Exercise For Diabetes

The Best Way to Prevent Diabetes

If you have prediabetes, the standard advice to avoid getting diabetes is to do three things at once: cut calories, eat a low-fat diet, and get exercise. But a recent study shows that it makes more sense to focus on just the last one of these.

Ever since 2002, when researchers published the results of the Diabetes Prevention Program, we have known that intensive lifestyle changes are the best way to avoid diabetes. That program aimed at reducing your weight by 7 percent, eating a low-fat diet, and increasing your physical activity to at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, such as walking or biking.

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Diabetes Diet

Does More Fruit Matter?

September was the “Fruits & Veggies–More Matters” month. But does it matter to those of us who have diabetes?

Fewer than 1 in 7 American adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables, the U.S. government says. The recommended amount isn’t much: just 2½ cup-equivalents (2½ cups of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, 5 cups of leafy salad greens, or 11⁄4 of a cups of dried vegetables).

Significantly, what our government considers to be vegetables do not include grains, which are a separate food group. Nor does the vegetable group include nuts, seeds, and soy products, which are considered to be a protein food.

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The Bad Words for People with Diabetes

These are some of the worst words to use about people with diabetes:

We aren’t diabetics who try to control our disease. Instead, we are people with diabetes who manage this condition.

Team Novo Nordisk in June asked people with diabetes, parents, and partners to share their opinions on the language of diabetes. Almost 400 people responded to the survey that the team published on August 15.

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Diabetes Complications

Don’t Let Diabetes Destroy Your Sex Life

Your intimate relationships can suffer when you have diabetes. But it’s not inevitable.

Challenges to sexual performance remain a taboo subject for many people, even as sex itself has come out of the bedroom and our culture has become increasingly sex obsessed. Consequently, you may be reluctant to discuss your concerns with a date, a partner, or even with a healthcare provider.

Those of us who have diabetes tend to accept, albeit reluctantly, that we have or may get the physical complications that can come with it. Yet we too often try to hide the emotional complications that can be equally devastating to satisfactory intimate relationships.

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Diabetes Diet

Eat the Carbs Last

When you eat protein and vegetables before eating food that’s high in carbohydrates, your blood glucose and insulin levels won’t spike as much after the meal as when you eat the carbs first. This is the main message of a new study previewed in June.

Alpana Shukla, MD, presented her findings in a poster, “Food Order Has a Significant Impact on Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Excursions,” at this year’s annual convention of the American Diabetes Association in New Orleans. This is the world’s largest scientific meeting focused on diabetes, and I represented HealthCentral.com.

The findings make an important point for those of us who have Type 2 diabetes. Until now, the conventional nutritional advice has been mostly negative — what not to eat, eat less, and so on. But it turns out the timing of what we eat matters too.

This new study is a small one, involving only seven people with Type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese. Dr. Shukla and her seven Cornell associates measured the blood glucose levels of these participants every half hour for three hours after they ate the same amount of calories in protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates in a different order on separate days.

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Diabetes Basics, Diabetes Medication, Psychosocial

High-deductible Health Insurance Can Be Expensive

Every day more people with diabetes sign up for high-deductible health insurance in hopes that they will save money. Because they have low monthly premiums, these plans are increasingly popular.

But instead of being less expensive, they are more costly for most people with diabetes. This is the conclusion of a study that Frank Wharam, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, presented this June at the annual convention of the American Diabetes Association in New Orleans. This is the world’s largest scientific meeting focused on diabetes, and I was in the audience to represent HealthCentral.com.

The proportion of people who have high-deductible health insurance is skyrocketing, partly due to the Affordable Care Act. In 2006, only 10 percent of insured Americans had deductibles of $1,000 or more. But this proportion shot up to 46 percent last year, and Professor Wharam says that it is “likely to explode.”

The way that high-deductible health coverage works is by charging a lower monthly premium than what you would have to pay for a standard plan. But when you use your health care coverage, your out-of-pocket costs are higher.

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