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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 use NovoLog®?

Do not use NovoLog® if your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking NovoLog®?

About all of your medical conditions, including liver, kidney, or heart problems.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to do either.
About all prescription and nonprescription medicines you take, including supplements, as your dose may need to change.

How should I take NovoLog®?

Eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after using NovoLog®, a fast-acting insulin, to avoid low blood sugar. Do not inject NovoLog® if you do not plan to eat right after your injection or bolus pump infusion.
Do not mix NovoLog® with any other insulin when used in a pump or with any insulin other than NPH when used with injections by syringe.
Do not change your dose or type of insulin unless you are told to by your health care provider.
Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes.
Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your health care provider.

What should I consider while using NovoLog®?

Alcohol, including beer and wine, may affect your blood sugar.
Be careful when driving a car or operating machinery. You may have difficulty concentrating or reacting if you have low blood sugar. Talk to your health care provider if you often have low blood sugar or no warning signs of low blood sugar.

What are the possible side effects of NovoLog®?

Low blood sugar, including when too much is taken. Some symptoms include sweating, shakiness, confusion, and headache. Severe low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness, seizures, and death.
Serious allergic reactions may occur. Get medical help right away, if you develop a rash over your whole body, have trouble breathing, a fast heartbeat, or sweating.
Other side effects include injection site reactions (like redness, swelling, and itching), skin thickening or pits at the injection site, swelling of your hands and feet, if taken with thiazolidinediones (TZDs) possible heart failure, vision changes, low potassium in your blood, and weight gain.

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

What are the possible side effects of NovoLog®?

• Low blood sugar, including when too much is taken. Some symptoms include sweating, shakiness, confusion, and headache. Severe low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness, seizures, and death.

• Other side effects include injection site reactions (like redness, swelling, and itching), skin thickening or pits at the injection site, swelling of your hands and feet, if taken with thiazolidinediones (TZDs) possible heart failure, vision changes, low potassium in your blood, and weight gain.

Please click here for additional Important Safety Information

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