Why Do Certain Bodies React Differently to a High-Fat Diet?

A diet rich in greasy foods causes an imbalance in our gut flora. The composition of the gut flora seems to determine the way in which the body develops certain metabolic disorders such as diabetes, regardless of any genetic modification, gender, age or specific diet. This has recently been demonstrated by Rémy Burcelin and Matteo Serino, researchers from the “Institute of Metabolic and cardiovascular diseases (I2MC)”. It is believed that nutritional additives such as gluco-oligosaccharides and dietary fibers that target the gut microbiota could prevent the development of metabolic disorders.

The composition of the gut flora seems to determine the way in which the body develops certain metabolic disorders such as diabetes, regardless of any genetic modification, gender, age or specific diet.

Gut flora, otherwise knows as gut microbiota, are the bacteria that live in our digestive tract. There are roughly one thousand different species of bacteria, that are nourished partly by what we eat. Each person has their own specific gut flora and metabolism and these differ according to our dietary habits. Previous studies in mice have shown that a high-fat diet is capable of causing an imbalance in the gut flora, thus causing metabolic diseases such as diabetes or obesity.

Source: This information is provided with editorial adaptations from a press release issued by the Inserm .

Soda Consumption Increases Overall Stroke Risk

Researchers from Cleveland Clinic‘s Wellness Institute and Harvard University have found that greater consumption of sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas is associated with a higher risk of stroke. Conversely, consumption of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee was associated with a lower risk.

The study  is the first to examine soda’s effect on stroke risk. Previous research has linked sugar-sweetened beverage consumption with weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gout and coronary artery disease.

“Soda remains the largest source of added sugar in the diet,” said Adam Bernstein, M.D., Sc.D., study author and Research Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. “What we’re beginning to understand is that regular intake of these beverages sets off a chain reaction in the body that can potentially lead to many diseases – including stroke.”

In sugar-sweetened sodas, the sugar load may lead to rapid increases in blood glucose and insulin which, over time, may lead to glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and inflammation. These physiologic changes influence atherosclerosis, plaque stability and thrombosis – all of which are risk factors of ischemic stroke. This risk for stroke appears higher in women than in men.

In comparison, coffee contains chlorogenic acids, lignans and magnesium, all of which act as antioxidants and may reduce stroke risk. When compared with one serving of sugar-sweetened soda, one serving of decaffeinated coffee was associated with a 10 percent lower risk of stroke.

In addition, study findings show that men and women who consumed more than one serving of sugar-sweetened soda per day had higher rates of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol and lower physical activity rates. Those who drank soda more frequently were also more likely to eat red meat and whole-fat dairy products. Men and women who consumed low-calorie soda had a higher incidence of chronic disease and a higher body mass index (BMI). The investigators controlled for these other factors in their analysis to determine the independent association of soda consumption on stroke risk.

“According to research from the USDA, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption has increased dramatically in the United States over the past three decades, and it’s affecting our health,” said Dr. Bernstein. “These findings reiterate the importance of encouraging individuals to substitute alternate beverages for soda.”

Source: This information is provided with editorial adaptations from a press release issued by the Cleveland Clinic. For more information, click here.

Low Glycemic Breakfast Can Help Control Blood Sugar

Eating foods at breakfast that have a low glycemic index may help prevent a spike in blood sugar throughout the morning and after the next meal of the day, according to research.

These breakfast foods also can increase feelings of satiety and fullness and may make people less likely to overeat throughout the day, according to  Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., principal, Corvus Blue LLC, and Richard Mattes, M.P.H., R.D., distinguished professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University.

The glycemic index ranks foods on the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high index are rapidly digested and result in high fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Foods with a low glycemic index produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels and are considered healthier, especially for people with diabetes.

When a low glycemic food is added to the diet, people spontaneously choose to eat less at other times throughout the day. Mattes added that while the calories need to be taken into consideration as part of a person’s overall diet, almonds can be incorporated in moderate amounts without an effect on body weight.

Both Mattes and Shelke stressed the importance of eating a healthy, low-glycemic breakfast in maintaining a healthy weight and blood sugar levels.  A 2009 study found that about 30 percent of people skip breakfast one to three times per week. Among those who eat breakfast, cold cereal is the most popular (83 percent), followed by eggs (71 percent). In addition to low glycemic index, Dr. Shelke said the ideal breakfast for consumers has these attributes:

  • Savory
  • Portable
  • Pleasing texture
  • Fills you up for extended periods of time
  • Satiates quickly so less is consumed
  • Affordable for the whole family to eat every day
  • Non-fried
  • Delicious without making you feeling guilty

“This is a very tall order for food product manufacturers,” Shelke said. “It takes a lot of skill and understanding.”

While it may present challenges for food manufacturers, it is well worth it to develop these products because of the prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the United States and beyond. It is estimated that by 2030, more than 16 percent of the global population will have a blood sugar problem.

“Most of the risk factors are things that can be managed and modified,” Shelke said. “We can reverse pre-diabetes and prevent it from becoming diabetes. Food has become the reason for what’s ailing us, but it can actually be a solution in a number of different ways.”

Source: Source: This information is provided with editorial adaptations from a press release issued by the Institute of Food Technology.

Low- and Non-Glycemic Foods that Promote Satiety are:
Rolled oats and groats (hulled and crushed grain, usually oats)
Whole grains
Nuts and seeds
Sweet potato
Barley B-glucan
Yam flour
Durum pasta
Vegetable flours
Chia / flax seed
Resistant starch

Cleveland Clinic Study: Bariatric Surgery Improves, Reverses Diabetes

Overweight, diabetic patients who underwent bariatric surgery achieved significant improvement or remission of their diabetes, according to new research from Cleveland Clinic.

In a randomized, controlled trial, some weight loss surgery patients achieved normal blood sugar levels without use of any diabetes medications. In others, the need for insulin to control blood sugar was eliminated. Recent observational studies had demonstrated that bariatric surgical procedures reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes and lead to substantial improvement for many patients with pre-existing disease.

“After one year, patients who underwent gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy lost more weight and were significantly more successful at controlling their diabetes, compared to those who simply took medications,” said lead investigator Philip Schauer, M.D., Director of the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. “We believe that bariatric surgery represents a potentially valuable strategy for control of diabetes that should be considered in more patients who do not respond to conventional treatment.”

“This trial demonstrates that bariatric surgery can eliminate the need for diabetes medications in many obese patients whose diabetes is poorly controlled,” Schauer said. “Furthermore, the surgical patients showed major improvements in other measures of heart health, including reduced need for high blood pressure and cholesterol medications, while significantly boosting HDL – the so-called ‘good’ – cholesterol.”

As expected, the patients who received bariatric surgery lost more weight during the 12-month study, averaging 64.7 pounds for patients who received gastric bypass, 55.2 pounds for patients who had stomach reduction surgery, and 11.9 pounds for patients treated with medications.

The study authors reported some complications of surgery, but most were not serious. However, four patients did require a second operation. The study authors caution that the favorable results were observed after a relatively short follow-up period (12 months) and that long-term studies are needed to determine the durability of the findings. The authors will continue to follow these patients for four years to attempt to answer these questions.

Source: This information is provided with editorial adaptations from a press release issued by the Cleveland Clinic.

Periodic Fasting Good for Health

Fasting has long been associated with religious rituals, diets, and political protests. Now new evidence from cardiac researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute demonstrates that routine periodic fasting is also good for your health, and your heart.

Today, research cardiologists at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute are reporting that fasting not only lowers one’s risk of heart disease and diabetes, but also causes significant changes in a person’s blood cholesterol levels. Both diabetes and elevated cholesterol are known risk factors for heart disease.

The discovery expands upon a 2007 Intermountain Healthcare study that revealed an association between fasting and reduced risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death among men and women in America. In the new research, fasting was also found to reduce other cardiac risk factors, such as triglycerides, weight, and blood sugar levels.

The findings were presented Sunday, April 3, at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.

“These new findings demonstrate that our original discovery was not a chance event,” says Dr. Benjamin D. Horne, PhD, MPH, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, and the study’s principal investigator. “The confirmation among a new set of patients that fasting is associated with lower risk of these common diseases raises new questions about how fasting itself reduces risk or if it simply indicates a healthy lifestyle.”

“Fasting causes hunger or stress. In response, the body releases more cholesterol, allowing it to utilize fat as a source of fuel, instead of glucose. This decreases the number of fat cells in the body,” says Dr. Horne. “This is important because the fewer fat cells a body has, the less likely it will experience insulin resistance, or diabetes.”

While the results were surprising to researchers, it’s not time to start a fasting diet just yet. It will take more studies like these to fully determine the body’s reaction to fasting and its effect on human health. Dr. Horne believes that fasting could one day be prescribed as a treatment for preventing diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Resources: The above story is provided from materials provided by Intermountain Medical Center, via EurekAlert! 

Daily Consumption of Diet Soda May Cause Stoke & Heart Attack

In the current climate of escalating obesity rates, artificially sweetened soft drinks are marketed as healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, due to their lack of calories. However, the long-term health consequences of drinking diet soft drinks remain unclear.

Individuals who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death. This is according to a new study by Hannah Gardener and her colleagues from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center. However, in contrast, they found that regular soft drink consumption and a more moderate intake of diet soft drinks do not appear to be linked to a higher risk of vascular events. The research appears online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine², published by Springer.

Gardener and team looked at how often individuals drank soft drinks – diet and regular – and the number of vascular events that occurred over a ten-year period.

They found that those who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43 percent more likely to have suffered a vascular event than those who drank none, after taking into account pre-existing vascular conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and high blood pressure. Light diet soft drink users, i.e. those who drank between one a month and six a week, and those who chose regular soft drinks were not more likely to suffer vascular events.

Gardener concludes: “Our results suggest a potential association between daily diet soft drink consumption and vascular outcomes. However, the mechanisms by which soft drinks may affect vascular events are unclear. There is a need for further research before any conclusions can be drawn regarding the potential health consequences of diet soft drink consumption.”

This shows the importance of keeping things in moderation.


Source: Reproduced with editorial adaptations from Springer


1. Gardener H et al (2012). Diet soft drink consumption is associated with an increased risk of vascular events in the Northern Manhattan Study. Journal of General Internal Medicine. DOI 10.1007/s11606-011-1968-2

2. The Journal of General Internal Medicine is the official journal of the Society of General Internal Medicine.

What to Know About Gastric Banding for Weight Loss

Adjustable gastric banding is a restrictive type of weight loss surgery. In a nutshell, it involves placing a silicone band with an inflatable inner collar around the upper stomach to restrict food intake. This creates a small pouch and a narrow passage to the lower stomach. This small passage delays the emptying of food from the pouch and causes a feeling of fullness. The silicone band can be tightened or loosened over time to change the size of the passage.

Other terms for adjustable gastric banding are laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and gastric banding. Brand names of gastric banding devices include the Realize Band and the Lap-Band System.

How Adjustable Gastric Banding Is Done

The silicone band is connected to a small port that is placed in the abdominal wall. The inner diameter of the band can be adjusted by injecting saline through this port. This is called a fill. Your surgeon can make periodic adjustments or fills based on your weight loss, food cravings and other physical reactions to the surgery.

Adjustable gastric banding is usually performed laparoscopically, meaning that the surgeon makes small incisions as opposed to one large incision. To perform the gastric banding, he or she inserts a viewing tube with a small camera (laparoscope) and other tiny instruments into these small incisions.

Currently two types of gastric bands are on the market in the United States: the Lap-Band System and the newer Realize Band.

Gastric banding surgery takes about one to one and a half hours. It can be done on an outpatient basis or may require a one-day hospital stay.

Benefits of Weight-loss, regardless of the method employed:

A new study shows that losing 20 to 50 percent of excess weight can improve obesity-related health conditions.

“Our study shows that if someone is 80 pounds overweight and they lose about 30 of those pounds, they can still achieve a comparable health benefit as someone who has lost all 80 pounds,” said Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery advisory board member and study co-author Christine Ren Fielding, MD, FACS, an associate professor of surgery and the founder and director of the New York University Program for Surgical Weight Loss.

In the new study, 50 people with body mass indexes of 30 to 40 (meaning they were obese) who underwent gastric banding with the Lap-Band system were followed for two years. Study participants had been obese for more than five years and averaged about 3.5 obesity-related conditions.

They lost an average of 60 percent of their weight two years out, but losing 20 to 30 percent of weight in less than a year was enough to improve or even resolve type 2 diabetes in 87.5 percent of patients, the study showed. What’s more, losing about 50 percent of excess weight resulted in improvement or resolution of sleep apnea in 87.5 percent of patients. Participants with high blood pressure who lost 40 to 50 percent of their excess weight were able to lower their blood pressure, and 72.7 percent of those patients with high cholesterol who lost just 30 to 40 percent of their weight saw a major improvement, if not a complete resolution, of their high cholesterol, the study showed.


Mayo Clinic information on Gastric Bypass surgery


Health Effects of Artificial Sweetener

There is a growing concern that excessive levels of fructose may pose a great health risk – causing high blood pressure, kidney disease and diabetes.

Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, along with their colleagues at the University of Florida, set out to see if two common sweeteners in western diets differ in their effects on the body in the first few hours after ingestion. The study, recently published in the journal Metabolism, took a closer look at high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and table sugar (sucrose).

Both HFCS and sucrose have historically been considered to have nearly identical effects on the body. But this study finds that indeed there is a difference between the two. They found that the makeup of the sugars resulted in differences in how much fructose was absorbed into the circulation, and which could have potential impact on one’s health. Sucrose is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose that is bonded together as a complex carbohydrate and HFCS is a mixture of free fructose (55%) and free glucose (45%). It’s the difference in fructose amount that appears to create the ill health effects on the body.

Their study was conducted at the University of Florida, where they evaluated 40 men and women who were given 24 ounces of HFCS- or sugar-sweetened soft drinks. Careful measurements showed that the HFCS sweetened soft drinks resulted in significantly higher fructose levels than the sugar-sweetened drinks. Fructose is also known to increase uric acid levels that have been implicated in blood pressure, and the HFCS-sweetened drinks also resulted in a higher uric acid level and a 3 mm Hg greater rise in systolic blood pressure.

Dr Richard Johnson, a coauthor in the study and Chief of the Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension at the University of Colorado, commented “Although both sweeteners are often considered the same in terms of their biological effects, this study demonstrates that there are subtle differences. Soft drinks containing HFCS result in slightly higher blood levels of fructose than sucrose-sweetened drinks, “said Johnson. “The next step is for new studies to address whether the long-term effects of these two sweeteners are different.”

Source: Press release from the University of Colorado School of Medicine


Health Benefits of Pasta

Pasta is the traditional Italian staple food. Pasta comes in a variety of different shapes. Pasta also includes varieties, such as ravioli and tortellini, that are filled with other ingredients, such as ground meat or cheese.

Different Types of Pasta:

Spaghetti and Cheese

There are hundreds of different shapes of pasta with at least locally recognized names. Examples include spaghetti (thin strings), macaroni or maccheroni (tubes or cylinders),


fusilli (swirls), and lasagne (sheets). Gnocchi and spätzle are sometimes considered pasta; they are both traditional in parts of Italy.

Pasta is categorized in two basic styles: dried and fresh. Dried pasta made without eggs can be stored for up to two years under ideal conditions, while fresh pasta will keep for a few days under refrigeration. Pasta is generally cooked in boiling water.

Is Pasta good for health?

Macaroni and Cheese

Pasta is enriched with iron, folate and several other B-vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. It is even nutritionally enhanced with whole wheat or whole grain or fortified with omega-3


fatty acids and additional fiber.

Is pasta good for people with diabetes?

Very low in sodium and cholesterol-free when no eggs are used in some varieties, pasta is low on the Glycemic Index (GI) – which means that they are digested more slowly. Pasta provides a slow release of energy without spiking blood sugar levels. So, good for people with diabetes. According to the American Pasta Association, enriched pastas provide an excellent source of folic acid and a good source of other essential nutrients, including iron and several B-vitamins.  Moreover, some varieties of whole grain pasta can provide up to 25% of daily fiber requirements in every one cup portion.

Study Confirms Benefits of Fiber in Diet

Dietary fiber definitely improves our health – that’s the message from a health review by scientists in India. Vikas Rana of the Rain Forest Research Institute, in Assam, India, and colleagues looked at research conducted into dietary fiber during the last few decades across the globe and now suggests that to avoid initial problems, such as intestinal gas and loose stool, it is best to increase intake gradually and to spread high-fiber foods out throughout the day, at meals and snacks. Writing in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, the team offers fruit, vegetables, whole-grain foods, such as muesli and porridge, beans and pulses, as readily available foods rich in dietary fiber.

Dietary fiber, also known as roughage, is the general term of the non-digestible parts of the fruit and vegetable products we eat. There are two forms soluble and insoluble. Soluble (prebiotic, viscous) fiber that is readily broken down or fermented in the colon into physiologically active byproducts and gases. The second form is insoluble fiber, which is metabolically inert, but absorbs water as it passes through the digestive system, providing bulk for the intestinal muscles to work against and easing defecation.

Modern food habits have, it seems, led to an increase in the incidence of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes. These are growing more common even across the world, where a diet of highly processed foods, high in sugars and saturated fats, beef and dairy products and low in dietary fiber is displacing more traditional options. The research team suggests that evidence points to a loss of dietary fiber in the diet as being a major risk factor for health problems but one of the simplest to remedy without recourse to major changes in diet or the addition of supplements or so-called functional foods and nutraceuticals to the diet.

Given that dietary fiber has physiological actions such as reducing cholesterol and attenuating blood glucose, maintaining gastrointestinal health, and positively affecting calcium bioavailability and immune function, it is important for the current generation and future generations that this component of our diets be reasserted through education and information.

“Consuming adequate quantities of DF can lead to improvements in gastrointestinal health, and reduction in susceptibility to diseases such as diverticular disease, heart disease, colon cancer, and diabetes. Increased consumption has also been associated with increased satiety and weight loss,” the team concludes. Given the ready availability particularly in the West and in the relatively richer parts of the developing world of vegetables, fruit and other foods high in dietary fiber it is a matter of recommending that people eat more dietary fiber rather than consistently taking the unhealthy low-fiber option throughout their lives.

Source: “Dietary fiber and human health” in Int. J. Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, 2011, 4, 101-118

Coffee Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Coffee drinkers are at a lower risk for developing Type 2 diabetes; this was shown in prior scientific studies. Now scientists are looking into the mechanism of how coffee reduces the risk of developing Diabetes type 2, in a report published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry.

Ling Zheng, Kun Huang and colleagues explain that previous studies show that coffee drinkers are at a lower risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90-95 percent of diabetes cases in the world. Those studies show that people who drink four or more cups of coffee daily have a 50 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. And every additional cup of coffee brings another decrease in risk of almost 7 percent. Scientists have implicated the misfolding of a substance called human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) in causing Type 2 diabetes, and some are seeking ways to block that process. Zheng and Huang decided to see if coffee’s beneficial effects might be due to substances that block hIAPP.

Indeed, they identified two categories of compounds in coffee that significantly inhibited hIAPP. They suggest that this effect explains why coffee drinkers show a lower risk for developing diabetes. “A beneficial effect may thus be expected for a regular coffee drinker,” the researchers conclude.

Resources: Funding for this study was from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the National Basic Research Program of China and the Chinese Ministry of Education.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

Weight-Loss Surgery Improves Blood Sugars in Obese Diabetes Patients

Weight loss surgery is not a cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can improve blood sugar control, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Surgery. Whereas some previous studies have claimed that up to 80 per cent of diabetes patients have been cured following gastric bypass surgery, researchers at Imperial College London found that only 41 per cent of patients achieve remission using more stringent criteria.

The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre awarded to Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London.

Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Worldwide, 80 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese at the time of diagnosis. Diabetes is normally treated by using insulin injections and drugs to control blood sugar. However, many diabetic patients who had stomach surgery to lose weight found that their diabetes improved, even before they had lost any weight.

Recently the American Diabetes Association pulled together a group of experts to agree on standards by which to assess whether a patient has achieved remission of diabetes. They defined complete remission as returning to normal measures of glucose metabolism without taking diabetes medication at least one year after surgery.

The new study revisited previous data on 209 patients with type 2 diabetes to evaluate the effectiveness of three types of weight loss surgery using the new criteria. They found that the remission rate was 41 per cent for gastric bypass, the most effective type of surgery.

“Using the new criteria, we don’t get such eye-catching figures as some that have been quoted in recent years,” said Dr Carel le Roux, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, who led the study. “But it’s clear that weight loss surgery, particularly gastric bypass, has a significant beneficial effect on glucose control.

“Diabetes is a chronic, multisystem disease. Stomach surgery may not mean that patients can stop taking diabetes medication, but surgery and medication together achieve better results than either treatment on its own.”

Gastric bypass involves stapling the stomach to create a small pouch at the top, which is then connected directly to the small intestine, bypassing most of the stomach and the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). Sleeve gastrectomy, which involves surgically removing a portion of the stomach, and gastric banding, in which a band is placed around part of the stomach, achieved remission rates of 26 per cent and 7 per cent respectively, although these figures are based on smaller numbers of patients.


Journal reference: DJ Pournaras et al. ‘Effect of the definition of type II diabetes remission in the evaluation of bariatric surgery for metabolic disorders.’ British Journal of Surgery, Volume 99, Issue 1, pages 100, January 2012

Website source : http://www.imperial.ac.uk

Type 2 Diabetes: Are You at Greater Risk?

You are at greater risk for Type 2 Diabetes, if you

  • are over age 45
  • have family history of diabetes
  • are overweight
  • do not exercise regularly
  • have low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, high blood pressure
  • belong to one of these ethnic group – Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives)
  • are a woman who had gestational diabetes, or who have had a baby weighing 9 pounds or more at birth

Source: ADA – American Diabetic Association.

Warding Off Diabetes with Green, Leafy Vegetables

Diabetes is a rising concern among many throughout the world—pushing further advances in medical research and drug treatments. One of the greatest defenses we may have against the disease, however, is proper diet. It’s a well-known fact that eating right can lower the risk of all types of diabetes, but according to HealthDay, a recent analysis of research may suggest that eating green, leafy vegetables can lead to a lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes—but more research is needed for this information to be conclusive.

Looking at six already completed studies, researchers discovered that those who consumed the most green, leafy vegetables were 14 percent less likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes than those that ate the least. Combined with the lack of evidence that adding more fruits and veggies did not decrease the risk shows that green, leafy vegetables may have beneficial properties aside from those previously considered. Those involved, however, agree that additional research must be performed to validate this claim.

So will eating these green, leafy vegetables eliminate your risk of Type 2 Diabetes? Assuming this would be a mistake, but taking care to plan a healthy diet is particularly important for anyone who is at high risk for this disease. Incorporating green, leafy vegetables is a delicious and effective way to introduce more vegetables and fruits into a diet—and brings with it other valuable nutrients needed for healthy living and balance in the body’s delicate system.



Vending Machine Foods and Drinks May Link to Obesity and More

Though it may not come as a surprise, the products pulled and consumed from a vending machine may have some serious effects on a child’s diet quality—with consequences far beyond what we may immediately expect. According to research done by the University of Michigan Medical School and reported by Medical News Today, children that ate and drank out of a vending machine were more likely to develop diet patterns that may be associated with a higher risk for obesity, diabetes, and coronary artery disease.

The study did not assess the lunches provided by schools, rather the competition of these USDA approved lunches—both vending machines and school snack bars—from grades 1 through 12. Consumption across all of the students surveyed showed that 22 percent consumed products from these competitive sources, the highest being among high school students.

According to the article, an alarming 88 percent of high schools included in the survey had vending machines, 52 percent of the middle schools, and 16 percent of the elementary schools. The survey included the dietary intake of students over a 24 hour period, and showed that students that consumed products from these competitive sources tended to have significantly higher intake of sugar, and lower intake of Vitamin B, Iron, and fiber than those that did not.

The most popular items were desserts, fried snacks including chips, crackers, cookies, snack cakes, ice cream, candy, and of course: Soda. This fizzy beverage made up more than 2/3 the beverages offered in school vending machines, and were hot sellers.

Why is this such an alarming observation? There is not only, of course, the startling rise of Childhood obesity we have to think of, but the eating patterns and preferences that start to form when children are at these ages. Developing poor eating habits now could be devastating to their future health. Educate your child now on the effects of these eating habits, and proper nutrition to prevent these eating habits—and keep them away from the vending machines!

Source: Vended Foods And Beverages May Be Linked To Obesity, Diabetes And Coronary Artery Disease on HealthDay News

Healthy Blood Glucose Levels for Diabetics Differ for Non-Diabetics


People who have diabetes should be testing their blood glucose regularly at home. Regular blood glucose testing helps you determine how well your diabetes management program of meal planning, exercising and medication (if necessary) is doing to keep your blood glucose as close to normal as possible.

The results of the nationwide Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) show that the closer you keep your blood glucose to normal, the more likely you are to prevent diabetes complications such as eye disease, nerve damage, and other problems. For some people, other medical conditions, age, or other issues may cause your physician to establish somewhat higher blood glucose targets for you.

The following chart outlines the usual  Use this as a guide to work with your physician and your healthcare team to determine what your target goals should be, and to develop a program of regular blood glucose monitoring to manage your condition.

Time of Check

Goal plasma blood glucose ranges
for people without diabetes

Goal plasma blood glucose ranges
for people with diabetes

Before breakfast (fasting)

< 100

70 – 130

Before lunch, supper and snack

< 110

70 – 130

Two hours after meals

< 140

< 180


< 120

90- 150

A1C (also called glycosylated hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c or glycohemoglobin A1c)

< 6%

< 7%

< = less than
> = greater than
> = greater than or equal to
< = less than or equal to

Information obtained from Joslin Diabetes Center’s Guidelines for Pharmacological Management of Type 2 Diabetes.

How to Incorporate Fiber into Your Diet

If you just love baked beans on toast, here is a good excuse to eat them as often as you like, especially if the toast is whole-wheat: fiber.

Fiber is the magic ingredient which helps maintains your digestive system in perfect shape. Healthy digestion contributes to lower weight and increased health, it also means less risk of getting many of our modern diseases such as bowel cancer, diverticular disease and even diabetes.

Fiber is indigestible and does not contain nutriens as such. But fiber is hightly recommended for its ability to move through the digestive tract faster preventing foods from putrefying in the digestive tract which then contributes to many modern diseases.
This means – the food gets digested sooner, and the indigestible bits, including the fiber, are moved out faster.

In addition, fiber is known to absorb water to become lighter, bulkier and easier to move along. This is why it helps prevent constipation. Also, when it absorbs water in the stomach, it gives that feeling of feeling full and therefore lessening the amount of food, which is consumed.

The recommended daily fiber intake is about 35 grams a day. In reality, a normal western diet usually supplies only 12 grams or less. Foods that look fibrous, like celery and lettuce, are not the answer. Fiber comes in some surprising forms.

So, which foods are fiber-rich?

A/ a breakfast or supper of baked beans on toast will give you nearly 10 grams of fiber by itself. Dried beans, peas, lentils and garbanzos are all excellent sources of fiber.

B/ whole-wheat bread has more fiber than white: nearly 3 grams per slice compared with 0.6 gram for white.

Which means that half a cup of baked beans on a slice of whole-wheat toast will supply one third of the fiber needed in a day!

If you don’t like baked beans, there are many other foods to choose from:
– Half a cup of All-Bran will contains about 10 grams of fiber.
– One cup of cooked oatmeal contains about 4.
– An apple contains about 4 grams.
– A cup of dried prunes (soked in water) has over 11 grams.
– Just three fresh carrots a day will give you 6 grams of fiber.
– Cabbage and green vegetable salad is also a rich source of fiber.

But keep in mind that it isn’t advisable to increase the fiber in your diet in one go. This could make you feel very uncomfortable. It is best to add fiber into your meals gradually, to give your body time to adjust to this new, healthier way of eating.

And don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day, so that the fiber you eat can swell to be as light as possible.