An Apple a Day keeps the Doctor Away!
By: Jessica Cook MS RD LD CDE (Director of Education)
Fall is in the air and nothing can compare to the amazing produce it brings. This season offers fresh pumpkins, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, potatoes and everyone’s favorite, apples. Apples have such a great reputation to provide health and wellness for a few reasons:
- Provides cleaner and whiter teeth. Consuming apples help to stimulate saliva secretion in your mouth, which helps fight bacteria as well as dry mouth. Although it will not replace your toothbrush, it is certainly a delicious way to fight tooth decay!
- Helps prevent cancer. Apples contain many phytonutrients and antioxidants, which are responsible for decreasing free radicals in your body that may lead to cancer. Regular consumption of apples may decrease your risk of liver, colon, pancreatic and breast cancer.
- Decreases cholesterol. Apples are full of fiber, which leaves you feeling full after meals, but also helps your body to decrease cholesterol levels. Try to eat the skin as well as the flesh of the apples for the most benefit!
- Helps control weight. Apples are low in calories, high in fiber and packed with nutrients. All of these reasons make apples a great choice to include in your diet to help reduce weight and keep it off. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential to prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.
- May prevent diabetes. Recent studies have shown that daily consumption of apples helps provide a 28% decrease risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The high fiber content of apples also helps prevent elevated blood sugar spikes. So, the next time you are craving something sweet do your body a favor and choose the apple versus the candy bar!
*Try having one small apple with 1 Tbsp all natural peanut butter as your go to afternoon snack and reap all the delicious benefits!
Please enjoy this months Living Well with Diabetes Newsletter and take full advantage of everything fall has to offer!
What is the Dawn Phenomenon?
By: Kathryn Reynolds M.D.
The dawn phenomenon is the early morning (typically 2 AM-8 AM) rise in blood sugars caused by a surge of hormones that counteract the effects of insulin. These include epinephrine, cortisol, growth hormone, and glucagon (hormone produced by the pancreatic alpha islet cells which increase blood glucose). People with diabetes do not have normal insulin responses to adjust for this. In addition, people with type 2 diabetes have an inappropriate increased production of glucagon, which signals the liver to break down glycogen stores into new glucose. As a result, people with diabetes may commonly see their morning fasting sugars rise.
High morning sugars may also be caused by an insufficient dose of insulin or oral medication the night before, or due to late night carbohydrate consumption. Here are some strategies to try to combat the overnight blood glucose increase due to the dawn phenomenon:
- Limit the amount of carbohydrates eaten with dinner and try to avoid bedtime carbohydrates
- Eat dinner earlier in the evening
- Physical activity after dinner (for example walking)
- Possible adjustment of oral medication and/or insulin
- Use of an insulin pump to match insulin delivery to physiological requirements
- Rule out the possibility that AM highs are rebound following overnight lows. Try testing blood sugar around 2-3 AM to make sure glucose is not dropping during sleep, as a compensatory release of stress hormones can cause the subsequent elevation of glucose
Increasing Awareness and Saving Lives
By: Jessica Cook MS RD LD CDE (Director of Education)
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this issue of Living Well with Diabetes has gone Pink! Whether you know of someone who has been through breast cancer, have been through it yourself or are at risk for breast cancer it is important to be informed in order to make healthy decisions that could save your life or the life of someone you love. Below are a few ways to greatly reduce your risk of developing breast cancer during your lifetime:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Studies indicate that elevated levels of adipose or fat tissue on the body increases the amount of estrogen production and also may create insulin resistance in the body. Because estrogen fuels many types of breast cancer and high insulin levels may contribute weight gain this is a deadly combination. Even losing 5-10% of your current body weight may greatly reduce your risk for developing breast cancer later in life.
- Consume more fruits & vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain essential nutrients known as phytonutrients as well as antioxidants that not only prevent cancer risk but also help to reduce cancer cells in the body. Studies have also shown that people who consume 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day are more likely to have a healthy body weight. Fruits and vegetables contain no cholesterol, a lot of fiber and little calories, which make them a great addition to any meal or snack.
- Limit alcohol intake. Even consuming one alcoholic beverage each day may contribute to your risk of developing breast cancer. Binge drinking such as consuming 2 or more beverages on weekends also may increase risk for breast cancer, so it is very important to try and drink alcohol in moderation.
- Increase physical activity. Physical activity not only promotes a healthy weight but also lowers blood pressure & cholesterol, promotes healthy brain function and helps reduce risk of certain cancers. Anne McTieran an internist and researcher for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle did an analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative and found that brisk walking for 1.25 to 2.5 hours per day may decrease a women’s risk of breast cancer by 18%, which are incredibly promising numbers
- Avoid sugar-filled beverages. Beverages with added sugar not only lead to weight gain but contribute to diabetes, heart disease as well as dental carries. Many sugar filled beverages such as sweet tea, lemonade, fruit juice, lattes or soda can carry anywhere from 150-250 calories per serving. Sticking with water and unsweetened tea will help reduce weight and lower BMI to help prevent risk of breast cancer.
Have a Happy Halloween
At Healthy Living with Diabetes, we want to ensure that you are satisfied with all services received. We also would like your input on educational workshops that you would like us to offer, information you would like to read about in Healthy Living with Diabetes Monthly or feedback on any workshop that you may have attended.
You can contact the director of education personally by email jcook@PBDES.COM or leave a message at (561) 513-5100. We would love to hear from you!