In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our January-February 2011 issue, we asked WebMD's Diabetes Expert, Michael Dansinger, MD, whether stevia, a new natural sweetener, is a good sugar substitute for people with diabetes.
To help manage your diabetes, you need to spread carbs out more evenly throughout the day. So, for example, a S.M.A.R.T. goal is “I will eat a breakfast containing 45 grams of carbohydrates every day for the next 2 weeks.”
Attainable: Breakfasts with about 45 grams of carbs are very doable. A few options:
1 cup cooked oatmeal (32 grams), 1/2 medium banana (13 grams), a hard-boiled egg, black coffee
2 scrambled eggs, 1 small whole wheat pita (15 grams), 1 orange (18 grams), 1 cup 1% milk (14 grams)
3 rye crispbreads (24 grams), 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese (5 grams), 1 cup of blackberries (15 grams)
Relevant: Spreading carbs out is relevant because it helps you curb hunger, so you don’t overeat. To hit 45 grams, you have to plan to eat protein and fat in addition to carbs at a meal. A piece of toast with an egg, for instance, will keep you feeling full longer than two slices of toast with jam. When you’re more satisfied, you’re likely to eat less overall.
Time-bound: This goal will be your focus for 2 weeks. At the end of that time, you can decide if you want to do it again or set a different goal.
Why It Works
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals helps keep big projects, like losing weight or managing blood sugar, from being overwhelming.
Your steps for success are clearly spelled out so that you know when you’ve met the goal.
The biggest payoff comes from turning short-term goals into long-lasting, healthy habits.
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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