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Nutrition and Diabetes

Making the right food choices can help you keep your blood sugar levels under control.

Using food labels

How to read the nutrition facts on food label

Food labels can be very useful to people with diabetes. Pay careful attention to the serving size and amount of carbohydrates. You can also get the nutritional value of certain foods from this helpful food look-up tool on Cornerstones4Care.com.

Serving sizes

There is often more than one serving contained in a food package. Read the serving size compared to the total servings in the package. For instance, a whole bag of chips may be 4 to 5 total servings, which would be 4 to 5 times the calories, fat, carbohydrates, and other contents in a serving size. Also, compare serving sizes listed on the food label to the ones in your diabetes meal plan. They may not be the same.

Carbohydrates and sugar

Your diabetes meal plan may be based on carbohydrate counting, or carb counting. If so, be sure to look at the total carbohydrates on the food label, not just sugar. Some nutritious foods may be high in sugar, such as fruit and milk. In high-fiber foods, the grams of sugar and fiber are counted as carbs. This count can be misleading. If a food has 5 grams of fiber or more per serving, you can subtract the amount of fiber from the total carbohydrate content.

Also look closely at food labels for sugar-free products. Sugar-free foods may not be carbohydrate-free. There may be little difference in total carbohydrate grams between a sugar-free product and its standard version. For instance, certain cereals and grains may not have added or natural sugar, but a high level of carbohydrates. Learn more about carbohydrates and blood sugar on Cornerstones4Care.com.

Fats

When looking at fats on the food label, check to see the types of fats listed. Good fats can help protect your heart and lower cholesterol, while bad fats raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease.

Good fats:

  • Monounsaturated
  • Polyunsaturated

Bad fats:

  • Saturated
  • Trans

The same rule applies with fat-free foods as with sugar-free foods. When looking at fat-free foods, carefully compare the carbohydrate and calorie content of the fat-free version against the standard version.

Free foods

Free foods are those with less than 20 calories and less than 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving. These foods may include diet soda, sugar-free gelatin, and sugar-free chewing gum. You can generally include some of them in your diet whenever you like. You can get more information about free foods on these food exchange lists on Cornerstones4Care.com.

Keeping track of meal and snack times

Depending on the type of diabetes medicine you use, you may need to follow a careful schedule for meals and snacking. An insulin analog such as NovoLog® offers a dosing schedule that can be adjusted mealtimes and exercise.

For more help with developing meal plans use this helpful menu and recipe planner on Cornerstones4Care.com.

Indications and Usage

What is NovoLog® (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection)?

  • NovoLog® is a man-made insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.

Important Safety Information

Who should not take NovoLog®?

Do not take NovoLog® if:

  • your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

Before taking NovoLog®, tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions including, if you are:

  • pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • taking new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including supplements.

Talk to your health care provider about how to manage low blood sugar.

How should I take NovoLog®?

  • Read the Instructions for Use and take exactly as directed.
  • NovoLog® is fast-acting. Eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after taking it.
  • Know the type and strength of your insulin. Do not change your insulin type unless your health care provider tells you to.
  • Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugar levels should be and when you should check them.
  • Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes. You may give or get an infection from another person.

What should I avoid while taking NovoLog®?

  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery, until you know how NovoLog® affects you.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that contain alcohol.

What are the possible side effects of NovoLog®?

Serious side effects can lead to death, including:

Low blood sugar. Some signs and symptoms include:

  • anxiety, irritability, mood changes, dizziness, sweating, confusion, and headache.

Your insulin dose may need to change because of:

  • weight gain or loss, increased stress, illness, or change in diet or level of physical activity.

Other common side effects may include:

  • low potassium in your blood, injection site reactions, itching, rash, serious whole body allergic reactions, skin thickening or pits at the injection site, weight gain, and swelling of your hands and feet.

Get emergency medical help if you have:

  • trouble breathing, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, swelling of your face, tongue, or throat, sweating, extreme drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.

For more information, please click here for complete NovoLog® Prescribing Information.

NovoLog® is a prescription medicine.

Talk to your doctor about the importance of diet and exercise in your treatment plan.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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If you need assistance with prescription drug costs, help may be available. Visit pparx.org or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW.

Selected Important Safety Information

Who should not take NovoLog®?

Do not take NovoLog® if:

  • your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

How should I take NovoLog®?

  • Read the Instructions for Use and take exactly as directed.
  • NovoLog® is fast-acting. Eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after taking it.
  • Know the type and strength of your insulin. Do not change your insulin type unless your health care provider tells you to.
  • Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugar levels should be and when you should check them.
  • Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes. You may give or get an infection from another person.

Please click here for additional Important Safety Information

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