Diabetes Support

Providing Tools & Information for Diabetic Health

Category: Diabetic Articles (Page 3 of 7)

Why a Diabetic Diet Should Be Low in Carbs

The Anatomy of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are long chains of sugar molecules connected together. There are basically two kinds of Carbohydrates: Simple and Complex.

Simple Carbohydrates are made up of only 1 or 2 sugar molecules. Complex carbohydrates are made up of many sugar molecules linked together.

Simple and Complex Carbohydrates in the diet

Examples of foods that contain Carbohydrates are:

Rice, grains, cereals, and pasta
Breads, tortillas, crackers, bagels and rolls
Dried beans, split peas and lentils
Vegetables, like potatoes, corn, peas and winter squash
Fruit
Milk
Yogurt
Sugars, like table sugar and honey
Foods and drinks made with sugar, like regular soft drinks and desserts

Starch found in Potatoes is a complex carbohydrate whereas table sugar is one of the most simple.

Whether the carbohydrate is complex or simple it can’t be used by the body until it is broken down into a basic sugar molecule.

Stages of Digestion of a Carbohydrate

Stages of Digestion in Carbohydrate Metabolism

Stages of Digestion

1. In the stomach complex carbohydrates are broken down into more simple or basic forms by the stomach acid. Your stomach then passes its contents into the intestines.

2. In the intestines with the help of intestinal bacteria and other digestive enzymes the carbohydrates are broken down into even simpler forms.

3. This digestion in the intestines continues until the carbohydrates are broken down into basic sugar molecules.

4. These sugars pass through the intestinal walls into the blood stream. That is why a person’s blood sugar levels go up after eating carbohydrates.

5. The sugar now in your blood travels through the body.

6. Your body recognizes this increase of blood sugar and produces insulin, which is used to transport the sugar from the bloodstream into the cells of the body where it is used for food and energy.


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Vitamin C – the Missing Vitamin

Facts on Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It is needed for tissue growth and repair, adrenal gland functions, healthy gums, skin and blood. It also aids in the production of anti-stress hormones, is needed for metabolism, protects against harmful effects of pollution, protects against infection, and enhances immunity.

Without it you can bruise easily, have wounds that don’t heal, gum problems and aching joints.

Why do we need to take Vitamin C supplements?

As a place to start, you need to understand, there are only 3 mammals on planet earth that have bodies that do not manufacture vitamin C. These are the guinea pig, the rhesus monkey, and humans. The way all three must acquire the vitamin C they need is through their diets and/or supplementation.

If you are diabetic, taking vitamin C is essential. Your body attempts to protect itself from high blood sugar levels by converting excess glucose in your bloodstream to sorbitol, which is a form of sugar that is initially less damaging to your body.

But over time, sorbitol travels to certain parts of the body where it builds up. Research indicates that this buildup of sorbitol is a factor in the long-term complications of diabetes.

These complications are cataracts, neuropathy (nerve damage), retinopathy (going blind) and nephropathy (kidney failure).

Studies have shown that taking 2,000 mg/day of vitamin C reduces the production of sorbitol and strips sorbitol out of the body.

Another study presented at the Nuffield College of Ophthalmology [Definition: the branch of medicine concerned with the eye and its diseases] of Oxford University, England, showed that vitamin C actually slowed and stopped the development of cataracts, and how natural vitamin C was more effective than synthetic ascorbic acid.

If you have high blood pressure, taking vitamin C is a must! A study done by scientists at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, showed that people with high blood pressure had their blood pressure levels fall by an average of 9.1% by taking 500 mg of vitamin C each day for a month.

A 10-year study from UCLA showed that in a population of more than 11,000 US adults aged 25-74, men who took 800 mg of vitamin C daily lived about six years longer than men who took only 60 mg of vitamin C daily. Increased vitamin C intake was likewise associated with greater longevity in women. Higher vitamin C intake reduced cardiovascular deaths by 42% in men and 25% in women.

There is a huge difference between whole food Vitamin C and ascorbic acid. The more ascorbic acid you take the less your body absorbs. An intake of less than 20 mg has a 98% absorption rate. By the time the intake increases to 1 to 1.5 grams, the absorption has dropped to 50%. In amounts over 12 grams, the absorption of ascorbic acid drops to only 16%.

In contrast, Whole Food Vitamin C contains no ascorbic acid and the body knows how to absorb and use it.

In fact, comparison studies showed that after 12 hours there remained 25 times more Vitamin C in the blood stream than ascorbic acid.

Three Whole Food Vitamin C tablets contain almost as much vitamin C as a half-gallon of fresh squeezed orange juice!

The problem for people who want real vitamin C, is that glass for glass, orange juice contains more sugar than Coca-Cola!

Find out more about a Whole Food Vitamin C


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How Much you Should Exercise and When

Today, the one thing that everyone agrees on is that exercise improves health and can help reverse many medical conditions. Even people who cannot exercise for long periods due to being out of shape or busy lifestyles can now benefit from recent research regarding exercise.
Exercise Programs and Routines

Recent studies show that several, short periods of exercise after eating is more effective than continuous exercise for lowering fat and triglyceride levels in the bloodstream. This new research supports multiple 10-minute periods of exercise that add up to at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week, as a way to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Additionally, if you also want to lose excess weight and/or lower blood sugar levels, the best time to do your exercise time is before breakfast, before lunch and before dinner.
Walking for Exercise

A good type of exercise to start with if you have not been exercising or are out of shape is to begin by just walking. Then as you get accustomed to the walking you can increase your pace, or if you wish, begin a more vigorous exercise regimen.

Take those walks and in one week you will start to feel the difference! In two weeks you’ll be amazed!


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The Dangers of Microwaving Your Food

The Microwave oven is a standard feature in just about every household today. It is as common as the TV, and there are dozens of microwave cookbooks available in any bookshop.

Unfortunately, the more this kitchen tool is looked into, the more it becomes clear they are unsafe and a threat to your health and the health of your family, as can be seen from the following:

“Heating food in a microwave oven is very convenient but recent studies have shown that it may not only impact the nutrition of the food, it also may be dangerous to those who eat the food.”

“According to an announcement about infant bottles from the University of Minnesota in 1989 “Heating the bottle in a microwave can cause slight changes in the milk. In infant formulas, there may be a loss of some vitamins.”

“According to research, cooking food in a microwave may alter the physical make up of the food. It is known that the irradiation process breaks up the molecular structure of food and creates a whole new set of chemicals. These chemicals include benzene [Definition: chemical used in making insecticides and motor fuels], formaldehyde [Definition: fluid used for preserving dead bodies] and a host of known mutagens [Definition: substances that increases the rate of cell mutation] and carcinogens [Definition: cancer causing substances].”

“A study performed by Dr. Hans Hertel of Switzerland found that food prepared in microwave ovens not only altered the food, it also altered the blood chemistry of those eating it.”

“Microwaving food in plastic containers runs the additional risk of the food absorbing dangerous chemicals released when the plastic is bombarded and heated by radiation.”

Dr. J. D. Decuypere


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Neuropathy Drugs Increase Suicide Risk

The FDA just released the analysis of 199 studies done on a total of 44,000 patients who were taking anti-epileptic drugs. The results showed there was twice the risk of suicidal behavior in using anti-epileptic drugs as compared with patients taking a placebo.

Two of the anti-epileptic drugs in these studies were Gabapentin (marketed as Neurontin) and Pregabalin (marketed as Lyrica). Both of these drugs are advertised for neuropathy and are made by the drug company Pfizer.

In 2004 Pfizer was fined by the FDA and paid over $430 million for promoting Neurontin to doctors as a medication for neuropathy, a use for which it was never approved!

So here we have a drug company making two drugs that are prescribed by doctors for neuropathy, one of which was never approved by the FDA for that use, and both are associated with increased risk of suicidal behavior.

(If you know of friends or relatives taking Neurontin or Lyrica, feel free to forward this article to them. You just might save a life!)

Drugs can never heal the body as they are an alien substance in the body. They cannot address the root of the problem, which for most people who have neuropathy, are very specific nutritional deficiencies.


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Are Pre-Packaged “Low Carb” Foods Really Low Carb?

In the last couple of years there have been more and more prepackaged foods going onto shelves in supermarkets and health food shops that are advertised as having a “Low Carb” content.

Being a diabetic, it is important to maintain a low carb intake for several reasons: 1) carbs convert to sugar (glucose) in the digestive tract and raise blood sugar levels, 2) to compensate for the increase in sugar coming into the bloodstream, the body increases its production of insulin, which adds to the already existing problem of insulin resistance that diabetics must deal with, and 3) the excess sugar in the bloodstream that cannot be pushed into the cells of the body for food and energy get converted into triglycerides (fat) and get packed away in the fat cells causing weight gain.

To maintain a low carb diet the diabetic must have the correct information on the carb content of the food he or she is eating. Many new pre-packaged foods today have prominent wording the front of the packaging about it being “Low Carb” and stating that the product has only so many “net carbs” or “effective carbs” per serving.

Some of the “low carb” products that can be found on shelves are energy bars, noodles and even cookies. In inspecting several of these products, the energy bars had 2 “Effective Carbs” per serving, but when looking at the nutritional panel on the back it said Total Carbohydrates per serving was 24. The noodles advertised 5 “Net Carbs” per serving on the front, but the nutritional panel on the back stated Total Carbohydrates per serving was 43. The cookies advertised at only 2 “Net Carbs”, yet the nutritional panel stated Total Carbohydrates at 15.

How can this contradiction be and which information is correct?

Not counting carbs occurs two ways: The first is that some food manufacturers use sugar alcohols as ingredients to sweeten their products. The common sugar alcohols used are mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, and maltitol amongst others.

Because these sugar alcohols are not technically sugar (even though they do contain carbs and do raise blood sugar levels — but more slowly than sugar) the food manufacturers do not count their carb content or label it as zero.

The second way that carbs are not counted is: Fiber is known to help lower blood sugar levels. Because of this, certain food manufacturers count the number of grams of fiber per serving and subtract that number from the number of carbohydrates. Of course this is not based on any scientific evidence that the fiber cancels the carbs, but these food manufacturers do it anyway.

By using the above two techniques the result is “Net Carbs” or “Effective Carbs” which are advertised on the front of the packaging as the carb contents per serving.

But if you look at the nutritional panel on the back of these products it lists the true Total Carbohydrates per serving, which is required by law to be shown there.

So, do not be fooled by misleading advertising gimmicks, judge the carb content by looking at the Total Carbohydrates in the nutritional panel on the back of the product. If you have been using these incorrectly labeled products, you now know the real carb content of the foods you are eating. This will make it easier to keep your blood sugar levels under control.


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Why You Don’t Want Reduced Fat Milk in Your Diet

If you were to visit a milk processing plant, you would see it is filled with all types of stainless steel equipment and machinery.

Inside that machinery, the milk shipped from farms around the processing plant is completely re-made, so that there is so much protein, so much butterfat, etc.

This is done so that the milk products produced are both uniform and meet the standards for milk products set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

First the milk is separated with special machinery into fat, protein and various other solids and liquids. Once separated, these are remixed to set levels for whole, low-fat and no-fat milks.

The butterfat left over goes into butter, cream, cheese, toppings and ice cream.

When the fat is removed to make reduced fat milks, they replace the fat with powdered milk concentrate. All reduced-fat milks have dried skim milk added to give them body, although this ingredient is not usually on the labels.

The powdered skim milk concentrate is created by high temperature spray drying. The result is a very high-protein, low-fat product.

The milk is forced through a tiny hole at high pressure, and then blown out into the air. This causes the cholesterol in the milk to oxidize (chemically changed).

NOTE: The natural cholesterol found in food contributes to health and is a vital part of every cell membrane in your body.

However, you do not want to eat oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque inside the arteries), which causes high blood pressure that eventually leads to heart attacks and strokes.

So when you drink any kind of reduced-fat milk thinking that it will help you avoid heart disease, you are actually consuming oxidized cholesterol, which contributes to the process of heart disease as it builds up on the inside walls of your arteries.

The moral to this story is stay away from any kind of reduced fat milk. If you are going to buy milk buy only whole milk!

If you are lucky enough to live where it is available buy raw unpasturized milk, one of nature’s finest foods.


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Diabetes – Handle Symptoms or Reverse It

Ron Rosedale, M.D., is an internationally recognized expert in nutritional and metabolic medicine [metabolic: of or having to do with the series of processes by which food is converted into the energy and products needed to maintain life] and an anti-aging specialist. In this excerpted article he reviews the incorrect approach “conventional medicine” is taking towards diabetes. He says:

“As I have stated previously, and one concept that I would like to make well-known to save thousands and perhaps millions of lives as soon as possible, is that diabetes is not a disease of blood sugar, but a disease of insulin and perhaps more importantly leptin [a hormone produced by the fat stored in the body].

“Until that concept becomes well-known in the medical community, articles will continue to be published revealing the inadequacy of current conventional medical treatment for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and the falsity of their advice about nutrition.

“Typically treatment concentrates on fixing a symptom, in this case elevated blood sugar, rather than the underlying disease.

“Treatments which concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar for diabetes while raising insulin levels can actually worsen rather than remedy the actual problem.

“Elevated insulin levels are highly associated and even causative of:

*heart disease,
*peripheral vascular disease [blockage of blood vessels to the arms or legs],
*stroke,
*high blood pressure,
*cancer,
*obesity and many other so-called diseases.

“Since most treatments for type 2, insulin resistant diabetes, utilize drugs which raise insulin or actual insulin injections itself, the tragic result is that the typical, conventional medical treatment for diabetes contributes to the obvious side effects and the shortened lifespan that diabetics experience.”

A proper diet with reduced carbs, effective nutritional supplementation and adding just a bit of regular exercise is a very effective and natural way of reversing the diabetic condition.


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Spice Up the Diabetic Diet

Want to spice up your meal? How about experimenting with different herbs and spices. Varying the flavors of your favorite foods can keep you meals interesting.

Asian: Spices like coriander, cardamom, cumin, lemongrass, ginger, and red pepper will lend your foods an Asian flavor. Several of these spices can be combined to make a delicious seasoning rub for fish and chicken.

Italian: Herbs like parsley, basil, rosemary, and thyme as well as garlic and allspice are key ingredients in Italian food.

Mexican: Use hot peppers, cilantro, and garlic. These seasonings can be used with meat, chicken, and pork, but can also be put in soups and salads.

Crunchy crust: A coating made with flour or bread crumbs is a high-carb no-no. A great, flavorful substitutions for bread crumbs is nuts & seeds (sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, macadamia, etc) They can be chopped (or crushed up in a plastic storage bag) and used to coat fish filets, chicken, shrimp, veggies or anything else you’d normally want to put bread crumbs on

Another idea for breading is to use pork rind flour.

For crab cakes, meat balls and the like, try mixing up a paste of baking powder and beaten egg to use as a binder instead of bread crumbs and egg.

Cajun influence – use Cajun Spices & Seasonings


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Higher Morning Sugar Levels

Blood sugar can be brought down and kept at normal levels throughout the day, yet, many diabetics find that even though they have not eaten before bedtime, when they wake up in the morning their blood sugar levels are elevated. This is caused by something called the “dawn phenomenon”:

“Although the mechanics of the dawn phenomenon aren’t yet entirely clear, research suggests that the liver deactivates more circulating insulin during the early morning hours.” [This results in sugar not being pushed into cells for energy but building up in the blood instead.]

“Investigators have actually measured blood sugar every hour throughout the night under similar circumstances. They find that the entire blood sugar increase occurs about 6-10 hours after bedtime for most people who are so affected.”

“Both the time it takes for blood sugar to increase and the amount of the increase vary from one person to another. An increase may be negligible in some and profound in others.”

Excerpted from Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution
by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein

You can begin maintaining healthy blood sugar levels with regular exercise combined with a low carbohydrate diet and by supplementing with the correct nutrients. This can also help reduce the effects of the “dawn phenomenon”.


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