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Posts Tagged ‘Conditions and Diseases’

As the American Diabetes Month draws to a close, we get into full swing for holiday eating. If you have diabetes, do you have to avoid all sugar-containing foods? The role of sugar in preventing or treating this disease confuses many. Test your knowledge by answering the following statements as true or false.

1.         Sugar in the diet can cause diabetes.

2.         Excessive weight is one of the greatest risks for developing type 2 diabetes.

3.         Total carbohydrate affects blood glucose levels (sugar in the blood) more than sugar.

4.         Those with diabetes can have desserts made with sugar if they substitute small amounts for other carbohydrate-containing foods.

5.         Carbohydrates include sugar, starch, and fiber.

If you answered the first question as false and the rest as true, congratulations. You understand the relationship of sugar in the diet and the condition of diabetes.

The idea that sugar can cause diabetes is a myth. Eating sugar has nothing to do with acquiring the disease. Regardless of the source of calories, weight (BMI over 25)  is a major factor in developing type 2 diabetes.

In past years, researchers suspected that sugar increased blood glucose levels, but the total amount of carbohydrate consumed has more effect. Those with diabetes, however, should use discretion and save sugar-sweetened foods for special occasions.

Carbohydrates are found in the following food sources.

Sugars

  • Natural sugars: fruits (fructose) and milk (lactose)
  • Added sugars: table, brown or powdered sugar (sucrose), molasses, honey, maple syrup and other less well-known sources

Starches or complex carbohydrates

  • Starchy vegetables: sweet potatoes, white potatoes, corn, green peas, and lima beans
  • Legumes: dried beans (pinto, navy, kidney) and peas (black-eyed and split)
  • Grains: breads, cereal, pasta, and most cakes and pastries

Fiber may benefit health in several ways. It helps regulate digestion, provide a sense of fullness, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce possibilities of colon cancer. Adults need about 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. Foods containing larger amounts of fiber include:

  • Beans and legumes: as listed above
  • Fruits and vegetables: especially those eaten with the peel or seeds (berries)
  • Whole grain products: cereals, breads, and pasta
  • Nuts: tree nuts and peanuts provide excellent sources of fiber, but limit the serving size because small amounts contain lots of calories.

Check labels. First, note the serving size and then the total amount of carbohydrate. Labels list each sugar, but remember, it is the total amount of carbohydrate that affects blood sugar levels most.

You don’t have to skip all desserts through the holidays. If you have diabetes, pamper your sweet-tooth without creating problems by using caution and remembering the above suggestions.

For more information see  http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/sweeteners-and-desserts.html?

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November is American Diabetes Month. Nearly 26 million American children and adults have diabetes, and 79 million more are at risk with pre-diabetes.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and blindness in adults. Two out of three with this malady will die from heart disease or stroke. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates the annual national cost of the disease at $174 billion.

Food plays a significant role for those with diabetes as well as those with the potential to develop type 2 diabetes. Why aren’t we paying attention?

The ADA identifies ten superfoods beneficial not only to those with the disease, but also to the rest of us.

  • Beans.  Take your pick from pinto, kidney, navy or black beans. All are high in fiber and provide exceptional sources of magnesium and potassium. Also, they are high in protein.
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables.  These include spinach, kale, collards, and others. They’re low in calories and carbohydrates and packed with needed vitamins, especially vitamin A.
  • Citrus Fruit.  Fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and lemons are loaded with vitamin C.
  • Sweet Potatoes.  These all-time favorites, especially during holidays, are a starchy vegetable abundant in vitamin A and fiber. They make a great substitute for white potatoes because of their lower Glycemic Index.
  • Berries.  Pick your favorite. All are abundant in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.
  • Tomatoes. Most people enjoy this food in many ways from fresh slices to ubiquitous tomato sauces and salsa. They provide vitamin C, iron, vitamin E, and other nutrients.
  • Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  Salmon is the usual favorite, but mackerel, tuna, herring, and halibut are other great choices.
  • Whole Grains.  Check labels carefully. Whole wheat means the product contains bran—the outer hard shell, germ—packed with most of the nutrients, and endosperm—the starchy part. Most wheat breads are made from the endosperm. Whole grains contain rich sources of B-vitamins plus
    magnesium, chromium, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Nuts.   They provide satiety value—help you feel full longer—and are great for weight management if you don’t eat too many. They contain healthy fats, magnesium, and fiber.
  • Fat-free Milk Products.  Readily known for its rich sources of calcium, milk comes fortified with needed vitamin D.

This list isn’t just for those with diabetes. To eat healthier, include these super-foods in your diet for power-packed ways to help you stay healthy.

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/diabetes-superfoods.html

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