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Artificial Sweeteners - The Pros & Cons Of Them!

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If you like your food sweet, but worry about calories at the same time, chances are you are leaning towards artificial sweeteners to solve your dilemma. The market is flooded with artificial sweeteners, so how do you choose one? And what are their pros and cons?

Besides weight control, artificial sweeteners are also used by people suffering from diabetes. But there is a debate as to how safe artificial sweeteners are, for normal people and diabetics alike.

You get multiple choices from aspartame to sucralose, present in stores. However, it is better to be educated about their benefits and disadvantages.

The pros and cons of most popular sweeteners are as follows:

1. Saccharin: This sugar substitute has been in the market for the longest.

Pros:
a) It has zero calories
b) It does not elevate the levels of blood sugar
c) 200-700 times sweeter than normal sugar

Cons:
a) It is a possible carcinogen (substances that cause cancer)
b) There is also the danger of saccharin acting as an allergen (substance that cause allergy)

2. Aspartame: It is the most commonly used sugar substitute. Almost all the food items that boast of being sugar-free have aspartame in them.

Pros:
a) 160-220 times sweeter than common sugar
b) A small amount goes a long way, so calorie intake is lesser

Cons:
a) Headaches, depression and cancer have been linked to aspartame use
b) Increased hunger

3. Sucralose: This sugar substitute is derived from sugar itself. It is gradually becoming the most popularly used sweetener as it is found in almost all cooked or baked foods.

Pros:
a) It is heat resistant, so it is used liberally in cooking and baking
b) It has very few calories

Cons:
a) Weight gain is still possible
b) It has chlorine in it, which is a carcinogen

4. Neotame: This is a new invention and is chemically related to aspartame.

Pros:
a) 7000 -13000 times sweeter than common sugar with zero calories
b) Apparently, it is safe for consumption for teens, children and even for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Cons:
a) There isn't enough research done on Neotame, therefore very little is known about it
b) Since its chemical composition is closer to aspartame, there is much controversy about "neotame" affecting people the same way as aspartame.

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How to Protect Yourself Against Diabetes?

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We were talking about pre-diabetes and in this video we are going to talk about reversal of pre-diabetes. And how Dr. Monga Medi Clinic is helping people in reversing pre-diabetes stage. So, my question to you Dr. Yuvraj Monga would be how do we help people manage pre-diabetes stage? Our focus on diabetes has been there since years. And recently we have started program on pre-diabetes reversal. So, we believe that if we catch the patient early before it becomes or develop diabetes, is focused to reverse the pre-diabetes stage which is easy and more meaningful and decreases the long term morbidity of diabetes, complications of diabetes and cost and time and lifestyle quality is improved.

So, it’s a initiative which will help many many patients. As I said 10% of in India polputaion is pre-diabetics. So, prevention is better than cure. We all know that. So, this is what we are trying to achieve. Prevent patients of pre-diabetes to become diabetic. So, what we are doing is, we meet patients who are coming attendance, relatives of the patients or sometimes we are doing routine check-ups to find blood sugar or fasting level are higher towards under 10, under 16 and 20. And HbA1c is around 6, 6.2, 6.3. So, we counsel those patients to tell and that you are becoming diabetics. Your blood sugar is more than 100/26, fasting after 10 hours and HbA1c is more than 6/4. And you will become diabetic. So, we tell them that this is the stage where you are prone to become diabetic. Please put effort on you and we’ll help you.

So, we put them on the 90 days program. There we take the detailed history, their lifestyle history, their daily recall of the lifestyle. No. 2: we tell them the dietary modifications required. So, a dietitian is allocated to them. So, we plan their 7 visits on 0 day, 7 day, 15 day, 30th day, 45th day, 60the day and 90th day. So, 90 days food a lot is maintained. So we maintain their food habits. So, we tease them to reduce carbohydrates. We ask them to stop junk and maida and oily food like breads, biscuits, momos and you know butter naans, bhaturas, idaly, sambar or parathas, and reduce the carbohydrate by 70% and increase protein intake by 200%-300%. Increase protein by 300% or 3 times like increase eggs, curd, yoghurt, daal, chicken breast.

So, focus is on their food habits and monitoring sugar. At least once in 10 days, or 1 to 2 weeks. So, bring down sugar less than 10/100. And doing their HbA1c after 90 days and also focusing on lifestyle. We request them to sleep early. Waking up till 11 PM, 1 AM or 2 AM or sleep before 10:30. And thirdly, most important focus is exercise. Ask them to walk 45-60 mins per day. So, if their food habits are improved, their exercises are improved, thirdly, if their food are maintained and they are exercising, they will improve. Their sugar levels will come down. And if require we add some ayurvedic drugs. Like chadrmabhatti, madhunashtanibhatti, madhurakshak powder. So, in 90 days, we bring down their sugar levels by 122 less than 900. Target is 90 blood sugar level.

As you see less than 5.7. So, if we achieve that we are saving them from becoming diabetics. It’s a huge reduction of disease burden in the country. And we hope that the government bodies, schools, institutes and othe medical institutes focus on this. So, we can decrease the diabetic load from the country. Thank you so much. Thank you so much Dr. Yuvraj. So, we have seen that pre-diabetes can be a wake up call for you. So, get your test done ad if you think that, if the test tell that you are going to be a diabetics soon, take measure steps and come to Dr. Monga Clinic where we have patients who have reversed their pre-diabetics stage.

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Ignoring Sugar Completely - This Is What Will Happen To Your Body!

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It is a known fact that the human body requires natural sugar for it to have energy and benefit the body but, when examined, It was found that we consume more of refined sugar. Foods that we buy from markets or shops outside contains large quantities of this refined component but once we know what happens to our body and choose to stop eating sugar completely, those mouth-watering savories will no longer allure us.

Read on to know what happens to your body when you ignore sugar completely-

Glow with the healthy glossy skin: Those pastry donuts and sweets will tempt you for sure, but once you cut them of blatantly, you are bound to notice a vibrant glow on your skin. This is because sugar tends to disrupt the elastin content and intervenes with collagen buildup.

High on energy: Excess sugar consumption tends to make you feel fatigued and sluggish. So ignoring it can give you the power you deserve. Also, it does reduce your chances of having diabetes to almost half.

Vibrant Mood: It might seem paradoxical, but it is true. Having chocolates or sweets can make us feel happy, but the feeling is temporary. On the longer and more permanent page, once you overcome the craving phase you will notice a change in your mood. Excess sugar intake can cause a short circuit in the brain giving rise to anxiety disorders and even schizophrenia. Sugar inhibits the secretion of dopamine transporter as well.

More Active: Sugar has a relation with joint pain. It tends to increase inflammation and joint pain making the autoimmune disorder even worse. The more sugar content there is in your body, the more will be insulin levels. This increased insulin is the key cause of pain and inflammation. Stopping sugar completely will get you rid of this completely. You feel much more active and healthy.

Quality Sleep: If you cut down sugar intake you can have a better sleep. This is because cutting of sugar has link-ups to getting relief from insomnia.

Balanced weight: When you cut down sugar intake, you consume a lot less calorie thus making your system free of harmful substances and toxins. Sugary foods contain carbohydrates and fat contents that make your body obese and tired. Removing sugar will help you gain a balanced weight and make you fat-free which in its course is a relief as you shun of majority risks of having ailments related to weight issues.

Quitting sugar completely can be a real-time pain as it is almost a primeval addiction more like smoking but once it is shunned of you can experience and feel the bliss that you will be going through. Make your life healthy!

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Eating Out- What Can Make You Healthy?

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Eating out and eating healthy usually do not go hand in hand. You would be more likely to gorge on junk food instead of its healthier counterparts while eating out with your family. When it comes to eating out, you may not always know about the healthy items available at your disposal; this very fact pushes you more towards the unhealthier variants.

But hey! We’ve got ways to stop you getting swept off by that hungry tide churning in your belly. Below mentioned are just a few tips that could come in handy, if you decide to finally drop by that uber cool restaurant you were planning to go to!

Read the menu carefully: Go through the menu carefully before ordering your food. Look for dishes that are less oily and do not contain hidden sugars. If you are not sure about the calorific content of the dish, you could ask the person in charge about it. Or, go for options that you already are aware of; both the food and its supposed calorie content.

Eat a healthy snack before your meal: To reduce your portion size of the main course, you can eat a healthy snack to act as filler. Opt for healthy snacks such as chickpeas or a handful of almonds before eating out; it can make you eat less during the main course.

Drink water right before the meal: Drinking a glass or two of water right before the meal serves as a technique widely used by diligent weight watchers. Water contains no calories and acts as an internal cleanser for your body.

Skip the dessert: The dessert is one portion of the meal that is filled with empty calories. In this country, the dessert occupies a generous space in every foodie’s list and belly. However, remember that it is often the dessert that is responsible for the saggy abdominal fat you hate to look at. If you don’t want to skip the dessert, readily go for simpler alternatives like the humble plain curd topped with slices of fresh fruits or the ever gratifying Greek yogurt. Sweet indulgence at its healthiest best!

Say vinegar: Might not sound very intelligent, but then try mixing a teaspoon of vinegar to a glass of water and then drink it. Vinegar is known to have properties that reduce your cravings. It also lowers the blood sugar levels in the body. Surprised, you will be.

Control your portion sizes: The buffet spread could just be your undoing at the dinner table. Don’t get overboard looking at the variety and try to keep a check on the portion sizes. Keep the portions small and avoid taking any extra helping. If the hunger pangs do not subside, go for salads. Don’t get bored already. Salads can come in a delicious platter and amaze you with its health benefits. The Russian salad can never go wrong.

Avoid carbonated drinks: Carbonated beverages should not be brewing in your head if you are a weight watcher. Cold drinks and other carbonated beverages contain empty calories that should be absolutely got over with; irrespective of how health conscious you are.

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Gestational diabetes is an early sign of Type 2 diabetes risk

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Gestational diabetes arises in certain women who cannot overcome the insulin resistance that develops during pregnancy. In most cases, the condition goes away after the baby is delivered. However, women who have gestational diabetes have increased risks of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

It’s important to note that gestational diabetes is not actually the cause of that long-term increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. In fact, it’s the other way around: the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes was there all along, even before pregnancy, and is the cause of the gestational diabetes.

“Gestational diabetes appears to be an early symptom of an abnormal ability to secrete insulin,” explains Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, director of the Centre for Integrated Diabetes Care at Women’s College Hospital (WCH). “It’s an early sign of a disorder that can eventually lead to Type 2 diabetes.”

Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, regulates blood sugar levels. Abnormal insulin secretion can lead to high blood sugar, which is the main characteristic of diabetes.

Treatment for gestational diabetes protects the baby from the effects of high blood sugar and from the increased insulin production required to control it. Because insulin is a growth factor, women with gestational diabetes may have large babies, which increases the risk of delivery complications. The increased need for insulin can also stress the baby’s pancreas before birth.

“There is evidence emerging that if they are exposed to high blood sugars in pregnancy, the baby’s pancreas has to work harder and that can lead to a potential increased risk of diabetes and insulin secretory defects in the baby,” Dr. Lipscombe explains. “That’s the other concern: that over the years it predisposes the baby to a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, so it’s a vicious cycle.”

Early warning

Gestational diabetes is treated in pregnancy to try to avoid or minimize the short- and long-term risks to the baby. For mothers, it can provide an early warning of their own health risks.

“Women get gestational diabetes because they have risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, but it hasn’t developed yet,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “As they get older, especially if they gain weight or if they have an unhealthy diet, or they have other factors that play into the increased challenge to the pancreas, then eventually the pancreas has to work harder, and eventually it fails to the point where they get Type 2 diabetes.”

While it may increase the baby’s future diabetes risk, research indicates that gestational diabetes does not add to a woman’s pre-existing risk of Type 2 diabetes.

“A number of studies have compared women who do and do not get pregnant, who have similar risk profiles,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “One group will get gestational diabetes in pregnancy and the other group won’t get it because they never got pregnant. And it appears that the pregnancy does not increase the risk further. So the gestational diabetes does not make them progress to Type 2 diabetes more rapidly.”

Although the lifetime risk of Type 2 diabetes for women with gestational diabetes may be as high as 50 per cent, it is not a certainty. Research suggests that lifestyle can play an important role in managing those risks for women who have had gestational diabetes.

Research using data from the Nurses’ Health Study II looked at the long-term health of study participants with a history of gestational diabetes.

“For the women who remained more active and kept their weight healthy, their risk of diabetes was much lower despite the gestational diabetes,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “So we know that by keeping to a healthy weight and staying physically active you can reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes even if you had gestational diabetes. It’s not a fait accompli – you can do something about it.”

Encouraging healthy changes

That’s one of the reasons Dr. Lipscombe and her colleagues at the Women’s College Hospital Research Institute are studying a preventive program. Now in its pilot phase, it is designed to support new mothers who have had gestational diabetes to make healthy lifestyle changes. The home-based program is adapted from WCH’s highly successful Women’s Cardiovascular Health Initiative program. It includes telephone counselling and a personal health coach to help women build healthier habits to reduce their long-term risk of Type 2 diabetes.

“It’s not easy to engage new mothers to change their behaviour when they’ve just had a baby,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “We’ve trained the coaches to be sensitive to the fact that these women are in a very demanding period of their life, but it is a time when bad habits do form because of those challenges.”

There is no data from the trial yet, but it has completed recruitment. Dr. Lipscombe reports that they have received positive feedback from participants: 98 per cent would recommend the program to other mothers with gestational diabetes, and 96 per cent described their own experience in the study as good, very good or excellent.

“We’ve had over 70 women who have come back for their final assessment and many have really made positive changes and were starting to see positive results,” she says. “It’s our hope that they will sustain that long-term.”

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