Archive for November, 2013

Breaking Tradition!….

 

Breaking Tradition

I realize one of the biggest deals of the Holidays are the family traditions, especially when it comes to the meals.  In this day and age, however, with obesity running rampant, Type 2 Diabetes next in line, not to mention high cholesterol, high blood pressure and numerous food allergies,  wouldn’t it be a “special Holiday gift”  to your family,  if you could introduce them to foods that will not clog an artery,  or raise  blood pressure, or especially spike someones blood sugar out the roof after the meal is done.

Sure, we all “cheat” during the Holidays, but learning the alternatives is setting a good example for the younger generations, and showing your favorite diabetic that you were thinking of them during  meal planning  too.  Introduce a few items at a time, we wouldn’t want to shock tradition, however, how can any of them be mad that you are looking out for their health.  As I mentioned in  “Let the Holidays Begin”,   I usually bring a “safe” dish that I know will not affect my sugar negatively, and for  whoever cares to partake, of course with the appropriate “bad sauces and dips” on the side.  We Americans really do put to much emphasis on food.

This article was on Yahoo homepage, by Sarah B Weir, “Everything Guide to Entertainment”, Nov 26, 2013,  with great substitutes for some incredibly sinister side dishes served on the Holidays, and I say sinister not only because of calories and fat count,  but because of the additives, preservatives  and chemical parts in the ingredient labels which few people read.

“With a few tweaks, you can still enjoy an indulgent, satisfying, and delicious meal without going, shall we say, hog wild. Here are the biggest calorie bombs per serving and lighter alternatives—if you made all these swaps, you would save more than 4,000 calories!!! Skip: Mixed Nuts 442 calories per half cup, Splurge: Shrimp Cocktail 183 calories per cup. Skip Mashed Potatoes With Cream and Butter 305 calories per 3/4 cup, Splurge: Roast Potatoes With Olive Oil and Herbs 141 calories per 2/3 cup. Skip: Green Bean Casserole 375 calories per cup.  Splurge: Green Beans With Caramelized Onions and Walnuts 131 calories per 3/4 cup. Skip: Creamed Onions 328 calories per 3/4 cup.  Splurge: Sauteed Brussels Sprouts 100 calories per 3/4 cup.  Skip: Candied Sweet Potatoes 587 calories per 2/3 cup, Splurge: Roasted Sweet Potatoes 96 calories per 1/2 cup.  Skip: Turkey with Gravy 71 calories per 1/2 cup and Sausage Stuffing 610 calories per cup, Splurge: Turkey With Fresh Cranberry Sauce 40 calories per 1/4 cup,  Skip: Chocolate Pecan Pie With Whipped Cream 850 calories per 1/8 whole pie,  Splurge: Pumpkin Pie 316 calories per 1/8 whole pie.

Now I can see  my family’s faces right now, IF they read this, but if you reread the above measurements,  how many people stop at the 1/2,  3/4, or 2/3s cup of anything, so these numbers are actually fewer than what is consumed.  They laugh at me for my eating habits, and say that I have to eat this way, well guess what, “No, I don’t”, but I love my family and wish they could all eat healthier.  My mom was successful several years ago when she wanted to lose weight, we bought her books on carbs counting, kind of a modified South Beach Diet.  She lost and looked great in her “bejeweled pocket jeans”, she was early 70s at the time,  and thankfully my niece watches what she allows her baby girl to eat, hopefully, instilling “healthy” eating habits that she will grow into.    If you love your family, you should give it a try, a little at a time.

 

Ups and Downs of Blood Sugars

Ups and Downs of Blood Sugars

Many people are confused by terms their doctors use referring to blood sugar levels.   Rightly so, as the “normal” ranges have continually  been  lowered and lowered.  I too, thought it was a scam from the big pharmaceutical companies who relish the idea of everyone being on medications for Type 2 Diabetes.  ChaChing, ChaChing go the cash registers.  Anyway, after much reading and re-educating myself on the effects of higher than normal ranges for extended amounts of time,  has conceded that it is detrimental for people to maintain lower blood sugar levels, and here’s why.

There has been an epidemic, yes, it is now an epidemic, of Type 2 Diabetes among adults, and yes, young adults as well.  Beginning in 2007  figures had already been astronomical,  25.8 million people diagnosed, that was 8.3% of the population at a cost of 174 billion dollars a year.   What stands out in my mind is that at THAT time, 79 million people (25% of the population) had blood sugar levels in the “high normal”  range, which to me is an oxymoron.  Mainly because these are the people who today, 2013, have Type 2.  I believe it is mainly due to lack of educating these folks on what was important for them to know.   Preventing Type 2 is doable.  The following information comes from a book by a Dr. Brownstein, who wrote “Balancing Your Blood Sugar” and is a must for Type 2′s who care about helping themselves, and yes, of course, he is trying to sell products, but that is your choice.  I find his info helpful for anyone wanting to understand their infliction, or prevent it from happening.

Our American diet is such that we overload on simple carbs, fats, sugars, and starches which causes our blood sugar to hit those dreaded “high normals”  after our meals, this in turn causes our pancreas to produce and release more insulin to return our blood sugar levels back to normal.  Many things come into play here,  but simply, the more we allow these ups and downs of our blood sugar, the more we over work our systems of checks and balances.  Our bodies like a happy medium, homeostasis , where everything is neutral.  Prolonged excess sugar in our system devastates small vessels leading to eyes, kidneys, heart, and even circulation to  lower extremities, and this is so gradual, most adults do not realize the damage until it is serious and only THEN do they discover they are Type 2.  

Too much insulin is another issue all of it’s own.  Once an overload of insulin is released to combat all the glucose in your system, it can do it’s job all too well, causing you to feel weak, tired, sweaty, unable to focus, and cause you to crave more food, so of course we grab whatever sweets are around to fix the fix, which in turn, you guessed it, causes more insulin to be released to correct your correction.  If this were a perfect world, our problem would be solved, however, every food we eat gets processed at different speeds,( please refer to glycemic index) some taking much too long to correct your low, so we eat more, causing a higher blood sugar level.  This, my friends, is known as the ” Blood Sugar roller coaster”, and unless you understand it, you are in for a ride.  Been there, done that!

In my mind,  ”pre-diabetic”,  ”high normal range”, and “metabolic syndrome” all mean you should restrict yourself from eating as carelessly as you once did, monitor what you put in your meal plan,  what you keep around the house to snack on, and increase your activity levels to assist your body’s use of glucose.  MOST Type 2 can be prevented, do  not allow yourself to accumulate all the visceral fat which leads to poor health.

 

Helpful Diabetes Information That Everyone Should Know

Helpful Information Everyone Should Know.

The word diabetes conjures up fear for many people. What is needed to combat this fear is knowledge that can help you to control and live with this illness. Compilations of tips like the ones you’re about to read will be very encouraging. They are a powerful tool you can use to fight the damages of uncontrolled diabetes.

Eating fiber aids in assisting carbohydrates out of your system once consumed, as well as sugars found in your system, all of which help to maintain  healthy blood sugar level. Fiber can be found in many grains, vegetables, fruits and other foods, as well as adding ground Flax Seed to cereals, oatmeal, yogurts and smoothies.   Maintaining  healthy blood sugar levels not only helps prevent diabetes but also helps offset diabetic symptoms and complications after you are already diagnosed.  Make sure you have plenty of fiber in your diet.

If you have Type 2  diabetes, you should avoid the temptation of changing your medication without first talking to your doctor. There are numerous oral medication choices out there right now, and yes, they are all designed for the same reason; lowering blood sugar, however, they all work through different ways in your system.  Some increase insulin release by stimulating your pancreas, some allow carbs to bypass absorption in colon, while other assist in desensitizing insulin receptors, and that is only a small example.  It can be dangerous to experiment on your own because some, but not all, oral meds can cause serious hypoglycemia, or dangerously low blood sugars. Therefore, you need to talk to your doctor, and find out what options he or she suggests for you.  Take your medicine exactly as prescribed. If your medication is not doing a good job in keeping your glucose levels low, resist the impulse to take more of the medication to compensate. Recheck your meals plans and carb intake and make sure your meds are taken at the right times.   Read more »

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