Most People With Pre-diabetes Don’t Know They Have It
Shutterstock / Celso Pupo (Reuters Health) - Only about one in eight people with so-called pre-diabetes, often a precursor to full-blown disease, know they have a problem, a U.S. study found. Lacking awareness, people with the elevated blood sugar levels were also less likely to make lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise or eating less sugary food that might prevent them from ultimately becoming diabetic. “People with pre-diabetes who lose a modest amount of weight and increase their physical activity are less likely to develop diabetes,” lead study author Dr. Anjali Gopalan, a researcher at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, said by email. “Our study importantly shows that individuals with pre-diabetes who were aware of this diagnosis were more likely to engage in some of these effective and recommended healthy lifestyle changes.” Globally, about one in nine adults have diabetes, and the disease will be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030, according to the World Health Organization. Most of these people have Type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes, which happens when the body can’t properly use or make enough of the hormone insulin to convert blood sugar into energy. Average blood sugar levels over the course of several months can be estimated by measuring changes to the hemoglobin molecule in red blood cells. The hemoglobin A1c test measures the percentage of hemoglobin - the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen - that is coated with sugar, with readings of 6.5 percent or above signaling diabetes. But A1C levels between 5.7 percent and 6.4 percent are considered elevated, though not yet diabetic. More than one third of U.S. adults have such elevated blood sugar levels and each year about 11 percent of them progress to having full-blown d Continue reading >>
Carbohydrate Counting & Diabetes
What is carbohydrate counting? Carbohydrate counting, also called carb counting, is a meal planning tool for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Carbohydrate counting involves keeping track of the amount of carbohydrate in the foods you eat each day. Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients found in food and drinks. Protein and fat are the other main nutrients. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fiber. Carbohydrate counting can help you control your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, levels because carbohydrates affect your blood glucose more than other nutrients. Healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are an important part of a healthy eating plan because they can provide both energy and nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, and fiber. Fiber can help you prevent constipation, lower your cholesterol levels, and control your weight. Unhealthy carbohydrates are often food and drinks with added sugars. Although unhealthy carbohydrates can also provide energy, they have little to no nutrients. More information about which carbohydrates provide nutrients for good health and which carbohydrates do not is provided in the NIDDK health topic, Diabetes Diet and Eating. The amount of carbohydrate in foods is measured in grams. To count grams of carbohydrate in foods you eat, you’ll need to know which foods contain carbohydrates learn to estimate the number of grams of carbohydrate in the foods you eat add up the number of grams of carbohydrate from each food you eat to get your total for the day Your doctor can refer you to a dietitian or diabetes educator who can help you develop a healthy eating plan based on carbohydrate counting. Which foods contain carbohydrates? Foods that contain carbohydrates include grains, such as b Continue reading >>
How To Prevent (and Even Reverse) Prediabetes
More than 25.8 million children and adults in the United States live with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and experts say as many as 79 million more have prediabetes—a condition where elevated blood glucose levels raise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So how can you avoid or reverse prediabetes? Start by asking your doctor for fasting plasma glucose (FPG), A1C, and oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT); then follow these expert recommendations for staying diabetes-free. Diabetes lifestyle educator Get moving. If you are overweight, have high cholesterol, or have a family history of diabetes, you’re at risk. You can lower that risk by up to 58 percent by losing 7 percent of your body weight, which means exercise is essential. Start with 30 minutes of brisk walking five to six times per week; then try low-impact workouts like biking or swimming. Eat better. Reduce sugar intake to less than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) daily for women and less than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) per day for men. People at risk for prediabetes should follow a reduced-calorie and reduced-fat diet. Avoid trans fats and regulate high-caloric healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and avocado. Make measureable changes. Wear a pedometer to calculate daily movement, start a food journal, and download online applications that track your weight-loss successes with graphs. –Jennifer Pells, PhD, Wellspring at Structure House, Durham, North Carolina Integrative physician Reduce stress. Chronic stress taxes the pancreas (the insulin-producing organ) and increases prediabetes risk. Honokiol, a magnolia bark extract, reduces stress and supports the pancreas by taming inflammation and oxidative stress. Take 250 mg twice per day with meals, for long-term use. Choose the right fiber. Fiber slows sugar’s release in Continue reading >>
What About All The Sugar In Fruit?
If the fructose in sugar and high fructose corn syrup has been considered “alcohol without the buzz” in terms of the potential to inflict liver damage, what about the source of natural fructose, fruit? If you compare the effects of a diet restricting fructose from both added sugars and fruit to one just restricting fructose from added sugars, the diet that kept the fruit did better. People lost more weight with the extra fruit present than if all fructose was restricted. Only industrial, not fruit fructose intake, was associated with declining liver function and high blood pressure. Fructose from added sugars was associated with hypertension; fructose from natural fruits is not. If we have people drink a glass of water with three tablespoons of table sugar in it, which is like a can of soda, they get a big spike in blood sugar within the first hour (as you can see in my video If Fructose is Bad, What About Fruit?). Our body freaks out and releases so much insulin we actually overshoot, and by the second hour we’re relatively hypoglycemic, dropping our blood sugar below where it was when we started out. In response, our body dumps fat into our blood stream as if we’re starving, because our blood sugars just dropped so low so suddenly. What if you eat blended berries in addition to the sugar? They have sugars of their own in them; in fact, an additional tablespoon of sugar worth; so, the blood sugar spike should be worse, right? Not only was there no additional blood sugar spike, there was no hypoglycemic dip afterwards. Blood sugar just went up and down without that overshoot and without the surge of fat into the blood. This difference may be attributed to the semisolid consistency of the berry meals, which may have decreased the rate of stomach emptying compared Continue reading >>
Carbohydrate Counting Diet, 1200 Calorie Sample Menu
What is it? Carbohydrate (kar-bo-hi-drate) counting means keeping track of the amount of carbohydrates you eat every day. Carbohydrates are found in breads and starches, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, sugars, and sweets. Carbohydrates become blood sugar (glucose) in your body after you eat. You may prevent kidney, eye, nerve, or heart problems by keeping your blood sugar within normal range diabetes. People with diabetes (di-uh-b-tees) may eat small amounts of food that contain sugar. But, the sugar containing foods must be included in the carbohydrate amounts allowed for each meal or snack. To control blood sugar, a diabetic must eat certain amounts of carbohydrates at the same time each day. One serving of a carbohydrate food contains 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrate. A carbohydrate food may be a fruit, dairy product, or a bread or starch serving in the amounts listed below. Vegetables contain only 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving. Do not count vegetables as carbohydrates unless you eat more than 2 servings per meal. Meat, meat substitutes, and fats are not counted as carbohydrates. Care: Carbohydrate Intake Your dietitian (di-uh-tih-shun) will explain when and how many carbohydrate servings or grams you can eat during the day. Ask your caregiver for the diabetic exchange diet CareNote to learn more about serving sizes. Talk with your caregiver if your blood sugar levels are too low or too high. Make sure your cholesterol and other blood lipids (fats) are checked at least once a year. You may need to follow a low fat diet if they are too high. Check with your dietitian before exchanging one kind of carbohydrate for another. Ask your dietitian or caregiver before eating the following foods: foods with added sugar corn syrup honey, molasses maple syrup jams and je Continue reading >>
Have You Got Pre-diabetes? One In Three Of Us Is On The Brink Of Full Diabetes - Which Cuts Six Years Off Your Life. And Fat Or Slim, You May Be A Victim
The figures are grim. More than one in three adults has ‘pre-diabetes’ and has no idea they’re at risk, according to research just published in the British Medical Journal. As a result, Britain is facing a type 2 diabetes epidemic of unprecedented proportions. Type 2 diabetes, the kind that develops in adulthood and is linked to lifestyle, is not a condition to be dismissed lightly— it can reduce life expectancy and lead to complications such as blindness and amputation that seriously affect quality of life. Pre-diabetes is a term used to indicate you have raised blood sugar levels and are therefore at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in future. The rapid rise in the numbers said to be affected by pre-diabetes — three times what they were a decade ago — has come as a shock even to medics. Scroll down for video ‘This study has taken us all by surprise — it’s been a bit of a health bombshell,’ says Dr Stephen Lawrence, a GP and clinical adviser on diabetes to the Royal College of General Practitioners. The figures are ‘alarming’, says Simon O’Neill, director of policy at Diabetes UK. ‘It’s worse than we expected.’ It must be acknowledged that some specialists aren’t convinced that pre-diabetes exists. ‘It’s nonsense,’ says Craig Currie, professor of applied pharmacoepidemiology, Institute of Primary Care and Public Health at Cardiff University. ‘Either you have type 2 diabetes or you don’t have type 2 diabetes. I think this is simply a scare tactic to make people take notice.’ However, the consensus is that raised blood sugar levels, whether they’re labelled pre-diabetes or not, are not healthy. So, how can you tell if you are at risk — and what can you do to protect yourself? We talked to the experts... HOW CAN Continue reading >>
Pre-diabetes: You Can Turn It Around
The simple lifestyle changes that can reverse pre-diabetes and keep you healthy for life. A staggering 1.7 million Australians are estimated to have pre-diabetes, the condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes. The good news? It is possible to turn prediabetes around with some key diet and lifestyle changes. HFG dietitian Zoe Wilson investigates. The statistics are sobering. Here in Australia, an estimated 1.5 million people are currently living with diabetes – about half of whom don’t know it. And around 275 of us develop diabetes every day. What you may not know is that there is a condition called pre-diabetes, which – if diagnosed and managed with some key diet and lifestyle changes – can be prevented from developing into type 2 diabetes. Additionally, those same changes can help in the management of type 2 diabetes. Read on to find out how to improve your odds of beating pre-diabetes and how to make the lifestyle and diet changes that can help manage the disease. The rise of pre-diabetes: Are you at risk? In the past few years, pre-diabetes has come into the spotlight due to a combination of the rising incidence of obesity and greater awareness of type 2 diabetes, leading to more frequent testing. Pre-diabetes is the umbrella term for the conditions Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG) and Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT). It occurs when Blood Glucose Levels (BGLs) are higher than normal, but not high enough to diagnose as diabetes. While awareness is on the rise, many people with pre-diabetes are undiagnosed and those that are, are often only diagnosed by accident during a routine blood test. Symptoms are not always obvious, so if you have two or more of the following risk factors, see your doctor about being tested. Risk factors of pre-diabetes or type 2 diabete Continue reading >>
Confused About Fruit? Here's What You Need To Know
Lately, I've been bombarded by questions about fruit. Is fruit good for me? What about the sugar? Am I eating too much? What's the best type of fruit to eat? I thought the crash of the low-carb diet - Atkins, South Beach and the like - meant we were over our fear of healthy carbohydrates like fruit and whole grains. Apparently not. Many new diet books are banning fruit or limiting how much of it can be eaten and when it should be eaten. The reason: Too much carbohydrate from fruit can prevent weight loss, or worse, make you fat. That may be true if you eat a dozen apples every day (which would add 1,140 calories to your diet). But who does that? As a dietitian in private practice, I assess people's diets every day. For many people, fruit just isn't a regular part of their diet. Instead of giving strategies to cut down on fruit, most often I give tips to increase fruit intake. Even national surveys agree that most Canadians aren't filling up on fruit. It's easier to grab a bagel or granola bar than an apple or handful of grapes. Recently, The Globe and Mail's Dave McGinn reported on the fruit paradox: some diet gurus say fruit is nutritious and help reduce disease risk; others warn it can also promote weight problems. If you're as confused about fruit as many of my clients are, this column will help set the record straight. From a nutrition standpoint, fruit is a great source of fibre, potassium, vitamin C and folate, nutrients that help guard against disease. A diet rich in fruit has been linked to lower rates of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cataract, macular degeneration and type 2 diabetes. And contrary to certain food-combining claims, you don't have to eat fruit on an empty stomach to absorb all of its nutrients. Along with those nutrients, you also g Continue reading >>
Eating With Diabetes: Desserts And Sweets
I’d be willing to bet that most everyone has been told—and therefore believes—that people with diabetes cannot have any sugar and are resigned to living without dessert for the rest of their lives. Well, as a Certified Diabetes Educator, I'm here to tell you that this is a myth. People with diabetes can eat sugar, desserts, and almost any food that contains caloric sweeteners (molasses, honey, maple syrup, and more). Why? Because people with diabetes can eat foods that contain carbohydrates, whether those carbohydrates come from starchy foods like potatoes or sugary foods such as candy. It’s best to save sweets and desserts for special occasions so you don’t miss out on the more nutritious foods your body needs. However, when you do decide to include a sweet treat, make sure you keep portions small and use your carbohydrate counting plan. No sugar ever again? No way! The idea that people with diabetes should avoid sugar is decades old. Logically, it makes sense. Diabetes is a condition that causes high blood sugar. Sugary foods cause blood sugar levels to increase. Therefore people with diabetes should avoid sugary foods in order to prevent hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and keep their diabetes under control. However, simply avoiding sugary foods does not go very far in terms of controlling blood sugar. Here's why. After you eat, your blood sugar level (aka postprandial blood glucose level) is largely determined by the total amount of carbohydrate you ate, not the source of the carbohydrates eaten. There are two types of carbohydrates that elevate your blood sugar levels: sugar and starch. Both will elevate your blood glucose to roughly the same level (assuming you ate the same amount of each). For example, if you were to eat a ½ cup of regular ice cream (1 Continue reading >>
Worried About Type 2 Diabetes? Walk After Every Meal
If you're at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, then take a 15-minute walk after every meal. A study, out today, shows that moderately-paced walks after meals work as well at regulating overall blood sugar in adults with pre-diabetes as a 45-minute walk once a day. And there's an added benefit of walking after every meal, especially dinner: It helps lower post-meal blood sugar for three hours or more, the research found. Walking after a meal "really blunts the rise in blood sugar," says the study's lead author Loretta DiPietro, professor and chair of the department of exercise science at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. "You eat a meal. You wait a half-hour and then you go for a 15-minute walk, and it has proven effective in controlling blood sugar levels, but you have to do it every day after every meal. This amount of walking is not a prescription for weight loss or cardiovascular fitness — it's a prescription for controlling blood sugar," she says. The Italians call the walk after dinner a passeggiata and know it aids in digestion, DiPietro says. "Now we know it also helps the clearance of blood sugar." Currently, almost 26 million children and adults (8.3% of the population) in the USA have diabetes, and about 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes. In diabetes, the body does not make enough of the hormone insulin, or it doesn't use it properly. Insulin helps glucose (sugar) get into cells, where it is used for energy. If there's an insulin problem, sugar builds up in the blood, damaging nerves and blood vessels. DiPietro and colleagues worked with 10 overweight, sedentary volunteers, who were an average age of 71. All had higher than normal blood sugar levels and were considered pre-diabetic, which means they were at Continue reading >>
How Many Grams Of Sugar Can A Diabetic Have Per Day?
Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications. Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should A Person With Diabetes Eat?
Knowing how many carbs you should consume isn't as tricky as you may think. By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE Figuring out how many carbs to eat when you have diabetes can seem confusing. Meal plans created by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) provide about 45% of calories from carbs. This includes 45–60 grams per meal and 10–25 grams per snack, totaling about 135–230 grams of carbs per day. However, a growing number of experts believe people with diabetes should be eating far fewer carbs than this. In fact, many recommend fewer carbs per day than what the ADA allows per meal. This article takes a look at the research supporting low-carb diets for diabetics and provides guidance for determining optimal carb intake. What Are Diabetes and Prediabetes? Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main source of fuel for your body’s cells. In people with diabetes, the body’s ability to process and use blood sugar is impaired. Although there are several types of diabetes, the two most common forms are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, a hormone that allows sugar from the bloodstream to enter the body’s cells. Instead, insulin must be injected to ensure that sugar enters cells. Type 1 diabetes develops because of an autoimmune process in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells, which are called beta cells. This disease is usually diagnosed in children, but it can start at any age, even in late adulthood. Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is more common, accounting for about 90% of people with diabetes. Like type 1 diabetes, it can develop in both adults and children. However, it isn’t as common in children and typically occurs in people who are overweight or obese. In this form of the d Continue reading >>
How Much Sugar Is Recommended Per Day?
239 Comments By now, American exceptionalism is a universally-accepted truism. Like dogs over cats and Star Wars over Star Trek, it’s simple fact that America is qualitatively different than other nations. Some would say “superior,” but I think modesty is more becoming of a nation of our stature, providence, and history. Why else would extraterrestrials decide to land on the White House lawn, as they do in every culturally relevant piece of sci-fi, if we weren’t exceptional? Would American parents everywhere claim their kids were special if they actually were not? But perhaps the most conclusive evidence of our exceptionalism lies in how our nutritional labels relay information about sugar. If you go to a place like Germany or the UK and flip over a package of Haribo Goldbären (gummy bears), it’ll tell you how many percentage points the sugar in the candy counts toward your daily limit. Point being: everyone else has an upper limit for sugar consumption. But the US? We have no upper limit on sugar. And when it comes to added sugar, it’s a total free for all. It’s not even listed. Researchers are still uncovering the mechanisms, but it appears that Americans benefit from an epigenetic resistance to the negative effects other nations experience from excessive sugar consumption. My pet theory? The confluence of high-fructose corn syrup subsidies, kids filling up Super Big Gulp cups with Slurpee when the clerk’s not looking, and Wilford Brimley diabetes commercials have converged to create a morphogenetic field of extreme sugar tolerance. Whether it’s a developing fetus or a South Asian migrant, the morphogenetic field envelops and affects everyone within the US. borders. In fact, there’s no such thing as “excessive sugar consumption” in the United Continue reading >>
Pre-diabetes is a serious medical condition that puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes is also very treatable, and if you have it, there is a good chance you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by making changes in your diet and increasing your level of physical activity. Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not produce or use enough insulin to be able to turn glucose into energy. Glucose is the sugar and starch that comes from the food you eat, which fuels your body. Insulin is a hormone that carries glucose from your blood into your cells. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in your blood and can cause serious health problems. Pre-Diabetes Pre-diabetes is when your fasting blood glucose (blood sugar) level is above normal. To test for pre-diabetes, your doctor will take a sample of your blood after you have fasted overnight: Normal fasting glucose: 60 to 99 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) Pre-diabetes (impaired fasting glucose): 100 to 125 mg/dl Diabetes: 126 mg/dl or higher on 2 occasions Healthy Tips for Preventing Type 2 Diabetes If you have pre-diabetes, you should talk to your doctor about developing a lifestyle plan to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends increased physical activity and, if you are overweight, losing 5-10 percent of your body weight. Your doctor may also want you to take medication if you have a family history of diabetes, you are obese, or have other cardiovascular risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or a history of heart disease). Below are tips to help you keep pre-diabetes from progressing to Type 2 diabetes: Exercise Every Day Since muscles use glucose for energy, activities like walking, bicycling, and gardening Continue reading >>
Is Avocado Good For Diabetes?
The humble avocado, shunned for years during the fat-free diet craze of the 1990s, may have finally hit its stride. No longer just for guacamole, this nutritious fruit is popping up as a healthy addition to various diet plans. But can people with diabetes eat this food? It turns out that avocados are not only safe for people with diabetes, but they may be downright beneficial. Research shows that avocados offer many ways to help people manage their diabetes and improve their overall well-being. Contents of this article: Diet and diabetes A healthy diet is critical for people with diabetes. The foods that they eat each day can have a considerable impact on how they feel and how well their diabetes is controlled. In general, people with diabetes should eat foods that help control blood sugar levels and that offer health benefits such lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. This is one of the best ways to keep diabetes under control, avoid complications, and lead the healthiest life possible. Avocados are an excellent choice for people with diabetes because they offer all these benefits - and possibly more. How do avocados affect blood sugar levels? Blood sugar control is critical for people who have diabetes. A physician or dietitian may advise patients to choose foods that are lower in carbohydrates and sugar. They may also recommend foods that help control blood sugar spikes. An avocado meets both of these requirements. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, an average medium avocado has around 17 grams of carbohydrates. For comparison, an apple has 25 grams of carbohydrates and a banana has 27. A 1-ounce serving, or about one-fifth of an avocado, contains only 3 grams of carbohydrates and less than 1 gram of sugar. With so few carbohydrates, people Continue reading >>