Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Carbohydrates in the Diabetes Diet PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Dennis Thompson Jr. and Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH   
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 09:25
Carbs count in a diabetes diet because they directly affect blood glucose levels. If you're not producing enough insulin to regulate those levels, serious medical issues can develop.

When you have diabetes, following a careful diabetes diet is a key aspect of diabetes management, and controlling carbohydrate intake is an essential part.

Along with proteins and fats, carbohydrates are one of the three major components of food. Your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, which your cells burn for energy. Since glucose is transported to cells through your bloodstream, eating carbohydrates will cause your blood glucose level to increase.

Because carbohydrates directly affect your blood sugar level, eating too many carbs — or the wrong sort of carbs — can undo whatever other actions you’re taking to keep your diabetes in check.

How Carbs Affect Different Diabetes Types

It's important to control your carbohydrate intake no matter which of the three major forms of diabetes you have:

  • Type 1 diabetes. If you have this type of diabetes, you cannot produce insulin, a hormone that helps cells use glucose. That means you must take insulin and other medication to regulate blood sugar. A healthy diabetes diet with controlled carbohydrate intake will make it easier to predict when you will need to administer insulin and how much to use.
  • Type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes have developed a resistance to insulin, often due to obesity or poor diet. By maintaining steady blood sugar levels through carb counting, you may be able to reduce the amount of insulin or medication you need or avoid taking the drugs altogether.
  • Gestational diabetes. If you develop diabetes during pregnancy, you need to count carbs because unchecked blood sugar levels can damage the fetus as well as your own body.

Diabetes Management: Carbs and the Diabetes Diet

There are three main types of carbohydrates:

  • Sugars, often called simple carbohydrates, are converted quickly to glucose. Think of them as dry wood in a fire, burning fast and hot.
  • Starches, often called complex carbohydrates, are formed by long chains of sugars and take longer for your body to break down into glucose. Think of them as big logs that burn slowly in a fire.
  • Fiber is present in different amounts in all plant-based foods, especially in whole grains (starches). It’s great for digestive health, but because it isn’t digested the way the other two types of carbs are, fiber grams don’t count in your carb totals.

People with diabetes need to count all the starch and sugar carbohydrates they take in every day as part of their diabetes management plan. The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetics eat around 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal, although you should consult with your diabetes care team to determine the right amount of carbohydrates to fit your needs and lifestyle.

Most of your carbohydrates should come in the form of starchy carbohydrates, which will convert into glucose more slowly and help your blood sugar remain steady. Healthy choices include whole grains, beans, and lentils, and starchy vegetables like peas, corn, and potatoes. Avoid refined starches like white flour or white rice, as they tend to burn as fast as sugars.

Some of your carbohydrates still can come in the form of sugars, particularly if they are natural sugars in healthy foods like low-fat dairy products, fruits, or vegetables. Just avoid added sugars such as table sugar and the high-fructose corn syrup and other types of sugars you’ll find in sodas, sweets, and other processed foods.

To keep track of your carbohydrates, you need to read the nutrition facts label included on most packaged foods. Check out the serving size to figure out how much constitutes one serving, and then scan down to find the total amount of carbs contained in a serving. Usually, the label also will show how many of those carbs are sugars and how many are dietary fiber, which helps to slow the release of sugar. Always read the ingredient label closely because product names can be deceiving — for instance, you may find a number of different forms of sugar in a processed food that isn’t even a sweet.

You need to be a part-time detective to find out all the facts about carbs, but your undercover work will make it much easier to manage diabetes.

 
World Alzheimers Month PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 29 August 2014 15:49

5 Brain-Health Tips from Bodybuilding Neurosurgeon
During World Alzheimer’s Month, Take Steps
to Care for Your Most Vital Organ

As a fitness expert and neurosurgeon, Dr. Brett Osborn says he appreciates the growing public interest in general health and fitness. Now, he says, that attention needs to extend to arguably our most essential organ – the brain.

“There are several, multi-billion dollar industries out there dedicated to burning fat and building muscle; cognitive health, on the other hand, has been largely overlooked,” says Osborn, author of “Get Serious, A Neurosurgeon’s Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness,” www.drbrettosborn.com.

“Of course, any good health expert is quick to remind readers that it’s all connected. For example, what’s good for the heart will be, directly or indirectly, good for the brain.”

September’s an appropriate time to talk brain health: its World Alzheimer’s Month, and it’s the beginning of football season. By now, we know that football players in the NFL, college and even high school suffer considerable head trauma, whether through big hits resulting in concussions or moderate, repeated blows, he says.

It’s also soccer season in other parts of the world. Concern continues to mount about the neurological damage done to players from repeated headers, where the ball is hit by the head. The long-term effects, including depression and other mental-health problems, are similar to those suffered by American football players, he says.

“Sports can impart great habits to kids, including discipline, fellowship and an emphasis on strength and endurance,” says Osborn, a bodybuilder and father. “As our children return to school and sports, health-care providers, coaches and parents need to make it a top priority to protect our student-athletes’ brains.”

Osborn offers five tips to help everyone maintain brain health:

•  Learn new skills. “Just as with other health concerns, brain health should be rooted in the prevention of disease,” he says. Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease, the causes of which, and the cure, are unknown. However, it’s widely thought that brain stimulation and activity can delay the onset of the disease. The acquisition of a new skill – whether it’s learning to play an instrument or taking up waterskiing – exercises the brain “muscle.”

•  Commit to actual exercise. Everyone knows that exercise helps protect the heart, but not everyone knows that physical activity is also good for the brain. The brain is not a muscle, but it can be worked as muscle is worked during exercise, which forges new neuron pathways.

“Let’s face it, there is a component of learning in exercise,” Osborn says. “You cannot master the squat overnight; the brain has to change. Neuronal connections, or ‘synapses,’ are formed through very complex biophysical mechanisms. That takes time.”

•  Don’t sweat stress. There is such a thing as good stress, including the acute bodily stress involved in strength training. Of course, there’s the bad stress, such as psychological stress associated with work or interpersonal relationships, and environmental stress, derived from pesticide-laden food – toxins. As always, you have a choice. You don’t have to accept mental stress in your life. Reconsider toxic relationships. Rethink how you handle pressure at work. Perhaps adopt a lunchtime exercise routine.

•  Fuel a better body and brain. “I don’t believe in ‘diets,’ ” Osborn says. “Fit individuals were around for eons before the term existed, and I associate the term with temporary and, often, self-destructive behaviors.”

Again, it’s all connected. A healthy balance of food and activity will inevitably be good for the entire body: the heart, skeleton, muscles, brain, etc. Proper nutrition is a natural mood enhancer, and good health will inevitably improve self-esteem.

•  Feed your head with smart drugs. Some pharmaceuticals may help enhance cerebral blood flow and increase concentration, including Hydergine, Deprenyl and Prozac, to name a few. Ask your doctor about these. There are also over-the-counter smart drugs to consider. Piracetam is one of the oldest and has been shown to have a variety of positive effects in patients with cognitive disorders like dementia and epilepsy. Vinpocetine has potent anti-inflammatory effects, and inflammation is a key component in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, and others. You may also want to check out gingko biloba and pregnenolone.

About Dr. Brett Osborn

Brett Osborn is a New York University-trained, Board-Certified neurological surgeon with a secondary certification in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. He holds a CSCS honorarium from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Dr. Osborn specializes in scientifically based nutrition and exercise as a means to achieve optimal health and preventing disease. He is the author “Get Serious, A Neurosurgeon’s Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness,” www.drbrettosborn.com.

 
Humane Cosmetics Act Highlights the Cost of Beauty – Paid By Animals PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 13:39
4 Unnecessary Tests that Harm or Kill Animals

More and more, we are living in an age of information, the substance of which is increasingly difficult to ignore, says animal rights advocate Santosh Krinsky.

Are our coffee and chocolate products fair trade? Were poor workers in developing countries brutalized in the process of making our clothes? How was the food sourced in the groceries we buy, and what exactly is in it, anyway?

Increasingly, the answers to these questions matter to more consumers, Krinsky says.

In the same vein, Rep. Jim Moran is sponsoring the Humane Cosmetics Act, which would phase out animal testing for U.S.-made cosmetics within a year and imported cosmetics within three years.

“Consumers value cosmetics and manufacturers want them to be safe for daily use, but we do not have to blind, maim and kill scores of animals to ensure our beauty-enhancing products won’t hurt us,” says Krinsky, head of the international personal-care brand Beauty Without Cruelty (www.beautywithoutcruelty.com) -- the first to ban animal-testing for its products in 1963. BWC’s products are all produced with no animal testing and contain no animal ingredients.

“In the past, testing was done on dogs, but now it’s done on rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats. These are conscious creatures with the capacity for immense suffering. Think about it: Tests are done on these animals because they are biologically similar to us. Doesn’t that also mean we should be especially empathetic to their suffering?”

Krinsky, who recently partnered with the Humane Society of the United States’ “Be Cruelty-Free” campaign, urges voters to call their U.S. representative and ask for him or her to vote in favor of H.R. 4148. Follow up with a personalized mail or email asking reiterating your request.

He reviews some of the tests that mainstream cosmetic companies still commonly conduct on animals.

•  Acute dermal toxicity … uses 20 rabbits, guinea pigs or rats to determine how much substance causes half of the tested animals to die within two weeks of exposure. A chemical is applied to their shaved skin for 24 hours, and a patch is used to cover the area so they do not lick or clear off the tested area.

•  Eye irritation or corrosion … tests one to three rabbits; a chemical is applied to their eyes to determine how severe the resulting irritation or damage. The exposure tests for signs of redness, ulcers, bleeding, blindness and other forms of damage.

•  Developmental toxicity … examines either 480 rabbits – 100 adult females and 480 kittens (babies) – or 1,300 rats – 100 adult females and 1,200 pups – to test for birth defects. Usually by force-feeding, a pregnant female is exposed at the beginning of an implemented pregnancy; exposure persists throughout the term. She is then killed on the day before she is expected to give birth, which is about 22 days for rats, or 31 days for rabbits. Her young are extracted and evaluated for signs of developmental abnormalities.

•  Acute oral toxicity … subjects seven rats to determine how much of a chemical causes half of the exposed animals to die within 14 days of exposure, when the substance is swallowed. The rats are force-fed the substance, causing them to experience convulsions, diarrhea, bleeding from the mouth, seizures, paralysis and sometimes death.

“The European Union has already banned cosmetics that use these practices, and I think Rep. Moran’s efforts are a sign of things to come here in the U.S.,” Krinsky says. “In fact, many consumers prefer lipstick, mascara, shampoo, lotion and other products consisting of material that’s so safe that they don’t require animal testing.”

About Santosh Krinsky

Santosh Krinsky has been in the natural products industry since 1974. He has founded and built a number of companies that offer positive alternatives to the toxins and environmentally unfriendly ingredients found in many products, while focusing his attention on developing awareness about the issue of animal testing of cosmetics, which he opposes. Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) products brand www.beautywithoutcruelty.com was founded in England in 1963 by BWC Charitable Trust, an animal welfare organization. Lotus Brands obtained the American rights to the BWC brand in 2010. BWC Features a complete line of hair, skin and facial/body care products and an extensive range of color cosmetics.

 
GOV. QUINN SIGNS FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND BILL THAT REQUIRES TRANSPARENCY ON THE EXCHANGE PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Katelyn Yoshimoto   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 13:37

Bill Streamlines Access to Medication, Improves Consumer Health

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – HB3638, designed to streamline the medication coverage approval process by insurance companies and improve transparency on the Exchange, was signed into law by Governor Quinn earlier this week and becomes effective immediately. The bill aims to improve the state's Health Exchange by requiring insurers to provide consumers with additional information about insurance coverage and medication costs in each plan.

It also guarantees that a prior authorization request for medications must be approved or denied by an insurance company within 72 hours, improving a bottleneck that has resulted in massive and dangerous delays for patients to get the medications prescribed by their doctors.

“Access to medication and transparency around this process is critical for many – it affects their ability to go to work, care for their families and live their day-to-day lives,” said Rep. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, the chief sponsor of the legislation in the House. “The signing of this legislation is a huge win for patients across Illinois, eliminating what sometimes can be weeks of delay waiting for crucial medications.”

The legislation was supported by dozens of health advocacy organizations in Illinois, including the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, American Nurses Association Illinois, Arthritis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, Epilepsy Foundation of North-Central Illinois, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Southern Illinois, Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention, Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago and several mental health advocacy organizations such as Mental Health America and Mental Health Summit.

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Why Your Kid Shouldn’t Be Guzzling ‘Energy’ Drinks PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 08:22
Vitamins & Minerals are Safer and More Effective than
Artificial Stimulants, Says Food Science Expert

Anxiety, hypertension, elevated heart rates, interrupted sleep patterns and headaches are just some of the side effects commonly associated with energy drinks, and those problems are more pronounced in children, according to a recent University of Miami study.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These drinks have also been linked to heart palpitations, strokes and sudden death.

The term “energy” drink is an unfortunate misnomer, says food science expert Budge Collinson. They don’t give your body energy; they stimulate you with brief jolts of caffeine and unregulated herbal stimulants, he says.

“Soccer moms and dads buy these ‘stimulant’ drinks for their kids before matches because both kids and parents want that competitive advantage,” says Collinson, founder of Infusion Sciences and creator Youth Infusion, (www.drinkyouthinfusion.com), an effervescent, natural multivitamin beverage that helps people maintain consistent and healthy higher energy levels.

“For a few moments, you’ll get that spike, but it’s a short-term experience with a heavy long-term toll.”

So, what are some ways kids can get a healthy energy boost? Collinson offers the following tips.

•  Go for a speedy bike ride together, take a brisk walk or hold foot-races in the yard. Numerous studies demonstrate the power of vigorous exercise in boosting energy. Exercise pumps more oxygen – pure, healthy fuel -- into the bloodstream and to the brain and muscles for a short-term energy boost. Exercising regularly will increase lung capacity, so the body will gets more oxygen on a sustained level for the long term. Exercise also releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemical, which makes us feel happy. And happy people are energized people.

•  Seek nutrition from a variety of sources. As humans, we need more than 40 different vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies functioning optimally. Since there is no single food that contains them all, it is important for children and adults to eat a variety, including as many different vegetables and fruits as possible. Adding a daily multivitamin supplement with essentials such as CoQ10, arginine, theanine, resveratrol and magnesium can help ensure bodies young and old are running at top speed.

•  Drink plenty of water – the natural energy drink. Even mild dehydration can leave children (and adults) feeling listless, so encourage children to make a habit of drinking plenty of water. Kids need more water than adults because they expend more energy, and they may not recognize when they’re slightly thirsty. Parents, too, often don’t recognize the signs of dehydration; a national survey of more than 800 parents of kids ages of one month to 10 years found that more than half feel they don’t know enough about dehydration. A quick, light pinch of the skin on the child’s hand or arm is an easy check. If the skin is slow to resume a smooth appearance, the child is likely at least mildly dehydrated.

About Budge Collinson

Budge Collinson was the beneficiary of his mother’s natural health formula as a sick baby, which led to a deep interest in health and wellness at a young age. After years of research and seeing the growing demand for natural products with clinical support, he founded Infusion Sciences, www.infusionsciences.com. Collinson earned a bachelor’s degree in food and resource economics from the University of Florida and certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Recently, he became a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and consistently attends the Natural Products Expo, where he learns the latest science and news about nutritious ingredients. Collinson is also a go-to source for media outlets across the country for healthy lifestyle and food source discussions.

 
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