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Things Only The Loved Ones Of People With Diabetes Would Know

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Things Only The Loved Ones Of People With Diabetes Would Know

Diabetes is an illness that commonly affects many of our loved ones and close friends, yet it is often misunderstood. Tom Hanks has famously been known to have diabetes and has brought light to this illness.

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease which affects the way the body handles sugar in the bloodstream. Here are some common myths about those who suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is not a serious illness

Diabetes may not be seen in the same category of illness as heart disease or cancer, but it is in fact a chronic illness that is responsible for more deaths annually than AIDS and breast cancer combined. It is also known that diabetic individuals have twice the risk of having a heart attack. Luckily, there are medications that help monitor diabetes and therefore can lower risks for associated complications.

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Only overweight people have diabetes

Being overweight and having diabetes often seem to have close associations, but the truth is that anyone can develop this disease, no matter what their BMI is. Other risk factors that are important to pay attention to besides weight are age, family history, and ethnicity.

People with diabetes should only eat certain “diabetic” foods

Specific foods that are labeled as “diabetic” are not really as effective as eating a well-rounded diet that is low in fat and sugars. Diabetic foods often raise blood sugar levels, produce a laxative effect, and end up being more expensive on average.

Diabetics cannot eat any form of sugar

In small amounts, sugar is fine for someone with diabetes to consume. You do not have to worry about hiding all the chocolate when a diabetic person is present, since having a small sweet treat every once in a while is completely acceptable.

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You can catch diabetes from someone else

The reasons why some people develop diabetes is still unclear, but it is definitely not contagious. Spending time with loved ones who suffer from this disease will only aid your connection to them, something that the both of you will benefit from.

Diabetics have weak immune systems

Diabetics are no more susceptible to colds or the flu than the average person. However, it is recommended for them to get a flu shot because of the possibly serious complications that they could suffer as a result of the flu.

A need for insulin means diabetics have poorly monitored their diabetes

For some diabetics, their blood sugar can be controlled by lifestyle changes, such as a well-balanced diet, medication, and exercise. As the disease progresses, sometimes the pancreas can simply stop creating enough insulin and diabetics will be required by their physician to inject insulin into their bodies. This is not related to poor maintenance on the individual’s part, but rather just is a natural progression of the illness.

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Diabetics know when their blood sugar is low

People with diabetes do not always know when their blood sugar is low, especially as it can be confused with other things like feeling lightheaded from the common flu. The longer that someone has diabetics, the better they get at knowing when their low blood sugar is related to their diabetes.

Carbohydrates are bad for diabetics

Carbs often get a bad rap for diabetics because they are known to affect blood sugar levels. Not all carbs are created equal though, and whole grains can be eaten in moderation and are actually a crucial part of a balanced diet.

Insulin can make up for an unhealthy diet

Taking insulin does not mean that diabetics have a free pass to eat anything that they want. It is still important to take medication in addition to a healthy diet that is low in sugar and fat.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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