Health and Disease, Lifestyle

6 Worst Foods for Diabetes

diabetesfoods

6 Worst Foods for Diabetes

Over 25 million people in the United States have diabetes and diabetes takes an enormous toll on the health of our population.1 Diabetes accelerates aging; damages the kidneys, cardiovascular system, eyes and nerve tissue; and increases cancer risk.2-4

The devastating complications and premature deaths associated with diabetes can be prevented. The primary cause of the parallel increases in obesity and diabetes is the nutrient-depleted American diet. The worst foods for diabetes—the foods that elevate blood sugar, reduce insulin sensitivity and increase type 2 diabetes risk—are the foods that are most common in the standard American diet.

  1. Added sugars

Since diabetes is characterized by abnormally elevated blood glucose levels, of course it is wise to avoid the foods that cause dangerously high spikes in blood glucose—primarily refined foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages, devoid of fiber to slow the absorption of glucose into the blood. Fruit juices and sugary processed foods and desserts have similar effects. These foods promote hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, and promote the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the body: AGEs alter the normal, healthy function of cellular proteins, stiffen the blood vessels, accelerate aging, and promote diabetes complications.5,6

  1. Refined grains (white rice and white flour products)

Refined carbohydrates like white rice, white pasta, and white bread are missing the fiber from the original grain, so they raise blood glucose higher and faster than their intact, unprocessed counterparts. In a 6-year study of 65,000 women, those with diets high in refined carbohydrates from white bread, white rice, and pasta were 2.5 times as likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate lower-GL foods such as intact whole grains and whole wheat bread.7 An analysis of four prospective studies on white rice consumption and diabetes found that each daily serving of white rice increased the risk of diabetes by 11%.8 In addition to the glucose-raising effects, cooked starchy foods also contain AGEs, which promote aging and diabetes complications.9,10

  1. Fried foods

Potato chips, French fries, doughnuts and other fried starches start with a high-glycemic food, and then pile on a huge number of low-nutrient calories in the form of oil. The combination of glycemic carbs and oil is particularly potent at stimulating fat storage hormones. Plus, like other cooked starches, fried foods contain AGEs.9,10

  1. Trans fats (margarine, shortening, fast food, processed baked goods)

Diabetes accelerates cardiovascular disease; because the vast majority of diabetics (more than 80 percent1) die from cardiovascular disease, any food that increases cardiovascular risk will be especially problematic for those with diabetes. Trans fat intake is a strong dietary risk factor for heart disease; even a small amount of trans fat intake increases risk.11,12

In addition to their cardiovascular effects, saturated and trans fats reduce insulin sensitivity, leading to elevated glucose and insulin levels, and greater risk of diabetes.13

  1. Red and processed meats

Many diabetics have come to believe that if sugar and refined grains and other high-glycemic foods raise blood sugar and triglycerides, they should avoid them and eat more animal protein to keep their blood glucose levels in check. However, several studies have now confirmed that high intake of meat increases the risk of diabetes. A meta-analysis of 12 studies concluded that high total meat intake increased type 2 diabetes risk 17% above low intake, high red meat intake increased risk 21%, and high processed meat intake increased risk 41%.14

  1. Whole eggs

Eating 5 eggs/week or more has been associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.15 When it comes to heart disease, eggs have been a controversial topic. However, for those with diabetes, the research is not controversial; there are clear links in many observational studies to large increases in risk. Large prospective studies such as The Nurses’ Health Study, Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and Physicians’ Health Study reported that diabetics who ate more than one egg/day doubled their cardiovascular disease or death risk compared to diabetics who ate less than one egg per week.16,17 Another study of diabetics reported that those who ate one egg/day or more had a 5-fold increase in risk of death from cardiovascular disease.18,19

If you want to avoid diabetes and enhance your life expectancy, steer clear of these five foods and adopt a high-nutrient diet, which has been shown to reduce HbA1c into the non-diabetic range, reduce or eliminate the need for medications and dramatically improve blood pressure and triglycerides in diabetic patients.20

References: 1. American Diabetes Association: Diabetes statistics [http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/] 2. Campbell PT, Deka A, Jacobs EJ, et al: Prospective study reveals associations between colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes mellitus or insulin use in men. Gastroenterology 2010, 139:1138-1146. 3. Flood A, Strayer L, Schairer C, et al: Diabetes and risk of incident colorectal cancer in a prospective cohort of women. Cancer Causes Control 2010, 21:1277-1284. 4. He J, Stram DO, Kolonel LN, et al: The association of diabetes with colorectal cancer risk: the Multiethnic Cohort. Br J Cancer 2010, 103:120-126. 5. Yamagishi S: Role of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and receptor for AGEs (RAGE) in vascular damage in diabetes. Exp Gerontol 2011, 46:217-224. 6. Barlovic DP, Thomas MC, Jandeleit-Dahm K: Cardiovascular disease: what’s all the AGE/RAGE about? Cardiovasc Hematol Disord Drug Targets 2010, 10:7-15. 7. Salmeron J, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, et al: Dietary fiber, glycemic load, and risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in women. JAMA 1997, 277:472-477. 8. Hu EA, Pan A, Malik V, et al: White rice consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis and systematic review. BMJ 2012, 344:e1454. 9. Goldberg T, Cai W, Peppa M, et al: Advanced glycoxidation end products in commonly consumed foods. J Am Diet Assoc 2004, 104:1287-1291. 10. Pruser KN, Flynn NE: Acrylamide in health and disease. Front Biosci (Schol Ed) 2011, 3:41-51. 11. Teegala SM, Willett WC, Mozaffarian D: Consumption and health effects of trans fatty acids: a review. J AOAC Int 2009, 92:1250-1257. 12. Micha R, Mozaffarian D: Trans fatty acids: effects on metabolic syndrome, heart disease and diabetes. Nat Rev Endocrinol 2009, 5:335-344. 13. Riserus U, Willett WC, Hu FB: Dietary fats and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Prog Lipid Res 2009, 48:44-51. 14. Aune D, Ursin G, Veierod MB: Meat consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Diabetologia 2009, 52:2277-2287. 15. Djousse L, Gaziano JM, Buring JE, et al: Egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women. Diabetes Care 2009, 32:295-300. 16. Qureshi AI, Suri FK, Ahmed S, et al: Regular egg consumption does not increase the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. Med Sci Monit 2007, 13:CR1-8. 17. Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Rimm EB, et al: A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women. JAMA 1999, 281:1387-1394. 18. Trichopoulou A, Psaltopoulou T, Orfanos P, et al: Diet and physical activity in relation to overall mortality amongst adult diabetics in a general population cohort. J Intern Med 2006, 259:583-591. 19. Djousse L, Gaziano JM: Egg consumption in relation to cardiovascular disease and mortality: the Physicians’ Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2008, 87:964-969. 20. Dunaief DM, Fuhrman J, Dunaief JL, Ying G. Glycemic and cardiovascular parameters improved in type 2 diabetes with the high nutrient density (HND) diet. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine 2012, 2.

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Rx to Wellness

Probiotics for High Blood Pressure

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Probiotics could be used for people with High Blood Pressure

Probiotics are products containing the “friendly” bacteria that normally inhabit the human intestinal tract, where these beneficial microbes help complete the digestive process. Some of these microbes actually produce vitamins, and evidence suggests that without them, the immune system doesn’t function optimally, compromising resistance to infection. The latest word on probiotics is that they may also help lower blood pressure. A new analysis of nine earlier randomized controlled trials found that regularly taking probiotics led to reductions in systolic blood pressure (the top number) by an average of 3.56 millimeters of mercury and diastolic pressure by 2.38. While these changes aren’t dramatic, the Australian research team that conducted the review concluded that bigger reductions may occur in people who already have high blood pressure (some of the study participants had normal blood pressure to begin with) Greater benefits might also be possible using probiotics that provide larger quantities of helpful bacteria or multiple species, or when people take probiotics for more than two months, as was the case in the studies reviewed. Positive effects from probiotics on diastolic blood pressure were greatest in people whose blood pressure was equal to or greater than 130/85, which is considered elevated. The probiotics used in the studies were primarily strains of Lactobacillus in dairy products. The study authors concluded that more research is needed before doctors can confidently recommend probiotics for control and prevention of high blood pressure.

Sources: Jing Sun et al, “Effect of Probiotics on Blood Pressure – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials,” Hypertension, doi: 10.1161/ HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03469

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Lifestyle

Top Warning Signs Your Child is in Trouble

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Top Five Warning Signs that Your Child is in Trouble

What causes teenagers to make choices that could destroy their future, and why do they give in to peer pressure? Could your child be headed down a dangerous path? Heed the following warning signs:

#1 Teen warning sign: Isolates from the family. If your once social child starts spending an inordinate amount of time away from home or locked in his or her room, Dr. Phil says this is a red flag. If your teen starts withdrawing from you or your spouse, there’s a reason. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to identify what’s behind the change.

#2 Teen warning sign: An extreme shift in mood. Is your child garrulous and friendly one moment, then taciturn and angry the next? Don’t just chalk it up to growing pains. Dr. Phil says he or she may be hanging out with the wrong crowd, or experiencing changes — hormonally, neurologically or socially.

“One thing to do is not to let it just go,” Dr. Phil warns, “because they get bigger, they get stronger, they get more rebellious. It’s never too late.”

#3 Teen warning sign: He or she starts abusing drugs or alcohol.

Teens often start experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol unbeknownst to their folks. If you suspect your child is using drugs, know the signs to look for.

#4 Teen warning sign: Family history of alcoholism and drug abuse.

“There clearly is a higher incidence with teens if they’ve had this history in their family,” Dr. Phil says. “Maybe it’s genetic; maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just that the modeling is there.”

#5 Teen warning sign: Taking risks.

Don’t chalk your child’s truancy, vandalism or petty theft up to “teens being teens.”

“When your teen just seems to throw caution to the wind, not care about consequences — all around bad sign,” Dr. Phil warns. “It indicates a number of things, one of which is that they don’t have the ability to connect their choices with their consequences.”

Other warning signs to look out for:

Declining grades, using street or drug language, a diminished interest in hobbies and a lack of appreciation for family values.

“You can’t be in denial about what’s going on. Don’t kid yourself that these bad things just happen to other people’s kids. Know what’s going on with your child. Make sure they understand the consequences of their actions,” Dr. Phil says. “Make sure they’re living consistent with the values you hold so important.”

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