Diabetes Awareness: Know The 9 Risk Factors
EDITOR'S NOTE: November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The best defense against diabetes is knowledge. See if you are at risk... or if you're already suffering pre-diabetes.
Diabetes is on the rise - the American Diabetes Association says there are 23.6 million people in the United States, or 8% of the population, with diabetes.
The total prevalence of diabetes increased 13.5% from 2005-2007. Only 24% of diabetes is undiagnosed, down from 30% in 2005 and from 50% 10 years ago.
This blog will focus on type 2 diabetes awareness since it is most common form of diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes develops either because the body does not make enough insulin or the cells are resistant to insulin.
Insulin is necessary for the body to use sugar. Think of insulin as the key that unlocks the door and lets sugar in to be used as energy. If your body is unable to use sugar, it builds up in the blood and can lead to various complications.
Know Your Risk Factors!
Below are risk factors associated with developing Type 2 Diabetes. It is wise to discuss these with your doctor to determine if further testing is required.
-- Overweight or obesity
-- An apple shaped figure (carrying more fat around the middle)
-- Age! As you grow older, your risk for developing diabetes increases. However, it is important to note that type 2 diabetes is on the rise in children - an alarming trend.
-- Sedentary lifestyle
-- Family history
-- History of gestational diabetes
-- Ethnicity: Diabetes is more common is African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans.
-- High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease - these two conditions are prevalent in people with diabetes.
-- Pre-Diabetes: This is a condition when blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association reports that in addition to the 20.8 Americans who have type 2 diabetes, an additional 41 million have pre-diabetes. However, the Diabetes Prevention Program study showed that people with pre-diabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making dietary and physical activity changes!
-- Take a closer look at your diet - modifying your diet and including a balance of healthy foods can help prevent chronic disease such as diabetes. Managing your diet is even more important if you already have diabetes.
-- Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and get your blood sugar tested! Before you head to the doctor, remember to take your Doctor Printout located on the homepage. Sharing your program information is important!
-- Lose weight (but only if you overweight). Even a modest 5-10% weight loss can lead to improvements in blood sugar and help prevent type 2 diabetes. Share your results in the Celebration Center!
-- Make healthy food choices. Use your Diet.com meal plans, daily recipes and meal ideas as a guide to healthy food choices.
-- Be Active! Exercise helps lower blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and burns calories! And, you don't have to go to a gym to reap the benefits of exercise. Walking is an excellent activity - clip on your pedometer and start walking!
For more info go to www.diabetes.org
November 3, 2008
Happy Halloween: Best, Worst Candy
We’ve officially kicked off the candy-themed holidays with a big bang – Halloween! If you’re scared by the candy invading your home, office, school and every business you walk into, I understand!
It can be hard to stick with a healthy eating plan when candy is staring you down everywhere you turn.
While it may seem impossible to keep your hand out of the candy jar, it’s not impossible. Read on for some tips on sticking with your plan and which candies are not so spooky.
13 Spook-tacular Tips
• Buy candy the day before Halloween and buy only what you need.
• If you buy candy - buy something you do not like or try lollipops (they are harder to overindulge in!).
• Discard leftovers or donate leftovers to your local church, charity or neighbors and set a specific date to rid of candy.
• Don’t shop for candy when you are hungry.
• Try to give away all of the candy you bought – a good deal for late trick or treaters!
• Try non-food treats such as stickers, pencils, erasers, bracelets or plastic spiders.
• Try healthier treats such as 100-calories packs (crackers, cookies or fruit snacks), juice boxes, microwave popcorn, mini boxes of raisins, sugarless gum, mini packs of baby carrots or peanuts.
• Vow to keep a munch log and record every innocent treat you eat!
• Read the nutrition facts before you empty the bag and throw it away.
• Plan a treat into your day but try to keep it under 150 calories. You can use this as a substitution for your normal treat.
• Vow to walk 10-minutes for every extra treat that you eat.
• Follow the same rules your kids follow – you probably don’t let them indulge in Halloween candy whenever they want!
• Make your dentist proud and brush your teeth after each treat – this will also help signal that you are done with the treats.
Some candy facts are downright scary and others not so much – take a look at my top 5 best and worst picks.
Say no to these candies in the jack-o-lantern (these “snack” sized treats can easily add up to more than a regular candy bar!):
1. Snack Size Twizzlers: 130 calories
2. Snack Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup: 110 calories
3. Snack Size Butterfinger: 100 calories
4. Fun Size M&M’s: 100 calories
5. Snack Size Milky Way: 90 calories
Say yes to these candies in the jack-o-lantern in moderation (remember, just because they’re little doesn’t mean they don’t add up!)
1. Mini Tootsie Roll: 13 calories
2. Reese’s Mini Cup: 35 calories
3. Treat Size Box Milk Duds: 40 calories
4. Miniature Box Raisins: 45 calories
5. Treat Size SweetTarts: 50 calories
Have a lot of trick and a little treat this Halloween!
Shauna Schultz, RD
October 31, 2008
10 Fast, Flavorful Grab 'n Go Breakfasts
You may be tempted to skip breakfast, but that’s a shame because of all the wonderful benefits breakfast offers.
And, it couldn’t be easier. I’ll show you how with 10 great grab 'n go breakfasts!
First, examine your breakfast habits:
How many days out of the week do you eat breakfast? Hopefully your answer is everyday! However, if you skip breakfast frequently, try asking yourself why.
Is it because you are not hungry in the morning or you don’t have time? Or, is it because you think breakfast will make you hungry the rest of the day or because you think it will help you lose weight?
No matter what your reason is for skipping breakfast, there is a solution and yes, it is still important to start your day with a nutritious meal.
Breakfast can be quick, satisfying and tasty with a preparation time of 10 minutes or less.
Second, challenge common excuses for skipping breakfast
• You are not hungry – practice makes perfect! The more you eat breakfast, the more your body will crave it. Also, take a look at your portions the night before. Skipping meals can lead to overeating later in the day leaving you less hungry in the morning.
• Breakfast will make me hungry all day – it is good and normal to be hungry at intervals throughout the day! Ideally, you should try to eat every 3-4 hours to keep your engine humming, prevent cravings and mood swings and improve energy levels.
• Skipping breakfast will help me lose weight – wrong! In fact, a common trait among people who successfully lose weight and keep it off is that they start the day with breakfast!
• I don’t have time – breakfast can be as easy as grabbing a few items and heading out the door. Or, you can prepare something up the night before – try the recipe below for a no-fuss breakfast!
Super Fast Grab-n-Go Breakfast Ideas
• Small whole wheat bagel with light cream cheese and banana
• Whole grain toaster waffle with peanut butter, sliced strawberries and all-fruit jam
• Meal replacement bar and fruit
• Hard boiled egg (boil the night before), whole grain toast & grapes
• String cheese, apple and low-fat granola bar
Healthy Breakfast Picks on the Road
• Jamba Juice Yogurt and Fruit Blend – try a protein or fiber boost (220 calories, 0.5g fat)
• Starbucks Orange Mango Smoothie (250 calories, 16 g protein, 5g fiber)
• Starbucks Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon, Egg and Cheddar Sandwich (350 calories, 11g fat)
• Dunkin' Donuts Smart Menu Egg White Veggie Flatbread Sandwich (290 calories, 9g fat)
• LaBou Creamy Oatmeal Cereal (266-279 calories, 3-8 g fat)
October 15, 2008