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13 Foods To Lower HbA1c Levels In Diabetics

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People with diabetes are supposed to monitor their blood glucose levels at all times. While a blood glucose test tells the levels of your blood glucose on that very day, a HbA1c or glycated hemoglobin test informs about how high or low your blood glucose levels have been in the past few weeks or months. The test also tells if you are at the risk of having any kind of complications related to diabetes. People with diabetes should take the HbA1c test when they are planning to take up a new diet or workout regime or medication.

Depending on if a person is diabetic, prediabetic or healthy, you will need to make changes in your diet in case your HbA1c levels are higher than usual.

Following are a few foods which can lower HbA1c levels in diabetics:

 
  1. Turmeric

Turmeric is the super spice which has many health benefits. Curcumin in turmeric can be helpful in managing blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It reduces risks of heart and kidney problems in people with type 2 diabetes.

  1. Legumes

Legumes are source of protein which have low glycemic index. Legumes are rich in antioxidants and can be a good substitute for red meat. Red meat is considered to be harmful for diabetes as it can increase blood sugar levels. Unlike red meat, legumes do not contain saturated fat or cholesterol.

  1. Nuts

Almonds, peanuts, walnuts and pistachios do not raise blood sugar levels and are high in fibre. They have a high satiety point and keep you feel full longer. Eating nuts can help in reducing your overall calorie consumption and are good for weight loss as well.

  1. Eggs

People with type 2 diabetes benefit from eggs as eggs help in improving blood sugar levels. People with type 2 diabetes can eat 2 eggs in a day and it can help in effectively improving their blood sugar levels. Eggs are a good source of protein and make for good breakfast and snack options.

  1. Garlic

Garlic can help in controlling blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Eating a garlic-rich diet can be helpful for people with diabetes.

  1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon can help in lowering A1C levels in the body. Even 1 gm of cinnamon can be helpful in lowering HbA1C in people with type 2 diabetes.

  1. Chia seeds

Chia seeds have low glycemic index and are high in fibre. They are ideal for people with diabetes and help in effectively managing blood sugar levels. Chia seeds to reduce the number of calories absorbed from other foods. Eating chia seeds helps in weight loss as they prevent overeating and keeps you full for longer.

  1. Flax seeds

Flax seeds to have low glycemic index and keep you full for longer. It is the insoluble fibre in flaxseeds which help in improving controlling blood sugar.

  1. Brown rice

Brown rice is a finely ground grain which is known to prevent raise in blood sugar levels. Brown rice is rich in fibre and is recommended for people with diabetes. People with diabetes should replace refined grains with whole grains as much as possible.

  1. Kale

High in Vitamin C, kale can help in reducing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Kale is rich in fibre, has low glycemic index and is low in calories. The food is rich in Vitamin A, K and E. Calcium, folate and iron. People with diabetes are suggested to eat more leafy green vegetables like broccoli, spinach and mustard greens.

  1. Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil can reduce incidence of heart disease and high cholesterol and various other conditions in people with diabetes. It can helpful in reducing blood sugar levels. When combined with other foods, olive oil can slow down the process of conversion of starch to sugar.
12. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can is known to improve insulin sensitivity and lower fasting blood sugar levels. When it is consumed with meals filled carbs, apple cider vinegar can reduce response of blood sugar by 20%. People with type 2 diabetes are suggested to consume apple cider vinegar before going to bed at night.

  1. Low-fat yogurt

Eating full fat dairy products can slow the digestion proves and makes it harder for insulin to work. This causes a spike in blood sugar levels a few hours after eating dairy products with fat. This is the reason why people with diabetes should opt for low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. Vitamin D in dairy products can help in improving insulin sensitivity.


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Beware of the silent killer

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By Dr Sudhir Koganti

One may wonder what all this fuss about high blood pressure is. Hypertension causes many cardiovascular diseases that include stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and dementia, thus putting a huge burden on healthcare globally due to morbidity, mortality and associated costs. Last but not least, the public need to be aware of the correct treatment for high blood pressure.
Every year, the World Hypertension Day is celebrated on the 17th of May to increase awareness about this silent killer among general public. International Society of Hypertension along with World Hypertension League has designated the month of May as “May Measurement Month.”
The aim of this initiative is to screen as many people as possible that are over the age of 18 years for suspected hypertension. This strategy would greatly enhance in identifying silent or undiagnosed hypertensives so that they can be targeted with guideline directed lifestyle, dietary advice and treatment.
Awareness on the lower threshold of blood pressure reading required to label an individual as hypertensive is also required. American Heart Association guidelines released in 2017 clearly stipulate that a blood pressure reading of over 130/80 is now considered as stage 1 hypertension. However, the job of a cardiologist doesn’t stop with diagnosis but actually starts there. Once someone is labelled as hypertensive, it needs to be established if it is true or an entity called white coat hypertension.
Furthermore, investigations may have to be carried out to see if hypertension is secondary to a cause. Once diagnosed, a decision needs to be taken if lifestyle modification can be adopted or treatment needs to be initiated early.
Lifestyle modifications include six key steps and they are:
• Get expert advice from your doctor to help you understand your results;
• Lower salt/sodium to prevent excess fluid in the blood, which strains blood vessels;
• Eat more fruits and veggies – particularly potassium-rich ones – to balance out sodium in the blood;
• Exercise – it makes the heart stronger, putting less strain on blood vessels;
• Quit smoking – constituents of tobacco smoke damages blood vessel linings; and
• Monitor your blood pressure at home
As per studies and data, thousands of people are on wrong treatment for hypertension with a class of drugs called Betablockers (Atenolol, Metoprolol etc) being prescribed as first line or second line agent.
Betablockers have been phased out as first line or second line drugs to treat hypertension a while ago, unless there is concomitant coronary artery disease or heart failure. In fact, the same holds for other concomitant conditions too such as kidney disease, stroke etc.
Essentially, the key message is one prescription does not fit all and it need to be tailored to the individual in a dedicated specialist clinic. People need to actively undergo blood pressure screening of themselves.
They need to nudge their relatives and friends in the month of May and seek expert advice on how to manage and monitor this silent killer over the long run to lead an active and healthy life. (Writer is Consultant Cardiologist, Citizens Hospitals, Nallagandla, Serilingampally)
Dr Sudhir Koganti

 
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Jawless fish may hold key to effective brain cancer treatment

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A chemical found in jawless parasitic fish can be used to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to brain tumours, as well as lead to more effective treatments for trauma and stroke, a study has found.
The research, published in the journal Science Advances, found that molecules from the immune system of the parasitic sea lamprey may also be combined with a wide array of other therapies, offering hope to treat disorders like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or even traumatic injuries.
“We believe it could be applied as a platform technology across multiple conditions,” said Eric Shusta, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.
When injected into the bloodstream, many drugs cannot reach targets in the brain as the blood-brain barrier prevents large molecules from leaving the blood vessels in the brain, researchers said.
In conditions such as brain cancer, stroke, trauma and multiple sclerosis, however, the barrier becomes leaky in and around the disease locations, researchers said.
The study found that leaky barrier offers a unique point of entry, allowing molecules to access the brain and deliver drugs precisely on target.
“Molecules like this normally couldn’t ferry cargo into the brain, but anywhere there’s a blood-brain barrier disruption, they can deliver drugs right to the site of pathology,” Shusta said in a statement.
Researchers said that the technology takes advantage of the fact that many diseases disrupt body’s natural defense mechanism – the blood-brain barrier, which lines the blood vessels of the central nervous system, protecting the brain from circulating toxins or pathogens.
They also linked the molecules to a chemotherapy called doxorubicin. The treatment prolonged survival in mouse models of glioblastoma, an incurable cancer.
“This could be a way to hold therapies in place that don’t otherwise accumulate well in the brain so they can be more effective,” said Ben Umlauf from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“There are several disease processes that disrupt the blood-brain barrier and we could conceive of delivering a variety of different therapies with these molecules,” said John Kuo from the University of Texas in the US.

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Life expectancy linked to a person’s walking speed

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People who walk slowly have a lower life expectancy than those who walk fast, a recent study has claimed. According to the study published in the Journal of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, those with a habitually fast walking pace have a long life expectancy across all levels of weight status – from underweight to morbidly obese.
Underweight individuals with a slow walking pace had the lowest life expectancy (an average of 64.8 years for men, 72.4 years for women). The same pattern of results was found for waist circumference measurements.
Professor Tom Yates, the lead author of the study, said, “Our findings could help clarify the relative importance of physical fitness compared to body weight on the life expectancy of individuals. In other words, the findings suggest that perhaps physical fitness is a better indicator of life expectancy than body mass index (BMI) and that encouraging the population to engage in brisk walking may add years to their lives.”
Dr Francesco Zaccardi, co-author of the study, said, “Studies published so far have mainly shown the impact of body weight and physical fitness on mortality in terms of relative risk, for example, a 20 per cent relative increase of risk of death for every 5 kilograms per metres squared increase, compared to a reference value of a BMI of 25 kilograms per metres squared (the threshold BMI between normal weight and overweight).”
Last year, Professor Yates and his team showed that middle-aged people who reported that they are slow walkers were at higher risk of heart-related disease compared to the general population.

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