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What Grains Are Good For Diabetics

Preventing Pre-diabetes

Preventing Pre-diabetes

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 >>

Diabetes Power Foods: Whole Grains And Fiber

Diabetes Power Foods: Whole Grains And Fiber

Imagine this food: It's low in calories. It makes you feel full. And you can eat as much of it as you want. Too good to be true? It's fiber and it is real. You can find it in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. Most everyone should eat more fiber -- especially if you have diabetes. Even though fiber is a carbohydrate, your body can’t break it down. This means you don’t digest fiber, and it doesn't raise your blood sugar. And as fiber moves through your body, it helps with digestion, makes you feel full, and may help control your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. How Much Fiber? Think you eat enough fiber? Chances are you could stand to eat more. Men over age 50 should get at least 30 grams of fiber each day and women over 50 at least 21 grams daily. Most of us get less than recommended. There are lots of delicious ways to add fiber to your diet, but the key is to do it slowly. This will help prevent gas and bloating. Drinking more water can help, too. Eat Your Whole Grains Whole grains are loaded with fiber. Look for breads, cereals, tortillas, and crackers that have whole wheat flour, whole-grain cornmeal, whole oats, whole rye, or buckwheat flour on the ingredients list. Here are some tasty ways to add more whole grains to your diet: Start the day with a half-cup of high-fiber bran cereal topped with banana slices or berries (12 grams of fiber) or a whole wheat English muffin (4.4 grams). Choose whole wheat pasta (3 grams) over white. Serve it with your favorite vegetables for even more fiber. Make a sandwich on whole-grain bread. (Chose bread with 2 or 3 grams of fiber a slice.) Try recipes that use other types of whole grains, such as barley or bulgur (3 to 4 grams). Have brown rice or wild rice (3.5 grams) instead of white. Sprinkle with fres Continue reading >>

Top 10 Worst Foods For Diabetes

Top 10 Worst Foods For Diabetes

These foods can can cause blood sugar spikes or increase your risk of diabetes complications. White Bread Refined starches — white bread, white rice, white pasta, and anything made with white flour — act a lot like sugar once the body starts to digest them. Therefore, just like sugar, refined starches interfere with glucose control and should be avoided by those with diabetes. Whole grains are a better choice because they’re richer in fiber and generally cause a slower, steadier rise in blood sugar. Instead of white bread or a bagel for breakfast, opt for a toasted whole grain English Muffin (topped with a slice of reduced-fat cheese or scrambled egg for protein). At lunch and dinner, replace white carbs with healthier whole grain options such as brown or wild rice, barley, quinoa, and whole-wheat bread to minimize the impact on your blood sugar. Even high-quality, whole grain starches elevate blood glucose to some degree, so it’s still important to limit portions — stick with ½ to ¾ cup cooked grains or just 1 slice of bread at meals. Continue reading >>

Diabetes: “cured By Wheat Belly”

Diabetes: “cured By Wheat Belly”

Take a look at Mary’s story posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: I used to be diabetic. Now I am not. Cured by Wheat Belly. Fasting blood sugar less then 87 mg/dl consistently. Postprandial [after-meal] readings at one hour at 100 mg/dl or less. HbA1c 5.5. No dietician can tell me any lies about wheat or proper carb intake. I struggled for 10+ years following ADA [American Diabetes Association] diet guidelines. I gained 15+ pounds. I walked 15 miles a week at training heart rate. I stopped all that nonsense because it only produced higher and higher blood sugar numbers, even on metformin and with exercise. Something was obviously wrong and I knew it wasn’t my laziness or overindulgence. It was the horrendous advice that was killing me! Now I avoid carbs with the same dilgence that I avoid dieticians and doctors/nurses who give ADA advice. It doesn’t work and it never will. More people are diagnosed with diabetes and/or obesity every year. And with so many dieticians with such rock-solid advice? Hmm . . . Maybe it’s the dieticians who are propelling people to diabetes and obesity. That was certainly the case for me. Thanks, Mary. Isn’t that wonderful? And, by saying goodbye to wheat, she has done more than “just” lose the diabetes, of course. Let’s be clear on this: Grains and sugars CAUSE type 2 diabetes. Wheat is the worst of all grains and therefore wheat causes diabetes. (Wheat also causes type 1 diabetes, by the way, an entirely different, though VERY disturbing, conversation.) Let us count the ways: 1) The amylopectin A “complex” carbohydrate of wheat, given its unusual susceptibility to digestion by the salivary and stomach enzyme, amylase, raises blood sugar to sky-high levels. You know my line: Two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar hig Continue reading >>

What Are The Best Breads For People With Diabetes?

What Are The Best Breads For People With Diabetes?

Is bread an option for people with diabetes? Food may be one of life’s simple pleasures, but for people with diabetes, deciding what to eat can get complicated. Foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates can spike blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are found in many different kinds of food, including desserts, grains, and bread. Giving up carbs completely isn’t realistic, healthy, or even necessary. What matters is that you’re aware of your carb intake and make nutritious food choices. Breads can often be high in carbs. Some are overly processed, high in sugar, and filled with empty calories. Healthier options can be part of a satisfying meal plan for people with diabetes. If you’re trying to figure out which breads work best for diabetes management, this information may help. When a person has diabetes, their body doesn’t make or use enough insulin to process food efficiently. Without enough insulin, blood sugar levels can spike. People with diabetes may also have high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. This means that it’s important to keep an eye on fat and sugar intake. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin injections daily and follow a specific type of eating plan. This eating plan is geared towards keeping blood sugar levels low. People with type 2 diabetes often follow an eating and exercise regimen geared towards reducing blood sugar. If diet and exercise aren’t enough to control blood sugar, insulin injections or oral medication may be a part of a daily regimen. Creating a food plan, making smart nutritional choices, and watching carbohydrate intake is recommended for people with both types of diabetes. Creating a meal plan can help people with diabetes control blood sugar and provide satisfying nutrition. There isn’t a one-size-fits-a Continue reading >>

The 15 Best Superfoods For Diabetics

The 15 Best Superfoods For Diabetics

beats1/Shutterstock Chocolate is rich in flavonoids, and research shows that these nutrients reduce insulin resistance, improve insulin sensitivity, drop insulin levels and fasting blood glucose, and blunt cravings. But not all chocolate is created equal. In a 2008 study from the University of Copenhagen, people who ate dark chocolate reported that they felt less like eating sweet, salty, or fatty foods compared to volunteers given milk chocolate, with its lower levels of beneficial flavonoids (and, often, more sugar and fat, too). Dark chocolate also cut the amount of pizza that volunteers consumed later in the same day, by 15 percent. The flavonoids in chocolate have also been shown to lower stroke risk, calm blood pressure, and reduce your risk for a heart attack by 2 percent over five years. (Want more delicious, healthy, seasonal foods? Click here.) Jiri Vaclavek/Shutterstock Broccoli is an anti-diabetes superhero. As with other cruciferous veggies, like kale and cauliflower, it contains a compound called sulforaphane, which triggers several anti-inflammatory processes that improve blood sugar control and protect blood vessels from the cardiovascular damage that’s often a consequence of diabetes. (Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with diabetes, so this protection could be a lifesaver.) Sulforaphane also helps flip on the body’s natural detox mechanisms, coaxing enzymes to turn dangerous cancer-causing chemicals into more innocent forms that the body can easily release. Blueberries funnyangel/Shutterstock Blueberries really stand out: They contain both insoluble fiber (which “flushes” fat out of your system) and soluble fiber (which slows down the emptying of your stomach, and improves blood sugar control). In a study by the USDA, peopl Continue reading >>

Is Quinoa A Good Grain For Diabetics To Eat?

Is Quinoa A Good Grain For Diabetics To Eat?

If you have diabetes, you may constantly ask yourself: Is this OK for me to eat? While as a diabetic, you need to pay more attention to what you eat, you don't need to eat special foods. As a nutritious whole-grain, quinoa makes a healthy choice for anyone, especially someone with diabetes. As a low-glycemic carb that's rich in fiber and magnesium, quinoa is a good grain for people with diabetes. Quinoa and Carbs When you have diabetes, you need to be aware of the carbohydrate content in the food you eat. When your body digests foods with carbs, it turns it into sugar. You don't need to avoid carbs, but you do need to manage how much you eat at meals. Your doctor or a dietitian can help you determine your daily carb needs. As a grain, carbs are the primary source of calories in quinoa. A 1/2-cup serving of cooked quinoa has 110 calories, 20 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. As a frame of reference, most people eat 30 to 60 grams of carbs at each meal. That means you might be able to fit in up to 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa at a meal. Glycemic Index While quinoa is a source of carbs, not all carbs act the same in your body. Some get digested quickly and cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, referred to as high-glycemic foods. Others digest more slowly and only cause a slight but even rise in blood sugar, referred to as low-glycemic foods. The glycemic index is a tool that ranks how carbs affect your blood sugar. Quinoa is considered a low-glycemic food. As a carb that only causes a slight rise in blood sugar, quinoa makes a good choice for people with diabetes. Fiber Content and Diabetes With 3 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup, quinoa is a good source of fiber, which also benefits people with diabetes. Eating more fiber-rich carbs improves blood sugar and l Continue reading >>

The 10 Best Carbs For Diabetics

The 10 Best Carbs For Diabetics

Forget what you've been told—a diabetes diagnosis does not mean you've been sentenced to a life without carbs. Well, doughnuts may be off the list, but the right carbs can and should be part of a balanced diet for everyone, explains Anna Taylor, RD, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic. In fact, for those with (type 1 or 2) diabetes, getting enough good-for-you carbs is essential for keeping blood sugar levels under control. The key is to pick carb-containing foods that are also rich in fiber and/or protein, nutrients that actually slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, resulting in a more gradual rise and fall of blood sugar levels. Here are Taylor's top 10 diabetes-friendly carb picks, all of which pack additional nutrients that can help prevent chronic conditions or diabetes complications down the line. Lentils and Beans gettyimages-84763023-lentils-zenshui-laurence-mouton.jpg Lentils and beans are excellent sources of protein and fiber. The 19 grams of carbs from a half cup serving of cooked lentils come with 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber (3 grams per serving is considered a "good" source of fiber; 5 and up is considered an "excellent" source, per FDA guidelines). One thing to note: You get the same benefits from canned beans as you do from cooked, dried beans—but you may want to rinse them first, which can eliminate more than 40% of the sodium. (Diabetes doesn't have to be your fate; Rodale's new book, The Natural Way To Beat Diabetes, shows you exactly what to eat and do to prevent the disease—and even reverse it.) Peas Black-eyed, split, and classic green peas have protein and fiber benefits similar to those of beans and lentils. One cup of green peas (before cooking) packs 8 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and 21 grams of c Continue reading >>

Five Common Grain Myths

Five Common Grain Myths

There’s a good chance that, at one point or another, you’ve wondered about eating certain foods. If you have diabetes, foods that contain carbohydrate (also known as carb) come to mind. And one type of carb food that never fails to spark debate is grains. There’s the camp that disparages most grains, in general, proclaiming that they’re bad for diabetes because they’ll send your blood sugars sky-high. On the more moderate side of things, the argument is that refined grains are to be avoided, but whole grains are OK (in limited amounts). And then there’s the rest of the folks who feel thoroughly confused. Is it OK to eat pasta? What the heck is farro, anyway? Read on to learn more. Whole grains defined According to the Oldways Whole Grains Council, a whole grain has “all three parts of the original grain — the starchy endosperm, the fiber-rich bran, and the germ.” The bran is the outer layer of the grain; the germ is the “embryo,” which contains B vitamins, vitamin E, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fat, and the endosperm is the germ’s food source that contains carbohydrate, protein, and some vitamins and minerals. Once a food manufacturer starts stripping away any part of a whole grain, it’s no longer, well, whole. Now it’s refined. And that’s when the grain starts to lose many of its healthy attributes. Whole-grain myths People who have diabetes should avoid all grains and grain foods. This particular fallacy stems from the fact that grains contain carbohydrate. Carbohydrate (in many people’s minds) is bad. They raise your blood sugar, right? So, stay away from them. But, it’s not that simple, at least when it comes to grains. As we just learned, whole grains are packed with nutrition — carb, yes, but also some protein, fat, vitami Continue reading >>

Enjoying The Best Grains For Diabetes – Your Healthy Kitchen

Enjoying The Best Grains For Diabetes – Your Healthy Kitchen

If you have diabetes, should you stop eating bread, rice and pasta? While everyone with diabetes (and pre-diabetes) benefits from eliminating processed grains from their diet (foods like white rice, cold cereals, white bread and snack foods), some individuals benefit from avoiding whole grain products as well. Others can lose weight and normalize blood sugar levels while still enjoying grains. However, if you eat grains, it’s important to be picky about the type and portion size of the grains you choose. Individuals who have difficulty losing weight and controlling blood sugar levels sometimes benefit from eliminating all grains, including whole grains, from their diets for a while. Whole and processed grains contain an easily digested type of starch that can trigger spikes in blood sugar levels after meals, leading to weight gain and many of the complications of diabetes. Some people find that they can add whole grains back into their diets after they reach their weight and blood sugar goals. Others with diabetes can maintain good health while still enjoying grains, but find that it is important to eat only whole grains, and in moderate quantities. Serving grains as a side dish, or about ¼ of a meal, is a helpful strategy that lends itself to healthy weight management and blood sugar control. So what are whole grains and why are they nutritionally superior to processed grains? All true grains, including rice, wheat, barley and corn, are seeds that come from different types of grasses. A whole grain consists of three basic components: an outer layer called the bran, a starchy center called the endosperm, and a tiny, oil-packed germ, which is the part of the seed which sprouts and grows into a new plant. There is also an area just under the Bran, where many important Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Whole Grains

Diabetes And Whole Grains

Whole grains are found in wheat, oats, barley, maize and brown rice People with diabetes are often advised to eat a good selection of whole grain food. However, people are often confused as to what counts as whole grain. Much of the produce which many of us have grown up with consists of refined wheat products lacking very much of the nutrition within better whole grain equivalents. If you have wheat or grain based foods, try to find whole grain varieties. They will be better for your sugar levels as well as your health in general. Whole grain foods are found in cereals such as wheat, oats, barley, maize, rye and brown rice, amongst others. The grain is made up of three constituent parts: Germ: the germ is the reproductive part of the grain and is packed with nutrients Endosperm: accounts for about 80% of the grain, this is the starchy part Bran: the fibre rich outside (shell) of the grain Much food sold these days is made from highly refined flour and wheat products. The more refined the food is, the less nutrition it carries. White bread for example is made from highly refined flour which has very little nutritional value as the refining process strips out much of the vitamins. Furthermore, products that are highly refined, such as white bread, are very quickly turned into glucose by the body and therefore they are best avoided by those with diabetes . For food to count as whole grain, it should include each of the three parts (germ, endosperm and bran). However, shop produce can make it very difficult to tell what is actually whole grain. Be wary of terms like wholemeal, granary and multigrain as these offer no guarantee that the bread is made from whole grains. Look instead for use of the term whole grain or wholegrain. As a general guide, look for items such as th Continue reading >>

What's The Best Bread For People With Diabetes?

What's The Best Bread For People With Diabetes?

By Brandon May Bread is perhaps one of the most widely used types of food on the planet. It can also be a food that poses a health risk for people with diabetes. Despite the risk, bread can be one of the hardest foods to give up. Fortunately, there are breads on the market that don't raise blood sugar to extreme levels. Whole-grain breads with high-fiber ingredients, like oats and bran, may be the best option for people with diabetes. Making bread at home with specific, diabetes-friendly ingredients may also help reduce the impact bread has on blood sugar levels. The role of nutrition in controlling diabetes Diabetes has two main types: type 1 and type 2. People with type 1 diabetes have difficulty producing insulin, which is a hormone that "captures" blood sugar (or glucose) and transfers it into cells. Glucose is the preferred energy source for cells. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. This type of diabetes is also the easier form to prevent and manage with lifestyle changes and medication. According to the World Health Organization, over 422 million people have type 2 diabetes worldwide. In the earlier phase of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can produce insulin, but cells have become insensitive to its effects. This is sometimes due to poor diet, genetics, and lifestyle habits. Because of this, cells can't access blood sugar following a meal. Nutrition plays a crucial role in diabetes control. It's only through putting proper dietary planning into practice that good blood sugar management can be accomplished. A good diet must also be combined with lifestyle changes and medication. A carbohydrate is one of the three major nutrients essential to human health. However, carbohydrates also raise blood sugar and can reduce effective diabetes control. This Continue reading >>

The Best Whole Grains For Type 2 Diabetes

The Best Whole Grains For Type 2 Diabetes

Grains are made from edible seeds or kernels, in their whole form, these contain three components—the endosperm, the germ, and the bran. Refined grains, found in cakes, cookies, or white bread, are processed to remove these three components. Whole grains contain all components of the kernel making them a rich source of fiber, nutrients, and phytochemicals. Whole grains are believed to help prevent diabetes and weight gain. When researchers investigate links between diet and diabetes, one of the most consistent findings is that people who eat more whole grains are less likely to develop this disease. Whole Wheat Wheat is by far the most popular grain in the United States, and is the third most commonly eaten grain worldwide. Breads, pastas, bulgur, couscous, spelt (a relative of wheat) and many breakfast cereals are all derived from wheat. When eaten in their whole grain form, these foods provide insoluble fiber and phytochemicals that have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Read the ingredients and make sure it says whole wheat to ensure it is 100% whole grain or look for the whole grain symbol. Corn If you have been snubbing corn as a starchy food that has no place in your diabetes eating plan—you may reconsider after reading this. Corn has one of the highest levels of polyphenols- antioxidants in fruits and vegetables that are considered protective against type 2 diabetes. One serving of air popped corn (3 cups) has twice the amount of polyphenols as a typical serving of fruit plus it will give you 2/3 of your daily recommended whole grain intake. Choose air-popped corn and avoid microwaved popcorn with added fake butter and chemical flavorings. Try garlic powder and Parmesan cheese, a little bit of olive oil, fresh herbs and salt, or a sprinkle of cinnamo Continue reading >>

6 Superfoods That Help Beat Diabetes

6 Superfoods That Help Beat Diabetes

By the year 2020, it's predicted that more than half of us will be diabetic or pre-diabetic. Here are 6 superfoods that will help you beat the odds. 1. Almond Oil - Get similar benefits from olive, avocado, and peanut oils. - The science behind it: A little oil a day can keep diabetes away—so long as it's the unsaturated kind. Monounsaturated oils such as those pressed from almonds, olives, and avocados help lower total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels without negatively affecting your HDL ("good") levels. "Two out of three people with diabetes will die from a heart attack or stroke," says Barbara Allan, R.D. "So it's smart to choose oils that support a healthy heart." These oils are bursting with flavor, so a little bit goes a long way; aim for a 2-teaspoon serving. - You'll want to avoid saturated fat and trans fat and anything with "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oil on the label. Get cooking For homemade salad dressing, combine 3 tablespoons almond oil with 1 tablespoon citrus-flavored vinegar. Stir into 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and add a pinch of minced onion. - Get cooking: For homemade salad dressing, combine 3 tablespoons almond oil with 1 tablespoon citrus-flavored vinegar. Stir into 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and add a pinch of minced onion. 2. Wild Salmon - Get similar benefits from wild mackerel, sea bass, and halibut. - The science behind it: Not only is wild-caught fish an excellent source of protein, but its unsaturated, anti-inflammatory oils fight insulin resistance. Wild fish also contain more omega-3s than farm-raised fish do. The former eat sea plants and smaller fish; the latter are fed corn, which adversely affects the ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s. Some experts believe that this imbalance causes inflammation in human beings, ope Continue reading >>

Get To Know 6 Great Grains

Get To Know 6 Great Grains

By Tracey Neithercott; Recipes by Robyn Webb, MS, LN If you're still spreading peanut butter and jelly on colorless Wonder bread or heaping your stir-fry on top of a pile of Uncle Ben's, it's time to wean yourself off the refined stuff and explore whole grains. Kudos to you if you've already made this trade-in; whole grains are higher in nutrients and will raise your blood glucose less than their refined counterparts do. Plus, unlike refined grains, they may protect your heart and help you maintain weight loss. The reason for the nutritional disparity between refined carbohydrates and whole grains lies in the processing. Whole grains contain an outer bran layer, a middle endosperm, and inner germ, but refined grains are stripped of everythingincluding protein and many key nutrientssave for the endosperm. Because they're less processed, whole grains have a lower glycemic index value than refined grains. Another point in the whole-grains column is their relatively high fiber content, which can help lower cholesterol levels, control blood glucose, and keep you feeling full long after eating. "It's really important to eat foods that are going to fill you up and not leave you hungry an hour later," so you don't binge post-meal, says Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian-nutritionist and author of the book Nutrition at Your Fingertips. Zied suggests gradually replacing your current processed foods, such as regular pretzels, with whole grains like air-popped popcorn (sans butter, of course, and not the microwave stuff). "You just really have to be aware," she says. "You need to think, 'Where am I willing to compromise?' " Many of these grains can be cooked just as you prepare rice. To do this, boil water or stocklook to your grain's packaging for grain-to-liquid rat Continue reading >>

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