Diet Basics for Diabetics to Strengthen Immunity

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Practicing eating healthy is beneficial for anyone at any health condition, especially for diabetics who wish to strengthen their immunity. Food is the easiest way to control blood glucose, which is the main component a diabetic must take care of to live well. This is because when it is not controlled, chronic inflammation that leads to hyperglycemia occurs, which affects the effectiveness of the immune system. Controlling your blood sugar is also paramount in maintaining a strong immune response. Looking for ways to boost your immune system? Here are a few tips on diabetic diet basics.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Engaging in Making Healthy Choices

Just because your diabetes is not as serious as others who have to take medication, does not mean you should not be serious about making healthier choices. You have to engage yourself to make essential lifestyle changes and do not leave it thinking you can just go to a doctor when a problem arises. Always reevaluate your treatment, monitor weight, blood glucose, blood pressure, and invest in wearable technology to keep track.1 Eating healthy is the fundamental of controlling your blood glucose for improving your immunity as chronic inflammation caused by hyperglycemia inhibits immune response action. Because a well-balanced diet is key, following a Healthy Plate model (½ plate fruits & vegetables, ¼ plate grains, ¼ plate proteins) will help you meet daily nutrition goals without complicated measurements. Remember that while you are picking and choosing each food group, rotate the variety to get the most out of the nutrients.1

What to eat

The heavy emphasis on what not to eat makes the diet seem very bland or boring. For a more personalized nutrition plan, consult a Dietitian or related medical professional for sustainability if the plan has beneficial changes. In principle, the closer the prepared food item is to its natural form, the nutrients it will retain. The first important nutrient here is vitamin A (prevalent most in carrots), which aids various cellular processes for the immune system.2 While vitamin A supports, you need antioxidant micro nutrients like vitamin C and E (Best in colorful fruits, citruses, vegetables, leafy greens, and walnuts) that fight against cell damage and activate other immune cells for better immune response.2, 4 And yes, meat is on the menu for diabetics and it will be the main source for vitamin B6 for boosting white blood cell production. So as long as a diabetic chooses lean cut meats if it is red and does not go over the daily serving. Alternative to red meat is vitamin B6 from yellowfin tuna, salmon, and eggs. Do not forget to add plenty of fiber rich foods (eg. whole fruits, whole grains, chickpeas, any legumes, vegetables) to keep you satiated longer and not cause blood sugar spikes.3

When in Doubt, Trust in Diabetic Specific Meal Replacements

A Glycemic Index is where food items are rated from 0 to 100 on how fast it raises your blood glucose after consumption. The higher the rating is, the faster the item will raise your blood glucose.1 For a diabetic, it is important to put in the effort for finding healthier alternatives and choosing low GI options. However, if control with food alone is not enough, diabetic specific nutritional supplements can be helpful. For example, Glucerna is scientifically formulated for adults with diabetes with enhanced levels of vitamins and minerals that also help support immune health (protein, vit A, D, C, E, Zinc). With a new and improved Advanced Carbohydrates System^^ of slowly digestible carbohydrates, Glucerna contains 4x the Myo-inositol^, a carbohydrate that mimics insulin activity,5 helps you manage blood glucose response in 3 months.++ Along with heart health supporting omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, each serving has a low glycemic index rating, it is the No.1 Doctor Recommended Diabetes Nutritional Formula in the US#. Start action from day 1** and be empowered to have better control over your blood glucose to help strengthen your immunity at the same time and live well with diabetes.

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^    Compared to previous formula of Glucerna

**   Glucerna has been shown to lower postprandial rises in blood glucose (Devitt et al. J Diabetes Res Clin Metab. 2012;  Luo et al. J Diabetes Mellitus. 2012; Mottalib et al. Nutrients. 2016; Davila et al. Nutrients. 2019.)

#    “IQVIA, using the ProVoice Survey, fielded to 13,040 physicians from November 1, 2022 to October 31, 2023 and recorded the OTC product recommended most often in the Diabetic Nutrition Supplement category, has validated the following claim at a 99% confidence level.”

++  +Peng et al. 2019..

^^   Jenkins et al. Diabetologia. 1982