Today is November 14

Published 12:54 am Sunday, November 14, 2021

World Diabetes Day

Groups with a heightened vulnerability to type 2 diabetes

Various factors affect an individual’s risk for type 2 diabetes. An impairment in the way the body regulates and uses glucose, or sugar, as fuel, diabetes is a chronic disease that researchers estimate affects nearly half a billion people across the globe. One recent study conducted in affiliation with the International Diabetes Federation examined global diabetes data published between 1990 and 2018. That study represented 138 countries and researchers ultimately estimated that diabetes could affect 700 million people by 2045.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that no one currently knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes. However, there are ways for individuals to reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes, which is much more common than type 1. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases notes that various risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including age and ethnicity, cannot be changed. But knowledge of type 2 diabetes, including a recognition of which groups are among the most vulnerable to the disease, may compel people to make lifestyle choices that can greatly reduce their diabetes risk. The NIDDK notes that people are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if they:

· are overweight or obese

· are age 45 and older

· have a family history of diabetes

· are African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander

· have high blood pressure

· have a low level of “good” cholesterol or a high level of triglycerides

· have a history of gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more

· are not physically active

· have a history of heart disease or stroke

· have depression

· have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

· have acanthosis nigricans, a condition marked by dark, thick and velvety skin around the neck or armpits

Healthy lifestyle choices can help many people in these groups reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes. For example, a healthy diet and routine physical activity can help people lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, lower their blood pressure and improve their “good” cholesterol levels. Those two simple choices can remove individuals from many of the aforementioned groups with a heightened vulnerability to type 2 diabetes.

More information about diabetes and diabetes prevention is available at www.niddk.nih.gov.

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A drink to soothe your stomach

Smoothies are often associated with breakfast, but they actually can be enjoyed all day long.

Smoothies have been around since the 1920s, when the first blender was invented by Stephen Poplawski. In 1939, the Waring blender company designed a pamphlet that came with the appliance that included fruit-based drinks.

Smoothies can include a variety of ingredients and serve various purposes. This recipe for a “Ginger Papaya Smoothie” from “Super Smoothies” (Crestline) by Ellen Brown employs ginger, which can help overcome nausea and other stomach issues.

Ginger Papaya Smoothie

Yields 4 1-cup servings

1 cup chilled papaya nectar

1 container (8 ounces) peach low-fat yogurt

1/2 cup silken tofu

1/4 cup whey protein powder

3 tablespoons crystallized ginger

2 cups papaya cubes, frozen

4 papaya spears for garnish (optional)

Combine papaya nectar, yogurt, tofu, whey protein powder, and crystalized ginger in a blender or smoothie maker. Blend on high speed for 45 seconds or until mixture is puréed and smooth. Add papaya cubes and blend on high speed again until mixture is smooth. Serve immediately garnished with papaya spears, if desired.

Tip: Crystallized ginger is fresh ginger that has been cooked in sugar syrup to render it both sweet and tender. It is usually then coated with sugar to prevent the slices from sticking together. To find crystallized ginger, look in the baking section of your supermarket rather than the produce aisle