Is alcohol off limits if you are suffering from diabetes?

Being a a diabetic does not mean that you have to give up on alcohol completely. Although alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels, you sure can enjoy a certain amount of alcohol in moderation, during or after a meal.

Besides the taste, moderate amounts of alcohol may be beneficial to your health. For instance, alcohol helps in lowering the risk for developing a heart condition. Although having diabetes involves making special dietary considerations, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice having one or two drinks socially.

As a diabetic you should follow the same guidelines as non-diabetics for alcohol consumption. This is simple, as well. Women should have no more than two units of alcohol each day, while men may have a maximum of three units per day.

What’s in a Unit?

The unit amounts of alcohol may vary, depending on the particular type of drink that you choose to have.

You should consider the following equivalents to a unit before drinking.

  • One shot or 25ml of wine, gin, whiskey, etc.
  • ½ pint of regular beer
  • One shot or 50ml of vermouth or sherry

If you’re diabetic you should make yourself aware of the amount of alcohol contained in each type of drink. For example, a glass of wine may actually contain two units of alcohol while a pint of beer may contain as much as three units.

Making the wrong calculation for the amount of alcohol in a drink can have significant effects on your blood glucose level.

The Rules of Sipping

If you want to maintain good health while enjoying an alcoholic drink, there are some things to bear in mind:

  • Don’t ever drink on an empty stomach
  • Don’t replace carbohydrates in your diet with alcohol
  • Always wear identification that declares you to be a diabetic
  • Sip, and do not gulp your drink.
  • Keep yourself properly hydrated while you are having alcohol. The best liquids to do this are water, diet drinks or tea
  • Have light drinks such as light beer or a mixture of an alcoholic drink with club soda, wine and ice cubes
  • Don’t drive for a few hours after drinking alcohol
  • Check your blood sugar level before drinking and up to 24 hours after drinking, especially right before you go to bed to make sure the levels are not too low.
  • Take diabetic pills prescribed by your doctor

Alcohol intake can significantly increase the chances of the diabetic experiencing conditions like hypoglycemia or extremely low blood sugar levels. These precautions should still be taken into considerations, although having a drink may not have any short term effects on the levels of glucose in the blood.

In the final analysis, having alcohol as a diabetic can be a safe practice as long as you follow certain precautions. If you drink more than one or two drinks each week then you should inform your doctor. Best would of course be to take diabetes completely out of the equation. The diabetes protocol program might be able to help you with that.

Understanding the influence of Metabolism on Weight Loss and How you Burn Calories

Understanding how your metabolism works and how it relates to losing weight is very important if you are interested in losing weight, dropping a few pants sizes and toning your body into what you’ve always wanted it to be. Learning how your metabolism works is important when it comes to burning calories efficiently and losing weight as quickly as possible. This piece will aim to educate and inform you about how your metabolism works and what tips and tricks you can use to burn calories quicker and more efficiently.

burn calories so you can loose weight

How your Metabolism Works

Metabolism can be defined as the process of various chemical reactions that take place within your body to convert the food you’ve eaten into energy that your body can use for building muscle, doing work and staying strong and healthy. Eating too much food can place an overload on your metabolism, causing excess glucose in your bloodstream to be converted into stored body fat instead of being burned off as energy.

Everybody’s body has a different metabolic rate. The metabolic rate is the approximate rate at which your body is able to digest and process the food and liquids you’ve consumed. Some people have fast metabolisms, meaning they must eat more food in order to sustain the energy requirements their body needs to stay healthy. People with fast metabolisms are generally skinnier and have less body fat than people with slow metabolisms. If you suffer from having a slow metabolism you are probably overweight and find it frustratingly difficult to lose weight no matter how little food you eat.

There are numerous factors that determine your basal metabolic rate including:

  • Body size and composition – People who have more fat on their bodies will burn less calories than people who have more muscle on their bodies. If you have a large body size you will burn more calories naturally, even while resting.
  • Gender – Because men generally have more muscle, and women have more body fat, men burn more calories than women.
  • Age – You will find your body losing muscle and gaining fat as you grow older. This translates into a slower metabolic rate and therefore slower calorie burning.

In addition to your basal metabolic rate there are two more factors that account for how your body burns calories. Food processing, also known as thermogenesis is the energy requirements your body needs to transporting, storing, absorbing and using the food you consume. This accounts for roughly 10% of calories burned each day. Physical activity (or lack thereof) is the other factor that determines how fast your metabolism works. More physical activity translates to a faster metabolic rate and more calories being burned.

Burning Calories more Effectively

The trick to burning calories more effectively does not lie in “weight loss miracle pills” or “metabolism boosting pills.” In fact there are no known medications or supplements that have been scientifically proven to boost your metabolism. There are certain supplements, such as capsicum, that work by increasing the temperature within your body which may increase your metabolism. Keep in mind there is no “magic bullet” when it comes to improving your metabolic rate and burning more calories.

There are three primary ways in which you can burn more calories without relying on supplements, pills or surgery. The first method is getting regular aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is the best type of exercise for burning calories because it gets your heart beating faster, blood circulating quicker and it burns calories much more efficiently than other types of exercise. Running, jogging, swimming or bicycling each day for at least 30 minutes is generally enough exercise to stay in shape. If your goal is to lose weight then you will need to increase the amount of exercise you get, perhaps up to an hour per day.

The second way in which you can burn more calories is through strength training. The action of lifting the weights themselves is not what burns calories, but your body burns calories because more muscle mass will be added to your body. If your body has a large ratio of muscle to fat then you will burn more calories than if your body was primarily composed of fat and not muscle.

Remember that the key to losing weight is bridging the difference between the amount of calories you consume each day and the amount of calories you burn.

Want to snack? Try these healthy alternatives!

eat healthy snacks instead of junk food

A healthy approach to snacking

Snacking is often seen as the big no-no when you’re trying to lose weight. It’s seen as something you do guiltily between meals: nipping off to the burger van for a plate of chips, or hiding a couple of chocolate bars in your office to wolf down whilst no one is watching you. And, truthfully, those types of indulgences will throw off your great work done in your exercising and your diets. But snacking needn’t be seen as such an evil! If you play it right, and eat some of the 8 healthy snacks below, you can not only knock away those hunger pangs that are only natural as a human – you can also push forward your dieting regime. What’s not to love?

Cottage cheese

Dairy products are a difficult one to factor in to healthy living, because if eaten too often, they can play havoc with your fat levels. However, cottage cheese is engineered to deliver the calcium rich goodness of dairy in a tasty, low fat package. Adding a bit of cottage cheese to another snack, like celery sticks, is a great way to spice up a bland dish without compromising on the health benefits.

Cooked chicken

It’s often said that snacks should be little nibbles in between meals, but there’s no reason why they can’t simply be smaller versions of meals. Cooked chicken strips are ready to eat, removing the messy need to cook, and they can very easily be added to a bit of pitta or a salad to provide a protein rich and guilt free snack. A small meal will keep you fuller for longer, both physically and psychologically.

Dark chocolate

Here’s one we all wanted to hear: it’s OK to eat chocolate as a snack! Well, of course, providing you don’t eat too much, and you only eat dark chocolate. Cocoa is great for the digestive system, so a piece or two or dark chocolate in the afternoon can keep your body ticking over nicely, flushing out any badness before your evening meal.

Nuts

Nuts are pretty much the perfect healthy snack. They can be stored for extended periods of time without going off, they’re incredibly high in fibre, and they can be added onto other dishes for a bit of crunch. The fibre improves digestion and helps remove toxins from the body.

Skimmed milk

Ok, well, maybe not strictly a snack. But a glass of skimmed milk can help to fill the void left by the smaller portions afforded by whatever diet, or healthy living plan that you’re following. Milk is packed full of calcium, which is great at breaking down fats. But here’s the bonus of using skimmed (fat free milk): it delivers all of the goodness in normal milk with fewer calories. Perfect snacking material!

Beans

If Japanese Edamame beans with salt, tasty as they are, are not up your alley – maybe you’re not the adventurous foodie I initially took you for – you can supplement your regular meals with tinned beans. These little beauties keep you full for ages, and again, firm up the digestive process.

Seaweed

Sticking with the Japanese theme, seaweed has become an increasingly popular healthy snack. Simply dried and lightly salted sheets are easily stored, and they do wonders for your thyroid, improving your metabolism for the long term. They’re a bit like crisps, only, well, different. Have a go!

Avocado

Finally, you should always have an avocado on hand. Regularly labelled one of life’s superfoods, the oily vegetable is firm and filling enough to be eaten on its own, with a twist of lemon, or even a scoop of cottage cheese. The natural fibres and nutrients combine to cleanse, fill up, and brighten your body!

The risks of a high protein diet

High Protein = high risk?

 

A high protein diet, like the infamous Jennifer Aniston-supported ‘Atkins Diet’, have become less popular in recent years, due to changes in the fad breeze and a wave of reports highlighting apparent health risks from following such a restrictive diet. For instance, one piece of research conducted by Dr Valter Longo from the University of Southern California found that the people whose diet consisted only of animal protein were as much at risk of getting cancer as people who smoke up to 20 cigarettes a day.

high protein

That’s bad news for Atkins lovers. I’m sure that there are very few health professionals that would encourage a nicotine-based diet as a healthy way to shed a few extra pounds, so the comparisons can’t have been flattering. Sure, the results from the research aren’t conclusive – it’s not really possible to say anything definitive about most diets – but there are a few facts to watch carefully when following a high protein diet, to protect your health.

Blood sugar level

One of the conclusions from the report is that people who follow a high protein diet (getting at least 20% of their calories from animal protein) are several times more likely than those that don’t follow a similar diet to contract diabetes. So be very careful, when undertaking a diet like Atkins, to watch if your energy levels start to drop off, or you become hyperactive, as this could be an indication of extreme imbalance in your blood sugar levels. And, without stating the obvious, contracting diabetes should in no situation be seen as a necessary evil accompanying a diet. It’s a serious illness, requiring daily attention, and it should be watched out for.

Kidney damage

By testing the diets extensively in labs, a University of Granada study found that high protein diets can increase the weight of kidneys by over 20%, and make the urine 15% more acidic. These factors combine to create swollen kidneys, which are key risks for forming kidney stones, and to lead to kidney failure. The studies above involved rats, but the implications are clear: the diets can dangerously strain your vital organs.

If you ask anyone who’s had kidney stones about the terrible pain involved in passing them – or if you ask anyone who has been unfortunate enough to lose the use of a kidney – you’ll learn that any of the issues listed above are no walk in the park. If you’re following the Atkins or Dukan diet, be clear to check the health of your kidneys regularly. Also keep your kidneys healthy to gain most from the naked beauty symulast method to combat cellullite.

Bone strength

Finally, high protein diets have been shown to lead to Osteoporosis, or ‘brittle bone syndrome’. As this condition progresses, bones become weaker and more prone to breaks from relatively mundane situations. In old age, this can be drastic, as a simple fall can render someone unable to walk.

Doctors are of the opinion that the lack of dairy product intake lowers the balance of calcium in the body, which forces it to take calcium from any source that it can find – with bones being the obvious choice. As calcium is extracted, bones become less fortified and weaker, and then more ready to crack. So if you feel slightly weaker, be sure to check it out – it could be a sign of serious bone condition.

High protein diets are great for losing weight, but there does seem to be increasing evidence to suggest that they’re damaging for the body. Exercise caution, when following the diets!