Diet of Adolescents With and Without Diabetes: Part 2

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There have been drastic changes over the last 3 decades with regard to the dietary recommendations for people with diabetes. Before 1994, nutrition recommendations were set forth for all people with diabetes with little regard to the individual’s lifestyle. After 1994 and consistent with the 2002 American Diabetes Association (ADA) evidence-based guidelines, the emphasis shifted from a strict focus on dietary components to a focus on maintaining target blood glucose levels and a lipid profile and blood pressure that reduce the risk of chronic disease. The current ADA nutrition recommendations for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes share these goals and also focus on adequate nutrient intake for growth and development. These recommendations are based on the requirements for nondiabetic children and adolescents that are collected in the Dietary Reference Intakes, which update and expand the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs).

Only a few studies have examined the diets of children with type 1 diabetes, and even fewer have compared those diets with children without diabetes. In terms of energy intake, two studies of children with type 1 diabetes found that energy intake was lower than recommended; one study found that children met the RDA, and a fourth study found that male subjects met the RDA but female subjects had energy levels below the RDA. Two studies compared the energy intake of children with diabetes with that of matched control subjects. One study found that the intake of children with diabetes fell below that of control subjects who met the RDA, and the other study, based solely on girls, found no difference between children with diabetes and control subjects in energy intake, with both groups reporting lower intake than predicted by energy expenditure.

Studies have also examined the components of dietary intake. Carbohydrates are an important consideration in the diets of children with type 1 diabetes, as they are the principal source of energy but require appropriate amounts of insulin to be utilized by the body. Four studies found that children met carbohydrate requirements, and one study found that children had a lower carbohydrate intake than recommended. In the two studies that included a comparison group, children with diabetes had a lower carbohydrate intake than age- and sex-matched control subjects.



Diet of Adolescents With and Without Diabetes: Part 1

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OBJECTIVETo compare the dietary intake of adolescents with type 1 diabetes with that of adolescents without diabetes matched on age, sex, and year in school and to compare the diets of both groups with recommendations.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS —Participants were 132 adolescents with type 1 diabetes, recruited from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and 131 adolescents without diabetes ranging in age from 10.70 to 14.21 years. Dietary intake was assessed with three 24-h recall interviews with each participant and one parent. Percentage of calories from protein, carbohydrates, and total fat; amount of each type of fat; and amount of cholesterol, fiber, and sugar were calculated as averages across 3 days.

RESULTS —Adolescents with diabetes took in less total energy than recommended. The percentage of calories from carbohydrates and protein were within recommendations for adolescents with and without diabetes, but adolescents with diabetes exceeded the recommended fat intake. The diet of adolescents with diabetes consisted of a greater percentage of fat and protein and a smaller percentage of carbohydrates relative to adolescents without diabetes. Adolescents without diabetes consumed more sugar, while adolescents with diabetes took in more of all components of fat than adolescents without diabetes. Male subjects with diabetes had an especially high intake of saturated fat.

CONCLUSIONS —Adolescents with type 1 diabetes consume fewer calories from carbohydrates but more calories from fat than adolescents without diabetes and exceed the recommended levels of fat intake. These findings are of concern given the risk that type 1 diabetes poses for cardiovascular disease.



Free Diabetic Meal Plans – Diabetic Meal Planning

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Dealing with diabetes requires investing time in many different responsibilities. This is, of course, because diabetes remains a serious health issue. As such, a great deal of effective planning must go into keeping the condition in check. Once area where this is extremely important would be diet. The wrong diet eaten in the wrong amounts could have significant negative impact on a diabetic. That is why the availability of free diabetic meal plans is so enormously helpful. Following such meal plans can potentially reverse scores of problems that would have otherwise been too difficult to deal with.

When these plans are used in conjunction with diabetic testing supplies, you will discover that your ability to maintain effective blood sugar levels is increased significantly. Really, this should not come as much of a surprise. These plans have been specially designed so that it aids in keeping your blood sugar levels in check and that is of vital importance on diabetic people.

When a meal plan negative impacts a diabetic person, the results can be cataclysmic. Diabetic seizures are not uncommon when a person has a seriously dangerous blood sugar level. With diabetic meal plans (along with diabetic testing supplies), you can greatly reduce the potential for such adverse health effects from occurring. That alone will certainly help improve the quality of life.

They also make life a lot easier and less stressful. The reason is rather self-evident. When the meals are already planned out for you, it is not necessary to invest a great deal of time trying to devise the best possible meal plan on your own. Also, lack of familiarity regarding what makes a proper meal comes into play. How can you plan your meals if you do not know what the proper meal should be?

Shopping for the items on the meal list also can be a little complicated. Again, much of the complexity derives from not truly understanding what is required to create the proper meal selection. Those that lack experience in the field of healthcare are not going to be intimately versed in how to prepare meals. This is why they need access to effective meal plans which can guide their purchasing decisions.

And yes, the availability of FREE meal plans is a major benefit to those that must watch their budget as well as their diet. Consider that another major plus in regards to these meal plans.

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Fighting Diabetes With Diet

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We live in a world where preventable diseases are affecting more people every year. In fact 24 million Americans have diabetes. At the current rate, one out of every three people born in 2000 will develop diabetes, putting them at higher risk for other medical problems. What is going on? It cannot be all about genetics. Something in our day-to-day lives is making us sicker.

Before pointing fingers, let’s look at what diabetes is. It’s a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin-a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. A common precursor to diabetes is hypoglycemia-the body’s inability to handle large amounts of sugar. Hypoglycemia can be caused by an overload of sugar, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and stress. This condition is triggered when the pancreas secretes too much insulin in response to a rapid rise in blood sugar, which in turn causes blood sugar levels to plummet, starving the body’s cells of needed fuel. When we need fuel, our body’s natural response is to crave something sweet, and that is where we get into trouble.

Most people’s reaction when they crave something sweet is to run to the vending machine for a candy bar or soda. This fix may provide instant gratification, but it can cause your blood sugar levels to spike right after a meal and then crash to abnormally low levels several hours after a meal. This roller-coaster effect is implicated in the onset of type 2 diabetes. It may take years for hypoglycemia to develop into full-blown diabetes, so the earlier you intervene the better.

Since overconsumption of refined sweets and added sugars has led to the increase in obesity, hypoglycemia and diabetes, diet is an important preventative measure. We’ve got to literally clean up the junk in our diets. I like to say, eat less sugar and chemical-filled artificial junk food, more vegetables, whole grains and fruit. Instead of that doughnut for breakfast, try a complex carbohydrate like oatmeal for sustainable energy. By eating something without added sugar your body will be able to maintain its natural balance and you will be less likely to crave those processed sweets. Another way to think about it is to eat less food in brightly colored packages and boxes and more colorful foods from the produce section.

Sugar cravings are as natural as our desire for air, so let’s not fight our body’s natural instincts. Instead of hitting the vending machine for sweets, alleviate your cravings with these naturally sweet foods:

  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Beets
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams
  • Turnips
  • Red cabbage

Doctors are realizing the importance of exercise in preventing disease as well. Exercise doesn’t have to be going to the gym every night. It could be taking a walk, parking at the back of a parking lot, taking the stairs, or going out dancing. Find ways you like to move and you will also help prevent your body from breaking down. By incorporating more movement into your daily routine, as well as more whole foods, you will be less likely to need operations and medications later on in life.