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Living Younger with Diabetes

December 27th 2014 06:53

food diabetes worst foods health fitness youth

Balance Your Blood Sugar

To keep diabetes under control it's a smart idea to learn which foods are best for your blood sugar and which you should avoid. Watch out for these 10 insulin-spiking eats.

10 Worst Foods for Your Blood Sugar

Not-So-Friendly Foods

Certain foods can send your blood sugar level on a roller coaster, with insulin rushing to keep up. The good news is, while there are some surprises, most of these foods fall under the same category: processed food, such as white flour and sugar. "Refined flours and sugar cause huge spikes in insulin and get absorbed quickly, which causes problems," says Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution (Little, Brown and Company). Look at the whole meal instead of just individual ingredients, adds Jackie Mills, MS, RD. Pairing carbohydrates with protein, fat, or fiber helps slow down the absorption process. Watch out for these 10 blood-sugar saboteurs.

White Rice

White rice is a whole rice grain that has been polished until just the endosperm -- essentially an easily digestible starch bomb -- is left. Not surprisingly, recent studies have shown that eating white rice can raise blood glucose significantly, especially if eaten often or in large quantities. One study showed an 11% increase in diabetes risk with each daily serving of white rice. If you love rice with your stir-fries, switch to brown rice. Your blood sugar will thank you.


Potatoes may be a whole, natural root veggie, but they’re also notorious for causing blood sugar to spike because they're digested into the bloodstream quickly. To mitigate this negative effect, cook potatoes with a healthy fat, such as olive oil, and bump up the fiber by adding hearty leafy greens or another vegetable to the mix. Or, make potato salad with plenty of lemon juice and chill it in the fridge. The acid and cold alter the starch molecules in the spuds to slow digestion.


We tend to think of ketchup as a salty condiment, but many brands list some sort of sweetener as the second ingredient, which can have a disastrous effect on your blood sugar level. "It doesn’t matter if it’s called sugar, evaporated cane juice, high fructose corn syrup, or malt syrup," Mills says. "They’re all sugar, and all of them will elevate blood glucose."

White Pasta

White pasta is made from refined white flour, which is an easily digestible starch. That raises your blood sugar level. It also tends to provoke overeating because it's quickly digested, so you want to eat again, according to Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and director of coaching at Cleveland Clinic. As if that's not bad enough, overcooking the pasta worsens the blood sugar impact.


Back during the low-fat diet craze, bagels were darlings because of their "no-fat/low-fat" label, but that’s one of the very reasons they wreak such havoc on blood sugar. "Refined flours cause huge spikes in insulin and get absorbed quickly, which causes problems," Hyman says. If you must get your bagel fix, pair it with a smear of avocado, which is loaded with healthy unsaturated fat, and a few slices of smoked salmon (a great source of both protein and omega-3 fatty acids) to help slow down digestion and regulate your blood sugar. You get extra points if you have a whole-grain bagel.

Artificial Sweeteners

Many people think artificial sweeteners are harmless additives and a good choice if you have diabetes. Not so, Hyman says. "Artificial sweeteners slow metabolism and increase fat deposition, and can increase the risk of diabetes by 67%." If you need to satisfy a sweet tooth, Mills says, you're better off enjoying foods made with real sweeteners on occasion and in moderation.

Fruit Juice

"If your blood sugar is extremely low and you need to bring it up quickly, juice is your thing," Jamieson-Petonic says. But that’s not an effect you want when you’re looking to keep your blood sugar level the rest of the time. "The concentration of carbohydrates is very high and tends to cause severe spikes and drops,” she adds. Keep fruit juice on hand to counteract hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but make water your go-to beverage as part of your everyday diabetes diet.

Energy Bars

Because of all the added sugar, "some energy bars may as well be labeled candy bars," Mills says. Indeed, a single bar can carry a glycemic load over 49 (anything over 20 is considered "high"). That's more than a king-size Snickers bar! Bars made from refined flours and sugars are the worst culprits, since these have the harshest impact on blood sugar. If you like the convenience of energy bars, read labels carefully and choose bars made with nuts, whole grains, and few added natural sweeteners. Don't forget to account for the carbs in your daily tally.

Low-Fat Sweetened Yogurt

It's obvious that low-fat yogurt has had fat removed, and that seems like a good choice if you have diabetes. While low-fat yogurt has a (small) positive impact on calorie count, it’s not so great for your blood sugar. Manufacturers compensate for that loss of fat by adding stabilizers, thickeners, and sugars that can have a detrimental impact on blood glucose. A better approach is to skip the fruit-flavored yogurt and choose plain yogurt sweetened with real, whole fruit.

Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks

Energy drinks and sports drinks carry all the woes of fruit juice with the added no-no of more sugars. "They’re basically lots of sugar and very low nutrition," Jamieson-Petonic warns. If you're trying to stabilize blood sugar, steer clear of energy drinks and sports drinks. Go for water flavored with a spritz of citrus instead.

from: real age


dangers shift work sleep bed

A Wake-Up Call About the Dangers of Late-Night Work
By Lisa Davis

Night Shift Dangers

While the graveyard shift may complement your lifestyle, one study shows it may hurt your health. Learn how late night work can increase your risk of heart disease and how to prevent it.

When my friend Mike started working the graveyard shift nearly ten years ago, he thought “graveyard” just meant that he should expect a quiet night on the job. Now he takes the term a little more literally. The 56-year-old had a stroke almost a year ago, and an enormous study out of Canada suggests that his work schedule may be part of the reason why.

Mike’s fit and young for his age—he’s played tennis several times a week for years, and he liked his midnight-to-eight work hours because they let him spend more time with his son. But one day last August he woke up and things weren’t right. “I got out of bed and just fell into the wall,” he remembers. He had no idea what was going on until his wife called and quickly asked if he’d been hit in the mouth. “She could tell something was very, very wrong,” he says, and once he heard his own garbled speech, he could, too. “Once I talked, it was like, Holy crap.”

The study last week was actually an analysis of a bunch of other studies—34 of them, in fact, which added up to more than two million people. It found that people who worked non-traditional hours were almost 25% more likely to have a heart attack and 5% more likely to have a stroke than people who worked day jobs or didn’t work at all. The study doesn’t prove that shift work increases your risk of what the experts call vascular “accidents,“ but it points persuasively in that direction. And, after all, there are plenty of reasons to expect a flopped schedule to be bad for you. It messes up your biological rhythms, makes it difficult or impossible to get enough sleep, and gives your work-life balance the kind of hard whack that’s impossible to recover from.

“The human body was not meant to work on a night shift -- that’s the bottom line,” says Sharecare expert Michael Breus, author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4_Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health. “Different people are going to adapt to it in different ways, and some of those adaptations could be harmful.”

The damage isn’t just a private matter, either, Dr. Breus says. “Almost every major disaster that we know of was caused during the latter part of a night-shift, and usually by somebody who was sleep deprived. Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez—all those."

None of this is surprising to Mike. Once he started working graveyard, it didn’t take long for him to notice the toll it was taking. “You can kind of tell that you’re off,” he says. “I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t the best decision I’d ever made, but I couldn’t get out of it.”

Mike works from 3:00 pm to about 10 these days -- not exactly a traditional 9-to-5 job, but in synch enough with society that he gets a good night’s sleep every night. He’s feeling good. In fact, the doctors say that he’s completely recovered from his stroke.

He’s lucky, but he’s far from the only one at risk. A 2005 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 14% of Americans do shift work, and plenty more have habits that may interfere with their health just as much as exhausting work hours. “I definitely wasn’t alone on the freeway when I was going to work at 10 at night,” Mike says. He used to wonder where all those people were going, but now he has a message for them: Go to bed.


5 minute walking miracle health fitness sitting

Go for a Walk

Are you ready to feel great and boost your total health? Lace up your sneakers and put some pep in your step.

The Five-Minute Walking Miracle
By Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD

The Five-Minute Walking Miracle
Cloudy mind? Damaged arteries? Growing belly? A study confirms the remedy for these health woes is precisely what the 4th century B.C. Greek philosopher Diogenes figured out: “Solvitur ambulando, he said.” It is solved by walking.

Up to 70% of North Americans spend 6-8 hours a day sitting and many spend much more. Here’s how it can add up: four hours watching TV, two hours commuting, seven hours at the office. The toll is astounding -- even if you’re relatively young: Researchers looked at guys 20-35 and found prolonged sitting caused blood to pool in the legs and reduced blood vessels’ ability to expand by 50%. That contributes to heart disease, diabetes and cancer -- and just feeling lousy.

But if you go ambulando for five minutes every hour, you’ll preserve blood vessel flexibility and dodge all kinds of health problems.

Download a free hourly reminder app like reMind or set your smart phone timer to go off every hour.
When the alarm sounds, walk up and down the stairs in your office building or home. Or head for the parking lot or backyard and do a fast once-around. Watching TV? March vigorously in place. You can always steal five minutes to save your health!
Get a pedometer -- you’ll be amazed at how many steps you get in by walking for five minutes during each of the hours you’re sitting!
Over time, increase your steps while staying with five-minute breaks. Then you’ll be walking tall, sitting pretty and have a younger RealAge!


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