Should Restaurants Offer Diabetic Friendly Menus?

In a survey done in the year 2014, around 9.3% of the population was suffering from diabetes. That is about 29.1 million Americans. The most inconvenient thing about being diabetic is keeping track of everything that is consumed. This makes it difficult to “eat out” at a favorite restaurant. Most restaurants do not take into consideration any of the needs or preferences of the 29 million diabetics that visit their establishments. Generally, most of the restaurants are for non-diabetic individuals who do not have to manage and check what they eat. These establishments do not bother much about cooking food or preparing menu items that are diabetic-friendly.

Wait Times

Restaurants serving food to individuals with diabetes should keep in mind that the patients with a high (or low) glucose levels need to eat on time. Individuals that are diabetics likely take insulin injections or tablets, and within a certain time, they need to eat. Restaurants should understand this and should provide services accordingly. Restaurants should also be mindful of not keeping patrons waiting for too long. There should also be emergency medical kits in case anyone falls sick in the establishment.

Menu Redesign

Experienced chefs should redesign menus that are appropriate for consumption for those that suffer from diabetes. They should know and report on the menu the amount of sugar and salt that is in the food. Moreover, they should know and disclose which starchy items that may be included in meals. Menus should be more transparent and disclose exactly what is in their food. For many Americans, this is a crucial determinant in keeping their sugar levels in control.

Diabetic-Friendly Options

Restaurants should also provide diabetic-friendly options in their menus. Having diabetes does not mean eating having to eat tasteless or bland foods. Those with diabetes need to know that they have a high range of options too. With the increase in diabetes across the nations, our restaurants should be doing more to provide meals that everyone can enjoy, while still being healthy.

Choosing a Restaurant

There are certain important things that the diabetics should also remember while choosing to eat out:

  • They need to find out whether the restaurants they are visiting offer diabetic-friendly options. Research the restaurant and their menu beforehand.
  • They should not accept just anything that is available in the menu. They should be particular about the menus they are choosing.
  • They should not feel awkward letting the waiter know about food preparation preferences. It is very important to watch what you eat.
  • Be mindful about portion control.
  • Avoid the extras, and ask for substitutes when necessary.

Having diabetes has become a social problem and social responsibility. We all must work together to have a healthier nation. Restaurants can opt to include healthier options, but we have to opt to pick those healthy options. That is our personal responsibility. We all deserve to be healthy. That starts at the table.

Do you suffer from diabetes? How do you choose a restaurant?

Safety of New Medications for Diabetes

Diabetes is a major problem in the US, and the severity of this problem is rising on a daily basis. As per

some reports, nearly 9% of Americans are already suffering from diabetes. That is around 29 million

people. At the same time, 86 million more have already reached the prediabetes stage, where they have

high blood sugar but not high enough to suffer from type 2 diabetes.

The trend seems likely to continue due to unhealthy lifestyles and diets followed by Americans. In spite

of the best efforts of campaigns and providing information, many people are unaware that their

lifestyles can lead to this dangerous disease.

Medications have been available for fighting against the growing problem of diabetes for years.

However, their effectiveness leaves a lot to be desired. That is why continuous research takes place in

order to develop new medications and treatments for getting rid of diabetes. Currently, a new set of

medications have been approved by the FDA for use in treating type 2 diabetes. Two of them are

mentioned below.

Afrezza

Afrezza is available in the form of a powder and is meant to be inhaled. The action time for this drug is

incredibly fast. It is meant to be taken with meals so as to improve the glycemic control for adults

suffering from diabetes. Extensive studies have been performed with the drug. It has shown significant

improvements for patients of type 1 diabetes and even in patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. Blood

sugar levels were considerably reduced in both sets of patients.

However, there is a side effect to Afrezza due to its method of administration. Because it is meant to be

inhaled, it can lead to bronchospasm among patients who also suffer from chronic obstructive

pulmonary disease or asthma. Other possible side effects of this drug include cough, hypoglycemia and

throat pain or irritation. Doctors remain hesitant to prescribe this medication, and sentiment towards it

has been less than positive.

Tanzeum

Manufactured by GSK, Tanzeum is albiglutide which has been classified as a type of glucagon-like

peptide-1 receptor agonist. Glucagon-like peptide-1, or GLP-1 for short, is a hormone which can help

normalize the levels of blood sugar in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. Tanzeum will bind to the

GLP-1 so as to stimulate the release of insulin that is dependent on glucose. At the same time, the

release of glucagon, that boosts sugar levels, will be blocked. Tanzeum is meant to be administered by

injection. It is supposed to be used in conjunction with exercise and diet.

Tanzeum has been noticed to be effective after 8 clinical trials. It has even been tested alongside other

common treatments for type 2 diabetes. Albiglutide, the main component in Tanzeum, can cause side

effects ranging from mild to severe. Some of them include muscle pain, joint pains, cough, diarrhea and

loss of voice. It may also increase risk of thyroid cancer.

The fact remains that medications will not be enough to curb the increase in the number of diabetes

cases in America. People need to implement strict changes in their lifestyle and diet. Exercising and

maintaining strong control over weight is essential as well.

How Your Past Can Affect Diabetes

Diabetes is a potentially life-threatening chronic medical condition that has received a lot of attention in recent years because it currently affects one out of every ten U.S. adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recent research indicates that there may be risk factors previously unknown for Type 1 diabetes, which most commonly develops in children between the ages of 4 and 7 or 10 and 14, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as “adult onset diabetes,” is the form of the disease that has received the most attention. It has been linked to obesity and is considered preventable or manageable through life style changes — weight loss, exercise, diet, and medication. Researchers have recently determined that life events may affect the risk of Type 1 diabetes, as well.

Traumatic Life Events May Raise the Risk of Type 1 Diabetes

As reported in a recent article in Time Magazine, a study published in the journal Diabetologia revealed that children who experienced traumatic events, such as divorce of the parents, death in the family, accidents, or a move to a new home in early years had triple the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. The study involved 10,495 families who had children born between 1997 and 1999. Researchers asked the families to participate in follow-up sessions when their children were between the ages of 2 and 14.

Previously known risk factors for Type 1 diabetes stated by the Mayo Clinic include genetics, family history, geography, and age. The clinic also names other possible risk factors that have not been proven, including exposure to certain viruses, low levels of vitamin D, exposure to cow’s milk early in life, cereal and gluten in a baby’s diet, drinking water containing nitrates, and preeclampsia during pregnancy. Scientists engaged in the study adjusted for known Type 1 risk factors in arriving at their conclusions.

The Time article speculates that certain children may be genetically predisposed to develop Type 1 diabetes but the genetic triggers are not activated until the children experience major stress or trauma, such as the loss of a loved one. According to the article, high stress levels may cause a boost in the hormone cortisol, which causes the beta cells to work harder and produce more insulin. The immune system may see the excess of insulin as harmful and proceed to attack and destroy the beta cells.

Family Support May Help Reduce the Risk of Disease

Stressful situations and difficulties are part of life. Accidents and deaths in the family are not always within our control. In some cases, divorce is the best solution, and a move to a new location may be in the best interests of the family. The Time article suggests that supporting families who help each other through life’s difficulties may make help young children stay healthier and give them a better chance of avoiding chronic diseases such as Type 1 diabetes.

A Diabetes Drug May Help Obese Women Conceive And Have Healthier Children

Women who are suffering from obesity often have great difficulty in becoming pregnant. Many of these women choose to have infertility treatments to help them to conceive. Once the child or children are born, the children are much more prone to suffer from obesity themselves – a problem of great concern. A new diabetes drug that is currently in clinical trials may be the answer to this problem. Researchers who developed the new drug found that the problem originates in the mitochondria in the mother’s eggs.

What are Mitochondria?

Mitochondria are tiny compartments that are present in every cell in the body, and that perform many diverse and vital functions to keep the body healthy. One of the most critical functions is the conversion of the energy from food into energy that can be then be used by the cell. The mitochondria function almost like a miniature battery in cells, and when damaged, often self-destruct. The energy-making qualities of mitochondria is usually damaged in obese women, and this cell damage is also present in their eggs. The children are then born with damaged mitochondria, and a propensity for obesity, just like the mother.

Cellular stress can damage all parts of the body, including liver, pancreas and brain. A genetic mutation in the mice caused them to overeat and become obese. The scientists closely monitored the cell stress of these obese mice and whether the activity in the mitochondria was affected, as well as the eggs when used in IVF (in vitro fertilization). This led to the discovery that the mitochondria in the mice had been damaged. The mice born from these eggs also were found to have lower mitochondrial activity, and a higher propensity for obesity.

A new diabetes drug that is currently in clinical trials may have found a treatment for this problem. So far, the drug has proven to be effective when tested on obese mice, and showed lower levels of cellular stress and higher levels of mitochondrial activity. When the eggs of the obese mice treated with the drug (called BGP-15) were then fertilized and transferred to mouse “surrogate mothers,” they did not develop into overweight fetuses.

Both parents contribute DNA to a child, but the mitochondria from the mother’s eggs are the basis for the mitochondria developed in every cell in the child’s body. This diabetes drug may have shed a light on how obesity is passed onto children, and offer new hope to obese women hoping to conceive and have healthier children as well.

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Women With Type 1 Diabetes ‘Twice As Likely’ As Men To Die From Heart Disease

Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas is unable to produce adequate levels of insulin to convert sugars, starches and other types of foods into energy. The disease is widespread in the USA, with about 15,000 children and 15,000 adults being diagnosed yearly. The biggest increase of cases of the disease is in children. A recent study conducted by researchers from the School of Public Health in Queensland, Australia, revealed that women with Type 1 diabetes had a 37% higher risk of death from any cause than men, and twice the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, a 37% higher risk of stroke, and a 44% higher risk of dying from kidney disease than their male counterparts.

Type 1 diabetes is a serious condition, and is known to shorten the life expectancy of those who suffer from it. The reasons behind why women are far more likely to die of heart disease is not fully understood, and it may be years or decades before further research reveals the underlying reason for the greatly increased risk of death from heart disease and other conditions for women.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women who have diabetes, and they are twice as likely to suffer from a second heart attack as well as four times more likely to have heart failure than women without the disease. There are various risky behaviors that if avoided, can assist in reducing the risk, including the following:

  • No Smoking

  • Keep Blood Pressure in a Healthy Range

  • Stay at a Healthy Weight for Your Height

  • Exercise on a Regular Basis

  • Consume a Low-Fat Diet

  • Manage Diabetes Correctly

  • Know Your Family History

  • Stay Alert for Chest Pain or Other Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are 24.6 million adults with diabetes in 2010, and 12.6 million of these adults were women. As heart disease is known to be the most common complication associated with diabetes, it is not the sole problem that women suffering from the disease face. They are also at far higher risk of blindness, and have a much shorter life expectancy, with death rates three times higher than women who do not have diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed in children or young adults, but can also be found in persons of any age. It is an autoimmune disease that is believed to be caused by various factors, including genetic propensity, environmental issues or other unidentified factors. There is currently no method by which the disease can be prevented, and treatment will require the use of insulin. The disease is rampant, and the CDC reports that there are 21.0 million people suffering from some form of diabetes, and it estimates that there are currently 8.1 million people who have the disease have not yet been diagnosed. See your doctor and focus on living a healthy lifestyle. As the cause of the disease is unknown, this may be beneficial in avoiding it. If you have been diagnosed, carefully follow the advice of your doctor to reduce your chances heart disease as a complication.

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Diabetic Diet: Myths and Helpers

diabetic diet

Know what is in your food

Diabetes, without a doubt, makes it challenging for people to plan their diet and make sure they are not putting their health at risk. Among various theories and myths surrounding both types of diabetes, there several scientifically proven points that anyone with diabetes should know about. How to control your blood glucose levels and lead a balanced life? Here are several tips you can follow to avoid glucose crashes and sustain its healthy level.

Choose your Carbohydrates wisely

To control your blood glucose better, try to increase the intake of complex carbohydrates and reduce the intake of simple ones. Simple carbohydrates raise your glucose levels more quickly; however, the effect fades quickly, too. That is why a quick chocolate bar can do the trick for the moment but not for the whole day. To avoid glucose crash that tends to happen after having received an intake of simple carbohydrates, and to ensure more steady levels of glucose in your blood, consume more of complex carbohydrates. They take more time to digest and also contain more nutrients thus they are definitely the way to go.  Foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates are beans, whole-grain products, vegetables, brown rice, etc. Oatmeal for breakfast thus can keep up your blood sugar better than cornflakes with chocolate bits. Meals containing complex carbohydrates will also less likely result in food cravings as your glucose levels will not fluctuate so quickly.

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