Beat it

Beat it

Facts and myths about diabetes




Dr Nupur Krishnan, and senior bariatric and metabolic surgeon, Dr Ramen Goel

Myth: Bitter tasting foods will lower blood sugar.

FACT: Consuming bitter tasting items like neem and bitter gourd (karela) will not reduce blood sugar because glucose is derived from foods rich in carbohydrates, even if they are not sweet.

Myth: A diabetic cannot consume any type of sweetener.

FACT: Direct sugar is usually omitted from the diet of most diabetics. However, sugar substitutes can be used in two forms; fructose sugar (fruits) and artificial sweeteners.

Myth: Diabetics cannot consume fruits.

FACT: Diabetics can consume fruits because they contain fibre and fructose sugar. Due to the fibre content of fruits, fructose is released slowly into the blood and our body can utilise fructose without insulin. However, fruit juices are not recommended because they don't contain fibre. (Fruits like banana, chikoo, mango, grapes, sugarcane and custard apple are not recommended.)

Myth: All artificial sweeteners are safe to consume.

FACT: Many artificial sweeteners contain a substance called aspartame, which is a good sweetener for cold beverages and commonly used in many food products. However, it loses its sweetness at high temperature. For example, to sweeten one cup of hot tea or coffee we need more aspartame than to sweeten one cup of normal / cold water. So exercise caution in its use. Consuming more aspartame based sweeteners may cause abnormal functioning of the brain. Pregnant women, children and patients with advanced liver disease should avoid excess usage of aspartame. Opt for artificial sweeteners made of sucralose, which are safer and more stable in hot and cold conditions. Artificial sweeteners containing cyclamate are banned in most countries.

Myth: Diabetics can't consume alcoholic drinks at all.

FACT: Diabetics are advised to avoid alcohol since it may lead to a major drop in blood sugar. However, one drink of alcohol is permitted once a week depending on individual health conditions. 1 drink = 12 ounces of beer/ 5 ounces of wine/ 1 ½ ounces of distilled spirit. (1 ounce = 30 ml)

Myth: Diabetics must refrain from eating out.

FACT: A diabetic can eat out at a restaurant, as long as the food is hygienically prepared.

Myth: Diabetics should not eat rice.

FACT: Diabetics can consume rice, but the quantity and quality always depends on the nature and degree of diabetes.

Myth: Diabetics don't need bariatric surgery

FACT: Bariatric surgery is offered to individuals with excessive weight and also those suffering from diabetes, high BP, joint pains, irregular periods, infertility, breathing problems like asthma, sleep apnoea etc. Since it is done through key hole (lap) route and is effective in majority of patients, its acceptance is increasing in society rapidly.

Myth: Diabetics need to lose weight fast.

FACT: Obesity and diabetes are two sides of the same coin. Obese people are advised to lose about two kg per month. However, sudden weight loss through crash diets is not advisable.




5 Best Superfoods for Diabetics


ISLAMABAD – While there’s no substitute for a balanced diabetic diet, adding certain foods may help those with diabetes keep sugar levels in check and here PakistanTribe.com provides you five best foods to beat diabetic.Include these nutrition superstars in your diabetes diet to lower blood sugar, burn fat, reduce inflammation, and gain more health benefits. Best foods for Sugar Patients are as below.

Dark chocolate
Chocolate is rich in flavonoids, and research shows that these nutrients reduce insulin resistance, improve insulin sensitivity, drop insulin levels and fasting blood glucose, and blunt cravings. But not all chocolate is created equal. In a 2008 study from the University of Copenhagen, people who ate dark chocolate reported that they felt less like eating sweet, salty, or fatty foods compared to volunteers given milk chocolate, with its lower levels of beneficial flavonoids (and, often, more sugar and fat, too). Dark chocolate also cut the amount of pizza that volunteers consumed later in the same day, by 15 percent.

Fish
Fish is a slimming star: rich in protein, it will help to keep you satisfied; but also, fish contains a special type of fat that helps cool inflammation. Thousands of studies show that people with the highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids have less body-wide inflammation, the very inflammation that leads to and worsens diabetes and weight problems. A fish-rich diet can also reduce your risk of developing health problems, especially stroke, as a result of your diabetes.
Olive oil
Following a Mediterranean-style diet rich in olive oil helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 50 percent compared to a diet low in fat, according to a recent Spanish study. Independently, researchers at Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University of Vienna found that olive oil improved satiety the most when compared to lard, butter, and rapeseed (canola) oil. In addition to being a standout source of health-promoting monounsaturated fats, olive oil is also rich in antioxidant nutrients that protect cells from damage, and prevents the development of heart disease.
Spinach
Spinach is one of many leafy greens that have been shown to drop the risk of developing diabetes; collards are another great choice. People who consume more than one serving a day of spinach and other leafy greens slashed their risk by 14 percent, compared to people who ate less than 1/2 a serving daily, found one British study. This green is particularly rich in vitamin K, along with several minerals including magnesium, folate, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. It’s also a good source of the plant chemicals lutein and zeaxanthin, and various flavonoids.
Sweet potatoes
One analysis found that sweet potatoes reduce HbA1c measures between 0.30 and 0.57 percent and fasting blood glucose by 10 to 15 points. Sweet potato also contains anthocyanins, which are the natural pigments that give the sweet potato its deep orange color and the antioxidants believed to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial qualities.

Industry-funded study suggests almonds can help prevent heart damage in diabetics
PHOENIX -- Eating almonds is beneficial for those with Type 2 diabetes, according to an Arizona State University study funded by an industry group.
The study, published in Journal of Functional Foods, showed that eating 1.5 ounces of almonds can reduce levels of C reactive protein, which is part of a chain that can lead to heart disease, in people with progressed Type 2 diabetes.
C reactive protein is a marker for inflammation, which indicates a person has a high level of oxidative stress. Inflammation is important to keep in check because it can lead to heart disease, according to Carol Johnston, associate director of ASU's nutrition program in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion.
"Oxidation is really a problem because that can further the damage to their arterial walls, which causes the heart disease problem," Johnston said. "It's nice to manage your glucose, but you also need to make sure the vasculature in your heart system is operating well, and oxidative stress is very damaging to that."
From previous studies Johnston conducted, she knew that participants in the early stages of the disease would be able to keep their blood glucose levels in check by eating almonds. The almonds didn't affect the blood glucose levels for the latest round of patients, but participants showed a 30 percent reduction in the inflammation, the study said.
Because almonds have antioxidant properties, Karen Sweazea, assistant professor and co-author on the study, said she expected to see some reduction in the inflammation marker. Yet she didn't expect such a large drop.
"It was similar to statins, which is a prescription medication for helping to lower inflammation, so that was surprising," Sweazea said.
Even though almonds can have a positive effect on diabetics' conditions, the timing is important, according to the study.
Johnston said that prevention through diet is beneficial if it's done before diabetes causes problems such as damaging the pancreas. If people have progressed diabetes, they will need medication in addition to diet changes, she said.
"It's really important that people understand the sooner they can adopt a healthy eating style that the better off they're going to be," Johnston said.
The Almond Board of California funded the study and provided the almonds. Karen Lapsley, its chief scientific officer, said she was hoping to see more of an effect on the blood glucose levels, but she said participants' varied lifestyles may have been challenging.
"Diet and exercise can play a role in flattening that slope or progression and extending the period of time before medication needs to be increased," Lapsley said.
The study used blanched and roasted almonds. Johnston said the more whole the almond is, the better it is for a person.
Johnston and Sweazea thought about increasing the amount, but they decided it would be best to keep it to a little over a serving size.
"You don't want people to get sick of what they're eating," Sweazea said. "You want it to be realistic of what somebody would do."




Diabetes treatment often means tough lifestyle changes


Kathie Rowell

Unlike diseases that are controlled solely by medication, successful diabetes treatment often requires drastic changes in lifestyle.
Willis-Knighton Diabetes and Nutrition Center certified diabetes educator Collette Brown doesn’t minimize the difficulty of adapting to a new, healthier diet and more exercise after a diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes.
“You’re looking at changing what you eat, you’re looking at the exercise and then you’re looking at checking blood sugar and medication and things like that. It does encompass a great deal, so, for some people, they can get the hang of one thing, but struggle with another. They can follow the meal plan, but can’t exercise,” she said.
Dr. Grace Sun, an endocrinologist and assistant professor at LSU Health Shreveport, believes the world we live in is partly to blame for difficulty maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s sort of like we are so immersed in technology, we’re so used to being on a computer, being on a cellphone, and that’s not really conducive to activity and being physically active,” she said. “It’s always easier to be lazy, I think. To not move is easier than getting up and moving. The other part of it is beyond just activity: diet. It’s much harder to cook your meals than to swing by McDonald’s and pick up a Big Mac or Happy Meal or whatever is available and is quick and easy and somebody else makes for you.”
Brown can’t help but think it would be easier to adopt a healthy lifestyle out of choice before developing the disease instead of out of necessity afterward. She said she doesn’t counsel as many prediabetics and those who just want to live a healthier lifestyle as she’d like.
“We will spend a lot of money on gadgets and toys — our iPhone or TV — but when it comes to our health and looking at longevity and the quality of life, we put a much lower value on that,” Brown said. “So if anybody would read this article and just realize, whether insurance covers (counseling) or not, look at where you want to be in 10 years, 15 years, 20 years. When you look at it that way, it’s worth more than the value of our flat-screen TV or our cellphone that’s in our pocket. We just have to change our mentality because diabetes is a self-managed disease. If they don’t have the proper tools, they’re not going to manage it well and, in the long run, may end up with disability or death due to not managing it properly.”
A key to making long-term changes is setting progressive goals, Brown said.
“We don’t even prohibit any type food from someone who has diabetes. What we find, however, is it may be a change in how often you’re having that food, or the amount of that food you’re having,” she said. “We would not tell someone who eats fried foods every single day that they need to cut it back to twice a month because the likelihood of them being compliant with that and being successful is lower. So we would tell them to start with their baseline and decrease from there.”
In her practice, Sun said she too looks for progress in patients’ eating habits.
“I know that it’s not going to happen overnight and if I do cut it off suddenly, all they’re going to think about is having that cake. And then what are they going to do? They’re going to cave and have that whole cake instead of a slice of it. I don’t say you can’t have any at all, but you really need to minimize the amount. Initially, I do say, ‘Let’s start with just eliminating sugary drinks. Let’s do one thing at a time.’ That’s an easy thing to do.”
Taking a step-by-step approach to lifestyle changes makes the process less overwhelming.
“It’s not a matter of never going to a restaurant again. It’s not a matter of you can’t have fast food,” Brown said. “We teach you how to do those things better so you can make different choices when you go out.”
Editor’s Note
This is the third story in a series about the impact of diabetes in our community. On Dec. 26, learn about the advanced technology used to treat and monitor the disease in our Lagniappe section.
Tips for an anti-diabetes lifestyle
•Learn your family history. “If you know the risk factors are there, then becoming health conscious long before it’s an issue is the most important thing,” Brown said.
•Maintain a diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables, is low in saturated fat, high in fiber and with less refined sugars. Switch to low-fat dairy products. Watch portion size.
•Lead an active lifestyle —150 minutes of aerobic activity per week is recommended to decrease risk.
•Keep doctor’s appointments. Some people don’t have symptoms so they won’t realize anything is wrong unless they are going to the doctor regularly.
Quick dietary changes
•Reduce sugary drinks. Brown includes fruit juices in this category along with sodas and other flavored drinks. “Normally, in fruit juice, you’re getting all of the calories and none of the fiber that makes the fruit so good for you. A lot of people drink the number of calories they should be eating in a day.”
•Reduce the amount of fat in diet by cutting back drastically on fried foods and smothered-types foods. Switch to 1 percent milk and low-fat cheeses.
•Increase nonstarchy vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans, tomatoes.
•Reduce the size of your plate to help with portion control.
•Eliminate eating out as much as you can. “I think eating out is just this black hole — you don’t know what’s going into your food because you’re not making it,” said Sun.
Source: Collette Brown, certified diabetes educator, Willis-Knighton Diabetes and Nutrition Center; Dr. Grace Sun, endocrinologist and assistant professor at LSU Health Shreveport.
Online resources
Find information on food and fitness from American Diabetes Association by visiting diabetes.org.




Cancer Rates Higher in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes


By Becky McCall

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

Dec. 16, 2014 -- People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are diagnosed with more of some types of cancer -- and are more likely to die from cancer -- than people without diabetes, a new Australian study shows.
The researchers say that close follow-up, given right after a diabetes diagnosis, might partly explain the increased cancer risk seen. But these factors "do not explain increased risks 2 years following diabetes diagnosis, particularly for cancers of the pancreas, liver, kidney, and endometrium."
Based on the findings, the researchers say, people with diabetes should get screened for cancer, which could help doctors treat cases early and lessen premature deaths due to cancer.

The research is published online in the journal Diabetes Care.

Can Weight-Loss Surgery Cure Diabetes?


Some people with Type 2 diabetes can put their medicine aside.
Of the types of weight-loss surgery, gastric bypass typically has the most powerful effect.

By Lisa Esposito

For Arnoldo Gutierrez, 59, the priority for weight-loss surgery was getting his “horrendous” diabetes under control. The Aspermont, Texas, veterinarian took pills three times a day and an insulin injection each evening – but his blood sugar levels remained high. At 5 feet 9 inches and a peak weight of 267 pounds, he was at the low end of the scale for severe obesity.
In September, Gutierrez had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, in which a large portion of the stomach is removed, leaving the rest as a tube or sleeve-shaped section, and his weight has since dropped to 187 pounds. He calls his results “fantastic” – especially in terms of his diabetes. “I have no medication,” he says. “Zero. Nada.”
Shedding Diabetes and Pounds
The U.S. is in the midst of twin epidemics – obesity and diabetes – according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Obesity is a major risk factor for developing diabetes, and more than 90 percent of Type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese, according to the ASMBS.
Some obese people who have weight-loss (or bariatric) surgery see their diabetes disappear. Their blood sugar normalizes, and they no longer need medication to control it. Whether the diabetes-free benefit lasts forever, though, remains to be seen.
Surgical Standpoint
Weight-loss surgery performed today is safe, effective – and underused, says Stacy Brethauer, a bariatric surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. “Only 1 percent of patients who are currently eligible to receive bariatric surgery based on their weight are receiving the therapy,” he says.
“Weight loss and particularly massive weight loss has a really powerful effect on diabetes improvement,” Brethauer says. But, he adds, there’s something about the surgery in itself that undermines diabetes, independent of the effect of reducing pounds.
Of weight-loss procedures, he says, gastric bypass has the most powerful effect. As the flow of nutrients is rerouted in the body, changes occur in the gut hormones that stimulate the pancreas, with shifts in hunger and satiety control. “We see improvement in the diabetes earlier than the weight loss in many of these patients,” he says.
Benefits Beyond Weight Loss
Bharati Desai, 66, a retired anesthesiologist in Richfield, Ohio, had gastric bypass surgery six years ago. Her health was “not good,” she says, with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and thyroid trouble. But it was the diabetes that swayed her. “I decided I didn’t want to be on insulin and the weight loss would be good for me,” she says.
Her diabetes “went away on the fourth day after surgery,” Desai says. Her previously high hemoglobin A1C – a measure of blood glucose control – normalized, and she went completely off her diabetes medications. Overall, her health gradually improved as she lost 70 pounds, with dosages of her blood pressure and cholesterol medicine sharply reduced. And her sleep apnea went away.
Remission or Cure?
In the diabetes arena, partial remission means the patient’s blood sugar stays at "pre-diabetes" level, without medication, for at least a year. Complete remission mean blood sugar stays normal under those conditions. Prolonged remission – the closest thing to a cure – involves complete remission for at least five years.
Last year, Brethauer led a study on the long-term effects of weight-loss surgery on patients with Type 2 diabetes. Of the 217 patients followed for at least five years, nearly one-quarter had complete remission of their diabetes and another quarter had partial remission. A Swedish study of 343 patients published in June found a 72 percent remission rate after two years – which dropped to 30 percent at 15 years after surgery.
Similar studies also suggest weight-loss surgery can help treat hard-to-control diabetes in some obese patients. But experts say more long-term, randomized controlled studies are needed. Brethauer would like to see research on surgery for diabetic patients who are only moderately overweight, or even normal weight.
His latest research, released at a recent conference, shows risks for gastric bypass surgery among patients with diabetes are similar to those for common procedures such as gallbladder surgery and knee replacement.
Lifestyle and Medicine First
Diabetes expert Jeffrey Mechanick, immediate past president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, agrees there’s a role for weight-loss surgery in moderate obesity, with “a bona fide obesity-related complication” like diabetes. “You would consider surgery – there’s never a ‘must,'" he says. That consideration is in order "for a patient that’s failing lifestyle management and pharmacotherapy.”
If intensive treatment isn’t working, or if a patient’s behavior is an issue and the A1C level is “sky high,” it might be time to discuss surgery, says Mechanick, who is also director of metabolic support in the division of endocrinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “You’re just not making a dent" in such cases. "You’re giving more and more insulin; [patients are] more and more insulin resistant. They’re not adherent [to treatment].” When doctors sees other risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol problems and vascular disease worsening, he says, they don’t need to wait forever.
But first, Mechanick says, doctors should approach obesity more holistically, including addressing behavioral issues and diet, understanding the risks and benefits of surgery and other treatments, and being well-versed in medications such as the recently approved obesity drugs Qsymia, Belviq and Contrave.
“You can see a lot of patients are falling through the cracks and a lot of physicians are saying, ‘Ah, the only thing I’ve got left is bariatric surgery,’” he says. But in the view of endocrinologists, Mechanick says, "there’s short shrift being dealt to lifestyle and pharmacotherapy that can be used more intensely and more appropriately.”
Second Surgery
Gutierrez is a repeat customer. In 2007, he had a lap band placement that shows some of the downsides of weight-loss surgery. “My life was a wreck,” he says. Eating became a nightmare. “I didn’t know if I was going to choke or if I was going to vomit, or something else.”
This time around, Gutierrez did a lot more research. He went to Lubbock, Texas, bariatric surgeon David Syn, who removed the lap band while performing the sleeve gastrectomy. Now, Gutierrez is “ecstatic” with the results. He eats what he wants, just less than he used to. “Being so heavy, it’s not easy to get around the corrals and work with large animals, with cattle,” he says. That’s much easier these days, along with indulging his passion for riding horses. And as long as his blood sugar holds steady, he’s happy to be diabetes free.


Planning before dieting can keep the weight off for the long run


By Kate Jonuska

There's good news in recent research on several big-name diet plans: Popular plans like Atkins, the Zone and Weight Watchers do lead to measurable, if modest, weight loss. Head-to-head, people lost an average of 4-10 pounds in one year according to dozens of weight-loss trials compared in the journal "Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes" in November.
But the bad news that came with this study cancels out some of the good. Over longer periods of time, diet participants often regained some lost pounds. So while appealing for their speed and simplicity, restrictive or fad diets alone are likely not the key to weight-loss success in 2015.
It's good food for thought for those planning to diet after the holidays or make a New Year's resolution to lose weight and eat well. In fact, if you want that resolution to stick, a little bit of planning ahead can go a long way.
Learn your starting point
"It's easy with fad diets or diet books or anything all-inclusive to think that they work for everyone, and that's just not true," says registered dietician Megan Forbes, of Forbes Nutritional Consulting in Boulder.
Because of individual differences in genetics and metabolic needs, selecting the right diet plan might start with testing. Modern tests can check for nutritional deficiencies, or give you a better picture of the health of your microbiome — the balance of "good" and "bad" bacteria in your digestive system.
For example, for some, a low-carb diet can provide immediate results by reducing water weight and inflammation because the plan helps balance their particular microbiome.
"If you're able to look into those things to see where your microbiome lies and what genetic factors you're up against, that data can help you plan for the future and make a diet plan that works for you," Forbes says.
Some health-insurance plans cover this type of testing through doctors' offices or companies such as Genova Diagnostics.
Physiological testing can also offer helpful information. For instance, a fuel-utilization test can let you know how well your body metabolizes fat, thus indicating whether a low-carb-ohydrate diet will work well for you right now.
Some nutritionists and health centers, like the Human Performance Lab at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, offer this type of testing.
Use a two-part plan
If done in a healthy way, fad diets can have their place, says Dr. Holly Wyatt, associate director of the Health and Wellness Center at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. In fact, quick initial weight loss can be motivating, she says. But the key to real and lasting weight loss is dividing the process into two distinct parts: weight loss and maintenance.
"As many people know, losing weight often isn't the hard part," says Wyatt. "The reason people fail, why they regain weight and yo-yo, is that they never separate what they need to do to lose weight and what they need to do to maintain the loss. It's not same thing."
During the weight-loss period, diet is crucial, she says.
"For weight loss, physical activity is in the backseat. It's along for the drive, but if there's not a diet driving, you're not going to lose weight," Wyatt explains.
Adherence to strict diets usually starts to fall off about four to five months into the program, she says, at which point diet — perhaps counterintuitively — becomes less important.
"Then those things switch places," she says. "The diet is in the backseat and the physical activity should be driving. They all need to be there, but without the physical-activity card, you're not likely to be successful long-term."
Her recommendation is to plan for that ramping up of physical activity and accept that it's an inevitable part of permanent weight loss.
In fact, people who keep off significant weight report engaging in an average of 60 minutes of moderate exercise (such as brisk walking) per day.
Know the habits of those who keep it off
That exercise statistic is just one tidbit from the National Weight Control Registry. Since 1994, the NWCR has tracked the results of people who have lost significant weight (at least 30 pounds) and kept it off for at least one year — though many have lost much more and for longer periods.
"We publish about the characteristics and habits related to success in hopes of being useful to folks working on the same weight-loss problems," says Dr. J. Graham Thomas, co-investigator at the NWCR.
And on the whole, how are those "keeper-offers" eating, even years after they've lost the weight? Very few are still fad dieters, according to Thomas. "In general, we continue to find that the majority of the individuals in the registry follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet, though there are highly vocal minorities within the registry."
Many of their other results are unsurprising, proving points dieters have heard for years, such as that the majority (78 percent) of successful weight losers usually eat breakfast. More than half of NWCR's successful dieters also self-monitor, meaning they weigh themselves at least weekly and/or journal their food intake. Other findings are more unexpected.
"One of the things I find particularly interesting is that they tend to limit their diet variety," says Thomas. He explains that our current food environment is full of calorie-dense foods that are widely available, cheap and taste good. Successful long-term losers "are limiting or not exposing themselves to the same food environment that causes those problems."
Translation: Eat more at home and from a list of healthy foods that you also enjoy.
Resolve to plan
Perhaps the best resolution to make for weight loss in the New Year, though, is basic one: Commit to meal planning.
"The plan is the key," says registered dietitian Suzanne Farrell, owner of Cherry Creek Nutrition. For starters, planning promotes mindfulness in your eating. Dieting and losing weight aren't easy, so planning can also help you prepare for difficult moments in advance.
"We talk a lot about the environment doing the work for you," Farrell says. "That's when we're talking about your refrigerator at home, the snack drawer at home and work, and setting yourself up with foods you want to eat. Healthy eating can be really convenient, too, with pre-planning."
She advises starting with plans for three or four meals a week to cook at home, and says they don't have to be complicated.
"What we're looking for is balanced and sustainable," says Farrell, adding that sustainability is the fad diet's Achilles heel, even if they are initially effective. "Certain diets can lead to faster weight loss, but after about six months, they're no faster than eating a well balanced diet."
Important information to keep in mind — if you'd like your New Year's resolution to last past June.




The Paleo Diet and the Insanity Workout Dominated Google Search in 2014


By Megan Friedman

Did every other friend of yours ditch bread this year? That's because 2014 was the year of Paleo. Google has just released its "trending" searches of the year, and when it came to diets, wheat was definitely out. Paleo had the highest spike in search popularity this year, followed by the Atkins diet and gluten-free diets.
While they were planning their protein-heavy meals, people in 2014 were also Googling their calorie counts. "How many calories are in a banana?" was the top trending search, followed by queries about pumpkin pie, apples, eggs, and avocados.
And after they ate their low-calorie, low-carb meals, people went a little bit crazy with their exercise plans. The Insanity workout, which combines high intensity with interval training, was the top trending routine of the year, followed by T25 (a 25-minute offshoot of Insanity) and Piyo (a workout that combines, yoga, pilates, and cardio).
Take a look at the most Googled diet and fitness queries of the year, and start taking notes for your New Year's resolution.
Trending Diets
1. Paleo Diet
2. Atkins Diet
3. Gluten Free Diet
4. Mediterranean Diet
5. Dash Diet
6. The Military Diet
7. HCG Diet
8. South Beach Diet
9. Super Shred Diet
10. The Doctor's Diet
Trending Calorie Searches
1. How many calories are in a banana?
2. How many calories are in pumpkin pie?
3. How many calories are in an apple?
4. How many calories are in an egg?
5. How many calories are in an avocado?
6. How many calories are in a cheeseburger?
7. How many calories are in a Big Mac?
8. How many calories are in watermelon?
9. How many calories are in an orange?
10. How many calories in a slice of pizza?
Trending Workouts and Exercises
1. Insanity
2. T25 Workout
3. Piyo Workout
4. 7 Minute Workout
5. P90x
6. Kettlebell Workout
7. Tabata Workout
8. Body Beast
9. Burpee Workout
10. 5x5 Workout





Chain Restaurants To Post Calorie Counts On Drink Menus Next Year



Chain restaurants  will be required to post the calories of their alcoholic drinks by November 2015.
The new rules, set up by the Food and Drug Administration, require chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets to list the number of calories each alcoholic drink, including craft beer, has on its menu. Drinks ordered at the bar, wines, and any drinks not included on the menu are exempt from this requirement.

Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest noted, "Alcoholic beverages are a key contributor  to the calories Americans are consuming, and most of the time when people have a drink they have absolutely no idea what its caloric impact is." 

THE COUPLE THAT TRIES TO LOSE WEIGHT TOGETHER MAY NOT LOSE WEIGHT TOGETHER


BY ABC News Radio

 (NEW YORK) — Two brains are better than one when it comes to tackling certain things, but a new study indicates that when it comes to weight loss, a person’s chance of shedding pounds is greater when they don’t team up with a partner.
dieted together generally failed separately.
The In a study published in the journal Eating Behaviors, researchers assessed 50
overweight duos who made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, and found those who
researchers found that when a person was successful in regulating his or her diet and was able to eat healthier, that made their partner less confident in controlling his or her own food portions.
According to study author Jennifer Jill Harman, people “feel less confident achieving their goals when they see others succeeding at the same goals.”
For heterosexual couples, comparing weight loss can be even more frustrating, especially for women. Research at the Mayo Clinic has found that men tend to lose weight and keep it off easier than women because guys have more muscle, which helps burn off more calories and increase their metabolism.


Want to lose weight? Breathe out (a lot), researchers suggest


By Carmen Chai

TORONTO – You’re losing weight when you’re biking to work, carrying groceries to your trunk and…while you’re watching TV on the couch.
That’s because you’re breathing – and the more you breathe, the more fat you exhale, Australian researchers suggest. In the annual Christmas edition of the BMJ, the scientists explain where fat goes when we lose weight.
“Considering the soaring overweight and obesity rates and strong interest in this topic, there is surprising ignorance and confusion about the metabolic process of weight loss among the general public and health professionals alike. We encountered widespread misconceptions about how humans lose weight among general practitioners, dietitians and personal trainers,” the University of New South Wales researchers wrote.
“Most people believed that fat is converted to energy or heat, which violates the law of conservation of mass. We suspect this misconception is caused by the ‘energy in/energy out’ mantra…,” they said.
(Others thought that the weight was excreted or turned into muscle.)
So where do the pounds go as we’re dropping a dress size? The scientists – Andrew Brown and Ruben Merriman – say they disappear into thin air as we breathe.
When about 10 kilograms of fat – or roughly 22 pounds – is broken down in oxidation, 18.5 pounds leaves the body as exhaled carbon dioxide, while the rest is breathed out as water vapor, Today explained.
About 16 per cent of weight released from the body is water weight – sweat, tears and urine, for example.
“Our calculations show that the lungs are the primary excretory organ for fat,” the scientists wrote.
It doesn’t mean you can breathe your way into swimming suit season.
But exercise is a good start: An average 155-pound person exhales about 200 mililitres of carbon dioxide in 12 breaths per minute. In a day spent asleep, at rest and performing light activities we exhale 203 grams of carbon from the body. For perspective, about 500 grams of sucrose contains 210 grams of carbon.
If instead of an hour in front of the TV, you spend an hour on the treadmill, you’ll get rid of an additional 39 grams of carbon for a total of 240 grams.
“For comparison, a single 100 gram muffin represents about 20 per cent of an average person’s total daily energy requirement,” the researchers conceded.

 “Physical activity as a weight-loss strategy is easily foiled by relatively small quantities of excess food,” the researchers said.

How to Lose Weight: 8 Metabolism-Boosting Foods


Sparshita Saxena

Most of us find ourselves struggling with weight loss and weight management. Therefore, it is important to understand what metabolism means and how it influences weight control.
Metabolism is a complex biochemical process during which your body extracts calories from the food consumed, combines it with oxygen and produces energy. This energy is then used by the body to sustain itself and carry out various functions like circulation of blood, breathing, food digestion, maintaining hormonal balance, growth and repair of cells. The rate at which the body converts calories into energy is known as the basal metabolic rate. Simply put, metabolism provides fuel for our body and its various functions. It also determines how efficiently the body utilizes the energy released.
The metabolic rate differs from person to person. Some of us manage to burn lesser calories as compared to others. A host of factors affect the metabolic rate. Those who are lean and have more muscles tend to have higher metabolism and end up burning more calories, even when at rest. Age and sex also play a vital role in determining your metabolic rate. Men are known to lose weight quicker as compared to women, due to lesser body fat and more muscles. As one gets older the body loses its flexibility, which makes it difficult to burn calories. On an average, a person's metabolism declines between 5% and 10% per decade.
How to boost your metabolism?
For those of you who have a sluggish metabolic rate, a slight change in your lifestyle can do wonders. It is seen that regular exercise builds up the basal metabolic rate. Walking and running can prove to be beneficial but there is nothing like strength training. As one loses fat and builds up lean muscles, metabolism gets a significant boost.
Here are some tips that you should keep in mind while working out else it may lead to lethargy and exhaustion -
•    Ensure that your water intake is sufficient, our body runs primarily on the essential fluids and lack of it can cause grave repercussions.
•    Keep a check on your Vitamin D levels. Lower levels of Vitamin D can make you lose weight at a slower rate and can trigger increased production of hormone ghrelin which usually propels frequent hunger pangs.
• Do not cut down on your caffeine intake completely. Coffee, tea or green tea can keep you attentive and alert through the day.
• Get enough sleep and try keeping stress at bay.
• Watch out for your daily calorie intake, eat less but at regular intervals and include a lot of protein. (More: Some fats increase metabolism)
What to eat?
Food can play a major role in boosting your metabolism, it revs up energy levels and helps to improve metabolic functions. Here's a checklist of certain foods that you should definitely sneak in your diet -
Vitamin-D enriched foods: A deficiency of vitamin D can slower your metabolism. Sunlight is the most important source of Vitamin D but since most of the time we don't enough of it, we should try and supplement our daily dose of Vitamin D by including foods like fish, eggs, tofu, soya milk and mushrooms. (More: 5 foods rich in vitamin-D)
 Natural coolers: According to a latest study, staying cool and hydrated can assist in maintaining a high rate of metabolism. Balancing bodily fluids is very essential in maintaining a healthy metabolic rate hence natural coolers like melon and cucumber can help in keeping you cool.
Milk and yogurt: Milk is a rich source of calcium and some of the recent studies hold that regular calcium intake can help the body metabolize fat efficiently. Yogurt is well known for being rich in probiotics, the good bacteria that helps in digestion and keeps you cool. Cottage cheese is rich in protein and it can help you build, maintain and repair muscles.
Green tea and coffee: According to a study that was published in the American Journal ofClinical Nutrition, men who consumed a combination of caffeine and green tea extracts burned more calories. Green tea is rich in antioxidants like polyphenols which have numerous health benefits and also aid in weight loss. Caffeine helps in warding off lethargy and can even increase your endurance during workouts. Green tea also contains a plant compound called EGCG that helps in burning fat.
Green vegetables: Garden fresh vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, spinach and avocados are high in minerals, protein and iron content which provide you with truckloads of energy to fulfill your daily requirements and keep you going. (More: Go green to boost metabolism)
Fish: Oily fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which can increase your metabolism significantly. Fish oil can increase the levels of fat burning enzymes in your body.
Lentils and Whole Grains: Lentils are a great source of proteins, carbohydrates and fiber that helps in good digestion. The iron content facilitates the flow of oxygen throughout the body which further helps in boosting metabolism and energy production. Also, include whole grains in your diet as they require extra energy to break down and digest and help in burning fat.

Nuts and Seeds: Dry fruits are a powerhouse of energy. Nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and pistachios have numerous health advantages. Nuts are great sources of protein. Since protein has a high thermic effect your body will have to burn more fats to digest these. Seeds like sunflower seeds and flax seed also help in lifting your metabolism.

Want to lose weight? Weigh yourself every Wednesday say experts


WANT to lose weight? Then weigh yourself every Wednesday, according to new research.
By Jo Willey

Wednesday is the best time to weigh yourself as your are less likely to fluctuate say experts
Regularly stepping on the scales really does work for those trying to shed the pounds, said the study by food technology experts.
But Wednesday is the best day of all because that is when weight is least likely to fluctuate so it gives a truer reading and makes is easier to compare one week to the next, it added.
Typically, consumers weigh the most at weekends and then burn if off bit by bit during the week, said the researchers from Finland’s Tempere University of Technology.
How much more they weigh at weekends can depend on whether or not they go out to eat, snack or have a quiet weekend so their actual weight jumps around quite a lot.
As a result, weighing themselves on a weekend can see much bigger gains or losses and present an inaccurate picture of their attempts to lose weight.
But Wednesdays, generally, give a much more typical reading of their genuine weight and makes it easier to compare one week to another, researchers told the journal PLOS One.
For those genuinely trying to slim, going for more than a week without checking the scales WILL see them put on weight, said Finnish lead research Dr Elina Helander.
That is because regularly monitoring helps them stick to a rigid weight loss regime as it reminds them just why they are doing what they doing, she said.
It is a standard method of slimming clubs and weightwatcher-style groups to have a weigh-in every week in front of other members to give slimmers encouragement.
The Finnish team took 40 overweight adults and analysed 2,838 different weight readings over the course of a year.
They found how and when the individuals weighed themselves related directly to how much weight they lost.
Dr Helander said: “The more often you weigh yourself the more weight you lose.”
Those who went more than a week without weighing themselves put on weight, she added and of those who weighed themselves once a week were most successful if they did it on a Wednesday.
Analysing the results, US expert Dr Brian Wansink of the Food and Brand Lab of Cornell University in New York State, told PLOS One: “The bottom line is: If you want to lose weight, it’s best to weigh yourself every day.
“But if you weigh yourself only once a week, do it on Wednesday because that will give you the most accurate reading.”



People Who Weigh Themselves More Lose More Weight By Jesse Singal Follow @jessesingal If you're trying to slim down, keep that scale nearby. Within the general category "trying to lose weight," there is a huge range of behaviors. Some people take this quest very seriously, diligently tracking seemingly every category down to the bite. Others see it as a more general long-term goal, but one that doesn't end up hugely affecting their day-to-day life. It's not surprising that this latter group tends to be less successful in their efforts, and a new study in PLOS ONE led by Elina Helander from Tempere Univeristy of Technology in Finland (and co-authored by friend of Science of Us Brian Wansink) makes the case for a vigilant approach to weight loss, at least when it comes to weigh-ins.



By Jesse Singal Follow @jessesingal

If you're trying to slim down, keep that scale nearby.

Within the general category "trying to lose weight," there is a huge range of behaviors. Some people take this quest very seriously, diligently tracking seemingly every category down to the bite. Others see it as a more general long-term goal, but one that doesn't end up hugely affecting their day-to-day life. It's not surprising that this latter group tends to be less successful in their efforts, and a new study in PLOS ONE led by Elina Helander from Tempere Univeristy of Technology in Finland (and co-authored by friend of Science of Us Brian Wansink) makes the case for a vigilant approach to weight loss, at least when it comes to weigh-ins.
As the press release explains, "The researchers analyzed 2,838 weight measurements (up to a year's worth of weigh-ins) from 40 overweight individuals (with a body mass index of 25 and over) who indicated that weight loss was a personal goal or concern." They found a correlation between how frequently the study participants weighed themselves and how much weight they lost, and that "The average time that participants could go between weighting without gaining weight was 5.8 days or about a weekly weigh-in."
The usual correlation-causation caveats apply here: It could be that the people most serious about losing weight, and better about exercise and diet, simply weighed themselves more. But this finding does tie into other evidence suggesting this sort of accountability matters when it comes to weight loss, a long-term goal with daily opportunities for slip-ups. So if you're trying to slim down, find a good scale and keep it nearby.

For Diabetics Only: Which Is It, High Glycemic Food Index or Low Glycemic Food Index?



The Glycemic index is indicative of the food’s effect on the body’s blood sugar. Some food can easily increase blood sugar content while others won’t even nudge it despite having similar carbohydrate contents. If blood sugar increases pointedly two hours after eating the food, that food is classified as having high glycemic index. Alternatively, if there is no dramatic increase in blood sugar two hours after ingesting the food, it is classified as having a low glycemic index.
Dr. Frank Sacks, the research head from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston said: “The big question is, does that translate to any health issues?”
The research team mentioned in the Journal of American Medical Association, or JAMA, about nutritional guidelines favoring food with a low glycemic index. They’ve also discussed a move to include the glycemic food indexes on the labels of food packaging.
The team continued that it’s not clear what health advantages low glycemic foods can contribute to the body. In this connection, there are high glycemic foods which are definitely beneficial to the health of the heart.
To prove their point, a research study was done which included 163 recruits. The adults were fed for five weeks four kinds of diet foods which were beneficial for the heart. The recruits were only able to finish a couple of diets which lasted from April 2008 to December 2010.
The four diets included a high glycemic index with high carbohydrate foods, high carbohydrate foods with a low glycemic index, high glycemic index with low carbohydrate foods, and food low in carbohydrates with a low glycemic index.
It may seem like the effect of the diets may not be much considering both fruits and grains are considered health foods, although one has a higher glycemic index compared to the other.
“A higher glycemic diet would have more bananas and instant oatmeal,” said Sacks. “A lower glycemic index would have more dried apricots and steel cut oats.”
Everyone was given their complete diet foods including their snacks and calories consisting of drinks.
The research didn’t come up with conclusive results on the whole between the benefits that low glycemic diets have over high glycemic diets.
The findings didn’t reveal any difference in the performance of insulin to transform glucose into useful energy. The lipid content of the blood remained the same, the systolic pressure, which is the pressure exerted on the walls of the artery, didn’t change.
It seems that human bodies are able to adjust to the foods on both sides of glycemic index, even if their weight is already considered over the limit and are experiencing insulin resistance condition Sacks explained.
“I guess it just works normally in most people,” he said.  He explained that glycemic index studies should be more in-depth, especially for individuals who are suffering from type 2 diabetes also described as adult-onset diabetes. He didn’t rule out the benefits that diabetics may get, but there’s a need for a more comprehensive study.
The editorial that Dr. Robert Eckel wrote about the study is very clear. The role of the glycemic index of food is not crucial when the food is beneficial to the heart.
Eckel, a former president of the American Heart Association and a professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora said, “If you’re eating a heart-healthy diet, glycemic index is not important to consider. I think the emphasis need to be on the overall diet pattern,” he continued.
Sacks is convinced in the effectiveness of Mediterranean diets or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. This consists of vegetables, fruits, dairy products which are cholesterol free, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts and vegetable oils. He said that individuals who are searching for a completely healthy diet should take advantage of this.
Source: Journal of American Medical Association, December 16.