Heme Iron Containing Food (Red Meat, Clams, Oysters etc.) May Aggravate Diabates Cardiac Health Risk

Heme Iron Containing Food (Red Meat, Clams, Oysters etc.) May Aggravate Diabates

For people with diabetes, healthy eating is not simply a matter of "what one eats", but also when one eats. The question of how long before a meal one should inject insulin is one that is asked in Sonsken, Fox and Judd (1998). The answer is that it depends upon the type of insulin one takes and whether it is long, medium or quick-acting insulin. If patients check their blood glucose at bedtime and find that it is low, it is advisable that they take some long-acting carbohydrate before retiring to bed to prevent night-time hypoglycemia.


Diabetes can generally be classified as type 1 or type 2. If you have type 1, your body makes little or no insulin. If you have type 2, your body makes some insulin but can't use it properly. Most adults with diabetes have type 2.

Diabetes occurs when a person's body doesn't make enough insulin or doesn't use insulin the right way. Insulin helps your cells use blood sugar (also called glucose) for energy. Diabetes causes the sugar to build up in your blood.Diabetes is a serious disease, which, if not controlled, can be life threatening. It is often associated with long-term complications that can affect every system and part of the body. Diabetes can contribute to the following conditions:

Anytime you eat, you put sugar in your blood. Eating the right way can help control your blood sugar level.

It's important for you to learn how what you eat affects your blood sugar level, how you feel and your overall health. As a general rule, just following a healthy diet is wise. Your doctor may help you find a dietitian who can teach you how to make wise food choices. See the box below for some tips on eating right.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are a must when it comes to controlling your weight. A weight management plan depends on whether you are overweight or underweight.Diabetes education is a crucial part of a treatment plan. Diabetes education focuses on ways to incorporate disease management principles into the individual's daily life and minimize dependence on the health care provider

The diet recommended for people who suffer from diabetes mellitus is one that is high in dietary fibre, especially soluble fibre, but low in fat (especially saturated fat) and sugar. Patients may be encouraged to reduce their intake of carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index. However, in cases of hypoglycemia, they are advised to have food or drink that can raise blood glucose quickly, followed by a long-acting carbohydrate (such as rye bread) to prevent risk of further hypoglycaemia.

Consuming red meat and other foods high in "heme" iron, such as chicken liver, clams and oysters, appears to increase the risk of heart disease in diabetics, researchers report in the journal Diabetes Care

It might be advisable that "patients with type 2 diabetes may limit consumption of heme iron and red meat," lead investigator Dr. Lu Qi told Reuters Health.

Dr. Qi of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston and colleagues note that diabetes-related metabolic abnormalities may aggravate the adverse effects of excess iron on the heart. However, they add, little is known about whether iron consumption also affects heart disease risk.

To investigate further, the researchers followed 6,161 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study, and who reported a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. During follow-up from 1980 through 2000, the team documented 550 new cases of heart disease.

After accounting for age and body weight, high intake of both heme iron and red meat appeared to increase the risk of heart disease. Specifically, women who consumed the highest amount of heme iron were 50 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those with the lowest intake. The risks were greatest in women who were postmenopausal.

The researchers point out that because of the study's design, the findings can't prove that high heme iron intake "causes" heart disease, only that it is "associated" with the disease.

Still, they note that cutting back on consumption of heme iron-rich foods might be prudent for diabetics.

There's no cure for diabetes, but there's plenty you can do to manage — or prevent — the condition. Start by eating healthy foods, getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. If diet and exercise aren't enough, managing your blood sugar with medication can help you continue to live a healthy and active life.

Tips on eating right

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