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Healthy Living: National Diabetes Month


November is American Diabetes Month, and last week in this space, my colleague, pharmacist Dr. Charlotte Weller, shared some important news about health care for those who are living with diabetes. But as a nutrition specialist, I see that many people are very unfamiliar with this all-too-common disease, and are not aware of the steps they can take to make sure they do not develop it. 

Because many cases of diabetes can be prevented with proper nutrition and exercise, I think it’s important to review the basic facts of this disease, with help from information from the Centers for Disease Control. 

Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes affects 8.3% of the U.S. population, resulting in 2.8 million Americans suffering from diabetes. There are 3 types of diabetes; type 1 (5% of cases), type2 (90% to 95% of cases) and gestational. 

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile-onset diabetes, occurs when the only cells in the body that produce insulin, pancreatic beta cells, are destroyed. This can be due to an autoimmune disorder, genetics or environment. Insulin is required to help regulate the level of glucose in your blood. Insulin transport glucose into the cells through special receptors. Once the beta cells are destroyed, your body is unable to produce insulin resulting in glucose remaining in the blood. People suffering from type 1 diabetes receive insulin from an insulin pump or insulin injections. Type 1 diabetes is not currently preventable, but can be controlled. 

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not use insulin properly. This can occur due to a number of factors, including age, lifestyle, family history, and race/ethnicity. Changes in lifestyle, like eating healthy and regularly exercising, can delay and even prevent type 2 diabetes.  A clinical study, the Diabetes Prevention Program, monitored a group of people who had a high risk of developing diabetes. After three years, the participants who increased their amount of exercise and lost weight were 58% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. 

Gestational diabetes occurs among 2% to 10% of pregnant women. Five to ten percent of women with gestational diabetes were found to be diabetic after the pregnancy.

How do you know? Type 2 diabetes, especially, sometimes goes undetected for too long because the early symptoms can be vague or may seem minor. Symptoms may include increased thirst, hunger and urination; fatigue; blurred vision; tingling in the feet; and unexplained weight loss. If you are over the age of 45, the American Diabetes Association suggests you have regular screenings for pre-diabetes and diabetes. Additionally, regular screenings are also suggested for those who are under 45 but who are overweight or obese and also have other risk factors, such as a family history of diabetes. 

Help educate the ones you love. 



Healthy Living: Diabetic Foot Care


November is Diabetes Awareness Month, so let’s take a few minutes to learn more about better foot care for those living with diabetes.

For someone with diabetes, careful tending to the feet is very important. Even small injuries to the foot such as a minor cut can produce serious consequences.  Diabetes may cause nerve damage that can take away the feeling in your feet, making those small injuries go unnoticed.  Diabetes may also reduce the blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal injuries or resist infection.  An infection or non-healing wound could put you at risk for an amputation.  To avoid these serious complication of diabetes follow these guidelines when caring for your feet.

Inspect your feet daily.  Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems.  Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottom of your feet.  Call your doctor if you notice anything.

Wash your feet in lukewarm (not hot) water.  Keep your feet clean by washing them daily.  Use only lukewarm water – the temperature that you would use on a newborn baby.

Be gentle when bathing your feet.  Wash feet with a soft washcloth or sponge.  Dry by blotting or patting, and always carefully dry between the toes.

Moisturize your feet – but not between your toes.  Use a moisturizer daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking.  But DO NOT moisturize between the toes. Doing so could encourage a fungal infection.

Cut nails carefully.  Always cut nails straight across and file the edges.  Don’t cut nails too short, as this could lead to ingrown toe nails.  If you have concerns or questions about your nails, your doctor is a good source of information.

Never treat corns or calluses yourself.  Always visit your doctor for treatment.

Wear clean, dry socks.  Change them daily.

Avoid the wrong type of socks.  Avoid tight elastic bands which can reduce circulation.  Don’t wear thick or bulky socks (they can fit poorly and irritate the skin.)

Wear socks to bed.  If your feet get cold at night, wear socks.  NEVER use a heating pad or hot water bottle.

Shake out your shoes and feel the inside before wearing.  Remember, your feet may not be able to feel a pebble or other foreign object, so always inspect your shoes before putting them on.

Keep your feet warm and dry.  Don’t let your feet get wet in snow or rain.  Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.

Never walk barefoot.  Not even at home.  Always wear shoes or slippers.  You could step on something and get a scratch or cut.

Take care of your diabetes.  Keep your blood sugar levels under control.

Don’t smoke.  Smoking restricts the blood flow in your feet.

Get periodic foot exams.  In addition to daily foot inspections at home, it is important to see your foot and ankle doctor on a regular basis.  This will help prevent the foot complications of diabetes.

While feet may not be the prettiest or most popular part of our body, their care plays an important role in our overall health.  Take the time to pamper them!



Product Talk: Baked Goodies for Special Diets


The problem with many bakery products produced for those on special diets – whether sugar-free or gluten-free – is that it’s often all too easy to taste what’s missing. The sugar, for one. Or the wheat flour that gives cakes and muffins their moist, delicate texture.

That’s why I’m so proud of the Tasty Bakery line of specialty loaf cakes, muffins and cakes that we introduced recently. Having tried them all, I can say these are so good, you’d be happy eating them even if you don’t have dietary concerns.

But for the growing number of people who have food sensitivities, allergies, or a need to cut down on their sugar intake, these goodies are an especially great find.

Take the no-sugar-added cookies, cakes and muffins. Fruit nectar, not artificial sweeteners, creates the sweet taste of goodies like blueberry muffins, apple loaf cake and oatmeal raisin cookie. Fruit nectar doesn’t deliver the “aftertaste” or off-taste you may have experienced eating some other no-sugar-added goods. And they are still lower in fat, calories and carbs than traditional recipes.

The sugar-free baked goods, like the loaf cake, are sweetened with lacticol, an ingredient made from milk sugar lactose. Lactitol does not raise blood glucose or insulin levels, so it’s considered a good sweetening alternative for diabetics. In addition, you may find lactitol easier to digest than other sugar-free sweeteners, which in some people cause stomach discomfort.

And the gluten-free items – like chocolate chip cookies, wild blueberry muffins and peanut butter cookies – are made without wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients, like malt flavoring or modified food starch with a wheat source. They are baked in a dedicated facility, so there’s no contamination by these allergens. However, again, if you didn’t know they didn’t contain wheat, you might not guess.

The Tasty Bakery line is also certified kosher. The last piece of good news? They come packaged in cute little gift boxes that make them a great take-along hostess gift or party offering. Or, of course, just a little present to yourself and your family.



Healthy Living: Eating Fiber


In planning your diabetic menu it is important to not just look at sugars but also look at fiber. Foods that are high in fiber are whole-grain products, some cereals, nuts, beans, fruits, and vegetables.  Fiber will help you control your blood sugar, help you feel full longer, and help lower your risk of heart disease. 



Healthy Living: How to Live with Diabetes


November is Diabetes Awareness Month, here are some helpful tips on how to live right and stay healthy while living with Diabetes. 

SELF-TESTING-

If you have diabetes, your doctor may tell you to regularly check your blood sugar levels at home. There are a number of devices available, and they use only a drop of blood. Self-monitoring tells you how well diet, medication, and exercise are working together to control your diabetes. It can help your doctor prevent complications.

The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping blood sugar levels in the range of:

  • 80 – 120 mg/dL before meals
  • 100 – 140 mg/dL at bedtime

Your doctor may adjust this depending on your circumstances. 

WHAT TO EAT-

You should work closely with your health care provider to learn how much fat, protein, and carbohydrates you need in your diet. A registered dietician can help you plan your dietary needs.

People with type 1 diabetes should eat at about the same times each day and try to be consistent with the types of food they choose. This helps to prevent blood sugar from becoming extremely high or low.

People with type 2 diabetes should follow a well-balanced and low-fat diet. 

HOW TO TAKE MEDICATION-

Medications to treat diabetes include insulin and glucose-lowering pills called oral hypoglycemic drugs.

People with type 1 diabetes cannot make their own insulin. They need daily insulin injections. Insulin does not come in pill form. Injections are generally needed one to four times per day. Some people use an insulin pump. It is worn at all times and delivers a steady flow of insulin throughout the day. Other people may use inhaled insulin. See also: Type 1 diabetes

Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes may respond to treatment with exercise, diet, and medicines taken by mouth. There are several types of medicines used to lower blood glucose in type 2 diabetes. See also: Type 2 diabetes.Medications may be switched to insulin during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Gestational diabetes may be treated with exercise and changes in diet. 

EXERCISE-

Regular exercise is especially important for people with diabetes. It helps with blood sugar control, weight loss, and high blood pressure. People with diabetes who exercise are less likely to experience a heart attack or stroke than those who do not exercise regularly.

Here are some exercise considerations:

  • Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse if you have the right footwear.
  • Choose an enjoyable physical activity that is appropriate for your current fitness level.
  • Exercise every day, and at the same time of day, if possible.
  • Monitor blood glucose levels before and after exercise.
  • Carry food that contains a fast-acting carbohydrate in case you become hypoglycemic during or after exercise.
  • Carry a diabetes identification card and a cell phone in case of emergency.
  • Drink extra fluids that do not contain sugar before, during, and after exercise.

You may need to change your diet or medication dose if you change your exercise intensity or duration to keep blood sugar levels from going too high or low. 

FOOT CARE-

People with diabetes are more likely to have foot problems. Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves and decrease the body’s ability to fight infection. You may not notice a foot injury until an infection develops. Death of skin and other tissue can occur.

If left untreated, the affected foot may need to be amputated. Diabetes is the most common condition leading to amputations.

To prevent injury to the feet, check and care for your feet every day.



Healthy Living: Routine


As a diabetic, it is important to have a routine. With a routine you will begin eat, take your medication, and exercise about the same time everyday. Eating and taking your medication about the same time everyday will help prevent you from skipping a meal or forgetting to take your medication. Find a good time of the day to eat, exercise, and take your medication.



Healthy Living: Add Fiber to Sweets


Are you a diabetic but still have a sweet tooth? Then try adding fiber to your cookies and muffins.  Fruit, nuts, and oatmeal would add fiber to your sweet treats!



Healthy Living: Having Support


Diabetes is a difficult disease to live with, therefore you need support.  Support is a crucial component in any challenge in life that you are dealing with. If you do not have a good support system the likelihood of you being successful is slim. Talk to your family member about your plans and eating habits to improve your health. If everyone joins on the bandwagon on a healthier lifestyle not only will it help you excel but it will also benefit your family. If you do not have support within your family, do some research on local diabetes group or mention it to a friend they may know someone dealing with diabetes that needs support as well.



Healthy Living: Portion Sizes


If you have trouble with portion sizes or can not stop yourself from eating the whole box of cookies, try a small snack size bag. Buying snack size products are ideal to have around the house. When buying a snack size product just grab that one snack size package, eat just that package, and do not go back for more.

Snack size items help you control yourself when eating food, so you do not overeat. When eating something out of a big box or a big bag, it is hard to just quit, you just continue to snack and before you know it the whole box or bag is gone. If you can not buy something that is premeasured in a package, do it yourself. Just measure out a serving size, put it in a bag, and enjoy just that serving size later.

 



Healthy Living: Parmesan Zucchini


Instead of using bread crumbs to bread your favorite vegetable or meat, have you tried crushed cereal? If you pick a high fiber cereal to use instead of bread crumbs it enhances the nutritional value of the meal. You can either place the cereal in a food processor to make into crumbs or do it the old fashion way – crush them yourself.

Take a zip top bag and place the cereal of choice in that bag. You can either crush it with your hands or roll a rolling pin over the cereal of few times and voila you have cereal crumbs.  

Parmesan Zucchini
Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes         Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
2 zucchini
1 egg
1/2 cup crushed cereal
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tsp oregano

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice the zucchini into 1/2-inch round pieces. In a small bowl, add egg. In a shallow bowl, combine crush cereal, cheese and oregano.  Dip zucchini in egg bowl and then cereal crumb bowl. Place cereal covered zucchini on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Nutritional Information:  Calories per Serving: 55, Fat: 2g (Saturated Fat 1g), Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 111mg, Carbohydrates: 6g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 4g. 

© 2010, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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