Tuesday, May 25, 2010

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Glycation and why you care

What is glycation? In short glycation is a scientific term for what happens when sugars, such as fructose or glucose, combine with proteins or lipid molecules. Additionally, glycation is the process bakers and cooks refer to as browning. You may be shocked to learn that this browning actually happens to us as we age. From an anti-aging perspective this is not a good thing.With this information it is easy to see that we have two forms of glycation that we need to be concerned about. We have Endogenous glycations, which predominately occur in the bloodstream and exogenous glycations that occur out side the body.Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs) are formed when sugars are cooked with proteins and fats. What you may not realize is that very often sugars are added to many of our foods specifically to enhance this browning effect. Worse yet once absorbed by your body AGEs are well known pro-inflammatory and disease initiating compounds. AGEs have been implicated in many age-related chronic diseases such as: Type II Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, Cancer, Neuropathy and the list goes on.Did I mention that Glycation and AGEs have a very important partner in the damage of our tissues? That partner in the initiation and acceleration of these diseases, especially oxidative stress and inflammation, are the free radicals that we are learning so much about. To make matters worse glycated proteins are estimated to generate 50 times more free radicals than non-glycated proteins. Again, from an anti-aging standpoint this is something of great importance.By now I hope that you are starting to get the idea that our bodies were not designed to handle the simple sugars that find their way into our diets. In short, at the cellular and DNA levels, sugars are a disaster waiting to happen. Do you find yourself, struggling against fatigue? More times than not, that fatigue is self induced by virtue of the fact that sugar raises blood glucose levels so fast that the body has to respond by secreting large amounts of insulin. This cycle creates a huge spike in energy quickly followed by extreme fatigue. Think about most of the energy drinks on the market today where caffeine and sugars are the most prominent ingredients. Watch for an upcoming article on energy drinks.Ok, I've dumped a lot on you in a very short amount of time. In a perfect world we could totally eliminate sugars from our diet. While I know that this is not very practical, I will please with you to do everything in your power to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. Keep in mind that by some estimates the average American consumes roughly 24 teaspoons of sugar daily. Those 24 teaspoons per day equates to more than 100 pounds of sugar in a year.So first and foremost reduce the simple sugars in your diet. Secondly, reduce and/or eliminate AGE laden foods by limiting browned or charred foods. A short list of some of those foods include: well done meats, poultry, eggs, barbecued or grilled meats, poultry and fish. One of the worst is deep fried foods. As I stated this is a VERY short list.Lastly, for some good news. Scientists have discovered that alpha lipoic acid can arrest the glycation process. Additionally, it has been discovered that N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) slows the glycation process. As an added benefit scientists discovered that lipoic acid aids in the restoring of glutathione and vitamin C. As you may imagine the flavanoids found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains have been found to reduce the glycation of hemoglobin.In conclusion, while glycation, AGEs and their partner in crime, free radicals, lead to the initiation of many of our age related diseases we have the ability to avoid being plagued by these problems. In fact it is really more than a choice on our part. If you have watched anyone in their later years and thought to yourself that you wanted a different path: you have that option. The downside to that choice is that it is not about making that decision for a single day. What you have to commit yourself to is a lifestyle change. That change includes: the reduction of simple sugars, over cooked foods — especially deep fried foods and then ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of antioxidants, nutrients and flavanoids in your diet. While not always easy to get through our daily diets, with the abundance of high quality supplements, green drinks and other whole food sources, we have the tools we necessary to live a long healthy life.References:1) Stephen Cherniske, The Metabolic Plan, 2003, pg 79-862) Ahmed N, Furth AJ. Failure of common glycation assays to detect glycation by fructose. Clin Chem 1992;38:1301-3 PMID 1623595.3) McPherson JD, Shilton BH, Walton DJ. Role of fructose in glycation and cross-linking of proteins. Biochemistry 1988;27:1901-7. PMID 3132203.4) WikiPedia Website - Glycation5) WikiPedia Website - Advanced_glycation_endproduct

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

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Diabetes: How to check blood sugar level yourself?

Diabetes is one of the most prevailing diseases now a day. Population of diabetic patients is increasingly dramatically since last few years. So it is very important to keep a check on diabetes. In this concern you yourself play a big role in managing your diabetes. First, you need to know how diabetes affects your body. To Check your blood sugar regularly tells you whether your lifestyle, your physical activity, meal plans, and medicines doing a good job controlling your diabetes.There are two easy methods to test your blood sugar level yourself. They take less than two minutes.
  • Finger-stick method
  • Noninvasive method
FINGER-STICK METHODMost equipment for checking blood sugar level involves pricking your finger with a tiny needle (lancet) to draw a drop of blood. Some draw the blood from your forearm. For reading your blood sugar level, you can use a blood glucose meter that will show the number on its screen.There are many types of meters. Your doctor can help you choose one and show you how to use it. If you still have questions, check the instructions that came with your meter.There are many Newer options also available in the market rather than a lancet for creating the tiny hole needed to draw the blood from the finger like they test blood from other less sensitive parts of the body than the fingertipsThese new devices draw blood in ways similar to the finger-stick method.To check your diabetes through finger stick method, follow these simple steps:Step 1 - Wash your hands with warm water and dry them well with a clean towel. You can also use an alcohol wipe to clean the finger that you�"ll draw blood from.Hold your hand below your waist for a minute or so. This helps blood pool in the finger, making it easier to get enough blood for the test.Step 2 - After preparing your lancet and glucose meter, have a clean test strip ready. Stick the side of your fingertip with the lancet. There are many kinds of lancets and meters. Some draw blood from your forearm. Your lancet and meter may not look like the one in this photo. Step 3 - Put a drop of blood on the test strip.Step 4 - To get your results, follow the directions that came with your blood sugar meter. Some meters can give results in a few minutes.Step 5 -Write down the results and the time you did the test. Mostly doctors will use these records to see how well you�"re managing your blood sugar level.NON INVASIVE METHODAny other blood sugar testing tool does not draw blood. You wear it on your wrist like a watch and it takes the reading through your skin. It uses a slight electrical current to pull fluid through the skin and into the machine, where it measures the sugar level.The watch can�"t replace your regular finger-stick test. But the watch lets you see trends in how your blood sugar changes over the course of the day.There are some guidelines to heck your diabetes with noninvasive methodSome general guidelines for checking your blood sugar level are given as below
  • Wear the device for a three-hour warm-up before taking a reading. During this time, don�"t bathe or swim.
  • Adjust the device by entering a blood sugar measurement that you�"ve gotten by the finger-stick method every time you use the watch.
  • The device will automatically take readings every 20 minutes for up to 12 hours. It can be programmed to sound an alarm if your blood sugar reaches dangerously high or low levels.

Author is a health expert. For more information regarding Diabetes Symptoms and Diabetes Control , then visit an online health information guide

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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Diabetic titles from award-winning cookbook authors. by Nztip

Although many people diagnosed with diabetes initially worry about the future, there is no reason why with a properly regulated diet, they cannot enjoy a good healthy life. As with many things that are good for you in life, there is a payback and diabetes is no different, and it will be necessary to alter the foods you may be used too. To start with you will need to sort out your own diabetic diet plan using diabetic recipes that most appeal to your tastes.One of the hardest things to do will be to stick with your diabetic diet to shed those unnecessary pounds as maintaining your weight is extremely important when you're a diabetic. One of the best ways to follow a diabetic diet is to eat foods that are from all of the four basic food groups.For a diabetic, eating healthily and sticking to their diabetic diet plan means that they will usually lower the chances of heart disease and stroke which are two complications associated with their condition. A diabetic diet using specially formulated diabetic recipes which are essentially a healthy, low-fat, balanced eating plan that helps the patient feel better and more energetic, and achieve some control over the symptoms like fatigue, thirst, blurred vision.A healthy diabetic menu is concerned with eating a balanced diet of non-fat dairy foods, lean meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, fruit, vegetables and beans. In diabetic, low-carb diets, the foods that are approved are meats, fish, poultry, eggs and cheese and certain vegetables like kidney beans, carrots, avocados. Diabetic recipes should include foods that are low in saturated fats and cholesterol, such as skinless poultry, fresh fruit, and vegetables as previously mentioned.Weighing your food when you're on a diabetic diet is as important as the foods you consume, so that you receive the correct amount of calories. Using the food labels in the supermarkets will also become second nature when you are preparing your diabetic recipes as they contain useful information, usually based on a diet of 2,000 calories per day.If you have been prescribed 2,000 calories per day on your diabetic diet plan then for breakfast you may be allowed some sugar free yoghurt or skimmed milktwo slices of bread or alternatively pasta or rice cakes plus an egg and some fruit. However, if a lower 1,800 calorie per day has been advised for your diabetic diet plan then your diabetic recipes book might suggest something like a cup of skimmed milk, a tablespoon of cheese, a couple of slices of bread and a serving of fruit.In the afternoon a snack might consist of a half cup of tea or coffee with artificial sweeteners a couple of crackers and some more fruit. Alternatively, to vary your diabetic diet you could always have a cup of skimmed milk or yoghurt to replace the tea or coffee. Diabetic diets using specially formulated diabetic recipes can be just as interesting as a normal diet but you just have to know what you are allowed to eat and vary your menus to keep them interesting.

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