Month: April 2017

What Can I Eat If I Have Diabetes

Diabetes has become an extremely prevalent illness in today’s society. There are many factors that can lead to diabetes. Some of them include a sedentary lifestyle, stress, and genetic predisposition. But the most often cited reason is an unhealthy diet.

So if you have diabetes, or if your mission is to prevent the illness from occurring in the first place, what types of foods can you eat? In this article, you will discover the answer to that question.

What To Look Out For

When we try to address the recommended dietary habits, it is important to know why we recommend certain foods and not others. The main point that you should address when creating a meal plan is blood sugar spikes. For instance, foods that contain a lot of sugar (fruits, processed foods, carbs in general) can create blood sugar spikes, which produces an insulin release.

These carbohydrate foods can be separated into two categories: simple and complex carbs. Simple carbs are those that are digested and enter the bloodstream much faster, thus causing larger blood sugar spikes. The complex carbs take longer to digest, therefore causing less of an upset. This is the main thing to look out for.

Moderation Is Key

But with that being said, diabetics are encouraged to eat a moderate diet that includes all natural, organic foods, that can feed the body with all the necessary vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fats, and fiber. The issue is not really in the food itself, but in the quantities you can eat.

A diabetic can still indulge in a small sugar treat from time to time but it should always be done in moderation. There is a certain hierarchy of foods by which you should create your daily dietary choices. So let’s see which foods are the healthiest.

1. Protein

Protein-rich foods are an excellent choice for diabetics, since they are generally healthy, and do not cause blood sugar elevation. The best choices include beef, chicken, pork, turkey, fish, seafood, tofu, nuts, dairy and eggs. Always go for low fat parts of meat and low fat dairy. The preparation of food is also important. Avoid fried foods and rather bake, cook or grill your meat and fish.

2. Fats

Fats are also good, but you should make a distinction between healthy (unsaturated) and unhealthy (saturated) fats. The healthy fats include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and avocados. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is also good for brain and cardiovascular health. But you should stay away from saturated fats found in animal products, and also in processed foods.

The oils used in processed foods are extremely unhealthy as they are hydrogenated to make the food last longer. Our bodies unfortunately have not evolved for their consumption, and they can create inflammation in the gut and a host of other issues as well.

3. Starches

As has been previously mentioned, carbs should be separated as simple and complex. You should limit your consumption of simple carbs and eat more of the complex varieties. Some excellent complex starches include brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, baked sweet potato, and whole grain breads.

Avoid products made with white flour, and processed grains like white rice, sugar-rich cereals, and white bread. The same is true for all the various processed snacks like Snickers, Oreo, etc.

4. Vegetables

For diabetics, vegetables should be the main food on the menu. Vegetables contain a host of nutrients, and fiber which is essential for regulating blood sugar.

The best diabetic friendly vegetables are green, fiber-dense varieties, such as broccoli, kale and spinach. Try to limit your sodium intake and added sauces/toppings, and you’re good to go.

5. Fruit

Fruit contains a lot of sugar, but it’s also extremely healthy, due to the large amount of minerals and vitamins, as well as fiber. It should be treated as a semi-occasional treat, but don’t overindulge in it.

Basically, fresh and frozen fruit is the healthiest. You should avoid canned fruits with heavy syrup, and also fruit drinks, since they contain very little fiber and can cause a faster blood sugar increase.

6. Drinks

Ideally, the best drinks you can have are water and tea. All the other drinks, such as coffee, beer, wine, energy drinks, hot chocolate, should not be consumed on a daily basis, especially if there’s extra sugar added to them.

So that is the general info you should have in mind. If you’re trying to create a diabetic-friendly diet, limit your consumption of simple sugars and fried foods. At the same time try to add a variety of healthy foods so that you don’t miss any of the important macro and micro-nutrients (protein, carbs, fats, minerals, vitamins, and fiber).

I hope this article has expanded your knowledge on this topic, and will serve you as a guide in creating and maintaining healthy dietary habits.

Can Diabetes Lead To Dementia

There is a myriad of medical conditions that go with old age, and dementia is probably one of the scariest of them all.

It is terrifying that for people age 60 and above, one in six seniors have dementia. With impaired cognitive functions, spatial awareness, language and memory loss can be problems associated with it.

There are many treatments available out there, but often times these have little effects on the individual as it is too late once your brain has been severely altered already.

With a condition terrifying such as this, the only thing we can do is prevent the onset of this ailment as early as possible. In particular are people suffering from type-2 diabetes more at risk?

Recent research was conducted on 2 million individuals’ GP records checking their body mass index (BMI) from middle age to old age. Findings say that those diagnosed with dementia actually have low body mass index. These findings only tell us that there is a contradiction on the hypothesis that the likelihood of getting dementia increases when an individual is obese.

However Deborah Gustafson, an epidemiologist in State University New York says that the design used on the study mentioned above was flawed because the time frame as to when the BMI was recorded was inconsistent and did not coincide with the dates on when these subjects got diagnosed with dementia.

According to Gustafson, BMI and dementia have a complicated relationship. Aside from our genes being a factor of this condition, a higher BMI during the ages 30 to 60 increases the risk of developing dementia later on. To put this in a clearer perspective, it is healthier to be neither obese nor underweight.

The director of Research and Development at the Alzheimer’s Society says that there is evidence-based strategies in delaying the onset or preventing dementia. According to Dr. Doug Brown, looking after your heart health, diet, and exercise are the three secrets in preventing this condition from occurring. A study following 3000 individuals in the course of 35 years showed that regular exercise or even taking as little as a 30-minute walk can already help reduce the risk.

15 to 20 years before you will see clinical symptoms, dementia may already have started to take over. Early intervention is a good way for preventing this condition. It has been determineed that unhealthy lifestyle choices can cause the early onset and therefore, pre-diabetic conditions, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can be the signs that you need to take action early on to avoid getting it later. A healthy diet and regular exercise routine has been found to improve cognitive functions among midlife adults.

Try to stay on top of your vascular condition as well. This will not only help you keep a healthier body, it also delays other age-related conditions that you might need to face if you did not take care of your health. According to Gustafson, educating yourself about how to take blood pressure will help you to stay cognizant in preventing high cholesterol levels and diabetes. Smoking also increases the risk of dementia, and according to scientific studies, smokers have a 45% higher risk. The more you smoke, the higher this percentage increases.

Educating yourself as early as possible is one of the keys in preventing dementia too. Aside from the knowledge you get about how to prevent and manage this disease, you also activate your cognitive abilities as you learn new information.

Educating and learning new things is the exercise your brain needs to stay alert. The more you keep it active, the more it prevents dementia. Exercising your body is also important to keep your cholesterol, blood pressure and weight at normal levels. You should also be strict with your diet.

A diet high in cereals, vegetables, fruit and fish may lower the risk of dementia and other vascular diseases. Eating foods rich in vitamins B6, B12, A, C, E, omega-3 and folic acid is a must. But eating a plate of fish drizzled in olive oil and tomatoes is healthier than drinking a bucket of vitamins.