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Volume III
January 13, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Diabetes and Cinnamon

By Patty Liston

I'm just finding out now that November was (is) Diabetes Awareness month. Depending on how you look at it, I am either very late with this article, or very early. I'm thinking I am early, glass-half-full and all of that.

It seems that throughout November tips are offered on how to manage and lessen the risk of diabetes. Good things to know considering the statistics in the U.S. alone: 25.8 million children and adults have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, research indicates that this number is certain to rise.

So, what to do? Fortunately the National Diabetes Association has some great information for all of us with regards to preventative measures that can be taken.

•  Quit smoking. Every major health problem is exacerbated by smoking. There are quite a few methods that can help stop this addiction; everything from hypnosis to patches, to cold-turkey. Find a method that is good for you and begin.

•  Exercise. Even 30 minutes a day, most days of the week, will give your body a boost. Try a brisk walk with your dog; listen to some tunes or a book on tape while you are at it. Go to your local Rec Center if the weather is too cold (or hot) for walking outdoors. Many malls open their doors to people who want to walk around. Call to see if yours is one of them. Take a friend!

•  Eat Healthy. I'm not talking a raw food diet or going vegan. That can come later, hahaha. Just begin by adding more deep green vegetables to your plate. Snack on fruit. If you eat 3 donuts a day, substitute one of them for an apple. I've adopted a practice that a friend of mine uses: no sweets until the week-end. Then on Saturday, I have that little dessert, or small bowl of ice-cream.

This is where the cinnamon comes in. It seems that adding some spice to your foods not only boosts the flavor, but some may actually help reduce blood sugar. For those with diabetes, cinnamon is one such spice.

According to Diabetes Care reported people with type 2 diabetes were given "differing daily amounts of cinnamon (1,3, or 6 gram capsules). Regardless of the amount of cinnamon they received, the study group reduced their blood glucose levels by 18% - 29% compared to those receiving a placebo". It was also noted that cinnamon also reduced their LDL or "bad" cholesterol.

As a result of this study, diabetics were to consider adding one-quarter teaspoon of cinnamon to their diet twice a day. If your levels go down, continue to incorporate it into your diet.

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