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Diabetes-What to Eat & What to Avoid

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jul 11, 2014 2:39:00 PM

Diabetes, diabetic, heart disease

 

Eating healthy isn’t just about eating the right foods it is also about avoiding foods that spike your blood sugar and increase your diabetes complications.  When you have diabetes, food choices matter a lot and some are better than others.  The best foods are most often whole foods that are not processed, such as fruits and vegetables.  To help you make the right choice, here is a list of best and worst foods for keeping diabetes under control:

 

 

Avoid or Limit the Following Foods:

  • High Fat Protein-eat lean cuts of fish or meat without the skin and by removing the fat.
  • Processed and prepackaged snacks-avoid chips, pretzels, crackers, cookies and donuts due to the Trans fats.
  • Fruit juice-fruit juice has a high concentration of fruit sugar.
  • Dried fruit-dehydration causes natural sugars to become super concentrated.
  • White bread, rice and flour-these act similar to sugar when digested.
  • Full fat dairy-this includes milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt.  High fat foods worsen insulin resistance.
  • Processed sugar foods-soda, cookies, desserts made primarily of sugar all fall into this group.
  • Fried food-fried foods cause blood sugar and glucose levels to increase.
  • Alcohol-interferes with blood sugar levels.
  • Canned vegetables-large amounts of sodium affect the body’s ability to regulate other functions.
  • Canned fruit-many have added heavy sugar syrup.
  • Flavored coffees and energy drinks-be cautious of the high amount of sugar.

Be sure to follow a healthful meal plan filled with whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, as well as lean protein.  Here are some food items that are high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals that will help you improve your overall health.

Incorporate the Following Foods into your Meal Plan:

  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Fish
  • Avocados
  • Blueberries
  • Flaxseed
  • Kale
  • Nuts
  • Melons
  • Quinoa
  • Oatmeal
  • Raspberries
  • Red Peppers
  • Red Grapefruit
  • Spinach
  • Green & Black Tea
  • Tomatoes
  • Yogurt

Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthfully, becoming more physically active and losing a few extra pounds.  Making a few simple changes now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes down the road, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage. 

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services. Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care and attention to your loved one at home.

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  

Topics: diabetes management, Heart Disease, Diabetes

Chronic Pain - Foods That Fight Pain

Posted by Debby Franklin on Apr 26, 2013 3:35:00 PM

Chronic Pain, Can the food you eat help reduce and fight chronic pain? Some experts believe it's possible. Chronic pain affects over 116 million American adults which is over a third of the population.  For those who suffer with fibromyalgia or chronic pain, finding relief can be hard. Pain pills reduce the suffering but they address the symptoms and not the cause of the pain. Pain pills can be addictive and produce side effects. The key is to fill your diet with foods that can sustain health and prevent pain.  

Here are anti-inflammatory foods that may help you beat the pain.

  • Ginger - Ginger has been used for thousands of years for all types of ailments.  Ginger is a traditional stomach soother, helps with nausea, seasickness, offers relief from migraines, arthritis pain, and muscle aches.  Ginger has properties that are similar to ibuprofen.  
  • Cherries - Cherries block inflammation and inhibit pain enzymes just like aspirin.  Cherries can help with arthritis and muscle pain caused by exercise.
  • Sage - Sage has been shown to boost memory and help to reduce swelling.  It can also help a scratchy and irritated throat by sipping on a tea made from brewed sage leaves.
  • Turmeric - Turmeric has been know to help achy joints and colitis. Turmeric speeds up digestion and helps protect the body from tissue destruction and preserves good nerve cell function.
  • Leafy Greens - These are packed with chlorophyll and vitamin K which slows the body's production of pain-triggering hormones.  A study shows that older adults with ample levels of K were less likely to develop osteoarthritis.
  • Omega-3s - Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold water oily fish, flax seeds, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, avocados, and nuts.  These have been linked to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, relieve back pain, improve blood flow and decrease inflammation.  Omega-3s are also an excellent source of protein and antioxidants.  
  • Coffee - Coffee can provide relief from headaches and provide more antioxidants than a serving of berries.  
  • Green Tea - Green tea has been used for centuries for a variety of medicinal purposes.  It is an excellent source of polyphenols which may help to reduce free radicals which can cause inflammation.
  • Hot Peppers & Sauce - Hot peppers and sauce stimulate nerve endings and deplete a chemical that relays pain signals.  Hot peppers and sauce can boost your immune system and help you fight colds and the flu.  It also yields pain-fighting benefits that can provide relief for arthritis. 
  • Onions - This vegetable's rich store of sulfur is a mineral that plays a key role in the repair of damaged tissues.
  • Shrimp - An amino acid in shrimp dilates blood vessels which increases the flow of nutrient-rich blood to damaged tissues and helps the body flush  a pain-triggering waste product.
  • White Beans - The minerals in white beans help dial down the activity of pain nerves, reducing muscle and joint pain.  
  • Mint - The menthol is peppermint helps prevent muscle spasms. Peppermint oil effectively helps treat irritable bowel syndrome.  The oil is also useful for relieving headaches.  
Of course no fruit, vegetable, or herb by itself can alleviate and combat your chronic pain without undergoing a lifestyle change and diet pattern that will include healthy nutritious foods on a regular basis.  Fast food and junk food create ultimate long term health issues.  Start by taking slow steps; eliminate one bad food item per week from your diet by exchanging it with a healthy fresh, good for your food.  Cut back on eating out and make gradual steps to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.  As always with anything that pertains to your health and your individual needs, consult with your health care professional to determine what foods and diet are right for you.

Topics: Heart Disease, stroke, chronic disease, Chronic Pain, fibromyalgia

What Happens When You Need Open Heart Surgery?

Posted by Debby Franklin on Apr 25, 2013 3:11:00 PM

open heart surgery, heart attack, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic diseaseYou have just been told by your doctor that you need open heart surgery, what happens now? It may have started with nausea, arm pain or a tingle in the jaw, or a crushing chest pain that landed you in the emergency room.  It's even possible that it could be an EKG reading at the doctors office that alerts you to your heart problem.

As the leading cause of death for Americans, heart disease can show up in many ways.  Not every person who has heart disease will require open heart surgery, however your cardiologist may recommend it for you.  

Open heart surgery is used to correct various heart conditions that might otherwise kill you. The procedures to correct defective heart valves are; repair aneurysms, bypass arteries, implant stents and in most critical cases replace the heart with a new on.  

The diagnosis of open heart surgery can be terrifying and you may experience depression, stress, anxiety and anger.  If you need open heart surgery here are some things to expect and prepare for:

  • Before surgery you will undergo a preoperative interview and testing.
  • The anesthesiologist will visit with you to discuss the anesthesia process.
  • You will most likely meet with the cardiothoracis surgeon to discuss the plan and the risks.
During surgery, you are connected to cardiopulmonary bypass, or a heart-lung machine.  This machine keeps your blood circulating.  Your anesthesiologist starts an IV, puts you to sleep, places a breathing tube in and then monitors your heart's function by viewing images of your heart from inside your esophagus.  
After surgery you will awaken in the cardiovascular intensive care unit.  You will have tubes and wires attached to you and you will be heavily medicated.  Conversations with family members may not be remembered due to the anesthesia.  There will be tubes coming from your chest draining excess fluid from around the heart and lungs.  
As you progress in your recovery, you will begin preparing for discharge with walking goals, breathing tests and education provided by your health care team.  This is where much of the self motivated work begins to ensure a successful at-home recovery.  Recovery time is usually 6-12 weeks but it varies by each individual.  A good support team which include family and Home Care professionals are a critical part of the open heart surgery journey.  
Chances are good that you will need assistance once you are home.  In Home Care is a great option to consider when family and friends are not available to help, or to incorporate as back up and relief support to those who will be assisting you.  Here are some of the things you may need help with.
  • Getting in & out of the bed/chair
  • Ambulating
  • Bathing & dressing
  • Preparing meals
  • Opening jars, bottles, medicine
  • Putting on & tying shoes
  • Making trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, other errands & accompaniment to the doctor.
  • Toilet needs
  • Medication reminders
  • Light housekeeping
  • Passive exercises
  • Safety 
To get more information on caregiver and Home Care assistance after heart surgery call us today 770-442-8664 and click the link below for additional savings.
In Home Care For Seniors

Topics: Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, chronic disease, Heart Attack, open heart surgery

Stress & What To Do

Posted by Debby Franklin on Apr 2, 2013 1:22:00 PM

stress, healthier lifestyle, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokeStress is your body's response to change. Your body reacts by releasing a hormone that causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and causes your blood pressure to rise. The problems come when stress is constant, becoming chronic and your body remains in high gear for days or weeks at a time.  

77% of American adults regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, according to the American Psychological Association.  It's important to learn how to recognize how stress affects you so that you can learn what to do when you encounter stressful situations. The physical health effects of stress can be especially dangerous for your heart.  

Here are some warning signs that indicate you might have chronic stress:

  • You feel angry, afraid, anxious, depressed, moody, sad, helpless and out of control.
  • You have aches in your neck, jaw or head.
  • You get out of bed tired not feeling refreshed.
  • Your stomach aches.
  • You are experiencing weight gain or having difficulty losing weight.
  • You lack energy and feel sluggish throughout the day.
  • You are experiencing skin irritations.
Here are tips that can help lower stress:
  • Don't over commit by promising to do too many things.  Stop saying yes to everyone and say yes to "me time."
  • Laughter is great medicine and the key to a healthy life.  Do things that make you laugh out loud.
  • Keep learning new things.  It will not only help stress but will keep your mind sharp and alert.
  • Engage with family and friends - its great for the soul, mind and body.
  • Exercise and physical activity relieves mental and physical tension.
  • Do things that bring you pleasure; hobbies, books, movies, friends, shopping, music, hiking, enjoy nature.  
  • Meditation, prayer and deep breathing can be very calming.
  • Sleep!  If you are unable to have 8 hours of sleep per night work on ways to fall and stay asleep.  Make the bedroom comfortable and inviting.  Eliminate noise and light.  Exercise and physical activity will help you to relax and fall asleep more easily.
  • Organize your life.  Clean out a closet, kitchen cabinet, the junk drawer, under the bathroom sink.  Organization helps you feel more in control and feeling in control helps stress flee.
  • Stop pressuring yourself to do it all now.  Everything can always wait. Set reasonable goals that can be accomplished.
  • Give yourself positive self talks.  Telling yourself "you can" not only helps you stay more positive and focused, it also helps you to achieve what it is that you really want.
  • Give thanks and be grateful.  Show your appreciation to your friends and family for the joy they bring into your life.  Be kind to strangers, volunteer-help someone in need.
Remember that how you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being.  Each time you allow a negative thought about yourself, you body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation.  If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true.  Eliminate self-defeating thoughts and words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must." 
The simple realization that you are in control of your life is the basis for stress management.  Managing stress is all about taking charge of a situation:  your emotions, time, thoughts and how you react and deal with problems.  Start by identifying the source of stress in your life.  Look at how you currently cope with stress then incorporate the above steps to begin to lower the stress in your life.


Topics: Heart Disease, high blood pressure, stroke, healthier lifestyle, Stress

Exercise Tips for Healthy Aging

Posted by Debby Franklin on Mar 20, 2013 2:36:00 PM

senior exercise, healthy aging, chronic disease, heart disease, Alzheimer'sIf working out makes you cringe, it's time for a mental makeover.  Here are exercise tips for healthy aging and a how to guide on becoming more active and enjoying it.  We all know that exercise is the key to being healthy along with improving sleep, boosting mood and self-confidence, great for the brain, can even reverse some of the symptoms of aging and so much more!  But...for many, it is a challenge to commit to a regular routine or to even exercise at all.

It's time to consider physical activity a part of your lifestyle instead of a bothersome task to check off you "to do" list.  Keep in mind that mixing different types of exercise helps both reducing monotony and improvement in overall health.  The components of a balanced exercise program include:

  • Cardio increases your body's ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues and to remove waste over sustained periods of time.  Cardio gets your heart pumping and helps lessen fatigue.
  • Strength Training with repetitive motion using weights or resistance helps prevent bone mass, builds muscle and improves balance.
  • Stretching and Flexibility challenges the joint's ability to move freely and can be done through stationary or moving stretches. Stretching and flexibility exercises help the body to stay limber and mobil.
  • Balance improves posture and quality of walking and helps reduce the risk of falling.  Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates are great exercised to improve balance.
There are lots of ways to make exercise a pleasurable part of everyday life.  Just think about activities that you enjoy and how you can incorporate them int9 an exercise routine.
  • Work out to music that motivates you.  If you love music and like to dance, Jazzercise is a great fitness program that is lots of fun.  The program is designed for all fitness levels and incorporates cardio, strength, stretching and flexibility along with balance in every workout segment.
  • If you enjoy shopping, walk laps at the mall.
  • Join a team sport.  You become more dedicated when the team is counting on you to show up.
  • Take nature hikes or walks and take photos to share with family and friends or for scrap booking.
  • Buddy up!  Get a neighbor or friend to join a program or take classes with you.  
  • Stay inspired.  Read health magazines.  Watching sports, weight loss and healthy cooking shows can help remind you how great it feels to take care of your body.
  • Watch a favorite movie while using stationary equipment.
  • Take a walk through your neighborhood while incorporating stretching and strength training.
  • Always choose the stairs over the elevator and park at the far end of the parking lot on outings.
  • Do a set of wall push ups while waiting for the microwave to finish.
  • Sweep the sidewalk, deck and porch.
  • Rake leaves, shovel snow or work in the garden.
  • Lift weights and stretch while watching the news.
  • Do toe-raises while talking on the phone.
  • Each time you get up from a seated position do knee bends and lunges.
Exercise helps reduce the impact of illness and chronic disease.  It also helps improve immune function, better heart health and blood pressure, better bone density, and better digestive functioning.  People who exercise also have a lowered risk for Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis and colon cancer. And as we age exercise helps us maintain independence.
The most rewarding part of beginning a fitness routine is noticing the difference it makes in the rest of your life.  Even if you begin with just 15 to 20 minutes of heart-healthy exercise, you'll notice an improvement in how you feel as you go about your day.  The best part about working out is that it gives you energy for more activities.  When it becomes habit, you'll never want to give it up!

Topics: aging, Heart Disease, Alzheimers, chronic disease, Senior Exercise