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Are Bananas Good For You If You Are Prediabetic?

Will Bananas Raise Blood Sugar?

Will Bananas Raise Blood Sugar?

If you have or are at risk for diabetes it is important to control your blood sugar levels through diet and exercise. Different foods affect blood sugar levels differently and each person with diabetes has unique responses to food. A physician or registered dietitian can help in formulating a healthy eating plan, which should include plenty of fruits and vegetables. However, even healthy foods such as bananas can raise blood sugar levels too much, so it is important to test often. Video of the Day After eating, the body breaks down the food into glucose or blood sugar to provide the body with energy. The hormone insulin must be present in order for the cells to use the glucose. Having diabetes means that the body either does not produce insulin or is unable to use it properly, which means blood sugar levels can get too high. Over time, high blood sugar levels can lead to vision problems, heart disease, damage to the kidneys and damage to the nerves. A large part of preventing diabetes related complications, is eating a healthy diet that keeps blood sugar levels within the range given to you by your doctor. Carbohydrates are the main type of food that affects blood glucose levels. Diabetics have to watch not just how many carbohydrates are eaten, but the type as well. Carbohydrates that come in the form of processed or refined grains such as white bread, white rice, potatoes and baked goods, tend to be digested very quickly. They can cause blood sugar levels to spike and drop, making diabetes harder to control. Carbohydrate sources such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains are digested more slowly, which helps to keep blood sugar levels in check. However, even healthy carbohydrates such as bananas need to be eaten in moderation and the best way to tell how a food affec Continue reading >>

The Right Diet For Prediabetes

The Right Diet For Prediabetes

A prediabetes diagnosis can be alarming. This condition is marked by abnormally high blood sugar (glucose) most often due to insulin resistance. This is a condition in which the body doesn’t use insulin properly. It’s often a precursor to type 2 diabetes. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with prediabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. With prediabetes, you may also be at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. However, a prediabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean you will definitely get type 2 diabetes. The key is early intervention; to get your blood sugar out of the prediabetes range. Your diet is important, and you need to know the right kind of foods to eat. How diet relates to prediabetes There are many factors that increase your risk for prediabetes. Genetics can play a role, especially if diabetes runs in your family. Excess body fat and a sedentary lifestyle are other potential risk factors. In prediabetes, sugar from food begins to build up in your bloodstream because insulin can’t easily move it into your cells. Eating carbohydrates doesn’t cause prediabetes. But a diet filled with carbohydrates that digest quickly can lead to blood sugar spikes. For most people with prediabetes, your body has a difficult time lowering blood sugar levels after meals. Avoiding blood sugar spikes can help. When you eat more calories than your body needs, they get stored as fat. This can cause you to gain weight. Body fat, especially around the belly, is linked to insulin resistance. This explains why many people with prediabetes are also overweight. You can’t control all risk factors for prediabetes, but some can be mitigated. Lifestyle changes can help you maintain balanced blood sugar levels as well as a healthy weight. Watch carbs with Continue reading >>

The Prediabetes Diet Everyone Should Follow

The Prediabetes Diet Everyone Should Follow

Skip the sugary sodas and processed food, and opt for whole foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocado, Experts believe the number of people living with diabetes will rise dramatically over the next 40 years. If current trends continue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as one in three adults could have the disease by 2050. And about 79 million American adults now have prediabetes, a condition marked by above-normal blood sugar levels that aren't high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. If there's a silver lining to these alarming statistics, it's that there's plenty you can do to prevent the disease or slow the progression, including eating a balanced diet. Everyone can benefit from a healthy eating plan aimed at containing prediabetes, regardless of whether you're at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, says Barbara Borcik, RD, a certified diabetes eductor at the Diabetes & Nutrition Center at Northwest Hospital in Randallstown, Md. 7 Golden Rules of Healthy Eating Here are seven sound diet principles that can keep your blood sugars from creeping upward, among other health benefits. Skip the sugary drinks. No sweet tea. No juice. No soda. No sweetened lemonade. No mocha latte coffee creations. "My number one recommendation to people is: Don't drink your sugar," Borcik says. Sugary drinks provide nothing more than empty calories, and they won't help you feel full. "All the sugary drinks out there are a real risk factor for obesity," she stresses. Pull back on portions. You still can eat many of the foods you like, just have smaller amounts of them, Borcik says, adding that this is especially true for starchy foods like white rice, white potat Continue reading >>

How Bananas Affect Diabetes And Blood Sugar Levels

How Bananas Affect Diabetes And Blood Sugar Levels

When you have diabetes, it is important to keep blood sugar levels as stable as possible. Good blood sugar control can help prevent or slow the progression of some of the main medical complications of diabetes (1, 2). For this reason, avoiding or minimizing foods that cause big blood sugar spikes is essential. Despite being a healthy fruit, bananas are pretty high in both carbs and sugar, the main nutrients that raise blood sugar levels. So, should you be eating bananas if you have diabetes? How do they affect your blood sugar? If you have diabetes, being aware of the amount and type of carbs in your diet is important. This is because carbs raise your blood sugar level more than other nutrients, which means they can greatly affect your blood sugar control. When blood sugar rises in non-diabetic people, the body produces insulin. It helps the body move sugar out of the blood and into the cells where it's used or stored. However, this process doesn't work as it should in diabetics. Instead, either the body doesn't produce enough insulin or the cells are resistant to the insulin that is made. If not managed properly, this can result in high-carb foods causing big blood sugar spikes or constantly high blood sugar levels, both of which are bad for your health. 93% of the calories in bananas come from carbs. These carbs are in the form of sugar, starch and fiber (3). A single medium-sized banana contains 14 grams of sugar and 6 grams of starch (3). Bananas are high in carbs, which cause blood sugar levels to rise more than other nutrients. In addition to starch and sugar, a medium-sized banana contains 3 grams of fiber. Everyone, including diabetics, should eat adequate amounts of dietary fiber due to its potential health benefits. However, fiber is especially important for p Continue reading >>

Confused About Fruit? Here's What You Need To Know

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 >>

Ask An Expert: Eating To Beat Prediabetes

Ask An Expert: Eating To Beat Prediabetes

Q: “I just found out I have prediabetes. All the dietary info I find online seems so complicated. Can you give me some simple guidelines for how to eat to get back to normal?” Answered by Daniel Norfleet, M.D., internal medicine, Providence Medical Group-Gateway Internal Medicine Sure! The truth is that most of the changes that help control prediabetes are pretty simple and straightforward. What makes them seem complicated and overwhelming is trying to focus on all of them at once. To keep it simple, I usually recommend trying just one or two small changes first. Work on these until they fit comfortably into your life. Once you’ve got them down, add a couple more, and then a couple more, working your way down the list gradually. This isn’t downplaying the importance of the changes you need to make. Prediabetes is a sign that your body is already having trouble using insulin – that’s the hormone that moves blood sugar (glucose) into your cells, where it can be used for fuel, instead of letting it float around in your blood, where it can do a lot of damage. Without making changes, you risk developing full-blown Type 2 diabetes; up to 70 percent of people with prediabetes eventually do. To turn things around, you do need to make some changes – you just don’t need to make them all at once. Focusing on one or two changes at a time allows you to adjust to new habits until, one day, they no longer look like changes at all – they’re just your normal life. Changing how – and how much – you eat One of the easiest ways to start making healthy changes, before you even look at what you eat, is to look at how much you eat. Carrying extra pounds, especially in your belly, makes blood sugar harder to control. Three simple portion-control tricks can help you trim Continue reading >>

A Healthy Diet For Prediabetes

A Healthy Diet For Prediabetes

Source: Web exclusive, September 2011 Prediabetes: What does it mean? A diagnosis of prediabetes is a warning sign about your health, but it’s not a life sentence. Prediabetes means having blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet in the territory of diabetes ‘ and you can easily make changes that will improve your health and lower your risk of developing diabetes and its related complications. ‘Diet, in combination with activity, can have a considerable impact on the development of Type 2 diabetes,’ says New Brunswick-based registered dietitian Michelle Corcoran, who works with clients who have prediabetes, Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. And according to the Canadian Diabetes Association, two large studies have shown that by cutting calories, reducing fat intake and exercising at least 150 minutes a week, the number of participants who progressed from prediabetes to diabetes was lowered by 58 percent. That said, prediabetes is a diagnosis that should be taken seriously. While not everyone diagnosed with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes, many will’and people with prediabetes are at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Losing weight will make a difference, if you need to’a drop of even five to 10 percent can lower your risk, Corcoran says. Follow these healthy diet guidelines to improve the health of everyone in the family, no matter what their current situation. Whole grains for a healthy diet Consuming whole grains has been shown to lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, says Corcoran: ‘People who consume three servings a day are almost one-third less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who consume three servings a week.’ Boost your intake by choosing whole-grain products rather than refined wherever p Continue reading >>

Nearly Half Of American Adults Are Pre-diabetic Or Diabetic

Nearly Half Of American Adults Are Pre-diabetic Or Diabetic

These foods supply important nutrients that are often low in diabetics and pre-diabetics, and linked to conditions like stroke, heart disease, hypertension, gastrointestinal ailments and obesity About half of all American adults are either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Even one-third of normal-weight adults may also be pre-diabetic without knowing it Diabetes is rooted in insulin resistance and malfunctioning leptin signaling, caused by chronically elevated insulin and leptin levels. This is why treating type 2 diabetes with insulin does not resolve the problem Dietary recommendations for diabetics include a diet high in healthy fats, moderate protein and low in net carbs. Nine specific superfoods for diabetics are also reviewed By Dr. Mercola As of 2012, up to 14 percent of the American population had type 2 diabetes, and as much as 38 percent were pre-diabetic. This suggests about HALF of all American adults are either pre-diabetic or diabetic.1,2 At least 20 percent of the population in every U.S. state is also obese3 — a condition that severely predisposes you to diabetes. That said, being skinny is not a blanket assurance of health. Recent research suggests one-third of normal-weight adults may also be pre-diabetic without knowing it.4 Children are also getting fatter and unhealthier. According to recent research, 7 million children in the U.S. have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and close to one-third of these kids also have either pre-diabetes or diabetes.5 Great Britain has also seen a rapid rise in these conditions. In 2003, 11.6 percent of people in Great Britain were diagnosed with pre-diabetes. That number had tripled by 2011, reaching over 35 percent. As noted by BBC News,6 "The world is facing an 'unrelenting march' of diabetes that now affects ne Continue reading >>

What Can You Eat If You Are Prediabetic?

What Can You Eat If You Are Prediabetic?

Food Network TV personality Paula Deen’s recent announcement of her diabetes diagnosis and subsequent partnership with a diabetes drug maker ignited a lot of passionate discussion. What is probably lost in the flurry is that a big part of managing diabetes (or a prediabetes diagnosis) involves diet and exercise. In some cases, medications are included as part of an overall treatment plan, but popping a pill does not equal managing your diabetes if the improved eating and exercising habits are absent. What to Eat If You’re Prediabetic So what do you eat when you are diagnosed with prediabetes? The good news is, there is no specific meal plan. Listen to our audio interview with dietitian Susan Burke March for more details on a prediabetes diagnosis as well as an appropriate eating plan. The general outlines of a heart-healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, legumes, and whole grains is a good place to start. Why heart-healthy? Because a prediabetes diagnosis often coexists with other cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, out-of-whack cholesterol numbers, and being overweight. Prediabetes Meal Planning Spread out the carbohydrate load evenly throughout the day to help minimize blood sugar spikes and crashes. Plan to eat every 4 to 5 hours. While this seems like a no-brainer, the execution requires some careful planning and preparation. If you work full-time, this means planning what foods to bring to the office, or, alternatively, knowing your food choices around the office. Always pair your carbohydrate with protein and some beneficial unsaturated fats. Both fat and protein slow down the uptake of carbohydrates and therefore help prevent abrupt spikes and drops in blood sugar levels after a high-carbohydrate meal. Not Continue reading >>

The 4 Common Mistakes All Prediabetics Must Avoid To Prevent Diabetes

The 4 Common Mistakes All Prediabetics Must Avoid To Prevent Diabetes

Just a “little touch of sugar?” iStock/stocksnapper If you’re among the 79 million Americans with prediabetes—higher-than-normal levels of blood sugar, which boost your risk for full-blown diabetes and related health problems—don’t shrug it off. New research published in the journal The Lancet found that prediabetic patients who had at least one normal blood sugar reading, even for a short period of time, were 56 percent more likely to avoid progressing to diabetes during nearly six years of follow-up after the study. In other words, “This is your chance to take control,” says Matt Longjohn, MD, MPH, senior director of chronic disease prevention for the YMCA-USA. “Research proves that some simple, daily lifestyle changes can dramatically cut the risk for developing diabetes over the next couple of years by 58 percent, which is better than what is seen with frequently prescribed medications like metformin.” The key? Avoid these four roadblocks between you and a healthier future. iStock/martinedoucet The landmark Diabetes Prevention Program study, which followed 3,234 people with prediabetes for three years, revealed that everyday changes—switching up their eating habits and adding more physical activity—helped participants lose a little weight. Trimming just 5 percent to 7 percent of their body weight (that’s 12.5 pounds for a 180 pound person) and exercising slashed the odds for developing full-blown diabetes by a whopping 58 percent. This helps trim abdominal fat—the deep belly fat that settles in your torso, wraps itself around your internal organs, and even invades your liver. It messes with your liver’s ability to regulate blood sugar by pumping out inflammation-boosting compounds that make your body stop obeying insulin. Smart Move: St Continue reading >>

List Of Foods Good For Pre-diabetics

List Of Foods Good For Pre-diabetics

Pre-diabetes is a condition marked by blood sugars that are higher than normal but not too high to be diagnosed with diabetes. Most people with pre-diabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders. If you have pre-diabetes, the best way to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes is to lose 5 to 7 percent of your current body weight by following a healthy diet. A healthy diet consists of a variety of foods from each of the food groups. Video of the Day Grains and Starches Grains and starches make up an important part of your diet for pre-diabetes. The amount you need depends on your age, sex and activity level but varies from about 6 to 8-oz. a day for most adults over the age of 19. For health and weight management, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends you make at least half of your grain and starch choices whole-grain. A whole-grain food has more fiber than a refined grain food. Fiber in food takes longer to digest helping you to feel satiated longer. Good grain and starch choices for pre-diabetics include whole wheat bread, whole-grain cereal, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, whole-grain crackers, pretzels, oatmeal, quinoa and popcorn. Fruits provide vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and potassium. For pre-diabetes try to eat 1-1/2 to 2 cups of fruit a day. To help with weight control, eating the whole fruit is a healthier choice than drinking the juice because of its fiber content. Good fruit choices for pre-diabetes includes apples, oranges, bananas, pears, peaches, plums, grapes, cherries, melons, berries, dried fruit, unsweetened canned fruit and juice without added sugar. Vegetables make a good choice for pre-diabetes weight loss because they are low in calories and high in vitamin Continue reading >>

Diabetes Myths

Diabetes Myths

Myth #1. You can catch Diabetes from someone else. Although we don't know exactly why some people develop one of the various forms of Diabetes, we know the condition is not contagious. It can't be caught like a cold or flu, but there is a genetic link in Diabetes, particularly the Type 2 variety. Insulin Resistance leading to obesity may also be a major factor in reversible Pre-Diabetes, which, if left unchecked, can lead to irreversible, full-blown Type 2 Diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle and poor diet can also play a key role in the onset of Pre-Diabetes. Myth #2. Eating too much sugar causes Diabetes. Diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. However, being overweight and consuming excessive amounts of carbohydrates does increase your risk for developing reversible Pre-Diabetes, which, if neglected, can develop into irreversible Type 2 Diabetes. If you have a history of Diabetes in your family, it's recommended that you manage your weight by eating healthy, low-glycemic, low insulin meals and getting regular exercise. Myth #3. People with Diabetes should eat special Diabetic foods. A healthy meal plan for people with one of the various forms of Diabetes is the same as that for everyone - low in fat (especially saturated and trans fat), low in carbohydrates, moderate in salt and sugar - meals that have an emphasis on vegetables and fruit. Diabetic and "dietetic" versions of foods containing sugar offer no special benefit. They still raise blood glucose levels, are highly processed, are usually more expensive and can also have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols. Myth #4. People with Diabetes are more likely to get colds. You are no more likely to get a cold if you have Diabetes. The American Diabetes Assocation, does, however rec Continue reading >>

Five Diabetes Myths, Busted

Five Diabetes Myths, Busted

David Kendall, M.D., is the chief scientific and medical officer of the The American Diabetes Association. The group’s 71st Scientific Sessions begin Friday in San Diego, California, with presentations of the latest research, treatment recommendations and advances toward a cure for diabetes. Each year diabetes accounts for more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS combined. While diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) is ever more manageable because of advances in medication, a better understanding of blood glucose monitoring and new technologies for delivering insulin, uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes still remains the leading cause of blindness in adults, kidney failure and amputation. There are many myths about diabetes - myths that can do much harm. Many believe that diabetes is “just a touch of sugar,” or only something we develop in later life. Although diabetes is manageable, the diabetes epidemic continues to grow; every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes and at the current rate, one in three people in the U.S. will have diabetes by the year 2050. Knowing the facts (and your own risk) can help all of us fight the misconceptions associated with this awful disease and ultimately stop diabetes. So take a minute to learn the facts about diabetes. The more we know, the better equipped we are to detect, prevent and treat diabetes and its deadly complications. 1) Myth: Diabetes is really no big deal. Fact: As I’ve already noted, diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. The risk of heart problems is more than twice as high in people with diabetes and two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. Uncontrolled diabetes also leads to a host of other complications. 2) Myth: Eating too much sugar cause Continue reading >>

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 >>

Can Diabetics Eat Bananas?

Can Diabetics Eat Bananas?

Can Diabetics Eat Bananas? How much sugar does a banana have? Perhaps these are the most frequently asked questions from people who are suffering from diabetes health condition. And the answer is Yes, as long as they are unripe or semi-ripe and you don’t overdo it and eat a whole dozen. The rest of this article explains why. Diabetics Need to Watch Their Carbs All carbohydrates we eat turn into sugar in our body. Insulin is needed to take this sugar into cells. People suffering from Type-2 diabetes usually have two problems; one, their pancreas don’t produce as much insulin as their bodies can use and two, their cells are not very sensitive to insulin. The result: blood sugar can shoot up. That’s why diabetics need to watch their carbs. Bananas are full of good stuff; in addition to carbs (around 30 grams in an average-sized banana), they are loaded with fiber, Vitamins B6 and C, manganese, copper and potassium. RELATED: 17 Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar Without Medications Bananas Have a Low GI Index Overall, bananas have a low glycemic index (GI), the score that measures how much a food increases your blood sugar level when you eat it. The lower the GI, the better. Where a 30-gram serving of brown bread has a glycemic index of 69, a 120-gram serving of raw banana has a glycemic index of just 48. You can also create your own healthy dessert by sprinkling powdered cinnamon on sliced or diced bananas. The health benefits of cinnamon for a diabetic individual are explained here. Ripe vs Unripe: The Crucial Difference for Diabetics Ripe bananas contain 10% fiber, which is good for everyone, including people with diabetes; however, they also contain 8% carbohydrates, which increases blood sugar levels sharply. This is because the starch in the banana has been converte Continue reading >>

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