Joy Bauer https://joybauer.com Life is hard, food should be easy Mon, 10 Jan 2022 22:27:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.3 How to Recognize Prediabetes and Prevent Type 2 Diabetes https://joybauer.com/type-2-diabetes/pre-diabetes-symptoms/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pre-diabetes-symptoms Sun, 14 Feb 2016 20:28:24 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2061 Learn how to recognize the symptoms of prediabetes and what you can do to stop the progression to diabetes.

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Type 2 diabetes is a disease that can affect every part of your body, but you can often prevent it by learning how to recognize early signs and symptoms.

The statistics on type 2 diabetes are staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29.1 million men, women and children (9.3 percent of the population) have the disease. And nearly one-third of these people are undiagnosed.

While there’s certainly a genetic component to type 2 diabetes, environmental influences have a huge impact on whether or not you develop the disease and how it progresses (if not well-managed, diabetes can cause complications such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness). This is good news because it means that even if you have an inherited predisposition to developing type 2 diabetes, your fate is not sealed. Your choices, habits and behaviors can actually change your health destiny.

Preventing the disease is often within your power, and is obviously a much better option than managing the disease. The first step to dodging the diabetes bullet: Knowing the signs and symptoms of prediabetes, the “red flag” condition that precedes diabetes.

You’re at risk for prediabetes if you:

  • Are overweight (this is defined as a body mass index, a measure of body fat based on height and weight, over 25)
  • Are older than 45
  • Live a sedentary lifestyle
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Are of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander heritage
  • Had gestational diabetes during your pregnancy or had a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds at birth
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have high triglycerides (more than 250 mg/dL) or low “good” cholesterol, known as HDL (less than 35 mg/dL)

Signs of prediabetes may include symptoms typically associated with diabetes, such as:

• Increased thirst and urination

• Blurred vision

• Fatigue

• Darkened areas of skin on the neck, underarms, elbows, knees and knuckles, a condition called acanthosis nigricans
However, there are often no clear signs or symptoms of prediabetes, which is why it’s extremely important to work with your physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant and/or registered dietitian to monitor certain lab values related to blood sugar levels.

You are diagnosed with prediabetes when you have a:

  • Fasting blood glucose—a measure of how much sugar (or glucose) is in your blood after a period of fasting—of 100 to125 mg/dL
  • Two-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) blood glucose of 140 to199 mg/dL; this test gauges how your body breaks down sugar while drinking a sugar-based beverage over a two-hour period.
  • Hemoglobin A1C of 5.7 to 6.4%; this is a measure of your average blood sugar level over three months.

Estimates indicate that 25 percent of people with prediabetes will go onto develop type 2 diabetes within three to five years (that percentage goes up with each year)—but again, this is not written in stone. If you take steps to modify your diet, achieve and maintain a healthy weight and incorporate regular physical activity into your life, you can absolutely reverse the progression of diabetes.

In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, you can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58 percent with moderate exercise (just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) and a 7 percent reduction in body weight (that’s only about 15 pounds if you currently weigh 200 pounds).

To learn more about how food affects diabetes, click here.

Also check out these ideas about diabetes-friendly breakfasts, snacks and desserts.

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Diabetes Basics: What Is Type 2 Diabetes? https://joybauer.com/type-2-diabetes/about-type-2-diabetes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=about-type-2-diabetes Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:43:37 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2096 Diagnosed with diabetes? Certain diet and lifestyle changes can help you feel healthier.

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Diagnosed with diabetes? If you work with your doctor to closely monitor and control your blood sugar and commit to eating right, you’re likely to live a long, healthy life.

Diabetes is a dangerous condition that deserves serious attention if you’ve been diagnosed with it or suspect you’re at risk.Of all the disorders I treat, diabetes is among the sneakiest and most destructive. Sneaky, because unless you know you’re at risk and are checking for signs, you might not learn you have diabetes until your body is already damaged in some way. Nearly one-third of people who have diabetes don’t know it. Destructive because if it goes untreated, it can lead to one (or several) serious complications, including heart attack or stroke, continuous pain from degenerated nerves, the need for foot or leg amputations from gangrene, kidney failure, or vision loss from retinopathy. It’s a condition that deserves your serious attention if you’ve been diagnosed with it or know (or even suspect) you’re at risk. On a positive note, if you work with your doctor to closely monitor and control your blood sugar and commit to eating right and exercising regularly, you are likely to live a long, healthy life.

What Is Diabetes?
Your body’s most readily available source of energy is glucose, a simple sugar created when carbohydrates are broken down during digestion. If everything is working properly, glucose enters the bloodstream, which triggers the pancreas to release insulin; insulin allows glucose to leave the blood and enter and nourish every cell in your body. This energy transfer at the cellular level fuels all of your bodily functions, from thinking to digestion to movement. If you have diabetes, there is a problem with the way your body produces or uses insulin. If glucose can’t move into the cells, it stays in the bloodstream, leading to the high blood-sugar levels characteristic of the disease.

There are three main types of diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed, so there is no insulin available to let glucose enter body cells. It’s as if a circuit breaker tripped, and the power is simply cut off. No insulin means no energy is getting to the cells. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder for which there is no known prevention or cure. It requires treatment with insulin and carefully planned meals.

With type 2 diabetes, there are two potential insulin problems: The pancreas can’t make enough insulin, or the cells have become resistant to the insulin your body produces. Either or both of these conditions may be present. Some energy gets through to the cells, but much of the glucose is blocked from entering them and stays in the bloodstream. Treatment options vary; some people can manage their disease with dietary changes alone, and others require medications or insulin replacement.

There is also a third type of diabetes called gestational diabetes, which affects about 4 percent of pregnant women. Although this type of diabetes usually disappears after the baby is born, research suggests that women who develop gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

What Affects Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes was once called adult-onset diabetes, but now we know that even young children can develop this disease. The number-one risk factor — by far — is being overweight. Genetics, age, and lack of exercise also contribute to your personal risk, but body weight is the biggest contributor. The American Diabetes Association recommends that anyone who is overweight talk to his or her physician to see if testing is appropriate. There are three tests used to check for diabetes:

  • A fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) measures blood glucose after an overnight fast. It is quick, convenient, and inexpensive. Normal fasting blood sugar is below 100 mg/dL. If your blood glucose is 126 mg/dL or higher, the test will be repeated. Two readings of 126 mg/dL or higher means a diagnosis of diabetes. If your blood glucose is 100 to 125 mg/dL, your diagnosis is prediabetes.
  • An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) measures blood glucose after an overnight fast, and again two hours after you drink a high-glucose liquid. This test is more sensitive than an FPG, but it is inconvenient because of the two-hour wait between blood draws. Normal two-hour blood glucose is below 140 mg/dL. If your two-hour blood glucose is 200 mg/dL or higher, the test will be repeated. Two readings of 200 mg/dL or higher means a diagnosis of diabetes. If your two-hour blood glucose is 140 to 199 mg/dL, your diagnosis is prediabetes.
  • The glycated hemoglobin test (more commonly called A1C) was recently approved as a third method of diagnosing diabetes. The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over a two to three month period. An A1C reading above 6.5 percent indicates a diabetes diagnosis. This test has many advantages over older tests, and many experts now consider it the “gold standard.”

What Are the Dangers of Prediabetes?
It’s probably obvious, but the greatest danger of prediabetes is that it can lead to diabetes. Research shows that most people with prediabetes will develop diabetes within ten years unless they lose at least 5 percent of their body weight, become more active, and make changes to their eating habits.

Prediabetes is also one of the hallmarks of another disorder called metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that, when taken together, create a toxic environment in your blood vessels. People are typically diagnosed with metabolic syndrome when they have at least three of the following conditions: elevated blood pressure (130/85 mmHg or higher), elevated triglycerides (150 mg/dL or higher), low HDL cholesterol (below 50 mg/dL for women, below 40 mg/dL for men), large waist circumference (greater than 35″ for women, greater than 40″ for men), or fasting blood sugar higher than 110 mg/dL. The combination of any three is dangerous, even if the numbers are only slightly out of the normal range. People with metabolic syndrome have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that prediabetes doesn’t always progress to diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program, which studied more than 3,000 people with prediabetes, showed that participants who changed their diets, lost weight, and started exercising reduced their risk of developing diabetes by an astounding 58 percent. That’s slashing your risk of diabetes by more than half, without drugs! In fact the one-two punch of diet and exercise was more effective than treatment with the medication metformin, which reduced the risk of diabetes by 31 percent.

What Are the Dangers of Type 2 Diabetes?
It’s important to understand that diabetes is a chronic condition; you can control the disease, but it will never go away. The best you can hope is that your disease will go into a form of remission — contained, but still subject to return. You’ll need to monitor your blood sugars daily, and your doctor will want to periodically check your progress, too. The A1C test I mentioned earlier as a diagnostic tool is also incredibly useful for tracking how well you’re controlling your sugars. This test provides a status report on your average blood glucose level over a two- to three-month period. So A1C captures more than your blood sugar reading at the moment your doctor draws blood for the test—it is also a measure of whether you’re controlling your diabetes or your diabetes is controlling you.

High A1C levels indicate a high risk of complications from diabetes. To put it bluntly, uncontrolled blood sugar is a poison, and the effects of it are systemic. The most common problems faced by people with diabetes are:

  • Cardiovascular Problems. Extra blood sugar is toxic to your blood vessels. High levels of glucose form free radicals, unstable molecules that damage cellular membranes, including the delicate cell membranes of your blood vessels. Over the long term, the damage may trigger the immune system to secrete inflammatory chemicals that further assault the blood vessels. The process can lead to serious cardiovascular problems — and may cause a heart attack or stroke. ·
  • Eye Diseases. Diabetes increases your risk of cataracts, which clouds the lens, and glaucoma, which can lead to blindness from damage to the optic nerve. In addition, uncontrolled blood glucose damages the delicate blood vessels in the retina, leading to diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in America. Studies show that people can prevent retinopathy by keeping their blood-sugar levels as close to normal as possible. ·
  • Neuropathy. Uncontrolled diabetes exposes your nerves to something like a sugar bath, which leads to the degeneration of nerve cells, or neuropathy. In addition, if the blood vessels that feed the nerves are damaged by diabetes, then those nerves can die. Early nerve damage may cause tingling or numbness, particularly in the feet, and over time may cause pain or large areas of numbness; if nerves die, muscles of the feet or hands can whither. As the nerve damage becomes more extensive in the body, it can cause impotence, dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, and general weakness. Because the feet are usually affected first, good foot care is critically important.

Now that you know the basics about type 2 diabetes, it’s time to start the program. Learn how food can help manage type 2 diabetes.

NEXT: How Food Affects Type 2 Diabetes

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How Food Affects Type 2 Diabetes https://joybauer.com/type-2-diabetes/how-food-affects-type-2-diabetes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-food-affects-type-2-diabetes Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:40:18 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2092 Diagnosed with diabetes? If you work with your doctor to closely monitor and control your blood sugar and commit to eating right, you're likely to live a long, healthy life.

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Diagnosed with diabetes? If you work with your doctor to closely monitor and control your blood sugar and commit to eating right, you’re likely to live a long, healthy life.

Now that you understand Type 2 Diabetes Basics, the best thing you can do for your health is lose weight. But healthy eating for diabetes prevenmtion and control is about more than weight loss.

Research has shown that losing even small amounts of weight — as little as ten pounds over two years — can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by up to 30 percent. Among people with diabetes, weight loss improves insulin sensitivity and glycemic control, reduces triglycerides and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and lowers blood pressure. That is to say, losing a few pounds may very well save your life. But healthy eating for diabetes prevention or control is about more than weight loss.

During digestion, carbohydrates break down to create glucose, which enters the bloodstream, triggering a rise in insulin, which is necessary for the glucose to enter cells. In people with diabetes, this system is defective, so glucose stays in the blood. This is what you are checking when you test your blood-sugar level.

You have no doubt heard about the concept of the glycemic index (GI). GI is a measure of how fast and how high a particular food will raise blood sugar. Foods with a high GI raise blood sugar faster and higher than foods with a low GI. It’s a controversial topic in nutrition because when it comes right down to it, GI values are very confusing and often give the wrong impression. For instance, the GI value of potato chips or french fries is lower than baked potatoes. So, should you choose french fries over a baked potato? Of course not! Although the large amounts of fat in these foods slow down the rate at which they are digested, therefore giving them a lower GI rating, they’re higher in calories and lower in nutrients, making them a bad choice. There’s an easier way to achieve low-glycemic eating without feeling like you need an interpreter to help you decide on every meal. If you’re looking for foods that raise blood-sugar levels slowly and gently like rolling waves, choose high-quality carbohydrates (see list below) instead of low-quality carbs, and whenever possible, couple these carbs with protein and/or healthy fat. For example, eat brown rice and vegetables (high-quality carbs) together with grilled chicken or pork tenderloin (lean protein). High-quality carbs are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are found primarily in plant foods, including whole-grain breads and cereals, brown and wild rice, oats, vegetables, and legumes. In addition, some of these high-quality carbs also contain soluble fiber, a component of plant cell walls.

Soluble fiber slows the absorption of glucose from food in the stomach, which also helps blunt the rise in blood sugar. Studies have shown that eating a diet rich in whole grains and high-fiber foods may reduce the risk of diabetes by between 35 and 42 percent.

BEST FOODS FOR HIGH-QUALITY CARBS: Vegetables, fruits (fresh and frozen, unsweetened), beans, peas, lentils, brown rice, wild rice, barley, oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, whole-grain breads, whole-grain crackers, quinoa, amaranth, wheat berries, millet

BEST FOODS FOR SOLUBLE FIBER:Psyllium seeds (ground), oat bran, rice bran, oatmeal, barley, lentils, brussels sprouts, peas, beans (kidney, lima, black, navy, pinto, soy and garbanzo), apples, blackberries, pears, oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, bananas, peaches, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, sweet potatoes, yams, white potatoes, tomatoes, avocado, raspberries, corn, almonds, flaxseed (ground), chia seeds, sunflower seeds

Low-quality carbs, on the other hand, have much less nutritional value. They are made primarily of sugar, including sugar itself, candy, soft drinks, syrup, honey, jam and jelly, cakes, and most other foods we typically think of as sweets or desserts. Refined starches — the “white” carbs, such as white rice and white bread — are also low-quality carbohydrates because they act very much like sugars once you begin to digest them. You should also avoid drinking fruit juice — all fruit juice, even those brands made from 100 percent pure fruit. Although these beverages certainly provide better nutrition than soft drinks, they contain high concentrations of fruit sugar and raise blood sugars quickly. The same thing goes for dried fruit. Like fruit juice, dried fruit provides ample nutrition and fiber, but unfortunately when the water content is removed from fresh fruit, the dried, dehydrated version becomes super-concentrated with sugar as well and can cause a sharp rise in blood sugar. Clearly not worth the spike! Starchy vegetables — such as potatoes, winter squash, peas, and corn — have a higher glycemic index than other, nonstarchy veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, spinach, and mushrooms. However, you can enjoy moderate amounts of starchy vegetables if you eat them alongside lean protein at meals (instead of eating them alone). For example, a balanced dinner might include broiled salmon, broccoli, and a small baked white or sweet potato topped with fat-free sour cream; grilled chicken, a tossed salad, and an ear of corn. Your goal, then, is to choose high-quality carbohydrates instead of low-quality carbs whenever possible, severely limiting — at the very least — if not avoiding completely, most low-quality carbs.

Moderate Total Carbohydrate, Coupled With Protein
If you stick with high-quality carbs, can you eat as much as you want? Unfortunately, no. To best control your blood sugars, you have to moderate ALL carbs — even if they’re the best of the best carbohydrates. Your total carb intake should be limited to about 40 percent of your daily food intake. (Read more about carb-counting.) To further slow or prevent a blood-sugar rise, remember that, in general, carbs should be eaten together with high-quality protein. Some foods make it easy for you: They contain both high-quality carbohydrates and lean protein — lentils, beans, yogurts, milk, split peas, and soybeans, for example.

BEST FOODS FOR HIGH-QUALITY PROTEIN: Skinless turkey and chicken, fish and shellfish, pork tenderloin, lean beef, egg whites, yogurt (fat-free, low-fat), milk (fat-free, 1 percent low-fat), cheese (fat-free, reduced-fat), starchy beans (including black, navy, pinto, garbanzo, kidney), lentils, split peas, tofu, tempeh, soybeans, nuts and nut butters, seeds and seed butters.

Healthy Fats Versus Saturated and Trans Fats
All fats are not created equal — some can decrease your risk of diabetes and complications, while others are downright dangerous. Let’s talk about the bad fats first.

Avoid Saturated Fats. Saturated fats are found in animal-based foods, including meats, butter, whole-milk dairy products (including regular yogurt, cheese, and ice cream), and poultry skin. They are also found in some high-fat plant foods, including palm oil. Some studies have shown that eating a diet with lots of saturated fats can lead to insulin resistance and may increase the risk of diabetes by up to 20 percent. In addition, many studies confirm that saturated fats increase the risk of heart disease.

  • ·
  • Avoid: butter, cream cheese, lard, sour cream, doughnuts, cake, cookies, white and milk chocolate, ice cream, pizza, cream- or cheese-based salad dressing, cheese sauce, cream sauces, animal shortenings, high-fat meats (including hamburgers, bologna, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, salami, pastrami, spareribs, and hot dogs), high-fat cuts of beef and pork, whole-milk dairy products
  • Choose: lean meat only (including skinless chicken and turkey, lean beef, lean pork), fish and shellfish, reduced-fat or fat-free dairy products, and soy foods (tofu, tempeh, soy milk, edamame)
  • Always remove skin from poultry.
  • If a food label lists palm oil and the saturated fat content is more than 2 grams per serving, put the package back on the shelf.
  • Prepare foods by baking, roasting, broiling, boiling, poaching, steaming, grilling, or stir-frying in healthy oils, such as olive and canola

Avoid Trans Fats. Trans fats are worse than saturated fats for diabetes and its associated complications. The main source of trans fat is partially hydrogenated oil, which is found in most stick margarines, as well as some packaged baked goods, snack foods, fried foods, and fast-food items. (Although fortunately, most major fast-food chains have now gone trans fat–free.) By substituting vegetable oil for trans fats, you may be able to reduce your risk of diabetes by about 40 percent, and you can reduce your risk of heart disease by 53 percent. Whether you already have diabetes or are working to prevent it, there is no amount of trans fats you can safely incorporate into your diet.

Incorporate Healthy Fats. Incorporating healthy fats into your diet is important for blood sugar control. Fat, as well as protein, blunts the rise in blood sugar at meals by slowing down the body’s absorption of carbohydrate. When it comes to overall health, the best fats are omega-3s and monounsaturated fats. Both improve cholesterol levels and other cardiovascular risk factors, so they’re a win-win for people with diabetes. Consider using olive and canola oil for cooking, swapping steak for salmon, adding a thin slice of avocado to your next sandwich, tossing olives into your salad, and snacking on a handful of nuts instead of sweets.

BEST SOURCES OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: Wild salmon (fresh, canned), herring, mackerel (not king), sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, Pacific oysters, flaxseed (ground), chia seeds, walnuts, butternuts (white walnuts), seaweed, walnut oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, soybeans (edamame).

Monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil and nuts, are generally considered among the healthiest of fats. Research into the effects of olive oil on diabetes has been limited, but one Danish study found that people who ate a diet high in monounsaturated fats and low in low-quality carbohydrates had lower fasting blood glucose, lower average glucose levels, and lower peak blood-glucose responses. Monounsaturated fats also improve heart health — an especially important benefit for diabetics, who are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Consider using olive oil and canola oil for cooking, adding a thin slice of avocado on your next sandwich, tossing olives into your salad, and snacking on an ounce of healthy nuts instead of sweets.

BEST FOODS FOR MONOUNSATURATED FATS: Olive oil and olives, canola oil, avocado, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, peanuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, pine nuts, peanut butter, and other nut butters.

Other Vitamins and Minerals

Calcium and Vitamin D.

According to the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 83,000 women for 20 years, both calcium and vitamin D may help prevent type 2 diabetes. Women who got at least 800 IU vitamin D and 1,200 mg calcium reduced their risk of diabetes by 33 percent. Scientists are unclear about exactly what these nutrients do to reduce diabetes risk. It could be that vitamin D regulates the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, and calcium may improve insulin sensitivity. Of course, the synergy between the two makes sense—the body can’t efficiently absorb or use calcium without vitamin D. Improvements in insulin sensitivity are important for everyone with diabetes, but calcium also seems to help control blood pressure, which contributes to heart disease. So whether you have prediabetes or diabetes, calcium and vitamin D are essential to your health.

I recommend that women aim to eat at least three servings of calcium-rich foods daily and consider taking a calcium supplement if they can’t reliably fit calcium into their meals. Men should eat no more than two or three servings of calcium-rich foods daily and should never take a calcium supplement without approval from their doctors — some early research suggests that high calcium diets may increase the risk of prostate cancer incidence and mortality.

BEST FOODS FOR VITAMIN D:Wild salmon (fresh, canned), mackerel (not king), sardines, herring, milk (fat-free, 1 percent low-fat), soy milk, fortified yogurt, egg yolks, UV-treated mushrooms

BEST FOODS FOR CALCIUM:Yogurt (fat-free, low-fat), milk (fat-free, 1 percent low-fat), soy milk, cheese (fat-free, reduced-fat), tofu with calcium (check nutrition label), soybeans (edamame), frozen yogurt( fat-free, low-fat), low-fat ice cream, bok choy, kale, collard greens, white beans, broccoli, almonds and almond-butter.

Magnesium. A 2010 study found that people who consumed significant amounts of magnesium from food and supplements slashed their risk of diabetes in half compared to people who took in very little magnesium. Higher magnesium intake was also linked to lower levels of inflammation and better insulin sensitivity, which may explain why magnesium is so beneficial. Whether you currently have diabetes or you’re trying to drive down your risk, strive to add more magnesium-rich foods to your diet. Because most people don’t get enough magnesium from food alone, consider taking a multivitamin that provides at least 25% DV of magnesium.

BEST FOODS FOR MAGNESIUM:Pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, amaranth, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, quinoa, tempeh, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, soybeans, millet, starchy beans (black, navy, pinto, kidney), artichoke hearts, peanuts, peanut butter, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), brown rice, whole-grain bread, sesame seeds, wheat germ, flaxseed.

PREVIOUS: What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

 

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Diabetes and Coffee https://joybauer.com/type-2-diabetes/diabetes-and-coffee/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=diabetes-and-coffee Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:36:46 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2088 Should people with type 2 diabetes avoid that cup o' joe, or is it safe to drink?

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Should people with type 2 diabetes avoid that cup o’ joe, or is it safe to drink?

Q: Is it safe for people with diabetes to drink coffee?

A: Many studies have linked moderate coffee drinking with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A large review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who drank four to six cups of coffee per day were 28 percent less likely to develop diabetes than individuals who drank zero to two cups. Caffeinated or decaffeinated, filtered or instant, all types seem to be protective.

However, for people who already have diabetes, the picture gets a bit cloudier. That’s because some studies show that the caffeine in coffee reduces insulin sensitivity, which means insulin and blood sugar levels may in fact increase. If you have diabetes and you’re having a tough time keeping your blood sugar down, I recommend switching to decaf for a week or two to see if your blood sugar readings improve. If they do, decaf is clearly the way to go.

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Carb Counting and the Food Exchange System https://joybauer.com/type-2-diabetes/carb-counting-food-exchange-system/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=carb-counting-food-exchange-system Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:33:58 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2083 Is using the food exchange system or counting carbs better for your health?

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Talk to your doctor about whether counting carbs or following the food-exchange system is right for you.

Q: My doctor told me I need to start counting my carbs. How does it work, and is it different from the food-exchange system?

A: People with diabetes are sometimes told they need to count carbs or follow a food-exchange system to standardize their diets. Counting carbs is particularly important for people who take insulin because their dosage is dependent on the amount of carbohydrate they need to offset. They determine the number of carbs they will eat in a particular meal, calculate the amount of insulin they will need to clear those carbs from their blood, then give themselves an injection (or program the amount into their insulin pump). Every “portion” of food in a carb-counting list is equal to 15 grams of carbohydrate — including grains, fruits, dairy products, and starchy vegetables. All you need to know is that every 15 grams of carbohydrate counts as 1 carb choice. For example, one medium apple = 15 grams of carbs = 1 portion. Some doctors and diabetes educators instruct their patients to either count total carb grams or count the number of carb portions. If you are a carb counter, look for total carbohydrate grams on the Nutrition Facts panel of the meals in my Recipe Index.

The food-exchange system organizes foods according to their nutritional content: Starch, Fruit, Vegetable, Fat-Free/Reduced-Fat Milk (including milk and yogurt), Very Lean Meat, Lean Meat, Medium-Fat Meat, High-Fat Meat, and Fat. If your doctor has instructed you to follow the exchange system, then follow those recommendations. For type 2 diabetes sufferers who do use the food-exchange system, I’ve included the exchange breakdown for all of my best Recipes for Type 2 Diabetes.

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Food Cures for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) https://joybauer.com/type-2-diabetes/food-cures-for-pcos/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=food-cures-for-pcos Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:31:23 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2079 PCOS is a scary diagnosis, and it comes with an increased risk of other illnesses.

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PCOS is a scary diagnosis — that comes with an increased risk of other illnesses. While there is no cure, you can make diet choices to help control the condition.

Q: I was recently diagnosed with PCOS. I am a healthy 35-year-old and I am devastated with the increased possibility of heart disease, diabetes and complications in pregnancy without the help of medication. Are there any foods I can add to my diet to help battle this syndrome?

A: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is linked to insulin resistance, so the goal with your nutrition plan is to keep your blood sugar and insulin levels moderate and stable throughout the day.

First and foremost, if you’re overweight, losing even a small amount of weight can improve your condition. (However, not everyone with PCOS is overweight.) If weight loss is part of your plan, you’ll need to watch your total calories and stick with around 1200-1600 total calories per day. And you’ll want to make sure you’re exercising most days of the week — even just 30 minutes of walking most days of the week can be hugely beneficial.

To keep blood sugar in check, follow these tips:

  • Choose high-quality carbs versus low-quality carbs. High-quality carbs — vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains — are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other healthful nutrients. Poor-quality carbs can trigger unhealthy spikes in blood sugar, so you’ll want to dramatically limit your intake of these foods. Poor-quality carbs include: sugary foods (soda and sweetened drinks, fruit juice, candy, cookies and baked goods, sugary cereals, and added sugar in coffee, etc.); white bread, pasta, and crackers; and anything else made from white refined flour.
  • Eat even healthy carbs in moderation. Enjoy 1-2 servings per meal. A serving is equivalent to ½ cup whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or beans/lentils; 1 slice whole wheat bread (or 1 ounce of bread); 1 serving of healthy cereal; ½ cup cooked oatmeal; ½ cup starchy vegetables like peas, corn, or potatoes; ½ medium baked potato; or 1 piece (or 1 cup) of fruit. You do not have to limit non-starchy vegetables — they’re super low in calories and high in fiber.
  • Pair carbs with lean protein at meals and snacks. Pairing a high-carb food (like fruit, starchy vegetables, or whole grains) with a lean protein helps blunt the rise in blood sugar that occurs after a meal. So, try to include a source of lean protein at most meals and snacks. Good protein choices include: skinless chicken and turkey; fish and seafood; lean beef; pork tenderloin; eggs; reduced-fat or nonfat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese); nuts and nut butters; and whole soy foods.

Discover more Food Cures for your health.

 

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Breakfast Ideas for People with Diabetes https://joybauer.com/type-2-diabetes/diabetic-breakfast-ideas/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=diabetic-breakfast-ideas Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:28:24 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2076 Get Breakfast Ideas for People with Diabetes!

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Everyone—especially people with Type 2 diabetes—needs to start the day off with a meal that nourishes and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Put these healthy and easy breakfast recipes on the menu to help you feel satisfied while keeping blood sugar levels in check.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body is unable to properly metabolize glucose (which serves as fuel for all our body’s cells). There are two causes: the body either resists the effects of insulin, the hormone that allows sugar to move out of the bloodstream and into the cells, or the pancreas stops producing enough insulin to facilitate this process. The result is the same: You end up with increased glucose levels in the blood, which damage the blood vessels of the eyes, kidneys and nerve cells.

When you wake up in the morning—after having not eaten for several hours—you need to feed your body strategically to help regulate blood sugar levels and avoid dramatic ups and downs. The best breakfasts for people with diabetes consist of several key components:

  • Complex carbohydrates. Unlike refined carbohydrates, which are burned up quickly by the body, complex carbohydrates are broken down more slowly, and therefore don’t cause blood sugar to spike as quickly or as high. Complex carbs can be found in whole grains (including whole wheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice and whole grain cereals), starchy and non-starchy vegetables, whole fruit, beans, peas and lentils.
  • Protein and fat. These two nutrients are broken down more slowly than carbohydrates. Foods and meals that contain a combination of protein, fat and complex carbohydrate are your best bet because they help maintain more consistent blood sugar levels than foods or meals that contain just carbohydrates. They also supply a variety of tastes and textures.
  • Fiber. This nutrient—found in vegetables, fruit and whole grains—helps slow digestion and stomach emptying. The result is, again, more consistent blood sugar levels over time.

Below are some of my favorite breakfast meals that combine the right nutrients for controlling blood sugar — perfect for people with diabetes.

These recipes will not only help you start the day with an ideal balance of blood-sugar-regulating nutrients, they’ll also keep you satisfied for hours. And don’t be surprised if your neighbors start stopping by for breakfast.

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Easy Diabetic Dessert Recipes https://joybauer.com/type-2-diabetes/easy-diabetic-dessert-recipes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=easy-diabetic-dessert-recipes Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:22:19 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2070 Diabetes is no longer a reason to say no to dessert. With the addition of a few smart ingredients, you can enjoy a sweet end to your meal without spiking your blood sugar.

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Get these easy dessert recipes!
Who doesn’t love to indulge in dessert every now and then? But if you have diabetes, you might be worried about partaking in your favorite sweet treats.

We used to think that the only desserts appropriate for people with diabetes were those that were sugar-free, low-carb or made with artificial sweeteners like stevia and Splenda. Those options are fine but there are plenty of other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth and prevent dramatic spikes in blood sugar.

The secret lies in several key ingredients: Protein, healthy fats and fiber. This trio, in combination with carbohydrates, is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream at a slower rate than refined carbs alone. As a result, you maintain a more stable blood sugar level, without the abrupt ups and downs typically associated with sugary sweets.

Below are some of my favorite dessert recipes that make excellent use of protein (from Greek yogurt or milk), healthy fats (from nuts and nut butters), and fiber (from fresh fruits and whole grains like oats).

Dig in!

If it’s chocolate you crave, try my Chocolate Protein Pudding or a dairy-free version that’s just as tasty.

For a creamy and decadent treat, make my Warm Dark Chocolate Fondue with Fresh Fruit.

Have a hankering for baked goodies? Try my Banana-Pecan Cookies.

If you’re looking for cake-like texture, my Gluten-free Gingerbread Muffins will surely satisfy.

If you’re in the mood for a frozen dessert made with fruit, try my Cherry-Vanilla Yogurt Popsor my Frozen Crunchy Bananas.

For some of my favorite cake recipes that are also great for people with diabetes, click here.

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Easy, Heart-Healthy Dinner Recipes https://joybauer.com/type-2-diabetes/easy-heart-healthy-dinner-recipes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=easy-heart-healthy-dinner-recipes Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:19:32 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2067 Take the guesswork out of creating heart-healthy dinners with a week’s worth of my favorite flavorful recipes.

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Check out these easy, heart-healthy dinner recipes!

We all want to put heart-healthy meals—made with lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains and antioxidant-rich vegetables—on the table for dinner each night. But you need a few key factors to make that happen: the time, the right ingredients and easy recipes to satisfy a whole family of appetites.

That’s why I created this week of dinner recipes—all qualify as heart-healthy and delicious. You’ll even find a few surprising twists.

Monday: Liven up your usual grilled chicken recipe with the addition of a few fresh apricots—the two foods are the perfect pair. Try my Apricot Chicken, which features 26 grams of lean protein. You can serve it with a fresh green salad or a side of my Sesame Green Beans.

Tuesday: All you need is 30 minutes to whip up my Lemon Garlic Shrimp. It contains only 5 grams of carbs, which means you have plenty of wiggle room to enjoy a baked sweet potato on the side. Easy and totally delicious!

Wednesday: With 33 grams of lean protein per serving, this delicious Meatballs and Zucchini Spaghetti dish is as satisfying as any bowl of regular noodles. Plus, the spaghetti switch gives you 3 grams of fiber and helps you cut the carbs and calories.

Thursday: As the week wears on, one-pot meals are in order, especially ones that add zesty ingredients like hot red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar. My Balsamic Chicken can be served alone or with a side of steamed vegetables like broccoli or winter squash, and leftovers (if there are any!) can be enjoyed into the weekend.

Friday: My Grilled Asian Salmon is all about flavor from soy sauce, Dijon mustard, tomato paste and orange and lemon juices. Serve it up with a side of steamed sugar snap peas or my Lemony Brussels Sprouts.

Check out these heart-healthy snack ideas and apple-centric treats.

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Diagnosed with Prediabetes? Normalize Your Blood Sugar With These Tips https://joybauer.com/type-2-diabetes/diagnosed-with-prediabetes-normalize-your-blood-sugar-with-these-tips/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=diagnosed-with-prediabetes-normalize-your-blood-sugar-with-these-tips Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:17:04 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2064 Learning you have prediabetes can be frightening. But if you make a few basic diet and exercise changes, you can get your blood sugar levels back down to normal and prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.

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Learning you have prediabetes can be frightening. But if you make a few basic diet and exercise changes, you can get your blood sugar levels back down to normal and prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are elevated, but not high enough to qualify as type 2 diabetes.

To be diagnosed with prediabetes, you must have:

  • A fasting blood glucose—a measure of how much sugar (or glucose) is in your blood after a period of fasting—of 100 to125 mg/dL
  • A two-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) blood glucose of 140 to 199 mg/dL; this test gauges how your body breaks down sugar while drinking a sugar-based beverage over a two-hour period.
  • Hemoglobin A1C of 5.7 to 6.4 percent; this is a measure of your average blood sugar level over three months.

Twenty-five percent of people with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes within three to five years, and that percentage continues to rise with time. But making a few simple tweaks to your diet, getting regular physical activity and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight (which the first two should help with) can not only prevent the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes, it can also drop elevated blood sugar levels back to normal. In fact, the American Diabetes Association estimates that you can cut your risk for type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent by simply incorporating 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week and by losing 7 percent of your body weight (that’s only 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds).

Fight prediabetes with a two-pronged approach:

Exercise

There are two main forms of exercise, and both help with prediabetes. Make sure to incorporate aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking, swimming, water aerobics, and even seasonal activities like gardening, raking leaves, and shoveling snow, as well as strength training, exercises that build and maintain muscle tissue, including exercise bands, yoga, Pilates and hand weights.

Diet

Eat smart. You can maintain consistent blood sugar levels, feel satisfied and stay energized by choosing foods that are broken down more slowly by the body than refined carbohydrates. Some examples: fresh and vibrantly colored vegetables and fruit; whole grains like quinoa, millet and oatmeal; lean protein like chicken, fish, egg whites, lentils and low-fat dairy; and healthy fats like olive oil, avocado and nuts and seeds. Another food to add to the menu is beans; they contain protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber, and are versatile enough to work into soups, stews, salads, and side dishes.

Steer clear of foods that spike blood sugar.  Unlike the stellar picks mentioned above, foods like candy, soda, sweetened iced teas and lemonades, fruit juice, dried fruits, white rice, baked goods, pancakes, bagels and white bread cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and sap energy. That being said, you’ll want to limit or avoid these items.

For meal ideas that are perfect for people with prediabetes or diabetes, check out these delicious recipes.  Also take a look at these lists of foods to include and foods to avoid for optimal blood sugar levels.

 

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