If you have diabetes, trying to figure what you can and cannot eat may seem like a challenge. There are many myths about what people with diabetes should include (or not include) in their diets and it can be stressful to figure out your meal plan. From this point on, stop worrying! You don’t have to deprive yourself of all your favorite foods.
To start off, many people believe that if you have diabetes, you can’t eat certain foods like sweets, starches and chocolates. This is not completely true. The reality is that people with diabetes can eat what they want—but in moderation. It’s all about maintaining a balanced diet, whether or not you have diabetes.
Change a few of your bad habits and soon enough you will be able to relax and enjoy all sorts of delicious meals and snacks. Starches
: Every healthy diet needs small amounts of foods like whole grains, pasta, rice and vegetables. Many of these carbohydrate-containing foods are a great source of fiber. The key is to watch your portions and avoid overeating these foods at every meal. Sweets:
Dietitians recommend that sweets be saved for special occasions and to make sure your portions are not too large. However, this doesn’t mean they are completely off limits. You have to make sure that if you are consuming sweets or other sugary foods, you are still maintaining a balanced diet and exercising on a regular basis. Don’t stress though, it’s not like you can never enjoy your favorite dessert!
Aside from the certain foods you have to be careful of and control your intake, the American Diabetes Association has put together a list of 10 Superfoods you can incorporate into your daily diet that are low in glucose and provide essential nutrients.
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Citrus fruit
- Sweet potatoes
- Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids
- Whole grains
- Skim milk yogurt
Trying to come up with a New Year’s resolution? In a recent study published in the University of Scranton Journal of Psychology, less than 50% of the people surveyed stuck to their New Year’s resolutions for more than six months. However, the most drop-off occurred in the first month, and those who made it to February were far more likely to persevere.
So how do you make your resolution stick during that pivotal first month? One strategy is to change the way that you think about New Year’s resolutions. “Losing ten pounds” might seem like a reasonable goal, but it can leave you unsure where to begin. Think instead about substituting the donut in the break room with some Greek yogurt or limiting dessert to weekends instead of every day. In the same vein, the ever popular “exercise more” is incredibly vague and easily overlooked during the dreary winter months, and “manage stress” will leave you stressed out about forgetting to manage your stress.
Instead, vow to begin the day with a fifteen-minute yoga video or take a half-hour to read for pleasure before bed each night. Small changes are much easier to fit into a busy schedule, and they won’t leave you feeling like a failure come February. Eventually, they will be become habit, and, as we all know, old habits die hard.
Want to see what others are resolving to do in 2013? Check out Google’s Zeitgeist 2012 here
! You can input your 2013 resolution in the map and see what other people are saying. Remember that little, everyday changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle.
You know that walking to classes or work is good for you, but have you ever wondered exactly how it affects your health?
This infographic shows that even walking just thirty minutes a day can work wonders. For instance, those who aren’t fans of cardio will be happy to hear that walking to the grocery store burns more fat than jogging. With flu season fast approaching, it is also good to know that walking can cut in half your odds of catching a cold. Students and faculty out there will also be glad to know that walking up Bascom Hill once per day, five days a week, thirty weeks a year, for four years is the equivalent of 17.59 times the height of Mount Everest--every little bit counts! Hopping on the bus may seem tempting as temperatures drop, but toss on an extra layer instead and walk towards a healthier lifestyle.
For those suffering from diabetes, Halloween isn’t an all-you-can-eat affair. Everyday people with diabetes closely watch their diet and manage their sugar intake. But, this doesn’t mean they have to sit out on all the fun! With this carb counter people with diabetes can still participate in the fun while managing their intake!
Check it out here!
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Do you want to learn the latest facts about diabetes in Wisconsin? The Wisconsin Diabetes Surveillance Report 2012, just released by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, is here for you!
The report includes the most up-to-date statistics and data on numerous diabetes-related topics in Wisconsin, including:
- Estimated diabetes and pre-diabetes prevalence
- Economic costs of diabetes
- Risk factors
- Current status of and trends in diabetes care
- Diabetes mortality
Check out the report below and for more information visit the Department of Health Services website
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Janet Rich-Edwards, PhD (L), and Tamarra James-Todd, PhD (R)
Chemicals in Popular Consumer Products Associated with Increased Risk of Diabetes in WomenAccording to a recent American Diabetes Association-funded study, chemicals commonly found in beauty and hygiene products may increase the risk of diabetes in women. Phthalates are a class of industrial chemicals often used in the manufacturing of consumer products, especially cosmetics, perfumes, nail polishes, soaps and even food packaging and toys. More than 75% of people in the U.S. have detectable amounts of phthalate metabolites in the body. Women, however, have significantly higher levels than men, which may be owed to increased exposure through greater use of personal care products.
The study's lead investigator, Tamarra James-Todd, PhD, and her mentor, Janet Rich-Edwards, PhD, from Brigham and Women's Hospital suggest that exposure to phthalates may be partially to blame for the growing prevalence of diabetes in women. Phthalates are known to be endocrine disrupting chemicals, which can interfere with hormones in the body related to metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
The research team analyzed urine samples from 2,350 women between the ages of 20 and 80, collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey over an eight-year period. They found that women with the highest concentrations of mono-benzyl and mono-isobutyl phthalates were almost twice as likely to have diabetes compared to women with the lowest levels. Those with elevated levels of mono-n-butyl and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalates showed a 70% increased odds of diabetes, and those with high levels of mono-(3-carboxylpropyl) phthalate were at 60% greater odds.
The researchers also evaluated women without diabetes to determine whether phthalates altered precursors of diabetes, such as blood glucose levels and insulin resistance. Among women without diabetes, those with high concentrations of mono-isobutyl and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate had elevated fasting blood-sugar levels and were more insulin resistant in comparison to women with lower levels of these phthalates.
Published online in the July 13, 2012 edition of Environmental Health Perspectives, the study is the first to examine the association between phthalates and diabetes in a large, representative sample of women living in the U.S. These findings suggest the need to further examine the role phthalates and other endocrine disrupting chemicals as potential risk factors for diabetes. If future studies find a causal link between phthalates and diabetes, reducing exposure to these chemicals could prevent or delay the onset of diabetes in women at high risk or with prediabetes. "Individuals with diabetes could benefit from this research indirectly through learning about those exposures that could further increase the risk of diabetes among family members who may already be at an increased risk," Dr. Rich-Edwards expanded.
While the study accounted for sociodemographic, dietary, behavioral and anthropometric factors, women self-reported their diabetes status and researchers caution against reading too much into the study due to the possibility of reverse causation. "This is an important first step in exploring the connection between phthalates and diabetes," said Dr. James-Todd. "We know that in addition to being present in personal care products, phthalates also exist in certain types of medical devices and medication that are used to treat diabetes. So overall, more research is needed."
While the commercial use of phthalates is declining due to concerns of their potentially negative impact on health, including cancer and male sterility, avoiding overexposure can be difficult, since companies are not required to label whether a product contains phthalates. However, most products containing "fragrance" on their ingredients list contain phthalates, as well as many food items packaged and stored in plastics. It is possible that avoiding or reducing the use of these items could decrease phthalate exposure, but this remains unclear. In their future work, Drs. Rich-Edwards and James-Todd plan to further explore whether avoiding phthalates through lifestyle interventions will help reduce the risk of developing diabetes.(James-Todd T, Stahlhut R, Meeker JD, Powell S-G, Hauser R, Huang T, et al. 2012. Urinary Phthalate Metabolite Concentrations and Diabetes among Women in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008. Environ Health Perspect: http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104717)
People with diabetes are already benefitting from the Affordable Care Act...
Learn more about the benefits of health care reform for people with diabetes! Check out the PDF below!
- New Coverage Options for Individuals with Pre-existing Conditions
- No Pre-existing Condition Exclusions for Children
- Young Adults Can Stay on Their Parents’ Plans until age 26
- Free Coverage of Preventive Care
- No Lifetime Limits on Coverage
- Limits the Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs for Seniors
- New Program to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Information from the CDC: If You Have Diabetes, Be Extra Careful During Hot Weather!If you have diabetes, you need to take extra care in hot weather. Temperatures of 80°F (about 27°C) or above, especially with humidity, can affect medication, testing supplies, and your health. If you have diabetes, it is harder for your body to handle high heat and humidity. The heat index, which measures how hot it really feels by combining temperature and humidity readings, advises caution starting at 80°F with 40% humidity. Here are suggestions from CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation on taking care of yourself during hot weather:
- Heat can affect your blood glucose (sugar) levels and also increase the absorption of some fast-acting insulin, meaning you will need to test your blood glucose more often and perhaps adjust your intake of insulin, food and liquids.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to avoid dehydration. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. If your doctor has limited how much liquid you can drink, ask what to do during times of high heat.
- Check package inserts with medications to learn when high temperatures can affect them. If you’re traveling with insulin, don’t store it in direct sunlight or in a hot car. Keep it in a cooler, but do not place it directly on ice or on a gel pack.
- Check glucose meter and test strip packages for information on use during times of high heat and humidity. Do not leave them in a hot car, by a pool, or on the beach. Heat can damage insulin pumps and other equipment. Do not leave the disconnected pump or supplies in the direct sun.
- Get physical activity in air-conditioned areas, or exercise outside early or late in the day, during cooler temperatures. Use your air conditioner or go to air-conditioned buildings in your community.
To learn more about staying healthy in hot weather, please go to:http://www.cdc.gov/Features/ExtremeHeat/.
When it comes to holidays, parties, or even trips to the grocery store, children tend to look for sweet treats. Although it can be difficult for families with diabetes, it is important that all children develop a healthy relationship with food…and that includes knowing how to fit candy and other treats into everyday life.
Everything in Moderation
Some people think that kids with diabetes should avoid sugar. We think kids with diabetes should eat like kids without diabetes – eating all types of foods in moderation!
On special days, try to share the focus with games, family time, costumes and decorations. One parent gave the idea of the “magic pumpkin” to handle the typical influx of candy at Halloween. Have your child choose their 5 favorite pieces of candy and be amazed as the “magic pumpkin” turns the rest into a special toy or book overnight!
Remember Diabetes Management Basics
1. It is often easiest to cover candy with insulin by dosing for it (1-2 pieces) with other foods at mealtime. By having other food in your stomach, you can avoid the blood sugar spike that could result from eating candy by itself.
2. Don’t forget to check those blood sugars! Sweets can affect blood sugars in different ways depending upon the fat content. Knowing how your child’s blood sugars react is important to fitting treats into their meal plan.
A Simple Calculation
Candy can be challenging to count, especially it comes in single pieces. One way is to do a simple math calculation to figure out how many grams of carbohydrate are in a single piece of candy.
A child chooses 2 Hershey Kisses to have with dinner...
9 pieces = 25 grams of Carbohydrate
25 grams ÷ 9 pieces = 2.6 grams/piece
2.6 grams/piece X 2 pieces = 5.2 grams of Carbohydrate to include with meal dose
| Click Here to Download a Candy Carb List|
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A healthy lifestyle is important and key in everyday life. A healthy lifestyle can help keep us from diseases that can damage our life and even damage the lives of others around us. I didn’t fully understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle until spring of 2009. I was always active. I played sports. I exercised. My diet, I thought, was reasonably healthy. If I put on weight, I would diet and usually it worked. It wasn’t enough and to be frank, I wasn’t taking care of myself in the right way. I found myself at my primary doctor’s office with high blood pressure at the age of 23. I was placed on medication and it was the start of something I never thought would happen to me. By summer I packed on 17 pounds and weighed XX on a 4’10” frame. During that time, I tried working out, but I found myself short of breath and tired, making it difficult for me to exercise. I became stressed, emotional, embarrassed, you name it. I struggled with food, too. I would eat healthy, but I would also find myself dining out and pulling up to drive thru windows a lot. I didn’t think it was affecting me, though. My eating habits had been the same for years.
During that time, I went back to my primary doctor. I told her something was wrong and that I am putting on weight like crazy. Her response, “Keep exercising”. I asked her if there was another high blood pressure medication I could go on as I was convinced it was the medication. I was placed on a water pill. I still put on weight, but for the most part, I was leveling off. I wasn’t satisfied. What was I doing wrong? I was living my life the same way I had been for years and now my body was completely rejecting it. By the fall I was miserable and fed up, ready to figure out what was wrong with me. My mom was ready, too. We met with my doctor. We asked her again for help, another alternative. She told me the blood work that was done months prior was fine and it wasn’t anything else. I was told to try counting my calories and exercise. I asked her to refer me to an endocrinologist. She didn’t want to, but agreed. By November, I was having blood work and glucose tests done. By December, I was informed I was prediabetic and once again placed on medication. I was 24 and on my way to having type 2 diabetes. This was not going to happen to me and I prepared myself to do what it takes to make sure I would have it under control. This time it wasn’t going to be a crash diet.
My amazing endocrinologist referred me to a program through Aurora. It was called the Living Well Program
. This program truly saved my life. I had a support system that I met with on a weekly basis for the first three months. I worked with a dietitian and a personal trainer. I learned a lot about food, personal wellness, exercise and most of all how to maintain a healthy lifestyle that worked for me. The weight was coming off like crazy and by the end of the third month I was training for my first triathlon. I continued into phase 2 of the program, which was a commitment of another nine months. Within one year, I lost 32 pounds, completed a triathlon and built and maintained a lifestyle of healthy eating and daily exercise. Most of all, in a way you could say I beat type 2 diabetes.
As of today, I am no longer on any medication and I am the healthiest I have ever been. I didn’t do it by crash diets or by burning myself out with too much exercise. I did it by making changes that I can take with me for the rest of my life. The Living Well Program is what brought me here today. I wanted to tell my story. I wanted to start with an introduction as to what I want for my future. I currently have my Bachelor’s in Science in Education and Human Services from the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh. However, the career path I have been on is not what I am looking for. Health and wellness have become important aspects in my life and I want to share that with others. Making the decision to go back to school for dietetics feels right this time around. I want to take the knowledge I have now and the knowledge I will gain and put it towards something I believe in my hope is that I can use it and be what could be considered a health and wellness “life coach”. I want to take it and develop goals and plans for those that will be my future patients. I want to help others focus and strive for a healthier life free of disease that can be controlled with the right tools. I want to help others strive for what they may have thought was the unthinkable.
Unfortunately, we have allowed ourselves to create a society that doesn’t revolve around health and wellness, causing an increase in health problems among Americans. With the right people and persistence in prevention, we can create a healthier society. I want to take part in that. I understand the efforts, the time and hard work involved in making lifestyle changes. I want to help coach someone with the knowledge I gain, the efforts I make and the support I can give in helping save another person’s life and keep them free from disease. This is why I am making the decision to continue my education in a field that is very important to me. Thanks for listening,Samantha Rappa