More Diabetes: Increased Cancer Risk

With two-thirds of US residents now overweight or obese, it’s no surprise that the incidence of type 2 diabetes has also increased over the decades. A government report released last week shows how sharply the increase has occurred: diabetes cases increased in every state, with six states having 10 percent or more of its residents facing this disease.

The report was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The increased incidence does not bode well. Type 2 diabetes brings with it numerous health complications. It also brings increased cancer risk.

The greatest increases in risk linked to type 2 diabetes are for cancers of the liver, endometrium, pancreas and bladder and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Liver cancer is 250 percent and pancreatic is almost 75 percent higher. There’s a smaller increase in risk for colon and breast cancers. Continue reading

Can Green Tea Help Lower Blood Sugar? New Study

Lab research has linked green tea and its compounds to many potential health benefits, including preventing cancer and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is a risk factor for diabetes, and having diabetes also increases your chances of getting cancer.

A new animal study now suggests that a compound found in green tea may reduce the spike in blood sugar that occurs after eating starchy foods.

The study was published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

In the study, mice were placed on a corn starch diet to mimic what happens when humans eat starchy foods. The mice were then fed an antioxidant found in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). The researchers found that, in mice given EGCG, the blood sugar spike that typically occurs after eating was significantly reduced (about 50% lower) compared to mice that were not fed the antioxidant. Continue reading

3 Tips for More Fiber on Your Restaurant Plate

Eating meals at home, compared to restaurants and fast food establishments, means more fiber in our diets, according to a recent report from the USDA based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Per 1000 calories, we get about 1.5 grams more fiber from home meals than from restaurant meals.

Americans consume on average 15 grams of fiber per day, less than the recommended 25-30 grams per day. If Americans would eat more fiber, there would be fewer cases of colorectal cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Fiber rich foods include vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes.

Eating meals at home only gets us to about 16 grams and eating fast food gets Americans only to 12 grams, so there’s room for improvement overall. Here are three strategies you can use to increase fiber while eating out and you can also them in your kitchen.

  1. Think vegetables and fruit first. When you look at the menu, look for the appetizers, entrees and sides that will include a substantial serving of vegetables and/or fruit. Salads and soups can be one way to add veggies or if sandwiches come with fries or chips, ask for a side salad, fruit or other vegetable instead.
  2. Go for the whole grain. Always ask for the whole wheat bread or wrap (not just “wheat”), corn tortilla  or brown rice. Oatmeal is the hot new item for breakfast – that is a perfect way to add a few grams of fiber early in the day.
  3. Choose Beans – small but mighty in fiber. Look for bean or lentil soups, salads with beans, bean burritos or sides like baked beans or black-eyed peas. You can ask for them to be added to veggie soups or to salads. Again – sub them for fries or chips as sides.

Any one of those strategies can mean a difference of 2-3 grams of fiber for your meal. If you can do that at each of your meals – whether home or away – that 6-9 extra grams of fiber per day may just get you to the recommended amount!

Read more on how to get more fiber in your diet.

How do you try to get more fiber in your restaurant meals?