Manage Diabetes – 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 ...

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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.

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10 Simple Ways to Reduce Type II Diabetes https://diabetickitchen.com/10-simple-ways-to-reduce-type-ii-diabetes/ https://diabetickitchen.com/10-simple-ways-to-reduce-type-ii-diabetes/#respond Tue, 05 May 2020 16:34:28 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4827

We all know the basics of good health – eat well, exercise, drink lots of water, and get plenty of rest. Sounds simple enough, right? But for diabetics, the goal of good health may sometimes seem intimidating, or even unattainable. Regulating one’s blood sugar is about more than just the numbers on the glucometer. Uncontrolled ...

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We all know the basics of good health – eat well, exercise, drink lots of water, and get plenty of rest. Sounds simple enough, right? But for diabetics, the goal of good health may sometimes seem intimidating, or even unattainable.

Regulating one’s blood sugar is about more than just the numbers on the glucometer. Uncontrolled high blood sugar wreaks havoc on all parts of the body.

High blood sugar thickens the blood. This increases blood pressure, putting diabetics at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. It is very difficult for the heart to pump that thickened blood throughout the body, especially to small blood vessels.

Some of the smallest blood vessels are in some of the most important places – the eyes, nerves, heart, and kidneys. Even the brain is affected. New research has linked diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

Blood vessel and nerve damage also occur in the extremities. Hands, arms, feet, and legs are all vulnerable to “diabetic nerve pain” or neuropathy. This can cause a range of symptoms from tingling, to burning, to severe pain.

Retinopathy, nerve damage to the retina of the eye, is another serious symptom of uncontrolled blood sugar. This can contribute to partial or complete vision loss.

The great news is, there are real-life steps you can take every day to reduce your blood sugar levels and improve your health:

  1. Avoid carbohydrates.

This means reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates such as bread, rice, and pasta. Non-starchy vegetables (like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower) are great for diabetics, as they are high in fiber. When it comes to fruits, choose apples and fresh berries to get even more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fresh-made juices from raw fruits or vegetables also benefit health, but enjoy in moderation as citrus fruits are especially high in sugar.

  1. Avoid added sugars.

Choose whole, natural foods instead of packaged and processed ones. Check your nutritional labels carefully, sugar goes by many names: fructose, sucralose, maltodextrin, and corn syrup are some of the most common. Don’t turn to artificial sweeteners thinking they are better for you; they too can harm your health. Try adding in different, exciting flavors like cinnamon instead.  Cinnamon acts as a natural sweetener, which prevents the need for additional sugar or artificial sweeteners to be added. Cinnamon also lowers blood glucose levels!

  1. Avoid “sweet” drinks.

Cut out sodas (yes, even the diet ones), energy drinks, bottled juices, etc. Water, coffee and tea are the best bets for blood sugar. For a night out with friends, instead of a sugary mixed drink, enjoy a glass of red wine. Red wine has been found to help lower blood sugar. 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.

  1. Don’t be scared of fats.

Good fats are essential for blood sugar control. Researchers have found that avocados promote stable blood sugar and triglyceride levels and improve the body’s absorption of soluble vitamins and antioxidants. The high omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel can help to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. This, in turn, can help to balance your blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber also help the body regulate blood sugar. Each meal should include healthy fats and fiber.

  1. Do not make your food choices based on calories.

In today’s appearance-obsessed culture, it is tempting to choose foods based on calorie counts alone. Don’t be fooled into buying the “light” or “reduced calorie” foods because you think they are better for your weight. When it comes to processed foods, odds are the less fat and calories something has in it, the more sugar it contains. If you are choosing the right foods, and enjoying them in appropriate portions, you won’t have to worry about calories. Focus on the quality of the foods you are eating, and let the calorie count regulate itself.

  1. Don’t forget about your gut.

There is a naturally-occurring compound in the gut called butyrate. Research has found that butyrate may positively impact insulin sensitivity. When insulin sensitivity is improved, the body does a better job of regulating blood sugar and is able to keep blood sugar levels lower. The gut is the body’s “second brain” and is in charge of everything from digestion, to immunity, to fighting chronic fatigue and joint pain. Take care of your gut with probiotics. Probiotic organisms occur naturally in many foods, especially fermented ones like kimchi, sauerkraut and yogurt. There are many probiotic supplements out there, so do your research and make sure you are getting a quality probiotic.

  1. Get moving.

Exercise can be a daunting word. What does exercise mean? Is it running 5 miles, lifting weights in the gym, doing Cross Fit with friends? Exercise should be defined as whatever activity you enjoy that gets your body moving. It could be a walk before dinner each evening, taking your dog to the park, or playing a game of football with your family in the backyard.  Get up from your desk at work every half hour and walk around the building. Do a few yoga poses or some stretches before bed, or upon waking in the morning. Anything is better than nothing!

  1. Make the most of your meals.

Some people like to eat three meals a day, while others may eat five times a day or more. Eating regularly is very beneficial for your blood sugar, while skipping meals can cause levels to drop and then spike. Start your day with a hearty breakfast, high in good fats, protein and fiber. If you like to snack between meals, choose nuts, olives, or veggies and hummus. Eat mindfully and with purpose. For example, you are likely to eat less (and enjoy your food more) if you sit and eat at the table rather than eating on the couch while watching TV.

  1. Plan your meals.

Planning your meals allows you to make the most of your time and budget. By planning your meals each week, you benefit in several ways. Firstly, you know exactly which recipes you are going to prepare and when, which saves the stress of putting together a meal on the fly. Also, you make one trip to the grocery store instead of multiple trips for an item or two here and there. Thirdly, you save money in the store because you are only buying the ingredients that you need. You are also helping to reduce food waste because everything you buy has a specific purpose. Lastly, you improve your health by cooking real food at home rather than getting dinner from a drive-thru or ordering delivery.

  1. Make it a team effort.

Surround yourself with a support system of family and friends. They not only encourage and inspire you to lead a long and happy life, but also hold you accountable for the choices you make. Take a walk with your spouse, cook dinner for your parents, take your grandchildren to the grocery store and teach them about making healthy food choices. Your healthcare team is another essential part of your overall health. Physicians, nurses, counselors, it is crucial to have open, positive communication with them all. Together, develop a diabetes plan of care that works for you.

These simple, real-life steps will not only get you closer to your blood sugar goals, but to your goal of a healthier life.

 

Sources: http://www.drchatterjee.co.uk/blog/11-ways-to-reverse-diabetes.cfm

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

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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. ...

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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

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Probiotics, Prebiotics… What’s the Difference? https://diabetickitchen.com/probiotics-prebiotics-whats-the-difference/ https://diabetickitchen.com/probiotics-prebiotics-whats-the-difference/#respond Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:53:36 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4579

The home of an estimated 100 trillion organisms, the gut is the “second brain” of the body. Simply put, a healthy digestive system is essential. As a result, it’s important to balance our gut bacteria in order for our bodies to function best. When it comes to the gut, the battle is always on between ...

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The home of an estimated 100 trillion organisms, the gut is the “second brain” of the body. Simply put, a healthy digestive system is essential. As a result, it’s important to balance our gut bacteria in order for our bodies to function best. When it comes to the gut, the battle is always on between good and bad bacteria.

Diet is a huge factor in the balance of bacteria in the gut. Consuming a diet low in quality nutrition or maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle put the body at risk of developing too much bad bacteria. These bacteria could lead to digestive upset, stomach problems, even the development of certain diseases.

Never fear, there are healthy bacteria to combat the harmful! Probiotics are a huge player in the healthy gut game. These good bacteria are to thank for the gut functioning as it should. They are responsible for the effective transformation of food into fuel for the body. In addition, they also help to protect immune health.

There’s been a lot of talk about probiotics in recent years, and for good reason. Along with increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut, probiotics help to destroy bad bacteria and viruses that could cause disease. Moreover, probiotics are vitamin-producers. Plus, they are great at facilitating more effective digestion of the foods we eat.

While probiotics can be consumed in the form of supplements, they are also found in many fermented foods. For instance, sauerkraut and kimchi. Likewise, yogurt and kefir. All fermented foods, all rich in probiotics.

Probiotics are awesome indeed. Now, have you heard of prebiotics?

The two are similar in name and helpful purpose, but they are different in function. Prebiotics help to eliminate bad bacteria, while feeding the good bacteria (probiotics) already present in the gut.

The prebiotics we consume pass through the stomach and small intestine to reach the large intestine where they begin to ferment. Now, while bacteria fermenting in your gut may sound gross, this is actually where prebiotics begin their helpful work. The fermented prebiotics serve as food for the probiotics in the gut. Therefore, those good bacteria start to flourish.

The gut becomes balanced and nutrients are absorbed more efficiently. In addition, the immune system is boosted and fat is more easily metabolized. Hooray for prebiotics! Like probiotics, prebiotics can be found in a variety of foods. Asparagus, radishes, apples, tomatoes, and onions are all sources of prebiotics.

What if you could help your gut by eating granola cereal? How about donuts, brownies and cheesy bread? That’s right! All Diabetic Kitchen products contain prebiotics, essential for the growth of healthy probiotic gut bacteria. All of these delicious foods can help you achieve better gut health (and lower blood sugar.)

Above all, a healthy gut is of particular importance to diabetics. Believe it or not, a healthier gut leads to lower blood sugar. It’s true!

The multiplication of good bacteria in the digestive system causes the gut environment to become more acidic. As a result, the body naturally releases more insulin. This process is one way in which researchers have connected a healthy gut to lower blood sugar!

Plain and simple, a balanced gut is crucial to a healthy body. Probiotics and prebiotics are key. Research proves that the foods we eat directly affect our gut, thereby having a powerful impact on the entire body. You know what they say… you are what you eat!

 

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

 

Sources:

https://www.bulletproof.com/gut-healthprebiotics

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/probiotics-101#what-they-are

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/14598-probiotics

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Don’t Let Fake Sugar Fool You – it’s Dangerous, Too! https://diabetickitchen.com/fake-sugar-is-dangerous-too/ https://diabetickitchen.com/fake-sugar-is-dangerous-too/#comments Tue, 27 Aug 2019 23:00:21 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4558

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Sources:

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

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

www.draxe.com/nutrition/article/aspartame

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Sources:

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

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

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

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

 

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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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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 ...

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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

 

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These Colorful Foods Improve Immunity https://diabetickitchen.com/colorful-foods-improve-immunity/ https://diabetickitchen.com/colorful-foods-improve-immunity/#respond Tue, 25 Jun 2019 14:49:06 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4441

Eating for immunity. While the concept may sound strange, it’s true! The foods we eat can have a huge impact on how our immune systems keep us healthy. How you ask? An astounding 80% of the body’s immune system is in the gut. In order for our digestive and immune systems to function best, a ...

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Eating for immunity. While the concept may sound strange, it’s true! The foods we eat can have a huge impact on how our immune systems keep us healthy. How you ask?

An astounding 80% of the body’s immune system is in the gut. In order for our digestive and immune systems to function best, a number of nutrients are required. Fats, carbs, protein, vitamins and minerals are all essential.

Unfortunately, many individuals are consuming fast food, processed and packaged junk foods. Let alone the soft drinks, and massive amounts of sugar and salt. The diet of the average American is the main reason why our country is so sick. The body is getting no quality fuel with which to fight off illness and disease.

So what can we do about it? A balanced diet of fresh, whole foods is the way to go! Some of the most nutritious foods are also the most colorful. The beautiful, bright colors of fresh vegetables and fruits are indicative of their immune boosting qualities.

Brightly colored citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits get a lot of credit for their Vitamin C content. You’ve probably heard that Vitamin C can help prevent or shorten a cold. Did you know that Vitamin C helps your immune system work well even when you aren’t sick? Scientists believe that Vitamin C increases the number of white blood cells in the bloodstream. These white blood cells fight infection and other free radicals in the body helping to strengthen immunity.

Citrus fruits do contain sugar, natural though it may be. They are very high on the glycemic scale, so should be consumed in moderation. Try a few fresh, juicy orange wedges on top of a spinach salad with bacon and goat cheese. Yum!

Don’t let unexpected sources of Vitamin C like bell peppers, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower pass you by. Their fiber content also helps to stabilize blood sugar. Raw bell pepper slices dipped in guacamole, or creamy, decadent almost mac n cheese are two delicious ways to get a boost of Vitamin C! The human body does not produce its own Vitamin C, so enjoy a little every day to help prevent illness.

Bright, fresh berries pack a serious antioxidant punch to power the immune system. Antioxidants help the body fight off and protect against free radical damage. Vitamins A, C, and E are actually classified as antioxidants. Enjoy fresh berries with Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey for a delicious treat.

Vitamin A is crucial for the health and well-being of your skin. Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A. The skin is often forgotten as a part of the body’s immune system. It is literally your body’s first line of defense against the outside world. Other orange foods like carrots, pumpkin and cantaloupe are also high in this beneficial vitamin.

Vitamin D also contributes to a stronger immune system. Getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D is especially important for diabetics. It stimulates the pancreas and encourages insulin production, thereby helping to keep blood sugar under better control.

Vitamin D can be found in greens like spinach, and in the bright yellow of egg yolks. Believe it or not, salmon and shrimp are also quite high in vitamin D, (along with containing heart healthy Omega 3 fats.)

The bright green, creamy flesh of the avocado make it a nutritional powerhouse and perhaps the most super of the super foods. The avocado is near perfection – plenty of healthy fat, but fiber as well. Fiber is another essential nutrient in maximizing immune function.

Fiber serves many purposes for the body. It helps to regulate blood sugar and prevents the absorption of cholesterol. Fiber is also responsible for promoting gut health and regularity. All of these benefits are especially helpful for individuals with diabetes. Without fiber our digestive tract suffers, therefore, immunity is compromised. Fiber also lowers blood sugar naturally by slowing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

Avoiding the consumption of sugar is also crucial to improving immunity. Research has found that sugar can negatively affect the body’s immune system. It specifically hinders the ability to fight off bacterial infections. Yet one more way sugar is making us sick… literally! One important thing to note is that as a diabetic, high blood sugar is already compromising your immune system.

Keeping blood sugar under control is a huge way to improve immune strength. Think about it – if your body is less occupied by trying to keep your blood sugar at safe levels, it has more resources available to fight other things. By managing diabetes, you also reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. Managing blood sugar now is a long-term investment in health for years to come.

By including plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits in our diets, we can not only improve immunity, but lower blood sugar and improve overall health. Be it avocado or sweet potato, bell pepper or spinach, including immune boosting foods in our diets is a great way to feel better and live healthier!

 

 

Source:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/05/health/immune-system-diet-food-as-fuel-explainer/index

 

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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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