Diabetes Nutrition Myths

carbohydrates(BlackDoctor.org) — Living with diabetes isn’t easy: it demands overall lifestyle changes, especially when it comes to food. But like anything else when it comes to health, there are probably just as many myths about what diabetics should and shouldn’t eat as there are facts.

Do you know the difference?

True or False: Eating Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes.

False. While the exact causes are not totally understood, it is known that simply eating too much sugar is unlikely to cause diabetes. Instead, diabetes begins when something disrupts your body’s ability to turn the food you eat into energy. Why is this a problem? Basically, your body breaks down much of the food you eat into glucose, a type of sugar needed to power your cells. A hormone called insulin is made in the pancreas. Insulin helps the cells in the body use glucose for fuel.

Here are the most common types of diabetes and what researchers know about their causes:

• Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot make insulin. Without insulin, sugar piles up in your blood vessels. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin to help get the sugar into the cells. Type 1 diabetes often starts in younger people or in children. Researchers believe that it may occur when something goes wrong with the immune system.

• Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin, the insulin does not work properly, or both. Being overweight makes type 2 diabetes more likely to occur. It can happen in a person of any age.

• Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy in some women. Hormone changes during pregnancy prevent insulin from working properly. Women with gestational diabetes usually need to take insulin. The condition may resolve after birth of the child.

True or False: You Need to Eat Special Diabetic Meals.

The truth is that there really is no such as thing as a “diabetic diet.” The foods that are healthy for people with diabetes are also good choices for the rest of your family. Usually, there is no need to prepare special diabetic meals.

The difference between a diabetes diet and your family’s “normal” diet is this: If you have diabetes, you need to monitor what you eat a little more closely. This includes the total amount of calories you consume and the amounts and types of carbohydrates, fats, and protein you eat. A diabetes educator or dietitian can help you learn how to do this.

Will you need to make changes to what you now eat? Probably. But perhaps not as many as you anticipate.

True or False: Carbohydrates Are Bad for Diabetes

False. In fact, carbohydrates — or “carbs” as most of us refer to them — are good for diabetes. They form the foundation of a healthy diabetes diet — or of any healthy diet.

Carbohydrates have the greatest effect on blood sugar levels, which is why you are asked to monitor how many carbohydrates you eat when following a diabetes diet.

However, carbohydrate foods contain many essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So one diabetes diet tip is to choose those with the most nutrients, like whole-grain breads and baked goods, and high-fiber fruits and vegetables. You may find it easier to select the best carbs if you meet with a dietitian.

True or False: Protein is Better than Carbohydrates for Diabetes.

False. Because carbs affect blood sugar levels so quickly, if you have diabetes, you may be tempted to eat less of them and substitute more protein. But too much protein may lead to problems for people with diabetes.

The main problem is that many foods rich in protein, such as meat, may also be filled with saturated fat. Eating too much of these fats increases your risk of heart disease. Protein should account for about 15% to 20% of the total calories that a diabetic eats each day.

True or False: You’ll Need to Give Up Your Favorite Foods.

False. There is no reason to give up your favorite foods on a diabetes diet. Instead, try:

• Changing the way your favorite foods are prepared.
• Changing the other foods you usually eat along with your favorite foods.
• Reducing the serving sizes of your favorite foods.
• Using your favorite foods as a reward for following your meal plans.

True or False: You Have to Give Up Desserts if You Have Diabetes.

False (thank goodness)! You can develop many strategies for including desserts in a diabetes diet. Here are some examples:

• Use artificial sweeteners in desserts.
• Cut back on the amount of dessert. For example, instead of two scoops of ice cream, have one. Or share a dessert with a friend.
• Use desserts as an occasional reward for following your diabetes diet plan.
• Make desserts more nutritious. For example, use whole grains, fresh fruit, and vegetable oil when preparing desserts. Many times, you can use less sugar than a recipe calls for without sacrificing taste or consistency.

True or False: Artificial Sweeteners Are Dangerous for People with Diabetes.

False. Artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than the equivalent amount of sugar, so it takes less of them to get the same sweetness found in sugar. This can result in eating fewer calories than when you do use sugar.

The American Diabetes Association approves the use of several artificial sweeteners in diabetes diets, including:

• Saccharin (Sweet’N Low)
• Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal)
• Acesulfame potassium (Sunett)
• Sucralose (Splenda)

A dietitian can help you determine which sweeteners are best for which uses, whether in coffee, baking, cooking, or other uses.

Diabetes: Beyond The Myths

Now that you know the facts about diabetes diets, you can take steps to learn even more about making wise food choices. Together with exercise and medication, you can use what you eat as an effective tool for keeping your blood sugar levels within normal ranges. That is the best diabetes diet of all.

 

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Embarrassing Men's Health Questions…Answered!

(BlackDoctor.org) — Many people tend to focus on all health and body challenges that women face in their lifetimes, but the truth is that we all have unique problems that we have to deal with. Sure, women have a lot that they have to cope with, but this is not to say that men don’t have their own fair share of less-than-ideal issues.

Back Hair

By the mid-20s, a man will know his back hair destiny: barely there, a few tufts, or full and bushy. If you want to tame the shag, laser hair removal can thin back hair or remove it all, and the results are nearly permanent. Cheaper options include waxing, hair removal creams, and razors, with results that last up to a few weeks.

Beer Belly

You don’t have to drink beer to get a beer belly. Men are more likely to gain fat around the waist, so anything fattening can pad the paunch. Unfortunately, belly fat raises the risk of heart disease, especially if your waist size is more than 40 inches. But there is good news: If you follow a weight loss plan, belly fat is usually the first to go.

Excessive Sweating

Men have a higher “sweat output” than women. That’s a fact. But if you always need to wipe your hands or often sweat through your clothes, it may be more than a “guy” thing. It could be excessive sweating, called hyperhidrosis. Emotions or heat can trigger the downpour — or nothing at all. It usually affects the armpits, palms, or soles of the feet. Effective treatments are available through a health professional.

Unibrow

Now here’s a hair problem that affects men of all ages. The same hormones that make your beard grow can make your eyebrows so thick and bushy that they meet in the center. “Unibrow” is the most common reason young men get electrolysis. This procedure uses tiny electric shocks to permanently destroy the hair follicles. Waxing is another way to shape your brows, but it must be repeated every 4-6 weeks.

Razor Bumps

You work hard for that close shave. So it can be exasperating when small bumps mar your otherwise smooth skin. Razor bumps form when hairs curl back on themselves and grow into the skin. They’re most common in African-Americans and men with curly hair. To keep the bumps at bay, take a hot shower before shaving. Apply a thick gel, and always shave in the direction your beard grows.

Receding Hairline

The painful truth is most guys have noticeably thinner hair by age 35 and significant hair loss by age 50. The pattern usually begins with a receding hairline and may progress to bald spots on the top of the scalp. Hair restoration surgery offers a way to reduce bald patches. Or you can talk to your doctor about prescription medications for hair loss. But beware of other products that promise the moon.

Color Blindness

Color blindness usually does not mean seeing the world in black and white. The most common form makes it difficult to tell red from green, a problem that affects about 10 million American men. The way the condition is inherited makes it far less common in women. There’s no treatment, but most people can learn to work around the color confusion.

Snoring

Face the music: Snoring is a surefire way to disrupt your bed partner’s sleep, and men are more likely to be the perpetrators. In most cases, snoring is not harmful. But snoring regularly can chip away at the quality of your own sleep. It can also be a sign of a more serious problem called sleep apnea. If you feel snoring is disrupting you or your partner’s sleep, consult a doctor.

Belching

Burping may not be the picture of politeness in American society, but in some cultures a hearty belch shows appreciation for a good meal. In either case, burping a few times after eating is normal. It’s the body’s way of freeing the air that you’ve swallowed. Frequent burping combined with other symptoms, such as nausea or belly pain, could be a sign of a digestive disorder. Check with your doctor if the problem continues.

Gas

Perhaps no bodily function has inspired as many jokes as gas. While the sound and smell can be embarrassing, passing gas is harmless. It’s nothing more than air moving through the digestive tract or gas from the breakdown of food by bacteria in your gut coming out – well, we all know where.

Gas facts:

• Most people pass gas 6-20 times a day.
• Beer, soda, beans, and many fruits and vegetables are all likely to gas you up.
• Foods that cause gas differ for each person.

Body Odor

Whether you’re working hard or playing hard, any strenuous activity can result in strong body odor. The culprit is not sweat itself, but the bacteria that use sweaty skin as a breeding ground. You can fight the bacteria by showering regularly with soap and using antiperspirant. Also be sure to wash workout clothes often. If body odor persists, try avoiding smelly foods like garlic and onions.

Jock Itch

You don’t have to be a pro athlete to get jock itch. This fungal infection spreads easily at your local gym — or from another part of your own body. Hands, towels, and stepping into underwear are common culprits. The symptoms include a patchy rash on the groin or inner thighs, along with the telltale itching. It’s treated with nonprescription antifungal creams. Keeping the area dry and avoiding tight clothing helps to avoid a repeat engagement.

Athlete’s Foot

When the fungus that causes jock itch targets the feet, you have athlete’s foot. Walking barefoot in locker rooms or near pools is the most common way to pick up this infection. Symptoms include itching, burning, blisters, or cracks on the feet and toes. Athlete’s foot is treated with antifungal cream. If you have both jock itch and athlete’s foot, be sure to treat them at the same time.

Ingrown Nails

Grooming your nails may not be the highlight of your day, but it’s worth your time to get the job done right. Clumsy nail trimming is the top cause of ingrown toenails, which can cause pain, swelling, and infections. The most common mistake is trimming the nails too short. To avoid this, check your drugstore for nail “nippers” that are shaped to follow the natural curve of the nail.

Bad Breath

You probably know that smelly foods and smoking can sabotage your breath. But the most common culprit is bacteria. When you brush your teeth, brush your tongue as well to banish the bacteria that thrive there. If good hygiene doesn’t sweeten your breath, see your dentist and your doctor. Gum disease, dry mouth, or acid reflux could be part of the problem.

Sexual Dysfunction

Men may not be eager to discuss sexual troubles, but nearly a third of guys experience problems. This may include a sagging libido, premature ejaculation, or erectile dysfunction (ED). ED means a man is unable to develop or sustain an erection. Risk factors for ED include diabetes, heart disease, neurologic conditions, smoking, circulation problems, and some medications. Talk to your doctor if you have ED or other sexual problems to help evaluate the problem and recommend treatment.

Hearing Loss

Men are more likely to experience hearing loss than women, and noisy jobs may contribute. Think miners, carpenters, and soldiers. But any loud or continuous noise can damage delicate ear structures, including music piped in through ear buds. On the job, use special ear protection. Keep personal music players at or below 85 decibels (dB). Most can crank up to 105 dB, louder than a motorcycle, wood shop, or snowmobile.

Enlarged Prostate

Along with wrinkles and gray hair, an enlarged prostate is an unavoidable part of aging for many men. The medical term is benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, an enlargement of the gland that surrounds the urethra. This growth causes symptoms in about half of men over age 75. As the prostate grows, it may squeeze the urethra, making you feel nature’s call more often. There are strategies and medications to help reduce the symptoms.

Sure, it can be tough to be a guy, but by focusing on living a healthy lifestyle, and checking in with your doctor regularly, you can better handle most of life’s curve balls.