Monday, November 29, 2010

Holidays and Diabetics

Below are some tips, that are not only good for diabetics, but for all of us. I hope they will help make your holidays healthier.

Holiday Help for Diabetics

1. Prepare a dish for the party - consider bringing your own festive, seasonal dish for everyone to enjoy. This will not only allow you to have a dish you know is within your diet but it also allows others to see just easily foods can be converted and still be delicious.

2. Drink in moderation. Alcohol and diabetes can be a dangerous mix if you aren't careful. Drinking on an empty stomach directly after administering insulin or shortly after taking glucose-lowering medications can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), a condition that can cause confusion, dizziness, or even loss of consciousness. (These are also symptoms of drinking too much.)

Be vigilant about only drinking with food to slow the absorption of alcohol, and be sure not to exceed the American Diabetes Association's recommended amounts of alcohol: one drink a day for women and two a day for men. Also, people with complications stemming from diabetes, such as neuropathy (nerve damage) and high triglycerides (fats that circulate in the blood), should speak with their doctor about whether they should abstain from alcohol altogether. Finally, if you're taking medications to control diabetes, check with your doctor or pharmacist about whether the two can be safely mixed.

3. Stress less. For some, the frenzy of the holidays causes stress. And stress, while harmful for healthy people, is particularly detrimental for those with diabetes. Hormones released in response to stress may inhibit the body's ability to produce insulin, which, in turn, causes blood-sugar levels to soar. Manage your anxiety by carving out time for a relaxing activity — something as simple as flipping through a magazine or taking a walk may be enough — and prioritizing your "to do" list so you don't take on too much at once.

4. Get enough exercise. The time constraints of the holidays can make squeezing in a workout a challenge. Still, getting regular and consistent exercise — a minimum of 20 minutes of cardio interval training or core exercises most days of the week — is especially important if you have diabetes. If you're really pressed for time, make several short bouts of activity the goal.

5. Monitor your condition. Making healthy eating decisions is important for weight loss and maintenance, but as a diabetic it's especially important to make other healthy choices to maintain your blood-sugar levels. As always, be sure to monitor your blood sugar — especially before and after a big holiday meal — to ensure it's in the optimal range.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Scrambled Eggs with Cheese

2 tsp. olive oil

1 whole egg

4 egg whites

1/3 cup low fat cottage cheese

Dash of Tabasco sauce

Fresh ground black pepper

Lightly beat together egg, egg whites, tobacco and black pepper. Fold in cottage cheese. In a sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil. When hot add egg mixture. Cook eggs until firm but still moist. Serve with fresh fruit. Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional Info.

Calories 132; total fat 7 grams; saturated fat 1 gram; % calories from fat 49%; cholesterol 92 mg; carbohydrate 2 grams; protein 14 grams; fiber 0 grams

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Diabetic Apple Pie

One or two pie crusts for 9 inch pie
8 medium apples
1/2 c Splenda or 1/4 c Sweet n Low
1/2 c dried raisins or cranberries
Peel and slice the apples; line the first layer in pie crust. Sprinkle with half the dried fruit and half the sweetner.
Repeat with second layer of apples, dried fruit and sweetner. Top with pie crust or nutty crumb topping.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Recipe submitted by Melanie Read
Author of Face of Destiny

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dry Skin and Diabetes

A great article even if you don't have diabetes.

Learn how to soothe dry, itchy skin, especially during the cold winter months.

Medically reviewed by Cynthia Haines, MD

Itchy, dry skin, also known as xerosis, is a distraction we can all do without. It's uncomfortable and the cracked, flaky, red skin can be unattractive. If you scratch a lot, bacteria can invade those cracks and then you might even develop an infection.

The good news: You can manage dry skin even if you can't control the environmental conditions that cause it, such as cold weather or central heating.

Skin Care for Dry Skin

First, cut back on washing. "Overwashing, particularly long, hot showers, is the number one reason for dry skin," says Bruce Robinson, MD, Manhattan-based dermatologist and spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

His recommendations for people with dry skin? "Decrease their frequency of bathing, use a mild soap, and don't soap the whole body every day. And, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize."

With so many different types of moisturizers available, finding the right one for your needs can be a challenge — should you choose a lotion, a cream, or an ointment?

Dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York, recommends moisturizers that contain ceramides, natural lipid molecules that contain fatty acids. "Ceramides have a natural moisturizing factor. If you add ceramide to lotions and cleansers, you replace them in the skin. That's the newest twist on moisturizers," she explains.

Besides looking for a moisturizer that contains ceramides, Dr. Taylor, who is also a spokesperson for the AAD, says it's wise to choose an ointment or cream over lotion. In fact, good old-fashioned petrolatum (petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline and similar store brands) can be the most effective choice.

"The oils in petrolatum trap moisture in the skin and provide a barrier from the outside environment," Taylor says. "As long as you're not acne-prone, I don't have a problem with using petrolatum."

Dry Skin Care in Winter

It can be particularly difficult to maintain soft, pliant skin in colder weather. Take these steps to keep your skin in good shape during the winter:

  • Take brief, lukewarm showers or baths. Pat dry and then immediately apply moisturizer.
  • Try using a humidifier to relieve the dryness in the air. Be sure to clean it regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions to avoid mold.
  • Protect your skin from the elements. Shield yourself from extreme cold and wind with layered clothing, hats, gloves, and warm shoes. Don't forget to use petrolatum-based lip balm to avoid chapped lips.
  • Always use sunscreen. Regardless of the season or the weather, exposure to the sun can lead to not only dry skin, but also early aging and skin cancer.
  • Apply moisturizer several times a day if needed. Older adults need to pay even more attention to their skin to keep it supple, attractive, and comfortable. As part of the normal aging process, our skin tends to lose some natural oils, making us dryer, according to Taylor. "Make sure you apply a moisturizer several times a day, particularly as you mature," she says.

Dry Skin Care: Other Considerations

In addition to what you should do, what not to do is also important when you have dry skin. There are products that you may want to steer clear of:

  • Any health and beauty aid that can be very drying to the skin, like regular, non-moisturizing face and body bar soaps. Unless you are otherwise directed by your doctor, look for a mild, pH balanced soap-free cleanser instead.
  • Acne-fighting chemicals, like benzoyl peroxide.

How your skin reacts, and what you should avoid, is very unique to each person. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist about your skin care regimen and see if any of the products you’re using contain ingredients that could be making your dry skin drier.

If you can't seem to get a severe case of dry skin under control, and certainly if you develop an infection, see a dermatologist for an evaluation and treatment. A fresh look at how to care for your skin might give you the improvement you’re looking for.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Diabetic Spaghetti Sauce

1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 1/4 lb. lean ground round
3 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
4 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano
Dash of garlic

Brown onions in oil; add meat and brown. Drain fat; add rest of ingredients. Simmer 1 hour uncovered.

Chef Tom Cooks

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Diabetic Salad Dressing

Thanks Chef Tom for another great tasting and healthy recipe.

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/16 tsp. paprika
Artificial sweetener to substitute for 4 teaspoons sugar

Combine and refrigerate.

Yield: 1 cup.

Chef Tom Cooks

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spice Up Your Cooking With Herbs

A great article that will help you create great recipes by using herbs. I wanted to share.

Whether you grow them yourself or buy them at the grocery store, herbs are a healthy and delicious way to season foods without extra calories.

No one wants to eat bland food, but ladling on sauces and gravies just adds excess fat and calories to your diet. Fortunately, calorie-free herbs add flavor without all that extra baggage, and they’re easy to use.

Herbs are edible, fragrant plants that add flavor and nutrients to many types of foods. By playing with herbal variations in your recipes, you can get a completely different taste every time you cook. Stock up on dried or fresh herbs at the grocery store or farmers’ market, or grow your own herbs indoors or out.

Fresh Herbs, Dried Herbs: What’s the Difference?

The biggest differences between dried herbs and fresh herbs are the taste and the potency of the herb, says registered dietitian Sandra Meyerowitz, RD, LD, MPH, founder of Nutrition Works in Louisville, Ky. Fresh herbs have a subtler, fresher taste, and you’ll need a much greater quantity of fresh herbs than dried herbs for the same taste effect. Be sure to follow recipe directions closely.

As for nutritional benefits, dried herbs and fresh herbs are similar, but not exactly the same, says Meyerowitz. “Leaving dried herbs around for a long time can diminish their potency.” Phytonutrients, the natural components in herbs that provide health benefits, diminish with age.

When choosing dried herbs, she advises, it’s best to buy organic so you’re sure the herbs have not been irradiated. When you're buying fresh herbs, whether at the grocery store or a farmers’ market, be sure to get them as close as possible to the day you plan to use them.

Preparing Fresh Herbs

Before cooking with fresh herbs, you'll need to wash them carefully. Rinse the herbs underneath running water, then place them on a paper towel or shake them off to dry. If you're cleaning large leaves like basil or a large bunch of parsley, place them in a bowl of cool water and swirl it around. Transfer the herbs to a clean bowl of water and continue to rinse until the water stays clear. Then dry them off and prepare them for cooking. Generally, you just want to use the leaves, not the stems, of the herb.

Storing Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs need air to keep them fresh. Store them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag; just make sure that the bag is either open or that it has air holes poked in it. Keep them in the crisper for the most freshness.

Another way to keep herbs fresh is to place them in a glass or vase like flowers, making sure to cut off the ends immediately before placing them in about an inch of water. Put them in fresh water each day, and keep them stored in the refrigerator. Use them as soon as you can, as the flavor can become weaker with time.

Growing Your Own Herbs

Growing herbs is not difficult. Here are some herbs that won’t challenge your green thumb and will add delicious flavor to your meals:

  • Oregano and basil for pasta dishes and sauces
  • Rosemary and thyme for chicken and vegetable dishes
  • Dill for cauliflower, cucumbers, and fish and fish sauces
  • Parsley for fish, soups, vegetables, and tomato sauce
  • Mint for salad, beverages, and desserts
  • Marjoram for stews, soups, and eggs
  • Cilantro for Mexican and Thai dishes
  • Tarragon for yogurt and sour cream, beans, and roasted chicken

Besides being easy to grow, fresh herbs are convenient to just pluck as you need them, clean them, and add them to your dish. Try to pick herbs in the morning when the flavor will be best and the herbs will be at their freshest.

Growing your own herbs allows you to control how they’re grown — you can rest assured that they're pesticide-free and grown in organic soil when you have your own indoor or outdoor herb garden. You'll need to follow individual growing instructions for each herb because each one grows best in certain soil and temperature conditions; some may need sun while others prefer shade, and some may require more space to grow than others.

Whether you opt for fresh or dried, herbs are great ingredients in healthy recipes, allowing you to enjoy meals that are full of flavor, while sparing you the extra calories.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Diabetic Chicken Cacciatore

Another great recipe sent to us by Chef Tom

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup tomato sauce

1 16-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

1/2 cup white wine (or cooking wine)

1/4 tsp. basil

1/4 tsp. oregano

1 bay leaf

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 chopped onion

4 half chicken breasts, skinned, boned

2 Tbsp. fat-free chicken broth

Heat liquid chicken broth in a non-stick skillet and brown chicken, onion, and garlic. Add all other ingredients except mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 30 minutes.
Add mushrooms, cook 10 minutes more. Remove chicken from pan, boil down sauce until slightly thickened. Serve over cooked rice.

Chef Tom Cooks:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Carrot Cabbage Slaw

I've tried this one and it's wonderful!

1/2 head cabbage
1 sm. onion
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 pkg. Artificial sweetner (such as sweet n low)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. vinegar
2 tbsp. lemon juice

Shred cabbage and carrots. Finely chop onion and celery. Mix together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together sweetner, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, and mayonnaise. Pour over shredded vegetables and refrigerate.

Makes 10 servings.

Chef Tom Cooks

Sunday, October 17, 2010

How Fermented Foods Aid Digestion

Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

If you think about fermentation at all, you probably think about alcohol. But there are many other kinds of fermented foods — such as yogurt — out there. Fermented food uses microorganisms to convert sugars into lactic acid, creating a signature sour taste.

That sour taste — which many people may find unfamiliar — should not be equated with unhealthy or expired. In fact, including fermented foods in your diet a few times a week or more could be beneficial for your health.

Fermented foods include:

  • Miso. A paste made of fermented soy beans, it forms the base of soups or glazes.
  • Sauerkraut. This familiar condiment is made of finely shredded fermented cabbage.
  • Sourdough bread. Real sourdough bread is made with milk and other foods that have been allowed to ferment before making the bread dough.
  • Kefir. A fermented drink made from milk.
  • Yogurt. Yogurt includes live bacteria called probiotics.
  • Kimchi. A traditional Korean dish made from pickled vegetables like cabbage or radish.
  • Buttermilk. Buttermilk also includes probiotics.
  • Natto. These fermented soybeans are a traditional Japanese breakfast dish.
  • Poi. A fermented paste made from taro root.
  • Tempeh. A cake made of fermented soybeans.

The Benefits of Fermented Foods

“Fermentation is almost like the beginning of digestion,” explains dietitian Sheah L. Rarback, MS, RD, director of nutrition at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida. Because of this process, for example, many people who can’t tolerate milk can comfortably eat yogurt.

Fermented foods are not always labeled as such. For example, you may see the term cultured instead of fermented, but these terms refer to foods that have similar health benefits. Foods that are labeled “pickled” are also fermented foods. Also, fermented foods may contain probiotics.

These good bacteria provide the digestive health benefits associated with fermentation.

Rarback says fermented foods “are a way to put your colon back into balance. Also, the fermented foods even help your body digest, absorb, and get better use of the foods you’re eating.” You may need to eat these foods more if you are taking antibiotics or if you have other health conditions that make it hard to digest foods. Some people are less able to digest certain enzymes as they get older. “Fermented foods counter that process,” Rarback says.

Getting Fermented Foods in Your Diet

Even if you know that including kefir or miso in your diet is good for you, adding them into your weekly meal plan can be a bit more challenging. The taste of fermented foods — even a well-known supermarket item like sauerkraut — may seem a bit exotic or unfamiliar.

Rarback advises taking baby steps and gradually increasing your consumption. “Any time you’re adding new foods into the diet, don’t overload,” she says. The last thing you want to do is get turned off or overwhelmed by the new palate.

For example, Rarback says she enjoys plain Greek yogurt now that she has been including it in her diet for a while.

Manufacturers are responding to the public’s wariness with new products. Kefir is a good example. It is increasingly available with added flavors, such as strawberry.

You can also turn to the Internet for recipes and ideas. “A lot of these foods are not a part of our typical diet, so go online and look up miso cooking, for example,” suggests Rarback, who says she took a macrobiotic cooking class that taught her how surprisingly simple it is to prepare miso soup or a miso glaze for fish.

“Just because it’s exotic and new doesn’t mean it’s difficult,” she says.

She also warns against prepackaged foods. For example, you may not get the same fermentation benefits from prepackaged sourdough bread or just-add-water miso soup as you would if you made it yourself or bought it from a local authentic vendor.

Some fermented foods come with a lot of salt. “You still need to read food labels,” says Rarback, who says that people who are watching their salt may need to pay careful attention to the details of the fermented foods they want to try.

Blueberry Crisp - Another Chef Tom Recipe

This is another recipe sent to me from Chef Tom. If you like blueberries, you will love this one!

2 cups Blueberries -- fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon Flour
1 tablespoon Splenda

1/2 cup Oatmeal (slow cooking- not quick)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Flour
1 tablespoon Splenda
2 tablespoons Butter or Margarine -- melted

Blend together flour and Splenda in a large bowl. Mix with blueberries and
place in a 9x9 inch baking dish or pan.

Mix all topping ingredients together in a large bowl. Sprinkle on top of
blueberry filling in pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Chef Tom Cooks

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Choosing Kids' Breakfast Cereals

The statement below has been a fact of breakfast life for as long as I can remember so when I ran across this article about choosing their cereal, I had to share.

You want a breakfast cereal that is high in fiber and low in sugar. Your kids just want the one in the coolest-looking box. Here are 10 tips for choosing a healthy breakfast cereal.

Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

A supermarket’s cereal aisle is loaded with breakfast cereal choices — enough to make your head spin. How do you, as a parent, choose wisely so your kids are eating a healthy breakfast? The key is to read the nutritional information and not the marketing slogans shouting from the brightly colored boxes.

kids breakfast

Here are 10 tips for choosing a healthy breakfast cereal that will deliver great kids’ nutrition:

1. Go for high fiber. A healthy breakfast cereal should have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, says Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, a Denver-based spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “Breakfast is an excellent time to sneak more fiber into your kids’ diet.” It doesn’t matter whether it’s soluble or dietary fiber as long as it has at least 3 grams, she says. The higher the fiber content of the breakfast cereal, the longer they’ll feel full after eating it.

2. Count the calories. “A good guideline is a cereal that has about 150 calories or fewer per serving,” Farrell says. Check the serving size. “The serving size of some of your more dense cereals may be smaller than you’re used to.” A good serving size is 3/4 to 1 cup. Your kids should feel full if they eat that amount.

3. Look for low sugar. “I love for the sugar content to be in the single digits,” Farrell says. “So anything that’s less than 10 grams is okay. A rule of thumb is to stick to those that are 6 to 8 grams.” No one type of sugar is better than another, Farrell says. Some studies suggest that consuming high-fructose corn syrup can trigger the body to crave more sweets. High-fructose corn syrup is one of the more popular sugars added to foods, including breakfast cereals, Farrell says, “but sugar is sugar, whether it’s high-fructose corn syrup or molasses or honey, and the body will metabolize it as sugar.”

4. Don’t be fooled by granola. People assume that granola is a healthy breakfast food. “But some granolas can be high in sugar, fat, and calories,” Farrell says. If your kids like granola, buy them some, but use it sparingly. “Think of it as a condiment for the top of a lower-calorie, lower-sugar cereal,” Farrell suggests. Also beware of cereals labeled “low-fat” or “fat-free” as they may actually be higher in sugar and calories. Read the label and see for yourself.

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5. Get the “whole” picture. As with all foods, breakfast cereal ingredients will be listed in the order of their highest to lowest concentration. When looking for the best in kids’ nutrition, you want the very first ingredient listed on the cereal box to be a whole grain. It could be whole wheat, whole oats, or whole oat flour. “When you see the world ‘whole,’ it’s indicative of whole grain,” Farrell says. Just "wheat" alone, however, does not necessarily mean whole wheat.

6. Run hot and cold. Both hot and cold cereals can meet the criteria for healthy breakfast choices, Farrell says. “I buy both and give my daughter the option of whether she’d like hot or cold each day. Variety is key,” she adds. “You want to change it up.” Of course, hot cereal can be especially comforting on a cold morning. Make it with milk to add some protein to the meal.

7. Consider going generic. Choosing brand names over store or private labels doesn’t really matter, Farrell says. Store-brand or generic cereals can be just as nutritious as the brand names. “In these economic times, it’s definitely worth it to check out the generic. Definitely give those a chance,” she advises.

8. Organic isn’t a must. When it comes to cereal, organic is not superior, Farrell says — it’s more a matter of personal preference. If you want your kids to eat only organic, buy organic cereal, but it’s not necessary for kids’ nutrition, she says. When it comes to putting fruit on top of the cereal, that’s where you may want to choose organically grown, she explains. And keep in mind that a cereal labeled “natural” doesn’t mean it’s any better either, Farrell says. It still could be high in sugar and sodium.

9. Go for the vitamins and minerals. Most breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals, enough to supply approximately 25 percent of the daily value. Some have much more. If your kids are taking vitamins, 25 percent is good. If not, maybe you want those with a higher percentage.

10. Pick what your kids like. You might buy the best cereal in terms of kids’ nutrition, but if they don’t like the taste, they won’t eat it, and you’ve wasted your money. If they only want high-sugar cereals or ones with chocolate bits, give them some, but in small amounts. Mix their favorites with yours, Farrell says. That way you both will be happy.

Don’t let the choices in the cereal aisle overwhelm you. Read labels, not marketing slogans, and look for breakfast cereals that are high in fiber, low in sugar, and fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Diabetic Apple Pie - Chef Tom Cooks

From time to time Chef Tom Cooks will be adding diabetic recipes to the site. Today he has given us a dish perfect for the up-coming holidays.

Yield: 8 Servings

2 Pie crusts. Use your own favorite
8 Medium apples tart are best.
4 Tablespoons Butter or margarine
4 Tablespoons Ground cinnamon
8 packets Sugar substitute (like Equal, Splenda, etc.)
1/2 cup Raisins (optional)

Put one pie crust in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Use a fork to prick the bottom crust in several places. Using one of the Tablespoons of butter, dot the bottom crust with small pieces of butter. Next put on two of the apples, sliced, peeled and cored. On top of that sprinkle two packets of sugar substitute and a tablespoon of cinnamon. Next sprinkle 1/8 of a cup of raisins, if you're using them. This completes one layer. Start again with the butter, then the apples, etc. Make 4 layers, using all the remaining ingredients. This will give you an over-flowing pie. Place the top crust on pinch the edges and put a vent in the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 - 50 minutes. The pie is done when the crust has turned a nice golden brown.

Chef Tom Cooks

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vegetable Pita Pizzas

Vegetable Pita Pizzas

Quick Info:

Contains Wheat/GlutenContains Wheat/Gluten
Contains DairyContains Dairy
Most PopularMost Popular
Nutritional Info (Per serving):
Calories: 113, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 291mg, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Total Fat: 2g, Carbs: 20g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Protein: 5g
Exchanges: Vegetable: 0.5, Starch: 1, Fat: 0.5
Carb Choices: 1.5
Recipe Source:


  • 2 large pita, whole-wheat
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup(s) assorted fresh vegetables (such as small broccoli or cauliflower florets, red sweet pepper strips, sliced fresh mushrooms, and/or chopped carrot)
  • 1/4 cup(s) pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup(s) cheese, mozzarella, shredded


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place pita bread rounds on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, coat an unheated small skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium heat. Add the vegetables; cook and stir until crisp-tender.

3. Spread pizza sauce on pita bread rounds; sprinkle with cooked vegetables and cheese. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes more or until light brown. Serve warm.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Asian Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

6 tablespoons prepared hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons Equal® Spoonful*
2 teaspoon lime juice
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 (3-ounce) package any flavor ramen noodle soup mix
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup baby corn (optional)
  1. For Sauce, combine all ingredients; set aside.
  2. For Stir-Fry, remove seasoning packet from ramen noodles and save for another use. Break noodles into pieces. Place in 1-quart microwave safe bowl; pour warm water over noodles. Microwave on HIGH, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring twice, until noodles are tender; drain. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Cook and stir chicken 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.
  4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Cook and stir broccoli 4 minutes. Add red pepper and onion; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes more. Add cooked chicken, water chestnuts and baby corn. Cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in cooked noodles and sauce. Heat until all ingredients are heated through, stirring frequently.

Makes 6 servings.

* May substitute 3 packets Equal sweetener

Nutrition Information Per Serving: calories 221, protein 20 g, carbohydrate 17 g, fat 8 g, cholesterol 44 mg, sodium 641 mg.

Food Exchanges: 3 very lean meat, 1/2 starch, 2 veg., 1/2 fat.

Recipe provided courtesy of Merisant Corporation ® and the NutraSweet Company, makers of Equal®.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Apple Glazed Chicken Bundles

1 tablespoon stick butter or margarine
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 cups dried unseasoned package bread cubes
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup apple juice
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons Equal® Spoonful*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6-ounces each), pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons Equal® Spoonful**
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  1. Melt butter in small skillet. Add green onions. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes until tender. Place bread cubes and dried cranberries in medium size bowl. Stir in onion mixture.
  2. Heat combined 1/3 cup apple juice and 1/3 cup water to boiling. Stir into bread cube mixture until all cubes are moistened. Stir in 2 Tbsp. Equal®, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until combined.
  3. Lay chicken breasts on flat surface. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Place 1/2 cup stuffing mixture in center of each chicken breast. Fold in sides of chicken to form a "bundle". Secure each with wooden picks.
  4. Place chicken bundles in shallow sprayed baking pan. Bake in preheated 350°F oven 35 to 40 minutes or until chicken and stuffing reach 160°F and chicken juices are clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.
  5. Meanwhile, combine 1 1/2 cups apple juice, 1/2 cup water, cornstarch and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Stir until smooth. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Boil and stir until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons Equal®. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Spoon glaze over baked chicken. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

* May substitute 3 packets Equal sweetener

** May substitute 3 packets Equal sweetener

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
calories 344, protein 41 g, carbohydrate 30 g, fat 6 g, cholesterol 107 mg, sodium 268 mg.

Food Exchanges: 6 very lean meat, 1 starch, 1 fruit.

Recipe provided courtesy of Merisant Corporation ® and the NutraSweet Company, makers of Equal®.

Aloha Chicken (Diabetic)

2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces; skinned
2 low sodium chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp. light soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice, reserve 1/2 cup juice
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Hot cooked rice
Chow mein noodles (optional)
  1. Place chicken in cooking pot and add enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil; add bouillon cubes and simmer chicken, covered, until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove meat from bones and cut into chunks. Reserve 1 cup chicken broth
  2. Combine 1 cup reserved chicken broth with the reserved 1/2 cup pineapple juice and soy sauce; set aside.
  3. In small bowl, mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water; set aside.
  4. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the green peppers and radishes until crisp tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add pineapple and chicken.
  5. Pour chicken broth mixture over chicken/vegetable mixture; heat to boiling and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened and is heated thoroughly. Season with pepper as desired.
  6. Serve over hot cooked rice and sprinkle chow mein noodles on top, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: (3/4 cup mixture; 3/4 cup cooked rice): Calories 320, fat 7g, cholesterol 58mg, carbohydrate 39g, sodium 314mg.

FoodExchanges: Bread 2 1/2, Meat 2.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ways to Cut Your Cancer Risk

I found this informative and decided to share.

You probably already know the top cancer cause — smoking. But you may not be as familiar with all of the other six.

Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

Because of medical advances and new treatment options, many forms of cancer have become manageable chronic illnesses, like diabetes.

And other discoveries have shown that it's possible to cut your cancer risk. From diet and lifestyle changes to avoiding toxic chemicals and too much sun exposure, simple changes can make a big difference.

Cancer Risk No. 1: Tobacco

Tobacco kills. Smoking can damage almost every organ in your body and is a known cause of at least 15 different types of cancer.

The risks for cancer aren't limited to cigarettes. Cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and the smokelesss tobacco called snuff are all linked to cancer.

Want another reason to quit? Secondhand smoke is a cancer cause, too. Tens of thousands of people — including children — have diseases ranging from asthma and pneumonia to sudden infant death syndrome and even ear infections as a result of secondhand smoke.

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Cancer Risk No. 2: Obesity

Being overweight or obese is a known cancer cause. In fact, excess weight is linked to an increased risk for developing more than a dozen types of cancer, including breast and pancreatic cancers. The American Cancer Society stresses the need to keep your weight in check by, first, eating right:

  • Eat a diet limited in processed and red meats and including five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Eat whole grains instead of processed grains.
  • Limit your alcohol intake to one drink per day for women or two for men.

Cancer Risk No. 3: No Exercise

Diet alone usually isn't enough to maintain a healthy body and cut your cancer risk. So, pick an activity that suits your level of fitness and get moving.

  • Adults should be physically active for at least 30 minutes on five or more days a week.
  • Children should engage in physical play for at least 60 minutes five days per week.

Cancer Risk No. 4: Sun Exposure

About one million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States and most are sun related. Melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, can be fatal. You can lower your risk for skin cancer by limiting the time that you spend in the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Take these additional steps:

  • Seek out shade, especially during the middle of the day.
  • Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing, specifically the kind you can't see through when held up to a light.
  • Wear a hat and protect your eyes with sunglasses that have 99 percent UV absorption.
  • Follow these rules even on cloudy days.
  • Avoid sun lamps and tanning beds because they can cause the same type of skin damage as the sun.

Cancer Risk No. 5: Infection

Infections from viruses, bacteria, and parasites are a known cancer risk in up to 20 percent of all cancers. Several of those viruses are sexually transmitted, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

You can reduce your risk for getting these types of viruses by using condoms during sex. Women can reduce their risk of cancer from HPV by getting a vaccine. In fact, the American Cancer Society now recommends the HPV vaccine for girls who are nine and older.

Cancer Risk No. 6: Chemical Exposure

A variety of substances found in common products are known to be a cancer cause. Two of particular interest:

  • Asbestos, a fibrous substance, is found in many older buildings where it was used as insulation and as a fire-retardant; inhaling it can cause cancer. So be sure to have your home checked for asbestos before beginning any sort of renovation. Carpenters and other skilled workers who deal with remodeling older homes should investigate proper safety precautions before working in buildings that contain asbestos.
  • Tetrachloroethylene is a solvent used in dry cleaning. While wearing dry-cleaned clothes isn't considered dangerous, those who work in a dry cleaning business should change clothes after work, wash work clothes regularly, and keep their food out of the work area.

Cancer Risk No. 7: Consumer Products

Antiperspirants, talcum powder, hair dye, aspartame, and some cosmetics have all been reported as possible cancer causes, often incorrectly. The truth is that there is no conclusive evidence that any of these products cause cancer. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to monitor various studies and issues periodic updates.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Healthy Snacks

Low-Carb Snack Ideas for People with Diabetes

If you need a pick-me-up in between meals, a snack with 15-20 grams of carbohydrates is often the answer. For someone with diabetes, it's important to eat a fiber-filled and nutrient-rich snack to curb the appetite before the next meal, says Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Talk to your health-care provider about whether a snack will work in your meal plan.


Choose 6 ounces of light yogurt for a carb-friendly snack. Not only is creamy yogurt cool and sweet, it's a great source of calcium, too.


If you're hungry for a snack, grab one small orange and get a juicy dose of vitamin C as well as fiber, which helps keep blood glucose under control.

Frozen Fruit Bar

Next time those hunger pangs hit, pick a frozen sugar-free fruit bar--it will treat your sweet tooth and might also have extra vitamin C.

Graham Crackers

They're not just for kids! Graham crackers are convenient, portable, and offer that oh-so appealing crunch. Grab three graham cracker squares to get 15-20 g of carbs.


For a boost of calcium and a dash of creamy goodness, down a 10-ounce glass of skim or 1 percent milk. Opting for low-fat milk is good for your heart, too, because whole milk has five times more saturated fat.

Bread with Peanut Butter

When you need a more filling snack, spread one slice of whole wheat bread with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. It's a hearty treat that's packed with protein and has heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.


If you have a hankering for a crunchy snack, skip the chips and grab 3 cups of light popcorn (no salt, no butter). Plus, popcorn is easy to grab on the go and full of fiber.


Apples come in so many varieties, it's easy to find the perfect flavor. Choose one small apple at snack time for a serving of fruit that's also a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps prevent cholesterol buildup.

English Muffin with Cheese and Apple Slices

Want a snack with ooey-gooey melted cheese? You're in the right place with this combo snack that includes half of a whole wheat English muffin, 1 ounce low-fat cheese, and a couple of apple slices (about 1/4 of a small apple). Set it in a toaster oven or under the broiler for a few seconds for a chewy snack that hits the spot.

Strawberries and Cottage Cheese

For a snack that mixes a serving of dairy with a serving of fresh fruit, combine 1 cup of strawberries and 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese. The combo provides a boost of vitamin C and calcium to your day.


Grape fans unite! Whether you love green, red, or Concord, pick 1 cup of your favorite grapes and munch away for a carb-friendly snack that's full of vitamin C.

Crackers with Peanut Butter

A little bit salty and a little bit sweet, a little bit crunchy and a little bit creamy, this snack combines the best of all worlds. Put together four of your own peanut butter cracker sandwiches or buy a 4-pack from the vending machine. Just make sure to use only 2 teaspoons of peanut butter total to keep it carb-friendly and opt for low-sodium crackers to keep sodium at bay.

Pudding with Banana Slices

Yes, you can have pudding! Just grab 1/2 cup of your favorite sugar-free pudding flavor, top with a few slices of banana, and you're good to go. Look for versions of pudding with calcium for an extra health boost. Plus, convenient snack packs make it even easier to take this treat with you.


It works for toddlers and for grown-ups! Tote 3/4 cup of Cheerios for a crunchy, fiber-filled treat.

Carrots with Ranch Dressing

For a boost of beta carotene, fiber, and vitamin A, you can't do much better than snacking on 15 baby carrots with 2 tablespoons light ranch dressing. Many supermarkets sell individual snack packs of carrots, too.

Pita Bread Pocket with Hummus

Hummus isn't just a fun party dip, it's a great everyday snack option, too. Made from ground garbanzo beans (chick peas), hummus is a flavorful way to get your fiber. Spread 1 tablespoon of hummus on half of a pita bread pocket (1 ounce) for a delicious low-fat snack.

Banana Brownie

1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
2/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute* blend equivalent to 2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Nonstick cooking spray
1 large banana, sliced

Powdered sugar (optional)
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries (optional)
1 8-ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed (optional)

1. In a large bowl, stir together chocolate pieces, buckwheat flour, sugar, nonfat dry milk powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; make a well in the center of the flour mixture.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together egg whites, buttermilk, and vanilla; add all at once to chocolate mixture. Stir until combined.

3. Lightly coat an 8- to 9-inch cast-iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray. (Or nest two 8-inch square or round disposable foil pans together to make a double thick layer; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.) Spoon batter into prepared skillet or foil pan. Arrange banana slices on top.

4. Arrange medium coals around the edges of the grill. Test for medium-low heat in the center of the grill (not over coals). Place pan on grill rack in the center of the grill (not over coals). Cover and grill for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges start to pull away from the sides of the skillet or pan. Cool for 30 minutes; serve warm.

5. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with strawberries and whipped topping. Makes 12 slices.

Oven Variation: Lightly coat a 6-inch springform pan or an 8- to 9-inch cast iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Spread batter in pan; arrange banana slices on top. Brush banana slices lightly with lemon juice. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 65 to 75 minutes for the springform pan or 35 to 40 minutes for the skillet or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool springform pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; loosen sides of pan and cool 30 minutes before removing sides of pan. For skillet, cool on wire rack 30 minutes before serving. If desired, melt 1-ounce white baking chocolate and 1/4 teaspoon shortening in a small heavy saucepan over low heat just until melted; drizzle atop brownie. Or, sprinkle top of brownie with powdered sugar if desired. Serve warm.

*Sugar Substitutes: Choose from Splenda® Sugar Blend for Baking or Equal® Sugar Lite. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 2/3 cup sugar.
PER SERVING WITH SUBSTITUTE: same as above, except 151 cal., 25 g carbo. Exchanges: 1.5 other carbo. Carb choices: 1.5.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

  • Servings: 12 slices
  • Calories173
  • Total Fat (g)5
  • Saturated Fat (g)3
  • Cholesterol (mg)1
  • Sodium (mg)138
  • Carbohydrate (g)31
  • Fiber (g)2
  • Protein (g)4
  • Diabetic Exchanges

  • Other Carbohydrates (d.e.)2
  • Fat (d.e.)1

Apple Crisp

5 cups sliced peeled cooking apple
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute equivalent to 2 tablespoons sugar*
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/2 cup regular rolled oats
1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute* equal to 1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
3 tablespoons butter

Frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For filling: in a large bowl combine apples, 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of the apple pie spice. Transfer apple mixture to a 2-quart square baking dish.

2. For topping: In medium bowl, combine oats, 1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute, flour, and 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping over filling.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until apple is tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm. If desired, top with whipped topping. Makes 8 (1/2-cup) servings.

*Test Kitchen Tip: Sugar Substitutes: Choose from Splenda® Granular, Equal® Spoonful or packets, or Sweet 'N Low® bulk or packets. Follow package directions to use product amount that's equivalent to 2 tablespoons sugar.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

  • Servings: 8 (1/2-cup) servings
  • Calories142
  • Total Fat (g)5
  • Saturated Fat (g)2
  • Cholesterol (mg)12
  • Sodium (mg)33
  • Carbohydrate (g)24
  • Fiber (g)2
  • Protein (g)1
  • Diabetic Exchanges

  • Fruit (d.e.)1
  • Other Carbohydrates (d.e.).5
  • Fat (d.e.)1

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Make Water Taste Better - Part 6

6. Try bouillons, broths, and consommés. If your palate leans toward the savory, you may pass on tea and start sipping one of these hot and savory liquids instead. Choose low-fat and low-sodium versions for maximum health benefits. Because soup is water-based, a cup of hot soup will count toward your daily fluid consumption.

Make Water Taste Better - Part 5

5. Drink tea. Herbal, fruit, green, white, and red teas are generally considered to be better for you than black teas (or coffee, for that matter) because they contain little to no caffeine. And there are countless flavors of these teas to choose from. Start with the selection at your local market or health food store. If you're interested in pursuing more exotic flavors and sophisticated teas, start researching the vast array of specialty teas that come from all parts of the globe.

Make Water Taste Better - Part 4

4. Get creative with ice. Some say that ice water tastes better than water served at room temperature. If that's so, flavored ice cubes may make an even better drink. Use some of the flavoring suggestions above and start experimenting with fresh fruit, mint, or cucumber ice cubes. Simply chop your additive of choice, add it to your ice cube tray along with water, then freeze. You may also consider juice, tea, or coffee cubes. If you want to be more creative, use ice cube trays that come in fun shapes, like stars, circles, or even fish.

Make Water Taste Better - Part 3

3. Make it bubbly. Many people prefer sparkling to still water. If plain old water isn't inspiring to you, try a naturally effervescent mineral water — which will give you the added benefit of minerals. Or try bubbly seltzer, a carbonated water. You can add fresh fruit or natural juice flavors to your seltzer, as suggested above, or look for naturally flavored seltzers at your local market. If you become a seltzer devotee, you might want to consider getting a seltzer maker for your home.

Make Water Taste Better - Part 2

2. Use juice. Any fruit juice can be a good base flavor for water, but tart juices, like cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple, are especially delicious. Go for juices that are all natural, with no added sugars. And remember: Fruits and their juices don't just taste good — they contain vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your health too

Making Water Taste Better - Part 1

1. Add fresh fruit. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and oranges, are classic water enhancers, but other fruit flavors might also tempt your taste buds. Try crushing fresh raspberries or watermelon into your water, or adding strawberry slices. Cucumber and fresh mint are refreshing flavors as well — especially in summer.

Can Cinnamon Help Treat Diabetes?

Some studies have investigated the effect of cinnamon on blood sugar levels, but there aren't enough of them or enough carefully compiled results — or consistency in those results — to draw hard and fast conclusions yet. "There's not very much research on it," explains Philip A. Kern, MD, an endocrinologist and director of the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington. But there is potential.

The studies that have tried to measure the effects of cinnamon on blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes have been small and not well controlled. In general, a reliable study is one that is large (at least 500 to 1000 patients), has patients randomly assigned to different groups, and is double blind — meaning neither the researchers nor the subjects know who is getting the treatment. That type of detailed and careful research just hasn't been done on the subject of cinnamon’s role in diabetes, says Dr. Kern, adding that the results of the small studies that have been conducted "are all over the place."

"Some say that the cinnamon does lower blood sugar or improves some other measure — some studies report a benefit, and some studies don't report a benefit," says Kern. His initial reaction was dubious, he admits, but after studying what little research is available, the effects of cinnamon are "probably something deserving of a larger study."

For instance, one study suggests that cinnamon may be effective in lowering blood sugar levels because it has a similar effect on the body as insulin, the hormone that people with type 2 diabetes produce in insufficient amounts.

Cinnamon: A Dash or a Dollop?

The amount of cinnamon needed to produce a positive effect is unclear. In some of the clinical trials, diabetic patients were given about 1 gram of cinnamon in a capsule — that amount of pure cinnamon is about the size of the tip of your pinkie finger.

Swallowing that much cinnamon powder would be downright painful (and probably not taste very good), so Kern says you shouldn't try to ingest cinnamon on your own in an effort to lower blood sugar. You also shouldn't chow down on a big cinnamon bun or sip a cinnamon latte, thinking you're getting a health benefit — even if additional research concludes that cinnamon is of benefit in lowering blood sugar and managing diabetes, Kern says you're still not getting a free pass for the sugar and calories.

So what's the take-away message? Kern believes it's not so much that people with diabetes should eat more cinnamon, but that "maybe [it] has a property that might be beneficial." He adds, "If you could figure out exactly what it is about cinnamon, you could design a drug that would target that beneficial property.”

So, Kern says, if anything does come of cinnamon as a blood sugar-lowering agent, the recommendations for patients with diabetes will be in the form of a new medication that has captured the properties of cinnamon, not necessarily dietary changes.

Creamy Dill Ranch Dressing

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins

  • 1 small shallot(s), peeled
  • 3/4 cup(s) cottage cheese, nonfat
  • 1/4 cup(s) mayonnaise, reduced-fat
  • 2 tablespoon buttermilk, powdered
  • 2 tablespoon vinegar, white wine
  • 1/4 cup(s) milk, fat-free
  • 1 tablespoon dill weed, fresh, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, black ground, freshly ground


1. With the food processor running, add shallot through the feed tube and process until finely chopped.
2. Add cottage cheese, mayonnaise, buttermilk powder and vinegar. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary, about 3 minutes.

3. Pour in milk while the processor is running. Scrape down the sides, add dill, salt and pepper and process until combined.

Quick MealQuick Meal
Contains DairyContains Dairy
Contains EggContains Egg
Nutritional Info (Per serving): Calories: 19, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 125mg, Dietary Fiber: 0g, Total Fat: 1g, Carbs: 2g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Protein: 2g

Types of Diabetes

If you have diabetes, your body has problems producing or effectively using insulin, which can cause your blood glucose levels to be out of control. There are several different causes of insulin problems, and your treatment plan will depend on which type of diabetes you have.

Type 1 Diabetes: An Autoimmune Disease

With type 1 diabetes, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, your body does not produce insulin or produces very little. Type 1 diabetes is known as an autoimmune disease because it occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.

Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children and young adults and accounts for 5 to 10 percent of diabetes cases in the United States. Symptoms may include thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, unexplained weight loss, blurry vision, and fatigue.

People who have type 1 diabetes need to take insulin injections daily to make up for what their pancreas can’t produce.

Type 2 Diabetes: The Lifestyle Connection

Type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases. While most people who develop type 2 diabetes are older, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children is on the rise.

The exact cause of type 2 diabetes is largely unknown, but the disease tends to develop in people who are obese and physically inactive. People who have a family history of diabetes or a personal history of gestational diabetes are also at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes usually develop gradually, and are similar to symptoms of type 1 diabetes.

Treatment for type 2 diabetes usually includes dietary changes, regular physical activity, and oral diabetes medications to help control blood glucose. If left untreated, serious health conditions such as heart disease or stroke can develop.

Gestational Diabetes: A Pregnancy Concern

Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs in 3 to 8 percent of pregnant women during late pregnancy. Its cause is thought to be pregnancy-related hormonal fluctuations and a shortage of insulin that often occurs during pregnancy.

Many women with gestational diabetes have no symptoms, so it is important to get screened for this condition during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can lead to problems such as high-birth-weight babies, breathing problems in the baby, and high blood pressure in the mother during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is usually treated with dietary changes and exercise, and sometimes insulin injections.

Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 40 to 60 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years after their pregnancy.

Other Types of Diabetes

Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, or LADA, is a less common form of diabetes that usually affects people over the age of 30. In LADA, what looks like type 2 diabetes at first eventually develops into a condition more closely resembling type 1 diabetes.

People with LADA make enough insulin at first, but their immune system later begins making antibodies against insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Patients will usually require insulin injections as part of their treatment. It is estimated that up to 10 percent of people with type 2 diabetes have LADA.

"Double diabetes" occurs when someone with type 1 diabetes develops resistance to the insulin they are taking, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes. This condition is more and more frequently seen in children, especially those who are overweight or obese.

All types of diabetes require attention to keep blood glucose in check, but the medical plan differs by diabetes type. Getting the right diagnosis is the first step.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sauteed Mushroom Caps

Sautéed Mushroom Caps

8-12 extra large button mushrooms

2 Tbsp. olive oil

3-4 Tbsp. dry vermouth or chicken stock

Fresh ground white pepper

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Lightly clean mushrooms and remove stems. Place oil in sauté pan over medium high heat and add mushrooms. Sauté for 2-3 minutes per side. You could add some freshly chopped herbs after turning mushrooms. Add the vermouth or chicken stock, cover and cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove mushrooms to serving platter and sprinkle with pepper and parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Info:

Calories 86; total fat 8 grams; saturated fat 1 gram; % calories from fat 77%; cholesterol 2 mg; carbohydrate 3 grams; protein 3 grams; fiber .6 grams

Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted Tomatoes

4 firm, medium sized tomatoes, cut in half

2 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped

2 tsp. thyme, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

In a sauté pan add oil over moderate heat. When hot, add tomatoes, cut side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes until cut side of tomato is browned and caramelized. Transfer tomatoes to baking dish with cut side up. Season tomatoes with pepper and sprinkle with parsley, thyme and garlic. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes uncovered. Tomatoes will be browned and sizzling. Serve immediately. Serves 4

Nutritional Info:

Calories 97; total fat 7 grams; sautéed fat 1 gram; % calories from fat 62%; cholesterol 0 mg.; carbohydrate 8 grams; protein 2 grams; fiber 2 grams

Haddock with Ginger and Lime

Haddock with Ginger and Lime

1 cup water or chicken stock

4 haddock fillets

2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

Juice of 1 lime

1 tsp. cornstarch

¼ cup cold water

1 Tbsp. honey

Italian parsley

Lime zest

In a medium sauté pan add 1 cup liquid and bring to a boil. Add haddock and lower heat to a simmer. Poach fish for 2-3 minutes per side, until fish is cooked. In a small dish, combine cornstarch and ¼ cup water. Stir to completely dissolve cornstarch. When haddock is finished cooking, remove from pan. Add ginger, lime, honey and cornstarch mixture to pan. Return pan to medium heat and stir until thickened and reduced by about ½. Spoon ginger sauce over haddock and serve. Garnish with lime zest and Italian parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Info:

Calories 219; total fat 2 grams; saturated fat .3 grams; % calories from fat 7%; cholesterol 110 mg; carbohydrate 14 grams; protein 37 grams; fiber 1 gram

Turkey Scaloppini with Lemon

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. butter

1 lb. turkey breast, sliced thin & pounded flat

Juice of 1 lemon, about 3-4 Tbsp.

¼ cup dry vermouth or white wine

2 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped

½ lemon, thinly sliced

Heat oil and butter in sauté pan. Add turkey and cook, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove to warm platter. Over high heat, add lemon juice and vermouth to deglaze the pan. Add the parsley and lemon slices. Heat for about 1 minute. Pour over turkey and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Info:

Calories 243; total fat 9 grams; saturated fat 3 grams; % calories from fat 39%; cholesterol 66 mg.; carbohydrate 8 grams; protein 23 grams; fiber .4 grams

Shrimp Tip

Did you know that 8 jumbo shrimp have 13 grams of protein, with 63 calories and less than 1 gram of fat? The calories and fat associated with shrimp and shrimp dishes actually come from the manner in which you fix it or the sauce that you serve with your shrimp.