Dietary Control of Diabetes: The Best Diabetic Meal Plan

Diabetics are often overwhelmed by the deluge of information online concerning the foods diabetics should eat and to avoid eating. Diabetic symptoms or symptoms of high blood sugar are increased urination, excessive thirst, increased appetite, weight loss, recurrent fungal skin infection etc. A fasting blood sugar can be used to diagnoseose diabetes.Eating healthy plays a remarkable role in the optimal control of high blood sugar and it is correlated to the glycemic index of the food.

Glycemic index is a function of the rate at which glucose is released into the blood stream after being digested in the gut. Foods with high glycemic index release glucose rapidly into the blood stream while foods with low glycemic index release glucose gradually into the blood stream after digestion. Therefore, it is recommended that diabetics should eat foods that have a low glycemic index. Therefore, the right type of food to eat and to avoid will be highlighted below.


  • High fiber foods: These are very essential low carbohydrate foods that helps digestive processes in the gut and stabilizes the release of glucose into the blood stream. Examples are spinach, lettuce and green vegetables. They help to form an ideal diabetic recipe.
  • Low fat foods: Food items containing loads of mono and poly unsaturated fats increases the blood level of cholesterol and reduces the tissue sensitivity to insulin. Examples of low fat food items are vegetable oil, olive oil and avocado.
  • Proteins: These are low carbohydrates containing foods and also aid the optimal control of blood glucose because they have a low glycemic index. Examples are lean meats, fish, beans and Greek yoghurt.
  • Low calorie drinks: Water is the ideal drink for diabetics and can be flavored by squeezing some slices of oranges and lemon into a glass of water. Also, low fat milk and sugar free fruit juices can be taken but sparingly.
  • Melons / Berries: It contains a huge amount of minerals, nutrients and fiber that are beneficial to diabetics. These are ideal fruits for diabetics.


  • Carbohydrates: Processed grains such as white rice, white flour, white bread and French fries. These foods have a high glycemic index.
  • Vegetables: Canned vegetables and vegetables with cheese and butter.
  • Fruits: Canned fruits and sugary fruit drinks.
  • Proteins: Fried meat, Pork bacon, deep fried fish, whole milk.
  • Fats / oil: Trans and hydrogenated fats are not recommended.

It is recommended to have a diabetic meal plan designed by a trained dietician. A dietician can also design a pre-diabetic diet that will help to control your blood sugar. Following a diabetic nutritional plan will ensure that you have the right amount and mixture of healthy foods at regular intervals daily. Finally, controlling your diet keeps your blood glucose optimally controlled.

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Exercises and Workouts – Why Training Rear Delts Is A Must

One muscle group many people often forget about in their training routine is their rear delts or posterior deltoid. These muscles are the ones you can not see in the mirror and are often underdeveloped. This muscle group is vital however for not only creating an optimal look but for the proper total body functioning as well. Let us look at a few reasons why training your posterior deltoids is essential and then go over some of the best exercises to perform to hit that muscle group.

1. Why Train Your Rear Delts? When you miss out on training these muscles, one of the most prevalent issues that can start to occur is you may develop a hunched or stooped over appearance. Having nicely developed posterior deltoid muscles helps to pull your shoulders back, helping you maintain better overall posture.

If you happen to have a powerful chest, the chances you develop this hunched or stooped look will be even greater. Your strong chest muscles will pull your shoulder girdle forward, resulting in a concave-like appearance.

Second, having strong rear delts can also help to protect your shoulder girdle area from injuries as well. If you are only strong in your lateral and front delts, this may lead to your shoulder being stuck in an unnatural position, which then can increase the risk of pain and soreness once movement begins to take place.

By training your posterior deltoid muscle, you can strive to build better overall balance.

2. The Best Exercises To Work Your Rear Delts. So now you know why to train this section of the deltoid muscle, what are the best exercise for doing so?

Cable face pulls are one move to considering adding to your workout routine. They are great for isolating the posterior deltoid muscle and helping you develop a reliable muscle pump.

Alternately, rear dumbbell rises can be used as can a reverse pec deck. All will help you generate maximum tension on this single muscle.

If you want to hit them using a compound approach, rows will allow you to achieve that. Doing any rowing exercise is going to help work your rear delts as well as other muscle groups in the mid and upper back, along with your biceps. This is an excellent choice for really helping to develop maximum strength because you can typically go heavier on these movements.

There you have the main points to know about rear delt training. Are you overlooking these points in your workout routine?

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Type 2 Diabetes – A Protein and Fiber-Rich Bar Eaten Before Meals Could Lower Post Meal Sugar Levels

Eating protein before eating carbohydrates and sugars help to keep blood sugar and insulin levels from rising, but it takes a great deal of protein to affect these levels. Scientists at Seoul National University Hospital and Cheju Halla General Hospital in South Korea found a protein and fiber-rich bar ate before meals could lower after-meal sugar and insulin increases. Their work was reported on in March of 2018 in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.

The researchers randomly assigned fifteen participants who had previously been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and 15 individuals with healthy blood sugar levels to receive the protein and fiber bar either before or after their meal. After all the participants ate their bars and meal, they got blood samples for …

  • sugar (glucose)
  • insulin,
  • glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1),
  • glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP).

Both …

  • Type 2 diabetic participants and the nondiabetic participants who ate the protein and fiber bars before their meal had lower blood sugar levels post meal than the participants who ate the bar following their meal.
  • the participants with Type 2 diabetes, but not the nondiabetic participants, shown higher levels of GLP-1 after consuming the bar before their meal after after eating the bar post meal.
  • GIP levels stayed the same in all participants.

From these results, the investigators concluded eating the protein and fiber bar before their meal helped to keep blood sugar and blood insulin levels under control in both groups. In the Type 2 diabetes participants, it was considered the bars might have lowered their blood sugar levels by raising their GLP-1 levels. How the bars work in nondiabetes is still to be discovered.

Medication called GLP-1 receptor agonists, or incretin mimetics, are a class of drugs prescribed for treating Type 2 diabetes. They lower blood sugar levels by slowing glucose absorption from the intestines, keeping the liver from releasing too much sugar, and making the pancreas release more insulin when blood sugar levels are high. Raising insulin levels only when needed avoids the danger of low blood sugar. The medications lower HbA1c levels by 0.5 to 1.0 percent. The list of GLP-1 receptor agonists, also known as incretin mimetics, include …

  • Byetta (exenatide),
  • Victoza, Saxenda (liraglutide),
  • Trulicity (dulaglutide),
  • Ozempic (semaglutide),
  • Tanzium (albiglutide), and
  • Adlyxin (lixisenatide).

Common side effects are mild and include …

  • nausea and stomach upset,
  • diarrhea,
  • heartburn, and
  • poor appetite.

Less frequent, but more severe side effects include …

  • hives,
  • a difficulty with breathing or swallowing,
  • lump in the neck,
  • swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat,
  • abdominal pain,
  • back pain, and
  • vomiting.

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Type 2 Diabetes – Simple Swaps to Help Lower Your Blood Sugar

Are you looking to lower the carbohydrate count in your eating plan? If so, it does not have to be as hard as people tell you it is. You may have heard to lower your carb intake you need to make drastic changes to your food choices: this is not necessarily the case. In fact, often you can reduce high carbohydrate foods without too much effort by making a few swaps here and there.

Here are a few good swaps to consider …

1. Swap A Bagel For An English Muffin. If you eat bagels often, they contain a significant amount of carbs. In fact, they are loaded with complex carbs, and while they are an energy producing food, they are not so ideal where blood sugar levels are concerned.

Try an English muffin instead. You will take in about half the carbs with this option and still get a reasonable dose of energy when you need it.

2. Swap Yogurt For Cottage Cheese. Try cottage cheese over yogurt next time you need a quick snack. Cottage cheese also tastes great with a little fruit mixed in and even better, cottage cheese is a rich source of casein protein. This type of protein is very slowly digested, so will help you better control your hunger. Cottage cheese is also slightly lower in carbohydrates as well, so a good option for those who are wanting to lower their carb intake.

3. Swap Sparkling Water For Fruit Juice. If you need something to quench your thirst and can not stand the thought of more water, you may decide to turn to fruit juice. Unfortunately, fruit juice is loaded with sugar and excess calories, so is not an ideal option for anyone, never mind someone who has Type 2 diabetes.

Instead, try sparkling water. You can find sparkling water with a light lemon, lime or grapefruit flavor. Flavored sparkling water will help quench your thirst while giving your taste buds something pleasant at the same time without raising your blood sugar.

4. Swap An Energy Bar For A Protein Bar. While energy bars seem like a good option to have on the go, they are often rich in simple sugars and low in protein. Instead, consider a protein bar. Protein bars are terrific for those who are keeping their carbs in check and aiming to get more protein during the day. Most contain 20 grams of protein a serving, so they will be an easy way to get closer to your daily target.

Why not make a few of these simple swaps and see how much easier it is to control your blood sugar levels.

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Type 2 Diabetes – What Raises the Risk of Diabetics Developing Neuropathy?

In February of 2018 the Journal of the American Diabetes Society, Diabetes Care, reported on a study demonstrating obesity, low HDL levels, and a molecule called methylglyoxal raise the risk of developing diabetic neuropathy in people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Scientists at Aarhus University in Denmark and several other research facilities in Denmark, Germany, and the United States, monitored the progress of many type 2 diabetics for 13 years. A total of 10 percent of these participants developed neuropathy …

  • obese diabetics had a 14 percent higher risk of neuropathy than the normal-weight participants.
  • the participants with high HDL levels had an 18 percent lower risk of developing neuropathy.
  • it was found high methylglyoxal levels were linked with a 45 percent higher chance.

1. In 2016 scientists at the University of Tokyo found being obese increased the pain in neuropathy.They speculated the inflammation caused by obesity could be the cause.

2. The following year, in 2017, researchers at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil reported on a study in which low HDL levels were linked with neuropathic pain in people with the metabolic syndrome, a condition similar to Type 2 diabetes.

3. Methylglyoxal is formed when sugar, or glucose, is broken down. Nerve cells need a lot of energy which they get from breaking down glucose. This is a double-edged sword because methylglyoxal is poisonous to nerve cells. Levels tend to be high in people who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

In April of 2017, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) reported on a study of the relationship between fasting blood sugar levels and methylglyoxal. The study included …

  • 234 healthy individuals, and
  • 254 people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

For every 1 percent increase in fasting blood sugar levels there was a 0.23 percent increase in methylglyoxal in Type 2 diabetic participants, but not in the nondiabetic participants.

Diabetic neuropathy can affect just the feet and legs or can take a stocking-glove distribution affecting the hands as well. Nerves damaged by high levels of sugar cause sensations of numbness and pins and needles. Keeping blood sugar levels under control is the best way to prevent neuropathy or keep the problem from getting worse. Several medications are used to treat the condition …

  • antidepressants: Tricyclics and Duloxetine,
  • antiseizure medications: Pregabalin and Gabapentin,
  • creams, and
  • anti-pain medications.

Other treatments consist of …

  • exercises,
  • massage, and
  • transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). The TENS beats pain by providing electrical impulses to nerve endings under the skin.

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Type 2 Diabetes and Healthy Living – Challenge Yourself to Make Progress

Without reward, there is little motivation. How could you aspire to achieve something without there being a reward at the end? There is no reason to pursue a goal if it does not bring you some reward or justification for your action. Unless you are doing something out of duty to avoid setbacks, or prevent repercussions, there is no other reason why you should act. If there is something you would like to achieve – like weight loss or improving your health – you need some drive or initiative to compel you to put forth the effort. If Type 2 diabetes is a condition you need to gain control of, it is not enough to just be told you should. You need to know and feel there is something in it for you.

In any health endeavor, you need to challenge yourself to make progress. Not only is overcoming a challenge a reward in itself but when it comes to health goals, there will usually be a benefit or compensation. In some way what you achieve can be linked to attaining better health, which should never be taken for granted.

Better health is a goal that will never waste your efforts …

  • challenging yourself is one way to keep your motivation high. More importantly, it gives more meaning to your goal. There is nothing more counterproductive than pursuing something without ambition.
  • as for how to challenge yourself, that is the natural part. See if you can lose five pounds in a month. It is a doable task for anyone who has weight to spare. If you can do this, it means you could lose ten pounds in two months. Do the math, and discover how much change you could be responsible for in just six months.

See if you can go a week without your guilty pleasures, even if it is a way to test your willpower …

  • exercise Monday all the way to Friday, just to prove you can make the time to exercise and push yourself beyond what you are used to. Test how long it takes you to jog two kilometers, or cycle five. After a month of activity, test yourself again and measure the progress you made.
  • cook most of your meals.
  • buy a large volume of fruits and vegetables, and make sure nothing goes to waste.

And so on. There are endless ways to challenge yourself for the sake of improving your well-being. Try some that interest you. Anything that helps you improve your health is worth trying.

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Type 2 Diabetes – People With Diabetes Are At High Risk Of Bone Fracture

People who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are known to have a high risk of bone fraction because their bones often have a condition known as osteoporosis or weak bones. Investigators at the Maccabi Health Services in Tel Aviv and various other research facilities in Israel and the United States found people with Type 2 diabetes run a higher risk of fractures than other individuals who had been diagnosed with osteoporosis. This could be due to blood vessel damage from high levels of blood sugar.

The researchers looked at the records of 87,224 people diagnosed with osteoporosis. It was found that with Type 2 diabetes had a higher rate of fractures than nondiabetic osteoporotic patients ..

  • Type 2 diabetics with bone fractures had higher rates of heart and blood vessel disease and retinopathy (eye disease caused by damaged blood vessels).
  • surprisingly enough bone fractures were no more common in those who had a long history of Type 2 diabetes than those who had the condition for a much shorter time.

Major fractures were seen in the hip, spine, thigh, and arm. Women with Type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis had …

  • a 24 percent higher risk of retinopathy and
  • a 22 percent higher likelihood of heart and blood vessel disease than nondiabetic osteoporotic women.

Bones are made of living tissue just like the rest of the body and need a blood supply. Blood vessels supply oxygen and nutrients to the bone cells. Bone cells that do not get enough blood supply have difficulty healing fractures.

Osteoporosis causes 8.9 million bone fractures in the world every year. The condition can be preceded with a healthy diet and physical activity. Astronauts in space found their bones were weakened by lack of gravity …

  • lifting weights over one's head are ideal for helping the arms and vertebrae.
  • exercises such as walking are good for the whole skeleton, and
  • weight-bearing allows the body to use calcium to maintain healthy bones.

Green vegetables such as broccoli are good sources of calcium. Other sources include …

  • oranges and tangerines,
  • apricots,
  • Kiwi fruit,
  • dates,
  • figs,
  • rhubarb,
  • prickly Pears, and
  • prunes.

Vitamin D helps the body use calcium. Getting a few minutes of sunlight each day directly onto bare skin or eating mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight are two good methods of getting the vitamin. Foods such as orange juice have vitamin D added, so check the container labels.

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Type 2 Diabetes – Is Smoking Linked to Kidney Disease in Diabetes?

In February of 2018, the journal International Urology and Nephrology reported on a review of the medical literature on cigarette smoking and kidney disease in people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Researchers at Zhengzhou University in China put together nineteen studies and analyzed them as if they were one large study. They found aluminumuria, or aluminum, a protein in the urine, was linked with cigarette smoking. Albuminuria is one sign of kidney disease.

A total of 105,031 participants with Type 2 diabetes took part in the studies and aluminum was seen in 23,366. Smokers were at higher risk than never-smokers for albuminuria …

  • 43 percent higher risk for ever-smokers,
  • 261 percent higher risk for present smokers,
  • 86 percent higher risk for former smokers.

The investigators suggest more research to clarify the link between smoking and albuminuria in people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Help is available for smokers who want to quit. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) in the United States, or see the internet for the program closest to you.

Other factors that raise the risk of kidney disease include …

  • high blood sugar,
  • high blood pressure,
  • a family history of kidney disease,
  • age over 65, and
  • race – American Indian, African descent, Asian, or Hispanic.

The kidneys filter the blood, expelling excess water, sugar, and waste products. They save protein, allowing it to remain in the blood. When the kids are injured they can not hold onto aluminum and it leaks into the urine. Another reason for having aluminum in the urine is not taking in enough water, so the test is repeated twice over a period of three months. Other tests can clinch the diagnosis …

  • an Ultrasound or CT scan showing the kidneys can be performed with substantial abnormalities.
  • a kidney biopsy, in which a small piece of the kidney is removed and examined under a microscope, shows the kidney cells.
  • glomerular filtration rate, calculated from the amount of a molecule called creatinine in the blood, along with age, gender and race, tells how fast the kidneys can filter blood.

If kidney disease is detected in anyone with Type 2 diabetes …

  • then it is essential to bring blood sugar levels under control.
  • if high blood pressure is present it can be treated medically.
  • a special low protein diet can be prescribed to lower the workload of the kidneys.
  • in kidney failure, dialysis is performed with an artificial kidney.
  • kidneys can be transferred from cadavers or living individuals. After surgery patients must take medications to keep their immune system from rejecting the transplants.

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Type 2 Diabetes – Could A Molecule Found in A Baby’s Pancreas Be Linked With Diabetes In Children?

Children of diabetic pregnancies have a higher-than-average risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than children from a healthy pregnancy. Is this because the babies tend to be overweight or is there something else going on? Scientists at the Research Institute of Human Morphology and the Ministry of Health in Moscow, Russia, may have found the explanation: it has to do with a molecule known as vimentin. Vimentin has been seen in pancreatic cells from adults with diabetes. Could it be the link between Gestational or pregnancy-related diabetes, and childhood Type 2 diabetes?

In December of 2017, the journal Early Human Development reported on a study of pancreatic tissue taken from normal-weight and overweight babies born to diabetic mothers …

  • 5 overweight infants, three from diabetic mothers and two from non-diabetic mothers, were compared with
  • 6 normal-weight infants from non-diabetic mothers.

Overweight babies from both diabetic and non-diabetic mothers had pancreatic cells containing vimentin. Islets, where beta cells produce insulin, were overgrown where cells with vimentin were seen. From these results, it was concluded vimentin might appear because overweight infants need more insulin. It is now speculated vimentin could be a warning sign showing which infants are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

From this small study, it appears being overweight at the time of birth, rather than from exposure to diabetes in the womb, is the link between Gestational diabetes and Type 2 diabetes in childhood. Gestational diabetes tends to produce overweight babies, so perhaps this could explain why babies from Gestational diabetic mothers are at high risk for childhood Type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, further research with more mothers and their children could show different results.

In the practical world, there are several steps mothers can take to prevent both Gestational diabetes and giving birth to an overweight baby …

  • first, women need to reach and maintain a healthy weight before conception, then
  • Follow instructions for a healthy diet and
  • prevent excessive gain gain.

Most weight gain should take place during the first three months of pregnancy. Mothers need eat only 100 calories more than they usually do. That is about the number of calories in one medium-sized apple …

  • plenty of low-calorie, high-nutrient foods instead of sweets are best.
  • physical activity is good for weight control and preparing the mother's body for childbirth. Walking, swimming, stationary bicycle riding, or other safe activities will help keep both mother and baby in good shape.

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Type 2 Diabetes – Pharmacists Vs Physicians in Diagnosing and Controlling Diabetes

We usually think of visiting our physician when we need a diagnosis and treatment but pharmacists, healthcare professionals practicing in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication, are another resource. In February of 2018, the online journal PLOS ONE reported on a study in which Norwegian community pharmacies were helpful in diagnosing previously unknown cases of Type 2 diabetes.

Scientists at the University of Bergen in Norway looked at a program in which pharmacists were trained to assess HbA1c levels and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and how to counsel people diagnosed with this disease. Of 211 volunteers the pharmacists measured HbA1c levels in 47 people they deemed to be at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes …

  • three had HbA1c values ​​of 6.5 percent or higher.
  • of the three, two were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes by their doctor, and
  • the fate of the third is not known.

The scientists concluded the pharmacists were able to perform HbA1c testing correctly and counsel people to see their doctor when a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes was very likely.

In March of 2018, the American Journal of Health System-Pharmacy reported on a comparison of pharmacists vs. doctors in controlling Type 2 diabetes in those who had already been diagnosed. The study took place among patients at the Veterans' Affairs Medical Center in Memphis, United States.

A total of 124 veterans with HbA1c scores of at least 8 percent were studied. Half the cases were managed by medical practitioners, and the remaining half was controlled by the pharmacists …

  • the veterans supervised by the doctors showed an improvement in their HbA1c from an average of 10.2 percent to an average of 8.5 percent.
  • veterans treated by the pharmacists lowered their average HbA1c levels from 9.6 percent to 7.5 percent.

From the above results, the scientists concluded the pharmacists assisted the veteran participants lower their HbA1c levels by 1.6 percent more than the doctors.

Glycosylated hemoglobin, abbreviated as HbA1c, measures blood sugar levels in red blood cells. Red blood cells last about 120 days, so the measurement shows the overall blood sugar control for approximately the previous three months. Goals different among diabetics but, in general, it is best to aim for HbA1c levels under 7 percent. A HbA1c under 7 percent will help prevent some of the many complications associated with Type 2 diabetes. Some of the worst complications are …

  • heart and blood vessel disease,
  • severe infections,
  • kidney disease and failure,
  • eye disease and loss of vision, and
  • neuropathy.

Complications arising from Type 2 diabetes are almost always traceable to excessive levels of sugar in the blood for many years.

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Type 2 Diabetes – Is There Such A Thing As Vegan and Diabetic Friendly?

If you want to manage your blood sugar better, you may come to believe you have no choice but to eat meat. Even if you prefer not to, whether due to health reasons or because you think it is ethically wrong, you may feel like you have no choice.

You do have a choice. It is possible to avoid meat and still maintain good control of your blood sugar levels. You just need to know how to structure your diet correctly. Let us take a look at a few of the most important facts …

Consume The Good Protein Options You Do Have. First, make sure you identify which protein sources you do have available. If you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian, for instance, you can still consume dairy as well as eggs. This gives you plenty of options for getting your protein needs met …

  • you can serve up some cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt, both of which are excellent sources of protein.
  • alternatively, eggs or egg whites rank as one of the best sources of protein you can eat, so do not overlook these either.

If you are a strict vegetarian (vegan), then that may mean serving up foods like …

  • beans,
  • tempeh,
  • tofu,
  • soy, and
  • lentils

on a regular basis.

As long as you aim to take in one good source of protein with each meal and snack you eat, you should have no problem getting your needs met.

Focus On Fiber. Next, make sure you are focusing on dietary fiber. Since you will be eating a more carb heavy diet as a vegetarian, you want to be sure the carbohydrates you do consume are ones that will help stabilize your blood sugar levels as best as possible.

High fiber foods will do that. Avoid any processed carbohydrates. While they may be vegan-friendly, they are not diabetic friendly …

  • grains like barley and quinoa are great for dietary fiber, as are
  • sweet potatoes, and
  • beans.

Focus on these more often.

Do Not Fear Healthy Fats. Make sure you are also eating a good dose of healthy fats with each meal and snack. Healthy fats are what will help combat blood sugar fluctuations so you do not want to skimp on them.

They are calorie so so do not go overboard, but do not avoid them either. Five to ten grams per meal is a significant level to keep blood sugar levels stable without being calorie high.

Do not let yourself believe vegetarians can not manage their Type 2 diabetes. If you do not want to eat meat, do not. It really can be as simple as that.

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Exercise for the Brain

Being a diabetic you probably know … especially if you are following the Beating Diabetes diet … that regular exercise is good for you.

In fact, 30 minutes a day of exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, gardening and similar activities, can actively help you control your diabetes.

The benefits of these kinds of moderate exercise include:

  • Lowering your blood glucose levels as you expend energy through exercise;
  • Improving insulin resistance so that it is easier for glucose to get into your muscle cells;
  • Reducing your weight, overweight being one of the triggers for the sunset of diabetes;
  • Building and toning muscles so that more glucose from your digestive system is used;
  • Lowering your risks of heart disease and strokes which diabetes can increase dramatically;
  • Improving the circulation of your blood and delivering glucose and insulin more efficiently to where they are needed;
  • Reducing stress, a major aggravator of diabetes, and so enhancing the quality of your life.

But there is another benefit that is seldom mentioned … exercise can improve the functioning of your brain and improve your cognitive abilities.

Indeed exercise is the most scientifically proven enhancer of your brain.

How exercise boosts the brain

Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, delivering the extra oxygen and nutrients which the brain requires to function. This confers a variety of benefits on the functioning of your brain, viz:

  1. Improved executive functions
  2. Improved focus
  3. Increased cognitive flexibility
  4. Improved willpower
  5. Enhanced long-term memory
  6. Faster thinking
  7. Reduced brain atrophy
  8. Increased in new brain cells
  9. Reduced risk of stroke
  10. Lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease
  11. Improved academic performance

[1] Improved executive functions

Executive functions are higher level brain skills. They include things such as control over impulses, attention span, task and goal management, working memory capacity and so on … all skills that are important for planning, organizing, problem solving etc.

A study published in the US National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health) in February 2013 Benefits of regular aerobic exercise for executive functioning in healthy populations found ample evidence that doing aerobic exercises regularly enables healthy people to optimize a range of executive functions.

A meta-analysis (a scientific review of multiple studies) published in March 2003 in the same media as Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults examined the results of 18 different papers on how the brains of older people are affected by regular exercise. All participants in the studies were healthy but led sedentary lifestyles. Fitness training was found to have robust benefits for various aspects of cognition, with executive-control processes benefiting the most.

[2] Improved focus

Continuous interruptions from flashing mobile phones, bleeping news feeds and email messages and so on are making concentrating on a single task increasingly difficult these days. But exercise can develop our skill to ignore distractions and apply ourselves to the task in hand.

A study titled Cardiovascular fitness, cortical plasticity, and aging published in March 2004 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrated that physically fit older people have better control over their ability to focus their attention (as measured by a difficult cognitive task).

[3] Increased cognitive flexibility

Cognitive flexibility is the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts, and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. It is a measure of executive function.

Aerobic exercise advances cognitive flexibility, a study published in June 2009 in the US National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health), demonstrated that regular aerobic exercise substantively enhances this enviable skill.

The subjects were 91 healthy adults who were divided into three groups. Over 10 weeks, one group undertook minimal aerobic exercises (<2 days a week), another group moderate exercises (3-4 days a week), and the third group participating in high aerobic exercises (5-7 days a week).

After 10 weeks the participants were tested for memory, mental speed, reaction time, attention, and cognitive flexibility. Analysis of the results showed clearly that increasing the frequency of aerobic activity enhanced cognitive performance, in particular cognitive flexibility.

[4] Improved willpower

We use our willpower to stay on track for personal and professional goals, avoid temptation and adhere to healthy habits. Exercise can increase your willpower.

A meta-analysis published in 2013 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at several groups of people … children, adolescents, and adults up to the age of 35. The researchers found that short bouts of exercise had a significant affect across all age groups in various areas of executive function, including willpower.

[5] Enhanced long-term memory

Research suggests that exercise is unilaterally to improve short-term memory, ie the information in your head that is currently being processed, or the effect (if any) is short-lived.

Long-term memory refers to the storage of information over an extended period, anything from a few hours to several decades. A link between exercise and improved long-term memory has been established in various studies.

Aerobic Exercise and Neurocognitive Performance: a Meta-Analytical Review of Randomized Controlled Trials, published in the US National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health) in March 2010, concluded that aerobic exercise training is associated with modest improvements in attention and processing speed, executive function, and long-term memory.

Another study, published recently in Current Biology, found that 35 minutes of interval exercise on a bike strengnthens long-term memory. Timing however is crucial.

The memory of those who exercise four hours after learning is enhanced significantly. But those who exercise immediately after learning experience no improvement.

In another study Effects of acute exercise on long-term memory, published in the US National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health) in December 2011, participants were divided into three groups. Each group had to recall as much information as possible from two paragraphs.

The first group received the information after exercise, the second before exercise, and the last completed no exercise. The exercise consulted of 30 minutes on a cycle ergometer.

The group that was exposed to exercise before being given the information performed significantly better at recall than the others.

Resistance exercise is any form of exercise that forces your skeletal muscles (not the involuntary muscles of your heart, lungs, etc.) to contract, eg weight-lifting.

Episodic memory is the memory of past personal experiences that occurred at a particular time and place.

A study published in Acta Psychologica in November 2014, entitled A single bout of resistance exercise can enhance episodic memory performance, shown how resistance exercise can affect memory.

The participants were shown photos with different emotional values ​​(neutral, positive, or negative) after which some of them exercised using a leg extension machine. Forty-eight hours later, they were asked to recall the photos again.

The group which performed the resistance exercise were better at recalling, particularly the pictures that were emotionally charged.

[6] Faster thinking

Your brain's gray matter is where information is processed, muscles are controlled and sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision making, and self-control take place.

White matter connects the various gray areas areas together and carries nerve impulses between neurons, the brain's nerve cells.

White matter is responsible for the transmission of data in and around your brain. If you have more white matter in your brain, information is relayed around your brain more efficiently. However white matter integrity, ie the volume of white matter in your brain, Declines with age.

Can exercise help with this? The simple answer is 'yes'.

A study, White Matter Integrity in Physically Fit Older Adults, published in 2013 in the US National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health) found that older adults were observed to have better white integrity than their sedentary peers .

The value of aerobic exercise for the integrity of white matter cuts across all age groups. A study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in 2014 found that aerobic fitness is associated with greater white matter integrity in children.

Another study, Aerobic Exercise and Neurocognitive Performance: a Meta-Analytical Review of Randomized Controlled Trials, mentioned above under [5], found that exercise wave people a modest improvement in their cognitive speed , ie how quickly their brains could process information.

[7] Reduced brain atrophy

Starting around the age of 30, our brains start to lose volume, most notably in the hippocampus. This natural loss can affect our cognitive abilities, memory and even spur the onset of dementia.

According to Proceedings training increases size of hippocampus and improvements memory, a study published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science) in the USA in February 2011, moderate exercise in healthy older adults helps them gain 1-2% volume in the hippocampus area, the equivalent of reversing brain aging by about 1-2 years. This reversal improved spatial memory.

Research published in Nature Research in November 2013, Physical Exercise Habits Correlate with Gray Matter Volume of the Hippocampus in Healthy Adult Humans, found a link between exercise habits and brain volume among people 18 to 45 years of age.

After adjusting for factors such as age, gender, and brain volume, the researchers found that, person by person, the number of minutes of exercise performed each week correlated with the volume of the right hippocampus.

This research suggests that regular exercise may be able to protect against the brain's natural shrinkage as it ages.

[8] Increased new brain cells

Neurogenesis is the process of growing new brain cells. A chemical call BDNF (Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor) promotes this process in our brains.

A review of 32 experiments and observational studies published in the US National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health) in February 2014, The effects of physical activity and exercise on brain-derived neurotrophic factor in healthy humans: A review, concluded that acute and chronic exercise elevated BDNF levels in humans.

But note that the exercise has to be intense … a stroll along a country lane is illegally to generate addition BDNF for your brain. Future research is now needed to show how intense the exercise has to be in order to increase BDNF.

[9] Reduced risk of stroke

Exercise helps reduce the risk of stroke, ie an interruption or reduction in the supply of blood to your brain. This deprives your brain of oxygen and nutrients, which can cause your brain cells to die.

A study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in 2008, showed that men and women with healthy cardiovascular systems could reduce the risk of stroke by 40%.

But you do not have to be running marathons to reduce your risk … regular regular exercise will suffice. The study also reported that persons who exercised only moderately had a significant chance of lowering their risk of stroke.

[10] Low risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease

A study that followed 2,000 men for 35 years found several healthy behaviors that reduced the men's chances of developing dementia by a massive 60%. These behaviors included not smoking, not being overweight, having a high intake of fruit and vegetables, drinking alcohol in moderation or just a little, and exercising regularly.

Regular exercise has been identified as being the largest contributing factor in reducing dementia. Healthy Lifestyles Reduce the Incidence of Chronic Diseases and Dementia: Evidence from the Caerphilly Cohort Study, was published in PLUS ONE, a peer-reviewed journal in December 2013.

Another study, Potential for primary prevention of Alzheimer's disease: an analysis of population-based data, published in The Lancet in August 2014, examined the factors that can contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease … diabetes, midlife hypertension, midlife obesity, physical inactivity, depression, smoking, and low educational attainment.

The study concluded that your chances of developing Alzheimer's are increased by 82% if you are physically inactive. In other words, your best hope of avoiding senility is to exercise regularly.

Here's another take away from that study. The study claims that by exercising vigorously for just one hour a week, you can cut your chance of developing Alzheimer's in half. But if you can not manage that, or are unable to undertake vigor exercise, moderate exercise (such as walking) for 30 minutes on 5 days a week will give you the same reduced chance of developing Alzheimer's disease.

[11] Improved academic performance

A review of 59 studies from 1947 to 2009 called The effects of physical activity and physical fitness on children's achievement and cognitive outcomes: a meta-analysis concluded that physical fitness and physical activity had a strong positive effect on academic achievement. The study noted that the strongest effects came from aerobic exercise.

The study was published in the US National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health) in September 2011.

What exercise is best for the brain?

There is no best … but different types of exercising affect the brain in differenting ways.

Generally speaking, all types of exercise will have some beneficial effect on your brain.

But no matter what type of exercises you perform, the key is to do them regularly.

Aerobic exercise … is probably the best form of exercise for your brain. It improves your brain's executive function, cognitive flexibility and long-term memory. It also enhances white matter integrity enabling you to think faster. In other words, aerobic exercise enhancements all those attributes that enable us to function as human beings.

A popular form of aerobic activity is walking. It is easy to do, you do not need special equipment, and it can be done almost anywhere. But to get the aerobic benefit, you must walk briskly … fast enough to increase your breathing and pulse, but not so fast that you become uncomfortable.

Fitness training … that is, getting as fit as you can, using a variety of exercises, helps enhance your executive control functions. It also improves your ability to focus your attention. In addition, it advances academic performance. It is especially effective with older people.

Interval exercises … are exercises in which you alternate periods of high-intensity exercise with low-intensity recovery periods. These exercises burn more calories over a short period of time than steady-state cardio, ie doing the same thing at a steady pace for the same length of time.

Interval exercises using an exercise bike have been shown to strengthen long-term memory, delivering a significant benefit for older people.

Your ability to recall past events can also be enhanced by resistance exercises, such as weight lifting.

Short bouts of intestinal exercise … have significant effects in various areas of executive function across all age groups. This kind of exercising also elevates BDNF levels which promote the growth of new brain cells.

In addition, exercising vigorously for just one hour a week can cut your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease in half.

But you can also lower your risk of developing Alzheimer's and dementia in general by underrating moderate exercise , as long as you undertake it regularly, ie on a daily basis for at least half-an-hour per day. Regular moderate exercise can also reduce your risk of a stroke significantly.

Building regular exercise into your daily routine delivers a variety of benefits to your brain, enabling you to think better and faster. Doing so is just common sense.

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Type 2 Diabetes – Will a High Intake of Flavonoids Help Prevent Diabetes?

Researchers at the Central Hospital of Enshi Autonomous Prefecture in Enshi, China, suggest taking in foods containing flavonoids can help prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes. That conclusion was the result of pooling eight earlier studies on the subject and analyzing them as if they were all one large study. The result of the pooled studies was published in May of 2018 in the journal Medicine (Baltimore).

A total of 312,015 participants took part in the eight studies, and 19,953 of the participants developed Type 2 diabetes over a period of 4 to 28 years. The participants who had the highest intake of flavonoids had the lowest risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Taking in at least 550 mg a day of the various flavonoids was linked with a significantly lowered risk.

The types of flavonoids included …

  • anthocyanins,
  • flavan-3-ols,
  • flavonols, and
  • isoflavones.

More research will be needed before we know which flavonoids are helpful in preventing Type 2 diabetes and how much of each we will need to take in to keep us healthy. The good news is the flavonoids are found in fruits and vegetables, which we knew were good for us anyway so the flavonoids could be a bonus. It is well-known vegetarian, and vegan diets are ideal for the prevention and control of Type 2 diabetes. Are flavonoids the reason, or just one of the reasons?

“Anthocyanin” is Greek for “blue flower.” If you are “cyanotic,” you are blue – not healthy. Flavonoids of this class may be blue, purple, or red. Some sources include …

  • black raspberries – 64 calories / cup
  • blackcurrants – 71 calories / cup
  • blueberries – 85 calories / cup
  • blackberries – 62 calories / cup
  • red cabbage – 28 calories / cup
  • black plums – 30 calories / each fruit
  • red radish – 3 calories / each radish
  • red raspberries – 64 calories / cup

Flavan-3- ols have been reported to have numerous benefits, including helping to fight off viruses and prevent some kinds of cancer. Some sources include …

  • tea – 2 calories / 8 ounce cup
  • citrus fruits – 62 calories / orange
  • citrus fruit – 104 calories / each grapefruit
  • citrus juices – 39 calories / juice of one orange

Flavonols are yellow. Some sources include: …

  • chocolate – 142 calories / ounce of pure chocolate
  • ons – 12 calories / ounce
  • broccoli – 31 calories / ounce
  • kale – 33 calories / ounce
  • apples – Fuji, medium, 80 calories
  • tea – 2 calories / 8 ounce cup
  • buckwheat – 155 calories / cup

Isoflavones are similar to the female hormone estrogen but are found only in plants. Soy and soy products are good sources. Other sources are …

  • linseed (flax) – 55 calories / tablespoons
  • sesame seeds – 52 calories / tablespoon
  • wheat berries – 164 calories / cup, cooked
  • fenugreek seeds – 36 calories / tablespoon
  • oats – 300 calories / cup, cooked
  • barley – 270 calories / cup, cooked

Further research in this area is needed The prospect of using flavonoids to manage Type 2 diabetes would be welcome by many.

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Type 2 Diabetes and Healthy Eating – Snacks to Combat Your Afternoon Cravings

People diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes know that they should stay away from sugary foods, yet they often crave them. Cravings are triggered by the biological properties of the food itself: this means particular foods have a chemical makeup that causes us to want them. So they have an addictive component like alcohol and drugs. Sugar as well as being sweet has a druglike effect which is why people crave sugar during times of stress.

What do you crave when you get an energy slump around 3 pm? It is normal to feel tired in the early afternoon, especially if you are up early in the morning for work or a quick workout. Fueling your body with healthy food at this time will help ensure you end up feeling your best and stop you from overeating. So which snacks should you go for? Which will help you combat your afternoon craving in a hurry? Let us take a closer look …

1. Celery Sticks With Nut Butter. The first option is celery sticks with nut butter. Whether you want peanut butter or almond butter is your choice, but either one is going to provide you with …

  • a source of energy,
  • help you bust hunger, and
  • help give some protein along with dietary fiber.

2. An Apple With Cheese. An apple with cheese is another healthy snack to turn to when you need a pick-me-up a few hours after lunch. Apples contain pectin fiber, which helps to suppress your appetite and keep your hunger in check.

Cheese brings in some protein and calcium, which will help with stabilizing your blood sugar levels. Choose reduced-fat or full-fat cheese depending on your particular macro goals for the day.

3. Whole Grain Crackers And Tuna. Next on the list is whole grain crackers paired with tuna. Tuna is a perfect ready-to-eat fat-free source of protein, so good for those who are looking to watch their bodyweight as well.

The whole grain crackers are a lower calorie option that will give you enough carbohydrates to help energize your body. Check the sugar content of any crackers you buy to ensure the level is in line with your daily targets.

4. Almonds And A Protein Shake. The last go-to snack to consider is almonds coupled with a protein shake. A protein shake is great for those on the go, and the almonds help to add a little staying power from the fats they provide. If you need something you can take with you in the car, this is a workable option. It also keeps in your desk drawer, but do not mix the protein powder until you are ready to drink the shake.

Keep these non-addictive snacks in mind to help quieten your cravings.

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Type 2 Diabetes – Drugs Versus Lifestyle Changes

Most people undergo a different development of Type 2 diabetes. Some are affected due to the effect of years of poor food choices, and their blood sugar levels start to climb. Others, because of being overweight for some years and not exercising, develop blood sugar and insulin dysglycemia which means they have abnormal glucose metabolism. Family history plays a part as well for many adults too.

Once Type 2 diabetes strikes, however, the effects are undeniably similar between individuals. The symptoms usually are the same as the disease starts to take its toll on the body. While the rate at which complications develop will differ; if the condition is left to exacerbate through its natural course of progress, many adults will suffer from the health issues that accompany it.

Before that happens, an intervention needs to be made. Type 2 diabetes needs to be managed: at the very least blood sugar levels need to be controlled with antidiabetic remedies. Which brings us to your options. Of course, you are familiar with lifestyle changes …

  • exercise,
  • better nutrition, and
  • other positive habits.

But what about the easy solutions? The pills and the prescriptions? In truth, sometimes these are necessary. Some situations are more different than others, and considering how each of us is in a unique circumstance considering our different health and genetic backgrounds, we should not rule out the possibility you may need to resort to these artificial methods.

These methods may involve insulin injections or oral medications. Insulin comes in different forms, as some types take effect quickly, while others have long-lasting effects. As for oral antidiabetic remedies, they work in different ways …

  • some, including glimepiride (Amaryl) and chlorpropamide (Diabinese), increase the amount of insulin released by the pancreas and helps the body use insulin more efficiently.
  • precose (Acarbose) and miglitol (Glyset) inhibit specific enzyme systems and reduce sugar absorption in the intestines.
  • others have a direct effect on insulin resistance, like metformin (Glucophage). Metformin increases the sensitivity of the muscle cells to insulin and reduces the amount of sugar produced in the liver.

While all of these drugs serve the purpose of helping to manage the condition, you must not forget the side effects they may bring. The word drug itself carries a negative connotation for a reason.

As you know, ideally you will look to make lifestyle changes because this is absolutely the best method to control the disease. But, consult with your doctor for the best course of action you should take.

Drugs versus lifestyle changes. It is not a matter of one or the other. You should lean towards sustainable lifestyle changes because these also work to improve your general health. If needed, you can take prescription antidiabetic medications – but not at the cost of neglecting the adjustments you should make to improve your well-being.

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