Karen Chapman Novakovski - Associate Professor of Nutrition

About Diabetes
Food & Diabetes
Medications & Diabetes
Current Issue
Recommended Websites
Your Guide to Diet and Diabetes
Recipes for Diabetes
Fiesta of Flavors: Traditional Hispanic Recipes for People with Diabetes


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August/September 2005

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In This Issue

Diabetes -The Medical Perspective

Hypertension is the medical name for high blood pressure. Blood pressure reflects how much force the blood has as it is pumped through the arteries (heartbeat) and when it is resting (between beats). Although it might seem that a lot of force would be a good thing, like getting stronger, too much force stresses the artery walls.
Blood pressure readings measure both the heartbeat and between beat forces. The heartbeat force is called the systolic pressure and the between heartbeats force is called the diastolic pressure. In a blood pressure reading, the systolic is the top number and the diastolic is the bottom number.

A reading of 120/80 or less is considered normal blood pressure. Pre-hypertension is a blood pressure above normal and below 140/90. Readings equal to or greater than 140/90 are considered high blood pressure or hypertension.

Those who have diabetes or who are overweight are more likely to also have hypertension. It is important to check your blood pressure often. If you check your blood pressure on your own and it is high, or even pre-hypertension, make an appointment with your doctor.

Hypertension should not go untreated, because it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Hypertension has no symptoms so it is often called the silent killer. There is no cure for hypertension, but blood pressure can be controlled to stay within the normal range with a combination of lifestyle changes and medication.

Diabetes and Food

“Fast Food Causes Diabetes” is one of those headlines that is a little true but also not true. Food that is bought at a “fast food restaurant” doesn’t cause diabetes. However, many people choose foods that are higher in calories than they need when they eat at these fast food restaurants because most food is higher calorie-type food.
Eating higher calorie food over a period of time causes people to gain weight, and being overweight often leads to diabetes. What can you do to keep calories down when eating at a fast food restaurant?

  • Avoid the largest sizes of anything – don’t “supersize” yourself.
  • Avoid fried foods, including French fries. If these are the only choices (or you really want them), try sharing with a friend or taking half a serving home (remember to refrigerate!)
  • Beverages can add a lot of calories. Order small drinks, diet drinks, or water.

Remember to make eating at fast food restaurants a “sometimes” choice and not an “everyday” choice.

Exercise as a Part of Living

Different organizations recommend different amounts or types of exercise. Once you’ve picked out what you want to do, and have your doctor’s okay for that, then talk about how hard you should try that activity and for how long.

How hard you try is often called “intensity.” To make sure that you are working hard enough to exercise the heart, many rely on heart rate measures. The most common way to measure heart rate is by feeling the radial artery (wrist) or the carotid artery (neck).

Maximum heart rate is the maximal number of beats per minute when exercising as hard as one can. An estimate of maximum heart rate is derived from the equation 220 – age in years = maximum heart rate. To estimate the heart rate that should be targeted while training, the formula maximum heart rate x exercise intensity is sometimes used. The intensity may be 30 to 80 percent intensity, depending on the fitness and health of the individual. For instance if someone is 65 and just beginning to exercise, the doctor may suggest 30 percent intensity. The heart rate should be 220 – 65= 155. 155 x 0.30 = 46.5 or 47 beats per minute.

Recipes To Try

Quick Raisin Scones 8 servings
2 cups Bisquick® baking mix
3 tablespoons Splenda®
1/3 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup no-fat milk (skim)
1 egg
Non-fat cooking spray

1. Heat oven to 425°. Spray cookie sheet with non-fat cooking spray.
2. Mix remaining ingredients until soft dough forms. Spread on cookie sheet in 8-inch circle (you may use wax paper to mold and spread). Cut into 8 wedges, but not all the way through.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned.

Per serving:
Calories 161
Fat 5 grams
Protein 4 grams
Calories from fat 29%
Carbohydrate 25 grams
Cholesterol 27 grams
Fiber 1 grams
Sodium 378 mg

Note: Scones are meant to be dry. To add moisture and soften the scones, serve with 2 tablespoons lite whipped topping (20 calories, 2 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fat) or 2 tablespoons nonfat vanilla yogurt (20 calories, 4 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram protein). Or try the sugar-free glaze:

1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup Splenda®
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup boiling water

1. Blend dry ingredients well.
2. Add boiling water and mix thoroughly.
3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons over each scone.

Per 2 tablespoon serving:
Calories 26
Fat 0 grams
Protein 1 gram
Calories from fat 0%
Carbohydrate 6 grams
Cholesterol 0 grams
Fiber 0 grams
Sodium 12 mg

Medication Update

If you will be traveling by plane, here are some tips concerning your medication and the security check procedures:

  • Notify the screener that you have diabetes and are carrying your supplies with you.
  • Clearly identify your insulin.
  • Unused syringes should be clearly labeled and kept with your insulin.
  • Request a visual inspection or “pat down” if you wear an insulin pump and don’t want to walk through the security systems (pump manufacturers say that pumps are safe to be worn through the security checks).
  • Separate your medication and associated supplies from your other property in a pouch or bag.
  • In order to prevent contamination or damage to medication and/or fragile medical materials, you will be asked at the security checkpoint to display, handle and repack your own medication and associated supplies during the visual inspection process.
  • Any medication and/or supplies that cannot be cleared visually must be submitted for x-ray screening.

New Resources

There is a new law that changes the Illinois Income Tax Act to create the Diabetes Research Checkoff Fund. Taxpayers may now contribute to the fund by indicating on their income tax return form the amount they wish to donate. The donation either increases the amount the taxpayer owes or reduces the refund. Money collected in the fund will be given to the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide grants for diabetes research.

From May 23 through August 23, 2005, the Transportation Security Administration will be conducting a Persons with Disabilities and Medical Conditions Customer Satisfaction Survey. This includes those with diabetes. Diabetes is considered a “hidden disability.” If you would like to participate in the survey, please go to http://websurveyor.net/wsb.dll/29926/pwd.htm


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