Diabetes Archives

Chinese Wolfberry Has Amazing Health Benefits

Chinese Wolfberry

Chinese Wolfberry

It is a well established fact that to fight diseases our immune system must be strong. Though there are many ways to achieve this, one of the most important is to maximize our body’s antioxidant protection. And our body produces one of the most powerful natural antioxidants known as superoxide dismutase (SOD).

Researchers have found evidence that deficiency in SOD may be the reason why some people are prone to get pancreatic and breast cancers. Those suffering from cardiovascular diseases also have low levels of SOD. Unfortunately SOD level in our body declines significantly with age.

Recent studies have shown that the Chinese wolfberry can improve SOD activity in our body. Commonly known as goji, when combined with SOD, it becomes a powerful health-enhancing and disease fighting potion.

Wolfberry is an indigenous fruit of Asia and South-Eastern Europe and rich in potent antioxidants. Though the fruit is small, it is packed with nutrients like lycopene, beta-carotene, niacin, lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamins C, B1 and B2. It contains more than 30 essential trace minerals including calcium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, zinc and selenium. In addition wolfberry possesses 18 different amino acids such as arginine and tryptophan.

Wolfberry has many therapeutic benefits, including prevention of diabetes, enhancement to our eyesight, improving man’s sexual activity and a healthier and longer life span.

It is easy to make juice from wolfberries. It is delicious and provides all the benefits of antioxidants essential for people of all ages and lifestyles.

Like most herbal remedies, you should not expect immediate result. Consume this over a period of time and you will see good improvement to your energy levels and a reduction in your medical problems. Try it.

The Best Diabetic Diet Lists for Weight Loss

Finding a good weight loss program is hard. Finding a good diabetic diet for weight loss is even harder.  There are many diabetic diet programs and you have to choose one that meets your specific needs and medical condition.  There are important information and useful tips relating to diabetic diet which can help you attain excellent result for your weight loss objective. We will help you by explaining the different options and which is most suited to your needs.

Best diabetic diet food

Best diabetic diet food

Different Types of Diabetic Diets

Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD): This weight loss program consists of diet with very low daily food energy consumption of 800 kilocalories or less. This diet is usually a powder  mixed with water or another low-food-energy liquid. VLCDs also contain the daily recommended requirements for protein, vitamins, fatty acids and minerals. This diet is only prescribed for people who are deemed exceptionally heavy, with a BMI of 30 and above, and must not last more than 12 weeks. Since this kind of diabetic diet is regarded as extreme, you must first consult a doctor or dietician. Side Effects – constipation and in some cases gallstones.

Low Calorie Diet: This diet basically reduce your daily consumption of calories and therefore your body fat and in the long term, increase your longevity. An average person eats more than 2000 calories per day. This diet consists of a daily caloric intake of  1,000 to 1,500 calories for women and 1,500 to 2,000 calories for men.

Low Carbohydrate Diet: This is a diabetic diet consisting less foods that are high in digestible carbohydrates like potatoes, bread and pasta and more of proteins and fats (e.g. meat, fish, poultry,  nuts, shellfish, cheese, eggs, seeds, peanuts, and soy products) and with some vegetables and fruits. Examples of low-carb diabetic diet programs are Atkins Diet, Zone Diet and Stillman Diet.

Low Fat Diet: is a diabetic diet that consists of little fat, especially saturated fat and cholesterol. Consuming less fat doesn’t just help you lower the calories, but it can also  promote a more healthy selection of foods.. High fat foods have high carbs, such as cakes, burgers, pizzas, and pastries. Therefore, low fat diets, which contain a lot less carbs help to lower blood glucose levels.

Mediterranean diet: This diabetic diet includes high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits,  vegetables; moderate consumption of dairy products; moderate to high consumption of fish (protein); low consumption of meat and meat products, and moderate consumption of wine. Olive oil is particularly characteristic of the Mediterranean diet which contains a very high level of monounsaturated fats, most notably oleic acid, and have been linked to a reduction in coronary heart disease. The antioxidants in olive oil also improve cholesterol regulation and LDL cholesterol reduction, and it has other anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive effects

Raw Food Diet: Depending on the type of lifestyle and results desired, raw food diets include a selection of raw vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds eggs, meat, fish, and non-pasteurized/non-homogenized dairy products such as raw milk. The idea for eating raw food is that cooking destroy the nutrients and vitamins. This diabetic diet contains hardly any saturated fats and is popular for people trying to find a form of detoxifying diet. However this diet is not recommended for pregnant women, people who are anemic or at risk of osteoporosis.  A raw diet can be low in calcium, vitamin D, iron, zinc, protein and calories. There is also the risk of getting food poisoning.

Which diabetic diet plan you finally choose depends on your personal lifestyle,  preferences as well as your medical condition. It is advisable you consult a professional dietician or your doctor before embarking on a specific diabetic diet plan for weight loss.

Painless way to check your blood sugar levels

People with diabetes detest the daily process of pricking their fingers to monitor their blood sugar levels. Despite this dreadful routine activity, it is necessary to manage and control this medical condition. Diabetes is a long-term illness characterised by high sugar levels in the blood. Patients either produce too little insulin to process the sugar or are unable to respond well to the insulin produced.

Fortunately there are now non-invasive methods to check your blood sugar levels.

Glucostat System, a Singapore company and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed a prototype monitoring device using light to measure blood sugar readings.

Accordingly to the inventors, they accidentally discovered that light waveforms attached themselves differently to blood containing varying amounts of HbA1c, the sugar molecule that chemically attaches to the haemoglobin in the blood.

The more sugar in the blood, the more HbA1C will be present in the blood.

The device was made from a customised laser diode and all the patient needs to do is to place a finger over the probe for between 10 to 20 seconds. In May 2010, trials involving 30 people were carried, 19 of whom were non-diabetics. The remaining patients have chronic condition and whose blood sugar levels were badly controlled.

Blood was also taken at the same time to serve as a comparison and the results showed excellent correlation for both the high and low levels.

The inventors believe the test is presently one of the best ways to diagnose diabetes because it provides a more accurate reading of blood sugar levels. An average HbA1c level taken over time has also less variation than a one-off test.

The HbA1c test (also called glycolated haemoglobin) gives a result that shows how well the disease has been controlled over the previous six to 12 weeks. This will also show how effective the patient’s management plan is working. A non-diabetic’s HbA1c glucose reading is 5 per cent to 6 per cent and the goal in diabetes management is to reach 7 per cent or less. An HbA1c glucose reading of 8 per cent and above would mean the diabetes is badly controlled.

Some doctors said that while it is good to obtain the average HbA1c level without having to draw blood, a minute-by-minute or hour-by-hour blood-glucose monitoring may sometime be necessary. Patients need to be pricked three to four times a day, to ascertain whether the level is too high or too low under different conditions. This new prototype machine is still not able to give such live feeds. Also these readings may not be accurate due to fluctuations such as body temperature and blood pressure.

There are two other monitoring devices in the market namely skin testing and continuous glucose testing. There are disadvantages associated with both methods. Skin testing uses a special sensor pad which may irritate the skin and readings may be affected by sweat. Continuous glucose testing is expensive, costing up to $2000 and the sensory pad which is paced under the skin need to be moved periodically.

Despite these reservations these non-invasive screening technologies look promising and may radically change how diabetes could be managed in clinics and at home.

According to the World Health Organization, every year 17 million people  globally die from cardiovascular diseases, particularly heart attacks and strokes. It has been projected that by the year 2025, about 1.56 billion people worldwide will suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension. One in four persons will be afflicted by hypertension and that is alarming.

Hypertension is a common and serious medical condition that can lead to many health problems such as stroke, coronary heart disease, kidney and heart failures. More disturbing than the figures is the fact that these lethal medical problems sometimes show no symptoms.

Normal blood pressure pushes our heart to our body so it can receive the oxygen and nutrients required. The pressure rises and falls during the day, but when it stays elevated over time, it is called high blood pressure or hypertension. The common approach in managing hypertension is by using clinical blood pressure readings, but this is not always accurate and can lead to a false sense of security. A seemingly healthy person can suffer from arrhythmia, a condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm and an ECG may not pick it up.

The devices and systems that physicians used in laboratories and hospitals to manage hypertension do not provide accurate readings of the blood pressure and may not detect any form of arrhythmia. They are also expensive (US$30K to US$40K) and beyond the reach of general practitioners.

A doctor from Singapore, who was frustrated with the limitations of the existing clinical measuring equipment, decided to conduct intensive research and came up with an innovative watch-like device, BPro, that can be used in a clinical setting.

BPro

Dr TING Choon Meng, CEO of HealthSTATS International, invented this device that monitors blood pressure and can predict and prevent sudden heart attack and stroke. This has caught the interest of doctors and researchers worldwide.

BPro is a revolutionary device that provides the medical practitioners and researchers alike with unprecedented capabilities in acquiring highly reproducible & accurate real time arterial pulse wave data and 24-hr Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring [ABPM]. These breakthroughs are achieved both by innovative hardware design and an application software, A-Pulse Casp, also developed by Dr. Ting.

The software was tested and validated in three separate clinical trials involving 12,000 patients. The only other way to get such measurements is by inserting a catheter into the groin.

With its ease of use and integrated application software packages it has the potential to become the standard for medical care for hypertension and related illnesses.

Unlike other methods available in the market, the BPro does not restrict movement or disrupt sleep. It is the only device in the world that takes a person’s blood pressure without the wearer being aware of its presence.

BPro has won numerous international awards and received accreditations from European CE-MDD Mark, FDA, China, Australia and New Zealand agencies.

Major healthcare establishments in many countries are either testing or  using the BPro.  High profile patients, including celebrities, politicians and royalties who prefer to remain anonymous are also using this device.

Dr Ting has developed two scaled-down models, the US$2,700 A-Pulse CasPro, meant for GP clinics, and the US$350 A-Pulse CasPal, for patients to use at home. These two devices have just been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

A-Pulse Casp

The A-Pulse Casp is being used in a study of 1,200 pregnant women at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore.

The trial aims to track the health of both mothers and babies – from the time they are in the womb, and as they develop and grow.

The objectives of the study are to uncover better ways to prevent and treat metabolic diseases such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes and to establish the normal central blood pressure ranges during pregnancy.

In another large-scale trial in USA, 50,000 Americans will use these devices, to track how the measurements are associated with diabetes.

The American company, Save 1 Heart, will buy 100 of the machines for use in the diabetes trial, as well as others on thyroid and heart disease.

‘We ran various trials and found it was a world-leading device recommended by top doctors,’ said Mr Isaac Casados, founder of Save 1 Heart.

Sugar in the diet can lead to acne

FACTS OR FICTION

 

The claim:

Sugar in the diet can lead to acne

 

The facts:

The correlation between acne and sugar has long been discussed, disputed and dismissed. The food and drinks that we consume everyday contain different levels of sugar. Consuming sugar in large amount can reduce your immunity and increase your insulin production leading to hormonal imbalance. This imbalance increase the production of sebum and cause acne.

Recent studies have indicated that what really matter may not be the sugar but a food’s glycemic index, which is the speed and extent it raises blood glucose levels.
When we consume food with high glycemic index, it raises glucose levels rapidly and forcing the body to release a large amount of insulin and other hormones. Scientists believe that this occurrence stimulate oil production and cause inflammation of the skin.

To test this theory, scientists recruited 50 men and boys aged 15 to 25, all of them with acne, and monitored their progress for 12 weeks.
Some subjects were given only diet that included high-glycemic foods like sweetened cereals, muffins, pasta and white bread. The rest were given food with low glycemic index and high in protein, like fish, wholegrain breads and fruits.

At the end of the study, which was published in 2007, the subjects on the low-glycemic diet had far greater reductions in skin lesions and other symptoms of acne than the control group. They also showed a decrease in their levels of free, circulating androgens, the male hormones known to cause acne, suggesting that hormones played a role.

Though more studies and research are needed to confirm this,
Other researches have found similar correlation between high-glycemic food and acne, but scientists generally agree that more studies are needed.

 

The bottom line:

There is some evidence that foods high in sugar can worsen acne.

Kiwifruit has amazing health benefits

Kiwifruit is one of my favourite fruits. It tastes good and has a long shelf life. Of all the popular fruits consumed in the world today, Kiwifruit is the most nutrient-rich. It is an excellent source of Vitamins C , E and A and high in dietary fibre. Kiwifruit has twice the amount of vitamin C than orange, 3 times that of mango, 11 times that of banana and 16 times that of apple.

It is low in fat and sugar and contains no cholesterol. Most fruits have one or two nutrients but kiwifruit has a broad complement of nutrients. Among the fruits with low-sodium and high-potassium, kiwifruit ranks number one, having more potassium than a banana or citrus fruit. It also contain phosphorous, magnesium and copper.

kiwifruit

Health Benefits of Kiwifruit

Cancer

Kiwifruit contains an anti-mutagenic component which helps to prevent the mutations of genes that may initiate the cancer process.
Kiwifruit has been shown to aid the prevention of nitrosation, a process when carcinogenic nitrates, created during smoking or barbecuing of food, is ingested.

In laboratories tests, kiwifruit extract was found to inhibit melanoma, a type of skin cancer.Arginine, an amino acid found in kiwifruit, improve post angioplasty blood flow and actually prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries.

Kiwifruit contains an important phytochemical known as Lutein which is linked to the prevention of prostate and lung cancer.
Studies have indicated that kiwifruit contains a not-yet-isolated compound that accelerates digestive transit time which help to prevent colorectal cancer. This laxative action decreases the build-up of cancer-promoting metabolites.

Kiwifruit is one of the few fruits that are green when ripe, and chlorophyllin, a derivative of chlorophyll, is believed to be an inhibitor of liver carcinogenesis.

Eye Health

Kiwifruit contains Carotenoids lutein, the natural compounds that give various fruits, vegetable and flowers their rich red, orange and yellow colors.

Carotenoids lutein promotes clear vision by absorbing the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and neutralizing free radicals in the retina (the light-sensitive portion of the eye). This may help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, an age-related vision disorder that is the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Some studies have revealed that people who consumed a high quantity of carotenoid lutein have a 20 – 50% lower risk of getting a cataract.

Heart Health

Kiwifruit is particularly high in two amino acids: arginine and glutamate. Arginine dilates the arterioles and improve the blood flow which is important for heart health.

Kiwifruit a good source of vitamin E and Magnesium which are crucial for a healthy heart. It also contain pectin which has been shown to lower cholesterol.
Kiwifruit has a good sodium/potassium ratio which is critical for a healthy heart.

kiwifruit

Impotence

Arginine is known to be effective in the widening of blood vessels and relaxation of muscles and may be helpful in treating impotence in men.

Depression

Inositol is found in kiwifruit. Recent studies have shown that inositol functions as a precursor of an intracellular second messenger system and is beneficial in the treatment of depression.

Diabetes

The presence of Inositol in the kiwifruit makes it great for diabetes patients, as it helps regulate the body hormones and neurotransmitters.

Stress Reduction

Kiwifruit contains a relatively high level of serotonin which provide a calming effect in most individuals.
Physical Fitness
Kiwifruit contains a wide range of electrolytes that is essential for replenishing those lost during rigorous exercises.

Indigestion

Kiwifruit is highly effective in easing indigestion. It contains an enzyme called actinidin that may make an excellent meat tenderizer. It is also a rich source of potassium, which is needed to stimulate the flow of digestive juices.

Joints Pain

The enzymes found in Kiwifruit could benefit people who suffer from arthritis or fibromyalgia. These enzymes are also beneficial for anyone with low back pain, hip pain and sciatica. If you suffer from inflammation of the joints and muscles you should consume kiwi fruit regularly.
Pregnancy
Kiwifruit contains close to 10% of the recommended daily value of folic acid (vitamin B9) which is vital for the health of mother and child during pregnancy, and for the prevention of birth defects.

Testosterone

Kiwifruit contains Zinc which is important for boys and men because it helps produce testosterone. In addition, Zinc is essential in for healthy hair, skin, teeth and nails
Kiwifruit is an ideal fruit to have for breakfast, or simply as a desert or snack. It is easy to eat and digest which is important for lazy people. It is good to eat a kiwifruit if you have a heavy meal to help digest the protein rich meal.

Diabetes – tips to prevent it

As Featured On EzineArticles


There is new evidence to suggest that drinking coffee and tea can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

According to a study by the Archives Of Internal Medicine, high intakes of decaffeinated coffee and tea are associated with reduced risk of diabetes.

BBC Health reported that researchers have conducted 18 separate studies involving nearly 500,000 people. The analysis revealed that people who drink three or four cups of coffee or tea a day cut their risk by a fifth or more.

Consuming the same amount of decaffeinated coffee daily has the effect of lowering the risk by one third.

According to Rachel Huxley, a lead researcher at the University of Sydney, Australia, caffeine may not be the only link. Other compounds found in coffee and tea, including magnesium and antioxidants may be involved.

Despite this evidence, researchers have cautioned people suffering from type 2 diabetes to follow the basic rules of regular exercises and not to be over-weight.

So if you are diabetic but not a coffee or tea drinker, you may like to include these beverages as part of your breakfast fare.

Breakfast is important for people with diabetes as they will not have low blood sugar levels later in the morning. This will prevent them from overeating at lunch which will increase their sugar levels. An example of an ideal breakfast for diabetics would be one that comprises wholegrain carbohydrates like oats or wholewheat toast with egg whites or cottage cheese.

Avoid taking large meals and spread your calories intake throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels at optimal levels. Instead of two large meals, you may want to eat five or six smaller meals like half a sandwich, an apple or orange. Eat more oily fish and nuts, and less meat and diary products. Consume salt, oil and spices moderately. Use honey in place of honey.

Diabetics have high blood glucose which facilitate germs and bacteria to grow in their mouth. Practising good dental care will help you to prevent teeth and gum problems. I have cultivated a good habit brushing or at least rinsing my mouth after every meal or drink. It is not always possible to brush your teeth after meal taken outside your house, but at least rinse your mouth.

Drink enough water, at least 8 glasses a day and get enough sleep. You need to rest so your body can rejuvenate.

If you have any tips to help prevent diabetes, please share it with us.