KRON 4 | Sugar and Diabetes; Now Potassium Too?

One out of three adults has pre-diabetes, that’s, over 84 million people — and nine out of ten don’t even know they have it. Diabetes increases your risk of death by fifty percent. Many are familiar with the link between diabetes and eating too much refined sugar, but did you know there’s a diabetes link to potassium too?

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The Battle with Blood Sugar

Your body processes the food you eat and turns it into a sugar called glucose. Diabetes is marked by high levels of glucose in your blood (hyperglycemia). This happens because glucose is ‘locked out’ from getting into your cells and starts to build up in your blood.

Blood sugar is a precious fuel for your body, but when it’s persistently high, glucose can damage nerves and vessels. Since glucose circulates throughout your entire body, high levels can cause damage anywhere.

Diabetes-related complications include:

  • Blood vessel damage that increases your risk of stroke and heart attack
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Nerve and vessel damage to your eyes (retinopathy), feet, and kidneys

What is Insulin?

Insulin (produced by the pancreas) is the hormone that’s needed for the glucose in your blood to enter your cells. Think of insulin as the ‘key’ that unlocks the cell door and lets glucose in. Without the ‘key’, your organs are starved of essential energy and can lead to cell death.

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Insulin is the “key” that unlocks the cell door and lets glucose in. 

Types of Diabetes

The two most common forms of diabetes, known as Type 1 and Type 2, are distinctly different:

1. Type 1 diabetes mellitus: You DO NOT PRODUCE INSULIN and are unable to control the sugar in your blood. This form of diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells of your pancreas.

2. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM): With this type, you DO NOT USE INSULIN efficiently and are unable to control the sugar in your blood. 

  • 90% of diabetes cases are type 2.
  • In T2DM, your cells become resistant to insulin. Your pancreas goes into overdrive producing more and more insulin in a futile attempt to get the glucose into your cells. As a result, your pancreas can eventually wear out (become permanently damaged) and can no longer produce enough insulin. 
  • High blood sugar levels can erode your cells’ ability to make insulin. T2DM is preventable whereas Type 1 is not.

Waist Size and Diabetes

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A waist size that is over 40″ increases risk for type 2 diabetes 12X.

People who are overweight or obese, particularly with visceral fat (i.e., belly fat), are more likely to develop T2DM, but even normal weight individuals can develop diabetes.

  • If you’re a man and your waistline is over 40 inches, your risk for diabetes is 12 times higher than someone with a normal healthy size waist. 
  • Normal waist size is half your height in inches. Therefore, weight loss is the primary goal in treating this form of type 2 diabetes.

What is Potassium?

Potassium is an electrolyte and mineral that helps keep your bodily fluids at the proper level. If your fluids are at normal levels, you can:

  • Contract your muscles without pain
  • Keep your heart beating correctly
  • Keep your brain functioning at its highest capability

Muscle cramps to more serious conditions, such as seizures, are symptoms of potassium deficiency which also means fluid imbalance.  

Low Potassium Linked to Diabetes

  • One 2011 study found that people taking thiazides (diuretic, a.k.a. “water pill”) to treat high blood pressure experienced a loss of electrolytes, such as potassium. 
  • Researchers noted that potassium loss might increase a person’s risk for developing diabetes.
  • Researchers have also linked low potassium levels to high blood pressure.

NOTE: Even though low potassium may increase your risk of developing diabetes, taking potassium won’t cure your diabetes.

How Much Potassium Do You Need?

An adult needs 4,700 milligrams per day. Even if you’re getting the right amount potassium each day, levels may still be deficient or excessive due to fluctuating potassium levels.

Causes of Fluctuating Potassium Levels   

Continue reading “KRON 4 | Sugar and Diabetes; Now Potassium Too?”

KRON 4 | 10 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick

If you pledged to get healthier this year with yet another New Year’s resolution (or maybe even two or three resolutions), know that typically 80% of them fail by February. If you want to increase your odds of success this year though, here are some tricks to help make your new habits stick!

1. Commit to Thirty Days

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Consider the first 30 days as the foundation for creating a new habit. It takes time to make a new behavior stick, but you’ll increase the chances of achieving your new pledge if you commit to making it through these 30 days.

To get inspired, watch this lighthearted TED talk, “Try Something New for 30 Days” as a new way to think about setting and achieving goals.

2. Do It Daily

Whatever your goal — whether it’s to go to the gym or eat three fruits a day — then do it DAILY for the first 30 days. It’s easier to nail down the habit if you do it everyday versus once every few days. The goal is consistency.

NOTE: If you pledged to go to the gym, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work out vigorously every day. Just get yourself to the gym for 30 consecutive days — even if it means walking in and taking just a few spins on the bike. The key is to get in the habit of getting up and going.

3. Mingle with Role Models 

Make a point of seeking out people whose habits you want to imitate because when it comes to becoming fatter, obesity spreads through social relationshipsA 32-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that you’re more likely to become obese if you spend time with close friends that are obese. That is, according to researchers, obesity can literally spread from person to person, much like a virus.

Therefore, if your close friend is obese, eats junk food, and doesn’t exercise, then it will be more difficult (but not impossible) to stick with your pledge to create new healthy habits. Although you cannot change your friend’s habits, YOU can still change yours. Seek out and spend time with your role models.

4. Negate Negatives with “But”

But“But” is a very powerful word. When you use it, it negates everything you said preceding the word “but” in that sentence. (Did anyone ever say to you, “Say, I love your new hair color, but….” Stop the negative self-talk. It can lead to overeating to relieve those negative emotions.

When you catch yourself saying, “I can never stick with my New Year’s resolutions,” follow it with, “but I have the skills to help me this time.” Use “but” to stop negativity in its tracks.

5. Own It

Resolutions fail because they’re created based on what someone else (such as your spouse, doctor, or parent) is telling you to change. Be sure your New Year’s resolution is something YOU want to achieve. That is, be sure your resolution is NOT based on what you “should” do.

A part of owning your goal is watching your language. The words “should”, “need to”, and “have to” are negative words, and you surrender control when you say them. Negative thinking and negative self-talk lead to negative emotions, such as feelings of defeat and depression, and thus, emotional eating.

The words “should”, “need to”, and “have to” imply something is wrong with you. That is, something is ‘broken’ and needs to be fixed. For example, notice the difference in how you feel when you say, “I have to exercise” or “I need to lose weight” versus, “I want to exercise because I love walking vacations” or “I choose to lose weight, so I won’t have knee pain” which puts the control, motivation, and power to change back on you.

Healthy Living

6. Relish the Reward   

Continue reading “KRON 4 | 10 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick”

KRON 4 | Great Gifts for People On the Go for $30 and Less

Today was predicted to be one of the top ten busiest holiday shopping days of the year. If you’ve run out of gift ideas, here are some great buys for that on-the-go person in your life. I went shopping yesterday at the Sports Basement in San Ramon and was excited to find these 10 novel and practical products  — all for $30 and less!

1. Double Layer Home Socks by Woolrich- $15

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Love, love, love these cushy socks! They’ll keep your feet warm and comfy with their double outer layer and super soft inner layer. The inner layer is treated with aloe vera (yes, aloe vera!) to soothe your active feet. Not sure how long the aloe will last after repeated machine washings, but nevertheless, the fabric is silky soft.

Outer layer: 51% nylon, 39% acrylic, 7% polyester, 3% spandex. Inner layer: 97% microfiber nylon, 3% spandex.

2. Freezable Lunch Bag by Packit® – $20

It’s important to keep cold foods cold, but ice packs get wet and messy as they start to unfreeze. No ice packs needed with this bag as the freezable gel is sewn into the walls of the bag. This lunch bag fits a meal, snack, and a 12-oz bottle. It compactly folds up for easy storage, and the buckle handle can attach to backpacks and other bags.

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Step 1: Just fold and freeze the bag overnight.
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Step 2: Expand and pack.

3. Inflatable Solar Light by Luci® – $20

This lightweight little light collapses to just one inch. Great for backpacking, travel, pool/patio, home, and emergencies. Light lasts for 24 hours on the lowest setting. Charges in 7 hours in direct sunlight. Four modes: low medium, high, and one-second flashing. These inflatable lights come in a variety of sizes and colors (for soft ambient lighting).

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4. Hyperlite™ All Weather Gloves – $25

These ultra-thin gloves are wind/waterproof and can activate any touchscreen with their SoundTouchtechnology in the thumbs and index fingers. No need to remove your gloves in the freezing cold to answer your phone! Comes in men’s and women’s sizes.

KRON 4_Xmas Gifts13  Continue reading “KRON 4 | Great Gifts for People On the Go for $30 and Less”

KRON 4 | Beware of “Drinksgiving”

Did you know that Thanksgiving Eve has skyrocketed to be one of the biggest binge drinking days of the year? Some call it “Drinksgiving”, or “Blackout Wednesday”, and it’s become an extraordinary night for the bar industry. I explain to KRON 4 Morning News weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, the why’s and why not’s of this big drinking holiday.

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Drinkers and Drivers Beware!

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, high-risk binge drinking and DUI- related injuries increase by 33 percent. In some cities, there are more DUI’s and hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption during Drinksgiving. According to MADD, more people are KILLED during the Thanksgiving holiday than the Christmas holiday.

Habitual Homecoming 

Since around 2012, Thanksgiving Eve has become known as one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year — right up there with St. Patrick’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, and July Fourth. Why? Thanksgiving Eve is a big holiday homecoming party. A lot of people are visiting their parents for the long weekend and kick off the event by meeting up (and drinking) with old friends.

Some bar owners say their business goes up as much as 400% compared to an average Wednesday. It’s considered the “holiday before the holiday”.

Most Popular Drink During Thanksgiving

  • Wine – about 65% of drinkers 
  • Beer – 20%
  • Mixed liquor drinks – about 15%

What is a Standard Drink?

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One standard drink is defined as 0.6 fl. oz. of “pure” alcohol.

In the U.S., one “standard” drink is defined as 0.6 fl. oz of “pure” alcohol which equates to:

  • 12-oz regular beer (about 5% alcohol; light beer about 4.2% alcohol)
  • 5-oz. glass of wine (about 12% alcohol) 
  • 1.5-oz. shot of distilled spirits (gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whisky, etc. — about 40% alcohol)

What’s Considered Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is defined as having the following within a two-hour period:

  • Women: 4 or more drinks
  • Men: 5 or more drinks

One bottle of wine = 25 ounces (five 5-oz servings)

On the average, 2 people can finish a full bottle of wine in about 2 to 2.5 hours.

Long-Term Health Dangers from Binge Drinking

  1. Heart Disease: Binge drinking can cause weakening of the heart muscles (“alcoholic cardiomyopathy”) even in 20- and 30-somethings and results in congestive heart failure.
  1. Blood Pressure: There is a definitive link between blood pressure and the amount of alcohol consumed. Binge drinking, in particular, has been                associated with dangerous surges in blood pressure.
  1. Cancer: Alcohol is a known carcinogen for areas of the head and neck — the mouth, esophagus, throat. Long-term binge drinking may also increase the risk for cancers of the liver and breast.
  1. Brain Damage: Binge drinking impacts the developing brain whereby a person in their 20’s is especially vulnerable to long-term memory loss and an inability to learn new skills in the years to come. That’s because the brain is continually changing and alcohol can interfere with those changes. Alcohol in large quantities is toxic to the delicate cells within the brain.
  1. Alcohol Poisoning (Death): From 2010 to 2012, alcohol poisoning was responsible for approximately 2,200 deaths each year, or six deaths per day. Most people who die from alcohol poisoning are white men ages 35 to 64, according to the CDC.
  1. Injuries: Per the CDC, binge drinking is responsible for 80,000 DEATHS in the U.S. each year.

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: More than 38 million U.S. adults binge drink. Know your limits, watch your intake, and consider the immediate and long-term health risks.

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KRON 4 | Motivation… What Makes YOU Move?

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If you have trouble sticking to your exercise program, and it’s not due to a lack of desire to get fit, then it could be because the exercise doesn’t fit your personality. Everyone has their own exercise goals and needs, that is, everyone has their own ‘fitness personality’. I go through the five distinct fitness personality types with KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez.

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Fitness Personality Types

  1. Predictable
  2. Methodical
  3. Competitive
  4. Social
  5. Dynamic

#1 – Predictable

  • Thrives on routine
  • Is a reliable, independent and stable exerciser
  • Goes to the gym and develops rigid schedules and regimes

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Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: Due to the lack of variation in your exercise program, you may hit a plateau by doing the same routine and become frustrated. By incorporating resistance, circuit or high intensity interval training and/or adding new activities each week, the positive physical changes may help reboot your enthusiasm.

#2 – Methodical

  • Likes organization, discipline and routine (but isn’t as rigid as the ‘Predictable’ exerciser)
  • Thrives on social interaction
  • Loves structured group exercise

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Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: Exercising alone would de-motivate you. You would benefit most from joining a gym, hiking/biking in groups, or taking a group fitness class.

Continue reading “KRON 4 | Motivation… What Makes YOU Move?”