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10 Foods That Can Help Prevent Diabetes

10 foods that can help prevent diabetes

10 foods that can help prevent diabetes

Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States, with about 29 million people who have it, another 8 million who are undiagnosed and 86 million who are considered pre-diabetic, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is a disease in which the body’s cells don’t use insulin properly. At first, the pancreas makes more insulin to get glucose into the cells, but over time, the pancreas can’t make enough to keep blood glucose levels normal and the result is type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes increases a person’s risk for several health conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. It’s also responsible for as many as 12 percent of deaths in the U.S., three times higher than previous estimates, a January 2017 study in the journal PLOS ONE found.
Although genetics can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, both diet and exercise also play a big role.
In fact, people with pre-diabetes who lost just 5 to 7 percent of their body weight reduced their risk by 54 percent, a study out of John Hopkins in July 2013 found.
Here, experts weigh in with 10 foods that balance your blood sugar and can prevent diabetes:
1. Apples
You might think fruit is off the menu because of its sugar content, but fruit is filled with vitamins and nutrients that can help ward off diabetes.
Apples are one of the best fruits you can eat because they’re rich in quercetin, a plant pigment. Quercetin helps the body secrete insulin more efficiently and wards off insulin resistance, which occurs when the body has to make more an Continue reading

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Diet and Diabetes: Why Saturated Fats Are the Real Enemy

Diet and Diabetes: Why Saturated Fats Are the Real Enemy

This is the seventh article in our “Controversies” series and the third piece focusing on the subject of fats.
Today, we are going to explore the very important relationship between saturated fat intake and the onset of diabetes.
As we mentioned in The Ultimate Guide to Saturated Fats, “Once we control for weight, alcohol, smoking, exercise and family history, the incidence of diabetes is significantly associated with the proportion of saturated fat in our blood.”
Today we will take a deep dive to fully understand why there is such a strong link between diabetes and saturated fat consumption. We will also discuss how a plant-based diet may protect you from (or even reverse!) the disease.
What Is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance is a hallmark of both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
So what is insulin resistance exactly (and why is it important)?
Let me explain.
Insulin is what permits glucose (sugar) in the blood to enter our (muscle) cells.
In essence, insulin ‘unlocks’ the door, allowing the glucose to come in. If there is no insulin at all (the case of type 1 diabetes), the blood sugar ‘hangs out’ in the bloodstream because it cannot get inside. That causes the blood sugar levels to rise.
But what happens if the insulin is there but is simply not working properly? In that case, the lock to the cell door is ‘blocked.’ This is what is called insulin resistance.
So what causes insulin resistance in the first place?
Insulin resistance is caused by fat.
Fat build-up inside (muscle) cells creates toxic fatty breakdown products and free radicals that Continue reading

10 Best Foods for Diabetes and Blood Sugar

10 Best Foods for Diabetes and Blood Sugar

Some foods have a bigger impact on your blood sugar than others. Knowing which ones are the best for keeping blood sugar levels steady is especially important when you have diabetes, but it's a good idea for everyone. Your dietary goal is to choose foods that help keep your blood sugar level on an even keel. That typically means whole, minimally processed foods. Here are… Continue reading

How Diabetes Affects Sexual Function

How Diabetes Affects Sexual Function

Diabetes can affect sexual function, and as uncomfortable as it may sound, you may need to discuss this with your doctor (and certainly with your partner). To help you out, I have done research to bring you information about this most sensitive of subjects.
First of all, having any chronic disease may in itself cause anxiety, which can result in sexual dysfunction. But having said that, it is also true that diabetics do report more sexual dysfunction than the populations at large. In his book Talking About Sex (American Psychiatric Press, Inc., 1995), Derek C. Polonsky, MD states that 20% of people with diabetes, both men and women, report sexual dysfunction.
Please read the following with an open mind, not looking for something bad which will happen to you or a loved one. Rather use it as a tool to make you better informed, and more able to talk to the professionals in your life who can help when you need it.
As Dr. Polonsky says, "What starts out as a physical problem is compounded by the emotional reaction to it." This article is shared to help all of us deal with the physical before this occurs.
Research on Diabetes and Sexual Dysfunction
There is more research on sexual dysfunction in males than females.
In males, current research points to the need to develop a comprehensive biopsychosocial evaluation and treatment of diabetic patients with sexual dysfunction because of the high incidence of major depression and anxiety disorders noted in impotent men with neuropathy as compared to those who did not have depression, anxiety, or impotence, but had neuropathy.
One cavea Continue reading

How to lower your A1C levels: A healthful guide

How to lower your A1C levels: A healthful guide

An A1C blood test measures average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend the use of A1C tests to help diagnose cases of prediabetes, type 1, and type 2 diabetes. A1C tests are also used to monitor diabetes treatment plans.
What is an A1C test?
An A1C test measures how well the body is maintaining blood glucose levels. To do this, an A1C test averages the percentage of sugar-bound hemoglobin in a blood sample.
When glucose enters the blood, it binds to a red blood cell protein called hemoglobin. The higher blood glucose levels are, the more hemoglobin is bound.
Red blood cells live for around 4 months, so A1C results reflect long-term blood glucose levels. A1C tests are done using blood obtained by a finger prick or blood draw.
Physicians will usually repeat A1C tests before diagnosing diabetes. Initial A1C tests help physicians work out an individual's baseline A1C level for later comparison.
How often A1C tests are required after diagnosis varies depending on the type of diabetes and management factors.
Lowering A1C levels
Many studies have shown that lowering A1C levels can help reduce the risk or intensity of diabetes complications.
With type 1 diabetes, more controlled blood glucose levels are associated with reduced rates of disease progression. With type 2 diabetes, more controlled A1C levels have also been shown to reduce symptoms affecting the small arteries and nerves in the body. This influences eyesight and pain while decreasing complications.
Long-term studies have also shown that early and intensive bl Continue reading

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