How to Increase Your Life Expectancy

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that health is everything. There are simple steps everyone can take to increase their life expectancy, and to give individuals the best chance at living a long, healthy life. Incorporate these simple habits into your daily and weekly routines to increase your life expectancy and improve your health now and into the future.

1. Keep Your HbA1c Low, TiR High

If you live with diabetes, one of the healthiest life-extending habits you can adopt is keeping your HbA1c low and time in range (TiR) high. Tightly managing blood sugar levels can help prevent devastating complications such as blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure and premature death.

In addition, since the HbA1c test is simply an average of one’s high blood sugars and low blood sugars, it’s important to keep your blood sugar consistent and stable, with your time in your target range as high as you can get it. Studies have linked more stable blood sugars (and not gigantic swings between highs and lows) to longer life for those with diabetes. Most people aim for an HbA1c lower than 7%, but check with your doctor for your ideal target.

2. Wear Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen daily is crucial for preventing the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma. Even on cloudy days, your skin will absorb 80% of the sun’s rays, and with it, harmful UV radiation. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF every time you go outside. Ample use is crucial: On average, people only use about 20-25% of the amount of sunscreen needed for sufficient protection, so make sure to lather up!

3. Move Your Body

It’s no surprise that exercise is healthy for people, especially people living with chronic conditions like diabetes. Exercise is crucial for heart health, to manage blood sugars, increase lung capacity, and build and tone muscles to prevent future injury. All of the short term benefits of exercise add up to a longer, healthier life. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, more if able! A study showed that people who exercise vigorously for only 3 hours a week had cells that were 9 years younger than nonexercisers.

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

4. Spend Time Outside

Nearly 50% of adults have low vitamin D levels, due to our sedentary lifestyle and the fact that most Americans live and work inside most hours of the day. Vitamin D (which can be absorbed right into the skin when people go outside) is important for proper immune system functioning, healthy teeth and bones, managing depression, and may even help prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes! Getting outside for just 15 minutes a day is usually enough to maintain adequate vitamin D levels for most people.

5. Spend More Time with Family & Friends

Blue Zone countries, places around the world that have notoriously long, healthy life expectancies, place a lot of emphasis on socializing with family and friends. Having a social circle can help people get through hard times, reduce daily stress, boost resilience and immune response, and act as a literal shoulder to cry on. This is especially important for people with diabetes who can oftentimes feel isolated and alone with their condition. Connecting with others in our struggle can help extend life expectancy: studies show that maintaining a social circle can help people live up to 50% longer, and having just 3 close social ties can decrease your risk of an early death by 200%. 

6. Eat Whole Foods, Mostly Plants

Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will be full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can extend life. Even if you don’t go completely vegetarian or vegan, eating more whole, unprocessed foods is beneficial for a healthy life, and to prevent diabetes complications. Many studies over the years have correlated a plant-forward diet to a lower risk of premature death, as well as protective factors against cancer, heart disease, depression, and dementia. People who eat mostly plants tend to have lower body weight, healthier blood pressure levels, and have significantly lower mortality risk. Bon Appetit!

7. Meditate to Manage Stress

Stress has been correlated with shorter life expectancies, and learning to manage it through meditation and yoga can improve and lengthen your life. Successfully managing stress through meditation can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep, boost your immune response, and improve your relationships, all of which add up to a healthier, longer life. Check out some free meditation apps to get you going!

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

8. See Your Doctor Regularly

Regularly seeing your doctor for screens and tests can catch diseases early (such as cancer), and can ensure an appropriate and timely treatment plan if something is detected. Mammograms, colonoscopies, and pap smears are some of the routine tests and screens scientifically proven to decrease mortality from the diseases they screen for. It may not be fun, but it’s proven, effective, and worth it!

9. Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Sugar is the new tobacco. Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist from England, shares, “…added sugar is completely unnecessary. Contrary to what the food industry wants you to believe, the body doesn’t require any carbohydrate energy from added sugar.”

There is evidence linking sugar not only to obesity and higher incidence rates of type 2 diabetes, but also to liver disease, heart disease and tooth decay (which can lead to dementia). If you cut out added sugar from your diet, you are also more likely to gravitate to unpackaged, whole foods, which are chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and life-extending properties.

10. Get More Sleep

One in three Americans don’t get enough sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked with a plethora of negative outcomes on many body systems, including cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. Side effects of not getting enough Zs include obesity, heart disease, hypertension, anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, stroke and increased risk of developing cancer that can all shorten one’s life. Sleep is when the body replenishes cells, is crucial to proper brain functioning, regulates one’s metabolism, and repairs damage done to the body during the day. Adequate sleep promotes healing of all body systems, and getting enough of it can extend your life. Aim for 7-9 hours per night.

These small, easy changes can add up to many more healthy years. Try to incorporate a few of these strategies into your routine today to increase your life expectancy!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Baked Cucumber Chips With Salt & Vinegar Flavor

This content originally appeared on Low Carb Yum. Republished with permission.

Although most of our cucumber plants got destroyed by a wild animal, we managed to get a few more cucumbers from the garden. A friend with a productive garden also gave us a couple more.

With all the cucumbers laying around, I figured I better find a good use for them. So, I pulled my Excaliber dehydrator out of storage so I could preserve some. The dehydrator is basically just a low temperature convection oven used to slowly remove moisture from foods. It’s perfect for preserving fruits and vegetables.

I decided make a batch of salt and vinegar baked cucumber chips. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can bake them at a low temperature in a regular oven as well. I prefer using a dehydrator to make vegetable chips because they come out better. And, you don’t have to worry about cooking them too long and burning. However, it is a lot faster to make these baked cucumber chips in the oven. It takes only 3-4 hours compared to the 8-10 hours when using the dehydrator.

It’s best to use a mandoline to get consistently thin slices. I used an old Pampered chef mandoline slicer that isn’t available anymore.

If you don’t like vinegar, you can leave it out for plain salted chips. However, salt and vinegar was always my favorite potato chip so I wanted to have a low-carb version.

Baked Cucumber Chips

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Baked Cucumber Chips

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Baked salt and vinegar baked cucumber chips are a healthier low-carb snack. They are easy to make and low in calories, too.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Cucumbers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 25kcal

Equipment

  • Excaliber dehydrator or oven, mandoline slicer

Ingredients

  • 2 medium cucumbers or 3 small ones
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or vinegar of choice (omit for regular chips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or more if needed

Instructions

  • Slice cucumber very thin. Use a mandoline slicer for best results.
  • Remove excess moisture from slices using a paper towel.
  • Put cucumber slices in a large bowl and toss with oil, vinegar, and salt.
  • For dehydrator: Place slices on trays and dry at 125-135°F for 10-12 hours or until crispy.
  • For oven: Place slices on parchment lined baking tray. Dry at 175°F for 3-4 hours or until crispy.
  • Allow slices to cool before serving.

Notes

If using foil lined pans, don’t cut the cucumbers too thin and be sure to flip half-way so they can be removed easier.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 396mg | Potassium: 51mg | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

 

Baked Cucumber Chips Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Connecting Type 1 Diabetes Researchers: The Sugar Science

This content originally appeared on Beyond Type 1. Republished with permission.

By Monica Westley

As a scientist and a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes, I was compelled to fully understand the etiology of the disease. I created a group called “The Sugar Mamas” to connect parents to live, interactive interviews with researchers. I reached out to scientists and scheduled regular “Lunch and Learns.” After each Skype call, parents went away feeling hopeful and inspired. It was a powerful connection for parents to understand how hard scientists were working on this disease. Last fall, I shared my process and helped Beyond Type 1 implement the connection of their community to researchers as well. I am a true believer in the adage, “the more information, the better!”

Creating The Sugar Science

Through countless interviews with researchers in the type 1 diabetes (T1D) field, I began to understand recurring pain points in the scientific community that was hindering more rapid progress. With the data in hand and a personal call to action, I began to build a digital platform in March 2020. We currently are a devoted and dedicated team of 23 talented volunteers, the majority with a close connection to T1D. Together we created The Sugar Science (TSS) to serve the wishes of scientists and catalyze a cure.

Our platform has already received endorsements from top researchers in the T1D world, including Dr. Douglas Melton (Harvard) and Dr. Alice Long (Benaroya), who act as our advisors. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC), as well as Unanimous A.I., have partnered with us. Gaining validity, we were semi-finalists for the Women Who Tech grant, and we won a Google grant.

TSS revitalizes scientific communication in the same way that our social communications have transformed by digital tools over the last decade. Social networking and AI tools on the TSS platform are poised to bring together a field that has been silo-ed for decades, not due to the considerable effort of scientists, but due to the multi-factorial nature of the disease.

Providing Tools

Online meeting

Image source: Beyond Type 1

The Sugar Science provides tools that scientists working in T1D have requested. Current tools include The Collaborator, Thought Experiment, and KG.

The Collaborator is “speed dating” for ideas. Scientists post just three slides with short descriptions of their idea. The community gives feedback as to whether this is a “good idea,” and other scientists can connect to collaborate. A “match” can submit a fast-tracked grant to the DRC for funding.

Thought Experiments (TE) is a tool where scientists can post controversial (or not) ideas and the community can weigh in. Scientists whose answers gain “likes” from the community will gain a reputation. These scientists will be invited to participate in a SWARM AI event, tackling the toughest questions in type 1 diabetes along with experts in the field.

KG is the Knowledge Graph. We are building a knowledge graph to reflect all historical papers against a backdrop of negative data. This will give scientists studying T1D a new perspective on work that has already been done in the field as well as show places where work needs to be done.

Moving Forward

Overall, we remain true to our mission: to help T1D scientists connect, collaborate, and fund their best ideas. TSS features podcasts and interviews with scientists. We are scheduling “off the record” private brainstorms. We want to elevate young scientists interested in T1D and support them. In this spirit, we are hosting a PITCH COMP for post-docs and graduate students who study T1D on September 25, 2020. It will be a chance to shine for labs looking to connect, and the best pitches will be awarded funding. This event is particularly meaningful with the COVID-19 pressures that the scientific community is experiencing.

Please feel free to support our mission. The general public can donate (we are a tax-deductible foundation) on our website, via our socials or using Amazon Smile. All donors will receive our monthly digital newsletter.

As a parting comment, I would say for myself and my team, for us it is all about a cure. We know first-hand what this disease is like, what it does to those who have it and their families. As an all-volunteer organization, no one is paid. And yet, we are getting things done, moving forward. Our team at The Sugar Science is all about the end game: a cure.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Zoning in on Sick Day Management: Practical Tips, Strategies, and Advice

By Dr. Francine Kaufman

Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Fran Kaufman shares tips for managing illness and diabetes: make a sick day plan, have supplies on hand, log your data, modify your insulin doses, and call your healthcare team. 

Everyone with diabetes who takes insulin needs to have a sick day plan. This is something you develop with your healthcare professional to help you manage the high and low sugar levels that can be associated with an illness. The following advice applies to people with type 1 diabetes and people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin – the advice may be different if you have type 2 diabetes and do not take insulin.

Click to jump down to a section:

When you get sick, you are at risk of becoming dehydrated from poor intake or from excessive loss of fluids due to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever (your body may lose more water when you have a high temperature). In addition, dehydration is common in diabetes because high glucose levels (above 180-200 mg/dL) cause sugar to enter your urine, dragging an excess amount of fluid with it. Illness also puts you at risk of developing ketones, which when coupled with high glucose levels can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a very serious condition. How do you know if you have ketones? Good question, click here!

The purpose of your sick day plan is to try to keep your glucose levels in a safe range – to avoid dehydration and to prevent ketones from rising to a dangerous level. When you get sick, you should contact your healthcare team to describe your symptoms, determine if they want to evaluate you or send you to a lab (for testing), and most important, to share the numbers that you will collect as you fill in your sick day log (more on this below). It is possible that no matter what you do, you might need to go to an emergency department or be hospitalized – but acting quickly, obtaining the right data, and doing your best to manage your glucose and hydration will minimize risks.

So what illnesses are we talking about? It turns out just about any common bacterial or viral infection – such as the flu (influenza), a cold (upper respiratory virus), tonsillitis, strep throat, an ear infection, stomach flu (gastroenteritis), a bladder infection, and even a skin infection, such as an abscess – can interfere with your diabetes management. However, right now, the greatest concern is COVID-19. An infection with COVID-19 can lead to very high glucose and ketone levels, putting someone at risk for DKA. Acting quickly to start your sick day plan, even if you end up needing to be hospitalized, is important.

When you get sick, your body needs energy to fight the infection and repair damaged tissue. The infections listed above, particularly those that lead to vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration, cause your body to release certain hormones (called stress or counterregulatory hormones) that tell your liver to release stored glucose and tell your fat cells to release free fatty acids that form ketones. In someone without diabetes, the body releases more insulin to control the rise in glucose and ketones; because you have diabetes, you have to take additional insulin to manage the high glucose and ketone levels. You want to get your sugar levels between 100-180 mg/dL. Blood sugars below 180 mg/dL will prevent excess urination that can dehydrate your body. Staying above 100 mg/dL helps keep you from dipping too low and risking severe hypoglycemia.

If your glucose level is above 180 mg/dL, you need to consider increasing basal insulin doses, using an increase in basal insulin with the temp basal feature on your insulin pump, or giving repeated corrections of bolus insulin with a syringe, pen or pump. Usually, correction doses should not be given more often than every two to three hours to avoid “stacking” insulin, which could lead to low blood sugars. By having a plan for illnesses that starts your modified care early and by keeping in touch with your healthcare team, you are more likely to keep your glucose values in the 100-180 mg/dL range.

But you also have to be concerned about hypoglycemia. Low sugar occurs, particularly in children and the elderly, if the illness affects calorie and carbohydrate intake by decreasing appetite or by causing vomiting or diarrhea. Although low glucose is usually considered to be less than 70 mg/dL, during illness there is concern if glucose levels are below 100 mg/dL. If your infection or illness leads to low glucose levels, reducing basal insulin and not taking bolus insulin doses should be considered. If suspension of insulin is required, you should not suspend or delay taking the next dose of basal insulin for more than 60 minutes, because this increases your risk of developing ketones. Start sipping a sugar-containing drink, one tablespoon at a time. If hypoglycemia continues and you cannot make it better by ingesting sugar, consider the administration of low-dose glucagon. Low-dose glucagon can increase glucose level by 50-200 mg/dL in 30 minutes. To learn about whether low-dose glucagon is right for you, and at what dose, talk with your healthcare team.

To follow what is happening in your body, it helps to start a log of your glucose levels, ketones, fluid intake, and insulin doses. This sick log can be shared with your health care team. It should show improvement from one time period to the next (see below). Note: the biggest concern is vomiting; if you vomit more than twice in a time period or across two time periods, call your healthcare team.

The log shows only two days, because you should be better after 24 hours and completely on the mend after 48 hours. If you are not getting better, call your healthcare team.

Table

Image source: diaTribe

Here’s how to keep track (and why to keep track!) of these important numbers:

1. Glucose Levels: Check glucose levels every 1-2 hours. You may have to change this and check your glucose every 30 minutes if your levels are changing quickly. CGM trend data should be looked at every 10-15 minutes. Watch for rapid changes by looking at numbers and arrows. The goal is to keep your glucose between 100-180 mg/dL and without wide swings in values.

2. Ketone Levels: Urine ketones are often detected using a urine ketone strip. A small patch on the strip changes color depending on your level of ketones, representing negative, small, moderate, large and very large levels of ketones. Moderate, large, and very large levels are of concern. Ketones can also be measured with a fingerstick and a special ketone meter. The readings for blood ketones are more accurate and range from 0.0 to 3.0 mmol/L or greater. Blood ketone levels below 0.6 mmol/L are considered normal. Between 0.6 and 1.5 mmol/L ketones are high and show that your fat has broken down to form excess ketones. This puts you at risk of DKA if glucose levels are also elevated. Ketone levels above 1.5 mmol/L are serious, and you should contact your healthcare professional. Signs of elevated ketones:

  • Nausea and vomiting (which may also be present because of the infection)
  • Shortness of breath and labored breathing (your body is trying to eliminate the ketones through your breath so you can also smell them, they make your breath smell fruity)
  • Weakness
  • Altered level of consciousness and trouble staying awake (this is most concerning; call your healthcare professional immediately if this is happening)

Ketones should be tested at the onset of an illness and then every four hours.  If ketone and glucose levels are both elevated, your healthcare team might advise you to increase correction insulin doses further, by an additional 10-15%. If ketone levels are high and glucose levels are not high (less than 150 mg/dL), oral glucose and some insulin – reduced by about 50% – will help clear your ketones. Drinking water will also help reduce ketones as they are removed in the urine. To learn more about ketones, including what they are and how to measure them, click here.

3. Temperature: High fever can help show the severity of your illness, particularly if it is persistent.  We have learned that COVID-19 is associated with persistent high fever. Use the log sheet to document any medications you take to lower fever so that you can report this to your healthcare team.

4. Fluid Intake, with and without Sugar: Consuming liquids is critical if there is risk of dehydration. Fluids with sugar should be taken if glucose levels are between 100-150 mg/dL, and fluids without sugar should be taken if glucose levels are between 150-180 mg/dL. If you have vomited, wait 30-60 minutes before trying to drink, and then start with teaspoons of water or ice chips, progressing to tablespoons and ounces. The goal is to retain 4-6 ounces of fluids (or 2-4 ounces for young children) every 30-60 minutes until you can drink without risk of vomiting and as your thirst dictates. Food is much less important after vomiting; don’t try to eat food until you are on the mend.

5. Urination: Noting frequency and amount (small, medium, or large) is important to understand the ongoing risk of dehydration. As glucose levels reach the target of 100-180 mg/dL, you should see a decrease in both frequency and amount of urination, as well as less dehydration.

6. Vomiting, Diarrhea and Dehydration:  Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration. The signs of dehydration include dry mouth, sunken eyes, weakness, loose skin, rapid heart rate, and low blood pressure. Vomiting is also of great concern because it occurs not only from the illness, but as a result of DKA. That’s why vomiting that occurs throughout one time period or spans two time periods in your log means it is time to call your healthcare professional.  However, if you feel weak after vomiting only once or twice, it is always better to call earlier than later.

7.  Insulin, Amount and Time: One of the most important things to remember is that during an illness, you still need to take insulin. Even if you are not eating or drinking at the beginning, you need to have insulin in your body. Insulin allows sugar to enter your body’s cells to be used for energy, and you need more energy to fight off an illness. Insulin also reduces ketone formation and stops excess urination by lowering glucose levels. If you have high glucose, you might need 25-50% more insulin than you usually take, due to insulin resistance created by the extra stress or counterregulatory hormones in your body. If you have low glucose, you might need to take 25-50% less insulin than you usually take, but you still need some basal or background insulin on board.

8. Medications: At the beginning of an illness, you should consider calling your healthcare team to determine if you should avoid taking any of your routine medications while sick. This includes glucose-lowering pills or injections, such as SGLT-2 and GLP-1 drugs, or medications for blood pressure and cholesterol. In addition, it is important to write down any medications you take (name, dosage, time) to treat fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms of your illness. Anti-vomiting medications may be helpful but should only be taken after discussing with your healthcare professional.

Key Messages:  

  • Know your sick day plan before you become sick.
  • Have supplies on hand. These include supplies to measure glucose, a way to measure ketones, a thermometer, sugar-containing fluids, glucagon, extra-rapid (or short) acting insulin, and medication to treat fever. Discuss with your healthcare team whether you should have medication for diarrhea and vomiting on hand.
  • Have all the contact information for your healthcare team available, and call them sooner rather than later.
  • Before you call your healthcare team, have the data listed on your log sheet written down, plus your symptoms.
  • Take insulin at modified doses to address both high and low glucose levels. You still need to have some insulin in your body, even if you are not eating.
  • Let someone help you while you are ill. It is too big a job to be done alone.

About Fran

Dr. Fran Kaufman is the Chief Medical Officer of Senseonics, Inc. She is a Distinguished Professor Emerita of Pediatrics and Communications at the Keck School of Medicine and the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Mammoth Creameries: The Keto Ice Cream That Tastes Like the Real Deal

If you eat low-carb, you probably know that there is no shortage of alternative products when it comes to our favorite treats, like ice cream. However, far from all are able to deliver a wholesome list of ingredients in a product that is blood sugar-friendly and tastes great!

I received samples of several flavors of ice cream from Mammoth Creameries at no charge. I was not additionally compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.

Who They Are

Mammoth Creameries is a family-owned, low-carb, low-sugar ice cream business based in Austin, TX. It was founded by Tim Krauss and his wife, Sue, shortly after Tim’s diagnosis with type 1 diabetes. Tim explains how the diagnosis changed the course of his and his family’s life, and how the ice cream company was born:

“I committed myself to living a more health-conscious life centered around exercise and eating well, adhering to the paleo diet before making the shift to a low-sugar, low-carb, and high-fat ketogenic diet. Sue, in her typical fashion, went above and beyond in helping guide me through this difficult life transition before eventually going ketogenic herself. She quickly became our household’s go-to keto chef, exploring recipes and dishes of all kinds. However, there was one thing she couldn’t find for our new lifestyle: ice cream.

Born in our kitchen and warmly welcomed by our innovative city, the positive reception and growth we’ve seen since starting this company has reinforced our belief that Mammoth Creameries is the gateway to a dietary independence that diabetic and ketogenic individuals are hard-pressed to find in today’s world. Together, we’re creating dessert that works for your body, not against it!”

The company is committed to using well-sourced, high-quality, real ingredients, including butter from grass-fed cows and egg yolks from cage-free chickens. All products don’t have any added sugar and are sweetened instead with xylitol, a sugar alcohol that does not impact blood glucose levels (Note: Xylitol is very toxic to dogs, so do take extra care if you have a pet!).

The Products

Currently, four flavors of the ice cream are available: Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, Lemon Buttercream, and Chocolate Peanut Butter. A 4-pack of one flavor (pint-size) or a combination 4-pack can be purchased on the company website for $55.00.

Although the ingredients list for each flavor varies slightly, the main ones for each are: cream, butter, sweetener, and egg yolks. They are all very low in carbohydrate (~1 g net per serving), and high in fat (~26 g per serving).

My Review

I have previously tried many low-carb ice creams from different companies and have often made my own, using simple ingredients, like cream, almond milk, sweetener, and vanilla extract. I have to say that out of all the commercially-available products I’ve tried, this one tasted the most like my home-made ice cream!

All the flavors tasted very rich and creamy. Not surprising, as this company uses real cream and butter, delivering a full-fat and satisfying product. The texture perfectly resembled ice cream and wasn’t crumbly, like some other ones I have tried. Caveat: let this product sit out of the freezer for about five minutes to get the perfect ice cream consistency!

Most importantly, the impact on my blood sugar (BG) levels was almost negligible, without even taking any insulin! This is truly a “keto-friendly” and “BG-friendly” ice cream that delivers on its promises and tastes like real ice cream.

As far as the flavors, I enjoyed all of them. My favorites were the classic Vanilla Bean and the subtly citrusy Lemon Buttercream. Meanwhile, my 3-year-old thoroughly enjoyed both of the chocolate flavors! That is perhaps the true test: is it kid-friendly? The answer this time is a resounding “yes!” (which is often not the case for many other low-carb products that I have put to the “toddler test”)!

Also, a little goes a long way! I don’t think I would be tempted to eat a whole pint—due to the caloric load, a ½ cup serving size really does leave you feeling satisfied.

Summary

Overall, Mammoth Creameries delivers a high-quality, blood sugar-friendly line of products that are made with simple and real ingredients. While the price point is on the higher side, if you consider that you can actually eat just one serving and feel satisfied, along with being able to eat delicious ice cream that has no impact on your blood sugar without making it yourself, it is well worth the investment!

***

What’s your favorite low-carb ice cream? Have you tried this product? Please comment below – we love hearing from our readers!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Review: Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes

Splenda brand has launched Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes, the first-ever no added sugar shake specifically made to help manage blood sugar and support the needs of people living with diabetes. These shakes are a delicious option for people looking for a healthy snack and/or meal replacement that is good for both their body and blood sugar.

I noticed the launch announced on Instagram and knew I had to give these shakes a try. While it says “diabetes care,” these shakes are suitable for anyone looking for a nutritious snack or meal replacement. I received Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes at no charge and all opinions are my own.

Who Are They?

Based outside of Indianapolis, Indiana, Heartland Food Products Group, owner of Splenda, produces low-calorie sweetener products, creamers, beverage concentrates, coffee and nutritional drinks that are all healthy without sacrificing flavor. Most known for their yellow packet low-calorie sweetener, Splenda has sold 100 million packets since they started out in 1992.

What Is It Made Out of?

Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes come in 3 flavors–milk chocolate, French vanilla and strawberry banana. They each contain 16 grams of high-quality, slow-digesting protein and healthy fats, helping to keep your blood sugar in range. The net carbohydrate content is 9 grams per serving. They are sweetened with allulose and sucralose, which are both also low-calorie. They are high in fiber, which will help keep you fuller longer. The shakes are also soy-free and gluten-free and suitable for those who are lactose intolerant.

How Do They Taste?

I wasn’t sure what to expect since I am not usually a fan of packaged shakes. I expected them to be thick and chalky but it was quite the opposite and actually very creamy. Each shake had a perfect consistency with just the right amount of sweetness. They didn’t taste artificial at all and had no aftertaste. I was pleasantly surprised and found the shakes to be the perfect size for a quick snack or breakfast on the go.

Where Can I Purchase It and How Much Does It Cost?

Splenda Diabetes Care shakes are 8-fluid ounce shakes that are available in both a 6-pack or-24 pack and retail around $9.99. Currently, you can purchase the shakes in Walmart, Amazon and on their website. You can also check here to see if any other grocery stores sell by you.

Conclusion

I highly recommend Splenda Diabetes Care shakes if you are looking for a nutritious snack and/or meal replacement. We are all so busy; it is nice to be able to grab this shake on the go and know it is a healthy choice and won’t spike my blood sugars. Oftentimes I find myself grabbing something out of convenience but it snowballs into hours of trying to get my blood sugars back in range. These shakes also boast plenty of vitamins and minerals that I otherwise wouldn’t get. I will definitely be getting these shakes again and highly recommend them.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Sugar-Free Keto Whipped Cream

This content originally appeared here. Republished with permission.

If you’re following a keto or low-carb way of eating, you don’t have to miss out on your favorite sweet treats and desserts. And that includes whipped cream!

With a very simple swap, every generous serving of 1/4 cup of keto whipped cream has only 1 net carb! You can’t beat that. You might be wondering how to make whipped cream keto and sugar-free. It’s easy! Simply omit sugar and swap a keto-friendly sweetener.

If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can also make the recipe by hand or in a mason jar! Find out the details in the original post.

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Sugar-Free Keto Whipped Cream

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This recipe makes ultra creamy and fluffy whipped cream with 1 net carb per serving, great for desserts, drinks, and more!
Course Condiment, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword whipped cream
Servings 16 servings
Calories 103kcal

Equipment

  • Mixer

Ingredients

  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp monk fruit sweetener or keto-friendly sweetener of choice
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder optional, for chocolate flavor

Instructions

  • Chill the cream, mixing bowl, and attachments. Simply place your glass or metal mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, and keep the whipping cream in the back of the refrigerator until just before you use them.
  • Add the chilled heavy whipping cream, sweetener, and vanilla extract to your bowl. The cream will almost double in size while it’s whipped, so be sure there’s plenty of room in your mixing bowl.
  • Mix on medium speed for 5-6 minutes. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment set to medium speed to whisk the cream until it almost doubles in size and has soft peaks. Be careful not to over-mix your whipped cream.
  • Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

Notes

  • Keto friendly sweeteners: Use 2 teaspoons of monk fruit sweetener, Swerve sweetener, or erythritol for every cup of heavy whipping cream; Alternately, use 1/4 teaspoon stevia for every cup of heavy whipping cream.
  • To store whipped cream: The best way to store homemade whipped cream is to carefully spoon the mixture into an airtight container, preserving its fluffiness. You could also skip transferring the whipped cream and cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap. Store covered in the refrigerator 3 to 4 days, unless the best-by date on the heavy whipping cream container comes first.

Nutrition

Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 22mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 437IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Sugar-Free Keto Whipped Cream Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

How to Vote: A Guide for the Diabetes Community

This content originally appeared on Beyond Type 1. Republished with permission.

By Beyond Type 1 Editorial Team

Election Day in the United States is November 3, 2020. How can we ensure that future laws and protections will help, not harm, the over 34 million families in the United States impacted by diabetes? By learning about candidates who will decide our healthcare future and then voting in local, state, and federal elections.

Briefly, here’s what you should know if you’re voting as a person with diabetes: because of the Americans With Diabetes Act (ADA), diabetes of any type is a valid reason to request a mail-in or absentee ballot. If you’re concerned about COVID-19 and voting in person, request one early and mail it back with plenty of time (at least two weeks) or find your local drop-off location on election day (it may not be the polling place). Your vote matters. Read more about the power of the diabetes vote here. Keep reading for a full breakdown of how to vote in the November 3 election.

The most important thing is that you make a plan to vote. Below you’ll find a step-by-step guide to understanding your options, keeping track of deadlines, and casting your vote.

1. Register to Vote or Check Your Registration to Make Sure It Is Current

Before you can vote, make sure you’ve registered in your state. If you’ve registered before, it’s important that you double-check to make sure your registration is current and your information is correct.

It takes 30 seconds to check your registration status using this tool from Vote.org – they also have a list of official voter lookup links by state.

If you need to register to vote, do that now! Some states require you to register as much as a month before an election, so don’t put this off. The good news is that you can register quickly online in 39 states. Find your state here: online voter registration links.

If you are located in any of the following states or territories, you won’t be able to register to vote online. Head to vote.gov and select your state for registration details specific to your location!

States: Arkansas, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Virgin Islands, Wyoming 

Territories: American Samoa, Guam, North Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico

Registration deadlines – remember to register to vote before the dates listed below!

October 4, 2020 – Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana*, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas

October 5, 2020 – Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Indiana

October 6, 2020 – New Mexico

October 7, 2020 – Missouri

October 9, 2020 – New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma

October 10, 2020 – Delaware, Idaho

October 12, 2020 – Virginia

October 13, 2020 – District of Columbia, Oregon, Kansas, West Virginia, Maine*, Maryland, Minnesota*, New Jersey

October 14, 2020 – Massachusetts, Wisconsin*

October 18, 2020 – Illinois*

October 19, 2020 – Alabama, California, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Michigan, Nebraska

October 20, 2020 – Wyoming

October 24, 2020 – Iowa

October 26, 2020 – Colorado*, Washington*

October 27, 2020 – Connecticut, Utah*

October 29, 2020 – Nevada

*These states have online registration deadlines as listed (important for voting by mail or ballot drop box), but also allow voters to register on Election Day if voting in person.

Not listed, special cases: North Dakota does not have voter registration, but you will need proof of residency and ID at the polls, Vermont and New Hampshire allow same day voter registration.

2. Learn About Mail-In or Absentee Voting in Your State and Decide If That Is the Right Option for You

Mail-in or absentee voting also varies by state, but people with diabetes should be able to vote absentee thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Diabetes of any kind, as protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is a valid reason to request a mail-in ballot. Mail-in or absentee ballots can also often be dropped off at ballot drop-off locations on Election Day

If you live in a state that requires an excuse to vote by absentee ballot, this table summarizes the exemptions by state – “illness or disability” is valid in every one. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the availability of voting by mail is being expanded in many cases where you can now list “fear or voting due to coronavirus” as a valid reason to vote via absentee ballot.

34 states and the District of Columbia already allowed anyone to vote by mail via an absentee ballot. Some states are even sending every registered voter a mail-in ballot or absentee ballot application, so keep an eye out for that.

The best thing to do is visit Can I Vote and select your state from the dropdown menu for more specifics.

Mail-in voting is safe and secure (and not new – 1 in 4 voters voted by mail in 2018), and may be a lower-risk alternative for people with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, recent concerns have been flagged by the post office about the timing of returning mail-in ballots.

Important advice – vote early! Request a mail-in ballot well before the deadline, fill it out with plenty of time to spare and send it back at least two weeks before your state’s deadline (usually Election Day), or plan ahead to drop it off at a ballot drop location near you on election day. Look up your ballot drop box location – it may not be the same as your polling place.

Deadlines to request your absentee or mail-in ballot can be found here, but we recommend requesting it as early as possible!

3. If You’re Voting in Person, Make a Plan

If you prefer to vote in person or find that deadlines or other obstacles mean you must vote in person on November 3rd, it’s best to have a plan in place before Election Day. While lines and wait times vary from place to place, plan to wait in line. Adjust your schedule ahead of time so you can stay until you’ve cast your vote.

Find your polling place using this locator from vote.org. Make a plan for transportation. If you don’t have a ride to the polls, there may be local volunteers or free rides through ride services. (We’ll post more information as it becomes available!)

Going to the polls checklist:

  • Personal identification – varies by state, check what you need here.
  • Low snacks and diabetes supplies (don’t forget water and depending on when you’re voting, pack regular snacks as well!)
  • Phone number for the Election Protection Hotline – call if you run into any problems or have questions on Election Day:
    • English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE / 1-866-687-8683
    • Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA / 1-888-839-8682
    • Arabic: 1-844-YALLA-US / 1-844-925-5287
    • For Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese: 1-888-274-8683

Important reminders from the ACLU:

  • If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line – you have the right to vote.
  • If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask for a new one.
  • If the machines are down at your polling place, ask for a paper ballot.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

The Rise of Childhood Obesity in the United States

September is National Childhood Obesity Month in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, about 1 in 5 American children (19%) is obese, and the numbers are startlingly and steadily rising. Bringing awareness to this health crisis can help educate parents and caregivers about warning signs for childhood obesity, and how to prevent it for their children and loved ones.

Childhood Obesity is a Major Public Health Concern

It’s important to know that childhood obesity is not about vanity or looks. Childhood obesity is a serious public health issue that has serious and devastating consequences for children and families. Children who are obese have a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95% percentile (a pediatrician can perform this measurement for you). Children experiencing obesity are at higher risk for other chronic health conditions, including asthma, sleep apnea, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even many types of cancers. Additionally, children who are obese are more likely to be bullied in school, and can face mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation as they age.

Causes of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity can have many causes, most of which are behavioral in nature, although metabolism and genetics do play a strong role. Lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating patterns are some of the highest risk factors for developing obesity, as is a lack of sleep, and simply not having access to a safe place to exercise or the ability to buy healthy foods (living in a food desert, for example). Many social determinants of health play a role here. Children of lower socioeconomic status are at higher risk of developing obesity than children of higher socioeconomic status, who may have better access to parks and recreation and healthy foods.

Preventing Childhood Obesity at Home

There is a lot that family and friends can do to help to prevent obesity from affecting a child’s life.

  • Tracking a child’s weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) regularly can keep a child on track; if you see rapid weight gain, you can catch it more quickly and reach out to your doctor for a check-up.
  • Focusing meals on fresh fruits and vegetables, and eating foods in their most natural state prevents eating additional additives, preservatives and chemicals that won’t fill a child up, but are loaded with empty calories.
  • Make sure your child is active every day. Aim for 60 minutes of physical activity. This need not be a formal activity, like a soccer game. Walking the dog, helping to clean the house, and even walking around the shopping mall are all great forms of physical activity that gets a child moving and don’t cost any money.
  • Limit screen time. In 2019, the World Health Organization released new guidelines for the recommended amount of screen time by age, for children.
  • Make sure children are drinking water and not soda. About 40% of the calories consumed by 2-18 year olds comes in the form of these empty calories. Swapping soda out for water will save a ton of calories and will ensure that your child is filling up on wholesome, nutrient-dense calories instead.
  • Make sure your child has a healthy HbA1c. Keeping tight control on blood sugars and HbA1c can prevent overtreating lows and overeating, both of which can contribute to weight gain.
  • Eat healthy meals as a family. Children do what you model, not necessarily what you tell them to do. If you act as a role model with healthy meals, they will naturally follow.
  • Make sure your child is getting adequate sleep. When sleep patterns and circadian rhythms are off, children’s hormone levels become out of range, and they are more likely to overeat and not be physically active. They may also fall behind in school and suffer low self-confidence, resulting in overeating as a coping mechanism. Make sure your child is getting good sleep every night of the week.

Community and Societal Support

Preventing obesity may start at home, but it takes a village to raise a healthy child. Communities should provide safe and healthy playgrounds and parks accessible to all children, and local schools should provide free, clean, and safe drinking water and lunchroom cafeterias should provide balanced, healthy meals. Schools should also encourage physical activity, and provide robust physical education classes and electives for children and teens.

Additionally, your child’s health care provider should be conducting regular physical and mental health checks, to make sure your child is on track to enter adolescence and adulthood in a healthy mindset and at a healthy weight, especially if they are living with diabetes, which can make them more prone to disordered eating.

Together, with cooperation from parents, caregivers, schools, communities and engaged pediatricians and care teams, we can work to prevent childhood obesity and set the stage for healthy children and the future (healthy) adults we hope they will become.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

How Has the Pandemic Affected People with Diabetes?

By Rosalind Lucier and Alia Rizvon

Survey data shows the devastating economic and health effects of COVID-19 on the diabetes community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in different ways – some people have lost their jobs, others have had to navigate being sick or caring for sick family members, and still others have struggled with food insecurity and paying for medications. Sadly, new data released by leading diabetes research company dQ&A and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) found that people living with diabetes have suffered a greater economic impact as a result of the pandemic than the average person in the United States.

According to the survey, the unemployment rate for people with diabetes is much higher at 18% than the national rate at 12%. In addition, one third of people with diabetes have lost some or all of their income. This number is even higher for people with diabetes who need the most support – one in two low-income individuals with diabetes have lost some or all of their income. And finally, for self-employed people with diabetes, the number of individuals who have lost income jumps to a shocking seven out of ten people. These staggering unemployment statistics mean that many people and their families are struggling to afford basic necessities right now.

There is not yet agreement on why we are seeing these extreme economic hardships in communities with diabetes. What we do know, however, is that these economic challenges have prevented many people from being able to afford their life-saving insulin or other diabetes medications. One in four people has turned to rationing their diabetes care. This could mean anything from skipping insulin injections to foregoing blood glucose tests in order to avoid the expense.

These striking data were presented by Richard Wood to the Congressional Diabetes Caucus in Washington. Many people with diabetes work in jobs that cannot be done from home and require them to interact with other people. If you must leave home to work, try to stay as safe as possible; diabetes is one of the top risk factors for severe COVID-19 infections. This data shows that more protection is needed for people with diabetes, many of whom are essential workers.

If you are facing financial difficulty, you should not ration your supplies or medications, as this can have dangerous consequences for your health. Instead, see if you may be eligible for a patient assistance programMany companies – including DexcomSanofi, and Novo Nordisk ­– have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by launching assistance programs that provide diabetes medications and supplies for free or at a lower price to people who are not insured. You can ask your healthcare team to discuss additional options. The CDC recommends that you do not change your medication or your dosage without first talking to your healthcare professional; continuing your regular medication dosing will keep you healthier and put you at lower risk for severe COVID-19 complications.

For more ways to get affordable medication, including insulin, check out our articles.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

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