Thursday, January 22, 2015

The case for avoiding sugar -- and diets

I've long held that fad diets like resets and detox diets are not healthy for you.  The other day NPR ran a story about the healthier alternative:

From Detox To Elimination Diets, Skipping Sugar May Be The Best Bet

From the article:

We spoke to Dr. Ranit Mishori, a faculty member in family medicine at Georgetown University Medical School who has reviewed the literature on colon cleanses. She told us that lots of her patients are asking about detox and cleansing diets, especially at this time of year. Her advice: Steer clear.

The way she explains it, our bodies have an excellent built-in system for getting rid of toxins. Our kidneys and livers, for instance, both play an important role in helping to filter out potentially harmful compounds.

"The human body has evolved over many years, and it has a very sophisticated [filtering] system through the liver, through the kidneys," Mishori told us.

Instead, the article recommends cutting back on sugar, which was been connected to all kinds of health conditions, including diabetes.

So what kind of simple, good-for-you changes should you consider? Mishori offered her top three tips: "Cutting on sugar is always a good idea. Cutting on processed foods is always a good idea. Being better hydrated is always a good idea," she told us.

Diets don't need to be all-or-nothing. When it comes to sugar, the idea is to reduce consumption and be more mindful.

Currently, as we've reported, the typical American consumes about 22 teaspoons a day of sugar, which is about three times more than what's recommended. And the evidence is piling up that this is doing all kinds of damage to our bodies.

That's such a scary amount of sugar!  But the problem is that sugar is in many processed foods -- even things that don't seem sweet, like crackers -- so by cutting back on processed foods, you'll also be cutting a lot of sugar from your diet.

I highly recommend that before anyone embarks on some miracle, cure-all detox or reset or any other extreme fad diet, that you simply try cutting back on sugar and processed foods -- especially since these foods can have more of an impact on blood sugar than whole foods.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A new way to make diabetic test strips?

NPR ran this story recently, about a new material with which diabetic test strips can be made:

Weavers Turn Silk Into Diabetes Test Strips

I have to admit, this is intriguing -- not just because the silk strips are cheaper than plastic or paper to make, but because I wonder if it means anything new for the product and, overall, the industry.  I think there would be some concerns here, though, if people are opposed to using silk for ethical reasons.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Finally! An article on type 1 diabetes

Anyone who has read much of my blog knows that I've complained ad nauseam about articles that lump type 1 diabetes in with type 2, as if they are anywhere close to being the same disease.  Finally, today, NPR ran a piece on the trials of living with type 1 diabetes -- except that it's not a very flattering picture.

Tight Control Of Type 1 Diabetes Saves Lives, But It's Tough

As someone who has lived with Type 1 myself for over 40 years – I was diagnosed in 1973, at age 9 – I can tell you that keeping my blood sugars in control 24/7 is incredibly difficult. And that's despite having the knowledge on how to do it, as well as the health insurance that covers my test strips and insulin pump supplies. Many others with Type 1 diabetes don't, which helps explain the gap between what the studies say is best practice and what happens in real life.