Diabetes & Eye Care: Keep Your Vision Sharp

We’ve had huge advancements in eye care.

Thanks to new diabetes medications and devices, it has become easier than ever to improve our diabetes control and reduce the chances of developing severe eye complications.

Additionally, new cutting edge eye tests and treatments have played a major role in the decrease of diabetes retinopathy.

So much so, that the American Diabetes Association has published its first position statement on the subject in 15 years. The position statement recognizes that “diabetic retinopathy diagnostic assessment and treatment options have improved dramatically”. It also emphasizes the importance of controlling glucose, blood pressure, and lipid levels to minimize the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and of reducing its progression.

It’s easy to keep an eye on your eyes. Here’s how to make eye care a part of your daily routine.

6 tips to help you keep your eyes healthy and avoid complications related to diabetes.  

1. Schedule regular checkups.

Make an appointment with your eye doctor at least once a year. It is much easier to find and treat problems early with regular monitoring. Regular tests like dilating the pupil will help your doctor view the blood vessels in your eye and check for damage. Also, talk to your doctor about eye care specific to your needs – contacts lenses, eye drops, glasses, etc.

2. Check blood sugars often.

Maintaining your blood glucoses will help prevent damage to the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. An A1c test can help you gauge what your average blood glucose is; aim for 7️⃣% or below.

3. Manage your blood pressure.

High blood pressure alone can cause eye problems. If you have high blood pressure ⬆️↗️ and diabetes, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your blood pressure (medication, diet, exercise). Also be sure to have your blood pressure checked regularly. For most people, it should be 140/80 or lower.

4. Check your cholesterol levels.

Get your cholesterol checked regularly. High levels of “bad” LDL are linked to blood vessel damage. Boost “good” HDL cholesterol by eating heart healthy foods, cutting out trans fats and exercising regularly. Talk to your doctor about ways you can better control your cholesterol levels. ❤️

5. Get moving.

Exercise helps you control your blood glucose, shed pounds and manage your blood pressure. ‍Talk to your doctor about a workout plan that is best for you.

6. Taste the rainbow.

A healthy diet filled with colorful foods will help you maintain or lose weight, reduce blood pressure and provide your body with essential nutrients and vitamins. Try to incorporate dark leafy greens, organic eggs (especially the yolks), fatty fish like salmon, fruits high in vitamin C and almonds into your diet. Avoid excessive carbs, this can result in high insulin levels and can disturb eyeball growth.

Quick and Easy Snacks (10 Carbs or Less!)

low carb snacks

Truth: low carb snacks are some of the tastiest and most filling out there. Science shows that gram for gram, protein and fat tend to be more filling than carbohydrates. And don’t forget about fiber-rich veggies! They also keep your tummy happy for longer, because they digest slower than refined carbohydrates like pasta or white rice.

This comes as no surprise to us — we love our tasty low-carb foods! (And we know all about choosing carbs wisely to avoid big blood sugar spikes 😉)

Check out our list of quick and delicious low carb snacks that will fill you up and keep your blood sugar down.

10 Tasty Low Carb Snacks

Avocado, cheese, deli meat, eggs, lox, olives, peanut butter, pickles, and yogurt — eat up! (Did we mention they’re all under 10 carbs per serving!?)

low carb snacks

low carb snacks

low carb snacks

low carb snacks

low carb snacks

low carb snacks

low carb snacks

low carb snacks

low carb snacks

low carb snacks

Want to learn more about staying low carb? Check out our One Drop Guide to Carbohydrates!

One Drop Guide to Carbohydrates!

Are carbohydrates the enemy? Before you stop eating carbs altogether, learn how they can fit into diabetes management.  Use our One Drop Guide to Carbohydrates to learn how our bodies process carbs, how they impact blood sugar levels, and what carbs are best to eat. Bon appétit!

One Drop Guide to Carbohydrates

One Drop Guide to Carbohydrates

 

For some amazing low carb recipes, check out our other posts:

40+ Mouth-Watering, Finger-Licking Low-Carb Foods

No Carbs, No Problem: Sushi, Sandwiches and More!

Walking Your Way to Better Health

walking

You don’t need to rearrange your schedule or buy a gym membership to get fit. Walking is a free and easy way to boost your energy, improve your health, and combat diabetes.

Benefits of Walking

A simple 20 minute walk each day can provide major physical and mental benefits!

👟Stress reduction

👟Increased cognitive function

👟Mental clarity

👟Blood pressure stabilization

👟Decreased risk of heart disease & stroke

👟Improved cholesterol levels (↑ HDL ↓ LDL)

👟Joint health & bone alignment

How can walking help my diabetes?

Successful diabetes management is possible with strategic diet and proper exercise. Walking is a convenient form of exercise that is not metabolically demanding — meaning, no fear of hypoglycemia mid-workout. Walking lowers blood glucose levels and can optimize your body’s ability to use insulin. Furthermore, walking can help you slim down. Losing as little as 5% of your body weight can help boost insulin sensitivity and improve BG control.

Getting Started

Starting something new can feel daunting. But there are many effortless ways to incorporate walking into your daily routine.

Find Time

Add walking to your morning commute by getting off at an earlier bus or subway stop. Use your lunch break to get outside. Choose parking spots that are furtherer away. Take a quick stroll after dinner to aid digestion and add to your daily step count.

Bring a friend

walking

Research shows walking with others boosts the health benefits mentioned above. Plus group support will keep you accountable, therefore more likely to stick to your health and fitness goals. So, grab a friend or join walking group near you to chat and workout at the same time!

Pay Attention to Posture

Step 1. Gently relax your shoulders down.

TIP: Shrug your shoulders up and back, then let them fall back down.

Step 2. Lift your chest.

Step 3. Keep your gaze looking forward and avoid looking down.

Step 4. Allow your head to “float”.

TIP:  Imagine there is a balloon attached to the crown of your head that is lightly lifting it upwards.

Step 5. Engage your core.

TIP: Act as if someone is about to punch you in the stomach. Brace your stomach for impact in stead of sucking it in.

Have happy feet

The wrong shoes can decrease stability and cause discomfort, as a result you’ll miss out on future walks. There’s not need to break the bank. Rather, you can find reasonably priced sneakers that provide support, cushioning, and the proper fit. Just make sure you replace them every 300-400 miles.

walking

Go Pro

Once you’ve incorporated walking into your daily routine, kick it up a notch! Pick up the pace with interval training or conquer those hills. Keep your body guessing by walking quickly for a shorter distance one day, and slower for a longer distance the next. These small changes can safely increase metabolic output and increase the health benefits of walking.

Challenge yourself to reach 10,000 steps per day! Learn how in our One Drop Guide: 10,000 Steps to Lower Blood Glucose. Lace up those shoes and let’s get moving!

PRO-TIP: How to use the new Notifications Inbox

Missed a notification? No problem!

Our new notification inbox stores them all for you. See your meds and glucose check reminders, motivational messages, and more. Just tap on the bell icon at the bottom of the home screen to see your notifications. *This feature is currently available on iOS devices only. 
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Here’s how to enable notifications from One Drop

Go to Settings in the One Drop app. You can find Settings by tapping on the gear in the upper right corner of the home screen. In Settings, tap Notifications & Permissions.

  • Customize your notifications using the toggles next to the options listed.

Notifications1

If you haven’t ever enabled notifications before, tap Edit Notification Settings . You’ll be led to your phone Settings from here. Tap notifications. Then select the notifications you would like to receive by using the toggle next to each.

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Managing Your Diabetes During Ramadan

Ramadan has just begun, marking a period of fasting and religious focus for millions of Muslims around the world. For those participating, remember to talk to your healthcare provider about your diabetes and make sure that fasting is a safe option for you. You might need to modify your exercise, diet and medication routines to keep your blood sugars in range during this time of year.

Top 3 Things to Watch Out for During Ramadan

1. Low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) – The risk of blood glucose levels going too low is greatest in people taking insulin or certain diabetes pills. Limit physical activity during fasting hours and be more active after sunset. Talk with your healthcare provider to find out if your medicine puts you at risk for low blood glucose and discuss how to prevent it.

SYMPTOMS INCLUDE: shakiness, heart racing, sweats/chills, intense hunger, numbness/tingling, drowsiness, blurry vision, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, confusion, anxiety, nausea, and headache

2. High blood glucose (hyperglycemia) – While low blood glucose levels may happen during the day, after the fast is broken, there is a greater risk to overeat. Watch out for eating too many sweets and keep the portion sizes moderate. Even though Ramadan is known as a time of fasting, it is not uncommon for people to gain weight during this month, as in some families, every evening meal is a celebration.

SYMPTOMS INCLUDE: Dry mouth, increased thirst, hunger, fatigue (weak, tired feeling), nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, fruity-smelling breath, blurry vision, headache, dizziness

3. Dehydration – This is especially a problem during the longer and hotter summer days. Aim to drink lots of water and sugar-free and caffeine-free drinks frequently throughout the evening and before dawn.

SYMPTOMS INCLUDE: Dry mouth, increased thirst, fatigue (weak, tired feeling), very yellow urine, dry skin, headache, dizziness

 

Follow the above recommendations and enjoy the celebrations! As long as you remain mindful and take the appropriate precautions, you can enjoy a very happy and healthy Ramadan.

PRO-TIP: Become a Food Logging Master

Track your food with just a few taps! We’ve made it easier to search, save, and log your meals.

The latest version of One Drop | Mobile makes food logging a breeze! You can now categorize meals by meal type (breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack), easily search the food library, add foods/recipes from your Saved Foods, and sort all your saved foods/recipes. Read on for more details!


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How to Sort Saved Foods

In the food logging screen, tap on “Saved Foods.” Your Saved Foods can be sorted by recently logged meals, name of food (alphabetic order) or meal group.

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How to Log a Meal the Fast Way

We have also made it easier to select and log meals in the food library. Search and add items to a meal, then choose to “Log Now” to log right away or “Add & Continue” to continue adding more foods.

FoodScreen3

 

How to Save Favorite Foods

To add a meal to “My Foods” from the food library, enter all components of the meal and then select “Add & Continue”. Then enter the name of the meal below the dial and save.

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And that’s it! Now you’re a food logging pro. Still have questions? Drop us a comment below and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

One Drop Guide to Better Sleep

One Drop Guide to Better Sleep

 

Are you eating clean, whole foods and exercising regularly, yet still falling short of your health goals? Inadequate sleep may be to blame. We all know that diet and movement are important, but without quality Zzz’s you’re bound to come up short.

You are not alone! 80% of people report sleeping problems at least once a week.

One Drop Store

What’s so important about sleeping?

Sleeping restores, repairs, and rejuvenates the body and mind. Many major restorative functions such as muscle growth, protein synthesis, and hormone release mainly occur when we’re asleep. Sleeping assists in memory formation and plays a critical role in brain development in infants and young children. In adults, sleeping improves learning ability and task performance.

Sleeping & Weight Loss

Lost hours of rest can mean extra pounds on the scale. Without adequate sleep, the brain becomes fatigued and therefore more likely to make poor decisions–like skipping the gym or using a cookie as a pick-me-up. Overall, sleep-deprived people tend to consume more calories than their well-rested counterparts. Insufficient Zzzs also directly impact your cortisol levels and hunger hormones (ghrelin and leptin). With these out of wack, you’re prone to eat more and hang onto extra fat.

Sleeping & Diabetes

Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on the body and is doubly damaging for people with diabetes.  Poor sleep has been linked to:

  1. High blood sugar levels
  2. Increased insulin resistance
  3. Increased A1c

Sleeping less than 4 hours per night can reduce insulin sensitivity by up to 21%

High blood sugar often induces thirst and frequent urination, both of which can interrupt rest. Low blood sugar may cause sweating, shaking, dizziness, and/or hunger that awake you during the night. In the long run, diabetes raises your risk of developing sleep-disorders such as apnea and restless legs syndrome.

We weren’t kidding… sleep is important! So, grab a pillow and check out our One Drop Guide to Stellar Sleep so you can start sleeping well and living healthfully TODAY 🙌🏼

 

how to sleep better

Staying Low-Carb for Spring Holidays

 

Spring is in the air 🌷 April means warmer weather, sunshine, & festivities! Easily navigate Passover and Easter with these tips & festive low-carb recipes.

Passover

April 10 – April 18, 2017

A ceremonial dinner (Seder) of symbolic foods marks the beginning of Passover. The shared Seder plate is a mix of high- and low-carb bites.

High Carb ⬆

Matzo (unleavened bread) 23g carbs, per piece

Charoset (fruit, nut & wine paste) 21.5g carbs, per 1/4 cup

Karpas (potato) 30g carbs OR (parsley) 0.2g carbs

Low Carb ⬇

Maror (horseradish) 1.7g carbs, per 1 tbsp

Chazeret (romaine lettuce) 0.9g carbs, per leaf

Zeroa (lamb shank) 0g carbs, per 1 oz

spring holidays, low-carb

Seder Plate Tips:

  1. Opt for whole grain matzo, which has slightly fewer carbs (19g) and more fiber.
  2. Avoid adding sugar or honey to the Charoset. Instead, use a Kosher sweetener like stevia.
  3. Sip on a dry red wine (~4g carbs per 8 oz).

For the remaining meals, the Jewish people give up “the five species of grains”– wheat, rye, oats, barley, and spelt. With these high-carb ingredients off limits, plenty of Passover recipes are Kosher and diabetes friendly 😊

Appetizers

Side Dishes

Transition from starchier, high-carb winter vegetables and take advantage of lighter, spring veggies. Greens, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts are all awesome low-carb options. Avoid kugels and other potato-based dishes. Instead, consider making a frittata or a zucchini-based casserole.

Main Courses

Desserts

Enjoy these dairy-free and diabetes-friendly desserts. Your friends and family won’t believe they are low-carb and you won’t be left feeling deprived!

Easter

April 16, 2017

Easter means new beginnings, family… and chocolate 🍫 ! It’s hard to stay on track when the grocery isles are lined with Cadbury Eggs, jelly beans, and marshmallow Peeps. But with a little preparation and creativity, you can stay on track and enjoy the holiday season.

spring holidays, low-carb

Low-Carb Kids

A diabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean your child has to miss out on Easter! Pack diabetes-friendly Easter baskets with small gifts instead of sugary treats. Stickers, small stuffed animals, bubbles, and chalk are all fun substitutions. Limit sweets to a few pieces of dark chocolate or sugar-free candy. Keep your child entertained with coloring pages, spring time crafts, and egg dying.

Sweet Moderation: Sugar-free candy may have less impact on blood glucose but be aware that the sugar alcohols (used as sweeteners) can cause digestive distress.

Low-Carb Brunch

Spend time with your friends and family while munching on these delicious low-carb options. Don’t forget dessert!

Eggs

Meat & Fish

Veggies

Dessert

Hoppy eating 🐰 !