Madeline R. Vann, MPHBy Madeline R. Vann, MPH
Reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD
Is the aroma of a sizzling steak too good to resist? If you’re smart about how you choose red meat, it can have a place among other healthy protein sources in your diabetes diet.
Having diabetes means making some specific dietary changes, but you don’t have to give up all of your favourite foods. You just need to make better choices. If you’re a meat lover, knowing how to select quality red meat and avoiding processed types, like certain cold cuts, is key.
Cutting back on red meat and processed meats is beneficial even if you don’t have diabetes because it’s a heart-healthy strategy for any diet. And cutting back when you do have diabetes is even more important because all the fat and salt that comes along with processed meat can make diabetes control more difficult. On the other hand, your diabetes diet should include healthy protein, and the right lean red meat can fit the bill, but within limits.
When researchers in Japan looked at the dietary habits and diabetes risk of 27,425 men and 36,424 women between 45 and 75 years old, they found that for men, but not women, red meat or processed meat consumption correlated with diabetes risk. The more of those meats the men ate, the greater their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the authors concluded. A large study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found similar results in a large group of U.S. adults, although without a gender split.
And when yet another team of researchers reviewed studies on this link, they found similar results across the board. The conclusion? Eating a lot of red meat and processed meat appears to increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. According to these findings published in Current Atherosclerosis Reports, processed meat in particular, with its high levels of sodium and additives, poses a serious health risk.
There’s no clear-cut guideline for how much red meat is safe to eat when you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, says researcher Lu Qi, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Dr Qi’s research focuses on the interaction between the environment, which includes food choices, and diabetes risk. “My suggestion is to reduce intake of red meat as much as possible, and make the switch to white meat, such as chicken, poultry, fish, and other seafood,” he says.
To include red meat in a healthy diabetes diet, you have to be strategic — that means small portions and only occasionally. “You want to eat no more than 18 ounces of cooked red meat a week,” advises registered dietitian Meredith Nguyen, RD, of the Methodist Charlton Medical Center Diabetes Self-Management Program in Dallas. If you stick to serving sizes of approximately four ounces — about the size of a deck of cards or a bar of soap — that translates to between four and five servings of red meat per week.
Adopting that portion size will go a long way in bringing your red meat consumption within safe limits, says Ann Walker, RD, LD, a registered dietitian at the Cray Diabetes Self-Management Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. That’s because we’re used to average American serving sizes that are two or three times as large. Meat, even fatty steaks, won’t raise your blood sugar, but the extra calories of supersized portions can hamper weight loss, and being overweight makes diabetes harder to control.
Red Meat: What to Choose
Balance in the protein sources you choose is also key to diabetes diet success, Nguyen says.
“It’s not that you can never have your steak. But if you do have red meat, pick the leaner cuts to reduce the saturated fat you eat,” she advises.
The healthiest red meat choices are those with “round” or “loin” in their name — they’re the leanest. If you want ground beef, look for labelling that states 95 percent lean or leaner. And, of course, always trim any visible fat off of your beef.
If your budget allows, shop for grass-fed beef when possible. Animals raised this way often produce meat with a healthier fat profile, including more omega-3 fatty acids (a “good” type of fat for a healthy diet).
For sandwiches, it’s important to replace processed meats with meat you prepare at home, or to buy meat prepared fresh by a butcher. Thinly slice a roast or steak for a whole-wheat pita wrap or to top a fresh salad.
So go ahead and order that steak the next time you’re dining out. Just remember to box up half of it and focus on leaner protein sources at other meals.
It’s hard enough to get one or two servings each day, let alone seven!
So what are some ways to do it? And importantly, why do we need to eat that much? Fruits and vegetables are hugely important for staying healthy and they are a great source of essential nutrients the body needs.
They naturally contain fibre, antioxidants, fructose (naturally occurring fruit sugar) and various vitamins, minerals and trace elements. They also tend to be low in fat.
Fruit naturally contains sugar, called fructose, but this shouldn’t be a reason not to eat it. Fruit contains many other great nutrients and the benefit of these outweighs the sugar quantity you’ll get from eating a piece of fruit. But do watch your intake; try to make up your daily requirement with 2-3 servings of fruit and 4-5 of vegetables.
So head down to your local farmers’ market, fruit and veg store or supermarket and stock up on healthy, tasty and nutritious fruits and vegetables. Need additional information? Herbalife is a leader in the health and wellness industry, and your Herbalife Independent Distributor can help you discover the best products for your nutritional requirements.
Your Herbalife Independent Distributor
Posted by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA – Senior Director, Worldwide Sports Performance & Fitness
Wave goodbye to flabby arms.
Do you know what a ‘bingo wing’ is? What about a ‘flabby flapper’? If you don’t know about these terms for flabby arms, then you probably don’t have an area of loose musculature at the top of your arms. Plenty of people do, however, and it can be a major confidence drain.
This week I’ll work through how you can regain upper arms to make you proud instead of having ‘chicken wings,’ ‘whale flippers’ or ‘granny second waves.’
Both men and women can have a tendency to store fat on their upper arms, and if that applies to you then don’t worry—we can tackle the issue with some key exercises. You may also feel that you have flabby arms if you’ve lost weight and have excess skin in this area. But again, don’t worry—my advice addresses this as well. Together, we will wave goodbye to arm jiggle and show off our toned and defined biceps and triceps.
Although you can’t command your body to lose fat from a specific area, a variety of weighted toning exercises can help you improve your muscle mass. I recommend combining bursts of general fat burning cardiovascular activity with upper arm focused strength exercises, and you will be showing off your newly sculpted guns and saying goodbye to unsightly bingo wings in no time at all.
It’s easy to add in some upper body exercises throughout the day at home or at work. You don’t even need to use heavy weights—a simple full water bottle or cans from the pantry can be a good starting point. In the workplace, you can try using paperweights or a ream of photocopy paper.
You might also want to consider investing in small sandbags, as these can be great tools to help you start toning up. I can also recommend resistance bands, as these stretchy ribbons are a light weight solution for adding resistance workouts to your day. They are inexpensive and light weight. so you can take one almost anywhere. Although it’s a different feeling than weights, the resistance created is just as effective for toning your body.
Building strong biceps, triceps and shoulders will give you muscle definition and rid you of an arm that continues to move long after you stopped waving.
Try focusing on movements that mimic everyday tasks. Sculpting your arms can be as simple as placing books on a shelf! Try to do exercises that are consistent with your body’s needs. If your job requires you to lift objects throughout the day, then getting strong through stretching and exercise can make your day easier. Excessive direct overhead movements are often not necessary and can cause stress on your shoulder joints, so keep your movements in front of you.
There are several benefits of gaining additional muscle mass. The most exciting being that your body will naturally burn extra calories all day long in order to sustain your new muscle. You will also find that the additional strength you will gain from lifting weights can help you with your day-to-day tasks, and weight-bearing exercise has been linked to considerable improvement in bone density. Resistance training is recommended by ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), as it is especially beneficial for an ageing population.
Dedicating a small amount of time each day to upper body resistance training, and avoiding the trap of spending hours a day in the gym, can help you reap the benefits without the severe muscle soreness that over exercising a specific body part can give you.
Try to dedicate 10 minutes a day to an arm exercise routine, and remember to stretch both before and after you exercise to avoid injury and tight muscles. It’s amazing how quickly your body can respond to resistance training.
There are many effective exercises that focus on the upper arm. Try a combination of bicep curls, bent over rows, tricep kickbacks, shoulder presses and plank holds.
The tricep kickback is one of my favourites, as it focuses on the back of your arms, and the tricep can be overlooked in favour of the much more famous bicep.
Samantha Clayton tricep kickback, Discover Good Fitness from Herbalife – Choose some weights that are suitable for your fitness level and hold one in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and hinge your back forward slightly so that you are looking at the floor in front of you and your back is at a 45-degree angle. – Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle, so that your hands are in front of you, and keep your arms tightly tucked into your sides.
Samantha Clayton tricep kick back, Discover Good Fitness from Herbalife
– Extend your arms back behind you and slowly straighten your arms. You will start to feel your triceps working as you lift the weight behind you. Hold the lift for two seconds and return to your starting position and repeat. If you want to intensify the workout, turn your palms upward.
– Try to do 10 reps per arm, but stop if you feel uncomfortable.
You can do this exercise with both arms at the same time, or you can do it first with one arm and then the other. If you prefer to work one arm at a time, be sure to place your dumbbell free hand on your thigh and use a staggered stance to help keep your back in a neutral position.
*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
There are so many health benefits to be gained from a balanced combination of diet and exercise. I believe that taking a little time each day to focus on yourself is never a bad thing, and with a consistent approach, you’ll soon be waving goodbye to sagging arms with an arm wave that stops when you stop.
CAN YOUR EMOTIONS AFFECT YOUR WEIGHT?
How to Stop Stress Eating Right Now
Stress eating doesn’t usually take away stress, and if it’s done too often, it can also add pounds. Here are some tips to beat this habit.
Emotional Eating: It Happens.
Emotional eating happens to many of us from time to time. Maybe you’ve cheered yourself up with a bowl of ice cream after an unusually tough day, or sneaked a few French fries from your best friend’s plate while recapping a disastrous date. But when emotional eating gets out of hand—when eating is the first and most common response to negative thoughts and feelings—it’s time to get a grip.
What is stress eating?
Stress eating, or emotional eating, is when you eat in order to escape whatever bad feelings you’re experiencing, in the hope that food will make you feel better. Sometimes it’s a conscious decision, but more often it’s just a mindless response to a vague, negative emotion. You may not know what’s bothering you, but you’re pretty sure that food is the one thing that will cure whatever ails you.
Is it emotional or physical hunger?
There are few tell-tale signs that can help you distinguish emotional hunger/stress eating from true, physical hunger.
• Emotional stress eating usually comes on suddenly. You start feeling stressed or tense, and wham! You’re craving nachos. On the other hand, physical hunger tends to come on gradually. You’re starting to feel hungry but you can wait to eat, which gives you some time to choose wisely and satisfy that hunger with something that’s good for you.
• Stress eating usually causes a craving for a food that’s sugary, fatty and high calorie—and often very specific (not simply “chocolate,” but “a slice of triple layer fudge cake from Fred’s Diner on 6th Street”). But when you’re physically hungry, food in general sounds good to you. You’re willing to consider several options that will satisfy your physical hunger, which means you’re more likely to make a better choice.
• Once your physical hunger is satisfied and your stomach is comfortably full, it’s a signal that you’ve had enough and you tend to stop eating. But when emotions are the driver, it’s easy to ignore what your stomach is telling you—and you wind up eating way too much while attempting to make yourself feel better.
• Stress eating might lift your mood momentarily – then, just as quickly, shame and guilt often move in. On the other hand, when you finish a meal that’s satisfied your physical hunger, you don’t usually feel guilty afterwards for having eaten.
Tips for dealing with stress eating behaviors
• Keep a food journal. A food journal can really help you see what triggers your stress eating. Whenever you feel the need to eat, make a note of how hungry you are on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = I’m faint with hunger; 10 = I’m so stuffed I have to loosen my clothing). Then write down how you’re feeling at the moment.
• Own up to your feelings. You know that emotions are the trigger for your stress eating, so why not acknowledge them? It’s okay to be mad or lonely or bored sometimes. The feelings may be unpleasant but they’re not dangerous, and you don’t always need to ‘fix’ them.
• Work on your coping skills. Every time you eat in response to stress, it’s just a reminder that you can’t cope with your emotions. When stress strikes, try asking yourself, “What’s the worst thing that will happen if I don’t eat?” Yes, your stress level might rise a bit, but the feeling will pass. Practice tolerating your emotions, or finding other ways to deal with your stress.
• Find alternatives to eating. Take a few moments to reflect on your feelings and think of ways you can solve your problem. Make a list of things you can do instead of eating, like walking, listening to music or meditating.
• Unlearn your bad habits. Emotional eaters continually reinforce the idea that the best way to treat negative emotions is with food. And like other bad habits, stress eating happens before you’ve even had a chance to think about it. So, you need to “un-learn” your bad habits and practice doing something other than eating when a bad day strikes.
• Wait it out. Stress eaters often are afraid that if they don’t satisfy the urge to eat, the craving will just get worse. But when they practice delaying tactics, they’re often surprised that the urge simply passes. Rather than immediately giving in to your urges, promise yourself you’ll wait a few minutes and let the craving pass.
Be kind to yourself, and give yourself time to work on your stress eating. If you find that these tactics aren’t working for you, ask your health care provider if counseling or group support might be helpful for you.
Whatsapp me on 07858630707
Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., F.A.N.D. – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.