manage blood sugar – Diabetic Kitchen https://diabetickitchen.com Thu, 08 Aug 2019 18:19:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Check Out These Secrets for Better Blood Sugar Control https://diabetickitchen.com/secrets-for-better-blood-sugar-control/ https://diabetickitchen.com/secrets-for-better-blood-sugar-control/#respond Thu, 08 Aug 2019 18:19:35 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4543

You may think you’re doing everything possible to lower your blood sugar. While essential, avoiding sugar is only one part of managing diabetes. There are many more ‘secret’ strategies we should be using on our journey to better health. Read on to take control of your diabetes and enjoy more stable blood sugar for good! ...

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You may think you’re doing everything possible to lower your blood sugar. While essential, avoiding sugar is only one part of managing diabetes. There are many more ‘secret’ strategies we should be using on our journey to better health. Read on to take control of your diabetes and enjoy more stable blood sugar for good!

Firstly, the age-old adage is true – knowledge is power. Learn as much as you can about diabetes and its effects on the body. That information will enable you to make the best choices for your health.

Speaking of knowledge, its important to work closely with your healthcare team. Talk with your physician about the information you’ve learned. For example, you’ve read how regular exercise can help lower blood sugar. You’d like to start an exercise regimen, but aren’t sure where to begin. Speak with your physician about your desired exercise plan so he or she can make sure you’re good to go.

Your physician may also recommend a consultation with a dietician or nutritional counselor. These professionals are clinically trained in how food affects the body, and blood glucose levels. If the opportunity to consult with a dietary professional becomes available, embrace it!

When trying to figure out nutrition, the sheer volume of available information is overwhelming. When it comes down to it, we are what we eat. Literally! The body’s cells are made up of the foods we consume. Food is fuel. (That doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable and taste amazing!)

There are three main components to building a healthy meal. Fat + fiber + protein = stable blood sugar. Meals should include a balance of all three. Following a high-fat, high-fiber, moderate-protein, low-carb diet has been found to have a dramatic, positive effect on blood sugar.

Sources of healthy fat include avocado, nuts, fatty fish like salmon, even full-fat dairy. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are essential in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Fat is not the enemy of health. It’s actually the key to obtaining and maintaining health!

The only fats to be concerned about are trans fats. Trans fats are very dangerous and should be avoided. However, by eliminating deep fried and processed/packaged foods from one’s diet, encountering trans fats becomes far less likely.

Let’s move on to fiber, the unsung hero of diabetes management. Fiber has long been valued for gut regularity. Its positive effects for diabetics, however, are a more recent revelation. Fiber stabilizes blood glucose levels by slowing the processing and absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. This makes fiber an absolute must in a diabetic’s diet.

Good sources of fiber include artichokes, avocados, beans and lentils, nuts, veggies, fresh berries, and quinoa. Notice anything else about those high-fiber foods? That’s right! They are all lower on the glycemic index, and have their fiber contents to thank for it.

Protein is also very important when eating healthfully. Sufficient protein intake is absolutely essential to body function. However, it is crucial to consume protein in appropriate portions, and in the right combinations with healthy fats and fiber.

High protein consumption was popularized by the Atkins diet many years ago. However, research has since found that a diet high in protein is not the way to go. The human body actually converts excess protein into glucose. This means that when we consume too much protein, the body processes the extra as it would carbs… or sugar. Sad, but true.

Good sources of protein include grass-fed beef, wild caught seafood, along with free-range poultry and eggs. Full-fat Greek yogurt, nuts and seeds, even broccoli are fantastic sources of non-meat protein.

You’re going to need that fuel for our next blood sugar-stabilizing secret. Get moving… literally! 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. In fact, exercise can reduce blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours after working out!

Regular physical activity lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, and helps control cholesterol levels. This reduces risk of heart attack and stroke. 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.

You likely knew that nutrition and exercise have huge impacts on diabetes. Did you know sleep quality and stress levels do, too? When the body does not get enough sleep, it’s response mimics insulin resistance. Not only does lack of sleep make you cranky, it also contributes to higher blood sugar.

Avoiding stress is impossible. For diabetics, however, its very important to manage. Cortisol, a “stress hormone” floods the body when we experience stress.

When cortisol is released, the body’s cells either absorb extra glucose for immediate energy, or direct the cells to store it for later. Frequent high cortisol levels contribute to insulin resistance and higher blood sugar levels over time. Getting consistent, quality sleep while reducing stress may seem near to impossible, but both are absolutely essential to stabilizing blood sugar.

Our final secret to managing diabetes is acknowledging that you cannot (and should not) attempt to go it alone. Surround yourself with a good support system. Family, friends, healthcare team, support groups, online chat communities, etc. Anyone who can be a source of encouragement and accountability.

Managing blood sugar and healing diabetes shouldn’t be thought of as a secretive, complicated process. By balancing the foods we eat with regular physical activity, quality sleep, managing stress, and a maintaining good support system, stable blood sugar is achievable. Yes, lower blood sugar and better health require effort. The healthy, happy life we all desire is the reward, and that’s quite a good return on investment!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/manage-blood-sugar-18/prevent-sugar-spikes

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/trans-fat

https://www.health.com/syndication/walking-after-eating-good-for-you

 

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How Going For A Walk After Meals Improves Blood Sugar https://diabetickitchen.com/going-for-a-walk-improves-blood-sugar/ https://diabetickitchen.com/going-for-a-walk-improves-blood-sugar/#respond Thu, 13 Jun 2019 20:48:29 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4203

Everyone knows that exercise is an important part of overall health. What some may not realize is just how crucial physical activity is to effectively managing high blood sugar. Something as simple as a 10-15 minute walk after a meal could have a huge impact. Yep, it’s been proven by scientific research! Study participants who ...

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Everyone knows that exercise is an important part of overall health. What some may not realize is just how crucial physical activity is to effectively managing high blood sugar. Something as simple as a 10-15 minute walk after a meal could have a huge impact.

Yep, it’s been proven by scientific research! Study participants who were at risk for type-2 diabetes walked on a treadmill for 15 minutes after a meal. The findings? Smaller spikes in blood sugar for hours afterward.

That same 10 minute walk after a meal lowered blood sugar better than a 45-minute walk in the mid-morning or late-afternoon. Incredible – save yourself 35 minutes (and enjoy lower blood sugar) by timing your walk for after a meal! How is walking after meals so effective?

After eating, the digestive system begins to break down and process the food you consumed. Glucose is produced and flows throughout the bloodstream. The pancreas responds by releasing insulin. The body’s cells are then supposed to absorb the glucose. It’s either used immediately for energy, or stored for future use.

For diabetics, that glucose in the blood is not absorbed and utilized as it should be. The result is the same whether it’s due to insufficient insulin production or cellular insulin resistance. All of that excess glucose remains in the bloodstream.

In addition, the body’s insulin response can lessen as the day wears on, especially in older adults. With the majority of us consuming our largest meal in the evening hours, the body is less likely to respond well to that meal. Further, we usually retire to the sofa (or to our beds) after that large meal.

This habit serves a double-whammy to blood sugar levels. Blood sugar is elevated by a large meal without sufficient insulin to absorb the excess glucose out of the bloodstream. The body is then sedentary, allowing blood sugar to remain elevated for hours.

This is where that short walk comes into play. The body uses its muscles to move. Muscles use glucose for energy, utilizing what is available, and drawing more from the bloodstream. This reduces the amount of excess glucose in the bloodstream resulting in lower blood sugar. Ta-dah!

Just a short walk having such an incredible effect on blood sugar! Pretty amazing, right? Now, the benefits of that walk don’t end there. You can also enjoy lower blood pressure, improved circulation, better cholesterol levels, and reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.

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. Walk with your spouse and talk about your day, or bring man’s best friend along. Take a few moments to reflect or meditate by yourself, or meet up with a group of friends and make it a party!

Now, be sure to play it safe and smart before taking off on your next jaunt. Start by hydrating! Drink 8-16 ounces bottles of water before your walk, sip water throughout, and drink plenty of water once you’ve finished.

Always be aware of your surroundings, and walk in secure, well-lit areas. For those after-dinner walks, be sure to wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight. Never walk in the road, always stay on the sidewalk.

Investing in a good pair of walking shoes is absolutely essential for diabetics. Individuals with high blood sugar need to choose real athletic shoes that are in good condition, are appropriate for the type of exercise you’re performing, and fit your feet correctly. For example, don’t go for a long walk in your flip-flops!

Also be mindful of any numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in your feet. Due to neuropathy, diabetics can sustain injuries (especially on the feet) without realizing it. Check carefully for blisters, splinters, or redness every time you put your shoes on and take them off.

Walking is a valuable tool in the fight against high blood sugar. You don’t need to pay for a gym membership to do it, and you don’t have to learn how to use any complicated fitness equipment. You can do it anytime… just be sure to do it after your next meal!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.health.com/syndication/walking-after-eating-good-for-you

 

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What’s New In Diabetes Management? Focus On The Individual! https://diabetickitchen.com/new-diabetes-management-focus-on-the-individual/ https://diabetickitchen.com/new-diabetes-management-focus-on-the-individual/#respond Wed, 17 Apr 2019 21:34:02 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4291

Finally! Healthcare providers are shifting the focus of care to the needs of patients as individuals. This is a monumental change from the mindset of “Every patient with ABC is treated with the XYZ plan of care.” Instead of automatically assigning you the same diet, medication and exercise plan as every other diabetic patient, emphasis ...

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Finally! Healthcare providers are shifting the focus of care to the needs of patients as individuals. This is a monumental change from the mindset of “Every patient with ABC is treated with the XYZ plan of care.”

Instead of automatically assigning you the same diet, medication and exercise plan as every other diabetic patient, emphasis is placed on what works for you as the individual. In recent years, patients have not been allowed, let alone encouraged to be directly involved in developing their own plans of care. Times are changing, and diabetics have to take advantage.

Educate & Empower Yourself

When it comes to managing diabetes, knowledge is power. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make. Work with your healthcare team to develop a realistic plan of care for your high blood sugar. If your physician prescribes medication, take it as directed. While lifestyle changes are the key to reversing diabetes and achieving your best health long-term, prescription medications can help bring blood sugar to a level that is actually manageable.

Food

Food is life… literally! This may be the most difficult shift in lifestyle when working with your healthcare team. Food is personal, even emotional for many people. Food cultures and traditions are deeply ingrained in us, and can be incredibly impactful to our happiness.

Even if a certain food makes us happy, some things that just aren’t good for the body. Any other French fry lovers out there? However, that doesn’t mean that a healthful diet can’t be delicious and satisfying. How about a little change in perspective?

Start by taking a closer look at the opinions and feelings you attach to certain foods. For example, do you think of a doughnut as an evil enemy sent to tempt and destroy you? Do you picture good health when you see an apple?

Resist labeling foods as good or bad. This gives food too much power and influence over your thoughts.  It is true that some foods are better for your body (and blood sugar) than others, but no single food determines your overall health or well-being. When you cook and eat real, quality foods it becomes obvious that nutritious can be delicious. Avocados, berries, even olive oil and garlic are just a few foods that pack a powerful punch!

Avocados have a positive impact on insulin levels. Monounsaturated fats help boost insulin function, and aid in keeping blood sugar lower and more stable. An avocado is a great source of fiber, which helps to regulate blood sugar, as well.

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. Studies have found that glucose levels reduce over time when blueberries are included in one’s diet.

The world has been enjoying the health benefits of olives and olive oil for thousands of years. Those benefits are due to healthy fats, phytonutrients, as well as, a variety of vitamins and antioxidants. A team of Virginia Tech researchers discovered that the compound oleuropein found in olives encourages the body to secrete more insulin, helping to reduce blood sugar and better control diabetes!

Garlic has been revered as a contributor to better health for centuries. Research is starting to suggest that it may even show promise for lowering blood sugar. A 2005 study which administered garlic orally to diabetic rats recorded significant decreases in blood glucose. Researchers also found that garlic can lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increase insulin production.

Work with your healthcare team to develop a meal plan to include the right combination of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Talk about the foods you love and the foods you don’t. Find countless recipes online and find creative ways to adapt them to your taste. Bottom line: if you don’t like it, you won’t eat it. Figure out what tastes best to you!

Exercise

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. In fact, exercise can reduce blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours after working out.

Regular physical activity also lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, and helps control cholesterol levels, thereby reducing risk of heart attack and stroke. 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!

While many Americans fall short of the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week, research has shown that even a short walk each day can make a major difference in your health.

Talk with your physician about which exercise methods are right for you. Bad knee? Low impact exercises are the way to go. Absolutely love going for a swim? That’s a great way to get active! Just like with food, figure out what works best for you.

Sleep

The body’s reaction to lack of sleep can mimic insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs due to the cell’s inability to utilize insulin. This results in high blood sugar. Quality sleep is essential to a happy and healthy life for everyone, and especially for diabetics.

One way to help improve your night’s sleep is to form a bedtime routine. Perhaps you enjoy a warm bath each night before bed; add some lavender or chamomile bath oil to relax your muscles and your mind. You may prefer to sleep with a fan in your room for noise and air circulation. Avoid looking at brightly lit screens (television, cell phone) before bed as these devices stimulate your brain and keep you awake.

Some people need more sleep than others. Track your sleep and talk with your physician about what you find. Does 6 hours of sleep leave you feeling refreshed or more like a zombie? Do you need 9 hours just to feel more human than bear? Don’t skip this step – sleep is key!

Stress

Feeling stressed or anxious? Studies have shown that coming home after a long day and preparing a meal can significantly lower stress and anxiety!

How you ask? Your mind becomes occupied with the task at hand – finding a recipe, collecting all of your ingredients from the fridge and pantry, compiling them one by one to create something delicious, then getting to sit down and enjoy your hard work. That “present” mindset can be very helpful in reducing anxiety, and cooking meals at home is a great way to get started.

Research has also found that just a few minutes of meditation every day alters the pathways in your brain, making you more resilient to stress. This helps to improve not only your mental sense of well-being, but your physical one, as well. Give it a try! Meditation, prayer, or yoga are all great options for decreasing stress and increasing energy.

Don’t be afraid to talk with your healthcare team about how you’re feeling. This endeavor to improve health and blood sugar is a big deal that comes with big emotions. There is absolutely no shame in speaking with your doctor about your stress levels, inability to sleep, frustrations with diet, lack of support from family and friends, etc. The mind and the body are truly connected. One cannot exist or thrive without the health of the other.

In conclusion, it’s time diabetics take advantage of healthcare’s shift in focus. Get involved in your care – ask questions. Be your own advocate in your journey to better health. That journey is comprised of many steps. Some of those steps may be larger, or more uncomfortable than others. However, the destination of lower blood sugar and better health is worth every single step!

 

 

Source:

https://www.endocrineweb.com/news/diabetes/60788-whats-new-diabetes-care-individualizing-care-takes-priority

 

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Mindful Eating For Better Blood Sugar https://diabetickitchen.com/mindful-eating-better-blood-sugar/ https://diabetickitchen.com/mindful-eating-better-blood-sugar/#respond Sun, 31 Mar 2019 20:55:17 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4320

Mindful eating… what does that mean? Being aware of what we are eating, how much we are eating, and when we are full. Another large part of being mindful with eating is acknowledging how food can impact how we feel. Start by taking a closer look at the opinions and feelings you attach to certain ...

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Mindful eating… what does that mean? Being aware of what we are eating, how much we are eating, and when we are full. Another large part of being mindful with eating is acknowledging how food can impact how we feel.

Start by taking a closer look at the opinions and feelings you attach to certain foods. For example, do you think of a doughnut as an evil enemy sent to tempt and destroy you? Do you picture good health when you see an apple?

Resist labeling foods as good or bad. This gives food too much power and influence over your thoughts.  It is true that some foods are better for your body (and blood sugar) than others, but no single food determines your overall health or well-being.

Don’t tell yourself you must make healthy choices only from this point on. Saying you will never eat a certain food for the rest of your life is unrealistic. Doing so will only make you crave that specific food more.

Food cravings originate in the parts of the brain that manage feelings of pleasure and reward. There are a few different potential causes for a food craving to be triggered. The first is an imbalance of hormones, like serotonin or leptin, which can cause a craving. The absence of essential nutrients can also prompt the brain to crave certain foods.

The endorphins that are released into the body after you’ve eaten can also trigger a craving. Food doesn’t just impact and satisfy us physically, but emotionally as well. Cravings can then become driven by emotion, especially if you are eating for comfort.

Emotions and food are closely tied, yet we rarely connect how we feel with what/when we eat. Certain foods make you happy… literally! In the same turn, stressful situations can trigger the desire to eat.

“Going on a diet” can really max out stress levels. Dieting triggers an increase in stress hormones like cortisol, which has been linked to weight gain. This is part of why it is so hard to lose weight, and keep it off.  Traditional “dieting” is actually far more likely to cause weight gain than weight loss.

When stressed, bored, or anxious, we are more likely to fall victim to emotional eating. It can be a truly vicious cycle! The key to living your best health is not through “dieting” but through a commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

To help develop a more positive relationship with food, start by cooking more meals at home. If you are a drive-thru devotee, it likely seems a little daunting to plan and prepare meals at home, but it really is quite simple!

Try assigning one type of recipe for each night of the week to get you started. For example, Meatless Mondays (Veggie Stir-fry one week and Vegetable Lasagna the next) and Taco Tuesdays (beef tacos one week and chicken or shrimp the next.) Relish the opportunity to be creative. Relish… get it? It’s a food pun!

Speaking of creativity, take some of your favorite recipes and turn them healthy. We are far more likely to choose foods we like; we want food to taste good! Trust us, healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive.

For example, cauliflower is a diamond in the rough when it comes to hacking your favorite indulgent foods. Forget about the pasty, bland cauliflower you may have known; open your eyes (and your mouth) to its potential.

What would you give to enjoy some fried rice, pizza, or macaroni and cheese right now? Try this recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice. For “pizza crust” use your food processor to get the cauliflower very fine, then mix with cheese, eggs and spices. Top with your favorite sauce, meats and veggies, for a pizza that is high in fiber, low in carbs, and out of this world! Not to mention the cauliflower in this recipe for Almost Mac-N-Cheese that is sure to be a family favorite!

Now don’t go eating three bowls of Almost Mac-N-Cheese… (trust us, you’ll want to.) Portion control is another crucial part of mindful eating. Science has confirmed that when humans are presented with more food, we consume more food.

This phenomenon has been dubbed by some as the ‘portion size effect.’ Believe it or not, when portion sizes are doubled, individuals consume an average of 35% more food! Pre-portioning can help you avoid the trap of overeating.

Picture this – you’re on the couch watching television eating popcorn. It’s true that popcorn is a tasty, low-glycemic snack for diabetics. That doesn’t mean you can eat the entire bag. By portioning the popcorn into a smaller bag or bowl, you can watch and snack without fear of overeating.

Speaking of television, removing distractions while eating is another way to trick yourself into more mindful eating. By sitting down and really focusing on your actual meal, you can truly enjoy it. You’ll also feel full faster because you are taking the time to chew each bite. This allows you to feel when you’ve had enough. Ta-dah! Mindful eating at its best.

While it may sound complicated, mindful eating is all about acknowledging the true enjoyment of food. It’s an experience, it fuels us body and soul. Food should make us feel happy, not guilty. By implementing mindful eating strategies, that happiness is not only possible, but inevitable!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/can-mindfulness-help-with-weightloss

 

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New Research Affirms – Red Wine Beneficial For Diabetics https://diabetickitchen.com/red-wine-beneficial-for-diabetics/ https://diabetickitchen.com/red-wine-beneficial-for-diabetics/#comments Fri, 04 Jan 2019 19:34:51 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4251

Recent research has found that drinking a glass of red wine with dinner increases levels of HDL (”good”) cholesterol. What’s more, these results were found in individuals with type II diabetes. Sound too good to be true? Believe it or not, the health benefits of red wine don’t end with better cholesterol levels. When consumed ...

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Recent research has found that drinking a glass of red wine with dinner increases levels of HDL (”good”) cholesterol. What’s more, these results were found in individuals with type II diabetes. Sound too good to be true? Believe it or not, the health benefits of red wine don’t end with better cholesterol levels.

When consumed in moderation, red wine also lowers risk of heart disease and stroke. Not to mention reduced risk for Alzheimer’s dementia, depression, and even lower blood sugar!

The majority of the health benefits of red wine are due to resveratrol (a polyphenol with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.) Resveratrol enhances the release of insulin into the blood stream. This keeps blood sugar more stable. Resveratrol also reduces fat buildup in the arteries. The flavanoids present in red wine fight cardiovascular diseases. The wine’s procyanidins help keep blood vessels healthy, including those in the brain.

Researchers observed that low levels of alcohol consumption actually reduce inflammation in the brain, while helping the brain clear away toxins. 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 helping to fight illnesses like Alzheimer’s!

If that isn’t enough to boost your mood, research has also 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.

Researchers do not recommend starting to drink alcohol if you don’t already do so. 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. If you already drink red wine, do so in moderation.

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 naturally contain more of the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol.

One serving of red wine totals five ounces. Most of us will easily pour double that amount without even realizing it. Being mindful of your pour will ensure that you are getting all of the positive benefits red wine has to offer without overdoing it.

Also be sure to speak with your doctor about your alcohol consumption. This is an important part of your overall health. 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.

A diabetes diagnosis means bidding farewell to more than a few things. If wine was one of them, rejoice! Red wine can now return to its rightful place – in your glass. Now raise that glass in a toast to the health benefits of red wine… and enjoy!

 

Source:

https://www.endocrineweb.com/news/diabetes/17936-red-wine-dinner-new-study-says-yes-you-can

 

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Diabetes Fatigue – Is High Blood Sugar Making You Tired? https://diabetickitchen.com/is-high-blood-sugar-making-you-tired/ https://diabetickitchen.com/is-high-blood-sugar-making-you-tired/#respond Fri, 07 Dec 2018 00:04:42 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4260

Are your efforts to manage blood sugar wearing you out? Balancing your diabetes with the stressors of everyday life can be overwhelming. It can also affect the ability to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. ‘Diabetes fatigue’ can include overwhelming feelings of exhaustion, a near constant state of weariness, a lack of energy, ...

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Are your efforts to manage blood sugar wearing you out? Balancing your diabetes with the stressors of everyday life can be overwhelming. It can also affect the ability to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level.

‘Diabetes fatigue’ can include overwhelming feelings of exhaustion, a near constant state of weariness, a lack of energy, and a decline in motivation and concentration. This fatigue could stem from any number of reasons. Unsuccessful diabetes management, the responsibility of monitoring diabetes on a daily basis, or high blood sugar itself could all contribute.

It is crucial to work with your healthcare team to pinpoint the causes of your fatigue in order to regain your health and your energy. Other potential causes include dehydration, high blood sugar levels, sleep apnea, medications or other underlying health conditions.

Along with your physical health, be sure to discuss your emotional health with your physician. Talk about your stress level, along with any feelings of anxiety or depression. These feelings can create and enhance fatigue. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to discuss your feelings with your healthcare team. This is a crucial part of encouraging your overall best health.

Aside from communicating with your healthcare team, there are a few simple things you can do every day to help combat diabetes fatigue. It is possible to have more energy, along with better blood sugar levels. Consistent, quality sleep is a main contributor to achieving that goal.

New research has shown that getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night can put you at higher risk for Type II diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic diseases like obesity. The target range appears to be between six and eight hours per night. While sleeping for 8 hours may sound like a dream (pun intended), sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health.

This is especially true for diabetics. The body’s reaction to lack of sleep can mimic insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs due to the cell’s inability to utilize insulin. This results in high blood sugar. Quality sleep is essential for diabetics, plain and simple.

Research has also shown that losing sleep can affect your weight. Lack of sleep may be related to increased hunger, appetite, and possibly even obesity. People who experience difficulty sleeping may also be less likely to exercise and engage in physical activity, making it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

Plus, when you’re tired, you’re hungry! Lack of sleep appears to not only stimulate appetite in general, it also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. This is because the body is looking for quick energy to give it fuel to keep going.

For diabetics, an increase in appetite, especially for high-carbohydrate foods, makes healthy eating and blood sugar management more challenging. Eating healthful foods in proper portions throughout the day will keep energy levels and blood sugar more stable.

Diet is a huge contributor to how our bodies feel on a daily basis. By examining your diet and making positive food choices, you can decrease your chances of fatigue. Monitor how you feel after eating certain foods. Do some foods make you sleepy while others give you a boost?

Fish (most especially salmon, halibut and tuna) contain vitamin B6. This vitamin is crucial in making melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleeping and waking cycles.

Research also suggests that being calcium-deficient may make it difficult to fall asleep. Dairy products like yogurt and milk are good sources of calcium. Be sure to choose full fat dairy products as they contain less sugar. Green leafy vegetables, such as kale and other greens, also contain calcium.

Spinach contains folic acid which helps to reduce fatigue and improve mood. It’s is also rich in iron, a mineral that helps deliver oxygen to your cells, giving the body energy on a cellular level. Spinach also contains Vitamin C and magnesium which are crucial to the production of serotonin and dopamine – two brain chemicals responsible for feelings of joy and happiness!

Make sure you aren’t skipping meals, as this will make you even more fatigued and lead to unstable blood sugar. Start the day with a good breakfast. Also be sure to eat lunch and dinner, snacking in between as needed.

Sticking to a daily routine is crucial when managing diabetes successfully. Testing your blood sugar and taking your medications as directed 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.

A diagnosis of diabetes changes your life, but its impact can be managed. Getting quality rest, eating a healthy diet, and establishing a routine for yourself help to balance blood sugar with the chaos of life. Make time for your health!

 

 

Source:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323398.php

 

 

 

 

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Cook Meals At Home To Reduce Stress & Anxiety https://diabetickitchen.com/cook-meals-at-home-reduce-stress-anxiety/ https://diabetickitchen.com/cook-meals-at-home-reduce-stress-anxiety/#respond Sun, 19 Aug 2018 21:53:59 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3875

Feeling stressed or anxious after a long day? Research has found that coming home and preparing a meal can significantly lower that stress and anxiety! How you ask? Your mind becomes occupied with the task at hand – finding a recipe, collecting all of your ingredients from the fridge and pantry, compiling them one by ...

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Feeling stressed or anxious after a long day? Research has found that coming home and preparing a meal can significantly lower that stress and anxiety!

How you ask? Your mind becomes occupied with the task at hand – finding a recipe, collecting all of your ingredients from the fridge and pantry, compiling them one by one to create something delicious, then getting to sit down and enjoy your hard work. You focus on being in the moment instead of on what will happen at work tomorrow, the fact that you have to pack for your upcoming trip, you need to call the pharmacy and refill your medication, etc.

That “present” mindset can be very helpful in reducing anxiety, and cooking meals at home is a great way to get started. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can waltz in the door, open the fridge, and trust that there is a stress-free meal waiting for you. With just a bit of planning, you could see huge benefits in both your emotional and physical health, not to mention your wallet.

Eating at home is also a huge budget saver. Saving money… talk about reducing stress! You are only buying the grocery ingredients that you need, and avoiding spending your hard-earned cash on drive-thru, take-out, or delivery.

If you are a drive-thru devotee, it likely seems a little daunting to plan and prepare meals at home, but it really is quite simple! Try assigning one type of recipe for each night of the week to get you started. For example, Meatless Mondays (Veggie Stir-fry one week and Vegetable Lasagna the next) and Taco Tuesdays (beef tacos one week and chicken or shrimp the next.)

You’ll know exactly which recipes you are going to prepare and when. Never underestimate the stress-prevention technique of having a plan. Not to mention the time it will save you – making one trip to the supermarket every week instead of multiple trips to get an item on the fly.

Put your recipes on your family calendar, or print them out and stick the list to the fridge. This will prevent the daily “What are we having for dinner?” question! Speaking of family, ask your dining companions for help with choosing the next week’s recipes. This not only spreads the responsibility around, it makes the chooser more likely to favor their recipe. For example, give your picky eaters the task of choosing two meals for the next week. They will be much more willing to try a recipe they chose themselves, and even more likely to enjoy eating a meal they helped to prepare themselves.

Make a list of the ingredients you will need for each of your chosen recipes. Check your fridge and pantry for ingredients you may already have. This saves food and money! You can even choose your recipes based on foods you have that need to be utilized.

Do as much preparation for your meals as you can. Wash your vegetables upon returning home from the grocery store. If you only plan to use half of that pound of ground beef this week, go ahead and put the other half in the freezer.

To seriously reduce your stress and make cooking at home an even easier and more pleasant experience, try a few of these time-saving recipe hacks!

For salads, use greens that are pre-washed and ready to eat. From spicy arugula to good ole’ iceberg or romaine, you can find a wide variety of salad greens in the produce section at your local supermarket. Simply add a piece of grilled chicken, salmon, or steak and turn that side salad into an entrée! If you aren’t a meat eater, add some garbanzo beans, or tofu to your salad. Top with veggies like avocado, bell pepper, tomato and cucumber, then drizzle with oil and vinegar. You’ve got a quick and easy lunch or dinner, and the perfect recipe for stable blood sugar!

While fresh, whole foods should make up the majority of your diet, don’t turn up your nose at frozen foods. We’re not talking TV dinners or frozen pizza here. Frozen veggies like green beans, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli bring meals together in a flash! You can even find healthy frozen side dishes like cauliflower rice and use it to make some seriously delicious low-carb fried rice. Frozen berries are perfect for smoothies!

Whole grains like quinoa can take up to 45 minutes to cook on the stovetop, but can now be ready in 90 seconds in the microwave (check your local supermarket rice aisle.) Talk about a quick and easy way to add nutrition to your meals!  One cup of quinoa contains 8 grams or protein, 5 grams of fiber, and is a complex carbohydrate, which the body processes more slowly than regular carbs. This combination not only fills you up, it helps stabilize your blood sugar, too!

Preparing meals at home is also a great way to better control your blood sugar. You know exactly what is in your meals, and you are in complete control of the food you eat, which directly translates to how you feel. Cooking at home not only sets you (and your family) up for improved health and better tasting food, but for less stress. Let’s get cookin’!

 

 

Sources:

http://www.health.com/anxiety/natural-remedy-anxiety-cooking

 

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Research Finds Coffee Fights High Blood Sugar https://diabetickitchen.com/coffee-fights-high-blood-sugar/ https://diabetickitchen.com/coffee-fights-high-blood-sugar/#comments Tue, 14 Aug 2018 22:17:13 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3894

Are you a coffee lover? If not, you may want to give that cup o’ Joe a second look, especially if you’re a type II diabetic. New research has revealed one way in which the caffeine in coffee helps to control high blood sugar. It starts with receptors, which are proteins that perch on the ...

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Are you a coffee lover? If not, you may want to give that cup o’ Joe a second look, especially if you’re a type II diabetic. New research has revealed one way in which the caffeine in coffee helps to control high blood sugar.

It starts with receptors, which are proteins that perch on the surface of our cells. These receptors react only to specific types of molecules. Think of it like this – only the correct key can open the lock on your front door. When the receptor encounters the right molecule, a reaction occurs inside the cell.

In the case of coffee, when the cell receptors encounter caffeine, ‘synthetic human glucagon-like peptide 1’ is produced. This peptide lowers blood sugar, so well in fact, that it is an ingredient in many diabetes prescription medications. In the study, mice whose cells received and reacted to the caffeine demonstrated “substantially improved” glucose control compared to the control group who was not given caffeine.

Isn’t that amazing – caffeine helps to lower blood sugar! So, exactly how much coffee are we talking about here? According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day appears to be safe for healthy adults. One 8 oz cup of coffee contains 75-100 mg of caffeine.

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

Are you a ‘one and done’ coffee drinker, or do you need all four of those daily cups to function? Thanks to their genes, some people are simply better at metabolizing caffeine. For example, some people can down an espresso after dinner and sleep soundly all night, while others get the jitters all day from a single cup with breakfast.

In moderation, there are several health benefits to drinking coffee. Coffee drinkers can enjoy an 80% reduction in risk for liver cirrhosis (chronic liver damage.) Coffee consumption also increases adrenaline production, meaning it can also 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.

Drinking coffee could also lengthen your life! New research has found that drinking coffee lowers risk of death and development of heart disease. In the study, the largest reduction in relative risk of death was for participants who consumed three cups of coffee per day compared with non-coffee drinkers. (Drinking more than three cups was not associated with any additional health benefits.)

That longer life could also be a more enjoyable one thanks to coffee. 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. Even when had only occasionally, a cup of coffee brings on calm and tranquility.

This positive reputation is quite a turnaround for coffee. Did you know that coffee used to be included on the World Health Organization’s list of potentially carcinogenic foods? It was removed in 2016, and just look at where research has brought coffee now in 2017 – with scientific evidence of health benefits.

One important thing to remember: Most of the studies in people and animals have used black coffee, rather than sugary, milky concoctions. The excess calories and ridiculous amounts of sugar contained in a Double Mocha Frappuccino, for example, completely offset any benefits the coffee itself may convey. Black coffee, and bulletproof coffee, are the preferred ways to consume your caffeine to reap maximum benefits to blood sugar.

So there you have it, coffee in moderation not only keeps your energy running higher, but can help to keep your blood sugar lower. Whether it’s black or bulletproof, hot or iced, coffee is a beatific beverage for those working to achieve and maintain lower blood sugar.

 

 

Source:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322261.php

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

 

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Try This Simple Trick To Prevent Over-Eating https://diabetickitchen.com/simple-trick-prevent-over-eating/ https://diabetickitchen.com/simple-trick-prevent-over-eating/#respond Wed, 20 Jun 2018 17:44:39 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3818

Believe it or not, a study conducted at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab found that spending time in a cluttered, chaotic kitchen can cause people to consume more calories. Who could’ve ever imagined? A clean kitchen could be a key strategy in the prevention of over-eating! In the Cornell study, researchers divided 98 female ...

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Believe it or not, a study conducted at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab found that spending time in a cluttered, chaotic kitchen can cause people to consume more calories. Who could’ve ever imagined? A clean kitchen could be a key strategy in the prevention of over-eating!

In the Cornell study, researchers divided 98 female participants into two groups. Half of the participants were told to wait in a messy, hectic kitchen—sinks full of dirty dishes, papers all over the counter, with a telephone ringing off the hook. The remaining half of the women waited in a clean, quiet kitchen. Bowls containing snacks of crackers, cookies, and carrots were placed in each kitchen.

In just 10 minutes, the participants who waited in the messy kitchen consumed over 50 calories more per person than the women who waited in the clean kitchen. By the time the study concluded, the women in the chaotic kitchen had consumed double the amount of calories than the women in the clean kitchen!

The lead author of the study, Lenny Vartanian, PhD., said “Being in a chaotic environment and feeling out of control is bad for diets. It seems to lead people to think, ‘Everything else is out of control, so why shouldn’t I be?’”

Think about it – snacks give us permission to eat at non-traditional mealtimes. We all know breakfast is in the morning, lunch is in the afternoon, and dinner is at night… snacks however, have become any time free-for-all opportunities to chow down. In some instances, snacking turns into “mindless eating.” Talk about destructive and dangerous eating habits!

When we are tired and stressed (and who isn’t!) we are more susceptible to unhealthy eating, poorer food choices, and are far more likely to over-eat. Not only can this affect our waistlines, but can have a devastating effect on blood sugar for those with diabetes. That’s why we have to snack smart.

Start by eating regularly to make sure your body is getting the fuel it needs. For some, this means 3 larger meals and 2 snacks, for others it may mean eating every 2-3 hours. Find what works best for your blood sugar. Don’t skip meals. While it may be tempting to cut calories by not eating, this strategy will backfire. When you skip a meal, your blood sugar goes haywire. It can drop to unsafe levels; you will notice that you have less energy, and you may develop a headache, or stomachache.

When you finally do eat something, you are likely to over-eat (thereby consuming more calories than you would if you had eaten two regular meals), or make a less-than-ideal food choice because you are so hungry. Not to mention, your blood sugar will skyrocket because it is getting stimulated all at once instead of over the span of an entire day.

The types of food we choose to snack on can also make a huge impact on our eating habits.  Scientific researchers are now searching for the most addictive foods. One study at the University of Michigan asked 500 people if they had trouble controlling their consumption of any particular foods – from broccoli to pizza.

Surprise, surprise – the top addiction-inducing foods were soda, pizza, chocolate, chips, cookies, cake, French fries, and ice cream. Fresh fruits and vegetables were at the very bottom of the list.

The study found that the addicting foods tended to be processed and high in carbohydrate and sugar content. No here comes the kicker – researchers hypothesize that not only is it the sugar that prompts dependency, but that food manufacturers purposefully add that sugar in order for consumers to become dependent upon their products.

Snacking is not evil, and does not have to negatively affect blood sugar. A snack’s purpose is to prevent excessive hunger, give the body an energy boost, and even help to regulate blood sugar. It’s important to choose a snack that will give you the energy you need without spiking your blood sugar. Combine protein, fats, and carbohydrates to get the most out of your snacks.

For example, trade in that whole banana for a bowl of berries and Greek yogurt. Or apple slices over cottage cheese with a sprinkle of cinnamon. (When it comes to yogurt and cottage cheese, be sure to choose the full-fat versions to increase the good fats and decrease the sugar.)

Instead of potato chips, try air-popped popcorn or a few kale chips. If a kale chip isn’t your thing, how about this recipe for pepperoni chips! Or, a full-fat string cheese with a handful of pistachios, cashews, or almonds. Or dunk some thinly sliced raw veggies into a nice hummus or this cool and creamy avocado dip. For even more ideas on easy healthy snacking, check out this link to Diabetic Kitchen’s Quick Snack Ideas for Diabetics.

So, the moral of the snacking story is this: when your body is running low on fuel, fill it with the right foods. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of over-eating and mindless snacking – your blood sugar depends on it. It also wouldn’t hurt to go clean your kitchen!

 

 

Sources:

http://www.health.com/syndication/kitchen-calorie-study

 

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Could Taking A Nap Help You Conquer Sugar Cravings? https://diabetickitchen.com/could-a-nap-conquer-sugar-cravings/ https://diabetickitchen.com/could-a-nap-conquer-sugar-cravings/#respond Sat, 27 Jan 2018 21:14:33 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3532

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. So, what happens when we don’t get enough sleep? New research has shown that getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night can put you at higher risk for Type II diabetes, diabetes complications, and other metabolic diseases like obesity. The ...

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The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. So, what happens when we don’t get enough sleep? New research has shown that getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night can put you at higher risk for Type II diabetes, diabetes complications, and other metabolic diseases like obesity.

The body’s reaction to lack of sleep can mimic insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs due to the cell’s inability to utilize insulin. This results in high blood sugar. Imagine if your blood sugar was spiking every single night simply because you were having trouble sleeping… yikes!

Have you noticed that your blood sugar tends to be higher in the morning when you wake up? The dawn phenomenon is a normal, natural rise in blood sugar that occurs in the early morning hours, between roughly 4-8 AM when the person is about to wake for the day.

This natural rise occurs in everyone, whether they have diabetes or not. It’s simply a matter of how high the blood sugar goes, and if the body can respond without intervention. People without diabetes likely never even notice because their body has sufficient insulin available to control the glucose.

A person with diabetes is more likely to experience symptoms because there is either not enough insulin available, or the body’s cells are resistant to it. Therefore, someone with diabetes is more likely to experience the effects of morning high blood sugar. These effects can include nausea, weakness, disorientation, and extreme thirst.

Research has also shown that losing sleep can affect your weight. Lack of sleep may be related to increased hunger, appetite, and possibly even obesity. People who experience difficulty sleeping may also be less likely to exercise and engage in physical activity, and therefore may have more difficulty maintaining a healthy weight.

Plus, when you’re tired, you’re hungry! Lack of sleep appears to not only stimulate appetite in general, it also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. This is because the body is looking for quick energy to give it fuel to keep going.

For diabetics, an increase in appetite, especially for high-carbohydrate foods makes healthy eating, and blood sugar management, more challenging. Eating healthful foods in proper portions throughout the day will keep energy levels and blood sugar more stable.

Speaking of food, studies have linked some foods we eat to the relief of insomnia symptoms. Research suggests that being calcium-deficient may make it difficult to fall asleep. Dairy products like yogurt and milk are good sources of calcium. Be sure to choose full fat dairy products as they contain less sugar.

There are actually several foods that can help you fall asleep without raising your blood sugar. You’ve probably heard that turkey makes you tired. The myth that it’s the Thanksgiving bird that brings on the epic post-gorge nap on the couch with football on the TV in the background.

As it turns out, there’s truth to that! Tryptophan is an amino acid found in turkey that is used by your body to make serotonin and melatonin, the hormones responsible for sleep!

It may sound strange, but chickpeas/garbanzo beans are another fantastic food for encouraging sleep. They contain a ton of vitamin B6. This vitamin raises your body’s level of serotonin. If a handful of chickpeas before bed isn’t your thing, (totally understandable), try dipping a few slices of zucchini or cucumber in this creamy hummus for a satisfying snack.

Yearning for something sweet? A bowl of ice cream before bed is obviously not a midnight snack option for diabetics. However, there is a cool treat you can enjoy, that may actually help you sleep better!

Some fruits lend themselves especially well to sleep. Cherries are naturally high in melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleeping and waking. Bananas are high in potassium and magnesium, which act as natural muscle relaxers.

So how can we combine these two for a sleepy, sweet treat? Blend frozen cherries and half a frozen banana with a splash of milk (full-fat, coconut, or almond.) It’s cool and delicious, not too sweet, and can help you sleep!

Avoid drinking caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of water before bed. Not only will it complicate the act of falling asleep, but you are not likely to stay asleep very long either. When the effects of the caffeine and alcohol wear off, your brain will wake you. (Your bladder will likely wake you, as well!)

Still having trouble sleeping? One way to help improve your night’s sleep is to form a bedtime routine. Perhaps you enjoy a warm bath each night before bed; add some lavender or chamomile bath oil to relax your muscles and your mind.

If you have multiple errands for the next day, write them down in a to-do list before lying down to sleep. Avoid looking at brightly lit screens (television, laptop, cell phone) one hour before bed as these stimulate your brain and can keep you awake.

Sleep should be easy, but when it isn’t, we must take action. Sleep is so critical not only to blood sugar, but to the entire body. Whether you get it from a bowl of hummus, a warm bath, or by making a to-do list, you’ve got to get quality sleep in order to enjoy quality of life.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.webmd.boots.com/sleep-disorders/news/20180110/more-sleep-may-cut-appetite-for-sugary-food?src=RSS_PUBLIC

https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need-0

 

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