July 1, 2017

Is Ice Cream Right for Type 2 Diabetes?

Summer is here and I enjoy my ice cream.  I have a favorite and mine has only 11 grams of carbohydrates.  I like it because in is an ice cream bar and I don’t have to overeat.  According to a blog by David Mendosa, I should not be eating this as it uses carrageenan.

Carrageenan - a carbohydrate extracted from carrageen, used to make a beverage, medicine, and jelly, and as an emulsifying and gelling agent in various processed desserts and drinks

According to two experts whose advice I trust, Chris Kresser and Andrew Weil, the carrageenan is questionable.

Ice cream does not have to be off limits for people with type 2 diabetes.  While it is still best to enjoy ice cream in moderation, there are ice cream and frozen yogurt choices out there that will not derail a healthful diet.

Ice cream can be a delicious treat, but people with diabetes need to be particularly careful about which ice cream they eat.

Most ice cream has a lot of added sugar, making it something a person with diabetes should avoid.  Because of this, one of the first things they should consider when choosing an ice cream is the sugar content.  People with diabetes need to understand how their ice cream indulgence fits into their overall diet plan.

The Nutrition Facts panel on each container says that the serving size is 1/2 cup, undoubtedly due to the Food and Drug Administration’s size requirements.  This is inconvenient, because in all of recorded history no one has ever succeeded in eating just a fourth of a 1 pint container of ice cream.

The FDA has, however, begun to realize how unrealistic some of their service sizes are, and we can hope that this will change.  Meanwhile, we always need to check out the service size on any package we buy.

The best ice cream for a person with diabetes has the lowest sugar content per serving without relying on artificial sweeteners.  To check the amount of sugar in ice cream, look at the total number of carbohydrates on the nutrition label and the ingredient list.

For someone with diabetes, the best choice is an ice cream with less than 20 g total carbohydrates in a half- cup serving.

Almost every brand of ice cream has lots of marketing information on the container, which is designed to catch the eye.

People with diabetes may find a product that says reduced sugar or half the calories of regular ice cream. Although the claims may be true that the particular product has less sugar than another variety, the actual sugar content may still be much higher than recommended per serving amount.

The amount of protein and fat in the ice cream can have a direct impact on how fast sugar is absorbed in the body.  Generally, if the fat and protein contents are higher than average, the sugar from each serving will be absorbed more slowly.

For more information, please read this article here. 

June 30, 2017

Do You Respect the Current Exercise Guidelines?

Sorry for missing two days, but the medical procedure I under went, left me fuzzy and not thinking clearly.  I am not sure I clear headed, but felt this article is important.

While exercise is important for our health, but I find the guidelines do not provide adequate exercise for the return in the amount exercise. 

It is well known that regular physical exercise has a plethora of associated health benefits and has been shown to prevent and improve symptoms across all types of diseases, but are the current guidelines too challenging for the average person? We investigate.
Exercise has been hailed as somewhat of a miracle cure. It is free, easy to do, works immediately, and has little to no side effects. Scientific evidence has shown that, whatever your age, being physically active makes you happier and healthier.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 2008 Physical Guidelines for Americans report that for adults, the most substantial health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) each week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.

Muscle strengthening (otherwise known as resistance training) physical activities that involve all the main muscle groups and that are moderate or high intensity should also be completed on 2 or more days every week.

The 2008 Physical Guidelines for Americans document that taking part in the equivalent of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week lowers the risk of: premature death, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and depression.

Stepping up physical activity from 150 minutes each week toward 300 minutes (5 hours) not only further lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes, but also reduces the risk of colon cancer and breast cancer, and prevents unhealthy weight gain.

Moreover, increasing physical activity to more than the equivalent of 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity further increases the benefits. For example, people who complete 420 minutes (7 hours) each week have an even lower risk of premature death, compared with individuals completing 150 to 300 minutes every week.

There are multiple ways to meet the recommended 150 minutes of exercise. In fact, research conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh showed that participating in a variety of activities - from walking and dancing, to gardening - improves brain volume and may reduce a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by 50 percent.

It sounds easy enough: by working out for 30 minutes on 5 days of the week, those recommendations can be met. You would expect that with all the potential health benefits, the whole population would be following the recommendations and taking to the streets to walk briskly.

However, a huge proportion of the population is falling short. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 49 percent of adults meet the aerobic physical activity guidelines, and only 20.9 percent of adults meet the physical activity guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.

So what is going wrong? With our busy lives, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity can be a challenging task to fulfill and may even be regarded, by some, as impractical or unobtainable.

Many of us claim that we do not have the time, energy, or inclination to fit in exercise. So not only are the guidelines and long-term health benefits failing to engage the population, but they are also being dismissed and ignored, and they even appear to be discouraging individuals to participate in any physical activity at all.

The HHS guidelines were released nearly 10 years ago, and in that time there has been considerable research into physical activity duration, frequency, and intensity. Do we really need to accumulate 150 minutes of physical activity every week? We take a look at some of the most recent findings.

The good news is that some health benefits can be gained with as little as 60 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week, and some research has shown positive results with even less exercise.

One moderate exercise session of 20 minutes stimulates the immune system and sets off a cellular response that may help to suppress inflammation in the body, found a study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

These findings could help with treatment strategies for chronic diseases such as fibromyalgia and arthritis, as well as obesity.

"Our study shows a workout session doesn't actually have to be intense to have anti-inflammatory effects. Twenty minutes to half an hour of moderate exercise, including fast walking, appears to be sufficient," said Suzi Hong, Ph.D., in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

"Feeling like a workout needs to be at a peak exertion level for a long duration can intimidate those who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases and could greatly benefit from physical activity."

Please read the full article here.

June 27, 2017

Artery-Clogging Saturated Fat Is a Myth

Among doctors and the public alike, there is a popular belief that dietary saturated fat clogs up the arteries and results in coronary heart disease.  A new editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says that this notion of saturated fat clogging a pipe is "just plain wrong."

According to researchers, 'the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong.'

The article is the result of a collaboration between a team of cardiologists, including: Dr. Aseem Malhotra, of Lister Hospital in Stevenage, in the United Kingdom; Prof. Rita Redberg, of the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine and editor of JAMA Internal Medicine; and Pascal Meier, of University Hospital Geneva in Switzerland and University College London, who is also the editor of BMJ Open Heart.

The team cited reviews that show no association between intake of saturated fat and a greater risk of heart disease, in order to support their argument against the existence of artery-clogging saturated fat.

"It is time to shift the public health message in the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease away from measuring serum lipids and reducing dietary saturated fat," say the authors. Instead of focusing on lowering blood fats and cutting out dietary saturated fats, the importance of eating "real food," partaking in regular physical activity, and minimizing stress, should all be emphasized.

According to Malhotra, Redberg, and Meier, the current approach to managing heart disease echoes the practice of plumbing, but the notion of improving the condition by "unclogging a pipe" has been invalidated by a series of clinical trials. The trials found that when a stent was inserted to widen narrowed arteries, the risk of heart attack or death was not lessened.

"Decades of emphasis on the primacy of lowering plasma cholesterol, as if this was an end in itself and driving a market of 'proven to lower cholesterol' and 'low fat' foods and medications, has been misguided," the panel contends. These misconceptions may stem from "selective reporting of data," they suggest.

Coronary artery heart disease is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. The chronic inflammatory condition responds positively to a Mediterranean-style diet, rich in the anti-inflammatory compounds often found in extra virgin olive oil, vegetables, oily fish, and nuts, the researchers note.

The best predictor of heart disease risk involves a high total cholesterol (TC) to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ratio, not low-density lipoprotein. Dietary changes, such as substituting refined carbohydrates with healthful high-fat foods including olive oil and nuts, can significantly reduce the high TC to HDL ratio, the experts explain.

Exercise plays an essential role in preventing heart disease and may increase life expectancy by 3.4 to 4.5 years. Just 30 minutes of moderate activity per day on more than three occasions each week has been shown to make a difference to risk factors for inactive adults. Furthermore, the researchers point out that regular brisk walking may be more effective at preventing coronary disease than running.

Chronic stress is a risk factor for coronary heart disease that "should not be overlooked," the team underline. Chronic stress puts the body's inflammatory response on a continuous state of high alert. Research has shown that environmental stress, such as childhood trauma, can decrease life expectancy by up to 20 years.

The authors write:
"Combining a complete lifestyle approach of a healthful diet, regular movement, and stress reduction will improve quality of life, reduce cardiovascular, and all-cause mortality."

The researchers add that spending just 22 minutes per day walking and eating healthful food can prevent coronary artery disease. However, "there is no business model or market to help spread this simple yet powerful intervention," the authors conclude.