There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Patients with type 1 diabetes struggle with insulin production because their immune systems actually destroy the cells that release insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps the body control the level of glucose in the blood. A lack of insulin means cells cannot absorb sugar (glucose) and use it properly for energy. Continue reading
It has been proven again and again that a high-sugar diet can lead to health problems such as weight gain, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Sugar also attacks another, very crucial, part of our bodies that we sometimes forget – the brain. Studies show that excessive intake of sugar (in any form) can impair cognitive abilities and have a damaging effect on memory.
Researchers at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) conducted a six-week test on rats to examine the effects sugar can have on the brain. A group of rats were given a fructose solution instead of drinking water, another group were given only water, and a third group were given the fructose solution along with Omega 3 fatty acids in the form of flaxseed and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
The rats in the fructose group had Continue reading
In an effort to cut refined sugar from their diets, many people gravitate towards other, seemingly healthy, options. Agave syrup is a popular go-to for those who know sugar is bad, but don’t want to sacrifice that sweet, sweet flavor.
Agave syrup is made from the blue agave plant, which is grown primarily in Mexico. The root of the plant is a starchy substance that, through enzyme, chemical and heat processing, produces a sweet syrup that has an almost honey-like consistency. Found in most grocery and health food stores, agave syrup is sold as a substitute for honey and other sweeteners. Sometimes flavoured, the syrups are sold in squeeze tube bottles, and customers are encouraged to go ahead and include it in baking recipes, or drizzle it over cereal or yogurt for a breakfast treat.
Oh, so sweet!
Although agave syrup actually contains more Continue reading
Sadly, Diabetes is now affecting more than 100 million people worldwide. In the US alone, 26 million people, or 8% of the population, have diabetes. And the fastest growing demographic affected by Type 2 diabetes is men.
First, let’s take a look at what diabetes is: diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body can't control blood glucose levels properly. Ideally, the digestive tract breaks down food into glucose (sugar). Once absorbed, it is then released into the blood. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, signals the cells to absorb the glucose from the bloodstream and use it for energy. Type 1 diabetes generally shows up in childhood, and is caused when the immune system attacks the insulin producing cells. In Type 2 diabetes, high blood glucose is generally caused by insulin resistance, (where the body does not use insulin efficiently), and insufficient insulin secretion by the pancreas.
The risk factors associated with developing Type 2 diabetes in one’s adult life are: being overweight or obese, storing fat in the abdomen (as opposed to in the hips or thighs), a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and red meat, and being physically inactive. So why are men at an increased level of attaining diabetes?
According to a recent study, one possible explanation is that men have to gain less weight than women to develop the condition. Women have a tendency to store more subcutaneous fat (under the skin) around their hips and thighs, while men tend to store fat in their abdomen. In this sense, women would need to gain more weight to develop Type 2 diabetes than men. Studies also show that the average BMI (Body Mass Index) for men at the time of diagnosis was 31.83 as opposed to the female’s higher BMI at 33.69
But there is hope! Making some simple changes can help, such as becoming active (even just start walking for 30-40 minutes a day) and eating a diet full of fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, low sugar and whole grains, getting enough rest, drinking water.