As the winter holidays approach, with their cold weather and abundant food temptations, Minnesota-based UnitedHealth Group is offering 10 simple tips people with diabetes and prediabetes should follow to help stay healthy.
As an orthopedic surgeon, I have many patients with diabetes who tell me, "I can't have surgery because I won't heal." That is certainly not the case, however. Diabetes does affect the small blood vessels and the function of immune cells when blood sugar is high, but with proper nutrition and blood sugar management, people with diabetes are very safe to undergo knee replacements, abdominal surgery, and many elective procedures.
"Nutrient Depletions" is a new smart phone app that allows users to see which of their prescription medications may be draining nutrients from their body. The app, available at iTunes stores for $1.99, works on Apple's iPhone, iTouch, and iPad products.
France-based pharmaceutical manufacturer sanofi-aventis has announced the availability of several new media designed to help the company communicate with people who have diabetes. • A blog, "Discuss Diabetes," offers health, nutrition, and lifestyle information, as well as a way to offer suggestions to the company. The blog is available at www.discussdiabetes.com.
Weight loss can help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar and avoid potential health risks associated with the disease. Did you know that losing even seven percent of your body weight can lower blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels1?
"Consider diabetes as a disease that has different phases--with the central feature a disorder of insulin production and insulin use," said Roberta Anding, MS, RD/LD,CSSD,CDE. Anding is a clinical dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Baylor College of Medicine, as well as a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "To better control and lose weight safely with type 2 diabetes, it is important to consider the type and amount of food on your plate."
For those trying to eat a healthy diet, whole-fat dairy and trans fats are usually not on the menu - at least, not yet. Scientists have narrowed in on a trans fat component found mainly in dairy fat that may ward off type 2 diabetes and protect cardiovascular health. While the research is far from conclusive and requires much further study, it suggests fats may play a more complex role in human health than previously thought.
An estimated two million Latinos in the United States have type 2 diabetes, a full 10 percent of the Latino population. Facebook, the fourth most popular Internet site among Latinos, reaches nearly 45 percent of the Latino population that goes online. Put those two facts together, and you have the audience for a new online game, HealthSeekerTMExplorando tu Salud, Paso a Paso ("Exploring Your Health, Step by Step").
Weight Watchers International, Inc., the world's leading provider of weight management services, and Merck, a global healthcare leader, announced today an innovative collaboration focused on fighting obesity. The two companies will launch an initiative in which Merck will provide physicians and other health care providers with educational information about the Weight Watchers® program and its underlying clinical evidence to assist doctors in addressing the ongoing weight management needs of their patients.
Do you ever wish you could leave your diabetes at home? Maybe you're at a holiday party, chit chatting with your buds gathered around the bar enjoying an adult beverage (or two), maybe grazing at the table of cookies, cakes and other tempting morsels. "Oh, I think I'll try one of those. Maybe one of those too. I didn't bring my diabetes with me, so I don't have to think about it tonight." Diabetes is not last year's outfit you can leave at home, or a bad relationship you can dump and move on. It is more like a tattoo. It goes everywhere with you.
A diet including coconut oil, a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA), helps combat insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the inability of cells to respond to insulin and take in glucose for energy. The pancreas tries to compensate for insulin resistance by producing even more insulin, but eventually glucose accumulates in the bloodstream. Over time, insulin resistance and obesity can lead to pre-diabetes or full-blown type 2 diabetes.
There are so many weight loss programs out there, sometimes it is hard just to keep track of them, let alone choose one that will work. Add in the factor of diabetes, and the path to weight loss becomes harder to navigate and often contains land mines that we never even knew existed.
WASHINGTON - In collaboration with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) launched the Good Health ClubSM Physician Toolkit - unique educational materials designed to foster better communication between pediatricians and their patients on childhood obesity and diabetes prevention. The toolkit will be available to pediatricians in communities across the country.
Over the past few decades, some medical researchers have pointed the finger at meat consumption as a major factor in the development of heart disease and diabetes. However, a meta-analysis conducted by the Harvard School of Medical Health has concluded that it may be the salt and chemical preservatives used in processed meats that lead to health problems, not the meats themselves.
For as long as I can remember, I have disliked meat. I believe it started with my sensitive gag reflex as a child. I could hardly chew and swallow pork chops, pineapple, or anything else that didn't go down easily. In high school I became best friends with a girl who didn't eat meat. It seemed like a really cool lifestyle, so I joined ranks with her. Instead of eating meat, we consumed french fries, fruit punch, and snack cakes. This became our definition of vegetarianism. Then, during my junior year of high school, my doctor informed me that my chronic low blood sugars might be improved by more protein consumption, so I forced myself back into the life of a carnivore, not knowing then that protein consumption didn't have to equal a slab of meat at every meal.
I have a long-standing obsession with baking. The art of creating cookies, bars, pies, and cakes got me through some of the most stressful times in my life, including holidays, college final exams, and a new job. After I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of twenty-four, however, I learned that my traditional ingredients, including white flour, sugar, and excessive amounts of chocolate, lead to high blood sugars and of course, fatigue, fogginess, and other undesirable side effects.
Although my boys love to order Chicken Parmesan when we dine out, the health content is always a concern - especially because it usually arrives thickly breaded, deeply fried, smothered in cheese, and served on a mountain of spaghetti. Here's a terrific and easy stove-top recipe that's filled with all of the same great flavors, but none of the excess fat and carbs.
Bestselling cookbook author and nutritionist Marlene Koch (pronounced, serendipitously, "cook") has been dubbed a "magician in the kitchen" when it comes to creating great-tasting, healthy recipes that everyone can enjoy, including those with diabetes!
According to Marlene, finding the perfect mix of ingredients is key when creating healthier versions of your favorite foods. From composing a healthier sandwich to perfecting pasta dishes and creating delightful desserts, Marlene reveals some of her tastiest ingredient tips:
Bridgewater, NJ, November 19, 2009 - Sanofi-aventis U.S. announced today that GoMealsTM, a new iPhone application (app) designed to help people living with diabetes make healthy food choices, is now available for download at the iTunes App store. GoMealsTM is a food tracking tool which allows users to search thousands of foods and dishes from popular restaurants and grocery stores to easily see the nutritional content of meals and snacks.
A few years ago a young man named Jeff came into my office seeking help to lose weight. He was 5'10" tall and weighed 130 pounds. Jeff denied starving himself, denied making himself throw up, and denied over-exercising. I tried to convince him that he was actually 30 pounds underweight. As I looked for the most effective ways of motivating him to restore his health, he brought up the fact that he had type 1 diabetes. Jeff said that he rarely gave himself insulin and that he had "diabulimia." I had never heard of diabulimia and had no idea what I was dealing with. I gave him a list of clinicians and asked him to call me back after he made appointments with an endocrinologist and a psychotherapist.
About half of young people who have diabetes report having tried to lose weight at one time or another, says a Kaiser Permanente Southern California study reported in the December 2008 issue of Diabetes Care.
Many people think of heart disease as something that mostly afflicts men. But heart disease actually kills more women in the United States than anything else, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. And diabetes plays a stronger role in risk for heart disease in women than it does in men.
Sometimes happy holiday dreams and dazzling parties turn into nightmares of stressful schedules, impulse eating and battered blood glucose. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or the winter solstice, bountiful food and holiday stress can affect your festive mood and your health.
Are you ready to celebrate the holidays? How many festivities are on your calendar this season? It’s time to navigate the minefield of situations that can throw your diabetes off course and send a joyous occasion into the dumps.
Last week we published an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Sheri Colberg's revised, updated, and expanded version of her 2001 book, Diabetic Athlete's Handbook:Your Guide to Peak Performance. Dr. Colberg has a PhD in exercise physiology, is a Diabetes Health board member,andisherself an athlete with diabetes. Her book draws upon the experiences of hundreds of athletes with diabetes to provide the best advice for exercisers with diabetes, either type 1 or type 2.
I have had type 1 diabetes for 16 years and, after a long path with many ups and downs, I have finally achieved optimal diabetic health. I have discovered the special lifestyle and diet mix that works and have brought my A1c from 11.4% to 5.2% while increasing my energy and overall health. I'm an elite athlete who plays professional ice hockey, and I currently run marathons.
Many people know that it is beneficial to eat your morning meal, but it can be challenging for many reasons. Breakfast is not the meal to miss, especially when you feel stressed, since it can set the mood for the entire day. The truth is that what you eat for breakfast may be more important than if you eat breakfast at all.
Do you want to lose weight and improve your blood glucose levels? Do you want to do it without having to weigh your portions and count your calories? Try a low-fat vegan diet. A vegan diet is one with no animal products: no fish, no eggs, no dairy, and, of course, no meat.
You’ve got type 2 diabetes. A few years ago, you started using a long-acting insulin once a day, and your fasting glucose levels and your A1c came down. But now your A1c is creeping back up. Your doctor tells you that you need to add a mealtime insulin to your plan.
Yes, they lacked indoor plumbing, permanent settlements and elevated manners when it came to eating, but our hunter-gatherer ancestors may have eaten a diet that can help modern people combat metabolic syndrome and even type 2 diabetes.
This year Carb Cards™ have added calorie and fat gram information to the 3rd edition of the carbohydrate counting flashcards. Twelve new cards with information on such foods as oatmeal, beans, and fish have been added to the revised 55-card deck to encourage healthier choices and more variety in meal planning.
Twenty-four diabetes doctors and researchers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden and Portugal have published a study criticizing the American Diabetes Association (ADA) assertion that diabetics should consume no fewer than 130 mg of carbohydrates daily and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) statement that low-carb diets are “not justified.”
When you have diabetes, you make the acquaintance of a lot of high-tech tools to help you manage it: monitors, meters and pumps. One very handy tool that sometimes gets overlooked is a digital scale for weighing and analyzing the nutritional content of food.
One of the cartoons you recently published, where a character eats chocolate because his sugar is too low, gave the wrong message. Chocolate should not be used for treating hypoglycemia. There is too much fat in it for it to be effective.
An Australian review of six short clinical trials has found that low glycemic diets (which involve eating foods that raise blood sugar slowly instead of quickly) cause about two pounds more weight loss than calorie-restricted diets.
Ah, the good life. Dining out, shopping for clothes, dining out, shopping for clothes, dining out, shopping…wait a minute. Is there a pattern here? Americans are eating out more and more, and leading researchers say that’s a big part of why so many of us are overweight. The biggest part of that big part? Big portions–Portion Distortion!
If you have to be fat, it’s a far, far better thing to be fat in places other than your belly. Visceral fat, the kind deep inside the abdomen that inextricably surrounds internal organs, is an organ in itself, secreting hormones and active molecules, called cytokines, which are bad for your health.
When my seven-year-old son, Danny, was diagnosed with
type 1diabetes, I had to take a serious look at his diet. He had always
been our “picky” eater, and I had gone along with his
demands to keep the peace. As a result, his favorite foods at the
time of his diagnosis were pancakes with syrup, grilled cheese
sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, cookies, juice, and the only
vegetable he ate—cucumbers. These foods became the centerpiece
of the meal plan constructed by the hospital nutritionist.
You can call it a sparkling beverage, but you can’t call it
healthy: An analysis of 88 studies on the effects of regular (non-diet) soda pop, the
best-selling item in grocery stores, has concluded that it’s
not good for you. Soft drinks, sold to the tune of $11.7 billion a
year, are associated with reduced milk and nutrient intake and with
increased calorie consumption, body weight, and type 2 diabetes.
According to a survey conducted by the Whole Grains Council and a manufacturer of whole grain products, it was found that 68 percent of adults are unaware that they should consume at least three daily servings of whole grains. In addition, more than one-fifth of the public (22 percent) was unable to name any of the benefits of eating whole grains.
Over the past five years, there has been a 40 percent increase in
bacon consumption in the United States, due partly to the popularity
of high-protein, low-carb diets. Many consumers believe bacon is
high in protein, but regular pork bacon is high in fat with little
Valentine’s Day is the single biggest day for chocolate sales. Among
the many kinds of chocolate now available for gift giving are sugar-free as
well as dairy-free varieties. Today, sugar-free chocolates may also be labeled
Why not make 2006 the year you explore the many flavors and textures of foods
made from the versatile soybean? Throughout the year, Diabetes Health
will provide recipes for a variety of these tasty, nutritious foods.
Summer activities are in full swing with ball
games in the park, family reunions and
vacations. The warm weather draws us to the
great outdoors for fun as well as mealtimes.
Picnics, potlucks, sack lunches and travel
meals are a part of our summer routine that
can sometimes make blood glucose harder to
Have you ever wondered how to count
the carbohydrates on a food label? Does
it really matter how many grams of sugar
are in a food? Do “sugar free” and “calorie
free” mean the same thing? Do you need
to count the fiber in your breakfast cereal as
Do you know if the last bagel or muffin you
ate was a single serving or four portions
disguised as one large serving? With supersizing
being the norm, accurately estimating
portions can be challenging.
Celebrating a holiday usually involves
enjoying certain traditional foods. It’s not
necessary to purchase special cookbooks
for diabetes-friendly holiday recipes. Modifying
your favorite recipes to improve
their nutritional value can produce
wonderful results as well as some surprises.
Decreasing the carbohydrates, calories and
fat in many recipes will result in dishes that
are more nutrient-dense, which can lead to
better health and increased longevity.
A: Fiber can help stabilize your blood
glucose. There are two major types
of fiber: water soluble and insoluble.
Foods high in soluble fiber in particular
cause fewer rises in blood glucose after
meals, because the fiber is digested slowly,
delaying the absorption of carbohydrates.
Before 1981, all patients diagnosed with
diabetes were given dietary exchanges to
follow when planning their meals or snacks.
While exchanges were formulated for all
food groups, the main focus for glycemic
control was on carbohydrates. At the time
these guidelines were established, focusing
on portions seemed appropriate since the
Nutrition Facts Label was not available.
Did you know that two out of three people
with diabetes die from heart disease or
stroke? For people with diabetes, the risk
of heart attack or stroke is great. That’s why
your healthcare team promotes good blood
glucose, blood pressure and lipid control as
key steps in prevention.
Many of the “lifestyle” magazines and
television programs that you see from now
until February are likely to feature New
Year’s makeover diets. These diets will be
promoted as “the one” sure to make you
slim for life and to be easier to follow than all
Q: I am a 54-year-old woman with
diabetes, trying to lose a substantial
amount of weight. I want to be healthier and
want nutrition that will help my goal. I seem
to be at a standstill. Can you give me some
easy nutrition ideas?
To enhance flavor: Add an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract per each cup of granular sugar substitute, such as Equal, NutraSweet, DiabetiSweet or Splenda.
To achieve a better rise in baked goods using a low-calorie sweetener, switch from 9-inch to 8-inch round pans with 2-inch high sides. You can also try adding a half cup of dry milk powder and a half teaspoon of baking soda for every one cup of granular sugar substitute or low-calorie sweetener.
When baking with yeast, maintain at least two teaspoons of sugar in a recipe for yeast activation.
Baking time may be shorter with low-calorie sweetener. Check cookies three to five minutes sooner and cakes seven to 10 minutes sooner than called for by the original recipe.
Not only are many people who want to lose
weight jumping on the low-carb caravan, so are
some people who have diabetes. Some wonder
why, since the message seems to fly in the face of
conventional wisdom. Diabetes and heart disease
are so closely related. Can a lower-carb meal plan
help improve the odds? We’re learning.
“Are those new wraps at Subway good for me?” “If I make applesauce with Splenda, can I eat all I want?” “How do I count the carbohydrates in low-carb yogurt?” Do questions like these cross your mind every time you dine out, set foot in the supermarket or flip through a recipe book?
We have all heard great success stories about people who follow a diet low in carbohydrates. Many report weight loss, more energy and normal glucose levels. Maybe you are curious, but you're scared to try it. It goes against everything you've been taught about a healthy diet.
Insulin-to-carbohydrate (I:C) ratios, which are used to calculate the insulin doses people with diabetes need for specific amounts of food containing carbohydrate, are an important part of any intensive diabetes management program.
Go ahead—have that peanut butter sandwich. Findings from the Harvard University Nurses' Health Study suggest that women who eat several servings of nuts or peanut butter a week can lower their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by as much as 27 percent. The Nurses' Health Study followed nearly 84,000 female nurses for 16 years beginning in 1980.
The holiday season presents many challenges for people with diabetes. Because we tend to eat more (at office parties and family outings) and exercise less during these months, weight gain could typically be as much as five to 10 pounds.
Guilty pleasures are certainly in abundance between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. However, if you are a person with diabetes, too much guilty pleasure may make your A1C resemble something less pleasant than a picture print by Currier and Ives.
Many educational materials are available that can help a person who has diabetes make healthy food choices. Nutrition labels on various foods can be especially useful for preparing and analyzing a meal plan and choosing foods that are right for your individual needs.
Carbohydrates seem to be in the news a lot these days. You either hear or read that if you want to lose weight, you shouldn't eat carbohydrates, or that if you want to control your blood-glucose levels, there are some specific carbohydrates you should not eat. The question, then, is to sort out what's important.
Seniors with diabetes may need to make changes to their diet to remain healthy, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). In addition, people may have more difficulty preparing food as they get older.
Q: In the past, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommended that when a serving of food has 5 or more grams of fiber, people should subtract that number from the total grams of carbohydrates, because fiber is not broken down into glucose.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and other national health care groups are requesting that the United States government stress fruits and vegetables more strongly in its health care guidelines for Americans. They want the government to bring fruits and vegetables to the "core" of the American diet.
Evidence that moderate amounts of dietary fat intake is OK is popping up everywhere. Several studies indicate that severely restricting fat to lower cholesterol won't prevent heart disease caused by cholesterol any better than moderately cutting fat.
In the last 20 years there has been a change in the kind of sugar food manufacturers use to sweeten their products. In the past, sucrose was king. Today, fructose, in the form of high fructose syrup (HFS), is much more common. This is touted as good news for people with diabetes, but is it?
Q: Recently I read an article in Post Graduate Medicine ("Effective Insulin Use," Vol. 95, No. 8, June 1994, pgs. 52, 54, 58-60, 63-64, and 67). The article suggests the patient not eat if the blood glucose is greater than 150 mg/dl. I would appreciate you reading this article and giving me your opinion.
A recent report from the University of Kuopio in Finland has found that fructose may be an acceptable alternative to sugar in the diet of people with diabetes who are liable to high after meal glucose concentrations (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 1994). In patients with mild non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, fructose may contribute lower after meal glucose and insulin responses than most other carbohydrate sources.
Researchers at the University of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia, are calling for a reassessment of the value of the glycemic index in the treatment of diabetes (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 1994). They cite 11 medium to long-term studies that have specifically used the glycemic index (GI) approach to determine clinical gains in diabetes or lipid management. All but one study produced positive findings.
Dr. Alan Marcus is a diabetes specialist who practices in Laguna Hills, California. He is also a medical advisor to MiniMed Technologies and a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk Insulin. Dr. Marcus also serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine for the USC School of Medicine.
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