PROTECT YOUR HEART THIS FEBRUARY
By: Jessica Cook MS, RD, LD, CDE (Director of Education)
It is known that heart disease is among the top three leading diseases in the U.S. and while many patients take medications to protect their heart such as s
tatins, omega 3 fatty acids, blood pressure lowering medications, but many don’t realize it begins with diet and exercise! Reducing sodium intake, avoiding fried foods, increasing vegetables consumed, avoiding processed meat and cheese are all ways to lower cholesterol and blood pressure without additional medication use. Probably the most important way to prevent heart disease is exercise! Walking, swimming, dancing, gardening are all ways to decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke while reducing stress for an extra bonus. Try making a few small changes and not only will you feel better, but your heart will surely thank you!
Being that February is heart awareness month please take the time to consider the following ways you can improve your heart health. Your heart will thank you for it! We hope you enjoy this issue of Healthy Living with Diabetes to obtain new heart healthy ideas to ensure your heart will bring you many more loving years to come.
NEAT OPTIONS TO HELP MANAGE YOUR DIABETES
By: Paul Aoun, D.O., Ph. D.
In 2012, The U.S. spent $245 billion on diagnosed diabetes, a 40% increase over five years. Today, one out of every three Medicare dollars is spent on diabetes. Despite these astounding expenditures, diabetes is on the rise still. Recent statistics showed that one out of nine adult Americans has diabetes. If the current trend continues, one out of three adult Americans will have diabetes by the year 2050.
As pharmaceutical companies continue to introduce novel therapeutic agents to treat diabetes and curb the burden of diabetic complications, healthier lifestyle choices and physical activities remain cornerstone pillars to managing this disease and improving overall health and wellbeing. These very cost-effective and powerful prescriptions, however, are sporadically applied, and when so, are seldom sustained.
Could a skewed perception of what constitutes physical activity deter people from being more active? When hearing the phrase “you should be more active,” some automatically envision themselves “suffering” at a gym and as a result, opt to “forget it, I’m not doing this.” Complicating matters further is the fact that many fear experiencing low sugars while exercising and thus, drop the ball altogether, figuratively and literally.
What are certain ways to overcome these challenges? To answer this question, it is important to first point to the differences between exercise and physical activity. Exercise is a structured form of activity for a defined purpose, often to compete in a sport or strength-training to maintain a certain fitness level. Physical activity includes any bodily movement that involves muscle contraction. To further differentiate the two, let’s look at them in the larger context of the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). TDEE is the amount of calories burned by the body in one day, adjusted to your activity level (sedentary, moderate, or strenuous). There are three major components for TDEE:
- Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): Energy required for core body function at rest (i.e., sleep; breathing, circulation, etc..)
- Thermic effect of food: Energy expended metabolizing food
Activity Thermogenesis (30% TDEE):
- Exercise-Activity Thermogenesis (EAT)
- Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)
While increasing muscle mass may enhance BMR slightly, most of the factors that regulate your BMR, such as genetics, age, gender, or body type, are not modifiable. Also, it is not advisable to fully rely on the thermic effects of food to crank up your metabolism or lose the weight as the contribution to the TDEE is small (10%) and total caloric intake could offset the anticipated benefits from your investment. Physical activity is by far, the most flexible variable that determines the number of calories you could burn daily. If, however, your medical conditions prevent you from joining the Exercise-Activity Thermogenesis (EAT) gym, keep in mind that every little step you could take elsewhere may help improve your blood sugars. This is where betting on the NEAT could yield positive outcomes in controlling your diabetes.
NEAT is the energy expended in daily activities such as walking, dancing, climbing stairs, gardening, farming, etc…Dr James A. Levine from Mayo Clinic further divides NEAT into occupational and leisure. Standing work (i.e. cashier) burns anywhere between 500-1000 per day more than a seated job with very minimal activity. Strenuous activity such as farming could shed close to 2,000 calories daily. Depending on one’s choice of leisure activity, Dr Levine argues that energy expenditure could range from 30 calories watching TV in the evening or up to 600 calories during more energetic pursuits such as gardening or home repair.
If you plan to incorporate physical activities beyond your baseline ones, I strongly recommend that you know your medical limitations and set realistic goals. Also, observe how your body reacts to exercise and know which of your diabetes medications could cause hypoglycemia, or low sugars. If you are on insulin and/or on oral medications known to precipitate low sugars, you must speak with your physician to guide you on how best to modify these prior to activities beyond your daily routines. Diabetes medicines mostly known to predispose someone to hypoglycemia are the sulfonylurea class of drugs: Glyburide; Glipizide; or Glimeperide. To help you remember this fact, think of their names as: gLOW-buride, gLOW-pizide, or gLOW-meperide. Also, some may experience “delayed hypoglycemia” as the blood sugar-lowering effects of exercise could linger for several hours.
If you feel time constraints are obstacles preventing you from being physically active, it might help to think of exercise as matter of priorities rather than time. There is always room to squeeze in shorts walks throughout the day or do some work around the house. If your health condition permits, park a bit far from your destination and walk there. Break the monotony, vary your activity types, and keep an open mind for unplanned activities should they arise. One man or woman with courage makes a majority: get your family and friends involved for fun and motivation and make it a team effort.
In conclusion, think of physical activity as an investment in your health. The more you can “afford” to put in, the higher the yield. After all, you have more than one option to burn calories: If you eat, you’ve got to EAT and/or NEAT for an all-inclusive healthy treat.
BEAN, BEANS THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOUR HEART…
By: Jessica Cook MS, RD, LD, CDE
Beans are truly a miracle food. Not only are they delicious, but they have tons of fiber, protein, can aid in weight loss and decrease cholesterol levels. I often recommend beans as a low glycemic carbohydrate choice because it has much fewer carbohydrates and calories than rice, pasta, bread or potatoes. One cup of cooked beans is equivalent to 30g of carbohydrates, 8g protein, packed full of fiber, iron, potassium and folic acid.
Beans also aid in cholesterol reduction due to their high fiber content. Plus foods that are high in fiber increase satiation at meals to help you feel full for longer periods of time and reduce snacking. Plus beans are low in fat, come in many varieties and can be added to many dishes. When buying beans make sure to buy canned low sodium beans and drain as well as rinse before using or buy dried beans and soak overnight before cooking.
Here are some ways to add beans into your diet to lose weight and reduce cholesterol:
- Make turkey chili for dinner. Use low sodium white cannellini beans, kidney beans or black beans with lean ground turkey, chili spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin or cayenne pepper, tomatoes, peppers, and onions to create a satisfying hearty dish that minimizes blood sugar spikes. Serve with a side salad and dinner is complete!
- Add beans to broth based soups. Try making chicken, black beans and vegetable soup (ie: kale, carrots, onion, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, etc.) for an easy lunch or dinner meal. Or try making a big batch of soup and freeze half of it for an easy dinner during another week. Remember to use low sodium beans along with low sodium chicken stock and load up on the veggies!
- Add beans to the salad instead of croutons! Try roasting chickpeas in the oven for 40 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix chickpeas with olive oil and spices such as cracked black pepper, cayenne pepper along with cumin, then roast and enjoy. Delicious!
- Choose hummus for a snack versus high-calorie blue cheese or French onion dip. Hummus is made from chickpeas and can be a very tasty snack when placed on carrots, cucumber, tomatoes or celery. One serving of hummus is 1/3 cup and is 15g carbohydrates.
- Instead of making rice and beans, try sautéed garlic spinach and beans for a yummy side dish that will ensure good blood sugar levels. You can add peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and Italian herbs. We promise you won’t even miss the rice!
Looking for Meal Planning Tips for Better Blood Sugars?
Then come join us on Monday, March 16th from 10 am – 12pm in West Palm Beach for our Healthy Meal Planning with Diabetes Refresher Course. This class includes a healthy snack which you will learn how to prepare along with a complimentary recipe booklet including carbohydrate counting lists, weight loss tips, snack ideas and more!
If interested call (561) 513-5100 to book your appointment today!
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 our 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!