Diabetes & COVID-19

While having diabetes doesn’t make you more likely to catch the novel coronavirus, it does increase your chance of getting very sick if you do become infected. So how can we help people with diabetes who are anxious and afraid of COVID-19?

The American Diabetes Association has lots of helpful, practical information:

Another way to help people with diabetes is to recognize whether they are newly diagnosed or have lived with diabetes for years, the coronavirus pandemic could be a turning point for them. They might be motivated to learn more about their disease and to change their diet and lifestyle in hopes of controlling or reversing their diabetes.

With individual counseling or online group sessions, you can make sure they understand diabetes, how it progresses, and how it can be reversed or at least improved. Our new Diet and Type 2 Diabetes – Progression and Remission PowerPoint shows cover these concepts in detail. The three shows are:

  1. Diabetes Overview – this show covers the basics. It’s perfect for the newly diagnosed, but even those who have been living with diabetes will learn lots.
  2. Optimal Diet for Type 2 Diabetes – this show goes beyond food exchanges and carb counting. It teaches a Mediterranean- or DASH-style of eating that has the potential to reverse type 2 diabetes or at least keep blood sugar and weight under control.
  3. Guide to Losing Weight with Diabetes – this show goes into more detail on strategies for losing weight and keeping it off to improve or even reverse type 2 diabetes.

Don’t miss this chance to help people with diabetes take steps to a healthier life!

Diabetes & Fear

When talking about diabetes, it’s tempting to spout statistics. The numbers are scary, but will hearing scary statistics over and over cause the average American to take action so that they don’t become a statistic? Or will it overwhelm and scare them into not doing anything at all?

Of course, it’s important to get the message out there about diabetes. But maybe we can do a better job of helping some people by addressing this disease in a less intimidating way. Our new Type 2 Diabetes Risk Poster and matching tearpad can help you do just that. It’s very straightforward, providing:

  • A checklist of risk factors.
  • A chart with blood glucose/A1C levels for normal, prediabetes, and diabetes.
  • Three steps to prevent diabetes.
  • A statement about how high blood sugar can damage the body.

This information is basic but should spark people’s interest enough to get them to consider what step they need to take, whether it’s getting a blood glucose test or talking to their doctor or dietitian.

You could also use the information on this poster as the basis for a short class, group chat, or Facebook Live session discussing these three questions:

  1. Are you at risk of developing diabetes? How many of your risk factors are in your power to change?
  2. Do you know your blood glucose numbers (A1C, fasting, glucose tolerance test)? More importantly, do you know what they mean?
  3. What are you willing to do to prevent diabetes? Consider changes to your diet and exercise routine and modest weight loss.

You can follow up on the discussion with time for Q&A. Or simply ask participants to submit their questions, to be answered in a future session.

Be sure to end with a call to action. Ask participants to write down 1-3 things they will do based on what they’ve learned. Will they make an appointment to find out their glucose numbers? Take a walk after dinner every night? Calculate 5-7 percent of their body weight and use this number as a weight loss goal?

Above all, encourage folks to visit their doctor and get a blood glucose/A1C test – even if they’re afraid to learn that they have diabetes. Remind them that knowledge is power, and power is better than fear!

Keeping it Basic for the Overwhelmed Patient with Diabetes

Learning that you have diabetes can be overwhelming. There’s blood sugar monitoring and new medication, a new meal plan or carb counting, and possibly insulin. That’s a lot to deal with! Some patients panic, others go into denial, and some do both. The patient’s spouse or caregiver may also experience these feelings.

The Way to Eat with Diabetes Handout Tearpad provides the basics without oversimplifying things. The easy-to-read format breaks information into chunks that everyone can understand.

The front side (also available as a poster) is full color and gives general tips on timing meals, eating the right carbs, making a healthy plate and knowing limits for alcohol, sweets, and unhealthy fats. There’s also a list of good food choices for people with diabetes.

The back side goes into more detail for when patients are ready to learn about:

  • ‘Slow’ and ‘fast’ carbohydrates
  • Regular, balanced meals
  • Portion sizes
  • Empty calories
  • Diabetes super foods

When the diagnosis of diabetes is new, you don’t want to deluge patients with tons of information. The Way to Eat with Diabetes is the way to go!

 

Prediabetes = Preventdiabetes

“Prediabetes = Preventdiabetes” – this phrase on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website says it all. A diagnosis of prediabetes is serious, but you CAN take steps to prevent or delay the progression to diabetes.

Use our Prediabetes Poster and Prediabetes Color Handout Tearpad to get these important messages out:

  • What is prediabetes? If your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes, you have prediabetes.
  • Who has prediabetes? One in three U.S. adults has prediabetes. The CDC says that 90 percent don’t know they have it.
  • How does prediabetes affect me? It can lead to type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar can cause kidney, nerve, and eye damage.
  • What can I do? Research shows that doing just two things can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes: Lose 5-7 percent of your body weight (10-14 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds) and get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, such as brisk walking.

Presentation Inspiration: Diabetes

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 9.3% of all Americans have diabetes. That’s over 29 million people!

Over the years, my team and I have devoted ourselves to creating materials that can help you help people manage diabetes in a healthful way, and today I want to draw your attention to one resource in particular.

The Gold Member PowerPoint Archive.

This archive features hundreds of compelling PowerPoint presentations that you can use anytime. Available solely to gold members of the Food and Health family, the presentation library addresses a wide range of topics, including…

  • Cooking
  • Diabetes
  • Fad Diets
  • Health
  • Heart
  • Holiday
  • Hot Topics
  • Kids
  • MyPlate
  • Nutrition
  • Vegetarian
  • Weight
  • Wellness

Today, because of those crazy statistics, I want to offer a sneak peek into one of our most popular diabetes presentations. If you like what you see, consider a membership today!

The following is from Diabetes 101, a presentation that covers the basics of life with diabetes…

This show is comprehensive, beginning by addressing the causes of and statistics about gestational diabetes, type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes. It then covers common diabetes vocabulary words — everything from insulin to pancreas — before diving into the ABCs of diabetes management. The show ends with an exploration of meal planning with diabetes, and this exploration is as comprehensive as the rest of the presentation, addressing carbohydrate counting, protein servings, types of fat, and the importance of fiber.

Today we’re going to take an abbreviated look at the ABCs of diabetes management.

When it comes to successfully managing your diabetes and staying healthy, it’s important to remember your ABCs. In this case, A stands for A1C, B stands for blood pressure, and C stands for cholesterol levels. Let’s explore each one in more detail, shall we?

A1C is the “A” of diabetes management, and it’s a measure of the amount of glycated hemoglobin in the blood… So why on earth should this matter to you? Well, this number is a good indication of your blood glucose levels over the past few months.

When it comes to interpreting this measurement, you should know that the higher the number is, the greater your risk is of having some kind of diabetes-related complication. This could affect your heart, kidneys, or eyes!

The “B” of diabetes management is blood pressure. Do you know what your numbers are?

Blood pressure is a measure of the force your blood exerts against your artery walls. It’s recorded in two numbers, which are then stacked on top of each other. The top number is your systolic pressure. That’s the measure of the force on your artery walls when your heart beats. The bottom number is called diastolic pressure, and that’s the force on your artery walls between heartbeats.

Blood pressure is important for everyone, but it’s especially important if you have diabetes because having diabetes raises your risk of heart disease. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes keep their blood pressure below 140/90 (source) but less is better of course!

Cholesterol is the third part of the ABCs of diabetes. Like blood pressure, your cholesterol levels are indicators of heart health. It’s wise to get your cholesterol checked at least once a year. When you get those levels checked, you’ll likely learn about your triglycerides, HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and total cholesterol levels. Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail, shall we?

I’m afraid we’re going to end on a cliffhanger here. I had to eliminate a few slides with more details for each of the letters in this section in order to fit the parameters of a “sneak peek,” but there’s an idea of what you can get as a gold member of the Food and Health family! I hope you enjoyed it and that it will be useful to your clients.

Research Update: Legumes and Diabetes

A recent study published in Clinical Nutrition looked at data from the PREDIMED study, which featured over 3,000 subjects with elevated risk for heart disease, but without type 2 diabetes. The study found that after 4 years, participants with the highest intake of legumes had a 35% reduction in risk for diabetes. The study was led by Jordi Salas-Salvadó from Rovira i Virgili University, University Hospital of Sant Joan de Reus, and Institute of Health Carlos III in Spain. Salas-Salvadó explained that substituting legumes, especially lentils, for other high-carbohydrate or high-fiber foods was linked with this reduction, though more research is needed to solidify the results.

In this prospective study, Salas-Salvadó and his team reviewed diet histories of diabetes-free subjects, both at the outset of the study and then annually for four years. Using regression models to estimate hazard ratios and confidence intervals, incidence of type 2 diabetes in the subjects was measured based on dietary intake. Compared to lowest intake of legumes (approximately 1 ½ servings per week), participants with the highest consumption (approximately 3 1/3 servings), had a 35% lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

The researchers compared types of legumes consumed and found that lentils in particular were linked with a 33% reduction in diabetes risk. This was observed with just one serving of lentils per week versus less than ½ serving. Chickpea consumption showed a smaller impact on lowering the risk of diabetes, while other dried beans and peas showed no significant link.

The authors suggest that substituting half a serving of legumes daily in place of a half serving of grains or high-protein foods (such as eggs or meat) may aid in reducing the risk for diabetes.

So, here are some simple ways to add more legumes to your eating pattern…

  • Make lentil soup or chili
  • Add cooked lentils to casseroles or salad
  • Add chickpeas to soup or salad
  • Make your own hummus from chickpeas or lentils
  • Serve lentils as a side dish in place of rice or potatoes

By Lisa Andrews, MED, RD, LD

Reference:

Nerea Becerra-Tomás, Andrés Díaz-López, Núria Rosique-Esteban, Emilio Ros, Pilar Buil-Cosiales, Dolores Corella, Ramon Estruch, Montserrat Fitó, Lluís Serra-Majem, Fernando Arós, Rosa Maria Lamuela-Raventós, Miquel Fiol, José Manuel Santos-Lozano, Javier Diez-Espino, Olga Portoles, Jordi Salas-Salvadó Correspondence information about the author Jordi Salas-Salvadó Email the author Jordi Salas-Salvadó. “Legume consumption is inversely associated with type 2 diabetes incidence in adults: a prospective assessment from the PREDIMED study”. Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2017. 03.015

Study Link: http://www.clinicalnutritionjournal.com/article/S0261-5614(17)30106-1/abstract

Health News: Chronic Disease Risk Factors

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that “metabolically healthy obese” people, a subset of obese individuals who were initially thought to not be at high risk of heart and other chronic diseases, still might have elevated health risks.

Study author Kristine Faerch from the Steno Diabetes Center in Copenhagen states that while it was once thought that it was not unhealthy to be overweight or obese if you lived a healthful lifestyle, newer research suggests that this is not the case.1 Overweight and obese individuals face an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. To lower risk, maintaining a healthy weight throughout the lifecycle is vital.

Faerch and her team of researchers evaluated data from over 6,200 men and women that joined a Danish study wherein they were tracked for over 10 years. The subjects’ initial BMIs and risk factors for heart disease (including HDL a.k.a. “healthy” cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, triglycerides, and blood glucose) were all monitored. “Metabolically healthy” subjects had none of these risks, while “metabolically unhealthy” subjects were defined as having at least one risk factor. In the follow up period, 323 subjects developed heart disease. Men who were metabolically healthy but obese had 3 times the risk of heart disease when compared to metabolically healthy men at a normal weight. Women that were metabolically healthy but obese had double the risk of heart disease. Overweight men that were metabolically healthy had equivalent risk as their normal weight counterparts. Overweight women had a slightly higher risk than normal weight subjects. The authors note that only 3% of male and female subjects were obese, but considered metabolically healthy. Over a 5-year period, 40% of those considered metabolically healthy became metabolically unhealthy.

Joshua Bell from the UK’s University of Bristol was not surprised by these results. He and his colleagues published a paper this past February which noted that obesity increases age-related disability and decline, even in metabolically healthy individuals.2 His research found that after 2 decades, physical ability declined two times more while pain increased six times more in obese individuals when compared to normal weight individuals. Bell further stresses that heart disease is not the only risk factor to consider when discussing healthy aging.

Matthias Schulze at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam-Rehbruecke believes that other measurements such as waist to hip ratios, waist circumference, and body fat could be explored to determine whether someone is “metabolically healthy” and obese.3 Healthy and obese can change to unhealthy and obese very quickly.

More research is needed to find how to decrease disease risk in both groups.

By Lisa Andrews, MED, RD, LD

References:

  1. Louise Hansen, MSc, Marie K Netterstrøm, MSc, Nanna B Johansen, MD, PhD, Pernille F Rønn, MSc, Dorte Vistisen, MSc, PhD, Lise LN Husemoen, MSc, PhD, Marit E Jørgensen, MD, PhD, Naja H Rod, MSc, PhD, DMSc, Kristine Færch, MSc, PhD. Metabolically healthy obesity and ischemic heart disease: a 10-year follow-up of the Inter99 study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab jc.2016-3346. Published March 7, 2017.
  2. J A Bell, S Sabia, A Singh-Manoux, M Hamer, and M Kivimäki. Healthy obesity and risk of accelerated functional decline and disability. International Journal of Obesity advance online publication 14 March 2017; doi: 10.1038/ijo.2017.51.
  3. Kristin Mühlenbruch, Tonia Ludwig, Charlotte Jeppesen, Hans-Georg Joost, Wolfgang Rathmann
    Christine Meisinger, Annette Peters, Heiner Boeing, Barbara Thorand, Matthias B. Schulze. Update of the German Diabetes Risk Score and external validation in the German MONICA/KORA study. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. June 2014 Volume 104, Issue 3, Pages 459–466.

And here are a few fantastic posters to promote healthy weight management…

Tabletop Flip Charts

Here’s a collection of tabletop flip charts that can be used for student, patient, and client education!

Use them in employee wellness fairs, health fairs, exam rooms, offices, and classrooms. They fit on a table and flip easily to teach people important lessons about a variety of topics including MyPlate, diabetes, and cholesterol.

Take a look!

chart1

chart2

myplatechart

Best of all, these charts are very portable and can be used without electricity. They are hands-on because clients can read them and flip them at their own pace.

After all, pictures and infographics speak a thousand words!

Speaking of MyPlate, here’s a free copy of one of our most popular MyPlate handouts, just in case you missed it!

holidaymyplate-nes

And here are a few more MyPlate resources that you might like!

 

Motivation Tip: Use a Reward Chart

Reward Chart Poster

One of the most popular tools in my nutrition educator’s bag of tricks is a good reward chart. It helps with motivation, makes it easier to celebrate important milestones, and adds a sense of fun to a new endeavor.

That’s why I created the Reward Chart poster. I wanted a resource that would help people focus on important health goals, and it has been flying off the shelves since its introduction to the store.

Today, because I love ya, I’m giving away the handout that comes with this poster, for free.

Yes, you read that right!

In order to further boost motivation, the Reward Chart poster comes with a simple handout about selecting rewards and the evaluating the impact of healthful choices. I’ve copied that information below and slipped in a free downloadable PDF of the handout too…

Choosing Rewards:

When it comes to choosing rewards for your achievements, it’s important to choose options that will encourage your efforts. Skip food or drink rewards. Instead, try one of these options…

  • High FiveHand weights
  • Resistance bands
  • Yoga mat
  • Swim goggles
  • Running shoes
  • Movie passes
  • New cooking equipment
  • Sharp knife
  • Colorful cutting board
  • Nonstick skillets
  • Fresh herbs
  • New spices
  • New workout clothes
  • iPod or other digital music device
  • A deposit in a savings account for a vacation
  • A trip to a museum or art exhibit

The Benefits of Your Decision:

There are tons of benefits to good health.

A balanced diet and exercise plan will reduce your risk of…

  • Family JogDiabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Certain cancers
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity

At the same time, making healthful diet and exercise choices will provide the following benefits…

  • Increased stamina
  • Better sleep
  • Improved mood
  • Increased flexibility
  • Stronger bones
  • Higher energy levels

Congratulations on starting down the road to good health.

You can do it!

And, as promised, here is the PDF handout that’s (usually) only available to people who already bought the Reward Chart poster. I hope you like it!

Reward Chart Handout

Last but not least, we have some other great resources in the Nutrition Education Store — they’re sure to give your clients a motivation boost!

Save Calories with 7 Simple Steps Poster

Reward Chart Sheet

Poster: How Much to Work it Off?

Sneak Peek: Weight Management PowerPoint Show

It’s time for an exclusive look at of the most popular new presentations in the Nutrition Education Store. The Just Lose 10% PowerPoint presentation covers ways to live a healthful lifestyle while successfully managing your weight. Emphasizing the latest health and nutrition research, this life-changing presentation has been a hit for many dietitians and other health educators.

Today this blog will feature 2 of the sections in this show, just for you, for free. The full rundown includes…

  • Assess Your Weight
  • Set Your Goal
  • Benefits of 10% Loss
  • Weight Control 101

This post features the Set Your Goal and Benefits of 10% Loss sections. Are you ready for this?

Why Choose 10%

Speaker’s Notes: Okay, first things first. Why choose 10%? Why is this the goal of the show? Well, the answer is twofold. One, if you’re overweight or obese, losing only 5-7% of your current body weight can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. And two, losing 10% of your body weight can decrease your heart disease risk. Both of these are key for a long and healthy life. Improve your health with a little weight management!

The First Attainable Goal

Speaker’s Notes: Another reason to set “lose 10% of your body weight” as a weight management goal is that successful weight loss requires a sustained effort over time. Quick fixes are often hard to keep up and make it easy to backslide into less healthful habits. That’s why setting a goal is so important – it gives you something to strive for. And losing 10% of your body weight is attainable and will make a significant difference to your health.

Benefits of Weight Management

Speaker’s Notes: Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of managing your weight well.

What's In It for You?

Speaker’s Notes: So, what’s in it for you? Why is it so important to reduce your weight if you’re overweight or obese? The short answer is that it’s key for your health. When you get your weight into a healthy zone, you reduce your risk of heart diseases like hypertension or even a heart attack. You also reduce your risk of stroke, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes. This in turn means that you are more likely to live longer, while being less likely to have to take medications to combat these chronic conditions. Getting to skip those medications further improves your quality of life.

Even More Health Benefits

Speaker’s Notes: These are all benefits that accompany a healthful lifestyle and gradual weight loss. When you adopt a healthful lifestyle in your quest to manage your weight, you are more likely to sleep better, have more stamina, have more energy, improve your flexibility, and find it easier to do the things you love.

Do you like what you see? There’s a lot more in the show — over 35 slides of the latest research about weight management, health, and wellness. Check out the full presentation!

And here’s a PDF copy of the slides we featured today…

Just Lose 10%

 

Remember, we’re here to help you look your very best, right now. Don’t miss these other great weight management resources…

12 Lessons of Wellness and Weight Loss

Weight Control Poster Value Set

PowerPoint: Exercise to Lose and Control Weight