The PreD Blog

Halloween Candy Contains Bugs and Nutrient-Poor Ingredients

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Ditch the Halloween Candy and Go for Healthier Sweet Alternatives

Halloween candyDid you know that there are bugs in your Halloween candy?

That’s right. When you pop jelly beans and candy corn in your mouth, your ingesting “shellac,” or beetle secretions (it’s used to make the waxy coating). According to the Food and Drug Administration, chocolate bars can contain eight insect fragments. (On a side note, chocolate can have as much as 60 insect fragments per 100 grams before they’ll take action).

And any candy with red dye is icky too: To make that red dye, cochineal insects are ground up to create the brilliant red color–the ingredient is called “carmine.”

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan—or if you want to avoid eating insects—then stay away from traditional Halloween candy. (Some people are allergic to cochineal insects, so avoiding the ingredient is especially important for these folks.)

Sure, cochineal has no known health risks, aside from being an allergen to some, and it’s used in other products you probably use, such as cosmetics. But why devour insect-filled candy when there are other sweet options on Halloween?

You should be staying away from traditional candy anyway because it contains high fructose syrup, saturated fat and loads of calories!

So what can you nosh on this Halloween to satisfy your sweet tooth?

Check out our list of healthy candy substitutes!

New-Age Diabetes Treatment

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Drug Controlled by Light May Help People Manage Diabetes

Managing type 2 diabetes can be tough. But futuristic treatment may be on the horizon: Diabetics may be able to manage their medications with a pulse of blue light.

Researchers in England created a drug for type 2 diabetes (“JB253”) that may help solve the problem of preventing too much insulin release in the body, which happens with many diabetes drugs and cause blood sugar levels to drop too low.

In the study, the drug changed shape when exposed to blue light, but the drug is inactive when not exposed to light.

So how do you expose the drug to light?

Blue LEDs stuck to the skin.

Light therapy may help help people better manage type 2 diabetes, say researchers. They caution that more research is needed before this drug could be available to patients.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Get Your Pumpkin On with Our Lip-Smackingly Good Pumpkin Spread

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A Healthy Recipe for Pumpkin Maple Pecan Butter

pumpkin-butter-PRWhat’s the most riveting, spooktacular highlight of October?

Pumpkins, of course! (Right up there with scary movies and mini chocolate bars!)

Our PreDiabetes Centers Concierge Chef did her magic and created a rich, decadent pumpkin butter to smear on toast, pancakes, fruit and more. Plus, it’s nutritious—chock-full of fiber and packed with an important antioxidant called beta-carotene, which converts in the body to a form of vitamin A, a vitamin that’s critical to overall health and immune system function, as well as skin health.

Satisfy your craving for a pumpkin treat with our delicious Pumpkin Maple Pecan Butter. Get the recipe!

Can Grapefruit Juice Treat Diabetes?

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Grapefruit Juice Just as Effective as Metformin, Says Study

GrapefruitIf you like sipping tart, lightly sweet grapefruit juice, then you may have an advantage when it comes to diabetes prevention.

A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that grapefruit juice might have glucose-lowering effects that make it just as effective as the diabetes drug metformin.

Researchers gave mice one of three beverages: sweetened diluted grapefruit juice, sweetened water, and water that contained metformin. They found that mice who ate a typical fatty American diet and drank grapefruit juice had a 13%-17% drop in blood glucose levels and a threefold decrease in insulin levels (meaning the body is churning out less insulin because blood sugar is being processed more efficiently), compared to the mice who drank sweetened water. They also lost 18% more weight.

The research team also found that mice who consumed grapefruit juice experienced the same reduction in blood glucose levels as the mice who drank metformin-spiked water.

The amount of grapefruit juice used in the mice equates to about four cups a day in people, says the study.

Caveat: This study was funded by the California Grapefruit Growers Cooperative. (Yes, a grapefruit producer!) Does that mean the experiment was rigged? Not so, says the study’s co-author, a professor and chair of nutritional sciences and toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley, who says that the data is accurate and the study’s funders had no hand in the experiment or the presentation of results.

Looking for a surefire way to prevent diabetes? Catch it early, when the disease is in the prediabetic stage. Diagnosing the disease early on enables you to take action and make necessary changes to your health regimen. Get screened for diabetes today.

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