Posted on

5 Worst Foods For Type 2 Diabetics and What They Should Eat Instead

As stated in previous posts, the dilemma that most people with type 2 diabetes face is what can they eat. Judging from most of the information you see on the internet it would appear that food choices for type 2 diabetics are very limited. While some foods will spike your A1C, there are still many healthy foods to choose from.

Some of the worst foods for type 2 diabetics are:

  1. Refined carbohydrates — white rice, white flour, white potatoes, white pasta. Carbohydrates are important in your diet. When we eat carbohydrates, enzymes break them down into glucose, which supplies our bodies with energy. Your pancreas then releases insulin so that your cells can absorb the glucose. There are three main types of carbohydrates – starches, sugar, and fiber.
Image by Harald Dona from Pixabay

What can you eat instead?

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends we “choose carbs that are nutrient-dense, which means they are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and low in added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats.”

2. Sugary foods and drinks — cakes, candy, ice-cream, sweetened juices, energy bars. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Any food that has sugar added to it can come under this heading. Sugar is a form of carbohydrate and it too is broken down into glucose to be used by your cells for energy. When you consume more sugar than your body needs for energy, the excess is stored in the body as fat, which can lead to obesity, which can lead to diabetes.

What can you eat instead?

The ADA recommends that you eat less of these sugary foods and drinks and more fresh fruits. Other sources list oranges, apples, cherries, strawberries, watermelon, and kiwi, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They not only satisfy your sweet tooth but keep you feeling full longer, which can help with weight loss.

3. Processed foods encompass almost all the foods you eat which have been altered in some way. So almost every food you can think of, even the ones you prepare yourself, has been processed. The danger lies in whether chemicals and other preservatives have been added, which in most cases they have to give them a longer shelf life. Processed foods also contain a lot of fat, sugar, and/ or salt to enhance the flavor. Because of this they can add unwanted calories which lead to obesity.

What can you eat instead?

Shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. Try to stay away from packaged foods of any kind. Use whole grain cereals and flour as much as possible.

4. Fried foods and those containing trans fats and saturated fats. The obvious reason is that fried foods contain excess fat, which adds calories you don’t need and can lead to cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes, the same way that saturated fats do.

What can you eat instead?

Eat foods that have been prepared by steaming, baking, or cooking in an air fryer. This eliminates the addition of fat and ensures that you are not putting unwanted calories and chemicals into your body.

4. Artificial sweeteners. A study posted in Medscape magazine states that people who consume a higher than median amount of artificial sweeteners — especially aspartame — had a 13% higher than average risk of overall cancer over 8 years than those who did not consume those sweeteners.

The problem is that a lot of people, in their attempt to avoid excessive sugar intake, turn to artificial sweeteners thinking they are the better choice, when in fact, they are exposing themselves to dangerous cancer-causing chemicals, which also cause weight gain leading to Type 2 diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners are not just limited to the kind you buy in those little packets; one investigation found they are hidden in diet soda, whole-wheat bread (even 100% whole wheat), and salad dressings. Other foods that may contain artificial sweeteners are English muffins, canned peaches, and iced tea. If you read labels you would see that many of them that say no sugar added do, in fact, contain artificial sweeteners, so be sure to read your labels.

What can you use instead?

Opt for plain water over flavored waters and drinks. Choose fresh-baked 100% whole-grain breads and make your own dressing with olive oil, lemon/vinegar, a touch of herbs, garlic and/or Dijon.

Newsletter signup

Please sign up to receive more posts like this in your inbox.

Please wait...

Thank you for sign up!

Posted on

How Sleep Affects Your Glucose Level

Courtesy morgue file

Sleep is so important to our health. Insufficient sleep affects not only our energy level, it affects our glucose level as well. The findings of a study published in Diabetes Care state that adults with prediabetes or untreated Type 2 diabetes who sleep less than 5 hours or more than 8 hours a night tend to have higher glucose levels. Among the participants, those who got between 7 and 8 hours of sleep showed A1C levels significantly lower than those who got less or more sleep.

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Sleep loss and insulin

You may be asking yourself what does my staying up to watch a late-night movie and getting up early the next morning to go to work have to do with my A1C? Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, if you regularly lose sleep, your pancreas releases less insulin after you eat – remember Type 2 diabetes results from your body not using insulin properly – putting you at risk for diabetes.

Sleep loss and weight gain

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Sleep deprivation does not only affect your glucose levels directly, it also contributes to weight gain, which is a risk factor for diabetes. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you are likely to get out of bed and head for the fridge. And chances are, you are not going to reach for a leaf of lettuce. Those midnight monsters – cookies, milk, even ice-cream – will be calling your name. The result is disaster for your waistline and your health. Also, sleep deprivation can leave you feeling tired and in no mood to exercise. It’s a vicious cycle because exercise is a boon for a good night’s sleep.

You can make it up

You can make up for lost sleep by getting a few full nights’ sleep maybe over the weekend. This will help you feel better and bring your glucose levels down. Diabetes is a debilitating disease. It destroys your organs, your eyesight, it can lead to a stroke or heart disease, But fortunately, it is controllable. You owe it to yourself to protect your body from this crippling disease. In my next post, I will give you some pointers on how you can improve your sleep, avoid diabetes and enjoy a better quality of life.

Are you struggling to control diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure? Are you getting less than 6 hours sleep a night? If you answer yes to any of these questions, I can help you. Fill in the form below and let’s talk.

Posted on

5 reasons to get rid of that belly fat

Belly fat is not only unattractive, it can signal the presence of some chronic diseases. Read on to find out more.
Checking waist measurement may bring awareness to the problem of belly fat.

Not all fat is created equally. Have a waist larger than 35 inches if you are a woman (larger than 40 inches for men) means you are holding on to too much abdominal fat, and this particular condition comes with some very serious health risks.

While the fat that pads your arms, thighs, and butts may seem like a big deal when you look in the mirror, it’s the fat you harbor in your midsection that is actually the most dangerous to your health and longevity. This belly fat, also known as visceral adipose or visceral fat, is strongly linked to some severe disease risks and conditions, so shedding this excess fat is crucial to ensuring your long-term health. Here are the top five reasons you should start working on eliminating that extra belly fat today.

Excess belly fat is not only unattractive, it can signal the presence of many harmful conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and even dementia.

Belly Fat Affects Your Hormones

Subcutaneous fat, like the kind in your arms and butt, behaves differently than belly fat. The fat in your midsection acts much like another organ in your endocrine system, secreting hormones and affecting how well your body regulates hormone levels. These fluctuations can negatively impact metabolic functions as well as your mood. Shifts in hormones impact neurotransmitters, which can lead to an increase in depression and other mood disorders. Women with excess belly fat are especially vulnerable to this effect.

Belly Fat Raises Your Risk for Heart Disease

Those who carry around excess weight in their middle, particularly for extended periods, are more likely to develop coronary heart disease. Even when you adjust for all other heart disease risk factors, those with larger waists have a risk factor that is two or more times those of others of similar age and gender.

More Belly Fat Means A Higher Chance of Cancer

Your risk of cancer also rises sharply when you have visceral fat. Excess fat in the middle raises your risk for developing colorectal cancer and breast cancer. This type of fat is associated with increased levels of leptin, estrogen, and inflammatory proteins, thereby raising cancer risks. When you lose weight and decrease belly fat, these biomarkers all fall as well.

Your Belly Fat Can Cause Dementia

Long-term research has confirmed a link between people with high amounts of abdominal fat in midlife and the development of dementia later in life. Even considering other risk factors known to contribute to dementia risk, those with a larger waist circumference are still more likely to end up with dementia as they age.

Belly Fat Leads to Many Chronic Diseases

Those with the highest amounts of belly fat also have the highest incidences of Type 2 diabetes, migraine headaches, respiratory disorder, and other chronic conditions that can shorten your life and severely impact the quality of life. Those with larger waists are more than twice as likely to die prematurely, even when their overall weight is healthy.

Reducing your belly fat is, therefore, critical to your longevity and health. Losing the spare tire or those love handles, though, is not just a matter of doing more crunches. To eliminate visceral adipose, you need to limit your intake of calories and burn more calories through exercise. Severely cutting back on sugar, which is a significant contributor to belly fat is essential. Also, limit your intake of alcohol, fried foods, and refined carbohydrates, like bread and pasta.

You should eat plenty of dietary fiber and protein, especially fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Be sure you are getting enough sleep each night, which can help regulate your hormones and assist in shedding that excess fat.

Need some help reaching your health goals? Fill in the form below and let’s talk about how I can help you in this journey.

[ctct form="964"]
Posted on

Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

Courtesy morguefile
If you are a woman in the United States today, your chance of getting breast cancer is 1 in 8, according to the most recent report published annually by the National Cancer Institute’s [NCI] Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results [SEER] Program. Looked at another way, the chance that you will never have cancer is 87.6 percent or 7 out of 8. That’s good news, isn’t it? But your chances of getting cancer increase as you get older, although the risk varies from woman to woman.

So, apart from age, let’s look at other factors that impact your chance of getting breast cancer.

1. Family history – If your mother, sister or daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer, you are likely to get it. Another pertinent fact according to SEER: if you have a male relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk increases.
2. Breast density – Women who have dense breast tissue are more prone to breast cancer than those who don’t.
3. Breast cancer – If you have had breast cancer once, you are likely to get it again.
4. Alcohol – increases your risk of breast cancer
5. Reproductive and menstrual history – early menstrual onset and late onset of menopause – after age 55 – and not having children are all risks for breast cancer.
6. Obesity – carries with it an increased risk.
7. Hormone therapy – postmenopausal women who use combined estrogen and progestin for more than five years increase their risk of getting breast cancer.
8. Race – Caucasian women in the US have a higher incidence of breast cancer than women of other races.
9. Physical activity – Women who are physically inactive increase their risk of breast cancer.
If you have never had breast cancer, it is very likely you know someone who has, and this is why I’m focusing on it this month in an effort to help you help yourself or someone else. As you can see, many of these risk factors are outside our control, however we can and should do everything in our power to prevent ourselves succumbing to this horrible disease. Read my previous post for some pointers on what you can do. In my next post, I’ll go more in depth.
Until then, stay healthy.

From now until the end of the month, I’m offering four of these pink ribbon and hearts bangles free of cost to four women when you sign up for my mailing list. This beautiful bangle will brighten your day and contribute to the fight against cancer. Just fill in your information in the box below and in the comments section state why you would like to have one of these bangles. Four women will be chosen to receive one of these bangles free of cost. God bless you.[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]