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10 Foods And Drinks To Help Manage Blood Sugar

The Kashmir Monitor

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If you have prediabetes or diabetes, the right diabetic meal plan is key to managing blood sugar levels. Sometimes, it can be tricky to choose the right foods and drinks as part of your diabetic. Here is a list which will make your choice easier

1. Beans (Of Any Kind!)

Whether they’re lentils, kidney, pinto, black or garbanzo; beans have a low glycemic index, which means the carbohydrates are released gradually and hence they’re less likely to cause aspike in the blood sugar levels. According to a recent study, eating a cup of beans daily for three months as part of a low-glycemic index diet lowered HbA1c levels by half a percentage point.

 

2. Apples

Many people think that there is no room fruits in a diabetic diet but this isn’t true. One can consume fruits with a low or medium glycemic indexlike apples. Eating an apple a day also has other benefits – they are high in fiber, vitamin C and are fat-free too! Not to mention an easy portable snack option.

Tip: Toss an apple in your lunch bag or grab one between meals. Bake them and add cinnamon for a warm treat.

3. Ensure® Diabetes Care

When you’re having a hectic day it can be difficult to eat right. Ensure Diabetes Care can make things easier. Made by Abbott, it has carbohydrates that are slowly digested and absorbed to help minimize blood sugar spikes. With fewer than 230 calories per serve it’s a smart and portion controlled choice.

Tip: Carry a serve of Ensure Diabetes Care powder in your shaker(to be consumed with water) so you always have a healthy snack on hand — no matter how busy your day is.

4. Almonds

These crunchy nuts are rich in magnesium, a mineral that may help your body2 use its own insulin more effectively. Try including about one ounce (about 23 whole nuts) almonds in our diet which supplies nearly 20 percent3 of your daily dose of this blood sugar-balancing mineral. Plus, nuts like almonds are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, protein, and fiber, which makes them a great snack for diabetics.

Tip: For healthy snacking on-the-go, pack 30g almonds into single-serve containers.

5. Spinach

This leafy green has 21 calories per cooked cup and is filled with blood sugar-friendly magnesium and fiber4. You can also enjoy spinach raw, sautéed with olive oil, cooked or blended making it a versatile choice!

Tip: Toss a andful of baby spinach into your smoothie or use it in place of lettuce in salads.

6. Chia Seeds

You might have heard that losing or managing weight is one of the best things you can do to improve your blood sugar levels. Chia seeds will help you do exactly that.

In a recent study5, it was found that people with diabetes who added about an ounce of chia seeds to a calorie controlled diet for six months shed four pounds and trimmed an inch-and-a-half from their waistlines. Besides being packed with fiber, these gems also contain protein and provide 18 percent of your recommended daily intake of calcium.

Tip: Combine a quarter-cup of chia seeds with one cup of 1 percent or non-fat milk and one-half cup of diced fruit. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy for breakfast the next morning.

7. Blueberries

Blueberries contain compounds that have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and help improve how your body uses insulin. As per a recent study, eating the equivalent of about 2 cups of blueberries daily improved insulin sensitivity in overweight people with insulin resistance. They’re also a great source of fiber and other nutrients such as vitamin C and antioxidants.

Tip: Take alf a cup of fresh blueberries (or defrosted, frozen blueberries) and spoon over plain, unsweetened yogurt. You can also add a cup of blueberries to your smoothie.

8. Oatmeal

Oatmeal isn’t just good for your heart, it can also help control blood sugars. Just like apples, steel cut and rolled oats have a low glycemic index7. Just keep in mind that while steel cut and rolled oats are great picks whereas highly processed, instant and quick oats tend to be higher on the glycemic index so they’re not as blood sugar-friendly.

Tip: Opt for steel or rolled oats cooked oatmeal with masala as a savoury option and with blueberries for a sweet option and enjoy a hearty, hot breakfast.

9. Turmeric

This golden spice contains curcumin, a substance that can keep your pancreas healthy and prevent prediabetes from turning into Type 2 diabetes. Researchers, while conducting a study, gave participants who had prediabetes 1500 mg of a curcumin supplement daily or a placebo for nine months. It was found that 16 percent of people in the placebo group went on to become diabetic, while the entire curcumin group remained diabetes free. This study8 provides some insight into how an ancient spice like turmeric can help improve how the body can improve its sensitivity to insulin.

Tip: Curry powder is filled with turmeric, soload up on your favourite food and be sure not to miss your daily dose of turmeric.

10. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea has long been used for a variety of ailments. Existing research shows that it has antioxidant and anticancer properties, and a recent study found that it may help manage blood sugar levels as well. When participants in the study9 drank one cup of chamomile tea after meals three times per day for six weeks, they showed a reduction in blood sugar levels, insulin, and insulin resistance.

Tip: Replace an after-dinner cocktail with a freshly brewed cup of chamomile tea. Try adding a slice of lemon for flavor and an extra dose of vitamin C.

With these tasty foods and drinks optimal blood sugar management is in your hands!

Courtesy NDTV


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Health

Balanced protein intake better for health

The Kashmir Monitor

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Researchers suggest that excessive consumption of protein for building muscle mass could have a negative impact on the body. However, wide-range of protein is best to maintain balance. Amino acids have long been touted by the fitness and bodybuilding communities for their muscle building benefits. From ultra-bulk protein powders to lean mass-promoting snack bars, there’s no shortage of products available for those seeking a muscle boost.

However, protein’s popularity has also meant that less attention has been paid to researching its potentially negative side-effects.

According to the study published in the Journal of Nature Metabolism, excessive consumption of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) may reduce lifespan, negatively impact mood and lead to weight gain.

 

BCAAs stands for branched-chain amino acids. It’s a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine, and are most commonly found in red meat and dairy.

BCAAs great for adding muscle mass, but science says you could pay for it later.

Researchers have investigated the complex role nutrition plays in mediating various aspects of metabolic health, reproduction, appetite and ageing.

“While diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates were shown to be beneficial for reproductive function, they had detrimental effects for health in mid-late life, and also led to a shortened lifespan,” one of the researchers, Dr Samantha Solon explained.

“What this new research has shown is that amino acid balance is important. It’s best to vary sources of protein to ensure you’re getting the best amino acid balance.”

The current research examined the impacts that dietary BCAAs and other essential amino acids such as tryptophan had on the health and body composition of mice.

“Supplementation of BCAAs resulted in high levels of BCAAs in the blood which competed with tryptophan for transport into the brain,” explained one of the researchers, Professor Stephen Simpson.

“Tryptophan is the sole precursor for the hormone serotonin, which is often called the ‘happiness chemical’ for its mood-enhancing effects and its role in promoting sleep. But serotonin does more than this, and therein lay the problem,” he added.

Dietitian and public health nutritionist Dr Rosilene Ribeiro recommend eating a wide range of proteins.

It’s important to vary protein sources in order to get a variety of essential amino acids, through a healthy and balanced diet rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.

BCAAs are essential amino acids present in protein-containing foods, with red meat and dairy being the richest sources. Chicken, fish and eggs are also nutritious sources of BCAAs.

Vegetarians can find BCAAs in beans, lentils, nuts and soy proteins.

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Health

Know the severity of falling sick in the morning

The Kashmir Monitor

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While sickness comes irrespective of the time, the severity of afflictions ranging from allergies to heart attacks differs in the morning from that in the night highlighted a new study. The study was published in the Journal Trends in Immunology which compiled studies, predominantly in mice, that looked at the connection between circadian rhythms and immune responses.

The body reacts to cues such as light and hormones to anticipate recurring rhythms of sleep, metabolism, and other physiological processes. The numbers of white blood cells, in both humans and mice also oscillate in a circadian manner.

Taking into account the above-mentioned facts, researchers in the study found that:

 

Heart attacks in humans are known to strike most commonly in the morning, and research suggests that morning heart attacks tend to be more severe than at night.

In mice, the numbers of monocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights off bacteria, viruses, and fungi –are elevated in the blood during the day. At night, monocytes are elevated in infarcted heart tissue, resulting in decreased cardiac protection at that time of day relative to morning.

Parasite infections are time-of-day dependent. Mice infected with the gastrointestinal parasite Trichuris muris in the morning have been able to kill worms significantly faster than those infected in the evening.

Allergic symptoms follow a time-of-day dependent rhythmicity, generally worse between midnight and early morning. Hence, the molecular clock can physiologically drive innate immune cell recruitment and the outcomes of asthma in humans, or airway inflammation in mice, the review notes.

“Investigating circadian rhythms in innate and adaptive immunity is a great tool to generally understand the physiological interplay and time-dependent succession of events in generating immune responses,” said senior author Christoph Scheiermann, University of Geneva.

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Health

ICMR develops affordable quick test kits for diagnosing genetic bleeding disorders

The Kashmir Monitor

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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has developed a cost-effective and rapid point-of-care test kit for diagnosing genetic bleeding disorders such as haemophilia A and Von Willebrand disease (VWD).

Diagnostics which are currently available require special equipment and are expensive.

“Both Haemophilia A and VWD are under diagnosed disorders in our country. There are only handful of comprehensive diagnostic centres for bleeding disorders,” an official at ICMR said.

 

“Lack of awareness and diagnostic facilities, high cost of tests are some of the factors for under-diagnosis of bleeding disorders in our country,” he said.

According to the ICMR, the kit is the world’s first point-of-care test for specific diagnosis of any common bleeding disorder and costs less than Rs 50 in comparison to existing conventional test that cost around Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000.

The newly developed kit would help in diagnosis within 30 minutes of blood sample collection. Also, this will be available at any level of health care system including primary health care centres (PHCs) since it does not require any special expertise or infrastructure.

Worldwide, incidence of Haemophilia A is 1 per 10,000 male births and that of VWD is around 1 per cent of the general population.

“In India, there is no epidemiological data. We may have roughly 80,000-1,00,000 severe Haemophilia cases in our country, but the total number registered with Haemophilia Federation India (HFI) is only around 19,000,” the official said.

Patients with severe Haemophilia A or VWD can have life threatening spontaneous or post-traumatic bleeding like brain haemorrhage and gastrointestinal bleeding. In emergency medical setting, it is important to have a quick diagnosis of bleeding disorders for treatment.

This rapid test kit can be used for the diagnosis of menorrhagia cases/ post-partum haemorrhage (PPH), gynecological complications among others.

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