Do People with Diabetes Pose a Higher Risk for COVID-19?

If you’re a person living with diabetes, you may be wondering why you are considered to be at greater risk for COVID-19.  The general consensus at this time is people with diabetes (PWD) are not more likely to contract COVID-19, however, PWD may be at higher risk of experiencing serious complications.

Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders of carbohydrate metabolism.

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd.

Type 1 Diabetes

Is characterized as high blood glucose levels as a result of insufficient production of the insulin hormone

Type 2 Diabetes

Is characterized by the ineffective response of cells to insulin

For either diagnosis, managing your blood glucose level is your personal empowerment opportunity to take care of your health. Your physician and dietitian are your major allies to support and guide you in this endeavor.

When you manage your blood sugar (glucose) your risk of getting very sick is likely lower. If you experience high blood sugar or fluctuating blood sugars your body’s ability to fight off an infection is compromised therefore increasing your chances of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

For PWD, hyperglycemia (high levels of glucose in the blood) can cause your immune system to not function well. If your immune system is not functioning at its maximum potential then it cannot fight off all of the viruses and bacteria entering your body. High blood sugar or fluctuating blood sugar weakens the immune system making you more vulnerable to become seriously ill if you contract COVID-19.

You can reduce your risk of infection by making lifestyle choices that will keep your blood glucose levels within normal limits.  Treatment of hyperglycemia is even more difficult when you are running a fever, experiencing unstable food intake, and/or dehydrated. To achieve optimal glucose control you will need to check your blood glucose more frequently and make informed adjustments with your food intake, exercise, fluids and medication based on the glucose levels you are seeing.

Diabetes tips to forestall COVID-19:


  • Control your blood sugar to keep your immune system at is best
  • Monitor your blood sugar more frequently during stress
  • Be more intentional to plan balanced meals with managed carbohydrate intake
  • Be sure to keep at least two weeks of fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables on hand
  • Exercise daily to help manage your blood sugar  and your mental health
  • Get plenty of sleep; place a curfew on the internet and news
  • Practice meditation, prayer, and optimism

Banister Nutrition provides Telehealth— give us a call to schedule an appointment. We would love the opportunity to help you to achieve improved blood sugar during this very uncertain time. ☺




Fruity Friday

There are various vitamins and minerals that are important for wound healing, immune function, healthy skin, and digestive health just to name a few benefits. Not all fruits are equal to each other in nutritional value. Some have faster acting sugars -namely those that are lower in fiber and higher on the glycemic index chart- that can give our blood sugars a quick spike that often needs to be accounted for with insulin.
Fast-acting sugars in fruits such as grapes which is considered a medium GI food, are great for treating lows, but then there are a few of the higher fiber contents in lower glycemic fruits that can make the sugar spike last a bit longer and may not treat a low as quickly.
When not treating a low with fruit, insulin is a must so make sure to estimate your carb content depending on the size of the fruit you are consuming. High GI foods break down quickly, causing a faster blood sugar spike.
Here is a list of the top 5 low-glycemic (high-fiber) fruits and the top 5 high-glycemic (lower in fiber and higher in natural sugars) and their carb contents: 
Carbs per serving size of 100g -serving size varies depending on size of fruit
Top Low GI Fruits
  1. Apple 12-16g
  2. Cherries 10-12g
  3. Pear 10-15g
  4. Plum 9-12g
  5. Peach 7-15g

Top High GI Fruits
  1. Banana 20-30g
  2. Mango 14-16g
  3. Pineapple 10-20g
  4. Watermelon 7-10g
  5. Raisins 40-70g

Artificial Sweetners- For Diabetics

Sweeteners, whether they be nutritive which provide calories, or non-nutritive which do not provide calories, are added to a multitude of foods and beverages. Nutritive sweeteners fall under the category of foods called “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Non-nutritive sweeteners, more commonly referred to as artificial sweeteners, have been used for decades to add a sweet flavor to foods without adding significant calories or promoting tooth decay. Many foods containing artificial sweeteners still have calories and carbs, so be sure to check the nutrition facts label.
There are five artificial sweeteners that have been tested and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
  • acesulfame potassium (also called acesulfame K)
  • aspartame
  • saccharin
  • sucralose
  • neotame


 Posted by: SSG


Paula Deen Shares About Her Type 2 Diabetes on Rachel Ray


Rachel Ray had Paula Deen and Bobby Deen on her show this morning.  As you all have probably heard- this famous southern belle announced early last year (2012) that she has Type 2 Diabetes.  What caught my ear this morning was her exclaiming that her A1c was now within normal range at 5.8. Rachel was asking her if that was ‘good’ and she said she had been working hard to get it under control. See a clip here:
Paula partnered with NovoNordisk, who makes a diabetes drug and her diagnosis has led her to a weight loss of more than 40 pounds. She discussed on the show today that starting in January, she started to really control her diet. Although she had been on the diabetes drug- she decided to ‘walk the walk’, rather than simply ‘talk the talk’, in her words. 
Paula’s success is shared with her family as her support system embarked on their own weight loss journey as well. Some sources report her son’s Jaime and Bobby have lost 45 and 33 pounds, respectively and her husband Michael has shed 77 pounds!
Bobby Deen is in the spotlight these days with a hit show on the Cooking Channel, ‘Not My Mama’s Meals’. He takes his mom’s delicious, yet heavy recipes and creates lighter versions. He showcases the differences in nutrient content between the recipes.  I have watched the show several times and think his approach is great- enjoying comfort-food classics with a healthy twist. Regardless of the inspiration for his lighter cooking- his efforts support his family’s health and the challenge Paula faces with her diabetes. With her son’s support and efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle- Paula is successfully controlling her diabetes and STILL cooking! This clip shares Paula’s advice for loved ones ‘sabotaging’ your weight loss efforts.
I wanted to share this story with you today because facing the challenges of controlling Type 2 Diabetes and/or weight loss requires more than knowledge. In addition, you need support and a determination to continue living your life with adjustments necessary for your health. As you can see, Paula is still cooking but she has made some major changes and has her family involved.  
Inspiring, if you ask me! sls