Category Archives: Diabetes

Is There a Link Between Obesity and Diabetes?

8232Diabetes is the nation’s seventh-leading cause of death and a prime cause of kidney failure, blindness, nontraumatic limb amputations, heart disease, and stroke. Of the people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, about 80 percent are also diagnosed as obese. This fact provides a clue to the link between diabetes and obesity.

Being overweight places extra stress on your body in a number of ways, including your body’s ability to maintain proper blood glucose levels. Just being overweight can cause your body to become resistant to insulin. If you already have diabetes, this means you will need to take even more insulin to get sugar into your cells. And if you don’t have diabetes, the prolonged effects of the insulin resistance can eventually cause you to develop the disease.

In this Health Matters program, Dr. Alan Saltiel joins host Dr. David Granet to examine the link between weight and diabetes, how our metabolism can influence our health, the role evolution plays, and where current research is trending.

Watch Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes and visit the Health Matters series to browse more programs.

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Learn the Facts About Sugar

8232A dangerous white powder is in the news – sugar.

We’ve heard so much about the harmful effects of sugar lately, that it may be hard to distinguish facts from fiction, and it’s left many consumers with more questions than answers. That’s a problem because, let’s face it, when we’re talking about possibly reducing something we consume (and enjoy) on a daily basis, not knowing the facts can keep us from making necessary changes in our diets.

To get the facts, health scientists at UCSF developed SugarScience.org to learn more about the latest research findings on sugar and its impact on health. Their goal? To help you make healthy choices based on clear, unbiased, scientific evidence.

So far, the evidence is clear: too much added sugar doesn’t just make us fat – it can also make us sick. Americans consume an average of 66 pounds of sugar per year. Because it’s so easily digestable, too much sugar overwhelms the liver and can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even liver disease and failure.

“The news is hard to hear,” admits Professor Laura A. Schmidt, UCSF School of Medicine. “It’s tough stuff. Just like smoking back in the 50’s, you grew up thinking everybody does this, it’s benign. Now the scientific community is in the hard position of saying something you love and think is benign is harmful to your health.”

How much is too much? The American Heart Association recommends that we don’t exceed the following guidelines for daily added sugar intake:

Women: 6 teaspoons (24 grams)

Men: 9 teaspoons (36 grams)

Kids: 3-4 teaspoons (12-16 grams)

Preteens & Teens: 5 teaspoons (20 grams)

Once you start to look for added sugar, you’ll find it everywhere. SugarScience.org has uncovered 61 different names for sugar in the products we consume. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that my favorite salad exhausted my entire recommended daily allowance of sugar.

But even small changes can make a big difference.

Perhaps the simplest change you can make is to stop drinking “liquid sugar.” Sugary drinks such as sodas, sports drinks and even fruit drinks are particularly harmful. If we could eliminate sugary drinks, we’d collectively cut out 37% of our sugar consumption. And there’s evidence that artificial sweeteners inflict the same kind of damage as real sugar.

But life can still be sweet. “Added sugars” don’t include the sugars we find in fruits, berries, and vegetables. That’s because when we eat them, we also get their natural good fiber, which makes the sugar harder to digest and keeps it from overwhelming the liver.

Learn more about sugar and SugarScience.org. Watch Learn the Facts about Sugar – How Sugar Impacts Your Health today.

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Take Control During National Diabetes Month

Today marks the kick-off of National Diabetes Month, a fitting occasion since, this month, we cap off another great season of our long-running series Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) with a program about Diabetic Medical Emergencies (premiering November 15).

Host Dr. Steven Edelman, a diabetes specialist at UC San Diego, is your guide as he welcomes a range of guests who offer valuable guidance for managing diabetes medically and psychologically while maintaining an active, healthy and happy lifestyle.

Also make sure to visit the TCOYD blog for exercise tips, recipes from chef Robert Lewis, the Happy Diabetic and more!

Here’s one episode to share with someone you know who was recently diagnosed, Dealing with a Diabetes Diagnosis – Don’t Freak Out!

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Don’t Freak Out Over a Diabetes Diagnosis

Being told you have type 2 diabetes can be scary and overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be.

In the latest installment of our “Taking Control of Your Diabetes” series, host Steven Edelman welcomes Dr. Bill Polonsky to discuss his program “Don’t Freak Out,” which takes the guesswork out of managing care and gives a clear plan of action to the newly diagnosed.

Dealing with a Diabetes Diagnosis: Don’t Freak Out – Taking Control of Your Diabetes

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Using Social Media to Help Manage Diabetes

If you’re diagnosed with a chronic disease, your doctor can give you the facts, but where can you go for emotional and practical support? On the latest episode of Taking Control of Your Diabetes, Dr. Steven Edelman welcomes Manny Hernendez and David Edelman to discuss their personal experiences and how social networking helped them and others.

Manny, an electrical engineer, started TuDiabetes, a social network that offers support, education, and sharing the steps taken every day to stay healthy while living with this very serious condition. David started Diabetes Daily after experiencing a lack of local support resources for his wife. He created an online community that connects people with diabetes, facilitates education and promotes advocacy.

Tune in for Using Social Media to Help Manage Your Diabetes – Taking Control of Your Diabetes. Or watch it online now!

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