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Reading Nutrition labels: Tips for people with diabetes

Mastering Nutrition Labels

Nutrition labels are one tool a person with Diabetes, or some-one trying to prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes, can use to make healthy food choices. To bring more balance to the diabetic meals prepared at home or how you purchase your delivered prepared meals and snacks, you can gain a lot of help from the food nutrition labels on most packaging.

Read the nutrition labels as you shop and pay attention to food serving size and servings per container. Compare the total calories in similar products and choose the lowest calorie items. Let us try to break it down and make using the food nutrition label more easily understood and a constant part of our shopping experience.

Nutrition Facts:
Nutrition FactsThe serving size is the amount of food in one serving or one portion. It is important to note that all of the information on the food label is for one serving. The portion a person eats may not be the same as the serving size listed on the label. If it is not, you will need to adjust the numbers accordingly (up or down) to make them more relevant.

Here are some tips to help you visualize government-recommended serving / portion sizes:

• 3 oz meat or poultry = a deck of cards
• 3 oz fish = a checkbook
• 1 oz cheese = 4 stacked dice or 2 slices
• 1/2 cup pasta or vegetables = ½ baseball
• ¼ cup of dried fruit = a golf ball
• 1 teaspoon butter or margarine = the tip of your thumb
• 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, oil or dip = a ping-pong ball

The number of servings is listed next to the Servings per Container on the food label. Most food packages contain more than one serving.

Calories are a measure of how much energy a food provides a person. The food label shows the number of total calories and how many calories come from fat for one serving.

Here are some nutrition guidelines to pay attention to:

Total Fat – one fat serving is about 5 grams (g). Most people need about 50-65 grams (g) of fat a day. One teaspoon of butter or oil has about 5 grams (g) of fat. Limit saturated fat to less than 7% of your total daily calories. Eliminate/minimize foods with Trans fat from your diet, studies have shown that Trans fat can raise LDL (lousy or bad cholesterol) which is associated with heart disease.Some examples of foods with Trans fat include vegetable shortenings (lard), stick margarine, commercially baked foods, such as pastries, donuts, cookies and deep fried foods and snacks.Servings per Container

Cholesterol – A low-cholesterol food has 20 milligrams (mg) or less of cholesterol per serving. Try to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day. Less than 200 mg is recommended for people with diabetes or high cholesterol. A “quarter pound” hamburger has about 70 mg of cholesterol.

Fiber – Choose foods that have 3 or more grams (g) of fiber per serving. Most people need about 25 – 35 g of fiber each day.

Sodium – Choose foods that have less than 400 milligrams (mg) of sodium per serving. Most people need 2,400 mg or less of sodium each day. One teaspoon of salt has 2300 mg of sodium.

Total Diabetes Carbohydrates – includes dietary fiber, sugar and sugar alcohols. A carbohydrate serving is about 15 grams (g). Most people need about 300 g of carbohydrate each day. Get your carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and low-fat milk. A slice of store bought bread (1 ounce) has about 15 grams (g) of carbohydrate.

Protein – Most people need about 50 – 80 grams (g) of protein each day. Try to eat 2 or more servings of fish each week (not fried). One ounce of meat has about 7 grams (g) of protein.Nutrients are things we get from food

Ingredients are the things that make up the food. Ingredients are listed on food labels in the order of their amount in the food from the greatest to the least. For example, if water is the first ingredient listed, there is more water in that food than anything else. The next ingredient is listed is the thing that is in the food the next greatest amount. The last ingredient listed is the thing that is in the food the least.

Reading health claims on the label such as “fat free” or “reduced fat” can also add to the confusion of interpreting labels. Know that all claims must meet the nutrient criteria set by the government. These claims can be used in addition to the information above to make your final decisions.

Truth is, if you follow the above guidelines, you do not need these claims to help you. These are primarily marketing words to give you a quick sound bite about the product; it provides “short hand speak”. We recommend always going through the label facts and then you will not need to rely on the sound bites for your healthy eating choices like healthy snacks for diabetics and diabetic diet and meal plans. Become an expert at reading the labels and making your own decisions.

Fruits in a MarketDiabetes diet plan

Fresh fruit and vegetables are the most obvious categories where the label mostly does not exist. Sometimes if the product is pre-packaged you might find a label.

The good news is that it is hard to go wrong with fresh fruits and vegetables. The biggest loss is in understanding what a recommended food for diabetes is. I sometimes eat too much fruit and for a diabetic it is important to keep track of the sugar contribution of these fresh foods. However, for every other food that is purchased to eat from the supermarket, stop, stare at the food label and start at the top.

What is the serving size?

How many servings in this package (and so on)?

Compare it to other brands and use the above guidelines and make your decision. After some practice, this will become second nature and you will do it automatically (embarrassingly, even at other people’s houses!). So use the food label to:

• learn how much of a food is a serving (portion)
• learn what is in the food
• choose food and drinks that best fit your diabetes meal plans

A registered dietitian can also help you learn how to use diabetes diet plan labels as well as a certified diabetes educator. Just remember, nutrition food labels are your friend.

Typefreediabetes offers a full line of diabetes products, including; supplements for diabetes, durable diabetes medical equipment, and automatic blood pressure monitor and facts about diabetes. Typefreediabetes offers quality products at discounted prices on a wide selection of quality name brand equipment and supplies.

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Controlling the portion size

Portion Control PlateI’m Deborah Susan, a dietician and personal trainer specializing in nutrition and physical fitness for diabetics. I’ve written over three dozen blogs covering various aspects of diabetes including symptoms, monitoring, explaining glycaemic index, carbohydrate counting, and correlation between body weight, lifestyle and diabetes and so on.

How often have you been told that to reduce your body fat (and thereby gain control over your diabetes), you need to cut down on your portion sizes? My clients always come back and tell me they have difficulty keeping control over portion sizes especially of foods that they love. Today, my blog will be on guiding you on how best to achieve and maintain that ideal portion size.

Over the years, manufacturers of food products (large scale and retail), have gradually increased the portion size of the food they package. The usual tactic is to initially offer a certain additional portion as “free” before gradually increasing the size of the package on a more permanent basis.

I remember about five years ago, when I used to purchase a bag of chips for my 5 year old son, the quantity of chips would be barely sufficient for him. Today when I see the bag of the same brand of chips at the local mall, it can easily feed at least 3 people. When you open a bag of chips they will turn soft in a couple of hours. A single person buying a bag of chips will therefore finish it all as quickly as possible.

Complete Wade Place SettingEarlier, restaurateurs and manufacturers of food products were guided by moral and ethical values. They were aware of food that was tasty but bad for health and therefore marketed it in small quantities just so it satisfied our craving for it. Today, the modern generation restaurateurs and manufacturers are guided by greed and the need to outperform the previous year’s revenue figures. While pop-and-mom establishments do exist, businesses have gone beyond the neighborhood food outlet; in fact, they have gone national and in many instances even global. These businesses have gone public and have a large shareholder base clamoring for higher profits. Ethics and consumer health be damned.

If you are presented with a larger portion of your favorite delicacy will you refuse? Therein lies the crux of the problem. Every food item bought and sold in the supermarket, mall, diner or local restaurant is a favorite for someone or the other. He or she wouldn’t mind eating a little extra. The problem is, over the years the ‘little’ has grown into gigantic portions.

So how do you control the portion sizes?

•    When you buy prepackaged food items, share it with at least two other people or, depending on the nature of the item, store 2/3rds in the fridge/air tight container.
•    While eating out, you can either request that the portion size be decreased, or pack away the excess food in the take-out container or simply leave it in the plate. You don’t have to eat everything that is put in front of you.
•    At home, if you feel that the portions have grown in size, I recommend you purchase quality portion control plates, bowls and scoopers. Portion control plates bowls and scooper will not only help regulate quantum of food consumed it will also help you in eating the right types of food.

Click for Control Blood Sugar Levels and Controlling portion sizes

Dining Out with Diabetes

Mediterranean Diet and DiabetesMany Diabetics feel overwhelmed when they first start dining out after being diagnosed with Diabetes. After all, dining out removes some of the control you have over what ingredients and options you have for your diabetic meals. However, learning the dining out ropes may seem intimidating at first, but once you have a handle on it, dining out can be a true pleasure – and a relief if you spend much of your time in the kitchen.

As a recently diagnosed Diabetic, you should keep in mind that the principles of good nutrition are still in effect. Therefore, just because the menu offers high sugar options doesn’t mean that you should compromise your nutrition standards for the restaurant. Even if the menu does not offer items that are particularly low in sugar, you can (and should) always request that the chef take special care with your diabetes diet recipes. After all, your health is on the line! Many restaurants have special recipes for customers wishing to order sugarfree desserts or sugar free recipes. Sometimes, all you need to do is ask.

What to do when dining out:

•    Fried foods are tempting appetizers. However, most menus also offer fresh fruit, seafood or soup options. Select the Salmon seafood or soup.
•    When ordering eggs at breakfast, avoid scrambled eggs or eggs that could be mixed with butter or cream. Instead, opt for a boiled or poached egg.
•    Always ask for the dressing on the side. Many restaurants also offer sugarfree desserts in addition to traditional deserts or dressings.
•    Choose whole-grain breads when ordering rolls, crackers and biscuits. If whole-grain breads are not options, avoid eating breads made with refined flour.
•    Select brown rice over white rice.
•    Look for vegetables that come raw, steamed, stewed or boiled. Otherwise, make sure that the vegetables are not cooked with high-fat oils and butter.
•    Select lean meats, such as meats ending in “loin” (tenderloin, sirloin). Always ask for the gravy or sauce on the side of the dish.
•    For dessert, order fruit, yogurt or sugar-free ice cream. Though it may be tempting, unless there are other sugar free desserts on the menu, stick with the item with the lowest sugar level.
•    Never drink soda. Always opt for diet beverages, unsweetened tea or water.
•    Eat small portions (like you may at home, and take a doggy bag.)
•    Even when dining out, remember that you may have a special diabetes meal planning. Stick to it.
•    Don’t forget to take your medication. Grilled Fish Meal
•    Fat free doesn’t mean sugar-free. When in doubt, ask your waitress or chef for ingredients, or simply skip the item.
•    Plan to take some of your food home, even before eating. That way, you will avoid over-eating.
•    Approach buffets very carefully – start with a salad, take as much vegetables as you would like, avoid those croutons; tuck in the tomatoes; some sunflowers seeds, with no-fat or low-fat dressing and make that your first course. On the return trip, have more salad or follow the above guidelines for your entrée course.

For diabetic dessert, try the fruit. Remember some buffets, use canned fruit with sweetened juices, watch those; too much sugar. Fresh fruit is always best and they generically have those around the salad bar as well.

Dining out can often is a huge relief for families in which one person has Diabetes, but not everyone. When you dine out in such a situation, everyone can feel comfortable ordering foods that they enjoy and no one has to worry about cooking diabetic delivered prepared meals in addition to a meal that the whole family will crave. Keep in mind that by remembering your nutrition basics, you can eat large, very healthy diabetic diet meals without having to feel guilty. Bon Appétit. Enjoy.

Typefreediabetes offers a full line of diabetic testing supplies, including; incontinence products, men’s diabetic socks, delivered prepared meals, durable diabetes medical equipment, diabetes carbohydrates and facts about diabetes.  Typefreediabetes offers quality products at discounted prices on a wide selection of quality name brand equipment and supplies.

Diabetic Nerve Pain and Treatment

Diabetic nerve pain and treatment is something people with diabetes have to deal with at some point – Especially if they do not control their blood glucose levels.  Many diabetics experience nerve damage, which is also called neuropathy (noo-rop-uh-thee). Nerve damage is generally caused by high blood glucose levels that damage the coating of nerves over time. The damage occurs throughout the body, but can be most devastating on the feet because:

•    The blood has to travel the greatest distance to reach the nerves of the feet to supply them with nutrients.
•    Diabetics tend to develop foot injuries without even noticing them because they can’t feel their feet. This gives the injury more time to become infected.

Nerve damage normally occurs when the outer sheathing or the myelin (protective covering) of nerve cells degenerate.  This is similar to an electrical wire that is covered with insulation, and the insulation is beginning to crumble.  Without insulation the unprotected wire will start short-circuiting. This short-circuiting will cause all the unpleasant and painful sensations that people who are suffering from nerve pain go through. Diabetics will suffer from this nerve pain and it is a major complication of the disease.  It is the higher than normal sugar levels that creates the damage.

However, if you control your blood glucose levels through diabetes medications or blood sugar meters, incorporating healthy diabetic diet menu, and daily diabetes exercises, chances are very good that you can prevent or delay the onset of complications that are associated with nerve damage.

Signs of Diabetic Nerve Damage:

•    Pain, burning or tingling in the feet and hands Bathroom Scale with Built-In Foot Mirror
•    Abnormal sweating
•    Light-headedness when you stand
•    Difficulty swallowing food
•    Bowel problems and difficulty urinating
•    Bladder and kidney infections
•    Sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction

Treatment:

The treatment for nerve damage often involves preventing the damage from ever occurring. Once the nerves are damaged, it can be difficult to recover their full functionality. Here are some tips to help you prevent nerve damage:

•    Monitor and control your blood glucose levels through blood sugar monitors
•    Exercise by wearing diabetes shoes for at least 30 minutes each day
•    Monitor changes with your feet, such as loss of feeling or tingling

Contact your physician immediately if you think that you may have nerve damage. Catching the damage early may help to prevent complications and spreading. Remember, you can prevent nerve damage, but you cannot cure it.

Typefreediabetes offers a full line of diabetic testing supplies, including; incontinence products, women’s diabetic socks, diabetic meals delivered, durable diabetes medical equipment, Digital Blood Pressure Monitor and facts about diabetes.  Typefreediabetes offers quality products at discounted prices on a wide selection of quality name brand equipment and supplies.

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Walking Faster Improves Diabetes Control

What can you do to reduce your weight and increase your health if you already have Type 2 Diabetes? You can walk it off.

Walking is an excellent way for people with diabetes to get a cardiovascular workout no matter what shape you are in. When you walk, you will not only improve blood circulation throughout your body, but you will also burn those fat-producing calories. As you know, less fat is healthier for your heart and metabolism and will help you maintain control of your Diabetes. Always check your fat or claries through omron pocket pedometer and body fat analyzer

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition and if not diagnosed early and managed effectively, it can lead to complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness and amputation.

Plus, you can walk anywhere! If it’s raining, head to a mall or a gym. If you’re taking a lunch break from work, walk by wearing men’s diabetic socks and shoes around your office campus or lace up your sneakers and walk to lunch rather than drive. Walking is a natural behavior that will not stress your body unless you want it to in order to burn more calories.

Here are some tips and facts about walking that will get you motivated and moving: Get some diabetics shoes and Get Walking!

100 calories per mile

On average, you will burn about 100 calories for every mile you walk, Diabetic Men’s & Women’s Athletic Shoes and diabetics socks no matter what your pace. Keep in mind that if you walk quickly, you will burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, whereas if you walk slowly, it will take longer to burn the calories, but it will also take longer to complete a mile. Always use to check blood glucose through diabetic glucose meter.

3500 calories per pound of fat

Yup – each pound of fat has about 3500 calories in. For a visual motivator, put four sticks of butter in a plastic Ziploc bag and let them melt to room temperature through blood pressure monitor. That’s about what a pound of fat looks like. Now imagine that fat distributed throughout your organs, muscles, and flesh. Pretty gross, huh? That’ll get you moving!

Head for the hills

Walking up an incline can turn your aerobic walking into anaerobic exercise pretty quickly. Keep in mind that aerobic exercise and Mediterranean diet pyramid burns fat while anaerobic exercise burns calories. Combining both exercises into one workout will boost your metabolism while also giving your body the kick it needs to burn calories and build muscle throughout the day.

30 Minutes a day

You can see real results with just 30 minutes walk by wearing diabetes shoes in a day. But be patient. In those thirty minutes, you can burn about 200 calories, if you walk at a pace of 15 minutes a mile. 200 calories is roughly the amount of calories in that banana and glass of orange juice you had for breakfast! Or that sugar free candies you snuck in at lunch. Exercise and walking have also been shown to reduce the risks of developing Type II diabetes. Whether you have diabetes or not, it is never too soon or too late to begin a walking or exercise program.

Typefreediabetes offers a full line of diabetic testing supplies, including; incontinence protection, women’s diabetic socks, insulin pumps for diabetics, durable diabetes medical equipment, accu-chek active test strips and many other home health care products and supplies.  Typefreediabetes offers quality products at discounted prices on a wide selection of quality name brand equipment and supplies.

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Diabetes risk in family spurs ventures for couple

Husband and wife Ed and Ann-Marie Stephens founded their first website, TypeFreeDiabetes.com, after compiling information for family members who were diabetic.
“Our families are stricken with Type 2 diabetes,” Ed Stephens said. “All of my three older siblings have it, and Ann-Marie has family members with it.”

Both Ed and Ann-Marie Stephens are chemical engineers with backgrounds in product development for large national companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Frito-Lay and Avon. They decided to create a website that would contain dietary and nutritional information in addition to products for diabetics, everything from shoes and cookware to meters and portion-controlled dinnerware.

“We wanted a one-stop shop for people who have diabetes,” said Ann-Marie Stephens, who is a former senior vice president at Circuit City Stores Inc. “We wanted it to be a lifestyle site. People are always looking for a place that will help them figure it all out.”

The couple founded Henrico County-based Blue Horizon Development in 2004 and spent three years conducting research before launching the e-commerce site TypeFreeDiabetes.com in 2007.

“We have been executing a phased rollout of our concept,” Ann-Marie Stephens said. “Phase one was the information and education center of the site. Phase two was the e-commerce portion, which started in 2008.”

They had considered opening a bricks-and-mortar location but decided to go the Internet route instead. “On the Web, we didn’t have the overhead,” she said.

In 2010, the couple also launched PrecisePortions.com, a site for the sale of their porcelain dinnerware system for weight management. They saw portion-controlled dinnerware as a strategic area for their company.

“At our hearts, we are innovators,” Ann-Marie Stephens said.

In addition to portion-controlled dinnerware, PrecisePortions.com includes healthy recipes and charts containing nutritional information regarding vegetables, meats and starches.

The stylish design the couple used for their plates, bowls and glasses is easy to understand because of its subtle visual cues for portioning. The weight management system is dietitian designed to ensure it meets dietary guidelines from the American Dietetic Association.

Dietician and nutritional consultant Bernadine Scott of Detroit said she enjoys consulting with the couple on PrecisePortions.com.

“They are excellent to work with,” she said. “They are receptive to ideas because they want accurate information.”
She finds that people often have challenges with portioning when they are trying to lose weight or stay on a healthy diet.

“Most people want a simple tool to work with,” Scott said. “Before (PrecisePortions.com), portion-control plates have always been plastic ware. These look elegant. I like the idea that a person could use them every day.”

In 2010, TypeFreeDiabetes.com experienced top-line revenue growth and was able to double its profits of 2009. “PrecisePortions.com sales are going well too,” Ann-Marie Stephens said.

Most of the company’s sales for both sites are concentrated in the United States, but PrecisePortions.com also is selling in Canada. Dinnerware for the site is manufactured in Ohio.

The Stephenses are looking at a few strategic partnerships for their portion-controlled dinnerware line. “We are in talks with a large corporation that is interested in providing this product to its employees,” Ed Stephens said. “We would like to connect with high-profile health and wellness gurus, as well.”

Brian Leach, president and CEO of Richmond-based Unboxed Technologies, began using PrecisePortions dinnerware with his family after Leach consulted with the Stephenses.
“It’s interesting to see how the lines (on the plates) influence your portion control habits,” he said. “It has been educating our children on portion size.”

He finds the Stephenses to be very focused on the consumer.

“They are very passionate about trying to get it right and making a difference,” he said.

Type 2 Diabetes – Making the Most of the Lazy Days of Summer

Summer is in full-swing, which means that the lazy days of summer are officially upon us! Whether you’re summer plans involve relaxing by the pool with a good book and cold beverage, snacks of diabetes, getting some sunshine at the beach, or driving the kids from one summertime event to another, here are some tips to help you make the most of these lazy days while staying healthy and energetic!

Get in the Water:
The summer is filled with activities that are centered around water. From water sports like sailing to simply jumping into the crystal clear pool waters you’ve been dying to test out, it’s time to take advantage of water rather than sunbathe near it!

Swimming and water aerobics provide some of the best outlets for toning your entire body using water for resistance (rather than those clunky weights at the gym). Or spend some time in the water with your kids next time they jump in the pool…you’ll be surprised by how toned your arms can get from tossing them into back flips!

Walk that Beach: Just about everyone takes a few days to get down to the beach each summer. Next time you’re at the beach, don’t just watch the sand crabs; get out and enjoy the sand yourself! Walking or running with diabetic footwear in sand not only helps to tone your leg muscles (the softer the sand, the harder it is to walk and the more calories you’ll burn), but it will ensure that you get at least a little bit of cardio in between bouts of wave watching and book reading. Be sure to apply sunscreen before you head out for a walk; just 30 minutes in the bright summer sun is enough to burn your skin and scalp.

Don’t Just Wait in the Car

If you’re like many parents and you think that the summer has come down to a series of waiting periods while your children complete their summer activities, you’re not alone. But next time your child has a soccer practice, dance lesson, or art class, don’t just wait in the car; get out and exercise!

Dress for the occasion in workout clothes, or simply keep some sneakers in the car if you don’t have time for a full-on workout. While your child practices soccer, walk or jog around the field. If your child is taking a dance lesson, take time for yourself to run around the neighborhood where the dance studio is.

With the high prices of gas these days, it’s more cost effective to stay in the vicinity of the lesson rather than going home and coming back after your child’s activity anyway. You’ll usually have about an hour to yourself to get active and keep your weight down, or pull in other parents to work out together while you wait.

Always Have a Snack On-Hand Like Sugarfree Desserts

Almond Snack It’s easy to gain weight in the summer with the level of physical activity decreasing in the hot sun while the number of ice cream stands generally goes through the roof. In order to put cravings at bay, make sure to always have a healthy snack on hand for you and your family. Almonds and dried fruit are excellent, healthy choices and they last in even the hottest of cars.

Click Here For : Snacks for Diabetics

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