Supplement Alert

4 supplements you must discuss with your diabetes healthcare team.

Eleanor Gilman
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Fish oil can cause morning blood sugar spikes
Fish oil, an essential fatty acid, has been shown to be effective at lowering triglycerides, and according to the National Institutes of Health, people who already have heart disease may be able to lower their risk of dying from the disease by taking fish oil. So what’s the problem? If you have diabetes, high doses (8 grams or more daily) of fish oil can interact with medications for diabetes and “raise blood sugar levels mostly in the morning after fasting,” notes Anding.
A safer way to lower triglycerides:
The more your blood sugar levels are controlled, the lower your triglycerides will be. So being vigilant about your diabetes management should help keep trigs in check. In addition, eating more fatty fish, such as tuna and mackerel, avoiding refined carbs, limiting alcohol and including monounsaturated fats (like olive oil) in your diet can help. If all else fails, your doctor can prescribe medications that can keep triglycerides at healthy levels without sending blood sugar soaring.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

CLA, a fat similar to fish oil, has been purported to reduce body fat and aid weight loss. Unfortunately, says Anding, “CLA actually raises blood sugar by increasing insulin resistance.” What’s more, CLA can contribute to fatty liver disease and liver inflammation, since the lost fat tends to accumulate in the liver.
A safer way to shed pounds:
Work with your diabetes educator to come up with a meal plan you can live with. Try cutting back on the foods you normally eat while increasing physical activity—30 minutes a day of brisk walking most days of the week will do—and you should see and feel the body-slimming results.

April 2013