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.

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.

This Week….Diabetic Medical Emergencies

Just hearing the word “emergency” strikes fear into most of us. The best thing you can do to offset this fear is educate yourself so you are well equipped to cope with emergencies. Dr. Steven Edelman welcomes Dr. Ian Blumer to discuss the most common diabetic emergencies. Learn how to handle these emergencies, as well […]

Just hearing the word “emergency” strikes fear into most of us. The best thing you can do to offset this fear is educate yourself so you are well equipped to cope with emergencies. Dr. Steven Edelman welcomes Dr. Ian Blumer to discuss the most common diabetic emergencies. Learn how to handle these emergencies, as well as avoid them, and how to better inform your caregivers of your needs as a diabetic.

Tune in for Taking Control of Your Diabetes: Diabetic Medical Emergencies. Or watch it online now!

Fit to Eat Tip – Resources

TCOYD’s resident nutrition expert Janice Baker has a helpful tip for eating smart and taking control of your diabetes – and your diet! Here are some of Janice’s favorite online resources for nutrition information and satisfying recipes: – Eatright.org – Allrecipes.com – Nutritiondata.com – American Diabetes Association Eat and live healthy, and make sure to […]

TCOYD’s resident nutrition expert Janice Baker has a helpful tip for eating smart and taking control of your diabetes – and your diet!

Here are some of Janice’s favorite online resources for nutrition information and satisfying recipes:

Eatright.org
Allrecipes.com
Nutritiondata.com
American Diabetes Association

Eat and live healthy, and make sure to watch the latest episode of TCOYD on UCSD-TV, “Diabetes and the Gastrointestinal Tract.” Or watch it online now!

Janice Baker MBA, RD, CDE, CNSC is a registered dietitian, certifieddiabetes educator, and certified nutrition support clinician. Visit her online at Baker Nutrition.

Get Your Move On Tip – Make Mornings Meaningful

The latest episode of TCOYD, Diabetes and the Gastrointestinal Tract, examined ways we manage GI issues at meal times. Your morning routine can impact how you feel throughout the day. Here’s TCOYD’s resident fitness expert Michelle Day with a tip to keep your diabetes in check and your body fit. Sun salutations are a great […]

The latest episode of TCOYD, Diabetes and the Gastrointestinal Tract, examined ways we manage GI issues at meal times. Your morning routine can impact how you feel throughout the day. Here’s TCOYD’s resident fitness expert Michelle Day with a tip to keep your diabetes in check and your body fit.

Sun salutations are a great way to start off your morning and get your system back on track. Learn the sequence of poses by going to YouTube and keyword, sun salutations. Namaste.

Get more tips from Michelle on the latest episode of Taking Control of Your Diabetes online now.