Walnuts For Diabetes

05wellwalnuts-tmagArticleEating walnuts may reduce the risk for Type 2 diabetes in women, a large new study concludes.

Previous studies have suggested an inverse relationship between tree nut consumption and diabetes. Though the findings are correlational, walnuts are uniquely high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which may be of particular value in Type 2 diabetes prevention.

The scientists, writing in the April issue of The Journal of Nutrition, used dietary and health data on 138,000 women participating in a large continuing study of women’s health. Beginning in 1999 they collected data on walnut consumption, and followed the women for the next 10 years. They found 5,930 cases of Type 2 diabetes.

Women who ate walnuts tended to weigh less, consume more fish and exercise more than those who did not. But researchers controlled for these and many other factors, and found that compared with women who ate no walnuts, those who consumed 8 ounces of walnuts or more a month reduced their risk for Type 2 diabetes by 24 percent.

“There’s been a lot of research on nuts in general in relation to cardiovascular health,” said the senior author, Dr. Frank B. Hu, a professor of medicine at Harvard. “This is the first on walnuts and diabetes. Walnuts may have some unique benefits.”

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Study Highlights Five Keys To Diabetes Prevention

110905020100-active-adults-story-topWould you be willing to change one aspect of your life — such as eating healthier or exercising more — if you knew it would reduce your likelihood of developing diabetes? Would you make two, three or five lifestyle changes to bring down those chances even more?

Every little bit helps, a new government study suggests. Meeting just one of five key health goals reduces your odds of developing diabetes in middle age by roughly one-third, the study estimates, and the more goals you meet, the lower your risk falls, even if you have a family history of diabetes.

Doctors, of course, have long known that bad habits such as smoking, drinking too much and eating unhealthy foods increase the likelihood of developing an array of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes.

But the new study — the largest of its kind to date — is among the first to explore how several healthy habits combine to affect diabetes risk.

“The question we were trying to raise is whether there are added benefits to each individual lifestyle improvement you make, and it looks like that answer is definitely yes,” says Jared Reis, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and an epidemiologist with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. “The strength of the association was really very dramatic and quite surprising.”

Reis and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 200,000 men and women in eight states who are part of a long-running study on diet and health led by the National Cancer Institute. In the mid-1990s, when they ranged in age from 50 to 71 and showed no signs of serious illness, the study participants answered detailed questionnaires about their diet, lifestyle, medical history, physical characteristics and demographic profile.

Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes

Ten years later, roughly 9% of the men and women had developed diabetes. Those who were least likely to receive a diabetes diagnosis shared five key health attributes:

Normal weight. They were not overweight or obese, and maintained a body mass index below 25 (a threshold equivalent to 155 pounds for a 5-foot, 6-inch woman).

Nonsmoking. They had never been regular smokers, or they’d been smoke-free for at least 10 years.

Physically active. They got at least 20 minutes of heart-pounding, sweat-inducing exercise three or more times per week.

Healthy diet. They consumed a diet with lots of fiber, little trans fat, few refined or sugary carbohydrates, and a high ratio of good (polyunsaturated) to bad (saturated) fats.

Little to no drinking. They used alcohol in moderation, if at all — two drinks or less a day for men, and one drink or less for women.

Each additional attribute was associated, on average, with 31% and 39% lower odds of developing diabetes among men and women, respectively. People who met all five standards had roughly 80% lower odds of a diabetes diagnosis than demographically similar people who led less healthy lifestyles, according to the study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Of all five lifestyle factors, being overweight was linked most strongly to diabetes risk. But having healthy marks for the other four factors still made a difference in overall risk, regardless of whether a person was normal weight, overweight or obese.

“It isn’t always an easy thing to lose weight and to maintain that weight loss over the long term,” Reis says. “So this is good news for those individuals who have a tough time losing weight: You can still lower your risk with these other lifestyle changes.”

25 ways to cut 500 calories a day

With questionnaire-based studies like this one, there’s always a chance that the participants don’t accurately report their behavior, or that the results are skewed by health and lifestyle factors that the researchers haven’t taken into account.

But in this case, the study’s large, real-world population — as opposed to the smaller, strictly monitored groups typically found in clinical trials — may actually be a strength, says Robert Henry, M.D., the president of medicine and science at the American Diabetes Association, an advocacy organization based in Alexandria, Virginia.

“This study looked at factors we know can be easily modifiable, and the conditions that people actually live with in real life,” says Henry, who is also a professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of California-San Diego. “And it does that better than some of the diligently done clinical trials that may not be applicable to a normal lifestyle situation.”

Small diet and exercise tricks that get big results

The study also found that maintaining the five lifestyle factors lowers diabetes risk regardless of family history, suggesting that people with a genetic predisposition can still prevent or at least delay the onset of the disease.

“Some people will say, ‘I’m too overweight for this to have any value,’ or ‘I’m doomed because diabetes runs in my family,’ but we see here that’s not true,” says Henry, who was not involved in the study. “Even if you’re obese, even if you have family history, this shows that there are real benefits to living a healthy lifestyle.”

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Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

With some extra care and attention, you may prevent type 2 diabetes.

Type-2-diabetes-prevention (1)Type 2 diabetes prevention is possible by adopting some healthy lifestyle habits and paying attention to specific preventable diabetes complications associated with the disease. Some steps for prevention include adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking diabetes medication , if needed. Many doctors recommend screening for type 2 diabetes at age 30 among people at risk, such as those with a family history of diabetes or who are overweight.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits to Prevent Diabetes

type-2-diabetes-preventionFirst, certain diabetes risk factors like age, family history, and ethnicity cannot be changed. However, changing other risk factors by eating a healthier diet and increased physical activity — with or without weight loss — may help prevent type 2 diabetes.

In addition, if you have high blood pressure or are overweight, modifying lifestyle habits may help prevent type 2 diabetes. Your doctor can make specific recommendations that are right for you including diet changes and specific exercises. Medications to help you quit smoking, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure also help reduce the risk of complications.

A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health and published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that being overweight and obese was the single most important risk factor that predicted who would develop type 2 diabetes. During a 16 year follow-up period, study results showed that regular exercise — at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week — and an improved diet that’s low in fat and high in fiber significantly helped with type 2 diabetes prevention. The bottom line: type 2 diabetes prevention could be as easy as adopting healthy lifestyle habits.

 In another study, the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study Group, researchers tested the effects of weight loss, diet, and exercise on type 2 diabetes prevention in more than 500 people who were overweight and also had pre-diabetes or borderline diabetes with an impaired oral glucose tolerance test. They concluded that with changes geared at weight loss and improving physical activity levels, people at high risk of developing diabetes could reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 50%.

Medication’s Role in Diabetes Prevention

New research shows that medications may help prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes in people with impaired glucose tolerance — and not just in controlling type 2 diabetes once you have it. There are several different studies that show that various types of diabetes drugs, along with a healthy lifestyle, can reduce the risk of developing diabetes in a high-risk person.

One clinical trial, called the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), showed that people who have a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes (borderline diabetes or pre-diabetes) could reduce that risk by 31% when using the prescription diabetes drug Metformin alone with lifestyle and diet changes. While this is significant, the NIH study also showed that the risk of diabetes could be reduced even further — by 58% — through intensive lifestyle changes alone (specifically, nutrition and exercise counseling). Participants in the study had blood sugar levels that were higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be considered diabetes. This health condition, called pre-diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), often precedes diabetes if intervention is not done early.

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5 Precautions For Taking Control On Diabetes

Changing your lifestyle could be a big step toward diabetes prevention — and it’s never too late to start. Consider these tips.

diabatescoveredg_600x450When it comes to type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — prevention is a big deal. It’s especially important to make diabetes prevention a priority if you’re at increased risk of diabetes, for example, if you’re overweight or have a family history of the disease.

Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthfully, becoming more physically active and losing a few extra pounds — and it’s never too late to start. Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes down the road, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage. Consider the latest diabetes prevention tips from the American Diabetes Association.

Tip 1: Get more physical activity

There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:

  • Lose weight
  • Lower your blood sugar
  • Boost your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range

Research shows that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the greater benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.

Tip 2: Get plenty of fiber

It’s rough, it’s tough — and it may help you:

  • Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control
  • Lower your risk of heart disease
  • Promote weight loss by helping you feel full

Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Tip 3: Go for whole grains

 Although it’s not clear why, whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and many cereals. Look for the word “whole” on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.

Tip 4: Lose extra weight

 If you’re overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound you lose can improve your health, and you may be surprised by how much. Participants in one large study who lost a modest amount of weight — around 7 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent.

Tip 5: Skip fad diets and just make healthier choices

 Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes isn’t known nor are their long-term effects. And by excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Instead, think variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy-eating plan.

When to see your doctor

 If you’re older than age 45 and your weight is normal, ask your doctor if diabetes testing is appropriate for you. The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if:
  • You’re age 45 or older and overweight
  • You’re younger than age 45 and overweight with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes — such as a sedentary lifestyle or a family history of diabetes

Share your concerns about diabetes prevention with your doctor. He or she will applaud your efforts to keep diabetes at bay, and perhaps offer additional suggestions based on your medical history or other factors.

 

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Cinnamon Helps Us To Prevent Diabetes

cinnamonA growing body of research suggests that the common spice cinnamon can help prevent and regulate diabetes.

Cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees, and has a long history as a culinary and medicinal plant. Its uses in traditional medicine include the treatment of colds, congestion and diarrhea, and modern science has found that it is high in antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and slow the progress of aging. More specifically, the spice appears promising in the fight against diabetes.

“Not only does cinnamon activate essential enzymes in the body thus stimulating the receptors in the cells so they will respond more efficiently to insulin, but it also inhibits the enzymes responsible for deactivating … causing insulin resistance,” writes David W Tanton in the book “Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, And Stimulants — Dangerous Drugs on Trial.”

“Cinnamon bark actually contains calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, Bi, B2, and C, many of which are important for the prevention or treatment of diabetes.”

One review of eight studies conducted on humans concluded that cinnamon is effective at reducing blood glucose levels both between and after meals, and that supplementation may help reduce complications from diabetes.

One study, for example, found that cinnamon supplements led to lower fasting blood glucose and increased antioxidant activity. Another found that supplementation improved fasting glucose and insulin response, but that these improvements vanished when supplementation ended. In another study, cinnamon supplementation reduced not just fasting blood glucose levels, but also overall body fat percentage. It also led to an increase in lean muscle mass.

Cinnamon has even outperformed pharmaceuticals. In a study published in the “Journal of Diabetic Medicine,” participants given cinnamon supplements experienced greater improvement in blood sugar levels than participants given standard diabetes drugs.

Even for those interested in pursuing cinnamon supplementation, the best way to prevent and manage Type 2 diabetes is still to maintain a healthy body weight, eat a healthy diet low in refined sugar and high in natural fiber, and exercise regularly.

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Does Taking Fiber Help Regulate Blood Sugar?

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Though the body does not digest fiber like it does protein or fat, you should become familiar with the different types of fiber that you’re eating, because they have different benefits for your body.

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

  • Soluble fiber tends to dissolve in water in your digestive tract. The viscous and gel-like substance that soluble fiber forms with water helps to slow down the passage of food in your digestive tract. This also slows down the absorption of nutrients in your intestine, which helps to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. In contrast, insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and has little impact on blood sugar levels. Instead, it mostly helps to regulate your stool.

Blood Sugar Effects

  • Sudden increases in the amount of glucose in your bloodstream triggers a similar boost in your levels of insulin, a hormone that triggers your cells to use this glucose. Foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates tend to induce spikes in both your blood sugar and insulin levels as your body breaks carbohydrates down to glucose. By slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates, fiber promotes the gradual increase of blood sugar and insulin over a longer period of time. This effect arises mainly from a food’s soluble fiber content.

Diabetes

  • Large, sudden changes in blood sugar and insulin levels can increase your risk of both cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. Soluble fiber can help to reduce your risk of both of these conditions. Soluble fiber is particularly beneficial for people at high risk of developing type-2 diabetes, such as those with impaired glucose tolerance. Because of its effects on blood glucose and insulin levels, soluble fiber can also help people with diabetes to regulate their blood sugar levels. Interestingly, this is true of people with both type-1 and type-2 diabetes.

Increasing Your Intake

  • Your recommended fiber intake varies depending on your age and gender. Men 50 and under should aim for 38 grams per day, while 30 grams is ideal for men over age 50. Women need slightly less — 25 grams for those under age 50 and 21 grams for those over 50. However, if you have diabetes, you should try to consume as much as 50 grams of fiber per day. Oats, legumes, apples, citrus fruits and carrots are all great foods for helping you to boost your soluble fiber intake and reap its blood sugar benefits. You should also try to increase your total fiber intake by eating whole wheat products, nuts, cauliflower and potatoes, all of which are great sources of insoluble fiber.

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Prevention Is Necessary In Diabetes

Introduction to diabetes prevention

There are 2 major forms of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. This article focuses specifically on the prevention of type 2 diabetes. This form of diabetes is virtually a pandemic in the United States. This information reviews the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes and covers key points regarding predicting who is at risk for type 2 diabetes (and what they can do about it).

 

What is type 2 diabetes?

The-future-of-diabetes-management.While diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar values, type 2 diabetes is also associated with a condition known as insulin resistance. While there is an element of impaired insulin secretion from the beta cells of the pancreas especially when toxic levels of glucose occur (when blood sugars are constantly very high), the major defect is the body’s inability to respond properly to insulin.

Eventually, even though the pancreas is working its best to produce more and more insulin, the body tissues (for example, muscle and fat cells) do not respond and become insensitive to the insulin. At this point, overt diabetes occurs as the body is no longer able to effectively use its insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Over time, these high levels of sugar result in the complications we see all too often in patients with diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes prevention

  • While genetics plays an important role, an individual still has the ability to influence their health to prevent diabetes.
  • Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are the biggest risk factors that are controllable. People should watch their weight, and exercisemore.
  • Diet is important because it helps with weight loss. There are some foods such as nuts, which in small amounts provide health benefits in blood sugar regulation.
  • There are tests available to see if a person is at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, but to identify the two main factors simply requires a good family history (genetics) and a bathroom scale.
  • Exercise is beneficial even without weight loss in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
  • Exercise is even more beneficialwith weight loss in the prevention of type 2 diabetes
  • Smoking is harmful in many ways including increasing the risk ofcancer and heart disease. It also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • There are medications available that have been shown in large trials to delay or prevent the onset of overt diabetes. Use of these medications requires a detailed discussion of pros and cons with a doctor as there are side effects to consider.
  • The coming years will be very exciting regarding the advances in the field of prevention of diabetes. However, the cornerstone of therapy will likely remain a healthy lifestyle.

 

What are the risks factors for developing diabetes?

The risk factors for developing diabetes actually varies depending on where a person lives. This is in part due to the environment the person lives in, and in part due to the genetic makeup of the family. In the United States, it is estimated that one in three males and two out of every five females born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes (the lifetime risk). It has also been calculated that for those diagnosed with diabetes before the age of 40, the average life expectancy is reduced by 12 years for men, and 19 years for women.

The risk for developing diabetes increases in certain cases such as the following.

  • Genetics: People with a close relative with type 2 diabetes are at higher risk.
  • Ethnic background: For example, the actual prevalence of diabetes in the Caucasian population of the US is about 7.1% while in the African American population, it increases to about 12.6%. Approximately 8.4% of Asian Americans and 11.6% of Hispanic Americans are affected. In a well studied group of Native Americans, the Pima Indians, the prevalence increases to almost 35%.
  • Birth weight: There is a relationship between birth weight and developing diabetes, and it’s the opposite of what you’d intuitively think. The lower the birth weight the higher the risk of type 2 diabetes. At the other end of the spectrum, a very high birth weight (over 8.8 pounds or 4 kg) also is associated with an increased risk. Additionally, mothers of infants who had a higher birth weight (over 9 pounds) are at increased risk for developing diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome: People who have the metabolic syndrome are at especially high risk for developing diabetes.
  • Obesity: Obesity is probably the most impressive risk factor and in most situations the most controllable. This is in part due to the fact that obesity increases the body’s resistance to insulin. Studies have shown that reversal of obesity through weight reduction improves insulin sensitivity and regulation of blood sugar. However, the distribution of fat is important. The classic “pear” shape person (smaller waist than hips) has a lower risk of developing diabetes than the “apple” shape person (larger around the waist). The exact reason for this difference is unknown, but it is thought to have something to do with the metabolic activity of the fat tissue in different areas of the body.

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Preventing Diabetes Through Different Ways

Keeping weight in check, being active, and eating a healthy diet can prevent most cases of type 2 diabetes.

There’s good news and bad news about type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult onset diabetes. The bad news? It’s striking people at younger and younger ages, and rates are skyrocketing globally as the population grows heavier and gets less physical activity. The good news? It’s highly preventable.

Keeping weight in check and being physically active can help prevent most cases of the disease. Choosing a diet rich in whole grains and healthy fats adds even more protection—skip the refined grains and sugary soda. Limiting red meat—steak, hamburger, pork chops, and the like—and avoiding processed meat—bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats—can also help lower diabetes risk. Go for healthier protein sources instead, such as nuts, beans, poultry, and fish.

Here are five quick tips to help prevent diabetes:

1. Put exercise first—and put television last. Regular exercise by itself can cut diabetes risk. That it also helps keep weight in check adds even more benefit. Choose things you enjoy and do them every day. Too much television-watching ups diabetes risk—an increase of 20 percent for every 2 hours you watch. So trade some of your sit-time for fit-time.

2. Try to keep weight in check. Being a healthy weight is the best thing you can do to lower your risk of diabetes. Need to lose weight? Getting active and eating a healthy diet, with smaller portions, s-l-o-w-l-y are your best bets.

3. Choose healthy fats and proteins, and skip the red and processed meat. Sure, they’ve got long names, but a diet rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats can help lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Canola oil and olive oil are great choices, as are the fats in avocados, nuts, and seeds. For protein, replace the steaks, chops, hot dogs, and bacon with nuts, beans, poultry, or fish.

4. Focus on plant foods. A diet high in whole grains can help lower the risk of diabetes and keep appetite in check. Choose a good variety of whole grain foods prepared in interesting ways, such as Mollie Katzen’s recipe for couscous-quinoa tabouli.

5. Cut back on refined carbs and sugary drinks. White bread, white rice, white pasta and potatoes cause fast and furious increases in blood sugar, as do sugary soft drinks, fruit punch, and fruit juice. Over time, eating lots of these refined carbohydrates and sugar may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.  To lower your risk—switch to whole grains and skip the sugar, especially the sugary drinks. Drink water, coffee or tea instead.

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Good Tips To Never Get Diabetes

1. Nudge the scale

Shedding even 10 pounds can significantly slash your risk.

Even extremely overweight people were 70% less likely to develop diabetes when they lost just 5% of their weight—even if they didn’t exercise. If you weigh 175 pounds, that’s a little less than 9 pounds! Use our calorie calculator to see how many calories you consume—and how many you need to shave off your diet—if you want to lose a little.

2. Pick the right appetizer

May we recommend the salad? Eating greens with a vinaigrette before a starchy entrée may help control your blood sugar levels.

In an Arizona State University study, people with type 2 diabetes or a precursor condition called insulin resistance had lower blood sugar levels if they consumed about 2 tablespoons of vinegar just before a high-carb meal. “Vinegar contains acetic acid, which may inactivate certain starch-digesting enzymes, slowing carbohydrate digestion,” says lead researcher Carol Johnston, PhD. In fact, vinegar’s effects may be similar to those of the blood sugar—lowering medication acarbose (Precose).

Before you eat that fettuccine, enjoy a salad with this dressing: Whisk 3 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil, 1 clove garlic (crushed), 1/4 teaspoon honey, 3 tablespoons yogurt, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Makes four 2-tablespoon servings.)

3. Ditch your car

Walk as much as you can every day. You’ll be healthier—even if you don’t lose any weight

People in a Finnish study who exercised the most—up to 4 hours a week, or about 35 minutes a day—dropped their risk of diabetes by 80%, even if they didn’t lose any weight. This pattern holds up in study after study: The famed Nurses’ Health Study, for example, found that women who worked up a sweat more than once a week reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 30%. And Chinese researchers determined that people with high blood sugar who engaged in moderate exercise (and made other lifestyle changes) were 40% less likely to develop full-blown diabetes. Why is walking so wonderful? Studies show that exercise helps your body utilize the hormone insulin more efficiently by increasing the number of insulin receptors on your cells. Insulin helps blood sugar move into cells, where it needs to go to provide energy and nutrition. Otherwise it just sloshes around in your bloodstream, gumming up blood vessel walls and eventually causing serious health problems.

4. Be a cereal connoisseur

Selecting the right cereal can help you slim down and steady blood sugar.

A higher whole grain intake is also linked to lower rates of breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke—and cereal is one of the best sources of these lifesaving grains, if you know what to shop for.

Some tips: Look for the words high fiber on the box; that ensures at least 5 g per serving. But don’t stop there. Check the label; in some brands, the benefits of fiber are overshadowed by the addition of refined grains, added sugar, or cholesterol-raising fats.

Decode the grains: Where that fiber comes from matters too, so check the ingredient list to find out exactly what those flakes or squares are made from. Millet, amaranth, quinoa, and oats are always whole grain, but if you don’t see whole in front of wheat, corn, barley, or rice, these grains have been refined and aren’t as healthy.

Watch for hidden sugar: The “total sugars” listing doesn’t distinguish between added and naturally occurring sugars; the best way to tell is scan the ingredients again. The following terms represent added sugars: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, sugar, and sucrose. Skip cereals that list any of these within the first three ingredients (which are listed by weight).

5. Indulge coffee cravings

If you’re a coffee fan, keep on sipping. The beverage may keep diabetes at bay.

After they studied 126,210 women and men, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that big-time coffee drinkers—those who downed more than 6 daily cups—had a 29 to 54% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes during the 18-year study. Sipping 4 to 5 cups cut risk about 29%; 1 to 3 cups per day had little effect. Decaf coffee offered no protection. Caffeine in other forms—tea, soda, chocolate—did. Researchers suspect that caffeine may help by boosting metabolism. And coffee, the major caffeine source in the study, also contains potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants that help cells absorb sugar. But before you become a VIP at Dunkin Donuts, remember that a medium chain-store cuppa is about 14 to 16 ounces—right there, that’s 2 “cups” by standard measures.

6. Ditch the drive-thru

You might get away with an occasional fast-food splurge, but become a regular “fast feeder” and your risk of diabetes skyrockets.

That’s what University of Minnesota scientists found after they studied 3,000 people, ages 18 to 30, for 15 years. At the start, everyone was at a normal weight. But those who ate fast food more than twice a week gained 10 more pounds and developed twice the rate of insulin resistance—the two major risk factors for type 2 diabetes—compared with those who indulged less than once a week. In addition to the jumbo portions, many fast food meals are loaded with unhealthy trans fats and refined carbohydrates, which may raise diabetes risk even if your weight remains stable. A better bet: Keep a baggie of DIY trail mix in your purse at all times in case hunger pangs come on. Nuts are known blood sugar-lowerers.

7. Spice up your life

Cinnamon may help rein in high blood sugar.

German researchers studied 65 adults with type 2 diabetes who then took a capsule containing the equivalent of 1 g of cinnamon powder or a placebo 3 times a day for 4 months. By the end, cinnamon reduced blood sugar by about 10%; the placebo users improved by only 4%. Why? Compounds in cinnamon may activate enzymes that stimulate insulin receptors. The sweet spice has also been shown to help lower cholesterol and triglycerides, blood fats that may contribute to diabetes risk.

8. Unwind every day

Chronic stress can send blood sugar levels soaring.

When you’re stressed, your body is primed to take action. This gearing up causes your heart to beat faster, your breath to quicken, and your stomach to knot. But it also triggers your blood sugar levels to skyrocket. “Under stress, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, raising blood sugar levels to prepare you for action,” says Richard Surwit, PhD, author of The Mind-Body Diabetes Revolutionand chief of medical psychology at Duke University. If your cells are insulin resistant, the sugar builds up in your blood, with nowhere to go—leading to chronically high levels. The good news is, simple relaxation exercises and other stress management moves can help you gain control over blood sugar levels, according to a study conducted at Duke University. Try these proven relaxers:

  • Start your day with yoga, meditation, or a walk.
  • Take three deep, slow breaths before answering the phone, starting the car, serving the kids lunch, or any other activity.
  • Reclaim your Sundays as a day of rest or fun with your family, relaxing, worship, etc. Try to avoid spending the whole day on obligatory errands such as mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, or catching up on work.

9. Get a perfect night’s rest

There’s a sleep sweet spot when it comes to preventing diabetes.

A Yale University study of 1,709 men found that those who regularly got less than 6 hours of shut-eye doubled their diabetes risk; those who slept more than 8 hours tripled their odds. Previous studies have turned up similar findings in women. “When you sleep too little—or too long because of sleep apnea—your nervous system stays on alert,” says lead researcher Klar Yaggi, MD, an assistant professor of pulmonary medicine at Yale. This interferes with hormones that regulate blood sugar.

A Columbia University study found that sleeping less than 5 hours also doubled the risk of high blood pressure. For a good night’s rest, avoid caffeine after noon, leave work at the office, and skip late-night TV. Oversleeping may be a sign of depression or a treatable sleep disorder, so talk with your doctor.

10. Keep good company

Diabetes is more likely to strike women who live alone.

Women who live alone are 2.5 times more likely to develop diabetes than women who live with a partner, other adults, or children, according to a study published in Diabetes Care. Researchers examined what role household status played in the progression of impaired glucose tolerance to diabetes among 461 women, ages 50 to 64, and found higher risk among women living alone. But don’t freak out if you live solo: Lifestyle factors could explain this finding. Women who lived alone were also more likely to smoke and less likely to have healthy dietary habits or consume alcohol.

 

ARTICLE SOURCE: This factual content has not been modified from the source. This content is syndicated news that can be used for your research, and we hope that it can help your productivity. This content is strictly for educational purposes and is not made for any kind of commercial purposes of this blog.

Preventing Diabetes

Primary prevention involves preventing risk factors that lead to chronic diseases, infections and injuries. Types of primary prevention include physical activity and nutrition. Secondary prevention reacts to prevent further exacerbation of a known problem in the case of diabetes prevention of complications. Types of activities used in secondary prevention include using medication to treat conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol or screening for high blood glucose levels.

Individual level primary and secondary prevention takes place in the medical care delivery system, such as at a doctor’s office or hospital. Population based primary and secondary prevention takes place at the community, state or national level and public health agencies and non-profit organizations coordinate these efforts.

Secondary prevention including screening as well as early detection and treatment is complementary to primary prevention and improved information technology. Enormous differences in terms of health and social care systems have been identified between EU countries. In addition, large discrepancies and inequalities in the provision of care and prevention also exist within countries.

Early detection and diagnosis, greater international collaboration, implementation of population-based quality assured screening programmes, evaluation of social inequalities and development of novel tools to detect chronic disease in at-risk populations are all measures that should be encouraged at Member State level.

Improved prevention strategies have the potential to contribute greatly to discontinuing the escalating diabetes epidemic and even reversing and decreasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the long run. However prevention strategies will only be effective, cost-efficient and sustainable when coupled with effective, systematic and consistent (consistency of treatment in terms of the patients journey) multi-disciplinary and integrated health and social care systems and services. Such systems and services should take into account the distinct social and cultural context and habitual practices of the country as well as the increasing importance of support bodies for people living with diabetes and their carers.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that arises when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This leads to raised glucose levels in the blood and can cause long-term damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues. There are three main types of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s defense system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The body can no longer produce the insulin it needs. The disease can affect people of any age, but it usually occurs in children or young adults. Without insulin, people with type 1 diabetes will die.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes where the body is able to produce insulin but it is either not sufficient or the body is not responding to its effects, leading to a build -up of glucose in the blood. It usually occurs in adults, but is increasingly seen in children and adolescents. Much of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is diabetes first diagnosed during pregnancy. It can lead to serious pregnancy complications for mother and child and a life-time increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

What is Pre-Diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a term that is used to identify people who are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is potentially the early stage of diabetes. It is a condition which many people have but may not be aware of. People with pre-diabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a condition where the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood becomes higher than normal, although not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.In Europe alone, it is estimated that over 60 million people have pre-diabetes. It is thought that the vast majority of these people are unaware of their condition. The importance of identifying pre-diabetes is becoming increasingly recognized. It is at this stage that the onset of diabetes can be delayed or even prevented with the correct changes to a currently unhealthy lifestyle. Unfortunately people with pre-diabetes do not show symptoms and so are often not diagnosed early enough.

Risk Factors

  • Pre-diabetes

Pre-diabetes is a strong indicator that a person is at risk of getting diabetes. It is estimated that over 30% of people with pre-diabetes will progress to type 2 diabetes.

  • A close family member or other relative has type 2 diabetes

If a parent, brother or sister has type 2 diabetes, there is a much greater risk of developing the condition. There is also a risk (although slightly less than with an immediate family member) if a grandparent, aunt, uncle or first cousin has type 2 diabetes.

  • Overweight

You are much more at risk of developing pre-diabetes and going on to develop type 2 diabetes if you are overweight. This may be measured by your Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a calculation of the recommended weight range, based on your height and weight.

You may also be overweight if you are carrying too much weight around your waist at umbilical level rather than your hips. This can be measured using a tape measure: if your waist measures over 94 cm for men and 80 cm for women, you may be at greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes. If you are an Asian man, the measurement is 90cm or more.

Currently nearly two thirds of men and over half of women in the UK are overweight or obese (UK statistics, National Audit Office). Given that over 90% of type 2 diabetes is a result of weight gain, many people are at risk of developing diabetes. Even so, the rising epidemic of diabetes could be reduced through changes to a currently unhealthy lifestyle. International studies  on diabetes prevention have shown that one case of diabetes can be prevented for every seven people with pre-diabetes treated with intensive lifestyle education. Weight loss is the main factor for reducing risk with a 16% reduction in the risk of developing diabetes for each kilogram of weight lost.

  • Dyslipidemia – Disturbances in the levels of fat in the blood

Cholesterol, a type of fat (also known as a lipid) is vital for the body to function properly. However, there are different types of cholesterol; LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is known as bad or lethal cholesterol because it forms fatty plaques in the blood vessels leading to heart disease and strokes. HDL (High-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is known as good or healthy cholesterol because it clears the bad cholesterol from the blood. A disturbed balance of fat in the blood e.g. too much bad cholesterol and not enough good cholesterol can also increase the likelihood of type 2 diabetes.

The amount and type of fat you eat can affect the levels of good and bad cholesterol in the blood. There are many different types of dietary fat. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat lower the risk of getting certain diseases. These can be found in vegetable oils and foods such as nuts, fish, seeds and avocado. Saturated and trans fats increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease and are often found in animal products such as fatty meats, full fat dairy food, fried and highly processed foods. Consuming too many calories can increase another type of fat in the blood called triglycerides, this fat has also been shown to increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The recommendations for blood fats (lipids) are:

  • Total Cholesterol less than 5 mmol/l
  • LDL cholesterol less than 3 mmol/l
  • Triglycerides less than 2.3 mmol/l
  • HDL cholesterol more than1.0 mmol/l for men and 1.2 mmol/l for women
  • High blood pressure

Having high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Blood pressure measurements are taken when the heart is contracting (the systolic pressure) and resting (the diastolic pressure). You may be at higher risk of type 2 diabetes if your systolic pressure (the top number) is above 140 mmHg or the diastolic pressure (the bottom number) is above 90 mmHg.

To help prevent high blood pressure:

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat healthily
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Increase physical activty
  • Limit salt intake in the diet
  • A lack of exercise

If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and don’t take a minimum of 30 minutes’ exercise such as walking, swimming or cycling at least five times a week, the body’s ability to use insulin to process glucose is impaired.

  • Age

If you are over 45 years old, the risk increases as you get older. This may be because people tend to gain weight and exercise less as they get older. Maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy, balanced dietand keeping active are ways to prevent age-related diabetes.

  • Ethnicity

People of South Asian, African, African-Caribbean and Middle Eastern descent have a higher than average risk of type 2 diabetes. The condition is up to six times more common in South Asian communities and it is three times more common among people of African and African-Caribbean origin.

  • Any previous abnormalities of blood glucose

If you have had a previous change in your blood glucose, such as gestational diabetes (diabetes occurring during pregnancy), impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) you are at greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

  • Giving birth to a large baby

A further risk factor is giving birth to a large baby (weighing more than 4 kg), which may put a woman at greater risk of developing diabetes.

Gestational diabetes increases the risk of your baby being large. This occurs during the pregnancy because excess glucose in the mother’s blood is passed to the foetus (unborn baby). This causes the foetus to produce extra insulin (a hormone) that allows the extra glucose to enter the cells resulting in more growth than normal.

If you are concerned by these risk factors, please see your doctor.

ARTICLE SOURCE: This factual content has not been modified from the source. This content is syndicated news that can be used for your research, and we hope that it can help your productivity. This content is strictly for educational purposes and is not made for any kind of commercial purposes of this blog.