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Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

More than 416 million adults worldwide have diabetes. About 95 percent of those have type 2 diabetes. Common symptoms include increased thirst, increased hunger, increased urination, unplanned weight loss or gain, fatigue, blurred vision, and numbness or Diabetes concept. Notepad  with diabetic diet and raw organic food. Stock Photo - 39058978tingling in the feet. Those who experience one or more of these symptoms, especially excessive weight gain, would be wise to check with their healthcare provider. Diabetes is a forerunner of multiple health problems.

Who is susceptible to this condition? Risks increase for those aged 45 and older, those who with a family history, and certain ethnic groups (African-Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, or Pacific Islander Americans). Women who have gestational diabetes or give birth to infants weighing more than nine pounds are more susceptible. Higher cholesterol levels may also increase vulnerability. While people may have no control over these factors, the most significant risks for diabetes relate to lifestyle practices—overweight/obesity and inactivity. As many as 70 percent of those with this disease could avoid it by losing weight and becoming more active. Why aren’t they?

In 1991 the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization coordinated efforts to form World Diabetes Day, observed each year on November 14. The purpose is to raise awareness of this disease and its causes. The event is one of several activities of the IDF, a worldwide alliance in 160 countries dedicated to improving the lives of people with diabetes everywhere. The 2016 theme, “Eyes on Diabetes,” focuses on screening to ensure early diagnosis. As many as half of those with the disease remain undiagnosed.

This insidious disease increases risks for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and multiple other problems including potential nerve and blood vessel damage sometimes resulting in amputation. Those proactive in seeking appropriate treatment for this condition improve their chances for healthy living. What are the best ways to prevent or delay this disease? The answer sounds simple, but it is hard for many to achieve.

  • Make lifestyle changes
    • The most significant change for those overweight or obese is to lose weight. A 10 or 15-pound weight loss can make a big difference.
    • Choose healthy foods most of the time. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) identifies Diabetes Superfoods to assist in making wise food choices.
    • Exercise on a regular basis. Make every effort to exercise at least 30 minutes five days a week.
  • Follow healthcare providers’ guidelines for medications.
    • While many with type 2 diabetes can control blood sugar levels with changes in diet and/or weight loss, some may need medications. Usually these will be oral drugs prescribed by the healthcare provider. For a better understanding of available drugs, the ADA explains options for treatment.
    • Before taking supplements or herbal products, check with your healthcare provider.

Where to Start

Change is difficult. Most of us are creatures of habit, but habits can be altered. The following steps may make a new lifestyle easier.

  • Think through and write down a plan of action.
  • Set definite goals with a specific time frame.
  • Consider preplanning of needs such as grocery lists to assure needed foods will be available.
  • Explore possible food and exercise app trackers.
  • Consider what obstacle you may face.
  • Seek support from those who will encourage you.
  • Decide on a non-food reward when you obtain your goals.

On World Diabetes Day, be mindful of symptoms and the implications for diabetes. It’s a condition you don’t want. Remember, most type 2 diabetes is preventable or reversible. The choice is yours.

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Will the controversy about non-calorie sweeteners (NCS) ever end? Probably not. But we can keep up with the latest research and make informed decisions about whether or not to use them. Some claim NCS promote weight gain. However, many studies disagree and point out that they may lower the total number of calories we take in and thereby decrease weight.

Since beverages sweetened with sugar are a major source of excessive calories in the diet, substituting NCS for sugar-sweetened beverages helps with weight loss. While some suggest NCS increase appetite, a 2014 study debunks the idea. NCS don’t increase cravings for more sugar or cause us to eat more calories from other foods.

For several years health professionals have recommended NCS for people with diabetes. They serve as a valuable tool in diabetes management and effectively give sweet tasting options while keeping carbohydrates in check. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 40 percent of Americans will develop diabetes at some point during their lifetimes. NCS increase diet flexibility to meet personal health and dietary goals for those who are pre-diabetic or already have the disease.

While scattered studies continue to condemn the use of NCS, decades of studies fail to find them the culprit. Those with diabetes as well as those who want to get or keep their waistlines in shape can safely and effectively use them. Of more than 22,000 people studied from 1999 to 2008, consumers who used NCS also were less likely to smoke, more likely to exercise, and tended to live healthier lifestyles.

What can you believe? Until more definite research proves them harmful, you can confidently choose your favorite NCS for a sweet taste while cutting calories in your diet.

 

 

 

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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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