A. You’re right – there are many benefits of dietary fiber, and most people don’t eat enough fiber on a daily basis. Fiber is found in many fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. In addition to preventing constipation, fiber can also help lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well as regulate blood sugars in those who already have diabetes.
A. The important thing to remember is to consume energy bars, drinks or shakes in moderation (e.g., one or less per day) and to count the carbs and calories. As long as you do this, you can choose by what matters to you, whether it's taste, cost or ingredients. There are so many energy and nutrition bars and drinks on the market today, including a number that are targeted specifically for diabetics, that it's really a matter of preference.
A. In general, vegetarian diets are healthful because they are lower in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein, and higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants than diets that are based on animal protein. In addition, vegetarian diets may help prevent certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers. Vegetarians also tend to have a lower body mass index than do non-vegetarians.
A. No, they can’t, but it helps to know what leptin is to understand why “leptin supplements” don’t help you lose weight. In 1994, researchers discovered leptin, a digestible protein that regulates your body weight. Leptin is often called the “fat hormone” because it is made in your white adipose tissue, or stored fat. Following meals, leptin is released from fat cells into your bloodstream and goes to your brain to tell it that you are full.
A: According to a study published in Diabetes Care in 2003, 60 people with Type 2 diabetes who consumed a particular dose of cassia cinnamon for 40 days showed marked improvement in blood sugar, as well as lower triglyceride levels and lower levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol.
A: The glycemic index, or GI, is a scale that ranks how quickly carbohydrate-containing foods cause your blood sugar to increase within two hours of eating. The scale uses a reference food – either glucose or white bread (which have an index of 100) – to rank foods based on the type of carbohydrate they contain. The higher the rank, the faster these foods cause blood glucose to rise. Low GI foods have a value of 55 or less, medium GI foods have a value of 56 to 69, and high GI foods have a value of 70 or more.
A. Although coined a “diet,” this healthy meal plan isn’t a diet at all; rather, it’s a lifestyle. Following a Mediterranean diet means eating foods that promote good health, such as foods rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, olive oil, and even moderate amounts of wine.
A: Sodium intake will vary based on the type of food. As a rule of thumb, side dishes, snacks, and desserts should contain less than 400 milligrams of sodium per serving, and entrées should contain less than 800 milligrams of sodium per serving. On a daily basis, those with diabetes should limit total sodium intake to 2,400 milligrams or less per day.