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Archive for February, 2012

Monounsaturated fatty Acids (MUFA), omega-3 fatty acids – how do they rate?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Being diagnosed with Diabetes can be frightening; in just a few minutes, your whole world changes. You’re handed so much information and processing it can be overwhelming. The biggest thing you are going to have to do is change your diet.

Eating healthy is just plain good for you; there are so many different foods that you should and should not eat, it can be confusing when you first decide to switch to a low GI diet. The thing to remember is balance. There is healthier “good” fat and unhealthy “bad” fat.

According to a study that appeared in Diabetes Care, a journal published by the American Diabetes Association, a diet rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFA) may help reduce abdominal fat better than a carbohydrate rich diet.

When test subjects ate a carbohydrate-enriched diet, they tended to accumulate fat in the abdomen. When they ate a diet that had more MUFA, abdominal fat concentration decreased, even without exercise.

Monounsaturated fatty acids are a ‘good fat’; they are plant-based fats that are found in some of the world’s most delectable foods:

  • * Avocado
  • * Nuts and seeds
  • * Oils- olive, safflower, peanut oil…
  • * Olives
  • * Dark chocolate

Many studies show that these good-for-you fats enhance heart health and protect against chronic disease. The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services recommend that fat make up no more than 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Consuming monounsaturated fatty acids may help lower your risk of heart disease by improving associated risk factors. For instance, MUFAs may lower your total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. MUFAs may also help normalize blood clotting. And some research shows that MUFAs may also benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have type 2 diabetes.

Omega-3 fatty acids are another type of ‘good’ fat; they are poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Studies show that a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids may help lower triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Omega 3 fatty acids may also act as an anticoagulant to prevent blood from clotting. Several other studies also suggest that these fatty acids may help lower high blood pressure.

The benefits of omega-3s include reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke while helping to reduce symptoms of hypertension, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain and other rheumatoid problems, as well as certain skin ailments. Some research has even shown that omega-3s can boost the immune system and help protect us from an array of illnesses including Alzheimer’s disease.



Cardioprotective Diet for Diabetes

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

A Cardioprotective diet is simply a diet plan that lowers your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and Heart attacks. There are certain foods that should be added to your diet to lower your risk. In the United States today, there are twenty six million Americans that have Diabetes and another seventy nine million are at risk for developing it.

Incorporating whole grains into your diet is an excellent way to stay healthy, especially for people with Diabetes. If you have Diabetes, you know that special attention needs to be paid to your diet.

There have been a number of studies that conclude that people whose diet includes whole grains can lower their risk of developing type 2 Diabetes by as much as thirty four percent. The studies indicate that whole grains allow the body to digest it more slowly therefore reducing the amount of glucose that is released into the bloodstream.

Some of the benefits of whole grain are:

  • *Low in saturated fat but is a source of polyunsaturated fats, including omega 3 linolenic acid
  • *Cholesterol free
  • *High in both soluble and insoluble fibre and resistant starch
  • *An excellent source of heart healthy carbohydrates
  • *A significant source of protein
  • *A good source of B-complex vitamins, including folate
  • *A good source of many minerals – such as iron, magnesium, copper, phosphorus and zinc
  • *A good source of antioxidants, including vitamin E and selenium

You do not have to throw away all the food in your cabinet; by simply changing the cereal you purchase to whole grain is taking the first steps. There are so many different options. Keeping a positive outlook on dietary changes is important.

People with Diabetes need to protect themselves because they are at a higher risk of developing life threatening disease such has heart Disease and Coronary Artery Disease, a condition brought on by years of eating a poor diet. Over the years, fatty deposits or ‘plaques’ build up inside one or both of the coronary arteries (atherosclerosis). This constant silting narrows the artery, until a blood clot blocks the passage of blood altogether causing a heart attack.

Studies show that whole grains indicate that they offer greater protection against the risk of heart attack than the fiber from fruits and vegetables; this is crucial to Diabetics.

A study conducted at Harvard on postmenopausal women found that eating at least one serve of whole grains daily reduced the risk of heart and blood vessel disease by almost 30% compared to those who rarely ate whole grains.

Diabetes is a horrible disease that affects almost every part of your body; it can take its toll on you both physically and financially.  If all it takes is to make dietary changes, then why not consider making these changes.