Alzheimers – Diabetic Kitchen https://diabetickitchen.com Sun, 19 Jul 2020 16:24:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Don’t Let Fake Sugar Fool You – it’s Dangerous, Too! https://diabetickitchen.com/fake-sugar-is-dangerous-too/ https://diabetickitchen.com/fake-sugar-is-dangerous-too/#comments Tue, 27 Aug 2019 23:00:21 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4558

Nearly half of American adults consume artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. Not because they prefer the taste, but for the lack of calories. If something has less calories, it must be healthier… right? “Real” sugar is dangerous to your health, so artificial sweeteners must be better for you… right? Wrong on both counts! While some ...

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Nearly half of American adults consume artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. Not because they prefer the taste, but for the lack of calories. If something has less calories, it must be healthier… right? “Real” sugar is dangerous to your health, so artificial sweeteners must be better for you… right? Wrong on both counts!

While some may have heard rumblings of how artificial sweeteners are unhealthy, most have no idea the incredibly negative impacts these chemicals have on the body. It’s time to talk about some of the lesser known evils of these fake sugars.

The majority of artificial sweetener consumers do so in an effort to lose weight. However, research is now showing that not only do artificial sweeteners prevent weight loss, they actually encourage weight gain!

Researchers at the University of Manitoba found that artificial, zero-calorie sweeteners had no consistent link to decreased body weight. Neither were there reductions in body mass index (BMI) or waist size. Instead, consumption of artificial sweeteners leads to weight gain. What causes this?

Artificial sweeteners prompt ‘reward’ signals in the brain. Just like with real sugar, the brain can become dependent and crave more. This can lead to increased consumption of higher calorie foods, causing weight gain.

Next, the taste buds can be deadened by artificial sweeteners. They affect our sense of what tastes ‘sweet’ and what does not. We can then be more likely to consume foods that contain sugar, making it nearly impossible to manage diabetes. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather taste the food I’m eating. Especially if I’m putting in so much effort to make good food choices!

Thirdly, individuals think that with a zero-calorie sweetener, they have calories to spare. This can encourage indulgence in foods (and portion sizes.) Quite frankly, packing on pounds has never sounded easier.

In case you didn’t catch that – these chemicals literally manipulate our brains, people! What’s worse, the damage doesn’t end with manipulation. Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame can increase risk for several chronic, even fatal diseases.

Aspartame (the leading artificial sweetener in diet sodas) has been linked to increased risk of cancers of the liver, lungs, brain, breast, and prostate. Not to mention increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Does anyone know the number one cause of death for diabetics? Heart disease.

Speaking of diabetics, many turn to diet sodas because they do not contain sugar. However, research has found no difference in diabetes risk between those who consumed a ‘diet’ drink and those who consumed a beverage sweetened with actual sugar.

Let’s state that again. There was no reduction in diabetes risk between individuals who consume sugar-sweetened drinks and those who consume artificially-sweetened drinks. Risk of heart attack was equal among those who drank traditional sugar-sweetened beverages and those who drank artificially-sweetened ones.

Researchers also found that those who drink artificially-sweetened beverages have double the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is an extremely dangerous condition consisting of high blood sugar, elevated blood pressure, unstable cholesterol levels, and excess body fat around the waist. Metabolic syndrome greatly increases one’s risk of heart attack, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

Multiple research studies have also concluded that artificial sweeteners like Aspartame damage the neurological system. Aspartame has been found to damage brain cells and disrupt neuron function. Declines in learning ability and in emotional function have also been observed by researchers.

Alzheimer’s dementia is a heart-breaking disease. It robs an individual of their memories, decision making capabilities, the ability to communicate and even complete the most basic activities of daily living. Guess what? Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame increase risk of Alzheimer’s dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Even when only consuming half of the FDA-approved “safe” amount of Aspartame, research participants experienced increased irritation, a decline in spatial orientation, and more frequent occurrences of depressive behavior. In 1993, study participants had such severe, negative responses to Aspartame, that the experiment had to be halted. Researchers recommended anyone with a history of mood disorders to avoid Aspartame completely due to the severity of the reactions observed in this study.

Along with our brains, the kidneys also have to process this poison. In individuals with initially healthy kidney function, drinking diet sodas was associated with a 30% greater reduction in kidney function compared to individuals who do not drink diet sodas. The study included over 3,000 participants and spanned 20 years.

How about a disease that affects the entire body? Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder, with over 6 million sufferers here in the U.S. alone. Researchers found that by eliminating Aspartame and MSG (monosodium glutamate), participants enjoyed near complete relief of their symptoms in a matter of months. If participants consumed either ingredient after the study… fibromyalgia symptoms quickly returned.

Autism spectrum disorders are becoming more common every day, with researchers and physicians alike still scrambling to isolate the cause. One study found that women who were exposed to a chemical called dietary methanol (present in artificial sweeteners like Aspartame) had a significantly increased likelihood of giving birth to a child who developed autism.

So, with all of this research, how have artificial sweeteners remained so popular?  People still think they are making a ‘healthier choice.’ (The cheerfully colorful TV commercials certainly aren’t helping matters, either!)

The big manufacturers couldn’t be happier. They’ve spent millions in marketing their products as healthy alternatives to sugar. Their wallets are full, while our risk for deadly heath issues skyrockets. So, what’s the answer? Natural, zero-calorie sweeteners like monkfruit and stevia are a far safer choice.

The biggest key to long-term health is simple – eat real food. Quality nutrition means you get the best of both worlds; enjoying the healthy life we’re all striving for, while eating delicious food. And there’s absolutely nothing “artificial” about that!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.livescience.com/64411-sugar-substitutes-health-benefits.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8373935

www.draxe.com/nutrition/article/aspartame

 

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Discover the Power of Fiber – A Diabetic’s Ultimate BFF! https://diabetickitchen.com/fiber-a-diabetics-ultimate-bff/ https://diabetickitchen.com/fiber-a-diabetics-ultimate-bff/#respond Thu, 08 Aug 2019 18:39:06 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4552

Fiber – what’s not to love? Found in a variety of foods, fiber is crucial to good health. This is especially true for individuals with diabetes. In fact, fiber actively helps to lower blood glucose. Fiber has a strong effect on gut bacteria and encourages them to multiply. Believe it or not, this is good ...

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Fiber – what’s not to love? Found in a variety of foods, fiber is crucial to good health. This is especially true for individuals with diabetes.

In fact, fiber actively helps to lower blood glucose. Fiber has a strong effect on gut bacteria and encourages them to multiply. Believe it or not, this is good news! There are an estimated 100 trillion bacteria present in the human gut; some good, some bad.

The more good bacteria in the gut, the better! Researchers credit fiber for increasing the good bacteria in the gut, causing the gut to become more acidic. This acidity not only reduces the number of bad bacteria present, it causes the body to ramp up insulin production. Hence fiber’s reputation for lowering blood sugar!

One study found just how powerful a high fiber diet can be. Half of the research participants consumed a standard diet. The other half consumed a similar diet but with high levels of dietary fiber included.

After 12 weeks, the high-fiber diet participants reduced their 3-month average blood sugar levels. They also enjoyed a faster and larger reduction in their fasting blood glucose numbers. Plus, they lost significantly more weight than the standard diet participants.

Are the benefits of fiber blowing your mind? Speaking of minds, research has found that fiber increases the production of a fatty acid that helps to prevent brain inflammation. Protecting brain health has never been more important, especially for diabetics.

Nearly 5.5 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia. This progressive brain disease destroys an individual’s memory, decision-making abilities, and communication skills. One out of every eight individuals over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s.

One out of every two individuals over the age of 85 have the disease. As the baby-boomer generation ages, Alzheimer’s diagnosis rates are going to skyrocket. Research has now proven a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

When blood sugar is too high, the extra sugar causes damage to nerves and organs in the body. Damage to blood vessels in the brain, along with the inflammation caused by high blood sugar, can also encourage the development of the disease. Advancing research, however, gives hope in the fight against brain aging – eat more fiber! Yes, fiber has been found to slow brain aging and help prevent cognitive decline.

Believe it or not, the benefits of fiber don’t end there. Due to the gut’s powerful impact on health and wellness, it is now being referred to as the body’s “second brain.” In fact, 80% of the body’s immune function is in the gut!

Of particular interest to diabetics, chronic inflammation is initiated in the gut, as well. This is not the same as acute inflammation, which goes away fairly quickly. Such as the swelling that occurs when you stub your toe, or get bitten by a mosquito.

Chronic inflammation develops over time due to the body’s continual fight against harmful substances. Or in some cases, the body’s immune system begins attacking healthy cells instead of the harmful ones. Either way, chronic inflammation is not only harmful, it can be deadly.

Diabetics need to be especially mindful in the prevention of chronic inflammation. This is because long-term, uncontrolled high blood sugar causes inflammation throughout the body. Unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it.

Research has found that inflammation is the root cause of many debilitating diseases. Chronic inflammation has been connected to the development of some of the world’s deadliest illnesses – cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and digestive disease.

Did you know the number one killer of diabetics is not high blood sugar? It’s heart disease. Diabetics must focus on heart health, as well as, regulation of blood sugar. Fiber’s effects on the gut encourage the stabilization of blood sugar, promote gut health, and help reduce the risk of chronic inflammation.

Ready to eat some fiber yet? The American Heart Association recommends total fiber intake to be 25-30 grams per day. The average person eats only 15 grams per day. That’s barely half the recommended amount. Let’s review a few foods rich in fiber (and in flavor!)

Artichokes – Low in calories, rich in fiber and essential nutrients, artichokes are a great addition to your diet. Just one medium artichoke accounts for nearly half of the recommend daily fiber intake for women, and a third for men.

Avocado – One cup of avocado has more than 15 grams of fiber, plus an abundance of heart-healthy omega-3 fats! There are endless, delicious ways to use avocado, too. Rather than putting chicken salad on a bun, put it inside one half of an avocado. Instead of mayonnaise on your turkey sandwich, try mashed avocado.

Beans and Lentils – One cup of cooked red kidney beans contains 13 grams of fiber, a cup of black beans has 15 grams of fiber, and white beans contain over 18 grams per cup. In addition to their high fiber content, beans, as well as lentils (which are composed of 40% fiber), contain a starch that is more slowly absorbed into the bloodstream, helping to keep blood sugar stable.

Berries – Loaded with fiber and antioxidants, fresh raspberries and blackberries top the list with more than 7 grams of fiber per cup. Blueberries are also a great source of vitamins and soluble fiber. Studies have found that glucose levels reduce over time when blueberries are included in one’s diet. In fact, one study by the USDA, consuming 2 ½ cups of fresh blueberry juice per day lowered blood glucose levels, improved depression symptoms, and sharpened memory.

Brownies – WHAT? Yep! One of these chocolatey, delicious brownies contains 6 grams of soluble fiber.

Fiber is of utmost importance to health, for diabetics especially. Maybe its fiber’s ability to help stabilize and lower blood sugar? Or maybe due to its assistance in preventing brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s? Not to mention fiber’s incredible impact on the gut, and therefore, the entire body.

Fiber is our friend. Lucky for us, it comes in all sorts of delicious forms and foods. Now go get your fiber on!

 

Public Service Announcement: while it is true that these high-fiber foods are good for you, they can also give you gas, along with intestinal cramping or bloating if you’re not used to higher fiber. Don’t take on too much at once. Instead, gradually introduce more fiber to your diet over time.

Stephanie Johnson has a masters degree from the University of Central Florida and is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant.

Sources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321150.php

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2018.01832/full

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/01/just-eat-more-fiber/550082/

https://www.health.news/2018-01-11-science-confirms-inflammation-is-the-cause-of-almost-all-disease.html

 

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Artificial Sweeteners Do Not Contribute To Weight Loss https://diabetickitchen.com/artificial-sweeteners-do-not-contribute-to-weight-loss/ https://diabetickitchen.com/artificial-sweeteners-do-not-contribute-to-weight-loss/#respond Sun, 24 Feb 2019 20:47:40 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4372

The diet industry hauls in billions of dollars in profits each year. In the quest for perfection, many of us turn to calorie-counting in order to lose weight. This has made zero-calorie sweeteners explode in popularity. Nearly half of American adults consume artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. Not because of their taste, but for ...

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The diet industry hauls in billions of dollars in profits each year. In the quest for perfection, many of us turn to calorie-counting in order to lose weight. This has made zero-calorie sweeteners explode in popularity.

Nearly half of American adults consume artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. Not because of their taste, but for their lack of calories. However, research is now showing that not only do artificial sweeteners prevent weight loss, they can actually encourage weight gain!

Researchers at the University of Manitoba found that artificial, zero-calorie sweeteners had no consistent link to decreased body weight. Neither were there reductions in body mass index (BMI) or waist size. Instead, artificial sweeteners were linked to increased risk of weight gain. Yikes!

What causes the weight gain? Artificial sweeteners prompt ‘reward’ signals in the brain. Just like with real sugar, the brain can become dependent and crave more. This can lead to increased consumption of higher calorie foods, causing weight gain.

Our taste buds can be deadened by artificial sweeteners. They affect our sense of what tastes ‘sweet’ and what does not. We can then be more likely to consume foods that contain sugar, making it nearly impossible to manage diabetes.

Thirdly, individuals think that with a zero-calorie sweetener, they have calories to spare. This can encourage indulgence in foods (and portion sizes.) Quite frankly, packing on pounds has never sounded easier.

If you think you’re in the clear because you drink your coffee black without sweetener… think again. Do you drink diet soda?

Many diabetics turn to ‘diet’ sodas because they do not contain ‘sugar.’ However, research found no difference in diabetes risk between those who consumed the ‘diet’ drink and those who consumed a beverage sweetened with actual sugar.

Let’s state that again. There was no reduction in diabetes risk between individuals who consume sugar-sweetened drinks and those who consume artificially sweetened drinks. Instead, researchers found that those who drink artificially-sweetened beverages have double the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is an extremely dangerous condition consisting of high blood sugar, elevated blood pressure, unstable cholesterol levels, and excess body fat around the waist. Metabolic syndrome greatly increases one’s risk of heart attack, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

Just one diet beverage per day triggered high blood pressure in women, and increased their risk for heart disease (the number one cause of death for women in the U.S.) Risk of heart attack was equal among those who drank traditional sugar sweetened beverages and those who drank artificially sweetened ones.

So with all of this research, how have artificial sweeteners remained so popular?  People still think they are making a ‘healthier choice.’ The happy, cheerfully colorful commercials certainly aren’t helping.

The manufacturers couldn’t be happier. They’ve spent millions in marketing their products as healthy alternatives to sugar. Their wallets are padded, while our risk for deadly heathy issues skyrockets. So, what’s the answer?

There are safe choices; natural zero-calorie sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit. The biggest key to long-term weight loss is simple – eat real food. Clean, quality foods make the true difference. One that artificial or ‘diet’ foods never could.

 

Sources:

https://www.livescience.com/64411-sugar-substitutes-health-benefits.html

 

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New Research – Eating Fiber Delays Brain Aging https://diabetickitchen.com/eating-fiber-delays-brain-aging/ https://diabetickitchen.com/eating-fiber-delays-brain-aging/#respond Sun, 07 Oct 2018 20:08:33 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4085

All Diabetic Kitchen devotees know that fiber can do wonders for health and blood sugar. If you’re still on the fence about the benefits of fiber, perhaps this new study will change your mind. The findings – you could help protect your brain by eating more fiber! The study links brain aging and cognitive decline ...

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All Diabetic Kitchen devotees know that fiber can do wonders for health and blood sugar. If you’re still on the fence about the benefits of fiber, perhaps this new study will change your mind. The findings – you could help protect your brain by eating more fiber!

The study links brain aging and cognitive decline to inflammation in the brain. Research has found that fiber increases the production of a fatty acid that helps to prevent brain inflammation. Protecting brain health has never been more important, especially for diabetics.

Nearly 5.5 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This progressive brain disease destroys an individual’s memory, decision-making and communication skills. One out of every eight individuals over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s. One out of every two individuals over the age of 85 have the disease. As the baby-boomer generation ages, Alzheimer’s diagnosis rates are expected to skyrocket.

Research has now proven a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s. When blood sugar is too high, the extra sugar causes damage to nerves and organs in the body. Damage to blood vessels in the brain, along with the inflammation caused by high blood sugar, can also encourage the development of the disease. The negative effects of insulin resistance on a diabetic’s brain can also stimulate cognitive decline.

This new research however, gives hope in the fight against brain aging – fiber! Eating 25 to 35 grams of fiber every day may seem intimidating, but there are a ton of delicious fiber-filled foods out there waiting for you. Here are a few high-fiber, brain-boosting favorites.

Avocados – The high fiber content and good fats in avocados fuel both brain and body. Their levels of folate and vitamin K improve blood flow, helping to prevent blood clots in the brain. This protects against stroke, as well as, improves memory and cognitive performance.

Beans and Lentils – One cup of cooked red kidney beans contains 13 grams of fiber. A cup of black beans packs 15 grams of fiber, and white beans contain over 18 grams per cup. Lentils (which are 40% fiber) also digest slowly, helping to keep blood sugar stable.

Broccoli – One cup of steamed broccoli contains nearly 5 grams of fiber. Plus, this cruciferous green veggie contains high levels of vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate – helping to improve memory.

Nuts – An easy, convenient way to quickly increase your fiber intake. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, all delicious little jewels of nutrition. Research has shown that walnuts improve many cognitive functions like reasoning and memory, and boost mood!

Popcorn– Make sure you air-pop your popcorn fresh; no preservative-filled bags from the supermarket allowed! Drizzle with olive oil (or indulge with a bit of truffle oil), add some dried herbs, or simply sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Three cups of air-popped popcorn contain more than 3 grams of fiber, while being low in calories. Popcorn is also low-glycemic, making it a great snack option for diabetics.

Quinoa – A wide variety of grains contain fiber, but few pack as nutritious a punch as quinoa. Quinoa is easy to digest and gluten-free, while being high in other essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin B-6, potassium and magnesium.

Diabetics (and non-diabetics alike) need to focus on brain health, as well as blood sugar. What more enjoyable way to protect your brain than by eating delicious food? Get started by checking out these 10 Incredible Foods & Recipes for boosting brain health!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323079.php

 

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Keeping A Healthy Brain As You Age https://diabetickitchen.com/keeping-a-healthy-brain-as-you-age/ https://diabetickitchen.com/keeping-a-healthy-brain-as-you-age/#respond Mon, 02 Oct 2017 18:57:27 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3294

Research is finding that the long-known risk factors for heart disease and stroke are also risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. The main risk factors are high blood pressure, cholesterol, and high blood sugar. It may seem like a strange connection at first, but give it deeper thought. If your blood vessels become clogged, ...

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Research is finding that the long-known risk factors for heart disease and stroke are also risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

The main risk factors are high blood pressure, cholesterol, and high blood sugar.

It may seem like a strange connection at first, but give it deeper thought. If your blood vessels become clogged, blood is unable to flow freely. This means that the brain does not get adequate blood flow, and the brain’s connective processes can weaken.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It destroys an individual’s memory, the ability to learn and make decisions, even basic communication and the performance of daily activities.

As the disease gradually progresses, the individual may experience changes in behavior and personality, increased anxiety or agitation, even delusions. Alzheimer’s disease is fatal, and is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

Nearly 5.5 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. One out of every eight individuals over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s, and one out of every two individuals over the age of 85 have the disease. As the baby-boomer generation ages, Alzheimer’s diagnosis rates are expected to skyrocket.

We can help fight Alzheimer’s disease with seven key strategies identified by researchers.

  1. Manage Your Blood Sugar

Be sure to track your blood sugar levels. The link between high blood sugar and declining cognition is present long before the first severe symptom is experienced, and frequently even before the diagnosis of diabetes.

Controlling your sugar levels will have a huge impact on decreasing your risk for Alzheimer’s. When blood sugar is regulated there will be more insulin available for the brain to use, more fuel for the brain cells, and less inflammation in the blood vessels and brain tissue.

  1. Control Cholesterol

By keeping your cholesterol levels in check, you help to minimize the clogging and inflammation of blood vessels all over the body, especially in the heart and brain.

  1. Manage Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a huge contributor to artery damage and inflammation. It is crucial to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level in order to protect your brain.

  1. Get Moving

This is especially important for diabetics, because there is already a buildup of excess glucose in the bloodstream. This physical activity helps to clear the glucose from the bloodstream, and from the brain. This reduces risk for the development of Alzheimer’s.

This type of moderate-intensity exercise actually boosts neurological function, for diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Exercise can help keep the brain sharp, and prevent cognitive decline as we age. Research has also shown that it’s never too soon (or too late) to begin. The sooner you start, and the longer you stick with it, the more benefit you’re likely to experience.

  1. Eat Right

Protein, good fats, and plenty of fiber are the essential foundations of a healthy diet. When you make good food choices, you will not only feel better in the short-term, you are investing in your brain health in the long-term.

When grocery shopping, make a list and stick to it. Shop from the list and do not pick something off of the shelf simply because it looks good and you want it in that moment. Keep to the perimeter of the store – meats, seafood, dairy, and produce. The whole, clean foods you are looking for will not be found down the aisles. The boxed and packaged foods in the middle of the store contain all manner of less-than-desirable ingredients (including sugar.)

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Meet with your physician before embarking on a weight loss plan. If you are not currently at a healthy weight, your physician will set a goal weight for you to reach. Stay in communication with your healthcare team to ensure you remain on track with your goals.

For diabetic dieters, blood sugar must remain at the forefront of your mind if you want to lose weight in a healthy way.

  1. Don’t Smoke

Smoking is a habit that many individuals struggle to overcome, and it has an effect on nearly every part of your body. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung diseases, immune problems, all compounded by smoking. It’s especially crucial for diabetics to quit smoking. If you’re a smoker, talk with your physician about quitting.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319343.php

 

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Study Shows A Senior’s Well-Being May Depend On Mind Over Body https://diabetickitchen.com/seniors-well-being-mind-over-body/ https://diabetickitchen.com/seniors-well-being-mind-over-body/#respond Fri, 04 Aug 2017 15:43:21 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3151

Physical illness is not the primary determinant of happiness for older adults, as found in a recent study. Instead, it was found that psychosocial factors have the highest influence on quality of life. Prof. Ladwig and colleagues from the Cooperative Health Research studied thousands of men and women in Germany who were between the ages ...

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Physical illness is not the primary determinant of happiness for older adults, as found in a recent study. Instead, it was found that psychosocial factors have the highest influence on quality of life.

Prof. Ladwig and colleagues from the Cooperative Health Research studied thousands of men and women in Germany who were between the ages of 65-90. The study lasted nearly 30 years and had 3,600 participants!

The study aimed to learn more about “subjective well-being” – or how people define their well-being on a personal level. This study was prompted to learn more about the “age paradox” – the observed high levels of well-being and positivity that seniors exhibit, even despite them often experiencing declining physical health, and opportunities for social interaction.

Results showed that factors such as living on a small income, lack of physical activity, having multiple health conditions, and sleeping problems did affect feelings of well-being in both men and women.

However, feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress had the strongest negative impact on an individual’s subjective well-being. For women, the factor of living alone also had an especially profound impact on their well-being.

This shows that rather than factors like health conditions and income, feelings of contentment in seniors are formed by factors like companionship, support, and calm.

So, how can we increase those factors, and in turn, increase our well-being and quality of life?

Companionship and support are crucial to our well-being. Humans are social creatures interactions with others can be paramount when it comes to happiness.

Spend time with family and friends, get involved in a church group or social club, or consider adopting a pet. Don’t forget, these social interactions don’t have to be face-to-face, if you’ve got grandkids away at college – ask them to video chat!

Developing a routine is a great way to encourage feelings of calm and contentment. Choose a time to wake up every day, make your bed, give yourself time to spare when running errands, and have a set time to go to sleep at night. This provides a sense of predictability and can help reduce stress levels.

For diabetics in particular, sticking to a daily routine is crucial. Testing your blood sugar, as well as, taking your medications on schedule are musts. Be sure to check your blood sugar regularly. Blood sugar that is too high (or too low), or blood sugar that is constantly spiking and falling will have a definite impact on how you feel.

Take a few moments every day to simply rest and breathe. By practicing stress-reduction techniques, we can lower the toll on our minds and bodies.  Meditation and prayer are two more ways to calm your spirit and relax. Or give yoga a try to combine exercise and meditation in one. Keep at it until you find relaxation techniques that work for you!

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You are what you eat?”  Well, new research suggests that you may also “feel what you eat.” A collaboration of studies published in Clinical Psychological Science emphasizes the way nutrition can impact mental health. Certain foods can improve mood, sleep, and feelings of happiness!

Because avocados contain choline, when you eat them, your body’s levels of serotonin are increased. Serotonin impacts the entire body, helping with sleeping, eating, and digestion. It is considered a natural “mood stabilizer” and helps reduce depression, and regulate anxiety. Avocados are not just a super food, but a super-happy food!

Research has found that drinking coffee in the morning is tied to increased levels of energy, as well as feelings of kindness and pleasure. Coffee enjoyed with friends or family is connected to feelings of affection, friendship, and satisfaction. When had only occasionally a cup of coffee brings on calm and tranquility.

Spinach contains folic acid which helps to reduce fatigue and improve mood. Spinach is also rich in iron which helps deliver oxygen to your cells, giving the body energy on a cellular level. Spinach is also rich in Vitamin C and magnesium which are crucial to the production of serotonin and dopamine – two brain chemicals responsible for making us feel happy and joyful.

The moral of the story for seniors’ happiness is: eat well, find ways to de-stress, and above all, spend time with family, friends, and community.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318334.php

 

 

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New Strategies For Diabetics To Help Prevent Alzheimer’s https://diabetickitchen.com/diabetics-prevent-alzheimers/ https://diabetickitchen.com/diabetics-prevent-alzheimers/#respond Mon, 10 Jul 2017 22:36:46 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3117

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive brain disease that destroys an individual’s memory, the ability to learn and make decisions, even basic communication and the performance of daily activities. As the disease gradually progresses, the individual may experience changes in behavior and personality, increased anxiety or agitation, even ...

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Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive brain disease that destroys an individual’s memory, the ability to learn and make decisions, even basic communication and the performance of daily activities.

As the disease gradually progresses, the individual may experience changes in behavior and personality, increased anxiety or agitation, even delusions. Alzheimer’s disease is fatal, and is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

Nearly 5.5 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. One out of every eight individuals over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s, and one out of every two individuals over the age of 85 have the disease. As the baby-boomer generation ages, Alzheimer’s diagnosis rates are expected to skyrocket.

Research has now proven a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s. When blood sugar is too high, as occurs in uncontrolled diabetes, the extra sugar causes damage to nerves and organs as blood circulates throughout the body.

In addition, the reduced levels of insulin in a diabetic’s brain can directly stimulate cognitive decline and the potential development of Alzheimer’s. A diabetic’s insulin resistance prevents effective flow of glucose for brain cells to use as fuel. Damage to blood vessels in the brain, along with the inflammation caused by high blood sugar, can also encourage the development of Alzheimer’s.

All that being said, there are ways that diabetics can help protect themselves against the development of Alzheimer’s. A recent study found that people who engaged in moderate physical activity (like a brisk walk) for at least 68 minutes a day, experienced better glucose metabolism.

This is especially important for diabetics, because there is already a buildup of excess glucose in the bloodstream. This physical activity helps to clear the glucose from the bloodstream, and from the brain. This reduces risk for the development of Alzheimer’s.

This type of moderate-intensity exercise actually boosts neurological function, for diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Exercise can help keep the brain sharp, and prevent cognitive decline as we age. Research has also shown that it’s never too soon (or too late) to begin. The sooner you start, and the longer you stick with it, the more benefit you’re likely to experience.

In addition to exercise, be sure to track your blood sugar levels. The link between insulin resistance and declining cognition is present long before the first severe symptom is experienced, and frequently even before the diagnosis of diabetes.

Controlling your sugar levels will have a huge impact on decreasing your risk for Alzheimer’s. When blood sugar is regulated there will be more insulin available for the brain to use, more fuel for the brain cells, and less inflammation in the blood vessels and brain tissue.

Everyone has lapses in memory now and again. Can’t remember where you parked your car, or where you left your keys? Brief moments of forgetfulness are not likely to be a sign of Alzheimer’s, but as we age, we must keep tabs on our cognition.

By maintaining an awareness of your thinking and memory skills, you can better document any decline. Speak with close family or friends and ask them to monitor any changes in your cognition; they may notice something you don’t.

Be sure to speak with your physician regarding your blood sugar levels, and your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Ask about additional ways to protect your brain and your body. Working with your healthcare team is essential in achieving and maintaining great health.

Alzheimer’s is becoming more and more common, and it needs to be a topic of discussion, especially for those with high blood sugar.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.health.com/syndication/exercise-genetic-risk-alzheimers-disease

 

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Could Your Morning Cup Of Coffee Help Heal Diabetes? https://diabetickitchen.com/coffee-helps-heal-diabetes/ https://diabetickitchen.com/coffee-helps-heal-diabetes/#comments Fri, 21 Apr 2017 15:05:06 +0000 http://diabetickitchen.com/?p=2832

Most people already think coffee is amazing, but we’re about to give you a whole new reason to love it… coffee can positively impact blood sugar and diabetes! Most coffee beans can be divided into two types: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans are usually much fruitier and sweeter tasting than Robusta beans, making them the ...

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Most people already think coffee is amazing, but we’re about to give you a whole new reason to love it… coffee can positively impact blood sugar and diabetes!

Most coffee beans can be divided into two types: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans are usually much fruitier and sweeter tasting than Robusta beans, making them the usual choice for the majority of brewed coffees. Robusta beans are for those who love strong coffee; they have more of a bitter flavor, and contain double the amount of caffeine in Arabica beans.

One 8 oz cup of coffee contains 75-100 mg of caffeine on average. According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day appears to be safe for healthy adults.

That’s no more than 4-5 cups of coffee per day. If we consume more than 400 mg of caffeine daily, symptoms can range from insomnia to irritability. Upset stomach, muscle tremors, and elevated heart rate can also occur.

Some people are genetically primed to handle caffeine better than others. For example, an espresso after dinner is common practice in many European countries before sleeping soundly all night. Others have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and their “perk” lasts well into the afternoon.

For the most part, people are already consuming the amount of coffee they can handle. If you’ve had too much coffee, you know it. If you haven’t had enough coffee, you know it. If you are currently enjoying the amount of coffee that’s best for you (even if that’s none at all) we don’t suggest increasing your consumption simply to increase the health benefits.

In moderation, there are several health benefits to drinking coffee. One researcher in particular has examined how coffee fits into the link between diet and diabetes risk.

According to Marilyn Cornelis, PhD, a nutritionist and assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, “Of all the foods we consume, coffee has the most potential to prevent type 2 diabetes.”

Coffee is mainly consumed as a source of caffeine, but it also contains other beneficial properties. Coffee contains particularly high levels of antioxidants which serve to protect the body from free-radical damage.

When these are consumed, they interact with the body in many different ways—hence some of the mystery behind coffee’s beneficial effects.

Through her research, Cornelis hopes to identify the chemical reactions that occur in the body when a person consumes coffee. This may help determine what’s uniquely protective about coffee, and its specific properties that positively affect diabetes.

Studies have shown that caffeine may improve memory and cognitive performance. Caffeine has also been associated with lowered risk for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Research has now linked Type II diabetes to the development of Alzheimer’s.

Coffee increases adrenaline production, and can help you maximize your workouts! Speaking of workouts, could caffeine help you lose weight? Research has found that caffeine can boost metabolism by between 3-11%.  Other studies show that caffeine can increase the body’s fat-burning power, by as much as 10% in overweight individuals and as much as 29% in lean individuals.

One important thing to remember, the majority of the research we’ve discussed is based on the consumption of black coffee.  If you order a mocha latte with chocolate drizzle and extra whipped cream, you will not reap the benefits discussed above – you will experience a spike in blood sugar.

If black coffee isn’t quite your thing, add full fat milk or cream, a packet or two of Zsweet, or even a bit of butter! These additions will increase the flavor factor, as well as add good fats without spiking your blood sugar.

Coffee truly is an amazing beverage – enjoy all the good it has to offer!

 

 

Sources:

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2016/jul-aug/can-a-cup-of-coffeeprevent.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/12/14/a-look-at-the-health-benefits-of-both-tea-and-coffee/

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10 Incredible Foods And Recipes For Boosting Brain Health https://diabetickitchen.com/foods-and-recipes-for-brain-health/ https://diabetickitchen.com/foods-and-recipes-for-brain-health/#comments Sun, 05 Mar 2017 22:08:39 +0000 http://diabetickitchen.com/?p=2742

The relationship between the brain and the body is an astounding one. The foods we use to fuel our bodies also fuel our brain. The brain in turn, ensures the body is functioning as well as possible. It is a circle. How well you eat determines how well your body functions. The better your body ...

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The relationship between the brain and the body is an astounding one. The foods we use to fuel our bodies also fuel our brain. The brain in turn, ensures the body is functioning as well as possible.

It is a circle. How well you eat determines how well your body functions. The better your body functions, the better you feel. The better you feel, the more you are able to enjoy life. What an amazing opportunity – we can improve our quality of life simply through the foods we choose to eat!

So what determines if a food is brain-healthy or not? A great place to start is to look for foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and good fats. If you need a few suggestions- read on!

Avocados

Truly one of the most super of the super-foods, avocados offer countless health benefits. Their good fats fuel both brain and body, and their high fiber content keeps blood sugar more stable over time. The folate and vitamin K in avocados improve blood flow, preventing blood clots in the brain. This protects against stroke, as well as, improves memory and cognitive performance. It doesn’t get better than this recipe for the “Best Guacamole Ever!”

Coconut Oil

From cooking to hair care, the many uses of coconut oil have been widely advertised. When it comes to brain benefits, coconut oil is hard to beat. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and can help protect against degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. This is especially important for diabetics, as new research is revealing an association between uncontrolled blood sugar and Alzheimer’s dementia. There are countless ways to use coconut oil; try this recipe for carrot-coconut soup with crispy leeks.

Beets

Do you have scarring childhood memories of your mom or grandma forcing you to eat beets (not to mention liver and onions!) Well don’t be afraid, there is hope; beets can be delicious and their brain-healthy benefits make them worth another try. They are high in antioxidants and help to reduce inflammation. Beets also improve blood flow and can help increase energy levels. Try them roasted with a little raw honey and balsamic vinegar, or in this Food Network salad with goat cheese and arugula.

Broccoli

Another treasured childhood favorite. Just admit, it’s starting to sound like your mom had the right idea with that whole “Just eat it, it’s good for you” thing. Broccoli’s vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate help to improve memory, and its high fiber content stabilizes blood sugar and keeps you feeling fuller longer. Forget limp broccoli blanketed with “cheese”; broccoli is at its best when added to recipes like Mama Lisa’s Coleslaw. Just shred raw broccoli stalks and mix in, or buy a bag of “broccoli slaw” from your local grocery and follow the recipe from there.

Blueberries

Sweet, juicy blueberries are a summertime favorite. They are great for brain health due to their off-the-charts antioxidant content. Their high levels of Vitamin C and fiber also make blueberries natural stress relievers for the brain. Enjoy blueberries in a conventional fruit smoothie, or in a cool, refreshing poolside summer cocktail.

Celery

Who would have thought that a vegetable so low in calories could pack such a nutritious punch. The high levels of antioxidants and polysaccharides in celery alleviate inflammation symptoms like joint pain and irritable bowel syndrome. Some of the most important inflammation reduction happens in the brain. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, even water – all of these are available to you simply by eating a stalk of celery. Try a childhood favorite “Ants on a Log” – a stalk of celery smeared with peanut butter and with a few raisins stuck inside.

Leafy, Green Vegetables

Research has shown that eating veggies like romaine lettuce, kale, and Swiss chard on a regular basis can help reduce risk for dementia. In one study, adults experienced slower mental deterioration after eating one to two servings of leafy, green vegetables every day versus those who ate no vegetables. The study even included other variables like age, family history, and other risk factors. The major benefits are due to vitamins A and K that fight inflammation. If a bowl of raw kale doesn’t sound like your thing, check out these 10 kale recipes that actually taste good.

Salmon

Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a true brain food! These fatty acids keep your brain running in tip-top shape, improving cognition, memory, and focus. These same fatty acids also help prevent the development of cancer cells and have even been shown to kill them. Be cautious of the type of salmon you purchase. The above benefits can be found in Alaskan wild-caught salmon. Benefits decrease and potential health dangers increase when you choose farm-raised varieties. While salmon is delicious with a simple slice of lemon, try this irresistible Sesame-Soy Salmon.

Walnuts

The high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in walnuts improve focus, alertness, and provide a boost of energy. The vitamin E found in walnuts has also been shown to decrease risk for Alzheimer’s dementia. Enjoy a handful of walnuts as an afternoon snack, or add walnut butter to your favorite cookie recipe.

Cocoa

Chocolate lovers rejoice! The antioxidant component of cocoa has been found to battle free radicals, reducing cell and tissue damage. Research has suggested that cocoa’s flavanols (phytonutrients with antioxidant properties) may contribute to maintaining a healthy brain and can positively affect learning and memory functions. Findings have also found that cocoa-based products enhance the flow of blood to the brain. Not to mention, cocoa possesses mood-enhancing properties and is rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium.

The human body was made with two eyes, two ears, but only one brain. We must be aware of the negative effects that today’s busy lifestyle can have on our brains, and work to prevent them. So do your brain a favor and get cooking!

 

 

Sources:

draxe.com/15-brain-foods-to-boost-focus-and-memory/

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Diabetes and Alzheimer’s – New Research Suggests a Connection https://diabetickitchen.com/diabetes-alzheimers-connection/ https://diabetickitchen.com/diabetes-alzheimers-connection/#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2016 17:43:05 +0000 http://diabetickitchen.com/?p=2560

When blood sugar is too high, as occurs in uncontrolled diabetes, the extra sugar can cause damage to nerves and organs as blood circulates throughout the body. Cardiovascular disease, stroke, even blindness are associated with diabetes due to prolonged high blood sugar. This damage can also affect the brain.  A new report from US News ...

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When blood sugar is too high, as occurs in uncontrolled diabetes, the extra sugar can cause damage to nerves and organs as blood circulates throughout the body. Cardiovascular disease, stroke, even blindness are associated with diabetes due to prolonged high blood sugar.

This damage can also affect the brain.  A new report from US News supports a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive brain disease that destroys an individual’s memory, the ability to learn and make decisions, even communicate and perform daily activities.

As the disease gradually progresses, the individual may experience changes in behavior and personality, increased anxiety or agitation, even delusions. Alzheimer’s disease is fatal, and is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

Nearly 5.5 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. One out of every eight individuals over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s, and one out of every two individuals over the age of 85 have the disease. As the baby-boomer generation ages, Alzheimer’s diagnosis rates are expected to skyrocket.

How are diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease connected?

According to research, insulin resistance, if left untreated, may be one of the first signs of cognitive decline. Laura Ekblad, lead study author and researcher at the University of Turku in Finland, reveals “More and more evidence shows that insulin has specific and important effects on the brain. When insulin resistance is present, transportation of insulin to the brain is reduced.”

Previous studies have shown that reduced levels of insulin in the brain can directly stimulate cognitive decline and the potential development of Alzheimer’s. In addition, insulin resistance prevents effective flow of glucose for brain cells to use as fuel.

Click here to read more about how diabetes affects the brain.

Type II diabetes is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Elevated cholesterol, as well as irregular blood pressure, can lead to vascular changes in the brain. Damage to blood vessels in the brain, along with the inflammation caused by high blood sugar, can encourage the development of Alzheimer’s.

So what can you do to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease?

Know your blood sugar levels! The study found that the link between insulin resistance and declining cognition is present long before the first severe symptom is experienced, and frequently even before the diagnosis of diabetes.

Controlling your sugar levels will have a huge impact on decreasing your risk for Alzheimer’s. When blood sugar is regulated there will be more insulin available for the brain to use, more fuel for the brain cells, and less inflammation in the blood vessels and brain tissue.

Physical activity is another positive when it comes to controlling diabetes and preventing Alzheimer’s. An article from Caring Kind states, “thirty-minutes of vigorous walking or resistance training, performed three times per week, significantly slows progression of Alzheimer’s disease in those affected, and delays or protects from Alzheimer’s disease in those unaffected.”

What an impact!

Linda Barnes, Ph.D., associate professor at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, confirms more exercise, better eating habits, and smoking cessation as lifestyle changes one can impart to lower one’s risk or improve one’s outcome.

Everyone has lapses in memory now and again. Can’t remember where you parked your car, or where you left your keys? Brief moments of forgetfulness are not likely to be a sign of Alzheimer’s, but as we age, we must keep tabs on our cognition.

Linda Barnes goes on to explain that by maintaining an awareness of your thinking and memory skills, you can better document any decline. She also recommends speaking with close family or friends and asking them to monitor any changes in your cognition; they may notice something you don’t.

Also be sure to speak with your physician regarding your risk for diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Ask about additional ways to protect your brain and your body. Working with your healthcare team is essential in achieving and maintaining great health.

For diabetics especially, Alzheimer’s needs to be a topic of discussion. Laura Ekblad makes it clear, “Whatever your current blood sugar level, taking control of it now may mean the difference between a future with or without Alzheimer’s.”

 

 

Sources:

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/08/28/the-surprising-link-between-type-2-diabetes-and-alzheimers-disease

https://www.alz.org/national/documents/latino_brochure_diabetes.pdf

http://www.alznyc.org/nyc/newsletter/fall2012/02.asp

http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/complications/other/can-diabetes-cause-alzheimers-disease?page=0%2C4

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