Prevent your kids from Diabetes

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Are you nervous about medical care and costs, especially for your children?  Type 2 Diabetes use to be common for adults, but now children are being diagnosed, because of the rapid increase of overweight kids.  To help reduce the risk of this disease, focus on the health of your children, especially with what they consume. If you neglect their nutritional health, you may be putting them more at risk than allowing them to be alone on the streets at night. To learn more about Kids health, click on the link.  For information on Diabetes, click on this link

There are three major types of diabetes and each one has different risk factors.  Although, this blog will focus only on Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes can occur at any age, but is found more common in children, teens, or young adults.  “This is largely due to obesity, which is also increasing in the United States. Type 2 diabetes is a disorder in which the body is not able to make enough insulin or to properly use insulin to turn the glucose in food into energy.” Learn more click here.

Part of the problem with diabetes can also be tied back to the nutrition children are being provided by their parents.  Do you ever wonder about the foods you give to your children?  You might be feeding them food that has a high glycemic index that’s spiking up their insulin, but you may not be aware of it.  Kids are not as fully developed as we are and their pancreas is still fresh and relatively tiny compared to ours.  Therefore, their bodies can’t handle as high of a consumption of these types of foods as we can.  Think of this analogy: you have a 24 oz bowl and your child has an 8oz bowl.  If you filled both bowls with 1 cup of sugar, who’s bowl has more space to accept the sugar?   Now think about that bowl as if it was your and your child’s pancreas.  Naturally, your child’s pancreas will be far more backed up and overworked versus yours.  The child’s body wouldn’t be able to handle such a heavy dose, which results in insulin shock.

We all know that kids love candy and sweets, but do you ever look at their consumption level?  Do you ever look at the contents of juices they’re drinking?  A great visual to use when evaluating sugar content and what constitutes too much is picturing 1g of sugar as one packet of sugar (similar to what you would put in your morning coffee).  So, for illustration purposes and example, 1 cup of orange juice is 21g of sugar.  Now, visualize 1 cup and sticking 21 packets of sugar in there.  Furthermore, think about what your kids might have in combination with the orange juice, say for breakfast.  Let’s say you make them 1 cup of fruit loop cereal, which contains 13g of sugar.  On top of that, you need to add about 1 cup of milk to the cereal, and skim milk contains 12g of sugar per cup.  So, adding it all up, your child would consume 46g of sugar for that meal alone, and that was just for breakfast.   We need to apply this way of thinking to look at the overall picture with their nutrition and food intake.  We need to be conscious of when they eat and how they eat.  Obviously, there’s so much to think about and to be aware of.

Here are some tips to help: We can’t completely take their childhood away for the same reason why we can’t take our enjoyment away when we indulge every now and then.  We just have to make smart decisions in general for their health and yours.  The best way to help your child is to set an example and routines by eating healthy around them.  Think of killing two birds with one stone in this case.  What you have in the house will help control both needs and wants for both of you.

What we need to focus on is eating low glycemic foods.  Eating the right amount will help control your blood sugar, which means controlling the craving.  Eating carbohydrates with high glycemic load will tend to make your blood sugar spike up, so we need to limit that tendency as well.

By now, you’re probably wondering what the glycemic index is? The glycemic index is a numerical index that ranks the carbohydrates based on the body’s glycemic response. It is a glucose conversion within the human body.  The scale is ranked 0 to 100.  The higher the number in foods, the more intense the blood sugar spikes.  Usually simple sugars, such as starchy foods like potatoes or white breads, are quickly digested and cause the blood sugar to spike.  When that happens, you’ll typically feel a quick energy boost and change in your mood because your blood sugar rises.  But, that boost is followed with an increase of fat storage, lethargy, and more hunger – a crash so to speak.  The main problem for the diabetics (Type 1 and Type 2) is their bodies are unable to secrete and process insulin, which leads the blood sugar to rise to extremely high levels and often leads to additional medical problems.

For reference, the following table shows the value of the Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL) for a few common foods. Foods with GI’s of 55 or below are considered low and those with 70 or above are considered high, while foods with GL’s of 10 or below are considered low and those with 20 or above are considered high.

GI and GL for Common Foods

Food                       GI      Serving Size    Net Carbs  GL

Peanuts                   14       4 oz (113g)                15       2

Bean sprouts          25       1 cup (104g)             4        1

Grapefruit               25       1/2 large (166g)      11      3

Pizza                         30       2 slices (260g)         42     13

Lowfat yogurt         33       1 cup (245g)              47     16

Apples                      38       1 med (138g)             6       6

Spaghetti                  42       1 cup (140g)              38    16

Carrots                      47       1 large (72g)              5       2

Oranges                     48       1 med (131g)            12      6

Bananas                    52       1 large (136g)            27     14

Potato chips              54       4 oz (114g)                55     30

Snickers Bar              55       1 bar (113g)              64      35

Brown rice                  55       1 cup (195g)            42      23

Honey                          55       1 tbsp (21g)             17       9

Oatmeal                       58       1 cup (234g)           21      12

Ice cream                     61       1 cup (72g)              16      10

Macaroni & cheese    64       1 serving (166g)     47      30

Raisins                         64       1 sm box (43g)       32      20

White rice                    64       1 cup (186g)           52      33

Sugar (sucrose)           68       1 tbsp (12g)            12      8

White bread                 70       1 slice (30g)           14      10

Watermelon                 72       1 cup (154g)             11      8

Popcorn                         72       2 cups (16g)            10      7

Baked potato                85       1 med (173g)           33     28

Glucose                         100      (50g)                        50      50

So let’s help your kids and you get on the right track nutritionally.  They’re the new generation, so let’s prevent the problem before it’s too late. At the same time, make it fun for the kids and don’t let them think you’re forcing them to do something they don’t want to do or that they’re missing out on something.  Try getting them to eat healthy routinely without realizing it.  Again, it starts with what you stock up with at home and your ability to transfer that healthy mindset and knowledge down to the little ones.

Let’s keep it healthy and stay active!  Start your kids with some nutritional needs in their bodies 🙂

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