Diabetes Starts Way Before Diagnosis

Hardly a revelation, but new a study in the Lancet shows blood glucose sensitivity starts to change several years before the onset of type-2 diabetes. Scientists followed 6,538 adults without diabetes for 10 years, during which 505 people were diagnosed with the disease. Among the newly diabetic, data revealed steep increases in fasting glucose three years prior to their diagnosis. Experts blame years of overeating, obesity and inactivity; via Booster Shots.

Listen up! Diabetes isn’t inevitable. Last month, research linked healthy, vegetable-based diets to lower risk of type-2 diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman recommends regular exercise and eating plenty of leafy greens, beans and nuts for diabetes prevention, and reversal.

In related news, breakfast cereals like cornflakes spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels, raising the risk for heart disease.

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Breakfast Cereal Raises Blood Sugar, Heart Risks

Put the cornflakes down! New findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology claim high-glycemic foods spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels. Subjects fed cornflakes, glucose and high-fiber cereal had impaired the endothelial function—the cells that line the inside of blood vessels—compared to people given oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. Poor endothelial function is believed to increase the risk of heart disease; Health Day News reports.

Breakfast cereal and white bread are processed foods, i.e. empty carbohydrates with no nutrition. Even “whole wheat” bread is a scam. Dr. Fuhrman says caramel color is added to give it the appearance of whole wheat. Luckily, fruits and vegetables are packed with healthful fiber and nutrients.

In April, a study showed overweight Latino teenagers switching to a high-fiber, low-sugar diet had less risk of type-2 diabetes and experienced substantial drops in blood glucose levels.

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Not Many Junk Food Commercials Banned

In 2007, countries like Canada and the U.K. banned junk food commercials during kids’ television. It seemed like a good idea, but now a new study in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood reveals many commercials aren’t actually getting the ban. Researchers analyzed 2,315 adverts from Canada and 1,365 from the U.K., 52% to 61% were for unhealthy food, with 5% to 11% likely to be seen by children, but only 5% of the ads would be prohibited under the ban; via EurekAlert!

Even 5% can’t hurt, because previous research has shown most commercials during kids’ programming are for junk food, with American children being exposed to food of poor nutritional quality, like Honey Smacks cereal, which have as much sugar as a glazed doughnut.

In related news, a recent study found advertisements for unhealthy snack foods, like chocolate bars and ice cream, often appear right next to health articles in health magazines!

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Most of America's Salt Comes from Processed Food

Presented at the 2009 American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Conference, experts claim switching to a low sodium diet is the most important lifestyle change people with heart problems can make, but many people ignore their doctor’s recommendation. Scientists surveyed 116 heart patients on what they ate for three days, finding 70% of sodium intake comes from processed foods such as deli meats and fast food; HealthDay News reports.

Boxed breakfast cereals are another high-salt culprit, especially kids’ cereals. Salt is bad news for your heart. Sodium decreases levels of a helpful enzyme that helps blood vessels relax and lowers blood pressure. And consuming a lot of salt worsens metabolic syndrome, which is a known precursor to cardiovascular disease.

As for meat, a recent study revealed men eating too much red or processed meat had a 27% higher risk of dying from heart disease and women had a 50% greater risk. Eek!

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Health-Points: Friday 4.24.09

  • Onto a better food, presented at this year’s Experimental Biology Conference, blueberries were found to help combat abdominal fat. In the study, rats eating a lot of blueberries lost belly fat. Excess abdominal fat has been closely associated to heart disease and diabetes. The rats also experienced lower cholesterol and better glucose control, even if their diet wasn’t heart-healthy; via WebMD Health News.

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U.S. Food Spending Drops Sharply

Last year, more and more people opened their wallets only to find cobwebs where money used to be, as a result consumer spending on food dropped in 2008, hurting restaurants, brand names and grocery stores. Food spending fell an inflation-adjusted 3.7%, the steepest decline in the 62 years the government has recorded the figure. People’s preferences changed too, for the better and the not-so-better, buying of fresh vegetables jumped 2.3% and beef and sweets decreased 3.4% and 5.1% respectively, but eggs increased 3% and milk 1%; The Wall Street Journal reports.

But the recession-diet news is conflicted. Previous reports claim pasta consumption is up in the United States, because it’s a cheap food that can feed a whole family, despite being incredibly nutrient poor. And others suggest more Americans are turning to processed cereals and ditching veggies to save money.

No doubt, buying food can be very expensive. So try shopping at a farmers market or buying marked down fruits and veggies. Both will help keep money in your wallet.

Via TreeHugger.

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Kellogg's Scolded for Misleading Ads

A U.K. standards agency has upheld complaints against Kellogg’s for advertisements implying their cookies are healthy, when they’re actually high in sugar and saturated fat. And while Kellogg’s didn’t do anything factually wrong, the agency contends Kellogg’s places emphasis on the wrong things, i.e. the scant vitamins and minerals in the cookies. When reached for comment, a company representative said the cookies are just a sweet treat with a little bit extra; from FoodNavigator.

Yeah, you got to be pretty stupid to think cookies are healthy. Now, in October a study revealed Kellogg's Honey Smacks breakfast cereal contains as much sugar as a Dunkin’ Donuts glazed doughnut. Kellogg’s cereals are also loaded with salt. Eek!

It’s been tough for Kellogg’s lately. Their peanut butter’s got salmonella and celebrity spokesman Michael Phelps is now a pot head.

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Times are Tough, So Eat Pasta?

We all know the economy is bad right now. People are pinching pennies. And that’s why, despite the obvious recession, pasta-makers are experiencing growth. Apparently, total pasta consumption in the United States rose by 0.4% per volume and this doesn’t even include sales by mega-retailer Wal-Mart. Shoppers are buying more pasta because it’s cheap; the Associated Press explains.

No doubt, junk food producers love to hear this! Some companies have already started pushing unhealthy cheap food. Because previous reports indicate during a time of recession people are more likely to ditch healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, in favor of inexpensive stuff, like cereal and candy.

Okay, it’s not impossible to eat healthfully in these tough times. Just keep your eyes open. For example, every week I find all sorts of reduced price fruits and veggies. Hey, every little bit helps!

Via Fit Sugar.

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