The affect of summer on blood sugar

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Summer, heat, and humidity have arrived in Chicago! I love this time of year, but as a person with diabetes, I need to take special care when it gets hot.

For myself and many people with diabetes, managing blood sugar in the summer is a juggling act! I, personally, have trouble with low blood sugars, but this isn’t the case for everyone. We may experience high OR low blood sugars when it’s warm.
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What’s Cooking?! Chicken Kabobs

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Another quick, low fat meal with very few ingredients. Chicken kabobs! Choose a low-fat marinade, such as balsamic vinegar, lemon/lime juice, or a low-fat italian dressing to keep the meat tender and the Calories low. A whole grain, high fiber starch, like corn on the cob or lima beans give carbohydrates for energy, and the non-starchy veggies on the kabobs and as another side dish add color, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. Looks pretty, doesn’t it? And to think it only took about 20 minutes on the grill!
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What’s Cooking?! Jalepeno Turkey Burgers

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Summer is burger season! My husband, Jason, and I make our own burger patties so that we know what goes into them and so that we can add whatever we want. This week, we chose ground turkey, since it was on sale and is lower in fat. I know, I know, turkey may not have the flavor that ground beef does, but take a look at what we did to these patties to spice them up. And, Jason made this meal on his own. It’s a fast and easy meal for grill-lovers.
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A spoon full of cinnamon helps the blood sugar go down?

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Lots of factors affect blood sugar: food, exercise, emotions, stress, illness, medications, etc; and, we all want to keep blood sugar within a normal range. Lifestyle is the best way to take control of our health; but, could there be supplements that aid in blood sugar management??

Cinnamon has received lots of “hype” for blood sugar benefits; and, may be rightfully so according to the research. What’s even cooler is that the benefit wasn’t just seen with blood sugar. The spice may improve cholesterol, too!
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What’s Cooking?! Italian Chicken Pockets

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Easy clean up tonight! Steaming a low-fat meat, like chicken breast, in aluminum foil in the oven helps avoid added fat and keeps the meat tender. Make little “pockets” with your favorite veggies and low-fat meats for an easy, fast meal without all the dishes!
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Yes, these foods raise blood sugar. No, they are not bad foods!

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Teaching dietary recommendations for managing blood sugar is an interesting experience for me. Since carbohydrates have been engrained in my head for so long, it is always surprising to hear people’s reactions to the list of foods that raise blood sugar.

The obvious culprit is sugar itself. However, carbohydrates are broken down into sugar so they, too, raise blood sugar. So, while limiting desserts, candies, sugar packets, and sugary drinks is important, we can get in trouble (and frustrated!) if we do not have a complete list of foods/drinks raising blood sugar.
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What’s Cooking?! Meatloaf

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I wish the picture turned out better for this one, because the meal was delicious and I wish it looked as good as it tasted, but obviously my photography skills don’t match my cooking skills! Healthy meals can be easy and quick and can include our favorite foods! Take you favorite meatloaf recipe, and consider making the little changes explained below to add vitamins, minerals, fiber, and to limit fat, salt, and simple sugar:
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What’s Cooking?! Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

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Went back to one of my favorite childhood meals last night: spaghetti and meat sauce! While this was one of my favorite meals growing up, we didn’t have it as often as I would have liked. When I asked my mom why? She explained that because I had type I diabetes, spaghetti was hard because I could never have as much as I wanted.

There have been lots of changes to my diabetes care plan over the past 22 years, and with these changes has come a whole lot more flexibility. So, while it is easier to make these meals work, it is still important to make heart-healthy, carbohydrate-conscious changes to recipes. So, here is how we make spaghetti and meat sauce work:
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Which cereal would you choose?

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Take a look at this comparison of popular cereals that we might initially consider to be “healthy”. Remember your label-reading tips and let me know what you think!

Which one would you choose? How do the cereals in your pantry compare? Are there “better” options out there?