November is American Diabetes Month. The CDC’s National Diabetes Statistics Report estimates that 9.3% of the U.S. population 20 years or older, or 29.1 million people, have diabetes. Those under 20 years old with diabetes number about 208,000. For all of these individuals, monitoring blood glucose is an important daily concern — and should be a priority for all of us. Continue reading “Science & Health Today: Blood Sugar Management”
Remember high school anatomy class, where you learned that DNA and cells make up our bodies? You may not have learned about the epigenome back then, but scientists have been studying it for decades.
Recent studies continue to show a shocking 25% of people with type 2 diabetes don’t even know they are at risk. The alarming statistics underscore the importance of an increased need for recognizing the associated risk factors and symptoms.
The symptoms are often very subtle and develop over the course of several years. While the short-term effects of uncontrolled blood sugar such as hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis are apparent and acute, the imperceptible damage occurring throughout the body as blood sugar slowly rises is not so obvious. So even if you feel fine, uncontrolled blood sugar can cause serious
long-term damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nervous system.
Blood sugar management, however, is no longer a struggle reserved for only those experiencing diabetes. It is also a critical factor associated with the progression of metabolic syndrome, which increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other chronic health conditions.
According to the CDC, more than a third of all US adults meet the definition and criteria for metabolic syndrome. Since 1988 the prevalence of metabolic syndrome has risen by more than 35%. And it becomes more common with age — afflicting nearly 60% of people in their 60s and 70s. The diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is based on the presence of three or more of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal obesity (measured by waist circumference)
o Men – greater than 40 inches
o Women – greater than 35 inches
- Triglycerides greater than or equal to 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL)
- HDL cholesterol:
o Men – Less than 40 mg/dL
o Women – Less than 50 mg/dL
- Blood pressure greater than or equal to 130/85 millimeters of mercury (mmHg)
- Fasting glucose greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL
Excess weight—particularly around the belly—is a significant risk factor for metabolic syndrome and is a primary indicator of insulin resistance. You can prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome with lifestyle changes aimed at reducing insulin resistance. They include low saturated fat intake, consumption of low-glycemic-index foods, physical exercise, and prevention of obesity.
Science Unlocks Nature’s Potential
Nutrition research continues to identify the blood-sugar-balancing potential within many natural sources shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar spikes. These scientific advances have made it possible to develop nutritional solutions to blood sugar management and weight loss.
- Pycnogenol®. This French maritime pine bark is a powerful antioxidant. A clinical study showed that Pycnogenol slowed absorption of carbohydrates, resulting in lower blood sugar.
- Cinnamon. Although this spice has been used in cooking for centuries, its blood sugar balancing benefits have only recently been discovered. A clinical study published in Diabetes Care, the journal of the American Diabetes Association, showed cinnamon to reduce serum glucose, triglycerides and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Omega-3s. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have been found to help improve triglyceride levels. High triglycerides are associated with unmanaged diabetes. According to the National Institutes of Health’s Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, fish oil may reduce triglyceride levels by 20 to 50 percent.
- Lunasin. A naturally occurring soy peptide, is the first dietary ingredient identified to promote optimal health at the epigenetic level. This powerful antioxidant is clinically shown to help normalize cholesterol levels and inflammatory response.
Each of these clinically-studied ingredients has been formulated into GlucAffect. Reliv’s patented nutritional approach to supporting healthy blood sugar levels. GlucAffect is clinically proven to target multiple symptoms of metabolic syndrome. An eight-week, placebo-controlled clinical study observed 50 overweight individuals with elevated blood sugars. The test subjects taking four daily servings of GlucAffect lowered their blood sugars to healthy levels. In addition, the subjects lost an average of 16 pounds during the eight-week period.
“I am living life on my terms because GlucAffect has made all the difference when it comes to balancing my blood sugar levels.” – Terry C.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Reliv products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Despite the abundance of food in most developed countries, our diets today are still sadly lacking. One key power nutrient missing? Omega-3, an essential fatty acid. And more studies are showing that increasing omega-3 in our diets can pay off in significant health benefits, from weight loss to decreased risk of heart disease. Continue reading “Oh, The Many Wonders of Omega-3”
What a great deal when you’re actually being encouraged to eat – breakfast that is! If you think skipping breakfast helps you shave calories from the day, think again.
Study after study shows breakfast eaters are leaner than breakfast skippers. And the National Weight Control Registry finds people who have lost at least 30 pounds tend to keep it off by eating breakfast. That’s because breakfast eaters tend to eat fewer calories over the course of the day and have better overall nutritional status than breakfast skippers.
When you skip breakfast, your metabolism slows down and your blood sugar drops. That sets you up for a food grab later. The calories you save on the front end of the day will generally be compensated for at the back end — and your rear-end! By skipping breakfast, you’re likely to eat more at lunch and dinner and may feel justified in eating junk (high-calorie snacks) in between.
A Lifetime of Benefits
In addition, an American Heart Association study shows eating breakfast every day may reduce the risk for obesity and insulin resistance syndrome, an early sign of developing diabetes, by as much as 35-50 percent. People who eat a healthy breakfast also tend to have lower cholesterol.
If weight control and better general health aren’t reason enough to eat breakfast, this first meal also improves performance on the job or in the classroom with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and more strength and endurance.
What’s for Breakfast?
For a healthy breakfast, try to choose foods from at least two food groups. Sorry, donuts and coffee don’t qualify. But here are some quick ideas that do:
- Go for protein. Eggs are a great source of high-quality protein that fills you up so you’re not hungry in an hour. Canadian bacon is another good source of lean protein. Try a slice of Canadian bacon, a slice of tomato and an egg on a whole-wheat English muffin for breakfast on the go.
- Get your grains. Whole-grain cereal with skim milk is a great choice for a quick, easy breakfast that offers filling fiber, vitamins, minerals, and a calcium boost.
- Fill up on fruit or veggies. Top whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and apple slices. Or whip together a veggie omelet, Reliv shake blended with yogurt and fruit, or grab a hardboiled egg and banana on the way out the door.
- Core nutrition to go. With a Reliv shake, you can sneak in all your essential vitamins and minerals for the day with a scoop of Reliv Now® and be out the door in minutes!
Looking for a healthy Reliv shake recipe? Check out this list for some ideas!
Now I can take my grandkids to the amusement park!
GlucAffect®’s launch two years ago couldn’t have been better timing for Key Director Nedra Smith of Fairfield, CA. Just three days prior, Nedra had been diagnosed with diabetes, a condition that runs in her family. Continue reading “My Story: Nedra Smith”
For more than 20 years, Judy Niemuth, 64, of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, watched her mother battle diabetes and struggle with her health. Last October, at age 85, Judy’s mother passed away from a massive heart attack. Continue reading “My Story: Judy Niemuth”
Greg and Gail Johnson, of Olympia, Washington, found GlucAffect makes the difference in their now-healthy — and normal — lifestyle. Greg is a Type II diabetic who came to Reliv six years ago. Using Reliv’s essential nutrition, he was able to bring his blood sugar levels down considerably to a pre-diabetic level that averaged 110-120, and saw his blood pressure and cholesterol return to normal levels. Continue reading “My Story: Greg and Gail Johnson”
Reliv Director Sherry Cramer of Charleroi, Pennsylvania, really looks forward to putting a scoop of GlucAffect™ in her coffee. “It tastes a little bit like hot chocolate with cinnamon,” says Sherry, who started taking Reliv products when was diagnosed with type II diabetes two years ago. Continue reading “My Story: Sherry Cramer”