Other beneficial foods for diabetic patients

1. Almond: The use of almond, after its oil has been extracted, is considered beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. It does not contain any starch.

2. Banana: Bananas are believed to the useful in controlling diabetes. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, “Banana and Skimmed milk furnish a simple and effective method for weight reduction in treating diabetic patients”. Unripe bananas, cooked as a vegetable, are considered especially valuable in this disease.

3. Buttermilk: The use of the buttermilk has been found beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. Lactic Acid contained in it stimulates the secretion of the pancreas and thereby helps control blood sugar levels.

4. Flour: Certain whole grain cereals also help to lower blood sugar in diabetes. A mixture of certain flours made from cereals, grains, legumes, and pulses are especially beneficial. One such mixture can be prepared by combining the flour of soyabean, black gram, jowar, bajra, Bengal gram, wheat bran and barley. This mixed flour can be used for preparing chapattis.

5. Legumes: Lentils and other legumes are considered valuable in diabetes. According to American journal of Clinical Nutrition, they are specially effective in the diet of diabetes patients because of their slow release of energy.

6. Sour Fruits: Certain tart or sour fruits have proved to be valuable in stimulating the pancreas and increase the production of insulin. These fruits include sour apple and sour citrus fruits, which can invigorate pancreas.

7. Teas: Certain types of teas are considered beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. Tea prepared from parsley has been found to lower blood sugar. Certain communities use tea made from tender leaves of walnut for controlling diabetes.

8. Tomato: Tomato with its low carbohydrates contents is very good food for diabetic patients and for those who want to reduce their body weight. It is said to be very effective in controlling the percentage of sugar in the urine of diabetic patients.

More Aware Of Diabetes-Heart Disease Link

With diabetes on the rise, doctors are extremely concerned about associated risks such as heart disease and stroke, which together kill two out of three people with diabetes. Fortunately, a recent study indicates that more people with diabetes are making the link between diabetes and their increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

According to a 2005 awareness survey conducted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC), 45 percent of people with diabetes understand their increased risk for heart disease, which is up from 35 percent in 2001.

Experts believe even more awareness is needed, however. The ADA and ACC continue to work together to share important information, tools and resources to encourage people with diabetes-and health care providers-to learn more about the impact of diabetes on the heart.

Other findings from the 2005 ADA/ACC awareness survey show:

• 69 percent know they may develop high blood pressure (38 percent in 2001).

• 64 percent know they are at risk for cholesterol problems (37 percent in 2001).

Importantly, more people with diabetes are talking to their health care providers about managing diabetes comprehensively:

• 45 percent of people with diabetes now have a goal for blood glucose levels (30 percent in 2003).

• 57 percent have a goal for blood pressure (34 percent in 2003).

• 61 percent have a goal for cholesterol (34 percent in 2003).

These figures are encouraging, but awareness may not be moving fast enough to keep pace with the growing prevalence of diabetes.

Recent statistics indicate diabetes has risen by over 14 percent since last estimates in 2003. The need for increased education and awareness about the link between diabetes and heart disease is now more critical than ever.

Armed with the best information, people with diabetes can properly manage their diabetes, understand their risks for complications such as heart disease and stroke, and take action to live a longer, healthier life.

Quick Guide To Understanding Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatlike substance which is found in the tissue of humans and other animals. It plays important roles in cell membrane structure, certain hormones, and manufacturing vitamin D. Our livers procude all of the cholesterol that we need for these important functions. Excess cholesterol can contribute to antherosclerosis or clogging of the arteries.

Cholesterol is found in all food from animal sources: meat, eggs, fish, poultry, and dairy products. Some animal foods contribute substantial amounts of cholesterol, while others contribute only small amounts. There is no cholesterol in any plant-derived foods. Excess dietary cholesterol can increase blood cholesterol, which can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

You’ll often hear cholesterol referred to as either good cholesterol or bad cholesterol. To help in our understanding of the two and their differences, we first need to define the word “lipoproteins.” These are packets of proteins, cholesterol, and triglycerides that are assembled by the liver and circulated in the blood. When we talk about LDL cholesterol, we’re referring to low density lipoprotein cholesterol. And when we refer to HDL cholesterol, we’re referring to high density lipoprotein cholesterol.

LDL cholesterol, often referred to as “bad cholesterol,” carried cholesterol through the bloodstream, dropping it off where it’s needed for cell building and leaving behind any unused residue of cholesterol as plague on the walls of the arteries.

HDL cholesterol, often referred to as “good cholesterol,” picks up the cholesterol which has been deposited in the arteries and brings it back to the liver for reprocessing or excretion.

You can easily understand why there’s a distinction between good and bad cholesterol now that you understand the unique functions of each.

Saturated fats are usually from animal products such as lard, fats in meat and chicken skin, butter, ice cream, milk fat, cheese, etc. Tropical oils such as coconut oil and palm oil are also highly saturated. These fats are usually solid at room temperature. You’ve undoubtedly heard from somewhere that you should keep your saturated fats to a minimum, but do you know why? Because these fats tend to increase your blood cholesterol levels, which in turn increases your risk of coronary heart disease.

Hydrogenated fats are those liquid vegetable oils than have been turned into solid saturated fats through a chemical process. These fats also contribute to your blood cholesterol levels.

Polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and derived from plants. Examples: safflower, corn, soybean, cottenseed and sunflower oils. Polyunsaturated fats tend to lower LDL (your bad cholesterol), but in excess can also lower your HDL (good cholesterol).

Monounsaturated fats are also derived from plants. These include olive oils and canola oil. Replacing the saturated fats in your diet with monounsaturated fats can help to lower your LDL (again, bad cholesterol) without lowering your HDL (good cholesterol). This is why monounsaturated fats are a healthy choice for your heart. However, keep in mind that too much of any form of fat can contribute to obesity.

The bottomline: whenever you’re making a choice about the fats you use, keep in mind that good heart health depends on keeping your LDL cholesterol low while maintaining your HDL cholesterol.