Monday, September 26, 2011

Question of the Week: "Healthy Tailgating!"

The following question was submitted for discussion on this week's blog post, "My husband has diabetes and this time of year we attend a lot of football games.  Before the game we often will meet up with friends for tailgating parties.  Can you give me some healthy ideas of what we can eat during the tailgate?"

Football season is here and so are the tailgating parties!  Here are some suggestions keep your tailgating delicious and yet still healthy.

  • Don't go to the game hungry?  Have a healthy snack such as an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter before you go.  If you go to the game ravenous, you are more likely to binge on unhealthy chips and dips.
  • Be prepared - bring an insulated bag or small cooler and bring cut up veggies.  Make your own healthy dip from 0% Greek Yogurt or use salsa.
  • Stay hydrated:  Thirst often disguises itself as hunger.  Bring plenty of bottled water.
  • Opt for grilled chicken (without the skin).  Choose turkey or buffalo burgers over traditional ground beef.  Grill kebobs - loaded with veggies and chicken or a lean cut of beef.
  • Skip the bun:  Save the carbs and calories by wrapping your chicken or burger in lettuce.
  • Fill half your plate with grilled veggies (i.e. eggplant, zucchini, squash) marinated in balsamic vinegar or a green salad (lite dressing on the side).
Don't forget to toss the football around in the parking lot before the big game - a great way to burn some extra calories and stay active!

Picture Credit:  AFP  Ted Methias

Friday, September 16, 2011

Question of the Week: Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

The following question was submitted for discussion on this week's blog post, "Diabetes runs in my family and I think this puts me at risk.  Could you tell me what are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

Family history and genetics can play a role in type 2 diabetes. Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and excess body weight (especially around the waist) can significantly increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

In many instances, people with type 2 diabetes show no symptoms.  When symptoms do appear that my include:
  •  Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual unintentional weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue and Irritability
  • Frequent infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands/feet
  • Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections
Be sure to discuss your concerns with a doctor.  Regular physicals aid in detection.

Source: American Diabetes Association

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Question of the Week: Baking with Stevia or Splenda

 The following question was submitted for discussion on this week's blog post, "I have type 2 diabetes and love to bake.  When cooking or baking, if I substitute Splenda or Stevia for regular sugar does this make the recipe sugar free?"

Replacing sugar with Splenda or Stevia will make the recipe sugar free, however, not calorie or carbohydrate free.  There will still be other ingredients such as flour, dried fruit, oats that contain carbohydrate and will affect your blood sugar levels.  It still be will be important to watch your portion sizes despite using these sugar substitutes.

Here are some tips for reducing the fat content and increasing fiber and nutrients in baked goods:
  • Applesauce and plain yogurt work well as a substitute for  fat in most recipes. For maximum texture and flavor, replace no more than 1/2 the amount of the fat listed in the recipe.
  • Mashed ripe bananas also as fat substitutes in many muffin recipes.
  • Fruit purees, such as prune, work especially well in chocolate, spice and carrot cakes. Or you can use half the butter or oil called for and replace the amount of fat eliminated with prune puree.
  • Replace 1 whole egg in a recipe with ¼ cup fat-free, cholesterol-free egg product substitutes (i.e. Egg Beaters) or 2 egg whites.
  • Choose whole wheat flour instead of white flour when possible.