Signs you may become diabetic

A patient of mine who is over 100 pounds overweight for her height had a few blood tests abnormalities that suggest the progression to diabetes may be occurring. Her fasting blood sugar was above 100 ( hers was 150).

Fasting insulin level was 36 ( normal is less than 24). This means her body is pumping out more insulin due to resistance to insulin from overweight. This is also reflected in the high fasting blood sugar. The body is not able to metabolize the sugar in the diet

The treatment for this is to lose weight and make better food choices. High fiber in the diet will help slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood and may help decrease the blood sugar after a meal

Less processed foods is important, since they convert to blood sugar rapidly and are low in fiber as well.

The third abnormality that is seen in patients who have trouble with insulin and blood sugar is elevated liver enzymes since the body converts sugar into fat in the liver. The fat surrounds the liver, and causes inflammation around the liver as well. It can be corrected with weight loss and the good choices mentioned above

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains are a great way to get more fiber into the diet. Try to stick to the number of calories a day that is recommended for weight control or 500 calories less a day if you want to lose weight

500 calories less a day can be achieved by decreasing intake of sugary foods, processed foods such as buns, breads, sweet desserts.

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Changes to Nutrition Labels Reported

(CNN) — Choosing healthier foods at the grocery store may soon be a little easier.

The Food and Drug Administration is proposing several changes to the nutrition labels you see on packaged foods and beverages. If approved, the new labels would place a bigger emphasis on total calories, added sugars and certain nutrients, such as Vitamin D and potassium.

The FDA is also proposing changes to serving size requirements in an effort to more accurately reflect what people usually eat or drink. For example, if you buy a 20-ounce soda, you’re probably not going to stop drinking at the 8-ounce mark. The new rules would require that entire soda bottle to be one serving size — making calorie counting simpler.

This is the first overhaul for nutrition labels since the FDA began requiring them more than 20 years ago. There has been a shift in shoppers’ priorities as nutrition is better understood and people learn what they should watch for on a label, administration officials said.

“You as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family,” first lady Michelle Obama said in a press release. “So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”

 

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The proposed labels would remove the “calories from fat” line you currently see on labels, focusing instead on total calories found in each serving. Nutritionists have come to understand that the type of fat you’re eating matters more than the calories from fat. As such, the breakdown of total fat vs. saturated and trans fat would remain.

Put down that doughnut: FDA takes on trans fat

The proposed labels would also note how much added sugar is in a product. Right now, it’s hard to know what is naturally occurring sugar and what has been added by the manufacturer.

“Now when Americans pull a product from the supermarket shelf, they will have a clear idea of how much sugar that product really contains,” American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said.

Chemically, added sugar is the same, but studies show many Americans eat more sugar than they realize. TheAmerican Heart Association recommends you limit added sugar to no more than half your daily discretionary calories. That means for American men, about 150 calories a day, or nine teaspoons. For women it’s a smaller amount — no more than 100 calories per day from added sugar, or about six teaspoons of sugar.

The FDA also plans to update the daily values for certain nutrients such as sodium, dietary fiber and Vitamin D. For instance, the daily limit for sodium was 2,400 milligrams. If the new rules take effect, the daily value will be 2,300 milligrams, administration officials said.

Food and beverage companies would also be required to declare the amount of Vitamin D and potassium in a product, as well as calcium and iron. Research shows Americans tend not to consume enough Vitamin D for good bone health. And potassium is essential in keeping your blood pressure in check.

Vegetarian diet could help lower your blood pressure

Administration officials said about 17% of current serving size requirements will be changing, and the FDA is adding 25 categories for products that weren’t commonly around 20 years ago (think pot stickers, sesame oil and sun-dried tomatoes).

Most of the required serving sizes will be going up; no one eats just half a cup of ice cream, for instance. Others, like yogurt, will be going down.

“This will help people better understand how many calories they actually consume, especially if they plan to eat all the food in a container or package,” Brown said.

While the American Heart Association and advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest commended the FDA’s changes, they noted that there was more to do.

Both organizations said the FDA’s sodium recommendation was still too high. Brown said the association will continue to recommend sodium intake be limited to 1,500 milligrams a day.

CSPI said it will also request that the FDA include a daily value of 25 grams for added sugars. “Thus, the Nutrition Facts label for a 16.9-ounce bottle of soda would indicate that its 58 grams of added sugars represents 230 percent of the DV,” the group said in an e-mail.

With this announcement, the FDA has opened a 90-day comment period, during which experts and members of the public can provide input on the proposed rules. The FDA will then issue a final rule. Officials said they hope to complete the process this year.

Manufacturing companies will then have two years to implement the changes.

Nutrition labels have remained pretty much the same for decades. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that most food labels listed any nutrition information.

At the time, labels with calorie or sodium counts were mainly used on products the FDA considered to have “special dietary uses,” for people with high blood pressure who were watching sodium, for instance.

Most people were making meals at home then, so there wasn’t a huge demand for this information. That changed as more people started eating processed foods.

Noticing the trend, the White House pulled together a conference of nutritionists and food manufacturers in 1969. Nutrition labeling was voluntary at first. It wasn’t until 1990 that the FDA required nutrition labels for most prepared and packaged foods. Labels for raw produce and fish remain voluntary.

More Americans today are interested in what’s on these nutrition labels, research shows.

A USDA study released last month showed 42% of working-age adults between 29 and 68 looked at these labels most or all of the time when shopping. Some 57% of Americans older than 68 did as well. That’s up from 2007, when 34% of working-age adults looked at the label, and 51% of Americans older than 68 did.

The increase is good news as the United States struggles with an obesity epidemic. Some studies have shown that people who read labels eat healthier. More than a third of all Americans are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Constipation- some recommendations

5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Needs  20 -30 grams of fiber a day- each fruit or vegetable serving is about 3 grams of fiber.

Need to get there slowly- over a month- cause too much too soon leads to excessive gas
Fluid requirements-50 -60 ounces of fluid a day– 20 ounces of fluid- three times a day or 15 ounces four times a day.
Try to avoid sugar drinks- that have no fiber- and fill you up with empty sugar calories
Probiotics taken orally may help with the gas problem- look for one that has acidophilus and or bifidobacter in it.
Certain foods help your body make the healthy bacteria needed to help with the gas and they include: bananas, garlic, asparagus, onions, whole grain breads.
Include seeds and nuts in the diet for additional fiber.
Include Whole grains such as brown rice, steel cut oats, and quinoa,
Fruits with the skin on them

Foods that help you concentrate

Caffeine can make you more alert ( coffee, tea, dark chocolate)

Glucose (not table sugar) found in complex carbohydrates can offer short term memory boost and help thinking process.

Breakfast-such as high fiber whole grains, dairy and fruit help you concentrate

Fish containing omega three fatty acids enhance memory- especially as you get older

Blueberries-prevent age related conditions such as Alzheimer’s and improved learning and muscle function with aging.

My journey through lowering my bad LDL Cholesterol

Today I had my annual physical exam ( age 55). My blood pressure was 120/80 which is great. I have been exercising regularly. However, my good blood cholesterol HDL was 32, and bad cholesterol LDL was 154. The LDL cholesterol should have been under 100 and my doctor wanted to put me on a cholesterol lowering medicine. I want to try through diet and weight loss to lower my LDL or bad cholesterol. I presently weigh 178 and am 5ft 6 inches tall. I need to lose about 10% of my body weight or about 17 pounds over the next six months.

To lower my LDL cholesterol I need to increase my intake of soluble fiber as well. Soluble fiber, lowers cholesterol and is found in brown rice, beans and legumes.  Celery due to its high antioxidant content is known to lower the risk of heart disease by preventing the oxidation of LDL.

Cinnamon ( 1/2 a tsp a day) has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.

I just made sprouted mung beans, and added them to my sweet potatoes.

I also made brown rice with figs and quinoa.

I plan on having the beans, sweet potato with brown rice and quinoa as a meal. It is a complete protein, high fiber ( soluble due to brown rice)  and for dessert- fresh fruit with the skin on it- such as an apple or pear.

I will tell you more recipes as time goes on…

Breakfast tomorrow will be steel cut oats because of the soluble fiber and its lowering  ability on LDL ( cause of oat bran).

fiber helps constipation, diabetes, cholesterol and weight

Adding fiber to your diet
Dietary fiber is found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. It is best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. Fiber also can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease and help manage your weight.
What is dietary fiber?
Dietary fiber- or roughage includes all indigestible parts of plant foods. It passes unchanged to your colon.
Insoluble fiber- promotes bowel motility and can benefit people with constipation. Whole wheat flower, wheat bran, nuts and many vegetables contain insoluble fiber
Soluble fiber- dissolves in water and can help lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Oats, beans, peas, citrus fruits, carrots and barley.

Benefits of a high fiber diet-
Lower your risk of hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular
Lower blood cholesterol by lowering the Low density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol
Helps control blood sugar levels- soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugar which can help improve blood sugar levels- especially in diabetes
Weight loss- High fiber foods require more chewing time, so you are less likely to overeat. High fiber meals have less calories for the same amount as food as more processed foods.

Adding fiber to your diet-
Switch to whole grain breads, cereals and pasta. Look for at least 2g of fiber/serving
Eat more whole grains products such as brown rice, barley, quinoa and whole grain pasta
Eat more beans, lentils and tofu- add them to a soup, salad or as an entrée
Make snacks count- Choose fresh fruit and raw vegetables or high fiber cereal bars. Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber

Refined or processed foods such as fruit juice, white bread and pasta are lower in fiber. The refining process removes the fiber. Removing the skin from fruits and vegetables and juicing them also decreases their fiber content.

Serving size and  Grams fiber
Broccoli ½ cup has 2.6g fiber
Fiber one cereal ½ cup has 14g fiber
Kasha go lean 1 cup has 10g fiber
Fiber one bars 1 bar has 9g fiber
Beans ½ cup has 6g fiber
Berries 1 cup 60 3
Apple with skin 1 medium one has 3fiber