Diabetes

  1. Blood pressure spikes… from potatoes?

    See ya later, taters!

    Happy Independence Day. It's time to celebrate summer, family, friends, and this great country of ours.

    We need to come together now more than ever.

    But if your plans for a 4th of July BBQ involve potato salad, potato chips, tater tots, or any other form of America's favorite spud, you'll want to pay attention to this.

    Because according to researchers, eating too many potatoes increases your risk for developing high blood pressure.

    Taters are considered a vegetable, but they're made up almost entirely of starch. And that makes them act less like a veggie and more like a bowl of pasta.

    So, despite that healthy "vegetable" distinction, don't be fooled by the tuber. It's a wolf in sheep's clothing. As I've previously shared with you, potatoes can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and expand your waistline -- and now we know that they can also send your BP through the roof.

    Researchers from Harvard Med School and Brigham and Women's Hospital used three large U.S. cohort studies to follow 187,000 men and women for more than 20 years.

    They found that folks -- especially women -- who consumed four or more servings of potatoes a week over a prolonged period of time had a significantly increased risk for high BP when compared to those who ate less than one serving a month.

    French fries were the worst offenders, increasing the risk by 17 percent... but even potatoes cooked in a "healthy" manner (like baked or boiled) increased the risk for high BP by 11 percent.

    The researchers suggest that the high glycemic load in potatoes can contribute to high BP not only because of weight gain, but also an increase in oxidative stress and inflammation. And it may be enough to negate the potential health benefits of the potassium content in potatoes.

    But according to the study, if you replace just one of your servings of potatoes for the week with a non-starchy vegetable like broccoli, you're more likely to keep your BP in check.

    Why stop there? You're better off going Paleo and skipping potatoes altogether.
    You can substitute your mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower, a cruciferous cousin of broccoli that's packed with cancer-fighting sulforaphane and none of the starch found in potatoes. A cup of cauliflower has fewer carbs and about a tenth of the calories of a potato.

    If you REALLY need your tater fix, try swapping out your white potatoes for their distant cousin, Paleo-friendly sweet potatoes. The tasty sweet potato is filled with potassium like the white potato... but it also has heart-healthy magnesium... and it's been shown to actually LOWER blood pressure.

  2. Common insecticides boost risk of diabetes

    Could your garden be making you sick?

    You've planted the seeds... pulled the weeds... and now you get to sit back and enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your labor.

    Whether you're enjoying cool cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, plump zucchini, or ripe melons, summer is a pretty delicious time to have a vegetable garden.

    But planting a garden isn't just a great way to stock your kitchen with tasty, seasonal food -- it's also a homerun for your health.

    It gives you on-demand access to nutrient-rich produce, and the gentle exercise helps you stay active. Meanwhile, the rays you soak up boost your levels of vitamin D.

    But according to a new study, you definitely want to make your garden organic -- because the chemicals found in common gardening products and insecticides can actually undo the benefits of all those veggies.

    They can increase your risk of diabetes!

    The study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences looked at the impact of two insecticides -- carbaryl and carbofuran -- on the body.

    Carbaryl is the third most widely used insecticide in the U.S. And even though carbofuran was banned in the U.S. in 2009, it's still used in many countries, such as Mexico. And worse yet, traces of it remain in U.S. soil -- so if you or your neighbors EVER used it, it could still wreak havoc on your health.

    The researchers found that both of these insecticides are structurally similar to melatonin, a hormone that helps control your body's circadian rhythms, a.k.a. the "internal clock" that oversees your sleep cycle and other delicate metabolic processes.

    It turns out that because these synthetic chemicals mimic melatonin, they can bind to your body's melatonin receptors and make your circadian rhythms go haywire.

    And these melatonin "impersonators" can not only disrupt your sleep... they can also screw up your blood sugar.

    Usually, your pancreas releases insulin and glucose at certain points of the day, but the chemicals in the study proved to disrupt that cycle.

    That's why if you're exposed to them over a long period of time, your risk of developing diabetes shoots through the roof!

    So, if pesky insects are using your garden harvest as their personal buffet, don't reach for an insecticide.

    Instead, learn how to garden as nature intended: organically, without chemical sprays.

    You can read up on ways to keep harmful insects away naturally, such as introducing "good bugs" that fight the bad guys for you... making your own natural insect spray from ingredients like onion, garlic, and hot peppers... or using "row covers" that let in light and water but keep unwanted critters out.

    And the same goes for any weeds that muscle their way in -- simply pull them up instead of going nuclear with chemical weed killer.

    Keeping your garden free of chemicals will reduce your toxic load, which is a good idea all around.

  3. Resveratrol reduces artery stiffness

    Diabetes? Reduce complications with THIS When you've got diabetes, it's hard to ever fully relax. To keep the disease in check, you have to constantly monitor your blood sugar... control your carb cravings... and motivate yourself to get moving. All that, and you've got to worry about the never-ending list complications down the line, like stiffened blood vessels. Because the...
  4. Gum disease linked to diabetes

    New warning about bleeding gums I know it's probably the last place you want to go, but it turns out that a visit to your dentist's office might not just save your mouth. It might save your life! Like the old expression says, "A dentist gets to the root of the problem" -- and according to a Dutch study, your...
  5. Extra weight and diabetes can wreck your brain

    What your waistline is doing to your gray matter In your younger days, you may have been a hunk, a hunk of burning love... but if wolfing down too many peanut butter and banana sandwiches has turned your "hunk" to "chunk," you may have a big problem brewing. I've shared the connection between obesity, diabetes, and dementia with you in...
  6. Olive oil lowers diabetes risk

    Control blood sugar with a drizzle of THIS Memorial Day is around the corner... and I can almost smell the steak sizzling on the grill just thinking about it. The start of summer BBQ season really taps into my inner "caveman"! If you've been reading my eTips for a while now, you already know that I'm a fan of following...
  7. Black tea protects against diabetes

    For blood sugar control, it's tea time You're thirstier than a cactus and have less energy than a dog in a heat wave... but you just ate and drank something an hour or two ago. When you're diabetic or headed that direction, it feels like you'll never eat a meal or snack again without suffering the slings and arrows of...
  8. Chicory keeps diabetes in check

    Tame blood sugar spikes with this wild weed You feel hungry, even though you've eaten plenty... thirsty, even though you've had enough to drink... and tired, even though you've slept through the night. When your blood sugar is soaring -- because either you're diabetic or you're headed that way -- it feels like you can never eat, drink, or sleep...
  9. Paleo reduces diabetes risk

    Stop diabetes in its tracks... with meat! I don't know what it is. I can give candy out to trick-or-treaters in October without taking even one bite of it for myself. I walk right past the heart-shaped boxes and Whitman's Samplers in February without a second thought. But this time of year, I've got to resist the urge to bite...
  10. Cut the sugar to improve fatty liver

    Yes, that sugar does make your liver look fat Q: Is there a natural way to help with fatty liver? GR: Fatty liver disease is defined as when fat comprises 5 to 10 percent of your liver. Over time, it can lead to cirrhosis and even death. Now, you may think of liver problems to be something that only boozers...

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