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Posts Tagged ‘Type 2 Diabetes’

5 Steps to Take Control of Your Diabetes

November 22, 2013 1 comment

November is American Diabetes Month aiming to raise awareness in the movement to Stop Diabetes®. Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. If you are battling the disease, learn five tips from Michael Clark, MD, a preventive medicine physician at Cooper Clinic, to help you take control of your health.

  1. Know your Diabetes: Knowledge is one of the best ways to combat diabetes. Diabetes is able to affect your entire body. Talk in depth and frequently with a diabetes educator and/or your physician to assure you are always up-to-date with the latest information. Aside from talking to your physician, make an effort to read the literature on diabetes. Thankfully, there are some great books available as well as online websites such as diabetes.org which give you important information in a structured, easy-to-understand way. Ultimately, every patient with diabetes should know their bodies and their condition better than anyone else, including their physician.
  2. Know Your Blood Sugar: How does diabetes affect you? Testing your blood sugar will not only let you see how you’re doing on a regular basis, but it should also help you understand your diabetes and inform your decision making. This could include choosing a suitable diet, knowing how activity affects you and how stressful days and illness should be managed. Furthermore, the more detail you record, the better prepared you will be when you meet with your physician.
  3. Pick the Right Diet: A healthy diet will help in a myriad of ways. The right diet will improve blood sugar levels, improve blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce tiredness, improve digestion and can significantly improve clarity of thought.
  4. Get in Activity: Minimal activity each day can help improve our health and help us feel more energetic through the day. Even a 20 minute walk or 15 minutes of push-ups and/or aerobics in your own living room will get the heart pumping. The effect of regular activity is also known to help increase insulin sensitivity, which can be useful for all types of diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes.
  5. Manage Sleep and Stress: Is your head hitting the pillow for at least eight hours per night? Getting at least eight hours of restful sleep will not only help manage your weight, but it will help keep your blood sugar levels in check.

With these helpful, managing tips, you will be able to tackle your diabetes head on.

For more information about Cooper Clinic or to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive physical exam, call 972.560.2667.

A Healthier Cup of Coffee, A Better Start To Your Day!

Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD

Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Cooper Clinic registered dietitian talks coffee sweeteners on Fox 4 Good Day.

A day doesn’t pass by without my hazelnut K-Cup® coffee. I’m always on the go and need my morning fuel–it’s great to hear I’m reaping benefits from my daily cup of Joe. In my role in Marketing and Communications at Cooper Aerobics I have the opportunity to work with the local media to highlight our experts. Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Registered Dietitian at Cooper Clinic was recently featured on Fox 4 Good Day sharing the wonderful health benefits that coffee offers as well as the best and worst of sweeteners. Meridan explained that the polyphenols in the coffee bean in combination with caffeine provide substantial reduced risk in cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and some forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.

While coffee can be wonderful, it can also propose a challenge when we begin to “doctor” our cup. The biggest offenders are half and half and flavored creamers. These are filled with saturated fat which is a high contributor to heart disease and inflammation.

To obtain the same thick texture, Meridan suggests opting for fat free half and half, which only has a dash of corn syrup. Be sure to measure what you are pouring, ideally one tablespoon is enough. Sometimes we can get carried away and have more than ¼ cup, which adds up quickly. Another option is a soy creamer; Silk® soy creamer has only 15 calories, zero saturated fats and zero trans fats for one tablespoon.

With a variety of flavored creamers on the market like NESTLÉ® Coffee-Mate®‘s Girl Scouts® Thin Mints® to International Delight®‘s Almond Joy®, these options combine cream and sugar into one pour. Meridan said the most inflammatory ingredient in these products is the partially hydrogenated soybean oil or palm oil. If you are choosing a flavored creamer use it sparingly or look at other alternatives. Consider sugar free or fat free–but which is best? Meridan said fat free is the better option with less calories and none of the partially hydrogenated ingredients.

If you don’t drink your coffee black, what is the optimal cream and sugar option? Meridan said fat free milk which provides calcium, vitamin D and protein. If you need a little more flavor to your coffee, you could try original or flavored Silk® Almondmilk. That plus a packet of sugar or sugar subsitute can be an easier way to track your morning calories.

Enjoy your coffee and don’t forget to always eat breakfast! For more health tips from dietitians at Cooper Clinic, visit our website.

All Fruits can Fit, Even with Diabetes

December 10, 2012 2 comments

Diabetic Friendly FruitHave you ever wondered if fruit is healthy to eat when you have diabetes or prediabetes? It is! Fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, much like vegetables. Since fruit contains carbohydrates and turns to sugar, it’s wise not to eat with utter abandon. The total number of carbohydrates affects your blood sugars, regardless of whether the source is from sugar or starch.

Another common myth is that you should not eat certain types of fruit, either because they taste very sweet or contain too much sugar. The truth is all fruits contain sugar and can fit into your meal plan – the key is how much you eat! One serving contains 15 grams of carbohydrate. The serving size depends on the amount of carbohydrates in the fruit. Some fruits have more carbohydrates than others, but as long as you eat one serving, your blood sugar will be affected the same amount.

Here are some examples of 15 grams of carbohydrates of fruit:

  • 1 ¼ cup whole strawberries or chopped watermelon
  • 1 cup raspberries or chopped cantaloupe or honeydew
  • ¾ cup blueberries, blackberries or fresh pineapple
  • 1 small apple, orange or kiwi
  • 17 small grapes
  • 2 Tbsp. dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, mixed dried fruit)
  • 2 Clementines or small plums
  • ½ cup mixed fresh fruit
  • ½ large banana or grapefruit

Things to remember:

  • Aim for two to four servings of fruit per day.
  • Choose whole produce in favor of juice.
  • Make sure canned fruit is in its own juice.
  • Dried fruit is convenient, but the serving size is a fraction of the fresh version.
  • Frozen fruit is a great option for off season.
  • Go for variety and try to capture all the colors of the rainbow to maximize antioxidant (cancer fighting) benefits.

When you are trying to incorporate more fruit into your diet, try ready-to-go precut fruit for convenience. You can pack one or two pieces of fruit from home each day and have one with lunch and the other for a snack. Fruit is also makes for a great after dinner treat.

If you have diabetes or prediabetes you can eat fruit with confidence because it’s nutrient dense and a great way to get your sweet fix.