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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We have all heard the phrase “you are what you eat,” and the more research that comes out on eating a nutritious diet, the more it seems that saying is really true! According to a study published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, those who eat healthy foods live longer than those who don’t.
The major indication of this is that the leading causes of death in Americans has shifted from infectious diseases to chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease and cancer — illnesses that may be affected by diet. Researchers studied the eating patterns and mortality of more than 2,500 adults between the ages of 70 and 79 over a 10-year period. What did they find? That diets favoring certain foods were associated with longer lives.
Researchers grouped the study participants into six different clusters according to what they ate a lot of: healthy foods; high-fat dairy products; meat, fried foods, and alcohol; breakfast cereal; refined grains; sweets and desserts. The “healthy foods” group ate low-fat dairy products, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish and vegetables, and had a lower consumption of meat, fried foods, sweets, high-calorie drinks and added fat.
According to a new study, women who do three of the most important things in health- eat right, exercise, and don’t smoke – have a much lower chance of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Participants in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study, as compared to women who were sedentary, smoked and ate processed and fatty foods, were two thirds less likely to develop AMD.
Age-related macular degeneration is a disease that gradually destroys sharp, central vision, which is needed for seeing objects clearly and for daily tasks like reading and driving. While it causes no pain, AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years or older.
The study was a longtime in the making, as the women who were chosen were recruited from a group of people who provided detailed dietary and lifestyle information over a six year period. (more…)
If you think that your weight and health is predetermined by your family genetics, think again. Two large studies from Northwestern Medicine have found that a healthy lifestyle is the most important factor on cardiovascular health. Hooray!
In the first study, researchers found that the majority of people who adopted healthy lifestyle behaviors in young adulthood maintained a low cardiovascular risk profile as they aged into their 30s. A high cardiovascular risk profile can result in a higher incidence of heart attack and high blood pressure, among other health problems.
Several of the health care reforms that were signed into law six months ago took effect yesterday, September 23rd. Many more Americans will be eligible for insurance and the changes may affect you.
Here’s a summary of the new laws:
- Preventative procedures, including colonoscopies, mammograms, and immunizations must be covered entirely by insurance companies without co-pay.
- People joining a new insurance plan may keep the doctors they already have.
- Insurance companies may not deny coverage to children with pre-existing health conditions.
The March issue of Prevention Magazine had a great article that will serve as a smart guide the next time you’re at the grocery store. All the marketing-speak and hundreds of choices can make choosing one food over another a difficult choice, especially when your goal is to be as healthy as possible. Here we share the good, better and best choice of 10 common grocery aisles.
- Good – Packaged egg whites
- Better – Whole eggs
- Best – Omega-3-fortified eggs (more…)