetes can take proactive measures to both live healthfully and prevent a diabetes diagnosis by following a healthy meal plan and regular exercise program.

"The key to healthy eating is moderation and making smart choices in your daily diet," said Mike Cecil who develops better-for-you products for Wells' Dairy, Inc., the largest family owned and operated dairy processor in the country. "By substituting low-sugar, low-carbohydrate versions of the snacks you eat, those living with and prone to diabetes are still able to eat their favorite foods while maintaining a healthy diet."

Cecil spends much of his time researching healthier ingredients that will make products better without sacrificing taste. Snacking can be part of a healthy diet and has been shown to actually help prevent overeating at meals and provide a constant source of energy for the body.(1) According to Cecil, people do not have to give up their favorite treats, instead just find a better option that will help them achieve their health goals.

"By choosing snacks with little or no added sugar, you can enjoy even your favorite treat – ice cream – and maintain a healthy, balanced diet by limiting excess sugar intake," said Cecil. The Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom line, for example, offers treats like the Black Raspberry Bar and Krunch Lite Bar made with no sugar added reduced fat ice cream. Choosing a Sweet Freedom snack or a no sugar added reduced fat ice cream like Blue Bunny No Sugar Added Reduced Fat Banana Split Ice Cream will help keep calories and carbohydrates low, which is essential to preventing and living healthfully with diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association offers these tips on ways to incorporate treats into a healthy diet for those living with and prone to diabetes:

  • Limit portion size and frequency – You don't have to cut out the foods you love to eat, just cut down portion size and treat yourself to these foods on special occasions.
  • Plan ahead – People living with diabetes can include desserts in their meal plans, just plan ahead and make other meal adjustments to compensate for the dessert, like cutting back on other foods with carbohydrates at the same meal. For many people, about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates at meals is a good target.(1) The key to keeping your blood glucose levels on target is to substitute small portions of sweets for other carb-containing foods in your meals and snacks.
  • Read the label – Foods labeled as sugar-free, no sugar added and reduced sugar may still contain carbohydrates. Sugar is only one type of carbohydrate that affects blood glucose levels, so when reading the nutrition facts on a product, read the total carbohydrate content in addition to the sugar content and serving size. Keep in mind that the total carbohydrate includes both added sugars and naturally occurring sugars, as well as starch and fiber.

(1) American Diabetes Association

CONTACT:  Kaylan Viveros, +1-816-842-1500, kviveros@barkleyus.com, for Wells' Dairy, Inc.

SOURCE Wells' Dairy, Inc.

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