Diabetes Nutrition Focuses on Healthy Foods

February 23rd, 2009 healthwiki Diabetes 0

Diabetes nutrition focuses on healthy foods. But you can eat sweets once in a while without feeling guilty or interfering with your blood sugar control. The key to diabetes nutrition is moderation.

The scoop on sugar

For years, people with diabetes were warned to avoid sweets. But what researchers understand about diabetes nutrition has changed.

* Total carbohydrate is what counts. It was once assumed that honey, candy and other sweets would raise your blood sugar level faster and higher than would fruits, vegetables or “starchy” foods such as potatoes, pasta or whole-grain bread. But this is not true, as long as the sweets are eaten with a meal and balanced with other foods in your meal plan. Although different types of carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar level differently, it is the total amount of carbohydrate that counts the most.

* But don’t overdo empty calories. Of course, it is still best to consider sweets as only a small part of your overall plan for diabetes nutrition. Candy, cookies and other sweets have few vitamins and minerals and are often high in fat and calories. You will get empty calories — calories without the essential nutrients found in healthier foods.

Have your cake and eat it, too
Sweets count as carbohydrates in your meal plan. The trick is substituting small portions of sweets for other carbohydrates — such as bread, tortillas, rice, crackers, cereal, fruit, juice, milk, yogurt or potatoes — in your meals. To allow room for sweets as part of a meal, you have two options:

* Replace some of the carbohydrates in your meal with a sweet.

* Swap a high carb-containing food in your meal for something with fewer carbohydrates and eat the remaining carbohydrates as a sweet.

Let’s say your typical dinner is a grilled chicken breast, a medium potato, a slice of whole-grain bread, a vegetable salad and fresh fruit. If you would like a frosted cupcake after your meal, look for ways to keep the total carbohydrate count in the meal the same. Trade your slice of bread and the fresh fruit for the cupcake. Or replace the potato with a low-carbohydrate vegetable such as broccoli. Adding the cupcake after this meal keeps the total carbohydrate count the same.

To make sure you are making even trades, read food labels carefully. Look for the total carbohydrate in each food, which tells you how much carbohydrate is in one serving of the food.

Consider sugar substitutes
As part of diabetes nutrition, artificial sweeteners can offer the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Artificial sweeteners may help you reduce calories and stick to a healthy meal plan — especially when used instead of sugar in coffee and tea, on cereal or in baked goods. In fact, artificial sweeteners are considered free foods because they contain very few calories and don’t count as a carbohydrate, a fat or any other food in your meal plan.

Examples of artificial sweeteners include:

* Acesulfame potassium

* Aspartame

* Saccharin

* Sucralose

Artificial sweeteners don’t necessarily offer a free pass for sweets.

* Keep an eye out for calories and carbs. Many products made with artificial sweeteners, such as baked goods and artificially sweetened yogurt or pudding, still contain calories and carbohydrates that can affect your blood sugar level.

* Sugar alcohols are not calorie-free. Sugar alcohols, another type of reduced-calorie sweetener, are often used in sugar-free candies, chewing gum and desserts. Check product labels for words such as “isomalt,” “maltitol,” “mannitol,” “sorbitol” and “xylitol.” Although sugar alcohols are lower in calories than is sugar, sugar-free foods containing sugar alcohols still have calories. And in some people, sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea.

Reconsider your definition of sweet
Diabetes nutrition does not have to mean no sweets. If you are craving them, ask a registered dietitian to help you include your favorite treats into your meal plan. A dietitian can also help you reduce the amount of sugar and fat in your favorite recipes. And don’t be surprised if your tastes change as you adopt healthier eating habits. Food that you once loved may seem too sweet — and healthy substitutes may become your new idea of delicious.

Green Tea is Related to Reductions in Body Fat

January 10th, 2009 healthwiki Health Resources 0

Time has come to say, few cups a day — keep the doctor away. I am talking about green tea.

It is produced from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis by some special processes. High in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and a whole swing of anti-aging and cancer fighting compounds, green tea is great. It is wildly being used as a significant part of a healthy diet.

Antioxidants are an important factor in achieving finest health. An antioxidant known as Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) is at least 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells from harmful influence.

Ancient Chinese people have always used it for medical purposes and it is a part of Chinese history. In Japanese tradition, learned scholars wrote whole volumes on the importance of green tea.

Recent studies show that green tea restrains the spread of disease. It has a variety of antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is good to fight against cold to food poisoning. It is good for oral hygiene as it destroys bacteria that cause plaque and bad breath. It closes main receptors that produce allergic reactions.

Studies show that drinking green tea is related to reductions in body fat. According to one Study, green tea can burn 35-43 per cent more fat during the day when one drinks 3-5 cups.

The University of Chicago’s Tang Center for Herbal Medical study shows that it reduces the fat deposits under the skin and in our belly area. Researchers found that Green tea prevents one from gaining weight by stopping the movement of sugar into body’s fat cells and also burns fat by increasing body metabolism.

The International Journal of Obesity states that green tea contains polyphenols which causes body to produce heat that burn body fat. Several polyphenols also keep cancer cells from gaining a foothold in the body. Study after study has found that drinking regular green tea can decrease the risk of breast, stomach, esophagus, colon, and/or prostate cancer. Some green tea studies prove that it lowers blood sugar.

Green tea is involved in reducing thrombosis cases — one of the main causes of strokes and heart attacks. It reduces the level of cholesterol in blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. It also reduces high blood pressure by repressing angiotensin-II. Polyphenols keep blood vessels from contracting and raising blood pressure. It is said to be useful to treat impaired immune function and rheumatoid arthritis. Green tea also destroys free radicals that cause aging.

A Unique Lesson For Diabetic

November 19th, 2008 healthwiki Diabetes 0

Fahim Ahmed was tested as diabetic incidentally after a urine test. That was about ten years ago, and from then on Mr Fahim, like so many other people with diabetes, became fixated on his blood sugar. His doctor warned him to control it or the consequences could be dire — he could end up blind, lose a leg, fail his kidneys and so on.

Mr Fahim, a 45-year-old business executive of a reputed organisation in the city, tried hard. When dieting did not work, he began taking pills to lower his blood sugar and pricking his finger several times a day to measure his sugar levels. They remained high. So he agreed to add insulin to his already complicated regimen.

Blood sugar was always in his mind. But in focusing entirely on blood sugar, he ended up neglecting the most important treatment for saving lives — lowering the cholesterol level. That protects against heart disease, which eventually kills nearly everyone with diabetes. He was also missing a second treatment that protects diabetes patients from heart attacks — controlling blood pressure. He assumed everything would be taken care of if he could just lower his blood sugar level.

Most diabetes patients try hard but are unable to control their diseases in this way and most of the time it progresses as years go by. Like many diabetes patients, he ended up paying the price for his misconceptions about diabetes. Last year, Mr Fahim had a life-threatening heart attack.

Diabetes goes undetected in many heart patients. It is a silent threat for many people who end up with heart disease because these patients do not feel the actual intensity of pain due to nerve damage as a consequence of diabetes. Blood sugar control is important in diabetes, specialists say. It can help prevent dreaded complications like blindness, amputations and kidney failure. So, controlling blood sugar is not enough.

In part it is the fault of proliferating advertisements for diabetes drugs that emphasise blood sugar control, which is difficult and expensive and has not been proven to save lives. And in part it is the fault of public health campaigns that give the impression that diabetes is a matter of an out-of-control diet and sedentary lifestyle and the most important way to deal with it is to lose weight. Again, the fault for the missed opportunities to prevent complications and deaths lies with the medical system. The doctors typically spend just 5 minutes with diabetes patients, far too little for such a complex disease.

Mr Fahim found all that out too late. So, no matter how carefully patients try to control their blood sugar, they can never get it perfect — no drugs can substitute for the body’s normal sugar regulation. So while controlling blood sugar can be important, other measures also are needed to prevent blindness, amputations, kidney failure and stroke.

Dr Md Rajib Hossain

Childhood Diabetes Needs Extra Care

November 19th, 2008 healthwiki Diabetes 0

When a child is diagnosed with diabetes, along with the child the parents will experience everything as new.

Diabetes mellitus ( DM) is not a single entity but rather a heterogeneous group of disorders in which there are distinct genetic patterns as well as other etiological and pathophysiological mechanism that lead to impairment of glucose tolerance. There are two types of diabetes, those are:

Type 1 diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is an immune system disease where the body makes little or no insulin. It usually begins in childhood or teens. Children with type 1 diabetes need daily insulin shots to help their bodies use food. Type 1 diabetes often runs in families.

Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is a disease where the body cannot make enough or cannot properly use insulin. Although this form of diabetes usually occurs most often in adults, it is becoming more common in youth. The average age of diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in youth is 12-14 years. It is more common among girls than boys.

Most of the children suffer from type 1 diabetes, so insulin is the treatment of choice. Some are treated with oral drugs. But proper nutritional plan and exercise can reduce the blood glucose effectively.

When choosing foods for a child who has diabetes, it is important to know how different foods affect blood glucose levels. Children who have diabetes basically need the same foods that all children need to grow and thrive. The recommended calorie intake is based on size or surface area of the child.

The following guideline will help provide a healthy diet to help control a child’s diabetes:

Offer balanced meals at regular intervals every day; Learn how different foods affect the child’s blood glucose level; Offer healthy snacks between meals; Encourage the child to drink water when thirsty; Choose whole-grain foods with higher fiber contents; Limit sweets, regular soft drinks, pastries, candy, jam, and honey; Limit saturated fat and cholesterol; Avoid trans fat (found in foods with hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils) etc.

Aerobic exercise, that gets the heart beating faster and uses the large muscles, can help keep blood glucose levels in balance. It can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Exercise also can help the child sleep better, feel more relaxed and even help concentrate better.

Hypoglycemia during or in the 2-8 hours after exercise can be prevented by careful monitoring of blood sugar level before, during or after exercise, sometimes by reducing dosage of insulin or giving extra snacks

Signs of low blood glucose include confusion, grouchiness, irritability, tiredness etc.

If the child has signs of low blood sugar, check blood glucose levels. If the level is under 70 mg/dL, try one of the following:

Have the child drink ½ cup of grape or orange juice, 1 cup of milk, a juice box, or ½ can of a regular (not diet) soft drink Give the child 1-2 tablespoons of sugar or honey

Parents cannot manage there child’s diabetes alone. The stress imposed on the family around the time of initial diagnosis of DM may lead to feeling of shock, denial, sadness, anger, fear and guilt. Meeting with a specialist to express these feelings at the time of diagnosis helps with long term adaptation. The physician must discuss various aspects of child’s diabetes with the child as also with the parents. The exercise has got to be a continuing programme. This needs a good rapport between the physician on one hand and the child and the family on the other hand. Parents need to learn administration of insulin injection, blood sugar testing, recognition of warning signals of hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, ketoacidosis, infection etc.

Although children can be taught to perform many of the tasks of diabetes management. They do better when supportive — NOT over bearing-parents continue to be involved in management of their disease. Schools have the responsibility to provide diabetic students with a medically safe environment as well as equal access to the same opportunities and activities enjoyed by other students.

Diabetes is a very complicated and life threatening disease. There is no cure for diabetes, it can be controlled. So people of all corners should work together and create awareness, so that a diabetic child can lead a healthy, active and fun-filled life.

Dr Abu Sayeed Shimul