Oral Health and Diabetes: The Connection

Everyone needs to brush and floss their teeth regularly to prevent cavities and periodontal disease. Plus, emerging scientific evidence suggests that good oral hygiene may impact more than just your mouth, decreasing your risk for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions. Unfortunately, people with Type 2 diabetes are at a significantly higher risk of oral health problems — including periodontal disease. Practicing good oral hygiene is very important among people with diabetes and can prevent significant dental problems.

What Is the Link between Oral Health and Diabetes?
More than 30 million Americans currently have diabetes (both Type 1 and Type 2). Large-scale scientific studies have found that people with diabetes are significantly more likely to have gum disease and other oral health problems. This is in addition to other complications of diabetes, such as damage to the eyes, cardiovascular system and nervous system.

The exact relationship between oral health and diabetes is currently unknown. However, experts in this area believe that there may be a bidirectional relationship between diabetes and gum disease. First, people with diabetes are more susceptible to gum bleeding, gingivitis and periodontitis (serious gum disease). This is consistent with diabetics being generally more susceptible to inflammation and bacterial infections of all kinds. People with diabetes also tend to have immune system issues that prevent them from effectively fighting against bacteria that cause gum disease.

In addition to people with diabetes being more susceptible to gum disease, emerging evidence indicates that serious gum disease may affect the ability to regulate blood glucose. This means that gum disease could increase your likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes. Gum disease causes chronic inflammation of gum tissue. Having chronic inflammation causes a cascade of events — including release of inflammatory markers called cytokines. These cytokines may make it more difficult for your body to control the release of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. Resistance or insensitivity to insulin is a hallmark of diabetes. Thus, uncontrolled oral health problems may make it more likely that otherwise healthy individuals develop diabetes.

Recognizing the Warning Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a progressive condition that often begins with mild symptoms that increase in severity over time. Thus, it is important to continually assess your own oral hygiene to determine if you have any warning signs of gum disease. Making frequent trips to the dentist is another good way to ensure that you have not developed oral health problems. If you have any of the following warning signs, you may need to be evaluated for gum disease risk:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
  • Swollen, red or tender gums
  • Gum tissue that pulls away from the teeth
  • Pus that develops between your gums and teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose or moveable permanent teeth
  • Changes in your bite, or the way your teeth fit together
  • An alteration in the fit of a partial bridge or dentures
  • Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Oral Health Problems


    To avoid oral health problems, take good care of your teeth. Remember to gently brush your teeth at least twice per day in a circular motion. If possible, brushing after eating lunch is also a good idea to remove any plaque buildup. Also remember to floss at least once per day, which removes particles that live between teeth or close to gum tissue. These particles attract pro-inflammatory bacteria that may contribute to periodontal disease.

    However, brushing and flossing are just the basics when it comes to good oral hygiene. It is also important to watch the foods you eat. If you have Type 2 diabetes, it is already a good idea to monitor your diet and cut back your intake of sugary foods. This is doubly important for preventing gum disease. Reduce your consumption of processed foods, candy and desserts to keep your gums healthy. Also pay attention to what you drink. Drinking sugar-filled beverages such as sodas, fruit juices or sports drinks can promote the growth of bacteria that negatively affect your gums. Finally, try to drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush away excess bacteria.

    Author Bio: Bonnie Coberly works at Natural Horizons Wellness Centers as a Certified Health Counselor. Natural Horizons Wellness Centers offers a variety of services, including biological dentistry.

    Managing Diabetes On A Budget

    diabetes cost

    The following is a guest post by Brandon Cruz of GoHealth Insurance.

    diabetes costAccording to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, diabetes affects nearly 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3 percent of the population. If you’re one of the millions of people suffering from diabetes, you may be looking for ways to save money on health insurance and other diabetes-related health costs. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to keep your diabetes and your health care costs under control.

    Get Covered

    If you’ve applied for individual health insurance in the past and have been denied due to your diabetic condition, or if the premiums quoted were extremely unaffordable, you’ll be happy to know that things have changed. Under the Affordable Care Act, you can no longer be denied coverage or charged more for pre-existing conditions, including diabetes.

    If you don’t have access to an employer-sponsored group health plan through your job, and your income level disqualifies you from being eligible for programs like Medicaid, your best bet may be to purchase an individual health plan. Depending on your age and where you live, there are likely a variety of insurance plans from which to choose. You may want to consider using a third-party service to help streamline your search for health insurance and to provide guidance on which plan is best for your needs.

    Shop Smart

    Whether it’s your insulin, your oral medication, or even your testing supplies, there’s no denying that diabetes comes with a slew of ongoing medical costs. To help save money on your overall health care expenditures, it’s important that you perform some due diligence to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

    Diabetic supply manufacturers sometimes offer coupons and rebates for their products; you can find these on the manufacturers’ websites, as well as on pharmacy websites and in weekly drugstore sales circulars. Take advantage of these savings opportunities, and consider joining a loyalty program offered by your drugstore or diabetic supply manufacturer.

    Additionally, do some comparison shopping for both your prescription and non-prescription supplies; what you pay for medication at one pharmacy may be radically different than the cost of the same items at a pharmacy down the road. Rather than assuming your pharmacy has the best prices, spend the time to shop around. Also, be sure to utilize the Internet: Prescription price comparison sites let you compare drug prices from the comfort of your own home, and offer discount cards and coupons that can bring your costs down even further.

    Save More Once You Get Covered

    If you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from diabetes, it’s important that you effectively manage both your diabetes and your financial health. Ensuring that you have health insurance is a big step in the right direction, especially if you’ve been denied in the past. Doing your research — including taking advantage of discounts and rebates and using the Internet to help compare prices — is another smart move that has the potential for big savings.

    Author Bio:
    Brandon Cruz is the President of GoHealth Insurance. GoHealth powers one of the nation’s leading private health insurance exchanges for individuals and families.

    Health and Wellness Services for Older Americans Announced at WHCOA

    The following is a guest post by Beth Kelly.

    white house conference on aging

    In the years ahead, America will experience a considerable growth in its population of seniors above the age of 65. Changes in the country’s age structure will affect all aspects of our society, as this demographic transition means new responsibilities for families and medical professionals, as well as the national government. With the number of seniors set to nearly double by 2050 there are numerous issues on hand that demand immediate attention.

    On Monday, President Obama attempted to address many of these concerns at the sixth White House Conference on Aging. Using the event as an opportunity to recognize the fact that our nation is graying at an ever-increasing pace, he shone a spotlight on perhaps the biggest challenge associated with this massive age shift: access to proper health and nutritional assistance for all who need it. Of course, for the 25% of older individuals with diabetes and their caretakers, this is a topic of very special importance.

    In prior years the WHCOA has served to zealously urge older adults to “exercise, eat right, and socialize”, largely placing health-related responsibilities on the shoulders of seniors themselves. At the 2015 event, however, the need for stronger federal initiatives and better state-level policies and programs received greater (and much needed) attention. Basic caregiving support, essential to good public health, is severely underfunded and unrecognized to the point at which many elderly diabetic people’s lives are at risk. Caregivers themselves face the problem of completing daily tasks effectively and compassionately, while preserving their own health amidst the stressful and trying circumstances presented by a chronic disease.

    Most older diabetic adults will eventually require some level of basic daily living assistance. As such, the availability of long-term home health services is key. A study completed by University of California-San Francisco researchers recently estimated that at least 2.5 million additional health and personal care aides will be needed to accommodate the needs of aging seniors by 2030. In his brief on the topic of long-term care, the President stressed the importance of support for caretakers, pledging $50 million in new funding for aging programs which focus on care providers themselves. Another major health-related announcement came in the form of a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which aims to overhaul and improve the quality of care given to seniors in nursing homes.

    Sylvia Burwell, Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, also spoke at the conference to urge Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act, which expired in 2011. The law would provide funding for many senior services and senior centers. President of the board of the National Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), Joe Ruby, spoke out saying he was “especially happy” to hear that Obama would be working with Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act. Many attendees, however, felt that not enough attention was given to the fact that health research funding also continues to fall far below what’s needed to combat the continual rise in chronic conditions among Americans.

    Months of public discussion led up to the event, which received no public funding (a change from prior years) and instead used technology and social media to unite interested participants and viewers. Over 600 “watch parties” were held nationwide, and thousands more tuned in to view the conference online. Because there were zero appropriations for thousands of older people to flood the conference floor with their ideas and arguments, the conference had to “come to them” as a virtual experience.

    The topic of seniors and technology received some attention from the President, who touched on the digital and communication technologies which present numerous opportunities for older individuals. While numerous advancements in the diabetic technology space and the increased automation of health and home security systems succeeds in relieving some of the burden from care providers, better technology for seniors is not a panacea. But experts in aging tend to agree that digital innovations can help the elderly stay connected to relatives, caregivers, and healthcare providers, helping them access critical services and remain independent for longer.

    “As long as you can keep moving, you can keep kicking” – words of advice from one attendant stressed the importance of physical activity and exercise among older adults, words which ring especially true for those with diabetes. At the WHCOA event, the National Institutes of Health showed their support for plans which aim to increase the fitness levels of seniors. Through its Go4Life exercise and physical activity campaign, the NIH is funding activities and educational materials to promote healthy nutrition and physical activities.

    The purpose of the WHCOA is primarily to give a voice to the seniors in our communities, whose health and financial problems are also our own. As thousands of “boomers” enter old age every day, there must be action from younger generations to ensure that those in their golden years aren’t neglected. With the next conference another ten years away, its important to keep the conversation going. You can share your own input on the future of healthy aging in America by commenting with the #WHCOA hashtag on Twitter, getting involved on Facebook, or sending comments directly to info@whaging.gov.

    Diabetes And Pregnancy: What To Expect

    diabetes pregnancy

    The following is a guest post from Cheretta A Clerkley of Hormone Health Network.

    diabetes pregnancyPregnancy is an exciting yet frightening time for most women — but for women with diabetes, pregnancy brings a whole new level of apprehension. Controlling blood sugar levels well is essential to maintaining a healthy pregnancy, and serious complications can occur when women do not maintain their blood sugar levels. A safe pregnancy for the diabetic woman is possible, but it requires careful monitoring and planning prior to conception for the best result.

    Risks of Diabetes to Your Baby
    Why is diabetes a problem during pregnancy? According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes increases the risk of several complications for your baby, including:

      • Premature delivery
      • Miscarriage
      • Birth defects
      • Macrosomia (large birth weight)
      • Low glucose levels at birth
      • Respiratory distress
      • Prolonged jaundice

    Risks for pregnant moms with diabetes include: worsening diabetic eye and kidney problems, as well as a preeclampsia and difficult deliveries.

    Planning Before Pregnancy
    Many women know they want to become pregnant long before they actually do. The time period between deciding to start a family and actually becoming pregnant is a good time to get proper control over your health. This planning starts with a thorough checkup with a team of health care providers who understand the risks of diabetes during pregnancy, including your diabetes specialists and endocrinologist, as well as an obstetrician and, if possible, a dietitian.

    At this meeting, the health care team will discuss healthy blood sugar ranges and hemoglobin A1C levels. The health care providers will offer suggestions on how to maintain healthy blood sugar and A1C levels throughout pregnancy.

    Women on insulin therapy may need to make a change to their insulin routine. Sometimes an insulin pump or changing to multiple injections per day will help keep blood sugar levels more stable. Women who are diabetic and overweight may also be advised to lose weight to help prevent further complications. Finally, your team may encourage you to get an eye exam to check for retinopathy, which should be treated before trying to conceive.

    Because diabetes can affect other parts of a woman’s health, your doctor may also recommend a thyroid function test and a screening test for blocked arteries. Ruling out thyroid problems and heart problems, or treating them if they are present before pregnancy decreases the risk of complications.

    Diabetes Care During Pregnancy
    After making the necessary changes to your health before conception, your health care team will give you the OK to start trying to conceive. Once you are pregnant, you will be monitored closely for any signs of complications or danger to your baby.

    First, your doctor will want you to carefully check your blood glucose levels, often asking you to test more frequently than you did before you became pregnant. Follow the testing protocol carefully, so you are aware of any problems that arise that could put your baby at risk.

    Next, make sure to use your insulin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Continue using the delivery mechanism you were using prior to getting pregnant — unless it proves to be ineffective. Remember, pregnancy can throw your blood sugar levels off, so you may need to make some changes as the pregnancy progresses, but only do so under the care of an obstetrician or endocrinologist.

    Your diet will also be closely monitored during pregnancy. You will work with a dietician to create a healthy eating plan customized to your needs. You may be asked to limit the number of carbs you consume while pregnant to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

    As with all pregnant women, you will take an additional vitamin with high levels of folic acid, which help your baby’s brain development.

    Throughout the pregnancy, you may be monitored more closely, particularly if you have signs of trouble or are having difficulty maintaining your blood sugar levels. As your due date nears, you may have more ultrasounds and non-stress-tests performed by your obstetrician to detect any signs of distress from the baby before they can cause permanent damage.

    Diabetes Care After Pregnancy
    Once your baby is born, your diabetes care will continue. Hormone fluctuations post birth can cause blood sugar fluctuations, so you will need to check your blood sugar levels closely until your body balances from the stresses of birth. If you plan to breastfeed your baby, go ahead and do it! It is healthy for you and your baby, and can help with post-pregnancy weight loss. You can continue to take your diabetes medications while breastfeeding.

    Entering pregnancy while dealing with diabetes requires careful planning. Check with your endocrinologist now, and start making the changes you need to protect the health of your pregnancy right away. Soon you will be holding a new bundle of joy — a tribute to all of your hard work.

    Author Bio:
    Cheretta A Clerkley is a strategic marketing health care professional for Hormone Health Network where she oversees patient education programs and services. These education programs focus on diabetes and other hormonal conditions.

    Connectivity and Convenience: “The Internet of Things” and Diabetes Care

    diabetes technology

    The following is a guest post by Beth Kelly.

    diabetes technology In recent years, healthcare entrepreneurs have tapped into the latest tech developments to help people with chronic conditions improve the quality of their daily lives. Communication between medical devices, mobile apps, and home automation platforms enables diabetes patients to monitor and manage their condition in a variety of new ways. There’s been talk of systems for automatically delivering insulin to Type 1 diabetes for years, but modern technology and the “Internet of Things” are going to yield untold advantages for the diabetic community.

    Eating “Smarter”

    Dietary management is imperative for all diabetic patients. But beyond merely accounting for caloric content, certain food apps allow shoppers to scan the barcode of products and probe a little deeper. Fooducate is one of the most helpful for diabetic people, as it examines the nutrient contents of the product and uploads the data into the cloud. The device will also recommend substitutions for certain ingredients, making traveling less of a pain. The app can even decode the names listed for different additives, and catch some of the deceptive tactics that food producers/marketing companies employ to deliberately deceive consumers.

    Developers are currently working to create more advanced software for future apps, which will be able to send your food and lifestyle data directly to physicians in a consolidated “activity profile.” From this information, doctors hope to establish more accurate information about each individual patient, as well as chart larger trends in populations.

    “Smart” fridges, a hot topic on the home automation front for years, are also futuristic solutions to some of the daily challenges of battling diabetes. There are already several refrigerators on the market with computer-like capabilities, which allow consumers to confirm the contents of their fridge remotely, plan shopping lists, and make sure nothing’s gone bad. The information stored by the “smart fridge” can be accessed online, and incorporated into the overall functionality of a smart home automation system. There has also been research done on several refrigerator prototypes that will provide additional nutritional and medical insight.

    Better Connected

    Today’s “smart home” automation systems are taking advantage of the latest tech developments and bringing homeowners closer than ever to their personal appliances. Even standard home products, like toilets, watches, and belts, are being brought “online” to monitor their wearer’s health metrics. While these tools are useful for anyone keeping a close watch on their health, they’re of particular interest to anyone following a diabetes management plan.

    Home automation systems, offering a variety of options for alerts, can monitor everything from your home’s safety and security to its overall energy efficiency. While you monitor your heating and cooling bills – this resource can help – your home will also keep an ever-watchful eye on your blood sugar. Dexcom has developed a tool that can sync with your home system, and will alert you or a loved one to dangerous lows or drastic drops in blood sugar via a smartphone app.

    New technology is also paving the way for innovations like the MyGlucoHealth Smart Blood Glucose Meter, a blood glucose meter that is equipped with BlueTooth. What this means is that the device is capable of recording and transmitting extensive data about a patient’s glucose level. Patients can review their own data from a portal online, and the device also provides users with a new way of transmitting data to their physicians. The interface is intuitive, and it can relay data in an emergency situation to care providers.

    Communication between medical devices and home automation platforms can improve the quality of life for diabetes patients of all ages, and rapid advances in the “Internet of Things” promise to push medicine forward for future generations. Stay tuned for future updates!

    Metformin & Weight Loss: Is There A Connection?

    diabetes weight loss

    Metformin is the most prescribed anti-diabetes drug in the world, responsible for over 48 million prescriptions per year in the United States alone. More than 80% of type 2 diabetics are either overweight or obese. Studies indicate that metformin is also an effective weight loss drug.

    diabetes weight lossTedTalk speaker and former Johns Hopkins University surgeon Peter Attia once described his contempt for a patient, who was “fat and with type 2 diabetes,” by saying, “if you just tried caring even a little bit, you wouldn’t be in this situation, at this moment with some doctor you just met about to amputate your foot!”

    This sentiment, one of face-value judgment, is perhaps universally shared by doctors who believe that the former, being “fat,” causes the latter, “type 2 diabetes.”

    Ironically, Attia, the same doctor who criticized a patient for perpetuating this ‘cause and effect,’ became insulin resistant and “massively overweight” himself “despite exercising 3-4 hours every single day and following the food pyramid to the letter.”

    Dr. Attia, and other researchers, are now dedicating their life’s work to questioning scientific ‘truths’ around what is a complicated, if not an entirely known, relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    This relationship, interestingly enough, is made further complicated by the fact that many anti-diabetic drugs can actually cause weight gain as a side-effect. After all, it is believed that as your blood sugar levels are lowered, the hungrier you become. According to the American Diabetes Association, “many patients experience an increase or 4.4 lbs or more after initiation of these medications,” and that’s just the beginning.

    In other words, these drugs, such as sulfonylurea, are both treating type 2 diabetes and causing a side-effect that – supposedly – leads to type 2 diabetes in the first place. How counter-intuitive is that?

    However, there is one anti-diabetic drug, called metformin, which is doing just the opposite – causing weight loss.

    According to the most cited study on metformin’s role in weight loss, metformin was shown to curb appetites, which led to significant weight reduction – specifically in type 2 diabetics who were obese and prescribed a specific amount of metformin.

    Subjects were given doses of either 850mg or 1700mg twice a day. The study’s authors remarked that, “the 1700-mg metformin dose had the most marked appetite suppressant action.” In other words, the higher the dose, the more effective metformin was in reducing hunger. Over two months, subjects treated with 1700-mg metformin averaged a weight loss of nearly 18 pounds. Insane.

    According to another study (as reported on diabetesjournal.org), in what was “the longest follow-up” in metformin’s history, weight loss can be seen for at least 10 years of continued treatment in all subjects (i.e. non-obese diabetics and non-diabetics included). This same study highlighted the strong correlation between metformin adherence (i.e. sticking to routine) and weight loss in the following graph:

    metformin diabetes weight loss

    Source: http://www.diabetesjournals.org

    Despite the general optimism surrounding these findings, it should also be noted that scientists warn that significant weight loss, through the administration of metformin, can be dangerous for certain diabetic profiles, particularly in the elderly.

    The American Diabetes Association also mentions that most patients beginning metformin treatment experience the side effects of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, all of which lead to weight loss. As such, weight loss can be a temporary result for many type 2 diabetics treated with metformin.

    Nevertheless, numerous studies, including those cited in this article, support the finding that metformin is indeed a weight loss drug in addition to being a treatment for type 2 diabetes.

    If you’ve experienced weight loss while using metformin, please share your story below. We’d love to hear all about it.

    Metformin – Not Just For Diabetics?

    metformin diabetes

    metformin diabetesMetformin, generally known as the “first-line drug” for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, has been revealed in a recent study by Cardiff University, UK, to not only increase the life spans of diabetics but also non-diabetics.

    Metformin is the most prescribed anti-diabetes drug in the world, responsible for over 48 million prescriptions per year in the United States alone. Metformin was approved by the FDA only two decades ago, however, it has been ‘prescribed’ in the form of the French lilac flower (Galega officinalis) since the Middle Ages.

    In other words, over half a century ago, your ancestors were peeling off and gobbling up French lilac flower petals (i.e. “unsynthesized metformin”) to relieve their “frequent and burning urination,” a symptom of what is now known as diabetes mellitus.

    The purpose of the Cardiff University School of Medicine study, led by Professor Craig Currie (who once called his U.K. countrymen “a nation of lazy porkers”), was to compare the life spans of three groups:

    • Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin
    • Type 2 diabetics treated with suphonylurea (another commonly prescribed anti-diabetes drug)
    • Non-diabetics, i.e., “Type Zeroes”

    The results of the study?

    Out of 180,000 subjects, there were approximately 7,500 deaths; from those deaths, it was concluded that:

    • Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin had markedly longer life spans than those treated with suphonylurea
    • Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin “had a small but statistically significant improvement in survival compared to the cohort of non-diabetics”

    In English, Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin were living longer (on median, by 15%) than people without diabetes.

    Let me repeat that: Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin were living 15% longer than people without diabetes. Incredible.

    The study’s lead author, Professor Currie, also remarked:

    “Surprisingly, the findings indicate that this cheap and widely prescribed diabetic drug may have beneficial effects not only on patients with [type 2] diabetes but also for people without [diabetes], and interestingly, people with type 1 diabetes.”

    In other words, metformin may extend everyone’s life span.

    Case closed, right? Type 2 diabetics have their miracle drug, correct?

    Not so fast. As mentioned earlier, metformin is a first-line drug. Professor Currie points out:

    “This does not mean that people with type 2 diabetes get off Scott free. Their disease will progress and they will be typically switched to more aggressive treatments. People lose on average around eight years from their life expectancy after developing diabetes.”

    Appropriately, Professor Currie indicates that his future research will focus on investigating how patients with metformin can be treated thereafter to ensure that their life expectancy is closer in line with the average.

    For now, the message remains the same: diet and exercise are crucial to preventing and controlling diabetic conditions.

    Tricks To Make Your Low-Carb Diet A Treat

    diabetic cooking tips

    This post was written by Chef Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic.

    diabetic cooking tipsOk, let us get the elephant out of the room. I use that granulated sugar substitute that comes in the yellow bag. I know, I know, all those chemicals. While I am at it, let me also admit to using SWEET AND LOW in my coffee. Could I use the stevia plant products? Perhaps I could, but at this time I find it: 1.) too expensive, and 2.) hard to work with equivalents. So I take the possible risks (?) to create desserts that still taste like the original.

    Read on for some EASY chef’s tricks for making your diabetic cooking more fun, interesting, & delicious.

     

      • What I do in baking is to reduce the amount of flour in a recipe by 1/4 to 1/3 and substitute it with toasted ground nuts. I find that almonds work best for a dryer texture, and that walnuts and pecans work better for wetter texture. Each nut adds its own flavor. The new way here is better than the old way both for flavor and carbohydrates. Toasting nuts is super easy. You can either toast them in a dry pan or in the oven, or as I do at home, in my toaster oven. The one caveat is to watch them like a hawk. Because of the oil content, nuts can go from toasted to charred in the blink of an eye. This is no time for multi-tasking!

     

      • To replace things like maple syrup in a recipe, I will use butter, fruits and a little TROP 50. The apples thicken the sauce and you get that same unctuous feeling on your palate.

     

      • diabetic cooking tipsIn the “old” days, I used a lot of chicken bouillon in my cooking. Even I had to stop and consider the sodium content. What I do now is make “stock” ice cubes. I do this by adding a clove of garlic and 4-5 pepper corns to a pot of “low” sodium chicken or beef stock and reduce that down by at least half. After cooling, I pour that liquid into ice cube trays and freeze them. I keep them in an air tight container in the freezer for whenever I need a flavor boost in a recipe. I do the same thing with the liquid that remains after I reconstitute dry mushrooms. Added to the juices from a steak or chop turns it from ordinary to DECADENT with very little effort on my (or your) part.

     

      • Simple sauces that can be used in a gazillion ways is another one of my tricks. I use my remoulade sauce in dishes from simple sandwiches to chicken and pork. The royal caper sauce is another one of those recipes. Another very simple trick is to combine fresh lemon juice and low sodium soy sauce with ONE herb; then brush your protein with that liquid for more variations than you can ever imagine. Use the herbs you like and you will always love the DECADENT dish you have created.

     

      • Compound butters are another nice little trick. Combining butter with herbs and spices or shallots and garlic, and adding them at the very last minute makes a huge flavor difference. Again this takes very little effort on your part.Cooking is easy and will make sticking to your diet an easy and Decadent pleasure!

     

      • LEMON adds brightness and flavor to fish and chicken. Using lemon also helps you cut down on the amount of salt you need to use in a recipe.

     

    Enjoy! Be healthy! Be DECADENT!

    There Ain’t Nothing Like Chocolate: Celebrating Valentine’s Day As A Diabetic

    diabetic valentines day

    This post was written by Chef Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic.

    You could buy every rose in town, but on Valentine’s Day, chocolate is the only true out. Oh dear, you and I are diabetics. Now what do we do?

    Well as it happens, cocoa is actually not very high in carbohydrates. And believe it or not, it even has some fiber. It is the white sugars and milk solids that pump up the carbs.

    diabetic chocolate recipe

    So using HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK cocoa powder and a granulated sugar substitute, I have created this tongue titillating, soul satisfying, utterly romantic chocolate crème confection almost guaranteed to make your celebration, well…. you know.

    Get the recipe here.

    Just don’t forget to put it in a special glass and have some strawberries handy for dipping!

    So this Valentine’s day, just fall in love with chocolate all over again.

    Allow me to share another chocolate product that I fit into my diet from time to time: PERUGINA BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE. It is made in Italy by NESTLE. So incredibly rich that 2-3 squares (each square is 2.7 net grams of carbohydrates) will satisfy your craving for chocolate. Both the HERSHEY’S Cocoa powder and the Perugina chocolate are a permanent part of my pantry.

    As long as it is Valentine’s Day, let me mention some perfect pairing: Chocolate and Orange, Chocolate and Strawberries, Orange and Strawberries. I very often “soak” my fresh strawberries in a tablespoon of TROP 50. It just makes the flavor fresher.

    diabetic valentines day

    Enjoy, be healthy, be DECADENT!

    Fruits and Veggies (Literally) Taste Better On Sale

    fruits and veggies on sale

    This post was written by Chef Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic. 

    fruits and veggies on saleLots of people complain about how expensive fresh fruits and vegetables are.

    I say: BUY THEM ON SALE!

     

     

     

     

    Why, you may ask? When a grocer does an advertisement for a fruit or vegetable, the grocer needs to plan ahead and order more of that product. They also need to keep in mind what is in season at the time of the ad. Because of the lower price, and the seasonality, the items sell faster in the market and therefore keep more of their fresh taste.

    The fact that it is more budget friendly makes it taste better too, even if it is only in your mind and in your wallet.

    Take advantage of sales, but don’t buy more than you can use in a short time. That is what is meant by penny wise and pound foolish.