June 4, 2016

Diabetes Smart Symposium

From June 5 to 11th Join 60+ Top Presenters in Live Online Sessions
Topics Cover Type 1, Type 2, Pre-diabetes, Juvenile Diabetes and More.

I will not be listening to any of the presentations, but for some people, this may be very valuable to you. This is the reason I am giving it blog space.

I am concerned about this speaker and her topic - Carbohydrates: Friend or Foe? Dianne Schneider, RDN, LD, CDE Health & Wellness
Start: Jun 08, 2016 at 07:00 pm CDT

If you are interested in the classes which are free, please investigate it for yourself.

June 3, 2016

If It Is Easy, Everyone Will Oppose It

In my reading, I often come across some very interesting articles that are related to diabetes and some things that are unrelated. Many of the articles are very technical or obtuse for the general reader. It is fun to occasionally read something that fits the KISS principle. For those that have not learned what this is, it means, “keep it simple, stupid.”

One of these applies to the meal plans for those of us with diabetes. Low carbing is a simple principle and easy to adapt to, yet it is opposed by many organizations and large companies. Even the ADA and other professional groups continue to oppose this, but the ADA did allow this for at least one year while studies are being done.

It has taken several decades for most groups to wake up and realize we have been misled by fanatics with an agenda. They are still very hesitant to endorse low carb high fat because low carbing is too simple, and costs big pharma, big food, and so many vested interests big money. It is the last statement that keeps many organizations from endorsing low carb high fat, because this will mean a loss in funds and might cause some job losses.

This means the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Association of Certified Diabetes Educators, American Society of Nutrition, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and the American Diabetes Association are all the recipients of money from Big Pharma, Big Food, and some receive money from Big Chemical and Big Agriculture. Therefore, it is small wonder they don't want to lose this money and will support what these organizations want. This is what conflicts of interest do to prevent better health for those of us with diabetes.

This is also the reason that many of us need to blog about information like this and make people aware of what is happening and why so little is being done to help those of us with diabetes.

This article also brings up some other examples of how simple helps many other people and why even many doctors oppose these simple techniques. One I especially like because it was about a doctor at the University of Iowa Hospitals andClinics.

The other doctor mentioned is Dr. Richard Bernstein and how he simplified diabetes management. All these are excellent examples of the kiss principle.

June 2, 2016

Is Nagging Today's Caring?

My first thought is – Oh Really! Although it is not mentioned in the release of the Michigan State University study, I have to wonder who participated in the study and if the majority weren't women. I know how I dislike being nagged and I rebel when this happens and ignore what is said. This is my reason for doubting the validity of this study.

Am I a typical man? I don't know, but I would guess from my relationships with other families, that this is the norm for many men. If the price of living longer is having to endure constant personal criticism from the person best qualified to make it hurt, do you want to pay that price?

For men, an unhappy marriage may actually slow the development of diabetes and promote successful treatment once they do get the disease, finds a national study led by a Michigan State University sociologist.

Why? It may be because wives are constantly regulating their husband's health behaviors, especially if he is in poor health or diabetic. And, while this may improve the husband's health, it also can be seen as annoying and provoke hostility and emotional distress.

"The study challenges the traditional assumption that negative marital quality is always detrimental to health," said Hui Liu, MSU associate professor of sociology and lead investigator of the federally funded research. "It also encourages family scholars to distinguish different sources and types of marital quality. Sometimes, nagging is caring."

Using data from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, Liu and colleagues analyzed survey results from 1,228 married respondents over five years. At the onset of the study, the respondents were 57 to 85 years old; 389 had diabetes at the end of the study.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. More than 29 million Americans had diabetes in 2012, or 9.3 percent of the population.

Liu, an expert in population-based health and family science, investigated the role of marital quality in diabetes risk and management and found two major gender differences:

*The most surprising finding was that, for men, an increase in negative marital quality lowered the risk of developing diabetes and increased the chances of managing the disease after its onset. Diabetes requires frequent monitoring that the wives could be prodding the husband to do, boosting his health but also increasing marital strain over time.”

*For women, a good marriage was related to a lower risk of being diabetic five years later. Women may be more sensitive than men to the quality of a relationship and thus more likely to experience a health boost from a good-quality relationship,” Liu said.

"Since diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in the United States, implementation of public policies and programs designed to promote marital quality should also reduce the risk of diabetes and promote health and longevity, especially for women at older ages," the study says.

The study, published online in the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, was co-authored by Shannon Shen, an MSU graduate, and Linda Waite, professor at the University of Chicago.

The research was partially funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, which are all part of the National Institutes of Health.

June 1, 2016

AHA Denying Science on Salt

I knew this would happen. The American Heart Association denies the latest science - a study published last Friday in The Lancet, which suggested that salt restriction in the diet, won't benefit most people and may actually cause harm. Although the study did also suggest that salt restriction might help the 11% of the population who have high blood pressure and consume a lot of salt, the AHA says it "strongly refutes the findings" of a "flawed study" which "you shouldn't use ... to inform yourself about how you're going to eat."

This sounds like a doubling down on their position of less salt is better philosophy. Sounds a lot like the way they have handled the low carb high fat and the statin controversies. The AHA still believes in the low fat way of eating and they have expanded the numbers of people down to children that they believe should be taking statins.

Makes me wonder about conflicts of interest and why the AHA follows paths that the crowd has abandoned. But in fact, the AHA position is really a strong blow against science and the scientific process.

The key point here is that the authors of the Lancet study make no claim that their study is definitive. Instead, they point out that the study was performed in the first place in response to earlier, less definitive studies hinting at possible harms associated with severe salt restriction.

The average American consumes about 3,400 mg per day of sodium. The AHA recommends that sodium levels be cut by more than half to 1,500 mg/day. Several other health organizations also recommend reduced salt intake, though their recommendations are less severe than the AHA's (which is itself a good indication of the lack of scientific consensus).

A former president of the AHA, Elliott Antman, described the AHA as a "a science-based organization dedicated to saving and improving lives." "Confusion about something as dangerous as excess sodium is unacceptable. We owe it to the public to provide the most scientifically sound dietary advice."

But although "confusion" about sodium may be "unacceptable", it may also be inevitable, at least for now. Despite what Antman and the AHA say, there is no widespread scientific consensus about salt. In its statements, the AHA never acknowledges the lively ongoing debate about salt.

It is known that the AHA and its officers will not admit to anything and yet say they have science behind them. There is little actual science and there is much disagreement among the experts about salt.

Back in the 1980s, the AHA developed enormously influential guidelines on cholesterol and diet. These guidelines helped spark the campaign against dietary fat and had the catastrophic consequence of pushing people to consume more carbohydrates, including sugar, instead of fat and protein. We will probably never know the full extent of the damage, but many have speculated that this may have contributed to the obesity and diabetes epidemics. Let's make sure this doesn't happen again with salt.

The AHA can't be judge and jury and simply declare themselves the winner in the court of science.

May 31, 2016

More on the Salt Debate!

The onus about our need for salt is becoming more of a burden for each person and we are the ones that need to make the decision of how much salt our body needs. The salt debate has now taken a more serious turn with some science behind it. How unbiased the science is will still be part of the debate, but at least I know what my body needs and am learning more each day of what my body it telling me for salt needs.

Most feel that a high salt intake has been linked to increased blood pressure and greater risk for heart problems. The AHA recommended limit of salt is 1,500 milligrams per day. This is the position of the American Heart Association and they will never admit to making a mistake. Now new research is saying that low salt intake may be more harmful.

This study was published in The Lancet and found that low salt intake may raise the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death when compared with an average salt intake.

The study, involving more than 130,000 people from 49 countries, was led by investigators of the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences.

They looked specifically at whether the relationship between sodium (salt) intake and death, heart disease and stroke differs in people with high blood pressure compared to those with normal blood pressure.

The researchers showed that regardless of whether people have high blood pressure, low-sodium intake is associated with more heart attacks, strokes, and deaths compared to average intake.

These are extremely important findings for those who are suffering from high blood pressure,” said Andrew Mente, lead author of the study, a principal investigator of PHRI and an associate professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

While our data highlights the importance of reducing high salt intake in people with hypertension, it does not support reducing salt intake to low levels. Our findings are important because they show that lowering sodium is best targeted at those with hypertension who also consume high sodium diets.”

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day - the equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt.

However, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this year revealed that around 90 percent of Americans consume salt at levels above the recommended limit.

Low salt intake in the study was defined as an intake of less than 3,000 milligrams a day, which is above current recommendations in the United States.
The researchers found that only individuals with high blood pressure appeared to be subject to the risks associated with high salt intake - defined as more than 6,000 milligrams daily.

This new study shows that the risks associated with low-sodium intake – less than three grams per day – are consistent regardless of a patient’s hypertension status. The findings show that while there is a limit below which sodium intake may be unsafe, the harm associated with high sodium consumption appears to be confined to only those with hypertension.

Only about 10 per cent of the population in the global study had both hypertension and high sodium consumption (greater than 6 grams per day).

May 30, 2016

High Salt Consumption Can Cause Weight Gain

One group publishes a study and another group answers with their study. This group takes a different approach and talks about weight gain being caused by salt, actually too much salt.

Researchers say the studies - published in the Journal of Nutrition and Chemical Senses - support calls for the food industry to lower the salt, or sodium, intake of food products. Both studies were conducted by Prof. Russell Keast and colleagues from Deakin University in Australia.

While you may not be heavy handed with the salt shaker, it is processed foods and restaurant meals that are the primary culprit, accounting for more than 75% of our sodium intake.

Previous research from Prof. Keast and colleagues, including a study reported by Medical News Today earlier this year, suggested that individuals who are more sensitive to the taste of fat are more likely to eat fatty foods, putting them at greater risk of obesity.

Their latest studies build on that research, suggesting that the amount of salt in a certain food may influence how much we eat, as salt could mask our fat preferences.

For the first study, the team set out to investigate the effects of salt on the taste of fat and food preference.

The researchers enrolled 49 healthy participants aged 18-54 and asked them to taste a variety of tomato soups that had four different fat concentrations (0%, 5%, 10% and 20%) and five different salt concentrations (0.04% - no added salt - 0.25%, 0.5%, 1% and 2%).

Fast facts about salt
  • Grains, meat and processed poultry, soups and sandwiches are top contributors to Americans' salt intake
  • A single slice of bread can contain anywhere from 80-230 mg of salt
  • One slice of pizza can contain up to 730 mg of salt.

After consuming the soups, participants were asked to rank the pleasantness and desire to eat each soup, as well as the perceived fattiness and saltiness of each soup.

Fat taste sensitivity among participants was measured by their ability to taste oleic acid - a fatty acid in vegetable fats and oils - at various concentrations in long-life skimmed milk.

The researchers found that salt is a major player in the pleasantness of a food, with rating of food pleasantness varying greatly dependent on different salt contents; a salt concentration of 0.25-5% rated as most pleasant.

For the second study, the team wanted to examine the effect of salt on food intake. They enrolled 48 healthy adults aged 18-54. As in the first study, participants' fat taste sensitivity was determined by their ability to taste oleic acid.

Over a 6-day period, participants were required to attend four lunchtime sessions. Lunches consisted of elbow macaroni and sauce, and sauces contained varying concentrations of fat and salt.

The researchers measured subjects' food intake over the study period, and participants were required to rate the pleasantness of each food. The team found that participants consumed around 11% less food and energy when their lunches contained low salt and high fat.

"However, when given high-salt high-fat foods, those same subjects consumed significantly more food and energy," explains Prof. Keast. "Those who were less sensitive to fat consumed the same amount in each salt condition." Overall, the authors say their studies indicate that salt may interfere with the body's biological processes that stop us from eating too much.

May 29, 2016

Some Proclaimed Superfoods Are Not

These superfoods may be better for people without diabetes, but for those of us with diabetes, I do not think they will be neutral for blood glucose results. I would say that they will be like most other carbohydrates and increase your blood glucose levels rather rapidly.

Of course, this is the way food manufacturers attempt to trick us or lure us into consuming what they manufacture. Yes, those of us with diabetes need to be concerned about nutrient dense foods, but just because the manufacturer says they are nutrient dense, does not mean that we should consume them if we are managing our diabetes to prevent spikes in our blood glucose levels.

The popularity of “super” products is clear as food and drink manufacturers globally are tapping into demand for these nutritionally dense ingredients,” said Stephanie Mattucci, global food science analyst at Mintel. “Today’s consumers are becoming much more aware of what they are putting into their bodies.”

Ancient grains gaining appeal, which is good for those of us can tolerate them. The wheat-free diet trend has driven growth in the amount of products containing “supergrains” ancient grains, Mintel said. Chia is leading the charge, as the percent of products in which the ingredient was featured grew 27% between 2014 and 2015. During the same period, products containing teff grew 31% and those containing quinoa rose 27%.

The popularity of pulses as a superfood is on the rise, too. Over the past two years, Mintel said, the percentage of products launched containing green split pea jumped 126%, while those containing coral lentils grew 62% and products featuring yellow split peas increased 21%.

“Pulses can be used to add a range of natural health benefits to food and drink products,” Ms. Mattucci said. “Additionally, healthy pulses are staples in many ethnic cuisines, offering manufacturers a pathway for product innovation for convenience-seeking ethnic food explorers.”

Superseeds also are sprouting up more often in new product launches. Over the past two years, the percentage of food and beverages containing chia seeds increased 70%, according to Mintel. Products featuring pumpkin seeds grew 27% and those containing sunflower seeds spiked 22%.

“Some seeds, including chia and pumpkin seeds, offer complete protein, with all nine essential amino acids in the correct ratios,” Ms. Mattucci said. “However, a lot of protein from seeds is incomplete. Blending seeds can help improve the quality of protein.”

Going forward, sprouted ancient grains, turmeric and moringa are the superfoods to watch, Ms. Mattucci said.

“Whilst the number of products containing ancient grains has been rising, next we could see the popularity of sprouting ancient grains,” Ms. Mattucci said. “The ancient, accidental process of sprouting, where whole grains are soaked and left to germinate has largely been eliminated by modern processing techniques. There has been a return to this ancient practice, with controlled ‘sprouting’ practices being introduced, as the nutritive advantage of sprouted grains is being recognized. The ancient grain quinoa is leading the comeback of sprouted grains.”

Turmeric and moringa also may be on the rise, as turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits and moringa is said to have beauty and anti-aging properties.