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5 Ways to Easily Reduce Your Risk for Developing Type II Diabetes

By Linda Doell

Diabetes afflicts 25.8 million people in the United States, with millions of those not even aware that they have it.

People with diabetes have trouble turning the food they consume into usable energy. During digestion, food is turned into glucose, a sugar the body uses for energy. The glucose is then converted into energy with a hormone called insulin. People can develop type II diabetes when the cells in their liver, fat and muscles don’t use insulin properly, the amount of glucose in their bloodstream increases and their cells are starved for energy. Years of high blood glucose levels can lead to nerve and blood vessel damage, as well as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and other complications.

A person is at risk for developing type II diabetes by being overweight, having high blood pressure, and/or a family history of diabetes. Some ethnic groups are more predisposed to developing diabetes: Alaska Natives, American Indians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.


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Drink Green Tea for Weight Control and Disease Prevention

We’ve all heard that “green tea is good for you” but how many of us actually know why? Despite the fact that green tea remains one of the most popular beverages around the world, its health benefits are somewhat mysterious.

Though WebMD reports more than a decade’s worth of research about green tea’s health benefits, some of those studies question green tea’s role in burning fat, lowering cholesterol and fighting some diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

So, what do we know about green tea?

Green tea has antioxidants: Also called catechins, the antioxidants in green tea help fight the cells that can damage DNA and cause cancer and certain types of heart disease. These same properties are found in grapes, berries, red wine and dark chocolate, however green tea’s minimal processing makes it a good bet. Even though we still condone eating tons of fresh fruit and vegetables, one recent estimate said green tea has 10 times the amount of antioxidants found in fruits and veggies.


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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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Dairy May Cut Diabetes Risk

We all know how good dairy is for bone health and that it can play a positive role in fat-loss, but now scientists believe that dairy may play another positive role in our health: reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Researchers have identified a natural substance in dairy fat that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The compound, called trans-palmitoleic acid, is a fatty acid that is found in milk, cheese, yogurt and butter. It is not produced by the body and can only come from your diet.

Right now, you’re probably confused. After all, nutrition and health professionals have been telling us to choose low-fat dairy for years, right? Well according to the December issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, dairy fat is different in its make-up than other industrially produced trans fats found that are found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which have been linked to higher risk of heart disease. On the other hand, trans-palmitoleic acid is almost exclusively found in naturally-occurring dairy and meat trans fats, which in prior studies have not been linked to higher heart disease risk, according to the study.


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Use Your iPhone to Monitor Your Blood Pressure

iphone blood pressure monitors Two recently released products can help you keep your blood pressure in check using your iPhone. One is the iHealth Blood Pressure Monitoring System and the other is Withings iPhone Blood Pressure Cuff.

The iHealth Blood Pressure Monitoring System features a cuff and a dock for your iPhone or iPad. The device not only allows you to measure your blood pressure, but also to track changes in blood pressure and send or share results using the companion app. The dock will also charge you device.


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