New Study Spotlights Need for Diabetes Education

shutterstock_196238198According to an eye-opening study published this month in The Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly half of all adults in the United States had diabetes or prediabetes in 2011 and 2012, most of whom were at or over the age of 65. Further, more than a third of people with diabetes were undiagnosed.

Findings were based on data compiled from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1988-1994 and 1999-2012. According to the study authors, the increase in diabetes cases parallels the growing obesity problem in America over the last few decades and spotlights the need for improvements in diabetes education.

By helping people recognize and understand the symptoms and health risks of diabetes, experts hope to more effectively target those in need of help as well as improve treatment and prevention efforts. Because diabetes is so closely linked to diet and lifestyle, among the most important recommendations are following a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise.

Diabetes is the name given to a group of metabolic disorders characterized by chronic high blood sugar (glucose) levels and resulting from abnormal insulin production in the body. People with diabetes have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, nerve damage, impaired vision, kidney problems, hearing loss, skin problems, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Each year more than 70,000 Americans die because of complications associated with diabetes.


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Pistachios: All These Benefits in Just a Handful!

shutterstock_286575701Searching for a smart snack idea you can feel good about? A recent report published in the British Journal of Nutrition points out several reasons to add pistachios to your shopping list the next time you head to the market. In fact, this cousin to the cashew packs a pretty nutritious punch when added to a balanced diet.

After looking at more than 100 different studies focusing on the health benefits of nuts, researchers determined that pistachios stand out for several reasons. For starters, they have some of the highest levels of phytosterols—plant nutrients linked to cardiovascular health. Phytosterols work in the body to promote healthy cholesterol levels and help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Researchers also determined that pistachios support healthy weight management. The high fiber and protein content in a standard serving (about an ounce of nuts) promotes satiety and helps ward off hunger throughout the day, and people who eat pistachios regularly tend to consume fewer calories overall.

Need a few more reasons to pop pistachios? The nuts are loaded with vitamins and minerals, rich in health-promoting antioxidants, and they even play a role in supporting eye health thanks to their high levels of beneficial plant compounds called carotenoids, which support healthy vision as we age. How’s that for nut-ritious addition to your diet?


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