Health On Life's Journey

Health On Life's Journey

A Sweet Snack For Diabetics

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Many diabetics can’t resist sweet snacks, even though they know that the sugars in these foods can bring them serious problems and complications.

Well, here is a naturally sweet food that will not only satisfy the taste bud of diabetics, it is in fact an anti-diabetic food!

This sweet snack for those with diabetics or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is the sweet potato.

You can steam it and eat it as it is, boil it in water (with a bit of ginger) for a sweet dessert soup, bake it for some sweet potato chips, or even stir fry it with vegetables.

However you choose to cook or eat them, sweet potatoes are great for helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and improving your body’s response to insulin. Since these root vegetables are starchy, they are filling and hence make quite a satisfying snack or dish during a meal. For these reasons, the sweet potato is a wonderful food for those with diabetics or hypoglycemia.

In addition, sweet potatoes can also help increase the antioxidant levels in your body. This is because this tuberous root contains unique root storage proteins, as well as high levels of carotenes and vitamin C, all of which can provide you with powerful antioxidant benefits.

Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin B6, manganese, copper, biotin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B2 and dietary fiber.

Avoid sweet potatoes with green coloration when buying your groceries. The green coloration suggests the presence of the toxic alkaloid solanine.

A point to note, if you have a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones, you may have to watch your intake of sweet potatoes, as this root vegetable contains high levels of oxalate.

References
[1] Murray, Michael, ND., Pizzorno, Joseph, ND., and Pizzorno, Lara, MA, LMT. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books, 2005. Print.


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

More Foods For A Cholesterol Profile That Would Impress Your Doctor

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Besides reducing your intake of sugars and simple carbohydrates, as well as replacing your unhealthy snacks with “good cholesterol” promoting nuts, here are more foods you can eat for a cholesterol profile that will amaze your doctor.

* Garlic. Just eating half to one clove of it (chopped, and raw if you can) a day can lower your blood cholesterol by an average of 9%, as found by researchers who analyzed 5 of the most reliable scientific studies on garlic and cholesterol.

* Fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like oats, can help reduce your unhealthy cholesterol levels. High fiber diets can also improve your digestive health, as well as reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases.

* Carrot juice can help you to flush out fat from your bile.

*Mono-saturated fats containing foods such as from avocados and olive oil, can lower your “bad cholesterol” (i.e. LDL), while maintaining your “good cholesterol” (i.e. HDL). So replace some of the saturated fats in your food (unless it is from coconuts) with these healthier fats.

* Vitamin B complex. 100mg daily of the major B vitamins can naturally lower your unhealthy cholesterol level.

* Vitamin C. 1000mg daily of this essential vitamin can help improve your cholesterol profile.

* Selenium. You need 200 mcg of this essential mineral daily, as deficiency can lead to poor cardiovascular health and heart diseases.

References
[1] Yeager, Selene, et al. The Doctors Book of Food Remedies. New York, NY: Rodale, 2007. Print.
[2] http://www.insights-on-health.com/good-herbs-to-lower-cholesterol-naturally-4-useful-herbal-remedies/


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

Nuts About Cholesterol

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Contrary to conventional knowledge that nuts are unhealthy because they are rich in fats, nuts can actually be good for helping you achieve a better cholesterol (and cardiovascular) profile.

Nuts have been found to contain significant levels of plant sterols, which actually help lower “bad cholesterol” (i.e. LDL cholesterol). For example, some researchers in Canada found that when people with high levels of unhealthy cholesterol ate 1.8g of plant sterols daily, their unhealthy cholesterol levels dropped by 8%.

Researchers at Tufts University in Boston have found that the skin of almond seeds contain high levels of antioxidants that can help to remove LDL cholesterol from your body.

Another nut which deserves mention is the coconut. By some unfortunate twist of fate, this healthy nut has acquired a bad reputation for containing high levels of saturated fats. While it is true that coconut contains more saturated fats than butter does, the types of saturated fats that coconut contains (more than half is lauric acid) actually help boost “good cholesterol” (i.e. HDL cholesterol) more than the unhealthy LDL. This means that ultimately, the coconut is good for your overall cholesterol profile.

So if you want to lower your unhealthy cholesterol naturally without the use of potentially harmful pharmaceutical drugs, then nuts are what you can eat as healthy snacks.

But I must remind you, first and foremost, an important thing you have to do is to cut down on your intake of simple sugars and carbohydrates, for these are a major source of unhealthy fats in your body.

More on the foods and dietary supplementation that can help you in your battle against unhealthy cholesterol in my next entry!

References
[1] Yeager, Selene, et al. The Doctors Book of Food Remedies. New York, NY: Rodale, 2007. Print.


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

Don’t Cut the Fats If You Have High Cholesterol

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Contrary to conventional wisdom, cutting your intake of fatty foods may not actually help you lower your cholesterol levels.

In fact, there are those who have actually lowered their blood cholesterol levels while still on a high cholesterol diet. This is because there are different types of cholesterol, and some types of cholesterol are actually good for your body (I will not be discussing the different types of cholesterol in this entry).

However, one thing is for sure. If you DO NOT cut down on your intake of simple sugars and carbohydrates, you ARE VERY LIKELY to continue having high cholesterol levels. In addition, you will be putting yourself at higher risk of heart diseases.

This is because when you consume too much sugar in your daily diet, your liver actually converts the excessive sugar into fats (and cholesterol is a type of fat) for storage in the body. These fats, known as triglycerides, contribute to the blockage and hardening of arteries, as well as other cardiovascular diseases.

An analysis of over 6,000 adults who participated in an ongoing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 to 2006 found that the more sugar the participants ate, the higher their triglycerides, and the lower their HDL (HDL refers to the healthy version of cholesterol, and the lower the proportion of HDL, the more likely you are to have “unhealthy cholesterol”).

So if you are really serious about lowering your unhealthy cholesterol levels, look toward cutting your intake of sugars FIRST.

I will touch on some of the foods to eat to support your efforts at lowering unhealthy cholesterol in my next blog entry. Stay tuned!

References
[1] http://www.insights-on-health.com/how-to-lower-cholesterol-naturally-a-holistic-perspective/2/
[2] http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20100420/high-sugar-diet-linked-lower-good-cholesterol


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

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