11. January 2012 05:58
Energy drinks are everywhere you look. They are available in grocery stores, vending machines, convenient and drug stores. Some of my friends use them for a quick energy fix. Many cannot get through the day without having at least one. There are even sugar-free brands that are diabetes friendly.
I do know that these drinks are extremely high in caffeine. Some can have as much as 500 mg in every 8-ounce serving. To me, that is excessive, since a 5-ounce mug of coffee has between 60-150 mg. But, keep in mind; most people don’t drink just 5 oz…I think I will just stick to my coffee! If you look at the nutrition label on a can or bottle, the caffeine amount is not even listed. Energy drinks usually contain guarana which supplies an additional amount of concentrated caffeine. This should concern some people with diabetes because too much caffeine can increase the heart rate and elevate your blood pressure. Both conditions can lead to a heart attack. Many people with type 2 diabetes already have high blood pressure and heart disease.
In additions, these drinks may also contain herbal supplements. Certain herbs can interfere with some of your diabetes medicines. The best message to take home, if you have diabetes, is to always speak with your doctor about these types of drinks. I strongly believe that all we need to do is to get plenty of sleep and exercise. Both can help boost our energy levels without needing any of these energy drinks.
What are your thoughts?
Reference: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingOver-the-CounterMedicines/UCM205286.pdf, accessed 12/9/2011.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k11/WEB_DAWN_089/WEB_DAWN_089_HTML.pdf , accessed 12/9/2011.
6. January 2012 08:39
Most people are familiar with the medical ID bracelets. Lately, there are other options available to help identify your diabetes. A successful program was started in Tennessee known as the “Diabetes Alert Sticker Program”. A sticker is placed in the rear window of a car that is driven by a person with diabetes. If a policeman approaches a car and finds the driver showing signs of impairment, the officer is aware it may be diabetes related. Low blood sugar symptoms are often similar to alcohol/drug use. In order to receive the sticker, you will need a doctor’s order. This program is becoming very popular and is being expanded throughout the United States. In some states, diabetes can be listed on your driver’s license. This is another way to spread awareness to police officers aware that you have diabetes. A diabetes tattoo is the latest trend. You can have a tattoo with the Star of Life or the American Diabetes Association symbol.
What do you think your diabetes alert tattoo would say?
21. December 2011 04:56
Recently, I read about a new concept that uses a contrast in the plate color and the food served on it. The contrast of the plate and food can affect how we view portion sizes.
You can perform your own experiment to see how this works.
- Place cream colored pasta on a white plate
- Serve pasta with red sauce on a white plate.
You will notice that you have a larger portion of creamed colored pasta compared to the pasta with red sauce. This shows that the less contrast between the color of food and the plate, the more you will eat. Two-hundred people participated in a study and this is exactly what happened. It was also noted during the same study, when a white plate on a black tablecloth is used, the servings were 10% larger than a white plate on a white tablecloth. So, the opposite occurs; The higher the contrast the larger the food portions.
Try this and see if it makes a difference in controlling your food portions. Let us know how it goes!
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204753404577066253349009674.html?KEYWORDS=heaping+plates , accessed 11/29/2011.
8. December 2011 06:37
I found out some exciting news about a “gastric pacemaker”. It will help obese people lose weight. You would be a good candidate for this if you have a BMI between 35-55. There has been much talk among researchers to create a device that can be implanted with less invasive surgery than the gastric by-pass. This device is the size of a pocket watch. After you eat, the implant stimulates the stomach so it feels full. This helps obese people learn to eat smaller portions and lose weight.
I know many people with type 2 diabetes are having gastric by-pass surgery to help them with weight loss as a 5-10 pound weight loss can result in better control of their diabetes. Imagine what a 100 pound loss would do! I am so excited over what could happen in a couple of years.
How do you feel about this innovation?
28. November 2011 06:03
I have two friends who have had the gastric bypass surgery. They qualified for two reasons; Their BMI ranged between 35.0-39.9 and they have type 2 diabetes. Both of my friends lost almost 100 pounds each! Most importantly, they were taken off of their diabetes medicine to manage it with diet and exercise. One of my friends actually suffered from frequent hypoglycemic episodes after this. She was able to get it under control quickly, having known before-hand that this is a common side effect with this type of surgery. Gastric Bypass is becoming more common for people with type 2 diabetes as an option to lose the weight.
Gastric Bypass sounds like a quick and easy fix to dropping some serious weight, right? What some people don’t understand is that you can gain the weight back by overeating very easily. That is exactly what happened to both of my friends. As a result of not following a smaller/strict diet, they both are back on their diabetes medicine and have regained the weight that was dropped from the gastric bypass surgery.
What are some other safe options for weight loss with diabetes?
Do you know anyone this has happened to? Did they decide to have the surgery again?
22. November 2011 06:49
I found a wonderful web page that shows how to enjoy Thanksgiving and still eat healthy. It demonstrates exactly how to enjoy the stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie we all love to eat on Thanksgiving Day. The plate is divided into three portions/sections so you don’t have to measure your food. Fill one portion with vegetables, divide the other half into two equal sections, one for stuffing and sweet potatoes and the other for the turkey.
You will also find easy recipes to make these favorite foods with healthier ingredients. One recipe that caught my eye was the tangerine cranberry relish which has zero grams of carbs or fat. Also included are eleven health tips for you to use for a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!
I’m going to try to stick to calorie-free drinks throughout the day so that I can enjoy some dessert!
Also, don’t forget to sign the Healthy Holiday Eating Contract (Page 5 of the web page). It is always helpful to set goals and list what you want to accomplish this holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving from CCS Medical!
http://www.diabeteseducator.org/export/sites/aade/_resources/pdf/general/ThanksgivingPlateResource.pdf Accessed 10/21/2011.
2. November 2011 07:05
My husband and I love to cook with flavorful spices. His cholesterol is always a little high but his triglycerides are in good shape. A recent study found that adding spices to high fat meals reduces triglycerides by 30%! This is valuable information as many people with diabetes have high triglyceride levels. What a flavorful way to lower them with some spiced up meals!
Here are some spices that you can try:
(Click through for recipes containing that spice)
What type of spice have you used or heard of that helps lower your triglycerides?
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/141/8/1451 Accessed 9/15/2011.
28. October 2011 03:57
Will you be indulging in Halloween candy? Are you going to go to several holiday parties this year? Controlling your diabetes can be very difficult during these holidays. Keep in mind, it can be done by making some smart choices.
According to The American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes can have sweets. This includes chocolate, pies, brownies, cakes and much more. Play it smart and keep the portions small. Plan to fit these carbohydrates into your meal plan. For example, if you want a brownie, exchange it for your potato.
Most people say it is ok to eat whatever you want because it is a special occasion. While this is true and everyone deserves a treat sometimes, over doing it is never a good idea. Here are some ideas that you can use to help you make the holidays fun and healthy.
- Try to limit treats to once a day and remember to keep the portions small
- Before going to a party, eat some raw vegetables or fruit so you do not over-eat at the party
- Use the smallest plate and have more vegetables than carbohydrates
- After eating, get others to take a walk with you.
What guidelines do you generally follow to help you control your diabetes over the holiday seasons?
24. October 2011 05:28
My diabetes patients often ask me if cinnamon will help lower their blood sugar. Some have reported that they have successfully used cinnamon while others have said cinnamon had no impact on their blood sugar readings. I decided to do some research on my own. I found a mix of results. One study showed that cinnamon may lower blood sugar by decreasing insulin resistance. In another study, cinnamon had no effect. A third study suggests its use in the diet as a supplement. In my opinion, it appears that more research is needed to confirm these findings and it may not yet be time to throw your diabetes pills away for cinnamon! So, is Cinnamon Safe for People with Type 2 Diabetes?
It appears to be. It is classified as a food supplement and not a drug. Just be aware that large amounts may increase liver problems in people with liver damage. If you do plan to use cinnamon, speak to your physician first.
What are your thoughts on supplements to control your blood sugar?
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3215.full Accessed 9/16/2011.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16549460?dopt=Abstract Accessed 9/17/2011.
17. October 2011 05:41
People with celiac disease tend to have digestive problems. They are unable to tolerate foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a type of protein found in foods made with barley, rye and wheat. A gluten-free meal plan can help prevent the intestinal problems that occur. If you have type 1 diabetes, celiac disease is more common, about 10% of people with type 1 diabetes have celiac disease as well. It can be hard for people to combine both a celiac and diabetes meal plan, but many are doing just that.
I just heard about another challenge people with celiac disease face. There is a risk of something called cross-contamination. This occurs when gluten-free foods come in contact with foods that contain gluten and the gluten-free food no longer remains gluten-free. Have you heard about this happening?
Here are some tips from the American Dietetic Association:
- Store gluten-free foods and baking supplies away from gluten foods. Always label these containers as gluten-free flour or pasta.
- Prepare gluten-free foods first then make any gluten foods for your family or friends.
- Squeeze bottles work best for ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise. If you “double-dip” knives in a spread there is a chance that some of the gluten-free bread crumbs can contaminate these spreads.
- Wash toasters and bread machines inside and out. If you can, buy separate appliances for your gluten-free foods.
What other tips do you use to help control your diabetes with celiac disease?
Nutrition Care Manual, American Dietetic Association, 2011 editionhttp://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/gluten-free-diets/?utm_source=RightHandRail&utm_medium=SitePromotion4&utm_content=glutenfree-june2011&utm_campaign=CON accessed 10/15/2011