Tag: weight loss

Jun

13

The Hormone Amylin, Can It Help With Weight Loss & Blood Sugar Regulation:

The Hormone Amylin And Type 1 Diabetes:So after haveing a couple of amazing conversations over on the Facebook page, a lovely young lady asked me if injecting insulin was the reason why she was gaining weight after her type 1 diagnosis.  

While I’ve heard this several times, is it the insulin that is causing the weight gain, or could it be something else?  Perhaps a hormone that as type 1 diabetics we also stop producing since our beta cells have died off.  

Have you ever heard of Amylin? Could the lack of this hormone be the reason why she is seeing an increase in her weight? What is amylin anyway, and is it something we should be concerned with if we are no longer producing it?

These are all great questions and honestly this was news to me as well as I’ve never heard of it.  So lets take a closer look at what this little hormone does and if it has a direct impact on our overall health as type 1 diabetics!

Function Of Amylin?

So what is amylin? Or as its also called, pramlintide, and how can it help us? Amylin is a peptide hormone (insulin’s partner in crime) which is released by the beta cells in response to ingesting food. This hormone, is also released at the same time as insulin, but in different quantities and its primary function is to help aid in the digestive process by helping to control the rate of digestion.

The complete range of functions of amylin is still not fully known, but its main function has been determined to be to help to slow the speed at which food is digested and glucose is released into the bloodstream after a meal. Essentially, amylin keeps too much glucose from appearing in the blood in the first place.

Amylin accomplishes this in a number of ways. It decreases appetite by promoting a feeling of fullness, hence reducing food intake. It slows gastric emptying and inhibits the secretion of digestive enzymes, all of which slow the appearance of glucose in the blood after a meal and it also slows the secretion of glucagon, which otherwise causes additional glucose release by the liver at mealtimes.

In short, the release of amylin minimizes glucose spikes that often occur after meals. I know, frustrating right!  I mean this disease is already hard enough, now this.  Fortunately for us, we do have another option to replace this important hormone that has also died off with our beta cells so go ahead and keep on reading.

 

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May

30

What Is Gastroparesis? Why Are Diabetics More At Risk?

What Is Gastroparesis?So I’ve been receiving a number of these questions over the past couple of months among my fellow type 1 diabetics which made me start to wonder…is there a connection between gastroparesis and type 1 diabetes or could it be just another condition all together?

Gastroparesis (also called delayed gastric emptying) is a progressive disorder that causes food to remain in the stomach for longer than normal periods. Because the nerves that move food through the digestive tract are damaged, the muscles do not work as they normally would.  As a result, food often sits in the stomach undigested.  So what are the signs and symptoms of gastroparesis and are you more prone as a type 1 diabetic, lets take a closer look! 

Symptoms Of Gastroparesis:

The following are the most common symptoms associated with gastroparesis:

  • vomiting of undigested food
  • early fullness after a small meal
  • weight loss
  • nausea 
  • bloating
  • stomach spasms
  • blood glucose levels that are hard to stabilize
  • heartburn 
  • loss of appetite
  • acid reflux

What Causes Gastroparesis:

While a high percentage of gastroparesis has been reported in people with type 1 diabetes (40%) and type 2 diabetes (10% to 20%), per the Mayo Clinic, it’s not always clear what leads to gastroparesis. In many cases, gastroparesis is believed to be caused by damage to a nerve that controls the stomach muscles (vagus nerve).

The vagus nerve helps manage the complex processes in your digestive tract, including signaling the muscles in your stomach to contract and push food into the small intestine. A damaged vagus nerve can’t send signals normally to your stomach muscles. This may cause food to remain in your stomach longer, rather than move normally into your small intestine to be digested.

The vagus nerve can be damaged by certain diseases (Parkinson’s and MS for example), and diabetes in particular, or by surgery to the stomach or small intestine.  As for diabetics, the fact that we deal with higher than normal blood sugars, over time these high blood glucose levels can damage the vagus nerve.  

Its should also be noted that for reasons that gastroparesis is more commonly found in women than in men. Researchers believe that this is possibly due to the effect of hormones on the GI tract, particularly estrogen and progesterone, and those seem to delay stomach emptying, but more research is still needed.  You can check out the study here.
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May

5

Looking For Some Added Protein? Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds!

Looking For Some Added Protein? Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds!I’ve been fielding a lot of questions lately in regards to the health benefits of chia seeds and more importantly what are chia seeds?  Well, if your looking for a great way to boost your energy and add some protein to your diet, or boost your omega 3 intake, look no further.

Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. Salvia hispanica seed is often sold under its common name “chia” as well as several trademarked names.

Its origin is believed to be in Central America where the seed was a staple in the ancient Aztec diet. The seeds of a related plant, Salvia columbariae (golden chia), were used primarily by Native Americans in the southwestern United States.  These gems are fantastic in so many ways, what makes chia seeds so powerful?  Lets take a closer look!

Skip The Coffee And Boost Energy:

Don’t want to feel like taking an afternoon nap? Your energy levels have a lot to do with what you eat. Chia is one of nature’s highest plant-based sources of complete protein. Usually protein from items like peanut butter and some beans are incomplete, meaning you have to combine them with other foods to get the full benefit. Not Chia though, it’s protein is complete to raise your energy levels. The combination of complete protein, vitamins, minerals and blood-sugar balancing gel all work together to make sure you have steady, never jittery energy.

Chia Seeds And Weight Loss:

Chia seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber in chia absorbs water and expands to form a gel that fills you up faster, so you consume fewer calories, hence weight loss. Fiber and protein slow the digestive process so hunger isn’t triggered as quickly as with sugars, starches and other simple carbohydrates. The insoluble fiber, which does not digest, aids in preventing constipation and digestive disorders by cleaning the colon.
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May

4

Health Benefits & Side Effects Of Kombucha!

Health Benefits & Side Effects Of Kombucha!I was chatting with a friend the other day, and she has asked me if I was a fan on Kombucha.  Honestly, I think its absolutely fantastic! Kombucha tea is made from the fermentation of a mixture of sweetened tea and SCOBY, which is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. It is known to be effective in reducing the risks of certain health problems and promoting overall health so lets take a closer look!

Kombucha And Energy:

Kombucha’s ability to invigorate people has been credited to the formation of iron that is released from the black tea during the fermentation process.  It also contains some caffeine and b-vitamins, which can energize the body.

Through a special process known as chelation, the iron released helps to boost blood hemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy producing process at the cellular level. In other words, by helping the body create more energy (ATP), the ancient tea can help those who regularly drink stay energized for extended periods of time.

Kombucha And Weight Loss:

Since Kombucha is high in acetic acid, there is reason to believe that Kombucha can improve ones metabolism and limit fat accumulation.  Though more studies need to be done, it makes sense that Kombucha tea supports weight loss since it’s high in acetic acid and polyphenols which have in other studies been proven to increase weight loss.  You can take a look at that study right here

Kombucha And Diabetes:

As we are all familiar with, metabolic problems and kidney dysfunction are frequent side effects of diabetes. Good news, the antioxidants created by kombucha fermentation may help support liver and kidney function as it’s a fantastic detox for the body. Shown to suppress glucose levels and increase HDL cholesterol levels in animal trials, researchers have indicated kombucha may be a good health support option for those with diabetes.

A comparative study involving black tea and kombucha has revealed that kombucha has better inhibiting properties as compared to the black tea and aids in preventing elevated blood glucose levels.

The study has also suggested that kombucha tea has a healing action on the pancreas of the diabetic individuals and helps in guarding their liver and kidney functions by reducing the concentration of urea and other unfavorable activities occurring in the plasma membrane.  Definitely an interesting study that I will be following up on but in the meantime, I will be sticking to my Novolog as a type 1 😉

On the other side of the coin though, take a peek at the side effects listed below, especially as some relate to the effects on blood sugars.
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Mar

21

Soy Lecithin, Is It Really Bad For You, What About The Benefits?

Soy Lecithin, Why Is It Bad For You?When I head out food shopping every Thursday, like most people, I’m always wanting to try different types of snacks to keep things fresh and to mix it up and its not only snacks, but supplements as well.

One ingredient that I always see “popping up” as an avid label reader is soy lecithin. Now the word soy always makes my ears perk up and gets my brain going, but is this added ingredient any different? Is it healthy for us? Should we be consuming it?  Lets take a closer look!

 

What Is Soy Lecithin?

So what does lecithin do and why is soy lecithin bad for you? Soy lecithin is a common ingredient in hundreds of processed foods, including cereals, pasta, breads, soy milk and many meats. Lecithin is also available as a health supplement; proponents claim that it can benefit the heart, brain, liver and athletic performance. However, there are potential dangers of soy lecithin that could outweigh the possible benefits.

Back in 2007, the GMO Compass reported that soy lecithin, like the majority of other food products in our supermarkets, contained genetically modified soy.  Genetically modified foods are bio-technically changed to increase yields and resistance to herbicides and insects.

Some prominent health-food advocates as well as some of today’s top scientists have concerns with the potential long-term impact from eating genetically modified food sources. For example, a study published in the “Journal of Applied Toxicology” discovered that mice fed GM soybean developed a decrease in pancreatic function. Think about that for a second as a type 1 diabetic.  No I’m not saying this is the cause, but its definitely eyebrow raising for sure, I know it was for me personally.

Although the nutrition of the soy was not altered, the study showed that as few as five days of feeding GM food caused pancreatic cellular changes, which were reversed after 30 days of non-GM foods.  You can read about the study here.

How Is Soy Lecithin Derived?

Great question indeed!  Check this out.

Soy Lecithin is derived from the waste product of the processing of the soybean plant. In an excerpt from the book The Whole Soy Story Dr. Kaayla T. Daniels explains:

“Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a ‘degumming’ process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. Before being bleached to a more appealing light yellow, the color of lecithin ranges from a dirty tan to reddish brown. The hexane extraction process commonly used in soybean oil manufacture today yields less lecithin than the older ethanol-benzol process, but produces a more marketable lecithin with better color, reduced odor and less bitter flavor.7

Historian William Shurtleff reports that the expansion of the soybean crushing and soy oil refining industries in Europe after 1908 led to a problem disposing the increasing amounts of fermenting, foul-smelling sludge. German companies then decided to vacuum dry the sludge, patent the process and sell it as “soybean lecithin.” Scientists hired to find some use for the substance cooked up more than a thousand new uses by 1939.8” (source)

Yum! Now that I have your taste buds going, what about any additional side effects that we should be aware of or what about any possible benefits? Well, continue reading a little further.

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Jun

24

Health Benefits Of Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum)

Health Benefits Of Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum)I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of “hot/spicy foods”, but I love cayenne pepper, well, in the right quantity, LOL!  Cayenne pepper (aka capsicum) is used in a variety of ways for both cooking and medicinal purposes. There are a number of ways you can incorporate cayenne pepper and cayenne pepper capsules into your daily diet.

Your metabolism can be boosted in a number of different ways through the consumption of spicy foods, but the key is eating the right spices, in the right quantities, and through the right foods, so lets take a closer look! 

Cayenne Pepper And Hypertension:

Cayenne pepper helps to make blood pressure levels normal. It regulates the flow of blood from the head to the foot and equalizes blood pressure. It also equalizes blood pressure in the arteries and veins instantly. It removes blockages present in the arteries and thus, improves the flow of blood. Since cayenne pepper reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, it simultaneously lowers the risk of hypertension.

Cayenne Pepper Weight Loss:

The main active ingredient in cayenne pepper is capsaicin. It is said to be a “thermogenic chemical” which will help speed your metabolism and decrease your appetite. It’s actually a wonderful herb. It not only can promote weight loss, but it does many other wonderful things such as: increase blood flow, maintains healthy blood pressure, increase your sex drive, may help reduce ulcers and promotes a healthy digestive system.

Cayenne Pepper And Pain Relief:

Per the University Of Maryland medical center, capsaicin has very powerful pain-relieving properties when applied to the skin. It reduces the amount of substance P, a chemical that carries pain messages to the brain, in your body. When there is less substance P, the pain messages no longer reach the brain, and you feel relief. Capsaicin is often recommended for the following conditions:

  • Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as joint or muscle pain from fibromyalgia or other causes
  • Nerve pain from shingles and other painful skin conditions (postherpetic neuralgia) that happens even after the skin blisters have gone away. Research is mixed, and it may be that it works for some people and not others. Check with your doctor to see if trying capsaicin ointment is right for you.
  • Pain after surgery, such as a mastectomy or an amputation
  • Pain from nerve damage in the feet or legs from diabetes, called diabetic peripheral neuropathy. However, capsaicin doesn’t seem to work for peripheral neuropathy from HIV.
  • Low back pain. Several studies suggest capsaicin cream can reduce lower back pain.

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Jun

13

Grapefruit And Your Metabolism, The Perfect Fat Burner?

Grapefruit And Your Metabolism, The Perfect Fat Burner?

Grapefruit is hands down, one of my favorite fruits to enjoy and yes, we can eat that!  If you’ve been trying to lose weight and you’ve been looking for a great snack food that will keep you energized between meals without making you feel full or leading you to cheat, grapefruit may be exactly what you’ve been after so lets take a closer look at some of the benefits of eating grapefruit!

 

Grapefruit And Vitamin C:

So what is grapefruit good for?  Well did you know that one half of a large grapefruit contains over 57 mg of vitamin C!  According to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin C’s functions in your body include maintaining a proper immune system and helping to create collagen, a substance found in your cartilage, skin, tendons and scar tissue.  It also functions as an antioxidant, which means it can help prevent damage to your body from free radicals.  Men typically need 90 mg of vitamin C per day, while women need 75 mg per day and by incorporating grapefruit into your diet, you can certainly get your daily amounts.

Dietary Fiber:

The grapefruit contains 1.8 g of dietary fiber in a single half. Maintaining healthy levels of fiber in your diet can help keep your digestive system functioning properly.  Fiber can help reduce your risk for intestinal disorders like diverticulitis or constipation.  The Mayo Clinic recommends that men consume about 38 g of fiber daily until age 50, after which they should consume about 30 g daily.  Women should consume about 25 g daily until age 50, and 21 g daily thereafter.

Grapefruit Weight Loss?

YES!  Because grapefruit is low in sodium and calories, it is an excellent food for dieters.  One half contains only 74 calories, making it a food that the dieter can freely consume, guilt-free.  Grapefruit also contains high amounts of enzymes and potassium that are known to burn fat.  The water content is also high (90 percent), which helps increase metabolism, which in turn aids weight loss.

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May

23

Benefits Of Green Tea Extract For People With Diabetes:

Benefits Of Green Tea Extract For People With Diabetes:Let me start off my saying that I absolutely love green tea! The benefits of drinking green tea everyday provides numerous health benefits from antioxidants to weight loss and better yet, of all the nutritional supplements you can take, green tea extract is probably one of the most well studied!

Much of the interest surrounds its high levels of antioxidants, ingredients believed to destroy cancer-causing free radicals. Green tea extract is available in capsule, tablet, or liquid form at your pharmacy or online, but why all the hype and what is the best green tea? Lets take a closer look!

Green Tea Extract And EGCG:

EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate), one of the most powerful naturally occurring antioxidants, which has been scientifically linked to the traditional benefits and, continues to be the subject of some of the most exciting anti-aging research relating to the heart, brain and other vital organs. This should rank very high as an anti aging supplement. In addition to it being a very potent antioxidant, it also supports and enhances the activity of our body’s own internal antioxidants, which are vital to our health. EGCG also supports a healthy immune system.

EGCG has been found to decrease the risk of developing atherosclerosis. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and thereby decreases arterial inflammation which decreases the chances of sticky build up on the artery walls. This could also lower blood pressure as it eases the heart’s task of pumping blood through less inflamed arteries.

We can slow the process of aging through the use of EGCG because of its ability to reduce, eliminate and neutralize free radicals and the damage they cause. EGCG may help you improve overall health because of its antioxidant abilities to strengthen, repair and optimize cellular health. This is what makes EGCG, the main beneficial component and why  its a great alternative to anyone’s arsenal of anti aging supplements.

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Apr

21

Lemon Water And Alkalinity

Lemon Water And Alkalinity Lemon water  packs a powerful punch with some amazing benefits. It balances pH, keeps your skin clear and glowing, it kick starts your digestive system, helps with weight loss, and helps to control your coffee habit. Lemon is also a natural energizer, it hydrates, it detoxifies, and it oxygenates the body so it feels revitalized and refreshed!

Increase pH Levels:

Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for the body. Sure, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). Lemons contain both citric and ascorbic acid, weak acids easily metabolized from the body allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood. Disease states can occur when the body pH is acidic. Drinking lemon water regularly can help to remove overall acidity in the body, including uric acid in the joints, which is one of the primary causes of pain and inflammation.

The energy a human receives from food comes from the atoms and molecules in your food. A reaction occurs when the positive charged ions from food enter the digestive tract and interact with the negative charged enzymes. Lemon is one of the few foods that contain more negative charged ions, providing your body with more energy when it enters the digestive tract. The scent of lemon also has mood enhancing and energizing properties. The smell of lemon juice can brighten your mood and help clear your mind. Lemon can also help reduce anxiety and depression.

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Mar

28

Diabetes, Insulin Sensitivity And Apple Cider Vinegar

Diabetes, Insulin Sensitivity And Apple Cider VinegarOver the past year plus, I’ve incorporated apple cider vinegar into my diet and I absolutely  love it and here’s why!   Apple cider vinegar benefits are plentiful. Its wide-ranging uses include everything from curing hiccups to alleviating cold symptoms, and some people have turned to apple cider vinegar to help fight high blood sugars, heart problems, high cholesterol, and weight issues.  It’s effective for pretty much anything—your skin, your hair, your house, and even your pets can benefit from its qualities. Raw, organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized, apple cider vinegar is so much more than a salad dressing!

Alkalize Your Body With Apple Cider Vinegar:

There’s that word again, Alkalize! Some alternative practitioners recommend using apple cider vinegar to restore a healthy alkaline/acid balance. The theory behind the alkaline diet is that our blood is slightly alkaline (with a normal pH level of between 7.35 and 7.45) and that our diet should reflect this pH level. A diet high in acid-producing foods leads to lack of energy, excessive mucous production, infections, anxiety, irritability, headache, sore throat, nasal and sinus congestion, allergic reactions, and increased risk of conditions such as arthritis and gout.

Despite being an acidic solution, apple cider vinegar has an alkalizing effect on the body. As such, one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in water as a daily health solution to help alkalize your body.

ACV For Heartburn:

Apple cider vinegar can also be very helpful in reducing gas and bloating. Just take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in water or tea before a meal. It can also help alleviate symptoms of heartburn. Take a dose as soon as you feel heartburn symptoms coming on.
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