How well do you know: Salt, Sugar, Fat and Alcohol?
All are tasty! Consumption of Salt, Sugar & Alcohol should be enjoyed in moderation. All three can bring satisfaction and too much can have a negative effect on an individual, promoting health problems.
Salt will lead to hypertension. Reduce your risk of high blood pressure, look for salt that is hidden in: can foods, soy sauce, chicken and meats (injected with saline water), salad dressing, cheese, fast foods, and prepared frozen foods. Daily recommendation of sodium consumption is no more than 2.3 grams per day (1/2 teaspoon) and 1.5 grams for those over 51 years old.
Sodium levels reflected in a blood draw should be 135-145 mEq/L. Increased levels are linked to dehydration or renal (kidney) disease. Decreased levels are indicative of heart failure or edema. An individual that suffers from hypertension is strongly encouraged to follow the DASH Diet, designed to promote a low sodium diet and promotes overall wellness.
Sugar comes in many forms. A few common names are: sucrose (white), fructose (fruits and veggies), lactose (milk) and glucose (fuel for our body’s energy). Studies of how sugar impacts both individuals and society are being conducted. For now, (within the context of healthy eating) studies show that sugar does not raise blood glucose any more quickly than do other starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice, or pasta. Keep in mind, it is ones best interest to consume fruit, vegetable and grain carbohydrates as the element of fiber (both soluble and insoluble) will stabilize blood glucose levels by ridding the body of what is not important.
- Fasting glucose normal levels 70-99 mg/dl.
- Pre-diabetes 100-125 mg/dl.
- Diabetes >125 mg/dl.
- Numbers that are over 125 mg/dl will prompt your doctor to ask you to return on a different day to draw blood a second time to better regulate the glucose levels.
- Talk with your Doctor, Dietitian, or Diabetes Educator about obtaining optimal glucose levels by following a balanced meal plan
Fats, when possible, should be consumed in liquid (unsaturated) form at room temperature. Olive Oil is an example of a healthy fat and lubricant for veins, arteries and organs. The presence of fat assists fat soluble vitamins with digestion and are stored in the liver. 3-4 tablespoons a day will keep the body healthy.
The Meditarranean Diet is an easy lifestyle to follow and allows for an individual to enjoy a wide variety of foods.
Reduced amounts of meats should be consumed 3 times a week, 4 ounces/day. Fish is light, easy to digest and contributes to raising healthy (HDL) cholesterol and lowering lousy (LDL) cholesterol. Enjoy fish 4 times a week! Solid fats (saturated) like cheese and butter should be consumed in lesser amounts of 1 ounce a day for cheese and 2 eight ounce glasses of 1% milk of choice (almond, cow or soy).
Ideal Cholesterol & Triglyceride Numbers
HDL cholesterol 40-60 mg/dl.
LDL cholesterol <100-129 mg/dl
Triglycerides <150 mg/dl
Alcohol can make your blood sugar levels fall too low and put you at risk of hypoglycemia, so people with diabetes are advised to drink alcohol with a meal or snack and not by itself.
Alcoholic beverages and drink mixers contain sugar and carbohydrates, so they must be figured into your overall meal plan. Your body will burn the alcohol as a source of fuel instead of burning fat.
If you use insulin, limit alcohol to two drinks per day. Consume alcoholic drinks only with a meal or snack, and do not reduce your usual amount of carbohydrate.
Alcoholism is determined through a blood draw. A quick look at potassium levels maybe an indication of kidney or heart problems. Lower levels or potassium is also a clue to a problem with alcoholism. Potassium levels should be 3.6-5 mEq/L.
All our favorite vices can be included in our daily diet. Done in moderation, we can benefit from the joy of having them, but excessive consumption can damage our organs. Monitor your blood draw by requesting a copy of your blood results and know your numbers to stay healthy.
Sugar and Diabetes http://www.bddiabetes.com/us/main.aspx?cat=1&id=274
Fiber stabilizes blood glucose http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15173415
Reference Range for Blood Draw http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/features/ref-ranges/