Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

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The DASH Diet is an Ideal Choice for Diabetics

The DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, can be used for patients with high blood pressure and is often recommended for diabetics because of the potential to lower their blood pressure. The diet has been shown to reduce blood pressure in as little as two weeks. Diabetics usually have blood pressure issues and are more prone to complications such as kidney disease. Diabetics are usually put on a blood pressure lowering drug called an ACE inhibitor that has protective properties for the kidneys.

The DASH diet consists of lowering sodium intake to less than 2400 mg per day, eating fresh fruits and vegetables and carbohydrate sources coming from whole grains. It also includes proteins coming from lean meats, fish and chicken, and moderate amounts of fats such as olive oil and nuts. The DASH diet has been endorsed by the American Heart Association, The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the Mayo Clinic. It also was used to form the new dietary guidelines.
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Diabetic Meal Replacements: Good Choice or Gimmick?

The life of a diabetic can’t be easy. Tons of doctors appointments, meetings with nutritionists and getting poked with needles cannot be much fun. Plus, there is so much information to learn especially about nutrition and changing your lifestyle to better manage your blood sugar. Diabetes is such an all encompassing disease that there are tons of products marketed specifically for this group of people. The American Diabetes Association estimates that medical expenses are 2.3 times more for diabetics than for non-diabetics, which includes special food products just for diabetics. I spoke with Mary Hartley, RD, MPH to find out if popular products like Glucerna and Boost are useful tools for diabetics or simply a sales ploy.

Mary Hartley, a registered dietian from New York City and newest edition to the Diets In Review team, thinks these products are great for monitoring nutrients. ”The consumer knows exactly how much he’s getting in terms of carbohydrate, fiber, fat, protein and anything else that is measured and these products are formulated to minimize spikes in blood sugar,” Mary says. Excellent point and a great start for newly diagnosed patients or diabetics that lead an active lifestyle and want to throw a shake or bar in their gym bag. I recommend having a small snack on hand at all times to help avoid low blood sugar. Mary adds that this is another perk as these products are extremely portable and convenient.


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Brain Scans Show Why Obese Lack Craving Control

It’s nothing new in the scientific community that there is more than just lifestyle choices that come into play when determining who is fat and who is thin. There are various biological factors that often play a significant role in people’s weight.

While the most commonly known biological factor for one’s weight is varying resting metabolisms, there are also neurological factors. The latest findings assert that obese people have a tendency to lack impulse control when it comes to food.

Researchers compared the brain scans of thin people to obese people when both looked at pictures of high-calorie foods. What they found was that there was an increased activity in a region of the brain used for impulse control with thin people, but there wasn’t so much activity in the region of the obese people.

“I think there may be biological reasons why people can’t necessarily control their desire for food,” said Robert Sherwin of Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut, who worked on the study.
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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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