5 simple tips to help manage your diabetes at mealtime
Posted: February 27, 2020 | Word Count: 1,381
SPONSORED BY NOVO NORDISK - From late nights at the office, to outings with family and friends, sticking to a diet and consistent mealtime can be challenging for many Americans. But if you’re living with diabetes, how much, when and what you eat can have implications for your overall health and even shift blood sugar levels out of target range.
The following tips can help you stay on track with your doctor-approved diabetes management plan — whether you’re grabbing a quick snack or going out to a big dinner with friends.
1. Keep an eye on portions
Reading nutrition labels or using food scales can seem daunting when you’re trying to eat, but it will help you keep to your target calories and carb counts. Oftentimes, there are multiple servings in packaged foods, meaning there’s double or triple the calories, fat and carbohydrates in one bag or box. If you’re dining out, you can measure your meal with your hand. Think about it in these simple terms: Your hand is about a cup, your palm is 3 ounces and your thumb tip (up to the first knuckle) is about 1 teaspoon. It’s not precise, but it can help you estimate appropriate serving size.
2. Map out your plate
Still not sure what to eat? The American Diabetes Association recommends that before you dig in, start by splitting your plate down the middle. Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables (think spinach or broccoli). Then, divide the remaining half into two smaller halves. Place starchy foods (like potatoes or rice) in one section and place protein (meat, fish, eggs or tofu) in the final section. By remembering this simple ratio — 50/25/25 — you can make a balanced meal out of any cuisine.1
3. Create healthy habits and stick to them
Maintaining a balanced diet won’t happen overnight. Start with small adjustments that will slowly become part of your mealtime routine. For example, if you typically have dessert with dinner, try switching from ice cream to a healthier alternative once or twice a week rather than skipping a treat entirely. If you often skip meals and snack instead, try setting one day a week with established mealtimes. Slowly but surely, these adjustments will change the way you approach your diet and meals.
4. Check your blood sugar regularly
If you are living with diabetes, blood sugar monitoring is an essential part of your management plan. It can help you better understand how various factors — including what you eat — affect your blood sugar levels over time. Being in tune with your blood sugar before and after mealtimes can also minimize the risk of unanticipated changes in blood glucose level, and the associated complications. The American Diabetes Association recommends 80 to 130 mg/dL before a meal and 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of the meal.2 However, every person’s situation may be different, so you should speak to a doctor about target levels and when to test.
5. Stay on top of your medication
There has been significant progress in diabetes management in recent years. Each person living with diabetes has a unique experience and different treatment needs. For example, some people need to take a rapid-acting insulin at mealtime. One treatment, Fiasp® (insulin aspart injection), is the first and only fast-acting mealtime insulin injection that does not have a pre-meal dosing recommendation, meaning it can be administered at the beginning of a meal or within 20 minutes after starting a meal, which may help to take the guesswork out of mealtime. Fiasp® is now available for use in adults and children with diabetes.3 You can learn more about Fiasp® by visiting myfiasp.com. If your treatment isn’t giving you the blood sugar control you need at mealtime, you should talk to your doctor.
Indications and Usage
What is Fiasp® (insulin aspart injection) 100 U/mL?
Fiasp® is a man-made insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.
Important Safety Information
Do not share your Fiasp® with other people, even if the needle has been changed. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them.
Who should not take Fiasp®?
Do not take Fiasp® if:
- your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
Before taking Fiasp® tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:
- have kidney or liver problems
- are pregnant or breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed. It is not known if Fiasp® passes into your breast milk.
- are taking new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including supplements.
Talk to your health care provider about low blood sugar and how to manage it.
How should I take Fiasp®?
- Read the Instructions for Use and take Fiasp® exactly as your health care provider tells you to.
- Fiasp® starts acting fast. You should take your dose of Fiasp® at the beginning of the meal or within 20 minutes after starting a meal.
- Know the type and strength of your insulin. Do not change your insulin type unless your health care provider tells you to.
- Change (rotate) your injection sites within the area you choose with each injection to reduce your risk of getting pits in skin or thickened skin (lipodystrophy) and skin with lumps (localized cutaneous amyloidosis) at the injection sites.
- Do not use the exact same spot for each injection.
- Do not inject where the skin has pits, is thickened, or has lumps.
- Do not inject where the skin is tender, bruised, scaly or hard, or into scars or damaged skin.
- If you miss a dose of Fiasp® monitor your blood sugar levels to decide if an insulin dose is needed. Continue with your regular dosing schedule at the next meal.
- 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 reuse or share your needles with other people. You may give other people a serious infection or get a serious infection from them.
What should I avoid while taking Fiasp®?
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery, until you know how Fiasp® affects you.
- Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that contain alcohol.
What are the possible side effects of Fiasp®?
Serious side effects can lead to death, including:
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Some signs and symptoms include: anxiety, irritability, mood changes, dizziness or light-headedness, sweating, confusion, and headache.
- low potassium in your blood (hypokalemia).
- serious allergic reactions (whole body reactions). Get emergency medical help right away if you have a rash over your whole body; trouble breathing; a fast heartbeat; swelling of your face, tongue or throat; sweating; extreme drowsiness; dizziness, or confusion.
- heart failure. Taking certain diabetes pills called TZDs (thiazolidinediones) with Fiasp® may cause heart failure in some people. This can happen even if you have never had heart failure or heart problems before. If you already have heart failure it may get worse while you take TZDs with Fiasp®. Your health care provider should monitor you closely while you are taking TZDs with Fiasp®. Tell your health care provider if you have any new or worse symptoms of heart failure including shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, or sudden weight gain.
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
Common side effects of Fiasp® may include:
- skin problems such as eczema, rash, itching, redness and swelling of your skin (dermatitis), reactions at the injection site such as itching, rash, skin thickening or pits at the injection site (lipodystrophy), or weight gain.
Please see Prescribing Information for Fiasp® at http://www.novo-pi.com/fiasp.pdf
- American Diabetes Association (ADA). What Can I Eat? https://www.diabetes.org/blog/what-can-i-eat. Accessed November 2019
- American Diabetes Association (ADA). The Big Picture: Checking Your Blood Glucose. https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/medication-management/blood-glucose-testing-and-control/checking-your-blood-glucose. Accessed January 2020.
- Fiasp [package insert]. Plainsboro, NJ: Novo Nordisk, Inc.; December 2019.
Fiasp® is a registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.
Novo Nordisk is a registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.
© 2020 Novo Nordisk All rights reserved. US19FSP00199 January 2020