Nancy Dell: How diabetics can treat low blood sugar; Whole milk yogurt

Whole milk yogurt is making it's way back into the dairy case but it is NOT the best option for most people

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1. I am diabetic.  Will I always know when my blood sugar is low.  How do I treat it?
Barbara, Chicopee

Blood sugar is considered low when if hits 70 or less.  Each person will have different symptoms and they may include shaking, headache, irritability, dizziness, and confusion to name a few. If you have low blood sugars often, your body may get used to it and you may no longer have symptoms.

This is very dangerous and you could end up in a coma.  So be sure to treat low blood sugar immediately.

Eat 15 grams of Fast-acting Carbohydrate:

  • 1/2 cup fruit juice or soda
  • 1 TBSP honey or Sugar

Eat 15 grams of fast acting carbohydrate like one half cup of fruit juice or regular soda or one tablespoon of sugar or honey. Wait 15 minutes and retest your blood sugar.  If you are still below 70, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrate.

Keep retesting and repeating until your blood sugar rises. Then eat a snack or meal.  This is a simple answer but low blood sugars can be complicated.  I recommend you see a Certified Diabetes Educator to learn more and avoid low blood sugars altogether. In my practice, we find all insurances cover this.

2.I have seen more whole milk yogurt in the dairy case.  Is this now considered more healthful?
elly, Internet

Whole milk yogurt is making it’s way back into the dairy case but it is NOT the best option for most people. Animal fats like those found in cheese, whole milk and whole milk yogurt are higher in saturated fat which can lead to more belly fat.

The most recent study published in the Journal Diabetes fed lean young people 3 muffins a day. One group had muffins made with an unsaturated fat. The second group ate muffins made with a saturated fat. After 7 weeks, both groups gained 3 and a half pounds. The saturated fat group gained more belly fat and the unsaturated fat group gained more muscle.

So buy lower fat dairy and meats and replace saturated fat with more oils like olive and safflower oil.