Sugar aka…

Registered dietitian and diabetes nurse educator, Tammy Jardine, educates us on the many hidden names of sugar (there are over 50) and why sugar is seen as a villain.

Sugar is the new villain in the diet industry and making it even more wicked is that sugar is a master of disguise. Historically, the misconceptions about sugar in the greater health industry has revolved around white sugar, otherwise known as table sugar. 

White sugar is the end product of refining and processing of cane sugar. During this process, moisture, minerals and compounds that give them their darker colour are removed, as a result forming white refined sugar. With these nutrients removed, sugar provides energy but has no other nutritional value. Sugar is therefore often referred to as empty calories, adding no value to a healthy diet. Cancer, obesity and diabetes have been linked to white sugar consumption.

For decades, it has been advised that people with diabetes avoid sugar as it has a high glycaemic index (GI), which implies a rapid increase of blood glucose after eating.

Daily sugar limit

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends the following limit for added sugars in the diet for the general population.

Age group Maximum added sugar value per day
4 to 6 years old No more than 19g
7 to 10 years old No more than 24g
11 or over No more than 30g
People with diabetes 25g or less

For reference:4 grams of sugar is equal to a teaspoon of sugar.

The hidden names of sugar

However, just because you don’t see ‘sugar’ on the ingredient list when scanning a food label does not guarantee the item is sugar or sweetener-free. Sugar goes by a number of different names, making it easily unnoticed. Sugar has over 50 different names. While some of these names are more obvious, like brown and cane sugar, others are trickier to spot (e.g. maltodextrin and dextrose).

Most common names for sugar that you may find on an ingredient list

  • Basic Simple Sugars (monosaccharides and disaccharides) – dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose.
  • Solid or Granulated Sugars – beet sugar, brown sugar, cane juice crystals, cane sugar, coconut sugar, castor sugar, corn syrup solids, date sugar, demerara sugar, malt, glucose syrup, grape sugar, icing sugar, ethyl maltitol, dextrin, maltodextrin, muscovado, raw sugar, sucanat, turbinado.
  • Liquid or Syrup Sugars – agave nectar, syrup, barley malt, molasses, rice syrup, caramel, carob syrup, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, golden syrup, high fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, malt syrup, maple syrup, sorghum syrup, treacle.

Why is sugar added to food?

Sugars are being added to a huge range of foods from bread and hams to more obvious foods, such as cakes and biscuits. Sugar is added to foods to increase the shelf life since sugar is a preservative and it also makes foods more palatable. Most of us will be aware of more obvious sugar, such as sugary fizzy drinks, cakes and biscuits but there are also other foods which contain a lot of sugar that may not be immediately obvious.

However, it’s not just added sugar that can increase blood glucose levels. Sugar is a form of carbohydrate. Carbohydrate is one of three macronutrients found in food. Carbohydrates breakdown to glucose (sugar) through the process of digestion. We now know that all carbohydrate raises blood glucose levels.

Forms of sugar

Sugar can be found in three forms.

  • Natural – There are natural sugars found in fruit, milk-based products, honey, and vegetables.
  • Added – Also called free sugars, these are the sugars that are added to a whole range of processed foods and drinks, including microwave meals, pasta sauces, breakfast cereals, biscuits, sweetened drinks and desserts. These are the sugars listed above.
  • The product of the digestion of more complex carbohydrates – Many of us are unaware that starchy foods like bread, rice or potatoes are broken down by digestion into surprisingly large amounts of sugar. A small slice of whole-meal bread is equivalent to three teaspoons of sugar. It’s important therefore that your diet does not contain too much carbohydrate either (e.g. bread, pasta, rice).

Clarifying Total carbohydrate on nutrition label

Therefore, for somebody with diabetes, it’s the total sugar burden from any of the three sources (natural, added or as a product of the digestion of complex carbohydrate) which need considering to keep blood glucose levels low. This is identified as the total carbohydrate on a nutrition label.

Carbohydrates and sugar raise blood glucose levels quickly and require insulin to be produced (or taken by injection) as high blood glucose levels over time cause damage. Many people find that sugar has addictive qualities meaning that we may crave sugary foods even if we know they’re not good for us. Insulin causes the cells of your body to take up the free glucose in your bloodstream. So, having too much sugar means having or needing more insulin.

Nutrition label laws

By law, all packaged food and beverage nutrition labels must display the carbohydrate and sugar content per serving. The best way to ensure you’re not consuming excess added sugars is to get in the habit of always scanning the ingredient list before you throw the item in your trolley.

Keep in mind that ingredients are listed by quantity from high to low: the closer to the front of the list, the more the product contains. If you spot any of above sugar names listed on a label, keep in mind it’s not automatically a no-go. It’s the amount of sugar that counts. If the total carbohydrate count is 1-2 grams, it’s still fine to have if you’re following a low-carb lifestyle. That’s why it’s also important to always look at the total carbohydrate content.

Three different sources of sugars that make up our total dietary ‘sugar burden’

Shown as 4g teaspoon of table sugar equivalents:

Naturally occurring sugar (1) Foods with added sugar (2) Foods digested down into sugars (3)
4.9 teaspoons/100g
Coco pops
21.85 teaspoons/100g
Sasko brown bread
10 teaspoons/100g
Honey (Floaris group Organic raw)
20.6 teaspoons/100g
Coca Cola
2 teaspoons/100ml
Boiled spaghetti
3.7 teaspoons/100g
Spar low fat Milk
1.25 teaspoons/100ml
Marie biscuits
18.5 teaspoons/100g
Mc Cains Skinny fries
4.75 teaspoons/100g
17.1 teaspoons/100g
Medium fat strawberry yoghurt
(Parmalat)3.75 teaspoons/100g
Basmati rice
6.8 teaspoons/100g
Apple juice
4.3 teaspoons/100ml
Lindt dark chocolate mint intense

12.75 teaspoons/100g

Baked potato
6.3 teaspoons/100g

When it comes to picking starchy foods, such as rice, bread and any other products made from flour, it’s best to opt for whole grain versions of these products. This is because the fibre in wholegrains impact upon blood glucose levels more slowly than the more refined forms of carbohydrate. However, portion control is still the most important as higher levels of fibre rich or unprocessed carbohydrate can still raise blood glucose levels substantially.

To identify how much total carbohydrate you can tolerate, test your blood glucose before you eat, and two hours after you eat the food. Ideally your blood glucose should not increase by more than 2mmol/L after the food is eaten.

How to cut down on sugar

The good news is that reducing sugar intake reduces the likelihood of needing medication and diabetes-related complications. Cutting back on all sources of sugar is a great strategy to stay healthy.

  • Cut down on sugary drinks – non-diet versions of cola, lemonade, tonic water.
  • Swap fruit juices for water and whole fruit.
  • Replace sugary cereals with plain porridge, whole grain cereals or lower carb breakfasts.
  • Avoid having ready meals on a regular basis.
  • Make your own pasta or curry sauce. You can make larger portions and freeze what you don’t need for a future meal.
  • Get into the practice of having fruit instead of sugary snacks or desserts.
  • Don’t have takeaways more than once a fortnight.


Tammy Jardine is a qualified diabetes educator and a registered dietitian. Living with diabetes for over 15 years means that she knows first-hand how difficult it can be to achieve and maintain optimal blood glucose control with good lifestyle habits. She believes that diabetes affects every person differently and takes the time to understand how it’s affecting the individual and to help them manage it effectively. With more than 20 years of experience working as a dietitian in the UK and SA, she has a passion for helping people live a better and happier life with good food. Tammy currently works from Wilgeheuwel hospital. Email: [email protected]

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How to accept a diabetes diagnosis

Registered counsellor, Bernadine Rust, offers guidance on how to accept a diabetes diagnosis.

“Behind every chronic illness is just a person trying to find their way in the world.” – Glenn Schweitzer

Being diagnosed with a chronic disease, such as diabetes mellitus, may be experienced as a life crisis. Within a few seconds your whole world changes. Suddenly there is no such thing as a ‘normal’ life anymore.

Diabetes can be a frustrating and a scary diagnosis, regardless of the ‘type’ you are diagnosed with. Although it doesn’t have to be a death sentence, you will have to make life changes.

As the mind and body directly influence one another, a person’s quality of life may depend on their ability to learn to adapt and cope with life changes, which in turn builds resilience.

By adopting a practical and solution-focused approach, you may be able to focus on things you can control or change, which in turn may aid in better managing anxiety and stress levels and lead to a healthier and better quality of life.

Managing your emotional health

A diabetes diagnosis may be very isolating and can leave you with more questions than answers. Attending counselling sessions may help you deal with your emotions and help to redefine who you are. This may include the process of finding a new normal and striving for acceptance through meaning making: finding a reason for your pain or making it work for you.

As your entire life changes, it’s incredibly normal to show signs of depression, anxiety or heightened stress levels which, if untreated, may eventually negatively impact your overall health, well-being and functioning.

These symptoms may worsen blood glucose control, medication and diet compliance and lead to low self-care. Through counselling you will be able to identify your blind-spots and in turn get unstuck and change harmful behavioural patterns.

You may also need to learn how to have grace with yourself, learn to listen to your body and to be okay with the fact that you will not get everything right the first time. It takes time to find the right balance, team, diet, exercise routine, mind-set and medication. Therefore, do not get discouraged and rather focus on the small victories.

Accept, grieve and heal

Initially, you may cope well but at a later stage feel overwhelmed or discouraged because of a setback. It’s never too late to seek therapy.

Grieving your diagnosis forms the cornerstone of emotionally healing. Your loved ones may feel powerless and heartbroken too. Open communication and addressing the proverbial elephant in the room is the only way to start the healing process as you will need to find ways to express your emotions. Your therapist may help you to identify your triggers to combat already existing destructive behavioural patterns or potential ones.

Symptoms that may encourage you to seek help can include: insomnia, low mood, crying spells, concentration problems, irritability, anger outbursts, frustration, lashing out at loved ones, self-isolation, rebellion, feeling out of control, panic attacks, fear of dying, decrease in productivity at work or drop in marks at school, personality changes, or if you feel life is not worth living.

Anxiety or depression is not a decision, but a reaction to a real stressor or trauma and, in some cases, may need medication to help your body reach balance again. This doesn’t make you weak. The fact that you have enough courage and bravery to seek help already means you are strong. 

Find your tribe

This not only includes your medical team but also support groups or a support system. A holistic approach works best. It helps if your physician, general practitioner, dietitian/nutritional therapist, therapist/counsellor and even physiotherapist, or any other healthcare workers that form part of your treatment plan, are in contact with each other to make sure that you receive the best treatment altered to your specific needs.

A healthcare practitioner can only work with the information at hand. Therefore, having a multi-disciplinary team and transparent communication can add to the success of treatment.

As this is your journey, you can seek a second opinion or even see a different healthcare professional if you don’t feel comfortable with yours. You need to feel safe, heard, understood and supported.

Having the support of family and friends will also help you to adapt to your new reality and gain a sense of control. Your initial consultation might be very overwhelming and you may struggle to remember everything that was said. With that in mind, it might be a good idea to take someone with to follow-up consultations that can make notes on your behalf or ask additional questions.

Focus on the facts

The best weapon to have when fighting a new reality is knowledge as this can empower you and eliminate fears. However, with the vast amount of information available this task may actually prove overwhelming as inaccurate beliefs may have a significant impact on your self-care.

You may ask your healthcare practitioners for information or to advise scientifically founded books, blogs or websites. Understanding what is happening in your body and how the medication works, or which warning signs to look out for may not only possibly save your life, but also give your overthinking mind a rest. This will also help you to explore and investigate all treatment options and make informed decisions.

Have a game plan

The best approach to any life-changing situation may be to strive for prevention rather than cure or crisis management. This may include a little bit of organisation to ensure a healthy routine and schedule, which will also help manage possible anxiety or stress in the future.

Strategies to employ might include: setting reminders on your calendar for follow-up consultations, buying pill-holders to remind you of taking necessary medication, keeping track of your glucose levels, having a meal plan or meal prepping and ensuring that you have a ‘go-bag’. This bag may include necessary medication, treats to aid in fighting dropping glucose levels and your medical information. You can even have a few of these (in your car, at work, at school). This will help you to always be prepared. It also helps to educate those closest to you about what to do in a crisis and who to contact.

Create a health-oriented approach to life

This process may be more practical and can include adopting a healthy diet, exercise routine, sleep schedule, adhering to a medication regime, managing your emotions, and limiting or eliminating harmful behaviours, such as drinking, smoking, binge eating, addictions and a sedentary lifestyle.

Exercise, quality sleep and a healthy diet along with stress management have all been found to combat depression, anxiety, weight problems and additional health problems, such as cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, cholesterol, burnout, infectious diseases and unstable glucose levels.

In turn, it also boosts your immune system, memory, resilience and self-esteem. You don’t have to become a health guru, but rather focus on living a balanced and healthy life.

A diabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean you can’t still live a happy and healthy long life. As three-time Olympic Gold Medallist, Kristin Armstrong, argues, “Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want.”

Therefore, if all else fails, there is always hope.

Bernadine Rust is a registered counsellor, life coach and NLP practitioner with a special interest in the effect of physiological health on emotional and mental well-being. She advocates a holistic approach to overall health and believes in striving for a balanced and peaceful life. She has a private practice at Grace Medical Centre in Shelly Beach, KwaZulu-Natal and offers online counselling sessions.


Bernadine Rust is a registered counsellor, life coach and NLP practitioner. She has a special interest in the effect of physiological health on emotional and mental well-being, and advocates a holistic approach to overall health and believes in striving for a balanced and peaceful life. She has a private practice at Grace Medical Centre in Shelly Beach, KwaZulu-Natal and offers online counselling sessions.

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Securing higher income in retirement

Bjorn Ladewig informs us how an enhanced life annuity offers retirees with diabetes the opportunity to ensure they are getting the highest possible starting income in retirement.

Diabetes affects over 4,5 million[1] known adults in South Africa, while many more may be living with the disease and are unaware. A key comorbidity of COVID-19, it unfortunately gives those retiring with the disease greater reason for concern over the years ahead.

An enhanced life annuity offers retirees with diabetes (or any life-threatening illness or poor health) the opportunity to ensure they are getting the highest possible starting income in retirement.

Latest stats

Based on latest figures, and other statistics relating to the health of the South African population, enhanced life annuities benefit at least 40% of retirees. 

Our Retirement Insights research shows while 74% of South Africans in or approaching retirement have re-evaluated their retirement risks due to COVID-19, only two in five are confident that their retirement savings will last.

Retirees are in fact able to mitigate the risk of depleting their savings by purchasing a guaranteed income for life in the form of a life annuity. This can be done at or during retirement, as they can switch from a living annuity to an enhanced life annuity at any time. And those retiring with diabetes or other health-related conditions, could qualify for a higher starting income.

How a life annuity works?

The starting income of a life annuity depends on many factors, one being the life expectancy of the retiree. All life annuities use average life expectancy to determine the initial starting income.

However, if you have an impaired life, it’s possible for an enhanced annuity to offer a higher starting income based on the assumption that you may have a shorter-than-average life expectancy. An enhanced annuity can offer up to 30% higher guaranteed income for life.  There is no downside to the life expectancy assessment. The initial personal assessment is free and there is no obligation.

Underwriting may not always lead to an uplift in income. It may be the case that a medical condition results in a lower quality of life, but not a lower life expectancy, or that a quote is prepared for not one client but a couple, where one life is medically impaired and the other is healthy and/or young, which could dilute the impact.”

Underwriting at retirement is a fair way of ensuring you get the right income, for life, and gives you confidence that you are getting the highest possible starting income for your retirement savings.

Four steps to receive an underwritten quote for retirees

  1. A 20-minute phone call by a professional underwriter.
  2. Answer a few questions about socio-economic, health and lifestyle factors – no new medical tests or paperwork required.
  3. Your personal situation is assessed by the insurer to see if you qualify for a higher income. If it is for a couple, this will incorporate your spouse’s assessment.
  4. A fair quotation based on the answers is presented, which confirms the starting income.

This article was written by Bjorn Ladewig, Longevity Actuary at Just SA.

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Easing anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders can be devastating, but the good news is that help is available. Sindisiwe Mlotshwa explains how it is possible to overcome anxiety.

It’s not unusual to experience feelings of anxiety or worry from time to time, but for some people these feelings can be ongoing and debilitating. Anxiety is a normal part of life, and so it may not always be simple to distinguish when it may have developed into an unhealthy preoccupation.

Anxiety typically consists of physical, emotional and mental reactions, and in moderation these reactions are quite normal and may even be helpful.

In small doses, anxiety can help protect us from danger and help focus our attention when tasks need to be completed. However, when these reactions occur too frequently and are more severe, they can begin to affect our work performance, relationships and quality of life.

When worry becomes too much

When worry and anxiety begin to manifest to the point where they are becoming unmanageable, the person could be suffering from an anxiety disorder. 

While there are different types of anxiety disorders, if your anxious experiences are becoming intolerable there are certain signs you should take note of. These include:

  1. Uncontrollable worry
  2. Excessive nervousness
  3. Sleep problems
  4. Muscle tension
  5. Poor concentration
  6. Increased heart rate
  7. Upset stomach
  8. Avoidance of situations that may cause fear, or the fear itself

When these symptoms become both too frequent and severe for those affected to manage, it’s important to seek professional help.

Anxiety disorders share elements of extreme fear and anxiety where the person’s behaviour changes because of these anxious thoughts and feelings.

Example – fear of driving in traffic

For example, if a person has anxiety about driving in traffic, this may be helpful if it promotes more cautious driving behaviour. If anxiety is making you so cautious that you are a danger to other drivers by driving too slow, fast or indecisively for instance, or if you avoid driving at all, then the anxiety has become a problem.

If the person’s anxiety leads them to stop going to work or visiting friends and family because they don’t want to travel in a vehicle, then the anxiety is disrupting their life. It would suggest the possibility of an anxiety disorder, which may require professional mental health support to overcome.

There are multiple types of anxiety disorders, including social anxieties or social phobia, separation anxieties and panic attacks.


Fortunately, professional help is available and there are various ways of treating and navigating anxiety, which may be useful either on their own or in combination.

Exercise can be very helpful, as it promotes the healthy production of serotonin and endorphins to help regulate anxious feelings. These natural hormones promote feelings of calm and well-being, and can assist in managing the symptoms. Exercise is often recommended in conjunction with other interventions, such as psychotherapy or medication prescribed by a psychiatrist.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the techniques psychologists most frequently use when treating anxiety disorders. Through CBT, unhealthy thinking patterns that elevate anxiety levels are identified and challenged. Often, CBT will also include elements of exposure therapy and relaxation techniques.

Exposure therapy, which should only ever be undertaken with a trained professional, involves slow and gradual exposure to whatever is triggering the client’s anxiety, with the aim of diminishing their distress.

Relaxation techniques can also assist in managing the symptoms of anxiety. These include practices, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindful sensory engagements.

Through focusing on external and physical experiences or senses, we can help the person to step out of their internal emotional experiences. Once the client is comfortable with relaxation techniques, they can be applied whenever needed, without the presence of a guiding professional.

Psychiatrists may prescribe anti-anxiety medication to help address the chemical causes of anxiety within the body. Medication should only ever be taken exactly as prescribed, and it’s important not to stop taking psychiatric medicine without first consulting your treating doctor, even if you are feeling better.

Need help?

In the event of a psychological crisis, emergency support can be reached on 0861 435 787, 24 hours a day.

If you need information about mental health services, accessing care, information about mental health issues, or are in an emotional crisis, Akeso is here to help.

Sindisiwe Mlotshwa is a counselling psychologist who practises at Akeso Parktown in Johannesburg.


Sindisiwe Mlotshwa is a counselling psychologist who practises at Akeso Parktown in Johannesburg.

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What is iridology and how does it assist people living with diabetes?

Dr Jessica Leske educates us about iridology as a screening tool that is used to detect inherent individual predispositions.

What is iridology?

Iridology is the study of health via an examination of the colour and structure of the iris, the sclera, and the pupil.

The iris is the most complex external structure of human anatomy and by way of the nervous system, it has a reflex connection to every tissue and organ of the body. Through the optic nerves, which are attached to the eyes, visual information is sent to the brain. At the same time, there is information sent back to the eyes from the brain about the state of the tissues and organs in the body.

Each iris is as unique as a fingerprint. The colour and pattern of the iris fibres will determine your underlying genetic weakness, which may or may not be activated according to your diet, lifestyle, and psycho-social factors.

How it works?

It has been said, “The eyes are the windows of the soul.”

Iridologists assess the iris colour and fibre structure variations to determine the constitutional strength of the physical body and aspects of personality. Iridology is not a treatment, but rather a screening tool that is used to detect inherent individual predispositions.

The colour and pattern of your iris fibres reflects your genetic inheritance from three generations behind you. Whether you develop these dispositions to the best- or worst-case scenario depends on your diet, lifestyle, and stress management techniques.

Iridology can be used to determine potential health problems at an early stage. This enables you the opportunity to prevent illness and maintain optimum wellness.

Helping diabetes patients

For a person living with diabetes, an iris assessment will give more insight into what eating plan, exercise regime, stress management techniques, and supplementation will suit your genetic profile the best. Thus, will allow you the opportunity to enhance the efficacy of your current treatment regime.

Dr Jessica Leske is a registered homeopathy and iridologist.


Dr Jessica Leske is a registered homeopath and iridologist. She is a member of the Homeopathic Association of South Africa (HSA) (2010), Registered Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) and Board of Healthcare Funders of South Africa (BHF) (2016).

Lifestyle habits to thrive mentally

Gabrielle Mixon shares lifestyle habits that have helped her to thrive mentally while managing her diabetes.

Gabrielle Mixon (26) lives in Johannesburg, Gauteng.

Living with diabetes is a continuous mental challenge. As a person living with Type 1 diabetes, since 2012, I’ve been through the highest of highs and lowest of lows, both literally and figuratively.

Eight years in and I’m witness to the stresses of living with diabetes. Diabetes distress can occur in social situations and when you feel emotionally and physically burdened by the condition. The good news is that with good lifestyle habits you can thrive mentally

Choose your health over fitting in socially

Eating food is most often a social experience that involves other people. In these situations, we want to be a part of the experience, share and indulge in the same things our family and friends do. There is tension between wanting this and what we as a person living with diabetes should be doing.

To choose your health over fitting in socially, and not eating a slice of cake after dinner with everyone else, is not an easy or comfortable choice. It takes practise and, sometimes,trial and error.

Eat clean

On one hand, the food that becomes more Instagram-worthy and socially accepted to consume is filled with sugar. On the other hand, eating clean foods that facilitate healing with properties that promote well-being is also a growing trend. No doubt, we ought to favour the latter.

Consuming products with excessive sugar content is a no-­‐no. Let us make habits that are inspired by the words of Hippocrates, ‘’Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.’’

Read labels and know the sugar content

Get into the habit of reading the labels and build up your knowledge about the sugar content in the food products you like. Choose options with the least sugar content when meal planning and get creative.

Eating clean doesn’t have to be boring. It can be a treat; you’re going to feel great afterwards and it can be tasty while look visually appetising too. When you eat clean,you feel good and the result is undoubtedly being in a better frame of mind.

Good night’s rest

Another important factor in being in your best frame of mind is to get a good night’s sleep. This way, you aren’t over doing it on the coffee the next morning.

Make it a priority to get your daily six to eight hours’ sleep. Build on the habit of sleeping enough with getting outside as part of your everyday routine.

Get outside

This is not always feasible, weather permitting, but take advantage of pleasant weather as much as you can.

If not, there are gyms to go to and home fitness workouts to try. Working out is not only about improving your chances of living long but also a vital element to a strong mental life.

The happy hormones are so beneficial to both your health and social life. The endorphins automatically make you less stressed and allows you to celebrate what is good and makes you forget about what is less favourable.

Fitness is physical, but it can also be meditation.


When it comes to the misses one experiences with diabetes, here’s my advice: let it go and carry on.

This doesn’t mean you should live in denial if your habits are bad, and are resulting in poor health and blood glucose levels. These bad habits can be due to other stresses and circumstances that you are experiencing that is making it difficult to control your condition.

The best thing you can do to thrive mentally is begin journaling. This will help emotionally and educationally. Having diabetes and trying to control your blood sugar level is taxing and to find the discipline to thrive is not an easy or straight path.

Documenting your feelings on the journey will make navigating your way easier as you have physical evidence of your experiences. Keep note of your blood glucose levels when you consume particular foods.

Emotionally you will be able to determine what you were eating, thinking and doing when you felt your best and educationally you will know which foods work for you and which don’t.

Choose good habits

There will always be difficult days and we will all fall off the wagon from time to time.But the aim is to choose good habits and keep doing them to gain control of diabetes so it doesn’t control us and spiral our minds and bodies into a stressful place. By doing this, you can thrive mentally.

Feel good about what you are eating and make sure that what you are eating is good for you. Try, really try, to move your body in a way that feels good to you every day or at least more than three times a week. Your mind and your body will thank you for it.

Lastly, to regain control and have a point of reference should your diabetic journey lead you into a rut, make it a habit to journal.

Wishing you everyday health and happiness.

Gabrielle Mixon is advocate for T1 Diabetes.


Gabrielle Mixon is an advocate for T1 diabetes.

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