heart health – Diabetic Kitchen https://diabetickitchen.com Sun, 19 Jul 2020 16:24:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top 10 Reasons to Eat Fat https://diabetickitchen.com/top-10-reasons-to-eat-fat/ https://diabetickitchen.com/top-10-reasons-to-eat-fat/#respond Wed, 20 May 2020 22:24:40 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4594

Yep, you read the title correctly. Believe it or not, eating good fats is absolutely essential to health. And we’re not stopping at just one reason to eat fat – here are 10! The first reason is of particular interest to those with diabetes. Eating healthy fats helps to stabilize post-meal blood sugar levels. Fat ...

The post Top 10 Reasons to Eat Fat appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
Yep, you read the title correctly. Believe it or not, eating good fats is absolutely essential to health. And we’re not stopping at just one reason to eat fat – here are 10!

The first reason is of particular interest to those with diabetes. Eating healthy fats helps to stabilize post-meal blood sugar levels. Fat slows the emptying of food from the stomach to the small intestine. This gives the body more time to process the meal, keeping blood sugar more consistent.

Secondly, eating good fats lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. Therefore, risk is reduced for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke. A focus on heart health is also important for diabetics. The number one cause of death for diabetics is not high blood sugar, it is heart disease. Eating good fats is key to achieving and maintaining a healthy heart.

Our next reason may sound simple, but it’s true… fat is delicious! Foods high in healthy fats are satisfying and help you to feel full. You’ll stay full far longer after eating fat than you would after eating carbs, that’s for sure.

Those feelings of fullness also help to prevent cravings, especially for carbs. When your tummy is full, you won’t be as tempted to snack or cheat. Feeling satisfied for hours after a meal is just one more way fat helps manage blood sugar, and just one more reason to eat it!

Sticking to that train of thought, say you keep your calorie consumption to 2,000 per day. Foods that contain healthy fats can be high in calories, but are very nutrient dense. That means they don’t contain a bunch of “empty” calories that do nothing for the body. When you add more healthy fats to your diet, there will be less calories remaining out of your daily limit for less nutritious foods.

Speaking of calories, eating healthy fats can help boost metabolism. A diet high in healthy fats, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates is becoming well-known for dramatic weight loss. When the body runs on fat for fuel rather than glucose, it becomes a body fat burning machine. It may sound strange, but eating fat will not make you fat. In fact, consuming good fats is essential to maintaining a healthy body weight.

Think hormones are to blame for weight loss difficulties? Fat can help! Hormones are actually formed from fat and cholesterol. Hormone production would suffer greatly in the absence of fat. Nutrient deficiencies can also prompt hormone imbalance. Certain vitamins like A, D, and K can only be absorbed in the presence of fat. By increasing the healthy fats in your diet, hormones will naturally become more stable.

Speaking of balanced hormones, how about the effects of fat on mood? Nuts and seeds encourage the brain to produce serotonin, the “happiness hormone.” Serotonin earned that nickname because it prompts feelings of well-being. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in salmon, have been linked with improving symptoms of mood disorders. Food directly impacts mood! Eating more healthy fats is a fantastic mood booster.

While we’re on the subject, good fats are a brain’s best friend. Omega-3 fatty acids in particular provide a big boost to brain function and are a fantastic anti-inflammatory. Healthy fats also contain antioxidants like vitamin E, which help protect the brain against free radical damage.

Hoping to see some health benefits in the mirror? Omega 3’s and vitamin E contribute to healthier skin, shinier hair, and an overall more youthful appearance. I tell you what, is there anything healthy fats can’t do?

Let’s recap. Not only do good fats reduce blood sugar, improve heart and brain health, and encourage weight loss, they also balance hormones, boost mood, and help you look younger. All these benefits gained from eating delicious foods high in healthy fats!

Sources:

https://smarternutrition.com/blogs/news/the-link-between-healthy-fats-and-balanced-hormones

https://www.livestrong.com/article/557726-eat-fat-to-burn-fat/

https://dieteticdirections.com/ways-to-boost-mood-with-food/

 

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

The post Top 10 Reasons to Eat Fat appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
https://diabetickitchen.com/top-10-reasons-to-eat-fat/feed/ 0
50% Of American Adults Have Heart Disease – Improve Your Heart Health Now! https://diabetickitchen.com/improve-heart-health-now/ https://diabetickitchen.com/improve-heart-health-now/#respond Sun, 27 Oct 2019 23:17:36 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4402

The statistic is sad but true. Half of American adults have cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure, heart failure, or stroke. Nearly 600,000 people die from heart disease each year. That’s one out of every four deaths in the United States. Furthermore, did you know the majority of diabetics die from cardiovascular disease? That’s right. ...

The post 50% Of American Adults Have Heart Disease – Improve Your Heart Health Now! appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
The statistic is sad but true. Half of American adults have cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure, heart failure, or stroke. Nearly 600,000 people die from heart disease each year. That’s one out of every four deaths in the United States.

Furthermore, did you know the majority of diabetics die from cardiovascular disease? That’s right. Heart disease, not blood sugar complications, is the number one cause of death for diabetics.

There is hope, however. The American Heart Association tells us that 8 out of every 10 cases of cardiovascular disease can be prevented. Controlling diabetes, cholesterol levels and blood pressure were found to be the key factors in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

So, how do we improve heart health right now? It’s simple, we must change our habits in order to see results. By making the right adjustments to our eating, exercise and lifestyle habits, we’ll be heart healthy in no time!

Nutrition is a huge part of heart health. By fueling our bodies with the right foods, we can greatly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Don’t worry, there are plenty of heart healthy, delicious foods to choose from.

Inflammation in the body can lead to a variety of diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Sweet and spicy cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon also helps to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, while keeping HDL cholesterol levels stable. Cinnamon also helps to reduce blood pressure levels. These two benefits combine to decrease risk for heart disease and stroke. As an added bonus, cinnamon reduces blood sugar levels, too!

The high omega-3 fatty acid content in cold-water fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel can help to lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This in turn, helps to balance your blood sugar levels, and reduce risk of heart disease.

The antioxidants found in green tea help prevent against free radical damage to the body’s cells. This lowers risk for a host of diseases from heart disease to cancer. Research also links drinking tea to a reduced risk of stroke due to high cholesterol. Studies have found that individuals who drink 12 ounces or more of tea every day are half as likely to suffer a heart attack as individuals who do not drink tea.

Our next heart healthy treat may actually be the perfect food – the avocado! Avocados are an excellent source of heart-healthy fats and are also high in fiber. Avocados have been shown to reduce risk of hypertension, stroke, obesity, and other diseases. Consuming foods with high fiber content has also been shown to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, along with lowering and stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Most of us have heard about the heart-healthy benefits of red wine. When consumed in moderation, red wine raises levels of good cholesterol and lowers risk of heart diseases and stroke. For individuals who do not drink alcohol, grape juice offers many of the same benefits. The flavonoids present in red grapes help fight cardiovascular diseases, and procyanidins help to keep blood vessels healthy.

After you’ve enjoyed a heart healthy meal, it’s time to get moving. There is no denying it, exercise is absolutely essential to achieving and maintaining heart health. Regular physical activity lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, and helps control cholesterol levels.  In other words, a fantastic recipe for reducing risk of heart attack and stroke.

Regular physical activity contributes nearly countless positive effects on your health, especially for those with diabetes. It helps your body make the best use of insulin and glucose, which controls blood sugar more effectively. Exercise lowers blood sugar levels and can keep them down for 24 hours after you finish working out.

Exercise also helps to strengthen muscles and bones, along with burning extra body fat. It’s a great way to boost energy levels and reduce stress, too! Research has shown that even a short walk each day can make a major difference in your health.

Most of our minds conjure images of bodybuilders in the gym, the epitome of human physiological excellence.  Don’t let the “muscle-building” aspect intimidate you. Find a form of exercise you enjoy, even if it’s not in the gym! Swimming, walking, and riding a bike are all great ways to keep moving. Our next heart healthy tip may be the most important one of all.

Research has found that smoking is the single most powerful factor in determining life expectancy. It’s simple – smokers simply do not live as long as non-smokers do. Smoking is not a healthy habit for anyone, but diabetics are at increased risk of suffering smoking’s dangerous effects. Research has found that A1C levels rise with repeated exposure to nicotine. Long-term elevated blood sugar levels increase the risk of serious complications like kidney failure, heart attack, or stroke.

Making changes for heart health may seem intimidating, even overwhelming. Those changes are necessary though, and more than worth the effort. Talk to your healthcare team about more ways to prevent cardiovascular disease. Protecting our hearts is crucial to living the long, healthy lives we all hope for.

 

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

 

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/31/health/heart-disease-statistics-report/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

The post 50% Of American Adults Have Heart Disease – Improve Your Heart Health Now! appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
https://diabetickitchen.com/improve-heart-health-now/feed/ 0
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 ...

The post Discover the Power of Fiber – A Diabetic’s Ultimate BFF! appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
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

 

The post Discover the Power of Fiber – A Diabetic’s Ultimate BFF! appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
https://diabetickitchen.com/fiber-a-diabetics-ultimate-bff/feed/ 0
The Best (And Worst) Foods For Heart Health https://diabetickitchen.com/the-best-and-worst-foods-for-heart-health/ https://diabetickitchen.com/the-best-and-worst-foods-for-heart-health/#comments Mon, 22 Jul 2019 21:27:01 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4265

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, killing over 600,000 people every year. We must focus on heart health, especially as diabetics. Having diabetes greatly increases risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. In fact, nearly 70% of diabetics age 65 and older die from some form of ...

The post The Best (And Worst) Foods For Heart Health appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, killing over 600,000 people every year. We must focus on heart health, especially as diabetics.

Having diabetes greatly increases risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. In fact, nearly 70% of diabetics age 65 and older die from some form of heart disease. Being heart smart is incredibly important!

You can help protect your heart by managing blood sugar levels and choosing the right heart-healthy foods. Research has shown that replacing unhealthy fats in one’s diet with healthy fats can reduce cholesterol levels and heart disease risk as much as prescription statin medications do!

It is crucial to choose the right healthy fats in order to reap these benefits. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are two “good fats.” These fats  lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, therefore, reducing risk of heart disease.

Monounsaturated fats are found in avocado, peanut butter, and olive oil. Avocados are an excellent source of heart-healthy fats and are also high in fiber. Research proves avocados reduce risk of hypertension, stroke, obesity, and other diseases.

Polyunsaturated fats, also known as omega-3 fatty acids, are found in walnuts, and in fish like salmon and mackerel. A handful of nuts is a great heart-healthy snack option. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans all contain the vitamins, minerals, and fats that contribute to heart health. A diet rich in omega fats improves cholesterol levels, decreases risk of heart failure and stroke, and lowers blood pressure.

Fermented foods like yogurt contain healthy bacteria that aid the body in several ways, from digestion to regulating cholesterol. Yogurt can reduce risk for heart disease, and kimchi helps reduce the risk of diabetes complications and obesity. Just make sure to choose full-fat yogurt to avoid added sugars.

Consuming foods with high fiber content can lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. High fiber foods also lower and help stabilize blood sugar. Fresh vegetables are one of the best ways to increase fiber intake, but fiber is present in all manner of foods.

Loaded with fiber and antioxidants, 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. In fact, studies show glucose levels reduce over time when blueberries are included in one’s diet.

Quinoa is another fiber-full favorite. A wide variety of whole 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.

When it comes to taking care of your heart, the biggest things to watch for are trans fats, salt and sugar. Any of these three can have a devastating effect on heart health.

Trans fats have no positive nutritional impact; instead they are highly dangerous to consume. They are often used to prolong the shelf life of many processed and packaged foods. They are also frequently used by fast food chains for deep frying. Trans fats are very bad news.

Moving on to salt and sugar, they are hiding in places you’d least expect! For example, a recent study revealed the top 5 saltiest foods in the U.S. These foods are responsible for nearly 44% of the salt most people consume on a daily basis: bread, pizza, sandwiches, cold cuts/cured meats, and soup.

New research has found that Americans consume about 3,400 mg of salt daily. That’s more than double the American Heart Association’s “ideal” intake of 1,500 mg daily. A whopping 61% of the salt consumed daily in the U.S. comes from prepared foods and restaurant meals. The best way to reduce sodium is to avoid prepackaged, processed and prepared foods.

Some of the other foods included in the saltiest foods list were bacon, condiments like salad dressing and ketchup, French fries, cereal, cheeses, frozen dinners, seasoning mixes, and sauces like barbeque and Worcestershire.

Speaking of condiments, we come to our next heart-health offender… sugar! Americans love ketchup. Too bad it contains an astounding one teaspoon of sugar per squirt! Thousand Island, French, and Russian dressings all contain ketchup, and can contain 9-10 grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving.

Try this Diabetic Kitchen recipe for a simple, homemade vinaigrette! Your favorite restaurants will likely offer oil and vinegar as a salad dressing option, just ask your server. (Always ask for dressings on the side so you can control the amount used.)

Sauces like barbecue and teriyaki add great flavor to meats, but sugar can account for an incredible 80 percent of the calories per serving. Just two tablespoons of barbecue sauce can contain up to 12 grams of sugar – that’s 3 teaspoons! Research recipes online for no sugar-added barbeque sauces and make your own.

Making heart-healthy food choices may seem tedious, but is of utmost importance. Maintaining stable blood sugar isn’t enough – you have to protect your heart, too. A happy, healthful life is within reach, but only you can make the choices necessary to achieve it!

 

 

Source:

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/heart-health/these-10-foods-affect-your-risk-heart-disease-most-n730141

 

The post The Best (And Worst) Foods For Heart Health appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
https://diabetickitchen.com/the-best-and-worst-foods-for-heart-health/feed/ 1
Healthier Hearts Linked To Healthier Brains As We Age https://diabetickitchen.com/healthier-hearts-healthier-brains/ https://diabetickitchen.com/healthier-hearts-healthier-brains/#respond Thu, 31 Jan 2019 20:32:05 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4034

These days, it seems we are maintaining many different parts of our health in an attempt to stay as active as possible. Managing blood sugar, emphasizing heart health, now trying to balance that with brain health… it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Research is finding that hard work is worth it – there is a strong connection ...

The post Healthier Hearts Linked To Healthier Brains As We Age appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
These days, it seems we are maintaining many different parts of our health in an attempt to stay as active as possible. Managing blood sugar, emphasizing heart health, now trying to balance that with brain health… it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Research is finding that hard work is worth it – there is a strong connection between heart health and brain health as we age.

A recent study found that better cardiovascular health was associated with better brain health in older people. Seven metrics (points of research) were compared between participants aged 65 and over: physical activity, diet, BMI, smoking, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. The analysis studied over 6,600 people, and published quite interesting findings!

Researchers found that study participants who met none of the metrics experienced declines in cognition and memory twice as fast as participants who met all seven metrics. In layman’s terms – participants with unhealthy diets, higher BMI’s, those who smoked, didn’t exercise, etc. lost cognition and memory twice as fast as people whose metrics were favorable.

Have you noticed anything that the metrics have in common? Metric factors that are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease (smoking, no exercise, unhealthy diet, high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar) also caused brain health to decline twice as fast. The connection is simple – take care of your heart, take care of your brain!

What if you could benefit heart health and brain health at the same time… with food? It’s true! There are foods which benefit the brain and the heart at the same time, and they definitely deserve a place on your plate!

Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats and are also high in fiber. Avocados have been shown to reduce risk of hypertension, stroke, obesity, and other diseases. Consuming foods with high fiber content has also been shown to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, along with lowering and stabilizing blood sugar levels. 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. Try this recipe for delicious, creamy avocado dip.

Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a true super 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 only a simple slice of lemon, try this irresistible Sesame-Soy Salmon.

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. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans all contain the vitamins, minerals, and monounsaturated fats that contribute to heart health. Enjoy a handful as an afternoon snack, or add nut butter to your favorite cookie recipe.

Speaking of delicious desserts, cocoa helps to improve cardiovascular function and brain health. Health benefits of cocoa include relief from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic fatigue syndrome and various other illnesses. 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.  Not to mention, cocoa possesses mood-enhancing properties and is rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium. Chocolate really does make you happy… according to science!

Sip sip hooray! The antioxidants found in green tea help prevent against free radical damage to the body’s cells. This lowers risk for a host of diseases from heart disease to cancer. Tea also boosts cell health, bone density, and helps deter aging. Drinking tea is also linked to a reduced risk of stroke due to high cholesterol. Studies have found that individuals who drink 12 ounces or more of tea every day are half as likely to suffer a heart attack as individuals who do not drink tea.

When you make good food choices, you will not only feel better in the short-term, you are making an investment in your long-term health. This is especially true for diabetics. When blood sugar is kept at stable levels, cardiovascular risk factors and brain disease risk factors are reduced. One piece of health is closely tied to all the others. It’s important to balance your overall health in order to enjoy the best and longest life possible!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/well/mind/the-healthier-your-heart-the-healthier-your-brain-may-be

 

The post Healthier Hearts Linked To Healthier Brains As We Age appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
https://diabetickitchen.com/healthier-hearts-healthier-brains/feed/ 0
One Egg A Day Could Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease https://diabetickitchen.com/one-egg-a-day-reduce-risk-of-heart-disease/ https://diabetickitchen.com/one-egg-a-day-reduce-risk-of-heart-disease/#respond Sat, 01 Sep 2018 20:59:52 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3999

In the past, eggs have been considered unhealthy by some due to their cholesterol content. It is true that one egg contains about 200 mg of cholesterol, which is a large amount compared to the majority of other foods out there. However, many research studies have shown that the dietary cholesterol found in eggs does ...

The post One Egg A Day Could Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
In the past, eggs have been considered unhealthy by some due to their cholesterol content. It is true that one egg contains about 200 mg of cholesterol, which is a large amount compared to the majority of other foods out there. However, many research studies have shown that the dietary cholesterol found in eggs does not negatively affect cholesterol levels in the blood.

An analysis of 17 different studies identified no connection between eggs and heart disease or stroke in individuals considered otherwise healthy. In fact, HDL/“good” cholesterol levels increased, and LDL/“bad” cholesterol molecules changed from small (dangerous and high risk for contributing to arterial blockage) to large (lower risk for contributing to arterial blockage.) Eggs caused improvement in those heart disease risk factors – once thought to be worsened by egg consumption.

How’s that for a boost in reputation? You could say it’s ‘eggs-cellent’ news! The benefits of the incredible egg don’t end there. The egg is a fantastic example of a perfectly nutritious food. Vitamins A, B2, B5, B6, B12, D, E, K, Calcium, Folate, Phosphorous, Selenium, and Zinc all contribute to what makes eggs such a great choice.

One large egg contains only 77 calories, yet packs 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of high-quality, healthy fats. Those protein and healthy fat combination make eggs a fantastic meal or snack option, especially for diabetics.

Now, it should be noted that not all eggs are the same. The majority of eggs in the local supermarket come from hens that were caged in factories, and fed grain-based feed. The quality of an egg is determined by these factors, as they alter the final nutrition content (and taste!)

It is best to buy organic, free-range eggs. The organic title means that the hens were not treated with hormones and were fed organic feed. The free-range distinction means the hens are able to roam. However, ‘regular’ grocery store eggs are still a nutritious choice if you don’t have the money, or desire to purchase organic, free-range eggs.

Once you’ve purchased your eggs, the fun can begin. There are plenty of delicious, creative ways to prepare those nutritious eggs. Firstly, make sure you’re starting off right with fresh eggs. If you want to make sure your egg is good-to-go, carefully place it in the bottom of a glass of water and watch what happens. If the egg immediately sinks to the bottom of the glass, it’s fresh! If it floats, it has spoiled and needs a trip to the trash!

Busy morning with no time to spare? Make a 60-second omelet in your microwave! In the bottom of a large coffee mug, microwave one tablespoon of butter for 15 seconds. Crack two eggs into the mug, along with a splash of whole milk, salt and pepper. Add any additional fillings (cheese, ham, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. and whisk with a fork. Microwave for one minute and its omelet time!

What if you love your eggs fried? Start by separating the egg white from the egg yolk. Pour the egg white into the pan first and cook it until it looks opaque and turns white. Then, add the yolk and cook a few minutes more. Ta-dah! A fried egg with fully cooked whites and a deliciously runny yolk!

Do you have a few eggs in the back of your fridge about to go bad? Crack the eggs into a bowl and scramble with a fork, then pour into a muffin tin. Place in the freezer until the eggs are completely frozen all the way through, then pop out the eggs and place in a plastic freezer bag. These individual egg portions can last up to 6 months in your freezer!

If you’re hungry now, your muffin tin can help, too! Brush your muffin tin cups with a little bit of melted butter. Add your fillings of choice – crumbled bacon, cheese, spinach, tomatoes, etc. to the bottom of each tin. Crack eggs into a large bowl, add a splash of whole milk, salt and pepper, and whisk.

Pour the egg mixture into each muffin tin cup. Don’t fill the cups all the way to the top; only fill them about ¾ full as the eggs will rise a bit. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. If there are any leftovers, they will last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month!

Looking for something a little meatier? After brushing with melted butter, line each muffin tin with slices of ham before adding shredded cheese and the whisked egg mixture. Bake and enjoy.

With so many delicious ways to enjoy this heart-healthy  there really is no excuse for not maximizing the power of the egg. Whether you boil it, scramble it, fry or bake it, the egg is simply a fantastic food!

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-are-eggs-good-for-you#section5

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-health-benefits-of-eggs#section11

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-reasons-why-eggs-are-the-healthiest-food-on-the-planet#section7

 

The post One Egg A Day Could Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
https://diabetickitchen.com/one-egg-a-day-reduce-risk-of-heart-disease/feed/ 0
Drinking Wine Can Improve Brain Health https://diabetickitchen.com/drink-wine-improve-brain-health/ https://diabetickitchen.com/drink-wine-improve-brain-health/#respond Sun, 04 Mar 2018 21:56:08 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3630

It is widely known that excessive alcohol consumption on a regular basis can be devastating to one’s overall health. But what about just a glass or two of red wine a day? Good news! Research has found that low levels of alcohol consumption actually reduce inflammation in the brain, while helping the brain clear away ...

The post Drinking Wine Can Improve Brain Health appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
It is widely known that excessive alcohol consumption on a regular basis can be devastating to one’s overall health. But what about just a glass or two of red wine a day?

Good news! Research has found that low levels of alcohol consumption actually reduce inflammation in the brain, while helping the brain clear away toxins.

Who could have ever imagined that low-to-moderate alcohol consumption could be connected with a lower risk of dementia? This study could be the shining example of why and how those brain effects occur.

While this is exciting news for everyone, these findings are especially important for diabetics. Research has proven a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s. So much so, that dementia is now being referred to by some as “Type III Diabetes.” When sugar levels in the blood are too high, nerve damage occurs as the sugary blood circulates throughout the body. This includes the brain, in which nerve damage leads to cognitive decline.

Imagine, red wine fighting illnesses like Alzheimer’s, as well as a host of other chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases some forms of cancer, even high blood sugar. Yes, red wine can help lower blood sugar levels!

This is believed to be due to resveratrol (a polyphenol with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.) Resveratrol helps to enhance the release of insulin into the blood stream, therefore keeping blood sugar down. You can thank grapes for the resveratrol present in wine. Resveratrol can also be found in other foods like blueberries, raspberries, and peanuts.

Have you ever heard someone say “Red wine is good for your heart?” Flavanoids present in red wine help fight cardiovascular diseases, and procyanidins help to keep blood vessels healthy. When consumed in moderation, red wine raises levels of good cholesterol and lowers risk of heart diseases and stroke. The resveratrol in red wine also reduces fat buildup in the arteries.

Science has also found that red wine drinkers are less likely to contract the common cold and the flu. It is thought that the antioxidant properties of red wine help to fight off these infections.

Studies have also found that red wine may help reduce risk of depression. Over 5,000 men and women were studied over a seven year period. Data was collected on how frequently they ate or drank, including alcohol consumption. Details on participants’ mental health were also collected.

It was found that men and women who drank 2-7 glasses of wine per week had a significantly lower risk of being diagnosed with depression. Other lifestyle factors were also taken into consideration, but a lower risk of depression was still connected with drinking wine.

All of these perks combine together and can result in a longer life span. That’s right – red wine can help you live longer! In fact, red wine drinkers have a lower mortality rate than vodka or whiskey drinkers.

To enjoy these benefits, however, it is very important to consume alcohol in moderation. There are serious risks associated with drinking too much of any alcohol, whether it’s beer, red wine or rye whiskey.

Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, liver and pancreas diseases, certain types of cancer, stroke, violence, and suicide.

According to the Mayo Clinic, moderate drinking includes: up to one drink a day for women of all ages, up to one drink a day for men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. The difference between limits for men and women is because men usually weigh more, and their bodies contain more of the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol.

So what does “one drink” mean? One drink is defined as:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 5 ounces of distilled spirits

Speaking with your doctor about your alcohol consumption is an important part of your overall health. Researchers do not recommend starting to drink alcohol if you don’t already do so. Be sure to make your healthcare team aware if you do consume alcohol, to ensure that there is no interference with your medications or health conditions.

Brain health, cardiovascular health, lower blood sugar, lower risk of depression… all from a glass or two of red wine in moderation. What a great way to toast… to your health!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180202085241.htm

 

The post Drinking Wine Can Improve Brain Health appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
https://diabetickitchen.com/drink-wine-improve-brain-health/feed/ 0
How Energy Drinks Affect The Mind & Body https://diabetickitchen.com/energy-drinks-affect-mind-body/ https://diabetickitchen.com/energy-drinks-affect-mind-body/#comments Sun, 28 May 2017 21:36:05 +0000 http://diabetickitchen.com/?p=2907

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers 400 milligrams of caffeine per day to be “safe.” However, drinking an energy drink is not the same as drinking a coffee or soda. Energy drinks contain up to 500 milligrams of caffeine per bottle/can. Compare that to 100 milligrams of caffeine in one cup of coffee, or ...

The post How Energy Drinks Affect The Mind & Body appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers 400 milligrams of caffeine per day to be “safe.” However, drinking an energy drink is not the same as drinking a coffee or soda.

Energy drinks contain up to 500 milligrams of caffeine per bottle/can. Compare that to 100 milligrams of caffeine in one cup of coffee, or around 50 milligrams of caffeine in 12 ounces of soda.

The American Heart Association has found that energy drinks affect the heart more negatively than drinks that contain caffeine alone. This is believed to be due to the combination of ingredients in energy drinks. They often combine caffeine with other energy blends, herbal stimulants, and sugar.

This combination can have serious effects on the mind and body:

Blood pressure: Caffeine raises blood pressure no matter the source. However, the caffeine-stimulant combo in energy drinks maximizes that effect. For individuals who already have high blood pressure (1 out of 3 U.S. adults) they are placing themselves at serious risk. In people who have heart disease or heart defects, high doses of caffeine raise risks for heart attack and stroke, not to mention potentially life-threatening heart rhythm disorders.

Type 2 Diabetes: Many energy drinks are loaded with sugar and will cause blood sugar to immediately skyrocket. Don’t be fooled by the “sugar-free” varieties, the artificial sweeteners they contain are no better.

Headaches and Migraines: For those who have energy drinks regularly, skipping a day or two can bring on horrendous headaches due to caffeine and stimulant withdrawal. These headaches are the body’s way of saying “I am dependent on this and you haven’t given it to me.” Scary to think about, isn’t it? For those who suffer with chronic migraines, energy drinks are a definite potential trigger.

Increased Anxiety: In some individuals, heavy caffeine use can also trigger feelings of increased anxiety, nervousness, and the jitters. Larger doses of caffeine, like multiple energy drinks in a day, can even bring on full blown panic attacks. These effects can be multiplied if the individual is taking medication to treat anxiety or depression, as the ingredients in energy drinks counter-act some prescription medications.

Insomnia: Energy drinks are supposed to help keep you awake. However, when they affect you heavily, or when you ingest too much, they can prevent you from sleeping when you need to. Can you imagine lying in bed, desperate to sleep, but being unable to do so? This lack of sleep not only wears on your patience, but on your body. Loss of sleep can impair motor function, as well as the immune system.

Risky behavior: For some, caffeine can bring on an almost drug-like high. Teens and young adults often don’t stop after just one. Ingesting large amounts of energy drinks can cause a stimulant-induced feeling of euphoria, and can bring on serious safety (not to mention legal) concerns.

The trend of mixing energy drinks with alcohol only increases these risks. While energy drinks raise blood pressure and heart rate, they also intensify the effects of alcohol. The energy drink acts as a stimulant, while the alcohol acts as a depressant. When combined, this sends contradicting messages to the brain and body, having potentially dangerous effects which are more difficult to recover from than the average “hangover.”

Instead of reaching for an energy drink, get your caffeine from a healthier source like coffee or tea. Research has found that coffee can actually be helpful in healing diabetes and lowering blood sugar!

There are many ways to feel better and have more energy on a daily basis, without risking your health. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water keeps the body and mind moving and grooving! Check your blood sugar often; feeling fatigued could mean your blood sugar is too high or too low.

Start the day with a healthy breakfast, and make smart food choices throughout the day. Get moving – physical activity will give you a happy and healthy boost. Establish a bedtime routine to help prepare your body for rest. Check out this article for more healthy ways to energize and refresh your mind and body!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.caffeineinformer.com/top-10-energy-drink-dangers https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_164942.htmlhttp://www.everydayhealth.com/atrial-fibrillation/living-with/this-is-your-heart-on-energy-drinks/#07

The post How Energy Drinks Affect The Mind & Body appeared first on Diabetic Kitchen.

]]>
https://diabetickitchen.com/energy-drinks-affect-mind-body/feed/ 1