Diabetes Prevention

In the last blog we discussed the physiology of diabetes what happens to insulin and some of the symptoms of diabetes. Quick recap, insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is when the body does not produce enough insulin due to an autoimmune issue (this type is often due to congenital issues). Type 2 is when there isn’t enough insulin or insulin becomes less sensitive due to the increased in take in sugar which is often caused by dietary problems. Today we are going to discuss how we can take preventative measures to avoid having diabetes.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way of preventing type 1 diabetes. However, there are ways to check for it at an early age. The best way is to do blood test. As for type 2 diabetes, it often stems from dietary issues and lifestyle choices. So the best way to address the issue is through alterations in those aspects.

  • Firstly, cut out most if not all processed sugars and refined carbohydrates. As we have discussed, diabetes is caused by increased blood sugar level. This causes a decrease in insulin sensitivity or the body is not able to keep up with insulin production.
  • Secondly, drink water as your primary beverage. Chances are if you have diabetes, you probably don’t drink a lot of water. As a recommendation, we should not have more than 9 teaspoons of sugar every day. However, 1 can of a regular size soda already consists of 8 teaspoons of sugar! This is why if you want to prevent yourself from having diabetes, drink mostly water as your primary beverage!
  • Thirdly, cut out processed foods. A study showed that a diet that consists mostly of processed food increases the change of diabetes by 30%. Yes, that can of spam, corned beef or that packet of two minute noodles is easy to make and tastes pretty good. But if you want to decrease the chances of getting diabetes, throw that stuff out. This is because during the processing, many preservatives are added to it and a common preservative is sugar!
  • Finally, complete more exercise! Exercise has many benefits, one of the benefits is that it increases insulin sensitivity. If insulin is more sensitive, your body will be more efficient at handling and processing sugar and there will be less stress on the body when it comes to producing insulin. Additionally, exercise can help you lower body fat and body fat actually lowers the effectiveness of insulin detecting sugar.

 

If you have type-1 diabetes, you can’t do much about it. All you can do is watch out for your diet and live a healthy lifestyle as much as possible. If you want to prevent yourself from getting diabetes following the 4 tips that was mentioned above is a great start. Remember what you do with your body is up to you. You feed your body with good fuel only good results will appear.

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How To Flight Proof Your Body

Going on a long flight? Bus ride? Car ride? You may have experienced the unpleasant experience of being crammed in a seat for hours. You get agitated, your muscles begin to ache, and there’s nowhere to hide from the pain.

We came up with these tips to reduce the physical stress on your body that comes with travel. This applies to all situations where you find yourself stuck sitting in one place for hours.

  1. Pump your ankles.

    • Sitting for long periods means that the muscles that are used to pump blood and fluid up your legs aren’t active. This leads to swelling and blood pooling over time. While the swelling isn’t dangerous, blood clots can form a deep vein thrombosis, which can be a dangerous and life threatening condition. So be sure to keep your ankles moving!
    • Fully extend your legs out in front of you (if you have the leg room, if not, extend out as much as you can) and move your ankles side to side as well as up and down. This can help with ankle stiffness, swelling and pain.
  2. Keep hydrated.

    • Especially if you’re in an airplane, the cabins have very low humidity and can lead to accelerated dehydration.
    • Drink plenty of water the day before your flight as well as during your flight.
    • Avoid drinks that tend to dehydrate, such as caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, before and during your flight.
  3. Move as much as you can!

    • It’s a bad idea to be sitting for long periods of time in any context. On top of that, you’ll end up in uncomfortable sleeping positions if you decide to doze off.
    • This can lead to pain and dysfunction in your hips, back, shoulder and neck, so it’s a good idea to address this by getting up and walking around every 30 minutes if you can.
  4. Stuck sitting? Try some Pandiculation.

  • Pandiculation is basically stationary stretching. You’ve already done it naturally upon waking up when yawning and stretching your body.
  • It can be done to every part of your body.
    • Reach your hands upward to the sky.
    • Extend and stretch your legs.
    • Move your neck in every motion. Look side to side, up and down. Bring your ears towards your shoulders side to side.
    • Expand your chest while bringing your shoulders back.
    • Move your body in all directions where you feel restrictions.
  • Do these movements slowly and feel where your tension lies and focus on stretching out those areas. Just be careful not to bump your neighbour.

Movement is medicine, so just remember to do what you can with what you’re given. Happy and healthy travels!

 

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Don’t Get Sick This Winter

It’s coming into winter, often called flu season, and if you don’t want to get sick then follow this advice…

Okay, so there isn’t really a cure for getting the common cold but there a few things that you can do to reduce your chances of getting sick and to improve your recovery time if you do fall ill. Improving your body’s ability to fight sickness is how we look at things at Revolution, not just medicating symptoms.

Keep your nutrition high

This is important year-round but keeping your diet full of vitamins and minerals will help your body put up the good fight. Stay topped up with fresh vegetables and fruits with every meal.

Vitamin C heavily associates with immunity so up your intake to 5000-10000 milligrams a day. CAUTION: increase to this amount over a few days as high vitamin C doses can increase the frequency that you’ll need to sit on the porcelain throne if you catch my drift. Start with 1000-2000 milligrams and up it from there.

Vitamin D is another key player for your immune system and since we tend to spend a lot less time out in the sun in winter it’s harder for our body to make enough of it so you should look into supplementing it. The Vitamin D council recommends 5,000-10,000 IU per day.  Check out their website for more great information on vitamin D.

Avoid sugar: Sugar has been shown to reduce the ability of your neutrophils to attack invading pathogens. Neutrophils are white blood cells that essentially chase down and eat invading bacteria and other bad guys that can make you sick. We know sugar has many other negative effects on your health to so it’s definitely best to avoid. Yes, fruit has sugar but fruit also has vitamins, minerals and fibre that your body requires whereas a can of fizzy drink or a piece of cake has nothing to offer you except momentary pleasure.

Rest

The immune system takes a lot of energy to run which is why you get tired when you are sick, your body is slowing you down so it can put maximum resources into fighting off invaders.  Last winter I had a sore throat coming on and I knew I should take it easy but I went to the gym instead. I ended up very sick for the next few days.  I spent my energy lifting heavy barbells and I didn’t have enough in reserve.

Lesson learned, take it easy if you feel something coming on, dose up on vitamins and vegetables, stay hydrated and you might lessen the impact of the storm.

Sanchez, A. Et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 26, Issue 11, November 1973, Pages 1180–1184, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/26.11.1180

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

 

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Vitamin D

With a beautiful summer coming to an end the temperature is already dropping and the days are getting shorter. Sadly this means you will be getting less outdoor activity and time in the sun which means less opportunity for your body to make vitamin D.

Good levels of vitamin D are important for heart, brain, lungs and muscles function. Vitamin D is also important in regulating calcium levels so has an impact on bone health too. Low levels are linked with depression, low immunity and even cancer!

While most of the vitamins we need come from our food, it also is unique in that your own body can make it from sunlight. Which is why we need to pay closer attention to it in as winter approaches.

Although you can get vitamin D from foods, especially cod liver oil, raising your levels of vitamin D through food alone is not adequate according to the vitamin D council (find a link to their website below to get more information on vitamin D). Sun exposure and supplementation are the most effective ways to bring your levels up and maintain good health.

Tips for vitamin D this winter

1) Try and get as much sun exposure as you can while still being sun smart.

AND

2) Supplementation.

Most people can supplement vitamin D without any problem but if you have high blood calcium levels it may not be a good idea to take high doses. If you are taking certain medications it may also affect your ability to take high doses, whereas other medications may require you to take a higher dose than normal. This being the case it is best to consult your doctor to have some simple tests done to find out what dosage is right for you.

Reference:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 87, Issue 3, March 2008, Page 794,

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

 

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Should I Quit Drinking?

The debate of whether a certain amount of alcohol is good or bad for you has been a long-standing one. Some of us enjoy the glass of wine with dinner. Others have a few beers on the weekend.  But do you need to quit it altogether to change your body or your health?

If you’re thinking that alcoholic beverages tend to show up a lot in life you’re not alone. Alcohol has become a huge part of the culture in New Zealand and in other countries around the world. Whether it’s a nice cold beer at the end of a workday or a bubbly champagne on New Year’s, it tends to add up. But how does that affect your health goals? Well, it’s kind of complicated.

You may have heard that drinking can be good for you as research has shown that moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, gallstones and coronary heart disease. There have even been studies indicating that drinkers live longer than people who don’t drink.

However, it’s important to know that experts recommend that if you don’t already drink, don’t start. Why? Because no one actually knows if ANY amount of alcohol is good for you.

I’m not going to tell you not to drink. But it’s important to know that most of the research on the potential benefits of drinking alcohol doesn’t actually prove anything due to how the studies are designed. The research tends to be large, long-term population-based studies that can’t say that it CAUSES anything, but rather that it CORRELATES with something.

So what is a “moderate alcohol intake”?

  • Women: 7 drinks/week, no more than 3 in a single day
  • Men: 14 drinks/week, no more than 4 in a single day

In my opinion, this type of moderation will land you in a host of health problems. Let’s take it down to 1-2 times per week with only 1 drink per setting. That’s better 🙂

A single drink can be a 330 ml can of 4% alcohol beer or a 100 ml glass of 12.5% alcohol wine.

Chances are, if you’re a human, you’re most likely underestimating your alcohol consumption. The occasional happy hour or birthday dinner can quickly take you from moderate to heavy drinker without you even realizing. The health risks for heavy drinking are much higher for major health problems, such as liver cancer, alcoholism, osteoporosis and a host of other diseases.

So how do you find a nice balance? What amount of alcohol gives you enjoyment while giving your body a chance to respond and recover from processing it? MY moderate alcohol intake guideline is a good start along with the following tips:

  • Keep track of your drinking habits. Do this for a week or two and ask yourself:
    • Am I drinking more than I thought? (Did you forget to count those couple of beers you like to have on Sunday afternoons?)
    • Are there patterns in my drinking? (Does your stressful job trigger your end-of-week binge drink?)
    • Is it helping me enjoy life or stressing me out? (Are you not sleeping well or feeling worried about drinking?)
  • Tune in to your body’s signals:
    • Do I feel good?
    • Am I recovering?
    • How do I feel afterwards?
  • Switch it up and experiment to break your routine:
    • Delay your next drink for 10 minutes and see if you still want it after.
    • Savour your drink. Look, sniff, and taste it.
    • Quality over quantity. Drink less, but have the good stuff.

Evaluate how drinking fits in with your goals. If you want six-pack abs, then that might mean skipping out on a few drinks at the bar. Taking part in Friday night “Happy Hour” means pushing back your Saturday morning workout. If you’re aiming for a more moderate alcohol intake then you’ll have to find a way to say “no” to certain stress/social triggers that make you want to drink more.

 

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What You Need To Know About Sugar

Is sugar bad?

 

Should you avoid it? This is possibly one of the most controversial topics in diet and health, but today, we’re going to tackle it with hard-core science and unveil the facts you need to know.

First, let’s define exactly what we mean by sugar. Is it the white stuff you scoop into your coffee? Well it can be, but that’s only one type of sugar, called sucrose. Sugar is actually a group of molecules that share a similar structure, so it’s actually more appropriate if we refer to them as sugars. Sugars are a type of carbohydrate known as “simple carbohydrates”, which means they digest more quickly.

You have taste receptors on your tongue for sugars that tell you “this is delicious” because naturally, sweet foods like fruits are full of vitamins, minerals and energy. Nowadays, there are some not-so-nutritious foods that are packed with sugar. The tricky part about this is that everyone reacts to sugar differently. Genetically, some of us want it more, some of us like it in small doses and some of us like it so much that the more we eat, the more we want.

 

What does the data say about sugar’s link to weight gain?

 

Well no single thing – including sugar – causes weight gain. A study was conducted comparing the low-carb diet to the low-fat diet when the calories were kept the same and the researchers concluded that there was no advantage to either diet over the long term.

One thing that definitely contributes to weight gain is an increased caloric intake. So if you’re one of those people that loves sugar so much that it always leaves you wanting more; then it’s a good idea to restrict yourself from sugar because eating it will most likely make you eat more of it and that will increase your overall caloric intake, which can lead to weight gain. It’s all about experimenting with your body and finding what works.

 

What does the data say about sugar’s link to diabetes?

 

 The short answer for this one is that managing sugar intake is just one piece of the diabetes-prevention puzzle. The biggest change you can make to prevent or reverse diabetes is to limit your fat intake that comes from all the animal products you eat such as red meat, pork, cheese, dairy milk and eggs. Research has shown that these types of fats are actually the biggest culprit driving diabetes. For more info watch the documentary ‘What The Health’ on Netflix.

This doesn’t give you permission to have fizzy drinks with your meals (bad idea). What it does is give you more insight on what you SHOULD focus on when looking to prevent diabetes, which is weight and body fat management. This is backed up by a LOT of research.

 

So… How much should I eat?

 

The point of this article is not to remove your guilt of eating sugar.  It’s not a health food and it doesn’t even add a whole lot of nutrient value like protein or omega-3 fatty acid does. But you can’t blame one thing for all your health problems. Being aware of your sugar intake is probably a good idea. As a guideline, limit sugar to 10% of your intake. But ensuring that you’re eating real whole foods for proper nutrients and finding a way to move and exercise more often has far greater benefits. Focus on the big rocks before the pebbles, and you’ll find navigating health a whole lot easier.

 

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5 pieces of Fruit and/or vegetables a day!

Introduction

We always hear that we should be consuming at least 5 fruits or vegetables a day. Have you guys ever stopped and wondered why? They are vital in keeping a balanced diet. Studies have shown that consuming 400g of either fruits or vegetables can have significant benefits for one’s health.

 

Here are 5 top reasons why you should be eating at least 5 pieces a day.

1) Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges and strawberries all contain high fiber.

Fiber is important in maintaining a healthy gut. Healthy guts can prevent constipation and many digestive problems. Consuming a high fiber diet can also reduce the chances of bowel cancer. AWESOME!

 

2) Fruits and vegetables can help you maintain a healthy weight.

They can help fill up your stomach quick. But, because they are low in fat and calories it can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy

 

3) Eating a lot of vegetables and fruits has shown a decrease in blood pressure.

They contain many important vitamins and minerals. One important mineral that directly affects blood pressure is potassium. Potassium has shown to negate the effects of salt which has a direct correlation to high blood pressure.

 

4) Fruits and vegetables all contain high amounts of zinc, lutein, vitamins C and E.

These all help to ward off degenerative problems in the eye. Foods such as kale, spinach and oranges can help prevent eye disorders that arise from degenerative processes.

 

5) For pregnant women 5 a day is just as important.

Folate, which is a mineral found in many fruits and vegetables such as; broccoli, beetroot, citrus fruits and bananas have shown to decrease birth defects in newborns

 

Conclusion

There are so many other benefits that come from consuming a lot of vegetables and fruits. Different fruits and vegetables contain different sources of vitamins and minerals. To get the most out of 5 a day, you should try to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables.

 

Fruit and vegetables

 

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Coffee… does it make you fat or skinny?

Coffee makes me skinny! Really?

There are so many different ideas and theories about coffee and if it makes you fat or skinny.

Most commonly people think that coffee makes you ‘skinny’ because it ‘increases’ your metabolism. Well, that’s not correct and you don’t need that kind of disinformation.

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It is just another drug, such as alcohol or cigarettes. It’s highly addictive. What’s worse is that people have no idea how much it affects them and not just their physique. It influences their hormone regulation, energy, sleep, cardiovascular system (leading to heart disease), blood sugar (leading to diabetes), joints, muscles, bones (leading to chronic musculoskeletal conditions), and much more.

Did you know that sugar, caffeine, and alcohol are the leading causes of high blood pressure and thus heart disease?

I see client after client who drinks 3-4 coffees per day and don’t realize that it causes a lot of their musculoskeletal and health problems.

Coffee’s ability to make you fat has nothing to do with the added creamer or sweetener. Plain black coffee can make you fat. Coffee and caffeine trigger fat storage in human fat cells. Coffee/caffeine impairs blood glucose levels, thus triggering a metabolic cascade of negative physical events in the human body.

At any rate, even decaffeinated coffee has been proven to acutely impair glucose metabolism in healthy young men. So, clearly the pathogenesis of plain coffee—without caffeine—stimulates blood glucose imbalance and impacts adipose tissue fat production.

 

The hormone regulation

Cortisol:

Drinking regular coffee also causes the secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone, and a biochemical marker of stress that triggers belly-fat accumulation. Dr. Henry Kahn of the Emory University School of Medicine states, “There’s something about fat cells in the body—the way they respond to stress hormones. People with high levels of stress hormones have a tendency to store fat in their bellies.”
Stress activates cortisol, and so does the consumption of coffee and caffeine. Since stress and ingestion of cortisol-elevating foods and beverages are the main cause of cortisol elevation in humans. Avoiding the stimulation of cortisol is important in keeping body fat levels low.

Blood sugar / Insulin:

The biochemical disruptions caused by drinking coffee and/or caffeinated drinks (such as energy drinks) are related to their glycemic properties. Coffee elicits an acute insulin-insensitive environment in both healthy and obese individuals, and in type 2 diabetics. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center stated that “Daily consumption of coffee, tea, or soft drinks raises blood sugar levels and may even hinder efforts to control the condition [blood-sugar elevation].”
Simply put, elevating blood sugar and/or insulin levels in humans causes weight gain via adipose tissue fat cells.

 

Conclusions

Here’s the bottom line: Drinking coffee and/or caffeine energy drinks disrupts weight loss and elevates cortisol-driven belly fat. So, avoiding coffee and caffeine-related blood glucose excursions and cortisol elevation is mandatory in keeping fat cells at bay.

Read my next blog post for recommendations on what to replace your coffee with and how to beat your coffee addiction!

 

Looking for a Chiropractor in Auckland?

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