5 Worst Food Items That Diabetics Should Avoid

Your body is a temple and so, you should worship it like one. One of the most dangerous health problems that can make your life dull is diabetes. Though there is no cure for diabetes, with balance in your diet and lifestyle habits, and exercise, it can go into remission. Meaning, even though the body doesn’t show any signs of diabetes, it is still present but dormant.

What Causes Diabetes?

Most of our health problems are associated with eating fatty foods and being obese. The high amount of fatty acids in our body leads to an increase in blood sugar level. This sugar level is controlled by insulin, a hormone that is created by the pancreas. With the help of insulin, glucose enters the cells, where it is broken down for producing energy. However, when you have diabetes, the insulin either becomes sugar resistant or is not produced enough to provide the energy needed by the body.

Many people think that if they have diabetes, they won’t be able to eat their favorite food. However, that’s not the case. Yes, maintaining your diabetes is about avoiding certain food items but you can still enjoy your favorites… just in small amounts.

Following are 5 worst food items that diabetics should avoid:

1.     Fruit Smoothies

A fruit smoothie can be very nutritious, especially when you have a hectic work schedule. However, loaded with sugar and carbs and absolutely no healthy fats or proteins, it will definitely spike your blood sugar level.

2.     White Bread

White bread falls under refined grain, which contains high amount of carbohydrates. This can lead to an increase in blood sugar level, so better swap it for whole grain bread.

3.     French Fries

Yes, French fires are a big no-go for diabetics. You can eat potatoes but the reason why French fries must be avoided is because they are high in fats and carbs. Both of them increase the blood sugar level and keep it elevated for awhile because the fat takes longer to digest.

4.     Sports Drinks

For diabetics, cold water is their best friend. Even if you are highly active and go to the gym on a regular basis, you should avoid drinking sports drinks. They are high in added sugars, sodium and calories, which is basically a dangerous concoction for diabetics.

5.     Frozen Dinners

A diet is not just about cutting back on sugar and carbs. You need to have a long, hard look on your salt intake too. Salt helps lower blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of stroke or heart attack. Since frozen dinners are swimming in sodium, preservatives, and flavor enhancers, it is best to avoid them.

Today, according American Diabetes Association, more than 9.4% of the US population has diabetes. A high percentage of this population is adults and teenagers. With people being more interested in fast food rather than eating home meals, this number is expected to rise in the future. In order for people to avoid getting this life threatening disease, they need to focus on their diet, as well as their lifestyle. It’s time to start monitoring what you eat, so that you can live a healthy life.

Love Your Liver – 6 Ways to Boost Liver Health

Liver is the key organ in your body that controls your digestive system. Everything you drink or eat, including medicine and supplements, passes through it. It’s an organ that can be easily trashed if you don’t care about what you are putting in your body.

According to ancient Chinese medicine, a physician who has the knowledge to harmonize and take care of the liver is the one who can treat any kind of disease. Without proper functioning of the liver, it’s impossible for a person to have a working metabolism, balanced hormones, healthy circulation, strong digestion and clean blood.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Liver Health

liver health

6 Tips to Boost Liver Health

1.     Eat “Fresh” Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables such as beets and carrots are powerful liver rebuilding and cleansing foods. In order to boost your liver health, eat more leafy greens. Rich in chlorophyll, these vegetables clean the liver and aid in metabolism. As for fruits, they contain vitamins that help in better co-functioning with other organs.

2.     Befriends Flax Seeds

One of liver’s functions is to help filter excess of hormones. The omega-3 acids in flax seeds bind to certain hormone receptor sites that prevent synthetic xenoestrogens from floating in the blood stream. This helps the liver function more properly, which prevents the risk of cardiovascular disease.

3.     Consider Using Herbs

Herbs not only help you lose weight but they also aid in providing many health benefits. They help you maintain your blood pressure, strengthen your heart and lower cholesterol level. Some of these herbs include dandelion root, turmeric, slippery elm, milk thistle, artichoke, barberry, black root and Wahoo.

4.     Makes Sure Your Diet Has Adequate Amount of Lecithin

Found in organic eggs, miso, tofu and soy milk, Lecithin contains essential fatty acids and a substance called “phosphatidylcholine”. These two elements prevent build up of fatty deposits in the liver and make sure that the cells are healthy. Lecithin relaxes the blood vessels and allows better blood flow, which lowers high blood pressure. You can also take Lecithin in the form of capsule, if you forget to eat it on your meal.

5.     Consume Foods Rich in Sulfur

Vegetables and spices such as broccoli, onion and garlic are rich in sulfur. They help boost liver cleansing and increase enzyme activity. Lack of sulfur prevents liver detoxification from reaching its second phase, which builds up toxin in the body.

6.     Eat Small Meals

Eating large meals can cause bloating and constipation. The key to maintaining liver health is eating small meals that contain easily digestible food items.

Liver is a multitasking organ. It is quite vulnerable to highly processed foods, toxins, and stress. Along with maintaining a healthy diet, it is important to exercise too. This will help your liver to function at its optimal level and keep you energized at all times.

Natural Treatment Plan – Types of Food That Can Make Your Metabolic Syndrome Worse

According to American Heart Association, around 23% of adults are at risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome. In another study, Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that this rate had risen above 35% since 2012. It’s cause – obesity.

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic Syndrome involves 5 risk factors, which increases a person’s chance of developing diabetes, stroke and heart disease. The factors include:

  1. Increase blood pressure
  2. Low levels of HDL (good cholesterol)
  3. High triglyceride levels
  4. Insulin resistance (high sugar level in blood)
  5. Obesity (excess fat around your middle)

Complications Caused By Metabolic Syndrome

On a positive note, Metabolic Syndrome can be easily treated. While it is a long term and serious problem, by maintaining your diet, you can easily avoid the complications associated with it. These include:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Kidney disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Stroke
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Metabolic Syndrome Diet

Food Items That Should Be Avoided

·         Processed Foods

Fast food consumption is the number one cause of obesity in children, which eventually leads to Metabolic Syndrome. Avoid frozen, boxed or bagged food items that are usually found in grocery stores. These food items contain unhealthy additives and are devoid of nutrients.

·         Diet Sodas

Diet sodas contain several unhealthy ingredients, especially artificial sweeteners, which hold a high risk of causing complications associated with metabolic Syndrome. In fact, according to a study published in NCBI, diet sodas hold 67% risk of causing Type 2 Diabetes.

·         Artificial Sweeteners

Sweeteners such as Splenda can not only cause Type 2 Diabetes but also cardiovascular disease due to obesity. This is why you need to avoid protein bars and shakes that have such ingredients in them.

·         Trans Fats

Food items that are made with hydrogenated fats and oils such as pies and cakes, baked goods (cookies), margarine, coffee creamers and frostings raise your triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol. This causes excess of fat to buildup around your waist line and contributes to other metabolic disorders.

·         Alcohol

Alcohol also raises your triglyceride levels, as well as blood pressure. It causes beer belly and increases the risk of obesity, especially around the waist, which eventually leads to Metabolic Syndrome. It also compromises your heart health, which can cause cardiovascular disease.

Food Items That Heal

·         Omega-3 Foods

Omega-3 foods such as fish helps reduce blood pressure, regulate heartbeat, reduce overall inflammation and decrease formation of blood clot. Other types of omega-3 foods include grass fed beef, flaxseeds, walnuts, etc.

·         Whole Grains

Whole grains not only reduce the risk of diabetes, they also help in maintaining weight. They must be the center of your diet plan in order to make healthy meals. These high fiber foods include brown rice, oatmeal, Chia seeds, coconut and quinoa.

·         Fruits

It’s true that an “apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. They are a great way to get your daily natural sugar hit that will reduce total cholesterol, increase insulin sensitivity and improve blood lipid profiles.

·         Vegetables

Vegetables are loaded with phytonutrients, anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting antioxidants. They are the best source to get your daily required nutrients and vitamins. Add more leafy green to your diet plan such as cabbage, avocado, broccoli, spinach and kale.

While a healthy diet packed with whole grains, fruits and vegetables are essential for avoiding the risks associated with Metabolic Syndrome. It is also important that you include exercise in your daily routine. Physical activity will not only help reduce weight but it will also reduce your cholesterol level, blood sugar level, and blood pressure. These are the keys that will help you avoid Metabolic Syndrome.

Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is not an easy task. It’s one of those health problems, for which the cause has yet to be discovered. The sleepless nights and the constant abdominal pain can make your life an absolute living hell. Chances are that you will be living with IBS your entire life. However, there are certain precautions you can take to ease the pain. Before moving on to the tips, let’s have a look at what is IBS and its symptoms:

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder, which affects a person’s large intestine. While the exact cause is known, health experts believe that it has something to do with miscommunication between the intestinal tract and the brain. There might also be a link between food passing through the tract too slowly or quickly, stress or oversensitive nerves.

Symptoms

  • Cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, which is usually, partially relieved by passing stool
  • Farting (flatulence)
  • Excess gas
  • Mucus in stool
  • Backache
  • Lack of energy
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Diet Tips

Meals rich in fiber help aid bowel movement. Eat at least 20g of fiber every day and focus more on vegetables and fruits instead of grains. Fiber can either worsen or improve your diet. The key to finding out how it works for your bowel movement is to start with a combination of grains and soluble fiber. Then, gradually reduce fiber intake and include items such as tomatoes, broccoli, raisins and cabbage in your diet.

If you are gluten-intolerant, then avoid eating pasta, wheat, rye, barley and bread. The protein in these food items can damage your large intestine.

Last but not the least, eliminate these four culprits from your diet: Insoluble fiber, coffee, chocolate and nuts.

Here are some other tips to follow:

  • Divide your 3 meals into 6 meals a day but with smaller portions
  • Don’t rush through the meals
  • Avoid high fat foods
  • Cut down on vegetables such as pulses, onion, beans, peas and lentils
  • Cut down on fruits that have stones
  • Drink lactose free milk
  • Avoid spicy food

Lifestyle Tips

Stress Reduction

Stress can worsen the symptoms of IBS. It’s hard to keep your emotions in check when you are in pain. This is the reason why health experts recommend that people who suffer from IBS should go for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or practice mindfulness. There are many CBT techniques that can be tried with a therapist but to manage the pain while at home, try self-monitoring. This technique involves keeping a diary and noting down your behaviors. These can be related to your diet, your daily routine or your thoughts. At the end of the day, dissect what you have written and you will be able to find out the reason behind your stress.

Maintain a Sleep Schedule

When your circadian rhythm (inner clock) gets disrupted, it becomes difficult to get a good night’s sleep. To get this clock into order, avoid taking naps in the middle of the day, don’t drink caffeine or alcohol at night and refrain from using mobile in bed.

Exercise

Exercise not only helps you lose weight but also improves your bowel movement. It is a great way to relieve stress, which helps you to tune out work and personal problems. If you don’t like exercising, then take up a rigorous activity such as hiking, rock climbing or swimming.

While there are medications out there that can help maintain IBS, it is better to try behavioral techniques and adopt a healthy diet to keep the symptoms in check. Follow these tips and make sure to keep a diary, so that you can spot differences in your health. This will help you in eliminating those habits that are aggravating your IBS further.