Best Foods for Lowering Risk of Diabetes

Your nutrition has a big role when it comes to your health. For example, did you know that there are some foods that can help you lower your risk of diabetes?

Board certified endocrinologist Dr. Keta Pandit recently discussed important information everyone should know when it comes to your nutrition and lowering your diabetes risk. Here’s what she had to say:

What are the best foods for keeping diabetes risk down?

Diet is one of the most important parts of maintaining your blood sugar levels, which helps to lower your diabetes risk. There are plenty of foods, like those with added sugars and carbs, that can contribute to fluctuating blood sugar levels, but fortunately, there are others that can optimize your overall health including:

  • Beans – While they do contain carbohydrates, keeping them to the serving size can provide protein and fiber.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, collards, kale) – These are packed with Vitamins A, C, E, K and they’re powerhouse foods that are low in calories and carbohydrates. They can be consumed in salads, soups or stews.
  • Fruits – Stick to a serving size. Eat berries in the summer and citrus fruits in the winter. They are packed with vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, and they can satisfy one’s sweet tooth.
  • Nuts and nut butter – They have healthy fats, fiber and good omega – 3 fatty acids.
  • Whole grains – These are rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, folate, magnesium, B vitamins. Examples include: whole oats, quinoa, whole grain barley, and farro.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Avocado
  • Seafood, like salmon

What foods are unexpectedly high in sugar?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are 150 calories per day for men (37.5 g or 9 teaspoons) and 100 calories per day (25 g or 6 teaspoons) for women. Our standard American diet is, unfortunately, filled with foods with hidden sugars. Some of the worst culprits that so many of my patients are unaware of include bread, salad dressings, BBQ sauce, pasta sauces, and condiments such as ketchup. Other common items in our diet also include granola bars, sweetened yogurt, instant oatmeal, breakfast cereals, energy drinks, and packaged fruit. In addition, all beverages with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, regular sports or energy drinks, or coffee with added sugar should be avoided. Sweets such as ice cream, candy, and baked goods should certainly not become a part of a daily diet, as each serving contains high amounts of added sugar.

Regular consumption of foods with high amounts of added sugar intake, over time, can cause huge blood sugar spikes, which can lead to prediabetes and progress to diabetes.

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Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle on Your Next Vacation

‘Tis the season for vacations! Summer is just around the corner so while you’re planning the perfect trip and researching all the great destinations to visit, you may wonder how a vacation will fit in with your health goals. If that sounds like you, we’ve got some tips to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle on your next vacation!

Plan Ahead

When you make your travel arrangements, include plans for meals and snacks to stay on track with your goals. Research the menus of restaurants you want to eat so you can spend less time on vacation worrying about how your meals will fit into your healthy lifestyle.

Before you leave on your trip, consider beginning a weight loss program to help you with your plan. Our NextStepMD Weight Loss Program is designed to help you lose weight, maintain weight loss, and gain better control of your health. We offer one-on-one sessions and work closely with our patients to recommend the methods that offer the greatest opportunities of success. We’ll educate, motivate and support you through your weight loss journey, which includes establishing new eating habits to incorporate throughout your expected – and unexpected – travels.

Pack Snacks

Whether you’re planning a road trip or flying across the country (or world!), stock up on non-perishable snacks so that you have healthy food options ready. If you’re flying, remember to make sure they are TSA-approved! Having healthy snacks prepared will allow you to eat small, frequent meals throughout your trip – which helps to keep you feeling satisfied and helps keep your metabolism stoked.

One of the exclusive weight loss methods that we use is our NextStepMD supplements & meal plans. The unique NextStepMD meal plans are an easy-to-follow three-phase program and provide lots of variety and choice, so you will never feel deprived. Our NextStepMD health and wellness coaches will work with you to make sure you have planned snacks that are both sensible and sustainable on your next vacation.

Stay Active

Search for opportunities to explore your new location by being active! There are a variety of ways to incorporate exercise while on vacation. Look for opportunities like biking tours, take advantage of a hotel pool, or do some of your sightseeing on foot.

If you’re not sure if the location will have many opportunities to get active, take a few minutes each morning to do a short workout. You could walk up a flight of stairs, complete a hotel-room workout, or take a quick walk. Whether you’re taking a walk on the beach or hiking through the mountains, make sure your vacation includes plenty of exercise.

Whether you’re independently on a healthy lifestyle journey or are a participant in a weight loss program to help guide your choices, with a little planning your vacation can fit in with your health goals.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

NextStepMD with Muscle Wise

At Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology, the doctors, advanced practice providers and staff are committed to helping our patients lose weight, maintain weight loss and gain better control of their health. Obesity and carrying excess weight are increasingly common, which can lead to high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and diabetes as well as other health conditions. People with and without diabetes struggle to lose weight and may have to take multiple medications for medical problems related to the excess weight. Take the Next Step with Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology!

If you have struggled with weight maintenance for a long time, or if you haven’t been able to lose weight through personal efforts, lifestyle changes, or through a structured weight loss program, our new offering is for you!

The NextStep program incorporates weekly visits with one of our experienced coaches into a medically managed program where monthly meetings with one of our healthcare providers supplements the program through the use of expert advice, guidance, and –if indicated- medications.

We have evaluated and tested a number of different weight loss solutions and work closely with our patients to recommend the methods that offer the greatest opportunities for success. We focus not only on weight loss, but work with our patients to maintain that weight loss long-term. People with diabetes frequently can reduce their blood-sugar-lowering medication, including insulin, by losing weight.

Our programs are medically supervised for our patients with diabetes, but are also open to people who have pre-diabetes or don’t have diabetes at all. As your health and wellness coaches, we offer one-on-one sessions. Our goal is to educate, motivate and support you through your weight loss journey. Our programs are medically designed with two components – sensible weight loss and sustainable, stable weight maintenance. Our weight loss strategies include the use of nutrition education, diet and exercise plans as well as FDA-approved weight loss medications if necessary.

One of the exclusive weight loss methods that we work with is Muscle Wise. The Muscle Wise protocol offers structured weight loss while supporting muscle mass and understanding of how food affects and is utilized by the body, including what causes fat storage, utilization of stored fat for energy, improved energy, appetite control and reduced cravings. It is proven that losing weight can improve blood sugar, cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure. While following the Muscle Wise protocol, your pancreas will get a well-deserved break by limiting simple and complex carbs until your weight loss goal is achieved. The emphasis here again is weight maintenance once a healthy balance is achieved.

MuscleWise is differentiated from other similar programs by the ability to maintain an exercise regimen, the ability to maintain greater flexibility and much more.

Through the one-on-one coaching sessions, we will help you navigate the world of contradictory nutrition advice. We will help you determine what changes are necessary while on the Muscle Wise program in order to establish new eating habits and form long term success. Each coach brings vast nutrition knowledge and experience to the table ensuring you are receiving the best support a

Obesity

Obesity (defined as a body mass index (BMI) >30kg/m2) is a chronic disease that is increasing in prevalence in adults, adolescents, and children and is now considered to be a global epidemic. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in 2016 showed the prevalence of obesity in the United States to be 39.6% (37.9% in men and 41.1% of women), up from 22.9% in 1994.

At Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology we investigate many aspects of this disease. We rule out any possible secondary causes (such as pituitary, thyroid, adrenal or ovarian abnormalities) as clinically indicated, discuss contributing medications, and obtain a thorough weight gain/weight loss history. Obesity is associated with a significant increase in morbidity (including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and cancer) and we assess these and come up with a comprehensive plan to manage them.

Weight loss itself is associated with a reduction in obesity-associated morbidity and we are committed to helping our patients achieve these benefits. We counsel all patients on lifestyle and behavioral modification. We also offer medically supervised programs to assist with individual goals. Muscle Wise is one program we utilize: it provides structure and one-on-one coaching that can help achieve not only weight loss but also reduction in comorbidities and often medications. We also use FDA-approved weight loss medications as needed to help our patients achieve their goals.

Finally we conduct clinical trials at all of our locations and these often involve obesity treatments. Currently at the south office we are conducting a study on a medication (semaglutide) to evaluate weight loss and long-term cardiovascular outcomes.

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