Spicy Food And Diabetes: Diabetes Questions & Answers
Q. I have Type 2 diabetes and I enjoy eating spicy food. However, I want to make sure I am eating only things that are good for me. Is it OK for me to eat chili powder, curry powder, and hot peppers? A. Peppers are a hot topic! They are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and phytonutrients, which help reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage. In addition to adding variety to meals, using peppers and curry powder in cooking provides full-flavored seasoning without using excess salt. Even better, research suggests that there may be health benefits specific to diabetes for the active ingredients in both curry and chili peppers. A major ingredient in most curry powders is the spice turmeric, which contains the active ingredient curcumin. Clinical research has suggested that curcumin may reduce inflammation and protect cells from oxidative damage. These health benefits may protect beta cells, the cells in the pancreas that release the hormone insulin. One research study including 240 subjects with prediabetes treated one group with curcumin supplements and another with a placebo for nine months. The study showed that significantly fewer individuals in the group treated with curcumin eventually developed Type 2 diabetes. While these results are promising, it is important to note that the group who took curcumin also lost weight during the study. Moderate weight loss (5% to 7% of body weight) is associated with a decrease in insulin resistance and improved glucose control. There are hundreds of different types of chili peppers that vary in size, shape, color, flavor, and amount of heat. Cayenne, habanero, chipotle, jalapeño, Anaheim, and ancho are popular varieties found in most supermarkets. Ground chili peppers are used to make chili powder, cayenne powder, and paprika. Continue reading >>
How Does Diet Affect Diabetes?
Carbohydrates are digested as sugar and then released into the bloodstream where insulin begins a process to move sugars into storage cells, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. As sugar is stored, blood glucose lowers, and the pancreas produces glucagon, which allows the release of sugar so it can be used as energy. Type 2 diabetes is a condition wherein a person becomes resistant to insulin or stops producing it altogether, causing blood sugar levels to remain high for extended periods. Different carbohydrates have different effects on blood sugar, and many people refer to the glycemic index of various foods in order gauge its impact, states Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The glycemic index is a system that ranks carbohydrates based on how quickly they drive up blood sugar levels. The higher the food is in the index, the faster the spike. Lower-index foods such as whole oats digest slower and are considered healthier choices for diabetics than high-index foods such as white bread. Learn more about Nutrition & Diets Continue reading >>
Your Questions Answered
Q. Does eating too many sweet things give you diabetes? A. No, a person cannot get diabetes from eating too many sweet things. However, being very overweight or obese is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and having too many high-calorie, sugar-laden foods in your diet increases the likelihood that you will gain weight. In addition, having a close relative with diabetes increases your risk of developing the condition yourself, and obesity and physical inactivity further increase this risk in people who are already genetically susceptible. Q. If you have an urge to eat sweet things does that indicate diabetes? A. No. Having an urge to eat sweet things is not a symptom of diabetes. Key symptoms to watch out for include needing to urinate often, being excessively thirsty or feeling generally tired. An intense hunger can also signal diabetes, although this may not necessarily be for sweet foods. While all of these symptoms may be quite noticeable in type 1 diabetes, often people with type 2 diabetes may not notice any symptoms at all. Q. Is diabetes infectious or contagious? A. No. You cannot catch diabetes from another person, nor is there any risk of passing it to another person if you yourself suffer from diabetes. However, having diabetes seems to impair your body's ability to fight infection, so you are more at risk of a variety of other problems including vaginal Candida ('thrush'), wound infections and foot infections. Q. I've heard that lifestyle factors can increase a person's risk for diabetes: is it my fault if I have diabetes? A. It is thought that diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If you have a close relative with diabetes, you are more likely to develop the condition yourself. Certain environmental factors suc Continue reading >>
Answers To Your Top 10 Queries About Food, Drink And Diabetes
Since Enjoy Food launched last year on World Diabetes Day, many of you have asked us why we say what we say on various topics and what our official position is on everything from low-carb diets, eating saturated fat to drinking alcohol – and why we recommenda healthy, balanced dietfor everyone, whether you have diabetes or not. Our Clinical Advisor, Douglas Twenefour, answers the top 10 questions you’ve asked us. You might be in for a surprise or two… What’s the evidence behind a low-carb diet? Is it right for everyone? How do people know what’s right for them? If you have diabetes, shouldn’t you just cut out sugar completely? Why do you say people with diabetes can have things like cakes? This is a misconception we’re trying hard to change. Diabetes UK doesn’t say that people should eat ‘plenty of carbs’ but rather we say people should eat some carbs. The amount of carbs you need depends on a number of factors – including how physically active you are, your weight and nutritional goals. It’s important to restate that the amount of carbs you eat has the biggest effect on your blood glucose levels, so be aware of portion sizes. That’s why we include the carb information on most of our recipes. Diabetes UK communicates with a wide range of people who have, for various reasons, different levels of understanding, preferences and beliefs, so the advice we give is general – it can’t replace what your diabetes healthcare professional (HCP) says because they have access to personalised medical information about their patients. What we say… People with diabetes should include some carbohydrates in their diet. Different views… It’s clear that some people believe that you don’t need to eat any carbohydrate foods. What we say… Diabetes UK dis Continue reading >>
Why Low-carb Diets Aren’t The Answer
What raises blood sugar? The simple answer is carbohydrates. So why not just yank them out of your diet like weeds in your garden? Why not quash blood sugar by swearing off bread, pasta, rice, and cereal? Been there, done that. The low-carb craze is on the downswing, and that’s a good thing because over the long haul, very low carb diets simply aren’t good for you, as you’ll discover in this chapter. That doesn’t mean it’s not smart to cut back on carbs—but don’t go crazy. When low-carb diets first became popular, they seemed to be a breath of fresh air after the low-fat (and high-carb) diets that preceded them. Remember low-fat cookies, lowfat snack cakes, and low-fat everything else? With low-carb diets, suddenly people could load up on bacon and still lose weight as long as they were willing to eat hamburgers without buns and pretty much give up sandwiches and spaghetti. People were amazed at how effective these diets could be. Weight loss could happen very quickly, sometimes within days. And amazingly, it often seemed to come with added health benefits, including lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides (blood fats linked to heart attacks.) The most extreme kind of low-carb diet was pioneered by the late Robert Atkins, M.D., whose first book, Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, came out in 1972. It promised quick and long-lasting weight loss and prevention of chronic disease, all while allowing high-fat steak and ice cream. Since then, other, more moderate low-carb diets have allowed small amounts of carbohydrate-rich foods, but they still cut out most grains as well as starchy vegetables and even fruit. The Downsides of These Diets The Atkins diet and the many other low-carb diets that followed in its footsteps have turned out to be less effect Continue reading >>
Questions And Answers - Food And Diet
Q: Can a person respond differently to complex carbs vs. simple sugars? My husband has type 2 diabetes and I notice that when he eats foods with sugars, his blood sugars will escalate. However if he eats foods such as potatoes it may go up a little but nothing to be concerned about. A: Starchy foods such as potatoes have some plant protein and some fiber that can help slow down how quickly they are converted into sugar. Sugary foods, especially juices, can affect blood sugar levels within 5 minutes. The best advice is to consume fewer carbs and primarily those from whole foods. Q: I've been juicing to help increase my intake of fruits and vegetables but I wonder if I am drinking too much sugar this way. A: You may be raising your levels with too much juice, especially if you are using lots of fruit. For example, a small glass of orange juice may take 2-4 oranges depending on their size. One fruit serving is one small to medium orange or 15 grams of simple sugar so a glass of fruit juice can easily contain over 60 grams of sugar. Even though fruit juice is high in vitamins, it is still sugar to the body and challenges insulin output. Perhaps you should get a meter and check your blood sugar levels for a time to see how your current juices are affecting your levels. Q: I currently enjoy wine with my dinner and wonder if I will have to give this up with the no sugar diet my doctor has placed me on. A: The most definitive way is to observe the effect on your own body; no two people will respond exactly the same. Do you test your blood sugars? If not, get a meter. You can test 1 hour or so after your meal with wine to see if you are over 140. Try the same meal test without the wine and see if there is a difference. If you are exercising and eating smaller meals with whole, u Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin
People with type 2 diabetes do not always have to take insulin right away; that is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. The longer someone has type 2 diabetes, the more likely they will require insulin. Just as in type 1 diabetes, insulin is a way to control your blood glucose level. With type 2 diabetes, though, dietary changes, increasing physical activity, and some oral medications are usually enough to bring your blood glucose to a normal level. To learn about how the hormone insulin works, we have an article that explains the role of insulin. There are several reasons people with type 2 diabetes may want to use insulin: It can quickly bring your blood glucose level down to a healthier range. If your blood glucose level is excessively high when you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the doctor may have you use insulin to lower your blood glucose level—in a way that’s much faster than diet and exercise. Insulin will give your body a respite; it (and especially the beta cells that produce insulin) has been working overtime to try to bring down your blood glucose level. In this scenario, you’d also watch what you eat and exercise, but having your blood glucose under better control may make it easier to adjust to those lifestyle changes. It has fewer side effects than some of the medications: Insulin is a synthetic version of a hormone our bodies produce. Therefore, it interacts with your body in a more natural way than medications do, leading to fewer side effects. The one side effect is hypoglycemia. It can be cheaper. Diabetes medications can be expensive, although there is an array of options that try to cater to people of all economic levels. However, insulin is generally cheaper than medications (on a monthly basis), especially if the doctor wants yo Continue reading >>
Many people contact us to ask if Food Optimising will fit in with their diabetes – the answer is a resounding YES! Not only will it fit around the condition – many members tell us that it has helped control it. At my heaviest I’d been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and the condition was worsening. After losing 6 stones with Slimming World my confidence and physical health have improved dramatically. My GP has reduced my diabetes medication – she told me I’m the only person in her clinic to have their medication reduced. I’m hoping it can stop altogether eventually! Susan Shore, Glasgow How can Food Optimising help? Because Food Optimising is extremely generous and flexible, and puts you in control of the foods you eat and when you eat them, it fits in with any personal advice on diet that your diabetes care team gives you. Taking insulin or other medication need not be a barrier to losing weight; our research shows that Slimming World members with diabetes lose weight as successfully as other members. I’d been controlling my type 2 diabetes for years using tablets. When I went to a routine appointment at my local diabetes clinic however, my doctor was blunt. He told me if I didn’t change my lifestyle, in a few months time I would need to start injecting insulin. Part of my condition meant that I experienced diabetic lows, where I’d feel light headed and would start sweating. After joining Slimming World and losing 6 stones, I experienced my last low nearly a year ago and took my last tablet – my diabetes is now controlled by diet alone! My doctor is amazed. He’d never heard of someone with diabetes at my level changing their condition so drastically purely through diet. John Ritchie, Eyemouth Diabetes UK, the leading charity working for people with Continue reading >>
The Deliberate Lies They Tell About Diabetes
By some estimates, diabetes cases have increased more than 700 percent in the last 50 years. One in four Americans now have either diabetes or pre-diabetes (impaired fasting glucose) Type 2 diabetes is completely preventable and virtually 100 percent reversible, simply by implementing simple, inexpensive lifestyle changes, one of the most important of which is eliminating sugar (especially fructose) and grains from your diet Diabetes is NOT a disease of blood sugar, but rather a disorder of insulin and leptin signaling. Elevated insulin levels are not only symptoms of diabetes, but also heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and obesity Diabetes drugs are not the answer – most type 2 diabetes medications either raise insulin or lower blood sugar (failing to address the root cause) and many can cause serious side effects Sun exposure shows promise in treating and preventing diabetes, with studies revealing a significant link between high vitamin D levels and a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome By Dr. Mercola There is a staggering amount of misinformation on diabetes, a growing epidemic that afflicts more than 29 million people in the United States today. The sad truth is this: it could be your very OWN physician perpetuating this misinformation Most diabetics find themselves in a black hole of helplessness, clueless about how to reverse their condition. The bigger concern is that more than half of those with type 2 diabetes are NOT even aware they have diabetes — and 90 percent of those who have a condition known as prediabetes aren’t aware of their circumstances, either. Diabetes: Symptoms of an Epidemic The latest diabetes statistics1 echo an increase in diabetes ca Continue reading >>
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 >>
How Does Diet Affect Insulin And Blood Sugar ?
Glucose (a type of sugar) is the primary energy source for all the cells in your body. Your blood carries and delivers the glucose to the cells in your body. The hormone insulin regulates the amount of glucose in your blood (your blood sugar). Without adequate insulin, your cells cannot properly absorb the sugar from the bloodstream. Thus, there is a direct correlation of insulin and blood sugar. When you eat, especially carbohydrates, blood sugar levels naturally rise. This rise causes your pancreas to secrete insulin into the blood, thus allowing the cells to absorb the glucose and bring your blood sugar back to a normal level. When there is not enough insulin present or insulin resistance occurs, glucose stays in the blood and is not absorbed by the cells. Obviously, this results in higher blood sugar levels. With diabetes, your body may have insulin resistance, or may not produce enough insulin for the food you eat, thus resulting in high blood sugar levels. It is not only what you eat that can cause higher blood sugars. How much and when you eat have a high impact on blood sugar ranges. Here are three tips from the Mayo Clinic that may help you keep your blood sugar range normal. 1) Consistently eat at set times. Your blood sugar levels are highest an hour or two after you eat, and then begins to go lower. You can work this pattern to your advantage. Simply eat about the same amount of food at the same time each day. You can also coordinate high-energy activities during this time. 2) Keep Your Carbohydrates Even. Carbohydrates have more impact on your blood sugar level than do protein or fat. Eating the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal or snack helps keep your blood sugar level steady through the day. Choosing complex carbohydrates, that take longer to be Continue reading >>
Diabetes Foods: Is Honey A Good Substitute For Sugar?
I have diabetes, and I'm wondering if I can substitute honey for sugar in my diet? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. Generally, there's no advantage to substituting honey for sugar in a diabetes eating plan. Both honey and sugar will affect your blood sugar level. Honey is sweeter than granulated sugar, so you might use a smaller amount of honey for sugar in some recipes. But honey actually has slightly more carbohydrates and more calories per teaspoon than does granulated sugar — so any calories and carbohydrates you save will be minimal. If you prefer the taste of honey, go ahead and use it — but only in moderation. Be sure to count the carbohydrates in honey as part of your diabetes eating plan. Continue reading >>
How Does Food Affect Your Blood Sugar?
When you have diabetes, your blood sugar level reflects the foods you choose. "For over a year, my sugar ran from 250 to 350 every day," writes WebMD Diabetes community member chui55. After switching from chips and sweets to fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, "my sugar is ranging between 110 and 185... I am so glad I have turned a major corner now and [am] on my way to a healthier me." Do you know which foods can help you control blood sugar? Take this quiz to find out. 1. The glycemic index ranks foods based on: a. The amount of sugar they contain b. How much weight gain they cause c. How much they raise blood sugar d. Their calorie count 2. Which of these breads is lowest on the glycemic index? a. White b. Pumpernickel c. Whole wheat d. 100% whole grain you might like 3. Which of these vegetables is your best choice if you have diabetes? a. Baked potato b. Carrots c. Corn on the cob d. Sweet potato 4. Which of these nuts might help control your blood sugar? a. Cashews b. Hazelnuts c. Pecans d. All of the above 1. c. The glycemic index ranks carbohydrate-based foods based on how much they raise blood sugar levels. Foods that are high on this index can cause blood sugar to spike, making diabetes harder to control. 2. d. Breads that are 100% whole grain are made with the entire grain -- unlike refined grains, which are processed to remove some of the nutrient-dense layers. Whole-grain foods are high in nutrition and are slow-burning, so they help keep your blood sugar steady. 3. b. Though carrots can be sweet, they’re lower on the glycemic index than the other vegetables on this list. Green, leafy vegetables are an even better addition to your plate. Ideally buy vegetables fresh, or look for frozen or canned options with no added sauces or salt. 4. d. A review of 12 s Continue reading >>
Can A Diabetic Consume Dates? You Will Love The Answer
Dates are a great winter food that come loaded with nutrients like Iron and anti-oxidants. But, they are also higher in calories, as compared to other dried fruits, and one is usually not advised to consume too many in one go. Diabetics, more often than not, are advised to steer clear of these chewy delights. Is there any truth to this? According to Dr. Mukta Vasistha, H.O.D, Nutrition and Dietetics, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, all of you, yes, each one of you can eat Dates! Not one, but at least two to three, depending on how great your blood sugar level is. But what about Diabetics? The reason why Diabetics are asked to avoid high-sugar and high-calorie foods is because these may shoot up their blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels are regulated, in the human body, by Insulin, a hormone that is produced poorly by Diabetics. In the absence of adequate amounts of Insulin, the glucose in the body is not used up and levels of the same shoot up in the bloodstream of Diabetics. What are Dates? Phoenix Dactyliferous, commonly called date, comes from the family of flowering plants of the palm family. The fruit is grown on Date Palm trees in clusters under the palm tree's fronds. These trees are easily found the in the Middle East where dates have been a staple for centuries. Dates are tricky to harvest and to ensure an abundant harvest, they are hand pollinated also. Can Diabetics Eat Dates? Ask any Diabetic and you will find that dates figure on their ' Do Not Eat' list. That doesn't have to be the case. According to experts, diabetics can also benefit from the high fiber content of dates. It is okay to eat 2-3 dates a day for diabetics so long as they exercise caution and maintain healthy eating habits overall. On an average, a diabetic is allowed to get up to ten percent of t Continue reading >>
8 Common Diabetes Questions Answered
Health.com -- Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes; another 57 million have prediabetes, a precursor to the disease. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if the diabetes epidemic continues, one in three Americans will develop it in his or her lifetime. That's especially bad news for women, because the disease can affect both mother and child during pregnancy, and women with diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack (and at a younger age) than women without diabetes. Along with the worries about diabetes, there's a lot of misinformation (like skinny girls can't get the disease, or eating too much candy causes it), which is why we've gathered expert answers to the most common questions. What's the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. It's most often diagnosed in patients under 18, but it can strike at any age. Type 1 diabetics need insulin to manage the disease. In type 2 diabetes, the body loses its sensitivity to insulin, the hormone that helps muscles absorb and use blood sugar. Traditionally, type 2 diabetes was diagnosed in older people. But with the rise in obesity, it's now being diagnosed at younger ages, sometimes even in children. Some traditionally thin populations are also being diagnosed with the disease as well. Type 2 is generally treated with changes to diet and exercise habits, as well as oral medication or insulin. How will I know if I have diabetes? Diabetes may cause no symptoms at all, but some signs include frequent thirst and hunger, having to urinate more than usual, losing weight without trying to, fatigue, and crankiness. If you're concerned, get your blood-glucose level checked, says Deborah Fillm Continue reading >>