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Could Feijoas – the “People’s Fruit” – Help Prevent Diabetes?

Diabetes News
Feijoa Fruit


Feijoa Fruit

Scientists at the University of Auckland are conducting a study using feijoa powder to aid weight loss and reverse pre-diabetes, aiming to prevent type 2 diabetes in at-risk adults.

Often referred to as the “People’s Fruit,” is it possible for the humble feijoa to help prevent type 2 diabetes?

Can the humble feijoa help the world tackle type 2 diabetes? University of Auckland scientists are investigating.

As over 200,000 individuals in New Zealand are affected by type 2 diabetes, finding preventative measures is crucial in addressing this significant health challenge. Could a solution be found growing in New Zealand backyards?

The feijoa study, named FERDINAND, is a six-month weight-loss and maintenance program, during which adults with raised blood sugar will be given about a gram of whole-fruit feijoa powder (or a placebo) each day.

Principal Investigator and self-described ‘feijoa addict’ Associate Professor Jennifer Miles-Chan is excited about the potential of feijoa powder to reverse pre-diabetes. “In theory, the feijoa powder will boost the benefits of weight loss, leading to improvements in blood sugar levels.”

A short-term study in Iran pointed to the benefits of feijoa for patients with type 2 diabetes. FERDINAND will build on that study as the world’s first long-term clinical trial into the benefits of feijoa with an aim of reversing the risk of diabetes in those with pre-diabetes (people with high blood sugar, but who do not yet have diabetes).

In the first two months of the study, participants will likely lose five to ten percent of their weight through a free meal replacement program – think soups, shakes, and porridge, but also pasta and rice dishes – overseen by a Registered Dietitian. The following four months will focus on maintaining this weight loss.

Participants should be overweight or have obesity, aged between 18 and 70, and at high risk of type 2 diabetes (but not have diabetes) based on a fasting blood glucose test.

“We are really wanting to help those people who are on the borderline of developing diabetes to lower their risk, yet many people may not be aware their blood sugar levels are high,” says Miles-Chan. “So you don’t need to already know if you have pre-diabetes. We can test that for you.”

As well as the potential to reverse their diabetes risk and the many benefits of weight loss, participants will discover more about their health. “Participants will get extensive diet and weight loss advice, detailed blood tests, body composition scans and glucose checks. An added benefit is the two months’ worth of free meals,” says Miles-Chan.

Supported by the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge (Ko Ngā Kai Whai Painga), the study is being conducted by the University’s Human Nutrition Unit in collaboration with AgResearch, the Malaghan Institute and Plant and Food Research.

To find out more about participating in the trial, email [email protected]





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Tips to Help a Child With Diabetes

Tips

Do you have a child with diabetes? As a parent, it is your responsibility to help your child learn how to deal with their condition. Go over this article for some useful tips.

Prepare healthy meals for your child and pack some snack for them. Your child should not eat any kind of food that contains a high amount of sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Foods rich in fat, preservatives, sodium and other unhealthy ingredients should be avoided to. You need to design an entirely new diet for your child; make sure they eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fibers and drink plenty of water.

Encourage your child to exercise. If your child is overweight, helping them get in shape is a priority. You could play sports together or find another activity they enjoy; think about taking them to a dance class, the swimming pool or simply going for walks. Your child does not need to work out or follow a fitness program. Being active should be enough.

Teach your child how to protect their feet and develop an excellent oral hygiene. Diabetes increases the risks of developing gum disease and can cause infections to spread very quickly. Make sure your child always wears protective footwear and knows how to keep their toenails clean. Teach them to brush their teeth and use floss every day. Your child should not be scared of developing a complication, but they should be aware that they are at risk for health issues because of their diabetes.

Your child needs to learn about nutrition. Take them grocery shopping with you and teach them to recognize healthy foods from bad nutritional choices. Your child needs to know about the five food groups and have a good idea of which foods are rich in whole grains, fibers and sugar. You could also prepare food with your child. Choose simple recipes they will be able to remember and prepare again by themselves. Consider going to a cooking class together if you do not feel confident about your own cooking skills.

You need to give your child more responsibilities so they get into the habit of managing their diabetes by themselves. Show them how to use their test stripes and monitor and let them check their sugar level by themselves. You could for instance get them a watch on which you can set up an alarm to remind them to check their sugar level.

Let your child prepare their meals and snacks too, but do not hesitate to double check to make sure they picked healthy foods. Give your child more responsibilities as they get older. They should be able to manage their diabetes alone by the time they are teenagers. Be available and offer to help if they need you.

These tips will help you provide your child with the guidance they need to take control of their condition. Do your best to help them and encourage them to become independent at the same time.

Work to Prevent Diabetes

Prevention

Although diabetes is a very common disease, it is actually preventable in most people. Even if you’re genetically predisposed diabetes, living a healthy lifestyle should help you to avoid contracting it. Generally, as long as you haven’t contracted childhood diabetes, you should be able to avoid adult onset diabetes, but it does take some hard work.

With a fast food restaurant on every corner and a new box of cheap treats on the grocery store shelves every week, it takes a lot of willpower and control to not gain weight. On top of that, most of us live busier lifestyles that really leave no time for exercising. But if you want to avoid diabetes, you have to make time to exercise properly, and you have to eat healthy items. Put down that garbage and eat healthier food, and make sure you’re always staying active.

The more physically active you are, the better your body is able to metabolize sugars. Physical activity will increase your body’s ability to make its own insulin, and this is going to help you keep balanced levels of blood glucose. You don’t have to start training to become Mr. Universe; you just have to remain active and exercise regularly. You’ll look better, feel better, and you can avoid contracting diabetes.

If you’re at an annual checkup and your doctor notices that your blood sugar is too high, you may be prescribed some type of medicine to help you level out. This type of medicine is essentially helping your body produce insulin, while still allowing your body to promote its own natural insulin. And you should also be aware that some medications you take, like steroids, can increase your blood glucose levels.

If you’re genetically predisposed to contracting diabetes, this is something you should find out about. Talk to different members of your family to find out if diabetes runs along the tree. If it does, this means your body is more likely to stop producing its own insulin. It doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to contract diabetes; it just means you’ll have to work a little harder in order not to. Stay away from the treats and exercise more.

The average person is always dealing with minor ailments. Over time, however, things you think are minor could end up being major. This goes beyond only diabetes; you should be visiting your doctor at least once a year to see if there’s anything you need to be aware of or alarmed about. Having yearly checkups may just save your life.

No matter if you’re trying to stop smoking, lose weight, or to get in better shape, having a buddy alongside you for the ride just makes it a lot easier. Going to the gym with someone and eating healthy food with someone else makes the process easier. You don’t have to do things by yourself. Find someone to go out on the journey with you.

Diabetes is usually preventable, especially if you’re serious about staying in great shape. You may still end up unlucky here, but it’s always better to stay in great shape.