My husband was recently diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. This diagnosis was not a complete surprise to us because his blood tests over the past few years showed that he was getting close to it. I understand that diabetes causes damage to the circulatory system because the extra sugar in the bloodstream causes the blood to thicken. This alone causes the entire system to work harder. If the arteries are hardened or blocked by plague, then the thickened blood has an even more difficult time flowing through the body. Thus, diabetes can be a contributing factor for heart attacks and/or strokes.
I also understand that a diabetic's major goal is to keep the level of sugar in the blood as level as possible. This goal can be reached by a combination of several steps. The most important step is to be aware of carbohydrates as well as the amount and time of eating them. After a night of fasting, it is important to eat within an hour of waking as well as to eat something at least every four hours. To shorten the fasting time at night, a small snack should be eaten just before going to bed.
Besides eating wisely, it is also important for a diabetic to exercise regularly because exercise lowers the blood sugar level. Some people with type 2 diabetes can control their disease with diet and exercise alone. A second reason for regular exercise is that it helps to prevent a wide variety of diseases: osteoporosis, some kinds of cancer, and heart disease. It also lowers blood pressure, boosts "good" (HDL) cholesterol, and decreases "bad" (LDL) cholesterol. A third reason for regular exercise is that it helps to manage weight. The more exercise one does, the more calories are burned. This is good for type 2 diabetics because excess weight is often an underlying reason in the disease itself.
We are in the process of making the necessary changes in our diets and schedules as well as increasing the amount of exercise we do. The biggest change to our schedules is simply being more regular in our meal times - and this is a good change. I've been doing some studying about the disease, and I'm not as nervous about which foods to fix when, etc. I found some new recipes to add to my collection. This one sounds real good so I'll probably try it soon. It is for Almond Fudge Freeze and would probably be good with or without sugar.
Almond Fudge Freeze
1/2 cup ice
2 cups sugar-free vanilla yogurt or ice cream
1/4 cup sugar-free hot fudge topping
1/8 tsp almond extract
Sugar-free frozen whipped topping, thawed (optional)
Cocoa powder (optional)
Combine first four ingredients in a blender container in the order listed. Process on and off, stirring in between to blend ingredients. Serve in a tall glass. Garnish with a dollop of whipped topping and cocoa powder, if desired.
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