Tag Archives: blood sugar

Inactive Lifestyle Linked Directly to Diabetes

Being a couch potato can lead to diabetes? This isn’t surprising to me and I hope its not to you.

The title for the latest study on diabetes, “Lowering Physical Inactivity impairs Glycemic Control in Healthy Volunteers,” is trying to establish the relationship between an inactive lifestyle and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The obesity epidemic is upon us, both adults and children. This is something we can not ignore. A sedentary lifestyle is one that can lead to weight gain and possibly diabetes, and all the complications that come with it.

The study was conducted by University of Missouri‘s John Thyfault, an assistant professor in MU’s departments of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and Internal Medicine. He discovered that blood sugar was effected when exercise was reduced or eliminated.

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5 Foods That Will Help You Snooze

By Lise Turner for Care2.com

It has been a sleepless several nights for me, mainly because of troubling events. But it made me start thinking about food, and how it’s intimately connected to our patterns of sleep. If you can’t sleep, and life is calm and happy, maybe it’s something you ate–or didn’t. The foods we eat can dramatically affect how much, and how well, we snooze. Some foods calm and relax, some wake up the nervous system, and some just downright wire you for the night.

What you should eat for deeper sleep depends partly on your patterns. If you toss and turn before drifting off but then doze soundly for the rest of the night, you might benefit from adding slow-burning carbs (beans, sweet potatoes, berries) to your evening meal to prompt the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that promotes calm. If you zonk out quickly but wake up a few hours later, you might be suffering from blood sugar fluctuations. I’ve tried a high-protein snack before bed–a handful of walnuts, a spoonful of almond butter, a small cube of cheese–and these tend to keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the night.

Focus on foods with soothing nutrients, like magnesium, which help relax muscles and calm the body, and B vitamins, key in the production of serotonin and other brain chemicals necessary to sleep. Trytophan, an amino acid that’s needed to make sleep-inducing serotonin, is especially effective when it’s paired with complex, slow-burning carbs.

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The Medicine Cabinet in Your Spice Rack

By Steven V. Joyal, MD, VP of Medical & Scientific Affairs at Life Extension.

Spices add delicious flavors and tantalizing aromas to food, but many people don’t realize that spices offer a variety of beneficial, potentially lifesaving, health benefits. Consider your spice rack as a kind of natural medicine cabinet, and unleash amazing health benefits while you spice up your life with the following five spices!

Cinnamon: Derived from the bark of the tree bearing the same name, cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity. Clinical studies show beneficial changes in blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes dosed with cinnamon spice from one to three grams daily. Experimental research suggests that cinnamon may reduce the likelihood that cells in the colon undergo cancerous changes. Essential oils of cinnamon have antimicrobial activity, too, and this helps provide a scientific basis for cinnamon’s traditional use as a natural treatment for diarrhea.

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Satisfy a Sweet Craving on a Diet

Like all cravings, an urge for something sweet is best handled by practicing moderation. When you’re trying to satisfy your craving, remember to eat slowly and enjoy every bite. Step away from other distractions so that you can focus on your treat.

Make an effort to identify why and when you crave sweets. Focus on new ways to achieve the same pleasure you receive from satisfying your craving. Eliminate your triggers (such as eating before a party or not keeping sweets in your pantry) and allow yourself small, healthy rewards.

Small amounts of fruit-based desserts are often enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. If you crave something sweeter than a bowl full of berries, then use a limited amount of sugar or other sweetener.

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Satisfy a Carbohydrate Craving on a Diet

Carbohydrate cravings can be pretty intense. Although they’re typically associated with stress, carb cravings can hit for a variety of reasons. The true cause of most cravings among dieters is habit. We have a tendency to grow comfortable with the way we handle our cravings and it quickly turns into a way of life.

Let’s take a step into the confessional: I once was so distraught over a fight with my father (a total cliche, but I swear it’s true!) that I drove to the store, bought a loaf of french bread and ate nearly the entire thing while I thought about what I should do- no joke. Needless to say, that wasn’t my proudest moment but we all have demons to face and apparently one of mine is artisan bread.

It took me some time to gather the common sense and knowledge that supplied me with the tools to fight my carb cravings. I’m happy to say that I rarely notice carb cravings anymore. Here are a few of the tips that brought me success. I hope they work for you too!

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Bydureon No Better than Currently Available Diabetes Drugs

diabetes drugA new drug being tested to treat diabetes, Bydureon, has failed to show better performance than existing treatments on the market. The new drug was created by Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, but was shown in a study to be no more effective than its competitor, Victoza.

Both Bydureon and Victoza stimulate the body to use insulin to regulate blood sugar using synthetic versions of the peptide known and GLP-1. These drugs are considered better than insulin treatments because they are less likely to cause low blood sugar, and may help some patients lose weight. Bydureon is administered weekly, whereas Victoza is administered daily.

The study founds that hemoglobin A1C, a measure of blood sugar, was reduced by 1.5 percent for patients who took Victoza and 1.3 percent by patients who took Bydureon.

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RECALL: Defective Glucose Test Strips

Opitum Test StripsThe Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that 359 million blood glucose test strips are being recalled for giving faulty readings. The government agency is working with Abbott Diabetes Care to facilitate pulling the defective strips from the market, which may make blood glucose levels look lower than they really are. The faulty strips were sold in retail stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and were manufactured between January and May of 2010.

The affected glucose test strips are sold under a variety of brand names: MediSense Optium, Precision Xceed Pro, Precision Xtra, Optium, Optium EZ, and ReliOn Ultima blood glucose monitoring systems.

The incorrect readings “can lead users to try to raise their blood glucose when it is unnecessary or to fail to treat elevated blood glucose due to a falsely low reading,” says the FDA, “both scenarios pose health risks.”

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Slash Your Diabetes Risk by Lifting Weights and Cardiovascular Exercise

If your workout solely consists of running on the treadmill or just lifting weights, you may need to re-think your gym routine, especially if you are already at risk for diabetes.

While cardio and strength training are the hallmark methods for staying in shape, not using both as a regular part of your fitness regimen may not offer you all the health benefits you think you are receiving.

According to USA Today, a new study conducted at Pennington Biomedical Research Center showed that when people with diabetes did a combination of cardio and strength training, they experienced significant improvements in their blood sugar levels compared to those who just pumped iron or pounded pavement. What’s more, the combination also helped these individuals lose more weight and drop more inches from their waistlines in comparison to the single-type exercisers. (more…)

Potatoes are a Smart Food Choice for Weight Loss

Potatoes get a bit of a bad rap. Lately, I’ve come to realize how much I love a baked potato now and again as a satisfying side dish to a lean protein and tossed salad. But, in a post-Atkins world, that would seem like a diet taboo. Not so, says a new study.

“When it comes to weight loss, it is not about eliminating a certain food or food groups. Rather, it is reducing calories that count,” said study leader Britt Burton-Freeman of the University of California, Davis.

The study’s leader went on to say that not only is there no evidence that a healthfully prepared potato is bad for your diet, it can actually be a part of your weight loss plan. (more…)

Corn Sugar Versus High Fructose Corn Syrup – Understand the Difference

Just recently, the Corn Refiners Association took the legal steps necessary to change the name high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to the more innocuous name, “corn sugar.”

While the approval could take as long as two years, products are already being referred to as containing corn sugar, rather than HFCS.

For those who are a bit confused over the name change, you’re not alone. Corn sugar is just another name and form of sugar, and just like sucrose, HFCS, or dextrose, it can be added into candy, pasta sauce, soda, bread and thousands of other processed products.

So, exactly what is corn sugar and how does it fare in comparison to the now demonized high fructose corn syrup?

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