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Posts Tagged ‘Diabetes mellitus type 2’

Want to Live Longer?—Eat Your Veggies

Few of us, if any, look forward to dying young. A Swedish study, conducted over a thirteen year period, found that the number of servings of fruits and vegetables affected longevity. Those who ate no fruits or veggies were more likely to die three years earlier than their counterparts who ate five or more fruits and vegetables daily. Eating more than that amount did not seem to influence length of life. Three servings increased the life span by thirty-two months. On average, those who ate at least one serving per day lived nineteen months longer than those who never ate any.

Nutritionists tout fruits and vegetables for their high content of antioxidants—substances that block chemicals that can damage cells. While antioxidant supplements don’t seem to directly influence prevention of heart disease or cancer—both often associated with a lower life span—eating fruits and vegetables may. The nutrients folate, magnesium, potassium, and dietary fiber plus vitamins A,C, and K in fruits and vegetables also play a significant role in cellular health and longer life.

High intakes of white fruits and vegetables may protect against stroke. White fruits include bananas, pears, and apples (regardless of outside skin color). Vegetables include cauliflower and cucumbers but not potatoes, which are a starch. Green, orange/yellow, and red/purple fruits and vegetables do not seem to have the same protective advantage.

However, other fruits and vegetables have their place. The amount of fruits and vegetables eaten correlates with certain disease entities—obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases—and mortality. In an eighteen year study of 71,346 female nurses, three servings per day of whole fruit lowered the risk for type 2 diabetes. Women who ate more green leafy vegetables and fruit (but not fruit juice) were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, while refined grains and white potatoes increased the risk.

The American Heart Association and other health organizations and professionals recommend at least four to five and preferably five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily. The nutrients they contain make a big difference when it comes to optimum health. Mom was right. Eat your veggies.

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Do decisions about when to eat affect health? After a night’s fast, breakfast may be the most important meal of the day. I want to eat each morning as soon as my feet hit the floor. Many make excuses for delaying or skipping breakfast.

Health professionals have purported the benefits of breakfast. Those who skip this significant meal usually fail to meet daily nutrient requirements. Breakfast enhances mental ability while those who skip this meal report more irritability and tiredness. Eating breakfast helps control weight, whereas skipping can increase the possibility for obesity and make weight control more difficult.

New evidence suggests more benefits. At the 2012 American Diabetes Association convention, A. O. Odegaard and his cohorts reported that for men and women ages twenty-five to thirty-seven, their choice to eat or not eat breakfast affected their risk for developing type 2 diabetes (defined as those with a fasting-blood glucose greater than 126 mg/dL).

From a group of 3,500, those who ate breakfast five or more times per week reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by 31% and gained less weight than those who ate breakfast zero to three times per week. Participants who ate a more nutritious diet had even less risk, but the frequency of eating breakfast was more important than quality of food. In other words, a doughnut was better than nothing.

Often people claim to miss this important meal because of limited time in the early morning. For a quick nutritious breakfast, pair a make-ahead muffin with a glass of milk and fresh fruit. You can find a great recipe for Banana Ginger Muffins at http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/breakfast-on-the-go.html . Toss in a few nuts for extra protein and you have a great start on the day. Your extra effort will help control weight, provide more energy, improve mental alertness, and help prevent type 2 diabetes. For a healthier you, try breakfast.

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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 14 is World Diabetes Day. The theme for the five-year period, 2009-2013, is “Diabetes education and prevention,” and this year’s slogan is “Act on Diabetes.Now.” Participating nations, eighty-four in 2010, will use blue lighting to reinforce the link between the color blue and diabetes.

This rampant disease isn’t limited to the United States. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide have the disease, and WHO expects the number to increase.  Diabetes causes nearly four million deaths annually with amputations, a major complication, responsible for crippling nearly one million more. That means one person every eight seconds dies from complications of diabetes. The disease is no respecter of persons regardless of age, nationality or economic status.

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but healthy eating, weight loss, and physical activity impact the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes.  Major risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Family history of the disease
  • Ethnic background (more common in Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive weight (BMI above 25)
  • High blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels
  • Increased age above 45

While we can do nothing about many of these factors, we can control those related to food, activity, and lifestyle. What are you doing to prevent or control this disease in your life and around the world?

http://archive.worlddiabetesday.org/en/news/wdd-2011-act-on-diabetes-now

http://diabetes.webmd.com/guide/risk-diabetes

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Valentines is the fourth biggest holiday of the year for purchasing candy. For this special day, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of candy will be sold. Can you enjoy those sweets without shame?

Sugars have been blamed for diabetes, hyperactivity in children, and obesity. Are these accusations truth or hype?  The good news—research fails to support the beliefs of many that sugar causes these conditions.

Diabetes: All sugars and starches break down in the body to glucose. The body uses insulin to change blood sugar (glucose) into body energy. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces insufficient amounts or no insulin. Type 2 diabetes, the most common, results when the pancreas cannot make enough insulin for body needs. Sugar does not cause diabetes, but obesity as a result of consuming too many high-calorie foods is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.  

Hyperactivity: In the early 1970s, Dr. Benjamin Feingold proposed the theory that diet, namely sugar, affects children’s behavior. More than 20 scientific studies failed to support that claim. While activities such as parties or other events with excessive sweets may cause excitement, scientific evidence maintains that sugar does not cause hyperactivity in children.

Obesity: With the growing epidemic of obesity, is sugar the villain? One teaspoon of sugar yields 15 calories. According to the Sugar Association, those calories are no more fattening than 15 calories from other sources. Eating too many calories makes you fat. However, excessive sugar, like other high-calorie substances, will add to weight.

Are there negatives to sugar in the diet? Sugary foods can cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels that plunge sharply. Thus, while sugar may trigger a quick energy response, the sudden drop can result in tiredness or weakness. Some studies do link sugar to dental caries (decay). Foods, such as candy, that adhere to the teeth or that are held in the mouth create ideal environments for development of tooth decay. Although significant at all ages, prolonged mouth contact to sugar is especially harmful to children.

So, what are your best options for Valentine’s Day and everyday when faced with delectable sugar-filled goodies? Make the holiday and the loving thoughts linger by sharing with others and limiting your choice to one or two morsels. With moderation and careful selection of other foods, you can enjoy that sweet pleasure—guilt free.

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