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Nutrition for Diabetics: Glucerna SR
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
High blood sugar is such a problem especially if one is used to eating sugar-rich food such as cakes. Most diabetics will just skip desert in order to avoid these sugar-laden goodies. But there is no room for deprivation even with high blood sugar as long as you watch what and how much you eat. The most important thing to do of course is exercise.

There is this new product in the market named Glucerna SR from Abbott (this is not a paid post). It's not actually that new as it is already in the market since last year. It's just that not many are using it either because they still haven't heard of it or because of the price. It is a low calorie drink in powder form which provides complete and balanced nutrition. It is high in monounsaturated fatty acids which help lower blood cholesterol. It also promotes a healthier heart. Though I am not a diabetic, I've tried it and I can say that it gives you the sustained energy that would last you for the rest of the day. You won't be looking for more food in between meals as diabetics often do. Therefore, it allows you to comply with your diet.

The good thing about it is that in can be used also for cooking once you get tired of using it plainly as a beverage. It can be used in making soups (like cream of tomato, cream of mushroom, cream of corn, broccoli soup, or carrot soup), in baking (as a substitute for chocolate in making brownies), in desserts, and in milk shakes if you want to add a twist to your beverage.

Here is a sample recipe using Glucerna SR (taken from the fliers given by Abbott).
Broccoli Soup
  • 6 scoops Glucerna SR powder
  • 1 small head broccoli
  • 200 ml water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Wash broccoli. Cut into small pieces
  • Steam broccoli until soft
  • Put steamed broccoli, Glucerna SR and water into blender
  • Blend ingredients together until well-incorporated and smooth
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Heat to serving temperature. DO NOT BOIL
  • Serve in a soup bowl
Taste may differ from what you are used to but at least you are eating healthy. A healthy lifestyle is a must in diabetics. That includes a healthy diet, weight management, and exercise.

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 10:53 AM   5 comments
Nutrition: Know the Glycemic Load
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I have mentioned and even explained metabolic syndrome several times in this blog. And maybe by now, you must already have an idea of what this condition is all about. It is a common condition so that we all must be aware of its complications.

Metabolic syndrome is the end result from years of taking in foods high in refined carbohydrates such as breads, starches, and sweets. And all these result in high blood sugar levels which we all know is toxic to the body. This boils down to the fact that we need to control our blood sugar level and one way (there are lots of other ways) is to be more watchful of what we eat. How? We must know if the food we eat convert quickly to sugar. If it is, then this food has high glycemic index and needs to be avoided.

Glycemic index measures how rapidly glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the blood. The higher the value, the faster the rate of absorption of glucose. It is a fairly easy guide to follow, isn't it? All we have to do is to look for the glycemic index of the food before we eat them. And most diabetics use this guide to watch their sugar intake. But there is a more important parameter that can be used in place of glycemic index. It is best that we should also know the glycemic load of the food that we eat.

Glycemic load is the percentage of carbohydrate the food contains. Each unit of glycemic load is equivalent to the effect of 1 gram of pure glucose on blood sugar. This is important because there are some foods that have high glycemic index but have low glycemic load. Therefore, they are safe to eat as well if you are watching your blood sugar level. Let's take carrots for example which has a glycemic index of 92. A 100g serving has 5.2g of carbohydrate resulting in a very low glycemic load of only 4.3 (GL= (92 x 5.2)/100 = 4.3).

Knowing the glycemic load then gives us wider food choices. Most fruits and vegetables like apple, watermelon, orange, and cantaloupe, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, green beans and cabbage all have low glycemic load. Watermelon have high glycemic index but very low glycemic load (only 4 per serving).

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 11:35 AM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
See my complete profile
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