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Archive for March, 2009

Cinnamon and Diabetes

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

For several years now I’ve been hearing that Cinnamon was good for Diabetics.  There have been only a handful of studies on the subject.  Each of the studies looked at different groups and had different results.  One of my biggest questions was finally answered.  HOW MUCH CINNAMON DO YOU NEED TO TAKE EVERY DAY?

Published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2003 one study evaluated 60 people with type2 diabetes around the age of 50. They were divided into six groups of 10 patients each.  Half received Cinnamon, half received a placebo.

Treatment lasted 40 days. Researchers analyzed fasting glucose, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol.  The cinnamon groups reductions in fasting glucose (down18% to 29%), triglycerides (down 23% to 30%), LDL cholesterol (down 7% to 27%) and total cholesterol (down 12% to 26%) were reported. 

A German study evaluated 65 patients with type 2 diabetes.  This study was similar to the one above except half of the patients received placebo while the other half all received 3 grams (2/3 teaspoon) of cinnamon daily for four months. In this study no difference between the two groups was reported for LDL or HDL cholesterol, triglycerides or HgbA1c. Fasting glucose levels dropped about 7 percent more in the group receiving cinnamon.

In the spring of 2006, another study of cinnamon appeared in the Journal of Nutrition. This study evaluated 25 post-menopausal women with type 2 diabetes who were treated with 1.5 grams (1/3 teaspoon) of cinnamon daily for six weeks. Cinnamon was not associated with a significant change in insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance or cholesterol profile.

Bottom line,  the evidence is not conclusive today.  You’ll need to take around 2 teaspoons per day over a sustained period to see if it helps you.

Nutrition Labels LIE!!!

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

It’s not enough that we have become more diligent about eating and paying attention to the ingredients in our food.  We must root out the deceptive serving sizes and focus on realistic claims made on nutrition labels.  You’ve probably heard that anything can be justified with numbers and we do it all the time.  It amazes me when I look at the claims manufacturers make and then I look at the label and I feel like they are lying to me.

Look for yourself.  Next time you grab that muffin, chips or other food item.  How much is a serving.  Often you’ll see 1/2 of a muffin, or 1/4 cup of granola or 7 chips.  It’s time to vote for foods with a realistic serving size.  After all in today’s world where everything has been super-sized how often do you just eat half a muffin or ACTUALLY measure 1/4 cup?  I don’t and I have yet to find someone else that does in the normal course of a day.

It’s ok the cheat on your eating plan once in a while when you know you are, but because of these rediculously small serving size listings on the Nutrition Facts panel of food you are probably being deceived WAY more than you are cheating.  Don’t fall for the trick.  Know your food and buy the ones that calculate realistic serving sizes.

Who needs Blood Sugar?

Monday, March 16th, 2009

You and I do!  A fundamental element that we all need in our bodies is sugar.  Sugar IS Energy.  It powers our bodies so we can live.  Movement requires energy but where does this energy come from?  Energy in the form of sugar is created by the process of converting food to sugar.  Sugar is also created by your Liver.  On an as needed basis for short term consumption your liver(primarily) creates a substance called Glycogen. 

Glycogen is a starch that causes your blood sugar to rise and enables your body to have additional energy as needed.  For years I had no idea that this occurred in my body.  I have found that when my blood sugar is higher than it should be that walking brings my sugar down.  What really confused me was that I found my blood sugar to be higher after a strenuous workout. 

When running and working up a good sweat my blood sugar would be higher after my workout.  It wasn’t until after I learned about Glycogen that I understood what was happening.  Since the muscles utilize sugar in your blood as energy your liver makes sure there is an adequate supply when you press your body to workout harder.   Check your sugar before and after you workout.  If you find that your numbers are higher after a workout, this may be why.

There goes another toe!

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

I recently spoke to a woman that is married to a diabetic.  She quickly told me that she loved the granola bars and that she needed some for her husband that “NEVER eats anything that is good for him”.  I was not surprised when I heard this, it is a common theme for many Diabetics.  I asked her how she responds when her husband eats poorly, her response was “there goes ANOTHER toe”.

It amazes me how often the people that love us go negative and think that’s going to help us.  There is absolutely a psychological component to managing your diabetes and it includes being positive and knowing that the people that care for us will support our situation.  My response to this woman was simple, STOP THAT!  Show your husband you love him by making sure the right foods are available at home and to stop reprimanding him when he selects a poor choice.

True as a diabetic he may have physical problems if his diabetes is not well controlled, but to get him to control his urges and make them less frequent you must think about how you’d react when someone jumps on you for eating wrong treat him the way that you’d want to be treated.  No one wants to hear the negative stuff all the time.  Be positive and you’ll reap the rewards of better health and more happiness.


Sunday, March 1st, 2009

It’s going to be OK! 

Yesterday I spoke at our local Whole Foods in Valencia.  My talk was entitled “Eating for Diabetes and Good Health”.  We had a standing room only attendance so make sure you RSVP when we schedule our next talk.  

What if you’ve just been diagnosed with Diabetes and you didn’t know what it was?  This was the case for the mom of a beautiful 7 year old that attended my workshop.  Just 2 weeks ago her daughter was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes.  Looking for resources her Chiropractor recommended she attend the event.  While everyone in the room was attentive, I noticed how attentive this woman was.

After the meeting she shared her touching story with me.  Her physician was not thinking there was a blood sugar issue, so when the tests came back the next day, she was told to rush her daughter to the hospital and that they were ready to receive her daughter.  If that’s not enough of a shock for anyone to live with learning to manage the day to day and 3AM insulin injections she is waking up to give her daughter have been.

They are in the honeymoon period and it’s really not fun.  I just wanted to commend this woman on her level headedness and ability to manage this difficult situation.  I was impressed at how nicely they are progressing and know that soon they will have a more normal life.  Life with Diabetes changes things.  This is their opportunity to improve the health of their entire family and make lemonade out of the lemons they’ve been handed.