If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, there is no doubt that you have a lot of questions and concerns. Knowing that you have a chronic condition can be very unsettling. While it’s true that there is no cure for diabetes and that your life does change after receiving this type of diagnosis, rest assured that you can still live a happy, healthy, and very productive life.
What’s the key to ensuring you live a happy and healthy life with type 1 diabetes? Here are some tips and tricks that can help you maneuver through your diagnoses and effectively manage it.
Learn All There is to Know About Type 1 Diabetes
First and foremost, you should make sure that you learn everything that you possibly can about type 1 diabetes.
With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas, the organ responsible for creating and releasing insulin, does not produce the hormone. Insulin helps regulate blood glucose levels, ensuring that it stays in a healthy range. After eating, the pancreas is supposed to release insulin, which tells the body to absorb sugar from the blood and store it so that it can be used for energy. In those who have type 1 diabetes, this does not happen. Your health care professional will certainly provide you with detailed information about this condition. Make sure you pay attention to what your doctor says so that you are fully aware of your condition.
Become Familiar with the Potential Issues
It’s important that you know what potential issues are associated with having type 1 diabetes.
High blood glucose levels can impact all of the tissues and organs within your body. Potential problems associated with type 1 diabetes include:
Diabetic retinopathy and other diseases that affect the eyes
Diabetic neuropathy and other forms of nerve damage
Diabetic nephropathy, as well as other diseases that affect the kidneys
Cardiovascular issues, such as stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease
Knowing the possible problems and being aware of the warning signs that are associated with these problems can help to ensure you receive prompt medical treatment in the event that you experience any symptoms of a problem.
Eat a Well Balanced Diet
There are certain foods that you should cut back on or completely eliminate from your diet if you have type 1 diabetes. Foods that are high in sugars and simple carbohydrates should be avoided as much as possible, as they can send your blood sugar spiraling out of control.
Healthy food choices for someone with type 1 diabetes include foods that contain healthy fats, such as nuts; protein, such as lean meats, beans, and dairy products; whole grains, including brown rice and oats; and an array of colorful vegetables, like broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, and red cabbage.
Speak to your doctor or a dietician to find out which food choices are the best for you.
Eat More Often
You may want to consider eating more frequently throughout the day. Instead of eating just three large meals, you might want to start eating several smaller meals throughout the day. This will help to regulate your blood glucose levels and make them easier to manage. Again, speak to your doctor or a dietician to find out how often you should be eating throughout the day.
Be Smart About Being Active
Physical activity is beneficial for anyone, but it’s particularly beneficial for diabetics. Regular exercise can help you lose weight and better maintain a healthy weight. It also helps to maintain your blood glucose levels, as well as bring your blood pressure level down.
While adapting a regular exercise regiment into your life is important, you do need to make sure that you keep a watchful eye on your blood glucose levels. That’s because physical activity can cause your levels to rise or fall. Be aware of signs that indicate your blood sugar is falling or spiking while you’re exercising.
Many Things Impact Your Blood Sugar Levels
The foods you eat and the amount of physical activity you partake in will definitely impact your blood glucose levels; however, they aren’t the only things that will affect them.
High levels of stress and not receiving an adequate amount of sleep can also impact your blood sugar levels, making them increase or decrease. Knowing what affects your blood sugar can help you steer clear of things that can impact it.
See Your Doctor Regularly
It’s important to see your doctor on a regular basis, including your general practitioner as well as any specialists that you might be seeing.
Medical professionals will provide you with valuable insight into your condition. They will also help you monitor it, and provide you with tips for monitoring it on your own. Of course, your doctor will also be able to check your condition and determine if any changes to treatment need to be made, and will provide you with the medications that are needed to maintain your blood sugar levels.
It can be extremely helpful to speak with other people that have also been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It will give you an opportunity to share your experiences, vent, and learn more about the condition and how to handle it.
Ask your healthcare provider to recommend groups, attend seminars, or ask family and friends that you know who also have the condition for advice and support.
Keep Your Chin Up
Just because you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it doesn’t mean that every aspect of your life has to change. You can still live a very fulfilling life and accomplish so many great things. Keep your chin up and know that your diagnosis does not define you. So many people with type 1 diabetes have accomplished so much.
Type 1 diabetes does change your life, but it doesn’t have to control it. Being informed, making wise choices, and staying on top of your health will ensure that you live a happy and healthy life.
There are so many fad diets that come and go, but one that seems to be staying the course is the Paleo diet. The premise of this diet is to eat a diet much like the diet that our ancestors of the Paleolithic age ate – in other words, cavemen and cavewomen. So, if you really think about it, this diet has been around for a long time; 10,000 years or so, in fact.
Back then, people ate foods that were natural; meats, nuts, veggies, fruits. They didn’t eat anything that was processed and contained high amounts of fats or sugars. And they were much healthier. That’s the idea behind the Paleo diet, which was pioneered by Dr Loren Cordain.
In addition to weight loss, following the Paleo diet can provide a myriad of other health benefits, such as a reduced risk of various health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, you want to improve your overall health, or you want to achieve both, the Paleo diet is definitely a great option. But what type of foods should you be eating on this diet? Below, we’ll share the foods that are recommended for this diet (as well as those that should be avoided), and provide some tasty Paleo diet meal ideas, too!
The foundation of the Paloe diet is foods that only occur naturally, which our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten. These foods include:
Grass-fed meats (they cannot me grain-fed meats), such as beef, lamb, venison, duck, and pork.
Poultry, including chicken, turkey, duck, goose, and hen.
Fish that have been wild caught; farm raised fish are not acceptable. Any type of fish will do, including salmon, tuna, flounder, anchovies, and herring.
Seafood, also that is wild and not farm raised, such as oysters, clams, shrimp, crab, mussels, scallops, and so on.
Veggies, as long as they haven’t been prepared in an un-natural way (deep-fried, for example)
Fruits, again, as long as they are natural and do not contain any additives
Oils, including organic coconut oil, avocado oil, cold-pressed olive oil, and so on
Nuts, but in small quantities, including cashews, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, and so forth.
Tubers, such as yams, sweet potatoes, and squash.
In other words, as long as it’s naturally occurring and something, you are pretty much safe to eat it on the Paleo diet.
Foods You Should Avoid
Similar to Atkins, the Paleo diet focuses on removing foods that are highly processed or were made once modern-day farming began. Foods that you should avoid eating on this diet include:
Grains, including cereals, rice, etc
Dairy products, including cottage cheese, cream cheese, and so on
Anything that contains refined sugar
Processed foods are a huge no-no, so that means no chips, crackers, little packaged cakes, or anything like that
Refined vegetable oil
Foods that contain high levels of salt
These foods have been linked to various health conditions. Furthermore, they are known for causing weight gain. As such, they are not advisable on the Paleo diet.
Paleo Diet Meal Ideas
So, now that you know what types of foods you should and should not be eating, what type of meals can you prepare that would be considered Paleo-friendly? Here’s a look at some tasty options to consider for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Paleo Diet Breakfast Ideas
Start your day off on the right foot with any one of these Paleo diet breakfast ideas:
Eggs! Any way you can cook them, as long as they aren’t deep fried, is a great option for breakfast on the paleo diet. Try scrambling them in organic, grass-fed butter or coconut oil; hard boil them, or make an omelet filled with paleo-friendly veggies, such as tomatoes and peppers.
Fresh fruit is a great choice for a Paleo-friendly breakfast. Dice up fresh strawberries, pineapple, grapes, melon, blueberries, apples, and any other fruit you can think of, mix them all together, and you have yourself a healthy, tasty, fulfilling, Paleo breakfast.
Avocado, peach, and kale smoothies are another great option for a paleo-friendly breakfast. Just add the three ingredients to a blender, add in some organic, grass-fed (or better yet, almond or coconut milk), and blend until smooth.
Paleo Diet Lunch Ideas
When the mid-day hunger pangs strike, fill your belly up with one of these Paleo diet lunch ideas:
Avocado tuna salad. Use fresh caught tuna and mix it together with diced avocado. You can add in some cold-pressed olive oil to taste, as well as any number of veggies that are suitable for the Paleo diet. Eat it with a fork, or serve it on a bed of lettuce.
Chicken and cabbage salad. Cabbage, both green and red, make up the basis of this salad. Diced grilled chicken adds protein, and basil and a bit of olive oil add some extra flavor.
Deviled egg salad. 86 the mayo and sub avocados to make yourself a tasty Paleo-friendly egg salad.
Paleo Diet Dinner Ideas
For dinner, you want to eat something that is fulfilling and will keep you satiated through the night. Some great Paleo diet dinner ideas that you should add to your menu include:
Skillet chicken, seared in organic olive oil and flavored with the Paleo veggies of your choice.
Grilled wild caught salmon drizzled a reduction made from olive oil and spices.
Spaghetti squash topped with crumbled organic, grass-fed beef
Summing It Up
To sum it up, there are so many foods that you can eat on the Paleo diet. The key is to choose options that are all-natural and don’t contain any additives. Make sure you read labels because often, there are ingredients added to foods that claim to be “all-natural” that are actually processed and therefore defeat the entire premise of the Paleo diet.
Diabetes, a chronic health condition, is rising worldwide. In 2017, it was estimated that 1 in every 11 adults had diabetes, which is an increase of 10 million diagnoses since 2015.
If you are one of the millions of people who have been diagnosed with diabetes or you have been told that you are exhibiting symptoms of pre-diabetes, your doctor has surely informed you that making changes to your diet and choosing foods that are good for your health are important for managing your condition. Your diet, maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and taking the medications that you have been prescribe are all things that can make a major difference in your overall health and well being.
One of the most important dietary changes you can make is reducing the amount of sugars and carbohydrates you are ingesting. Does that mean that you should completely eliminate sweets from your diet? No! Thanks to stevia, a low-calorie, non-nutritive sweetener, you can significantly lower your intake of sugar and carbohydrates, as well as your caloric intake. That means that you can still enjoy sweetness while still managing your blood sugar levels and diabetes.
What is Stevia?
Stevia is actually a plant that has a very sweet taste to it. This plant has been used as a natural sweetener for hundreds of years. It’s native to the South American countries of Brazil and Paraguay, now this plant is grown in the Asian countries of China and Japan. It’s used as both as a non-nutritive, low-calorie sweetener. It provides both anti-diabetic and anti-oxidant properties and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a safe alternative sweetening agent for diabetics.
Research has found that stevia contains eight different glycosides, including:
Natural sugar and artificial sweetening products can increase glucose levels, making it difficult to control diabetes. Stevia, on the other hand, can actually repress blood glucose and therefore drastically boost a diabetic’s tolerance to glucose. Stevia is also considered a natural sweetener, as it is made from the leaves of the stevia plant, which means that you don’t have to worry about ingesting artificial ingredients, as long as you are using an all-natural brand.
The Benefits of Stevia for Diabetics
Stevia has been found to provide a number of benefits for diabetics. Several scientific studies have revealed that this natural sweetener has the ability to:
Enhance the effect of insulin on the membranes of the body’s cells
Improve the production of insulin in diabetics
Evens out blood glucose levels
Counteracts the effects of type 2 diabetes
Additionally, since there are so few calories in each serving of stevia, it is considered a no calorie sweetener. It also much sweeter than traditional sugar, which means that you have to use significantly less in order to achieve the same type of sweetness.
Other Benefits of Stevia
In addition to providing notable health benefits for patients with diabetes, stevia has also been found to offer a number of other advantages.
Traditional sugar can contribute significantly to weight gain. Since stevia doesn’t contain any sugar and very little, if any calories, it can help manage your weight. In other words, you can still enjoy sweet foods and beverages without having to worry about gaining weight like you would if you were consuming traditional sugar.
Reduced Blood Pressure
It has been found that some of the glycosides in stevia can aide in blood vessel dilation, which can help to reduce blood pressure.
Reduce the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer
Stevia offers several antioxidants, as well as sterols, such as kaempferol. Research has found that kaempferol can significantly decrease the chances of developing pancreatic cancer.
Stevia is manufactured by several companies and manufactured under several brand names, including:
Stevia itself is all natural; however, the above-mentioned brands tend to be very processed and other ingredients and additives may be mixed into them. For instance, the Truvia brand of stevia undergoes 40 different steps during its processing and sugar alcohol erythritol is added to it. Therefore, there is a chance that these manufactured brands of stevia may have some impact on your health.
To avoid potential complications, if you are going to use stevia as an alternative sweetener, it is recommended that you either purchase the plant in its natural form or grow it useful and use the leaves from the plant as a sweetening agent.
Why Stevia is a Better Option than Artificial Sweeteners
Many artificial sweeteners are advertised as being free of sugar and beneficial for diabetics; however, studies have found that these sweeteners are actually a detriment to diabetes.
The body reacts differently to artificial sweeteners than traditional sugar. It can disrupt “learned taste”, which can actually send signals to the brain that tells it to eat more foods, particularly foods that are sweet. This can have a negative effect on diabetes, as it can lead to weight gain, which has been found to be detrimental to diabetes patients.
Additionally, while they are advertised to lower your blood sugar levels, artificial sweeteners can actually raise them.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or you have been told that you are showing signs of pre diabetes, stevia can be a great alternative to natural sugar and artificial sweeteners. It offers a number of health benefits that are particular to diabetes, and it can also help you maintain a healthy weight.
Just because you’re a diabetic or you are pre-diabetic, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up sweetness altogether. With stevia, you can still enjoy sweetness without experience adverse effects to your health.
Diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition that can have grave effects on your health if it is not managed properly. If you have this illness, you already know that your pancreas is not producing any insulin (type 1 diabetes), or it is not producing enough insulin or that your body isn’t responding to the insulin that it does produce (type 2 diabetes). As a result, your blood sugar levels can spiral out of control, which has the potential to be life-threatening.
The good news is that if diabetes is properly managed, it doesn’t have to destroy your health and take over your life. Routine testing is an important step in ensuring you are managing your type 1 or 2 diabetes effectively. The A1C test is one of the most commonly used tests for diabetics.
The A1C Test Explained
The hemoglobin A1C test (often referred to simply as the A1C test), is a blood test that is used to measure average blood glucose levels over the span of two or three month period. It’s used to get a better understanding of how well your diabetes is being managed. It can also be used as a tool to find out if type 2 diabetes has developed in pre-diabetics.
The blood sugar information provided by the A1C test is showcased in a percentage. The higher the percentage the results of the test reveal, the higher your blood sugar levels are, which means that your risk for either developing type 2 diabetes or developing complications if you have already been diagnosed with type 1 or 2 diabetes are higher
How does the A1C Test Work?
The A1C test can be used to measure the effectiveness of treatment for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This test can also be used to determine if you are at an increased risk for developing diabetes.
The A1C test assesses the amount of glucose (sugar) that is attached to your hemoglobin, the protein that red blood cells are made up of. The greater the amount of glucose is attached to it, the higher the results of your A1C test will be. If the results are 5.7 percent or lower, your blood glucose levels are considered to be in the normal range. If your score is between 5.7 and 6.4 percent, your risk for developing type 2 diabetes is higher. If your score is greater than 6.5 percent, it is very likely that you will receive a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. If you already have been diagnosed with diabetes and your score is 5.7 percent or higher, efforts for managing your condition are not effective and your risk for developing complications are higher.
Ways to Lower Your A1C Score
The good news is that there are ways that you can lower your A1C score, and in turn, reduce your chances for developing type 2 diabetes or complications associated with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Here are some effective ways to lower your A1C score.
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, making changes to your diet is important. Eating foods that are low in carbohydrates can help reduce your blood sugar levels, and thus your A1C score. Aim to eat a balanced meals consisting of lean meats, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables in appropriate portion sizes.
Don’t make the mistake of skipping meals or letting large periods of time pass between each mean. Doing so can have serious consequences on your blood sugar levels, as it can make your levels drastically rise and fall. Speak to your doctor to establish a meal schedule that works for you, your lifestyle, and your diabetes.
Investigate Diabetes Medications
If you are not already taking diabetes medications for A1C reduction, you might want to consider talking to your doctor about them. There are several medications available for diabetics that aim to reduce blood sugar levels, including insulin, amylinomimetic medications, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, and DPP4 inhibitors. These are just some of the options available. Your doctor will determine which medications for A1C reduction are suitable for your needs.
If you are already taking diabetes medications and your A1C test results are high, talk to your doctor about making changes to your dosages, or possibly switching the type of medication you are taking.
Regular exercise is an important part of a diabetes management plan. It helps with weight management, which can keep your blood sugar levels under control and lower your A1C score. You don’t have to do intense exercises (unless you want to!); simple activities that get you moving can be highly effective. Walking, playing sports, bike riding, or swimming are some simple and enjoyable activities that will get you moving an help to keep your blood sugar under control, and thus lower your A1C score.
Stay on Track with Your Blood Sugar
Ask your doctor if checking your blood sugar levels is a good idea. If so, find out how often you should be checking them.
Keeping track of your blood sugar with routine testing can be a very effective way to manage your diabetes, or prevent you from developing the condition.
Stick to Your Treatment Plant
Sticking with your treatment plan is extremely important. Together, you and your doctor can determine the most effective plan and measures that you should be taking in order to effectively manage your blood sugar levels and your diabetes.
The Bottom Line
Just because you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic doesn’t mean that your diagnoses has to rule your life. You can take control of your health and your blood sugar levels by following the above-mentioned recommendations. As always, make sure you keep in regular contact with your doctor.
There is nothing more important than your health. By managing your diabetes, you can keep your health on track.
Even science has shown in research how you can properly gain an advantage over your disease with training.
Long-term regular physical activity training was found to be helpful in improving glycemic control, body composition and cardiovascular fitness among patients with T2DM. Long-term continuous physical activity offsets the deteriorations of biological indicators found in the control group. Further research, with a particular focus on practical and real-world programming, is needed to determine the responsive health outcomes of such long-term programs on the patients.[ncbi]
Stress is a large factor
Many people struggle with juggling responsibilities in life. This can increase stress levels and in hand cause detriment to your health. Healthline does a great job at providing a few ways to lower your a1c by mitigating stress.
The impact of sweeteners can sneak up on your body and cause much distress for someone with health problems.
All refined sugars such as glucose, sucrose, and their products (soft drinks, sweets, toffees, etc.) and honey should be avoided, except during severe illness or episodes of hypoglycemia. These foods contain simple sugar, which is easily absorbed causing rapid rise in blood sugar.
Non-nutritive sweeteners, e.g., Canderel, saccharine, NutraSweet, aspartame are suitable sugar substitutes for diabetic subjects.[ncbi]
If you are trying to lose weight relatively quickly, you’ve probably heard of the Atkins diet.
This diet was created by Robert C Atkins, a cardiologist, in the 1960s. It focuses on restricting the intake of carbohydrates and increasing the intake of foods that are high in healthy fats and proteins. Several scientific studies have examined the effects of a low-carb diet and have proven that it is an effective way to lose weight. That’s because the less carbs you eat and the more protein you ingest, the less hungry you will be (because protein is satiating for a long period of time). The less you eat, the less calories you consume, which translates to weight loss.
In addition to weight loss, one of the biggest attractions of the Atkins diet is that you don’t have to constantly count your calories, which is something that you have to do with so many other diet plans. This makes the Atkins diet a much easier way to shed pounds.
If you’re thinking about going on the Atkins diet, you are going to have to familiarize yourself with the types of foods that are recommended on this plan. To help get you started on the right foot, here’s a look at some of the most Atkins-friendly foods that you should make a regular part of your diet.
Poultry, Seafood, and Meat
Most types of meat, poultry, and seafood do not contain any carbs, yet they contain a high amount of proteins. That’s why they are such a staple in the Atkins diet. By eating more poultry, seafood, and meat, you will feel fuller longer, and you won’t be taking in much – if any – carbohydrates.
The following meats are ideal for the Atkins diet:
These are just some of the options that are Atkins-friendly. However, it should be noted that not all meat, seafood, and poultry are low in carbs; deli meat and other types of processed meats, poultry, and seafood tend to have a lot of starch in them, so they aren’t a good choice for this diet. Make sure you read food labels to ensure that the foods you are selecting really are low carb and good for the Atkins diet.
When you first start the Atkins diet, you should be eating a total of 15 carbs from veggies a day. Veggies that are low in carbs, and thus Atkins-friendly, include:
There are many cheeses that are low on carbs. In fact, the majority of cheeses have less than 1 gram of carbohydrates per ounce. During the first few weeks of the Atkins diet, you can consume up to 4 ounces of cheese each day. However, not all cheeses are low in carbs, such as cottage cheese, so make sure you check the labels before purchasing.
Some of the best cheeses for the Atkins diet include:
Cream cheese (yes, cream cheese!)
Eggs are definitely an Atkins-friendly food. They are very low in carbs; in fact, a single large hardboiled egg only contains about 0.6 grams of carbohydrates. They are also packed with protein and healthy, monounsaturated fats. This means that they can fill you up for a long time, making them the ideal food for the Atkins diet.
There are so many ways that you can enjoy eggs. Some options include:
Sunny side up
In an omelet (witch an Atkins-friendly cheese and veggie)
Eat eggs for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a snack!
Herbs and Spices
The majority of herbs and spices contain very little, if any, carbohydrates, making most of them a suitable choice for the Atkins diet. Another benefit: they increase your metabolism, which can help with your weight loss goals.
Some of the herbs and spices that you should consider including in your Atkins diet menu include:
Mix them into dishes that contain meat, poultry, and seafood, eggs, and veggies to add some extra flavor.
Oils and Fats
A lot of diets require you to give up oils and fats; however, that’s not the case with the Atkins diet. In fact, there are a number of oils and fats that you can consume on this diet that will aide in your weight loss. That’s because they are low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
Some of the best oils and fats that you can include in your Atkins diet menu include:
Coconut oil (organic varieties are the best)
Grass-fed, organic butter
Cold pressed olive oil
Full fat mayonnaise with no sugar added
Medium-chain triglyceride oils (MCTs)
You can use these oils and fats for cooking, or you can use them to add flavor to your dishes. For example, you can drizzle cold-pressed olive oil on top of a salad made with Atkins-friendly veggies, or you can use grass-fed organic butter to add flavor to soft boiled eggs.
When you’re trying to lose weight, you also have to watch what you’re drinking; something that many people overlook. There are plenty of beverages that are considered acceptable for the Atkins diet. Options include:
Water (non-carbonated or carbonated)
Diet sodas that are sweetened with sucralose
There are so many foods and beverages that you can enjoy on the Atkins diet and still lose weight, which is one of the reasons why this diet is so appealing and has been proven to be successful for so many people.
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