You Might Have Diabetes, But You Don’t Know It

unhealthy foods

Just how much do you know? Often people with diabetes might not know they even have it. The symptoms may not be obvious. It may not happen you but it could happen to your friends or family members. It is good to have some general knowledge of what diabetes is.

There are 3 main types of diabetes; Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Also called insulin-dependent diabetes. It occurs when our body cannot produce insulin. The immune system attacks insulin producing cells in the pancreas. This type of diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes.

There is the risk of other serious complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, blindness, and kidney damage.

Symptoms can include increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss even with increased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, and absence of menstruation.

Type 2 Diabetes

This is the most common type of diabetes diagnosed. It progresses slowly and may cause symptoms such as skin infections, poor healing, kidney problems, and vision problems. It is possible that the diabetes is not diagnosed after years of mild symptoms. Many people do not show not severe symptoms and as a result did not seek medical care.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs during a woman’s pregnancy where they have high blood sugar levels.  It affects 4 % of all women during pregnancy.

Symptoms include increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss in spite of increased appetite, fatigue, nausea and vomiting and frequent infections including those of the bladder, vagina, and skin.

It is possible for gestational diabetes to be missed in pregnancy. That’s why it is important to get tested because it could harm the baby and lead to other complications.

If you show any of the symptoms of diabetes or suspect you have it, see your doctor immediately. Don’t put it off. It is better to be safe than sorry.

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Can Diabetics Eat Fruits?

Flesh kiwi cut ripe orange

Yes, those with diabetes can eat fruits! Fruits will indeed raise our blood sugar levels temporarily, so is important to control and monitor ones blood sugar levels. Moderation is the key.

Fruits is important for a healthy diet.

Some fruits have higher natural sugars than others. This natural sugar is called fructose. Fruits contain fiber, vitamins and minerals  that can contribute to good health.

However, the extent to which fruit can raise blood glucose levels depends on the type of fruit eaten. Here is a list of 10 fruits that diabetics can eat (but not limited to this list):

  1. Kiwi
  2. Guava
  3. Cherries
  4. Peach
  5. Berries
  6. Apple
  7. Pear
  8. Papaya
  9. Orange
  10. Watermelon

The best way to know how different fruits affects blood sugar levels is by measuring it before and after eating the fruit. Choose whole fruits instead of fruit juice. Fruit juice blends bought outside may contain additional hidden sugar.

Further reading:
Will fruit affect my blood glucose levels? (www.diabetes.org.nz)
Diabetes Myths (www.diabetes.org)

10 Reasons to Include Buckwheat In Your Diet Plans

bowl of buckwheat seeds

The name buckwheat is misleading because it isn’t related to wheat at all. In fact, buckwheat isn’t a true grain, but rather the fruit of a leafy plant belonging to the same family as sorrel and rhubarb. It is often referred to as a pseudo-cereal, since the grain is used in ways similar to cereal grains. Its name comes from a Dutch word that translates as “beechwheat,” most likely a reference to the plant’s triangular fruits, which resemble beechnuts. Most of us are most familiar with buckwheat flour used to make the pancakes, crepes or noodles (Japanese Soba). Here are 10 reasons why you should give buckwheat a try:

  1. Buckwheat is high in fiber; good for those with constipation.
  2. The protein in buckwheat has all 9 essential amino acids (that the body cannot manufacture), making it closer to being a “complete” protein.
  3. Buckwheat is high in the amino acid lysine, which is used for tissue growth and repair.
  4. Buckwheat is gluten-free so this makes it suitable for those with wheat allergies.
  5. Buckwheat is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin E, and B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper.
  6. The magnesium in buckwheat, helps relaxes blood vessels; helps improve circulation, decrease blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
  7. Buckwheat helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Due to the slower breakdown and absorption of the carbohydrates in buckwheat, this helps to raise our blood sugar levels more evenly. This especially good for those suffering with diabetes by helping to control their blood sugar levels.
  8. Buckwheat is low in calories, good in helping to reduce fat accumulation.
  9. Buckwheat contains rutin, a chemical that strengthens capillary walls.
  10. Buckwheat being high in insoluble fiber, can help women avoid gallstones. It is also protective against childhood asthma.

Sources:
www.buckwheat.com.sg
www.whfoods.com

Green Coffee Beans for Losing Weight

coffee beans 1

There is a lot of hype about weigh loss using green coffee beans.

Basically green coffee beans are the beans that have not been roasted. Coffee beans contain the chemical chlorogenic acid which is broken down when coffee beans are roasted. Chlorogenic acid is thought to have weight loss benefits. It affects how the body handles blood sugar and metabolism. Unlike coffee beverages, green coffee bean extract is low in caffeine.

There are a number green coffee bean extract supplements in the market. But does it work? Some research has suggested that an extract from green coffee beans may aid in weight loss possibly due to its chlorogenic acid but the studies have been small and of limited quality.

For me I think the natural weight loss strategy of excising and eating right is still the best!

Glycemic Index Foods

In my earlier post, i talked about the how glycemic index (GI) affects weight loss. Here is a more detailed explanation of what it’s about.

Glycemic Index

GI is the ranking of carbohydrates on a scale of 0-100 according to the extent they raise blood sugar levels after consumption of food that contains carbohydrates.

High GI means that the carbohydrates in food breaks down quickly and thus releases the glucose into the blood quicker. Low GI means the opposite; slow digestion and slower release of glucose into the blood stream. Diets that are low GI have shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes and aids in weigh loss because it helps to control appetite.

  • High GI: 70 and above (Whole wheat bread, corn flakes, watermelon, potato)
  • Medium GI: 56 to 69 (Pumpkin, honey, popcorn, pineapple)
  • Low GI: 55 and below (Chocolate, soy milk, carrots, apple)

Glycemic Index Chart

Should I eat a low GI diet?

A low GI diet is helpful for everyone. It can help those with weight problems, diabetes, low blood sugar, low HDL levels and help increase physical activities or sports.

Switching to low GI meals

First check your daily meals to find out where most of the carbohydrates is coming from (usually it is the rice, noodles, breakfast cereals, potatoes). Aim to swap some high GI foods with low GI foods. You don’t need to exclude all high GI foods from your diet but instead choose more low GI foods.

For example switching cornflakes for wholegrain cereals/rolled oats/bran. White bread for multigrain bread. Examples of high GI foods include short grain rice, pumpkin and watermelon. Meat, eggs and oils have no or very little carbohydrates. So they may not have a GI value.

The GI is not meant to be the only determinant when choosing foods. Look at the overall nutritional quality and quantity of your food.

Tip: Include 1 low GI food in every meal.

Do note that the glycemic index is  not to be confused with glycemic load values.
To find out  about a specific food’s GI, you can visit nutritiondata.com

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GYLCEMIC INDEX OF BUCKWHEAT

Source: glycemicindex.com

Source: glycemicindex.com

 

Interesting Reads:

Buckwheat for Weight Loss

Buckwheat is a great choice for weight loss as it is rich in fibre so it makes you fill full quicker and help suppress your appetite.

Incorporating buckwheat into your diet can also help you manage your blood sugar levels, thanks to its glycemic index(GI) of 51 (this means it is low GI !). (Source: http://www.glycemicindex.com)

Keeping your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day is an important factor to your weight loss plan.  How does it work? Well, when we eat, our body converts digestible carbohydrates into blood sugar. Our blood sugar level can affect how hungry and how energetic we feel.  It also determines whether we burn fat or store it.

If you don’t know what the glycemic index (GI) is, i’ll be talking about it in my next post.

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