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Yes, You Should Watch Out for and Prevent Prediabetes!

Most people know of diabetes or have at least have heard of it — it’s a disease that happens when your blood sugar level (also known as blood glucose) is too high for your body to break down. It’s a dangerous disease and is the number one cause of kidney damage. Well, knowing that it potentially leads to other health complications, many are prepared to recognize it.

However, many people don’t know what prediabetes is, though it’s equally, or even more important to look out for it and its signs. Here’s all you need to know about prediabetes, what causes it and how you can prevent it.

Prediabetes: What is It? 

Simply put, prediabetes is what comes before diabetes, almost like a precursor to developing Type 2 diabetes. It happens when your blood sugar level exceeds the normal level, though it doesn’t reach high enough to be considered as diabetes. It is, however, a warning for you to make prompt changes to your lifestyle to prevent the onset of diabetes.

While Type 2 diabetes is generally difficult to reverse, prediabetes is much easier to reverse with healthy habits such as eating right, committing to exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. Simply changing up your diet and engaging in simple, consistent physical activities can ensure you offset the high risk of developing diabetes. This way, you can keep your body healthy and prevent effects such as kidney failure, vision loss, and nerve damage.

What are the Symptoms of Prediabetes? 

As it is closely related to diabetes, the symptoms of prediabetes and diabetes are very similar. They include:

  • Being more lethargic than usual
  • Having to go to the bathroom more often
  • Being hungrier or having a bigger appetite than usual
  • Being thirstier than usual
  • Losing weight without eating any less

That being said, diabetes is a disease that develops slowly over time, so it is possible that you can be in the prediabetes stage without experiencing any of these symptoms at first. By the time you notice and diagnose these symptoms, your blood sugar level is likely to already be higher than normal.

What are the Causes of Prediabetes? 

Even today, scientists and experts are not completely sure what exactly causes diabetes or prediabetes. However, several risk factors have been identified that increase the chances of developing either one.

  • Family History: There tends to be a hereditary pattern in prediabetes and diabetes. That means you’re more likely to develop the disease if someone in your family has either had or has either of the conditions. 
  • Age: Research has shown that after 45 years of age, the risk of having prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes increases. After age 65, you’re at much higher risk, with increasing risk as you get older.
  • Weight: The more overweight (a body mass index above 25) you are, the higher your risk of developing prediabetes. Additional fat cells may potentially make your body more resistant to the insulin hormone, especially if the extra weight falls in the abdomen area.

  • Race/Ethnicity: If you fall into any of the following ethnic groups — African-Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans — you should take extra precautions. According to research, some ethnic groups are more predisposed to developing prediabetes and diabetes. 
  • Gestational diabetes: If you developed diabetes while pregnant, you’re at higher risk of developing prediabetes down the line.
  • Hypothyroidism: This condition stems from the lack of another hormone known as the thyroid hormone, which in turn reduces thyroid function. If you have hypothyroidism and prediabetes, the risk of you developing Type 2 diabetes increases exponentially — almost twice as high as those with a normal thyroid function. 

Another health issue that increases the risk of prediabetes is known as polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. With this condition, cysts form in your ovaries and a reason for this is your body’s insulin resistance. As such, it may be directly related to the chance of developing prediabetes.

Regardless of which risk factors you may possess, it’s a fact that prediabetes and diabetes begin to develop when the body is unable to use a hormone (known as insulin) effectively. This hormone is an important one, ensuring that glucose enters your cells through your bloodstream. Without a healthy insulin function, your body is unable to process glucose and the energy it provides properly.

There are two possible reasons why insulin function is affected: Firstly, your body might not be producing enough of the hormone; or secondly, your body has become resistant to the hormone.

How is a Diagnosis Made? 

It’s always best to be safe than sorry —  and just to be safe, especially if you have more than one of the risk factors mentioned earlier, you may want to make a request to your doctor to test your blood glucose levels regularly. This rings true especially if you’re 45 years old and above. In fact, some doctors recommend testing blood glucose levels every three years from that age onwards.

There are two tests to diagnose an individual with prediabetes, and some doctors even choose to run both. They are:

  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): Before this test, you need to abstain from eating for at least eight hours. At the beginning of the test, the doctor will proceed to test your blood glucose level before giving you a very sugary mixture to drink. A follow-up test two hours later will be conducted to determine if you have impaired glucose tolerance — a fancy term for prediabetes diagnosed with this method.
  • Fasting plasma glucose test (FPG): As the name suggests, doing this test also requires at least eight hours of fasting prior to it, so it’s often conducted in the morning. Here, a blood sample is drawn and checked by a doctor for abnormally high blood glucose levels. 

With regular testing, you can detect abnormalities early and prevent prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes, as well as all of the complications that they bring.

How to Control Prediabetes? 

If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, there are certain steps you can take to reverse the effect and lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Typical courses of action that are recommended by doctors include:

  • Losing weight: If you’re currently overweight, research shows that losing just five to ten percent of your weight can lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes quite radically. Get on a weight loss program and watch your diet carefully with a registered dietitian. A healthy food plan will definitely control your blood sugar levels and keep it in a healthy range. 

  • Increase physical activity: Exercising and sweating it out forces your body to use glucose, lowering the blood glucose level quite significantly. As a result, less insulin hormone is required to be produced, and you’re much less likely to develop diabetes.
  • Medication: In cases where you’re at very high risk of having Type 2 diabetes, doctors may prescribe metformin. It prevents the liver from making too much glucose, keeping your body’s glucose at a safe level. 

Prediabetes is scary, and it should be. It’s an early warning that your body is heading down the path of developing diabetes — but luckily for us, it’s also a warning we can easily heed.

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Should You Get Screened for Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that most people try to avoid, and for good reason too. Research has shown that it puts you at a much higher risk of complications, including vision loss, heart disease, and kidney failure. What makes it difficult to detect early is that symptoms often come without warning, especially for Type 1 diabetes. As such, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has laid out some recommendations for early screening and early detection.

Who should be Screened for Diabetes?

While everyone should take the necessary precautions and remain vigilant of blood glucose levels, there are some who possess certain risk factors that put them at higher risk of developing diabetes.

You should go for screening especially if you fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Have a body mass index (BMI) higher than 25, or higher than 23 for Asian-Americans
  • Are older than the age of 45
  • Are a woman who has previously had gestational diabetes
  • Have been diagnosed with prediabetes

How do We Test for Prediabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

The first step in testing for diabetes is usually a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This test measures the percentage of blood glucose attached to the hemoglobin in your blood, a protein that carries oxygen in your red blood cells. It’s often the first test as it does not require any fasting, and is usually indicative of your average blood sugar level for the past few months prior to taking the test.

The higher the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the higher your blood sugar levels are. Specifically, if your A1C level is below 5.7 percent, your blood sugar level is considered to be normal. However, any A1C level between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is indicative of prediabetes. If your A1C level is 6.5 percent or exceeds it on two separate tests, it means that you have developed diabetes.

There are instances where the A1C test results are not reliable, for example, if you are currently pregnant, or if you have a different form of hemoglobin. Without consistent results, it’s possible that your doctor may then make use of any of the following tests to screen for diabetes.

Firstly, your doctor may perform a random blood sugar test. As the name suggests, this test means a blood sample is drawn at a random time, no matter when your last meal was. For this test, a random blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher is indicative of diabetes.

Another method of testing is the fasting blood sugar test. Here, your doctor will take a blood sample after you fast overnight for at least eight hours.

If your fasting blood sugar level is under 100mg/dL, it is considered to be normal. However, if it falls between 100 to 125mg/dL, you have prediabetes. If it’s 126mg/dL or higher, your doctor will likely opt to repeat the test separately, and if the result falls in this range again, you have diabetes.

The last method that is commonly used is the oral glucose tolerance test. Similar to the previous test, a blood sample is taken after fasting overnight. However, after the first sample is drawn, you’ll be given a sugary liquid to consume immediately and blood sugar levels are tested at several intervals for the next two hours.

With this test, a blood sugar level under 140mg/dL is normal. If it falls between 140 and 199 mg/dL, it means you have prediabetes. A reading of 200mg/dL or more would indicate that you have diabetes.

On top of these regular tests, if your doctor suspects you have Type 1 diabetes, it’s likely you will have to undergo an additional urine test. People who have Type 1 diabetes don’t have enough insulin to use the available glucose for energy, so other tissues such as muscle and fat are used instead. The additional urine test screens for a byproduct of this occurrence.

What are the Tests for Gestational Diabetes?

It is not uncommon for pregnant women to develop gestational diabetes, and early detection is key to proper treatment and alleviation of its effects. There are some risk factors that would encourage your doctor to test for gestational diabetes early on in the pregnancy.

  • High risk of gestational diabetes: Doctors may test for diabetes at your first prenatal appointment if you are deemed to be at high risk, for instance, if you’ve previously had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, or if you have a family member with diabetes, or if you were obese at the beginning of the pregnancy.

The average risk of gestational diabetes: Here, your doctor may recommend a gestational diabetes screening test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, or sometime during the second trimester of your pregnancy.

There are two main tests that are used to screen for gestational diabetes.

The first test is the initial glucose challenge test. To start off, you’ll be asked to drink a glucose sugar solution, and then a blood test will be run an hour later. Typically, a blood sugar level in this test that falls under 140 mg/dL is deemed normal, though it may vary depending on your doctor’s assessment. This test, however, is not a hundred percent conclusive. It is only indicative of a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.

To further determine if you have gestational diabetes, your doctor is likely to order a follow-up glucose tolerance test. Here, you’ll have to fast overnight and have a blood sample drawn immediately after. After your first blood sample is drawn, you will be given another glucose solution, and then your blood sugar level will be checked at a regular interval of an hour for three hours. The results are determined by the resulting blood sugar readings — if two or more of the blood sugar readings are higher than normal, it is indicative of gestational diabetes.

There are many different tests to test for all the different types of diabetes, including prediabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, as well as gestational diabetes. Early detection is a factor for successful treatment, so talk to your doctor about getting screened, especially if you have any of the risk factors. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.

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Steer Clear From Diabetes in 13 Ways

There are tons of people in the world today living with prediabetes. Their blood sugar levels are high but do not meet the requirements to be diagnosed with diabetes. Many go undiagnosed because they skip their health checkups and are unaware of how their daily lifestyles can cause the onset of diabetes. When left unchecked, diabetes can result in blindness and kidney failure among other detrimental ailments. While you may feel that diabetes is inevitable and is attributable to gene and age factors, there are actually a myriad of ways and things you can do to prevent diabetes. Here is a list of 13 ways you can steer clear away from diabetes.

1. Reduce or Eliminate Sugar and Refined Carbs from Your Diet

Consuming huge amounts of foods with sugar and refined carbohydrates can cause an increase in blood sugar and insulin levels. If your body is already on the verge of developing diabetes, maintaining your current diet will lead to the rapid development of type two diabetes. This is because your body breaks down the sugar content from sugary foods to be absorbed into your body while your pancreas produces insulin to decrease the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. However, when you have prediabetes, your cells will be receptive to insulin which causes even more insulin to be generated in an attempt to lower blood sugar levels. This cycle will repeat itself until your blood sugar and insulin levels reach the type 2 diabetes level.

2. Work Out Regularly

Exercising frequently can do wonders for your blood sugar and insulin levels more than anything else. Working out will increase the insulin sensitivity of your cells so that a lower level of insulin is needed to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. There are various forms of exercise that you can engage in to reap these benefits. Be sure to choose an activity that you like and create and follow a strict workout schedule for the best outcome.

3. Drink Water as Your Primary Beverage

Preventing the onset of diabetes can be as easy as reducing the number of sweet drinks you consume on a daily basis. It’s hard to keep track of the amount of sugar and preservatives in the drinks you consume so it’s safe to say that water is your best bet in staying healthy. What’s more, having more two servings of sugary drinks a day will lead to a higher chance of developing both type one diabetes and type two diabetes.

4. Lose Weight If You’re Overweight or Obese

Most overweight or obese people are bound to have a lot of visceral fat in their bodies. Visceral fat is stored in abdominal organs like the liver and causes inflammation and insulin resistance. This significantly increases the chances of getting type two diabetes, especially among people living with prediabetes. The good news is that decreasing your weight even by a little can prevent the risk of diabetes. However, it is imperative that you continue to lose weight and keep it off in order to prevent diabetes.

5. Quit Smoking

While it is common knowledge that smoking is extremely detrimental to one’s health and can cause an array of diseases, it is prevalent in causing type two diabetes. The mere inhalation of second-hand smoke is enough to cause a higher risk of getting diabetes. Reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day and quitting over time will significantly increase the chances of preventing diabetes.

6. Follow a Very-Low-Carb Diet

A low carb diet has a stronger impact than a low-fat diet in lowering blood sugar and insulin levels, thus preventing diabetes. This is as with lower consumption of carbs, your blood sugar levels will not increase much after your meal. This means that your body will require less insulin in order to keep your blood sugar levels normal.

7. Watch Portion Sizes

Being aware of your food portions will not only help you lose weight, but it will also reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. This is especially beneficial for overweight individuals and people who are at risk of getting diabetes.

8. Avoid Sedentary Behaviors

Changing a seemingly simple and harmless part of your lifestyle can bring about huge changes in your health and help you to prevent diabetes. Sedentary behaviors refer to things such as excessive sitting, which most of us working at desk jobs are guilty of. There is an intricate link between people who spend large amounts of time engaged in sedentary behaviors and diabetes. A surefire way to prevent this is to be consciously aware of your actions and to incorporate mini activities like getting up from your desk and going for a stroll every half an hour or so.

9. Eat a High-Fiber Diet

If you are starting to take note of your diet, definitely watch out for foods that are high in fiber. They are extremely good for you as soluble fiber mixes with water to reduce the speed at which food is digested. This means that your blood sugar levels will increase at a slower pace. On the other hand, insoluble fiber has also proven to be beneficial in decreasing blood sugar levels, thus great for preventing diabetes.

10. Optimize Vitamin D Levels

Having a high level of Vitamin D in your blood will contribute towards preventing diabetes. Vitamin D can come in the form of various supplements and food like fatty fish, cod liver oil and your everyday sun exposure. Consuming Vitamin D will lead to a significantly lower chance of developing type one diabetes as well as improve insulin-producing cells.

11. Minimize Your Intake of Processed Foods

While it goes without saying that whole foods like nuts and vegetables are rich in nutrients that are good for your health, they are actually a much better alternative to processed foods. There are many additives, along with refined grains and vegetable oils in processed foods that make it riskier for your body to develop diabetes. More so, they cause other health ailments like heart disease and obesity so reducing your intake of processed foods is very beneficial for your health.

12. Drink Coffee or Tea

Another way to prevent the advancement of type two diabetes will have to be drinking coffee or tea regularly. This is as they contain antioxidants that fight diabetes by decreasing blood sugar levels and increasing insulin sensitivity.

13. Consider Taking These Natural Herbs

If you are a fan of natural cures, definitely give natural herbs like curcumin and berberine a go. Incorporating them into your diet will reap various benefits such as better insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels which go a long way in preventing diabetes.

The key to preventing diabetes lies in your everyday norms and practices. Being diagnosed with prediabetes is not the end of the world as there are so many things you can do to impede the onset of diabetes. Take the tips listed in this article seriously and be disciplined in changing your lifestyle to give your body a fighting chance against developing diabetes today.

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These are Drinks that Diabetics Should and Shouldn’t Have

When it comes to diabetes, it is imperative that you take the utmost care and precaution in what you eat and drink on a daily basis. You can never be too careful in maintaining your blood sugar levels such that zero-calorie or low-calorie drinks are the only ones that diabetics should consume. While living with diabetes is no easy feat, there are ways to ensure that your condition is stabilized. This means taking into account what you eat and drink so that you can prevent your condition from worsening. You may think that diabetics can’t enjoy themselves in choosing what they want to drink but there are still some healthy and harmless options that are surprisingly yummy and beneficial for your health. Here are five drinks that diabetics can have.

1. Water

You can never go wrong with some water. Not only does it hydrate your body to the fullest, but it is also great for your blood sugar levels as it won’t cause them to increase at all. What’s more, if you drink a sufficient amount of water daily, your body will be able to remove extra sugar in the form of glucose when you urinate. Fret not if drinking huge amounts of water seem boring and frankly, quite unbearable after a while as there is an array of variations that you can consume. Some of these options include adding fruits like lemon, lime, orange and frozen fruits into your drink. They will add a mildly sweet and fruity taste to your otherwise plain beverage and make it all the more pleasurable to consume. If fruity tastes are not to your liking, you can try adding mint or basil instead for a more refreshing take!

2. Tea

Tea has always been known to provide a myriad of health benefits when consumed regularly. In particular, green tea is great for reducing blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels which can be detrimental to your health if they get too high. You can also choose to drink other teas like black, herbal, earl grey and jasmine green tea which are all just as beneficial. Not to mention that teas like earl grey and jasmine green tea contain caffeine so if you’re looking for a morning drink before work, definitely give them a try. For tea lovers, drinking a couple of cups a day should be a breeze and we recommend that you drink six cups a day to decrease your likelihood of getting type two diabetes. Be sure to drink your tea unsweetened and add rooibos or lemon if you want additional flavor.

3. Coffee

For those who can’t start their day without a steaming cup of coffee, the good news is that you don’t have to give it up. What’s more, drinking more than one cup a day is good for your health as your likelihood of getting type two diabetes dramatically decreases. This is regardless of whether you prefer drinking caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee; both have the same advantages for your body. The only downside is that you cannot add any form of sweetener to your drink. This means no milk, cream or sugar in order to prevent your overall calorie count from increasing which will badly impact your blood sugar levels.

4. Vegetable Juice

If you like to drink a cup of fruit or vegetable juice to detox in the morning, you don’t have to ditch this habit because of diabetes. All you need to do is switch your usual juice blend with tomato juice or a substitute for vegetable juice. Your daily detox drink can still be yummy even without fruit juice that is rich in sugar; simply throw in vegetables like celery and cucumbers as well as some naturally sweet berries and we guarantee that you will have yourself a healthy concoction that is packed with all the vitamins and minerals you’ll need for the day.

5. Low-fat Milk

The ingredients in the drinks you consume on a daily basis can heavily impact your health and condition and it is imperative that you pursue a low-carb diet. Many may not know that dairy products like milk are actually high in carbohydrates but this does not mean that you can’t drink milk at all. The next time you go grocery shopping, opt for unsweetened, low-fat, or skim forms of your favorite milk brand. While you should avoid soy and rice milk, feel free to pick up a fortified nut or coconut milk if you are looking to try something new for your diet.

This may seem like a limited list of options when it comes to the type of beverages you can consume, but it will be beneficial in the long run. On the other hand, be sure to steer clear of the next five drinks that we are going to list here as they will significantly increase your blood sugar levels.

1. Regular Soda

High in carbohydrates and calories, soda is rich in sugar and does nothing to keep you healthy. Drinking soda will cause you to gain weight and increase your blood sugar levels; the number one thing you want to avoid when you are diabetic.

2. Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are great for keeping you awake when you have a ton of work to complete but definitely opt for alternatives like coffee instead. This is as energy drinks will cause a rise in your blood sugar and insulin resistance which will lead to a higher risk of developing type two diabetes.

3. Diet Soda

At first glance, diet soda seems healthy because it boasts of reduced sugar but many do not know that regular sugar is just replaced with artificial sweeteners. This, in turn, causes an increase in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight gain, which are all health dangers for diabetics.

4. Sweetened Fruit Juices

It is hard to resist sugar most of the time but it is important to get fruit juices that are 100 percent natural and pure with no added sugar at all. Just a little sugar goes a long way in increasing your blood sugar and carbohydrate levels.

5. Alcohol

Frequent and high consumption of alcohol can lead to the onset of prediabetes and type two diabetes among both men and women. If you have to drink alcohol, we recommend that you choose red wine as it is low in carbohydrates and does not negatively impact people with type two diabetes.

At the end of the day, it is best to play it safe and opt for natural drinks like water and naturally sweetened juices. It is possible to still enjoy your drinks even without sugar; all you have to do is get creative with your concoctions and soon enough, you won’t find yourself missing sugary drinks at all.

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Why Carbohydrate Counting Can Be Good For Diabetics

Carbohydrate counting may sound like a fairly foreign term to most of us, but it is extremely important for people living with type one and type two diabetes. Even if you do not have diabetes, this meal planning tool can be useful for you to take note of your daily food and nutrients intake so that you can avoid developing diabetes. Some of the reasons why it is important to include the fact that carbohydrates greatly affect your blood sugar levels. The very first step is in knowing what are the good and bad carbohydrates that you are currently consuming. This article will give you all the information you’ll need to know about the foods you should and should not eat as well as why carbohydrate counting is good for you. Read on to find out more about what diet plans are suitable for your health in the long run.

Which Foods Contain Carbohydrates?

We often do not know what types of vitamins and nutrients we are eating on a daily basis but when it comes to carbohydrates, it is fairly easy to recognize what type of foods contain them. Some common food items that contain carbohydrates are grains, fruits, dairy products, legumes, snack foods, juices, soft drinks, energy drinks, and vegetables. We’re sure that you can easily identify most of them from your grocery list but it is imperative to know that not all of these items are good for you. If you are watching your blood sugar level and want it to decrease or maintain, you should definitely avoid anything with added sugars. Foods like sweets, cakes, energy drinks and fruit juices with added sugar all contribute towards raising your blood sugar level. Besides those, you will be glad to know that plenty of meat, fish, poultry, and cheese do not contain carbohydrates so be sure to adjust your diet to exclude carbohydrate-rich foods the next time you stock up your kitchen.

What Happens When You Eat Foods containing Carbohydrates?

Whenever you eat, your body digests the food in various stages. The digestive system works to break the sugars and starches in foods that contain carbohydrates to produce glucose. The insulin in your body then aids cells in your body in absorbing glucose and in turn, raising your blood glucose levels. For people with type one and type two diabetes, your insulin sensitivity may be relatively low such that your body produces more insulin than needed, thus causing your blood sugar to rise infinitely. This is if precaution is not taken with respect to your daily food intake.

How Can Carbohydrate Counting Help You?

With carbohydrates being one of the main culprits in raising your blood sugar levels, carbohydrate counting will impede the development of diabetes by maintaining your blood glucose levels. This is beneficial for you as you can stay healthy longer and avoid problems like kidney disease, blindness and nerve damage, among other ailments. Besides carbohydrate counting, you may also need diabetes medicines and insulin shots to further help you to keep a healthy blood sugar level.

How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need Each Day?

When it comes to how much carbohydrates and other nutrients a person need for their daily intake, it varies and depends on each person. There is no set number that you can follow but experts recommend that the amount of carbohydrates most people should consume is between 45 and 65 percent of total calories. This depends on how regularly you work out and how many calories you require to get energy. In general, one gram of carbohydrate equates to around four calories so carbohydrate counting is fairly simple; just divide the number of calories you want to get from carbohydrates by four to keep track of the number of grams you are consuming. Be sure to keep a list of what you eat throughout the day so that you can take note of your carbohydrates intake.

How Can You Find Out How Much Carbohydrate is in the Foods You Eat?

This can be tricky if you are not used to buying foods with nutrition labels attached to them. However, fret not for common foods like a slice of bread, ⅓ cup of pasta or rice and ½ cup of canned or fresh fruit contain around 15 grams of carbohydrate. It will get easier to calculate once you get the hang of it and know what are the usual foods you consume; definitely research online if you are unsure. For food items with nutrition labels, all you have to do is take note of the serving size and total grams of carbohydrate per serving to calculate your carbohydrate intake for that meal.

Can You Eat Sweets and Other Foods and Drinks with Added Sugars?

You can still satisfy your sweet tooth once in a while with a small dessert or two but it is important that you are disciplined and only consume small amounts. Added sugars are commonly found in soft drinks, cakes, ice cream, and candy so be sure to look out for their ingredients list; ingredients like corn syrup and fructose are just some added sugars to be aware of.

How You Will Know Counting Carbs is Working 

The simplest way to tell whether carbohydrate counting is working for you is by regularly checking your blood glucose levels. You can do so with a glucose meter or an A1C blood test, which you should have minimally twice a year. If your blood glucose levels are still too high after you have cut down on your carbs, you’ll need to make more changes to your diet and lifestyle as well as your medication.

Moderating your diet and cutting down on your carbohydrates intake is no easy feat, especially in the initial stages. Set mini-milestones for yourself when you start carbohydrate counting and reward yourself with a small sweet treat whenever you successfully manage to cut your carbohydrate consumption. Making small changes to your lifestyle and diet can go a long way in keeping you well and healthy so don’t be afraid to try something new like carbohydrate counting to improve your life.

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11 Foods That Diabetics Should Keep Away From

Living with diabetes can get tricky when it comes to adjusting your food preferences. When watching your blood sugar and insulin levels, there are various foods that you can no longer indulge in. Even if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, it is best that you watch out and take note of the list of foods you should avoid. This is so that you can steer clear of developing health ailments like heart disease, kidney disease, and blindness, among other things. The top of the list will have to be carbohydrates as they have the most impact on your blood sugar. When consumed regularly and in large amounts, carbohydrates will cause a spike in your blood sugar levels which will result in many health complications. However, this is all avoidable as long as you know what foods to avoid. Here are 11 foods that people with diabetes should keep away from.

1. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

The high carbs content in sugar-sweetened beverages will do a lot of harm to your blood sugar levels as they can lead to insulin resistance and belly fat. Insulin is produced by your body to absorb sugar into your cells but with insulin resistance, sugars like glucose and fructose remain in the bloodstream and cause your blood sugar levels to skyrocket. Not to mention that drinking such beverages can lead to significant weight gain that is detrimental for your condition due to the risk of getting fatty liver. Instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, you can opt for naturally sweetened drinks like fruit-flavored water the next time you’re craving something sweet.

2. Trans Fats

Trans Fats are unsaturated fats found in most spreads like peanut butter and margarine as well as frozen dinners and baked goods like cakes. They are a more stable form of fat as hydrogen is added to them. One of their main uses is as a food preservative and they can cause inflammation, insulin resistance, and belly fat. Although more countries are banning the use of trans fats in food products, they still exist and it is imperative that you watch out for them on the ingredients list.

3. White Bread, Pasta and Rice

If you have type one or type two diabetes, consuming wheat products like white bread, pasta and rice will lead to higher blood sugar levels and even decreased brain function. This is because they are high in carbs and low in fiber; what this means is that eating these foods will increase your blood sugar levels while the lack of fiber will make it even harder for sugar to be absorbed into your cells. Regardless of that, you don’t have to completely ditch these food items; simply replace them with high-fiber alternatives and you are good to go.

4. Fruit-Flavored Yogurt

There is a common misconception that yogurt is always a healthier dessert option but this is not true for fruit-flavored yogurt. Despite the fact that it is low in fats, it is full of sugar and carbs. So, the next time you want to eat yogurt, be sure to purchase plain or whole-milk yogurt; you can still derive all the benefits that yogurt can give you while avoiding all the health detriments that come with sugar and carbs.

5. Sweetened Breakfast Cereals

Grabbing a bowl of cereal before you head out in the morning is the easiest way to get your energy fuel without spending much time. However, if you have the habit of eating sweetened breakfast cereals on a daily basis, your blood sugar levels will rise to astronomical levels. This is as they are low in protein and high in carbs. Protein is the nutrient that will give you the fuel you’ll need every day so look for breakfast options that are high in protein for a hearty and healthy meal.

6. Flavored Coffee Drinks

Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up caffeine just to stay healthy. In fact, coffee is one of the best beverages that you should consume if you are diabetic but this is with the exception of flavored ones. Sweetened coffee is loaded with carbs and calories so while it will keep you awake, it will also make you gain more weight. Keep it simple with plain coffee and your blood sugar levels will thank you for it in the long run.

7. Honey, Agave Nectar and Maple Syrup

Besides the usual white and table sugar that you should steer clear from, there is an array of other sweeteners and syrups that are equally bad for you. It is best to avoid sweet delights at all costs but they are not the only culprit as there is also brown sugar, honey, agave nectar and maple syrup which contain just as many carbs. Consuming these forms of sugar not only affects people with type one and two diabetes but people but prediabetes as well; even taking small amounts will go a long way in hiking up your blood sugar levels.

8. Dried Fruit

They may be easier to carry around and eat as a midday snack, but they definitely do not have the same health benefits that fresh fruit do. While you shouldn’t avoid fruit altogether as low-sugar ones like fresh berries are still beneficial for your health, keep dried fruit at bay. Sugar content becomes more concentrated and carb content increases when the fruit is dried; making it relatively unhealthy and damaging to your health.

9. Packaged Snack Foods

Snacks that boast of being the healthier choice may be true for non-diabetics but their high carb count makes them a bad choice for diabetics. Made with refined flour and providing extremely little nutrients, snacks like saltine crackers, pretzels, and graham crackers are not a good snack option between meals; avoid them and choose a low-carb salad or nuts and berries instead.

10. Fruit Juice

You will probably be surprised to know that fruit juice, even unsweetened ones, can contain more sugar than sweetened beverages like soda. Rich in fructose, fruit juice can cause insulin resistance, obesity and heart disease so replace them with plain water and mint or lemon for an equally refreshing taste.

11. French Fries

Potatoes alone are loaded with carbs and the process of making french fries result in high amounts of Advanced glycation end-product (AGEs) and aldehydes which will lead to inflammation and put you at risk of developing various diseases.

Nothing beats keeping yourself healthy, especially when you have diabetes. There are steps you can take to maintain your blood sugar levels and food plays a big part. It might be difficult at first but we guarantee that making some sacrifices in your diet will be rewarding in the long run.

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What Makes Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Different?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects a large group of people around the world. It is fairly common and stems from high blood sugar levels due to the body’s inability to absorb sugar into the cells. While this is the overall definition of diabetes, this disease can be split into Type One and Type Two diabetes; with each meaning something different.

On one hand, type one diabetes develops when a person’s body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone in the body that allows sugar to be absorbed from the food we eat into our cells. When there is insufficient or no insulin in our bodies, little to no sugar is absorbed which means that the sugar broken down from our food stays in our bloodstream; resulting in high blood sugar levels.

Type Two diabetes, on the other hand, refers to people whose bodies do not react well to insulin and don’t produce enough insulin during later stages of the disease. There are also many health complications and ailments that come with diabetes and this article will give you an overview of how Type One and Type Two diabetes differ.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

While both types of diabetes have a lot of symptoms in common, they differ in the speed that they develop. Some common symptoms are incessant urination, constant hunger, and thirst, fatigue, deteriorating vision and injuries that don’t completely heal. Symptoms that are unique to type one diabetes are things like irritability, mood changes and a loss in weight. For type two diabetes, some unique symptoms include numbness and tingling. The biggest difference in their symptoms is that the symptoms for type two diabetes develop gradually over a period of many years while the symptoms for type one diabetes usually develop rapidly over a few weeks.

What Causes Diabetes?

For type one diabetes, the disease develops when there is a flaw in the body’s immune system, causing it to fend off healthy cells instead of viruses. The result is that healthy insulin-producing beta cells are crushed in the process. As this continues, the body loses its ability to generate insulin and blood sugar levels will rise indefinitely.

In contrast, type two diabetes is the result of the body’s inability to use insulin. This can be the outcome of being overweight or unfit. As such, the pancreas will attempt to repair the body by generating more insulin but since the body is not apt in using it, sugar will concentrate and remain in the body’s bloodstream.

How Common is Diabetes?

Although there are two types of diabetes, type two diabetes occurs in more people in the world than type one. However, as people grow older, the chances of getting diabetes increases. While gender does not affect the speed at which one develops the disease, some races and ethnicities are more prone to the disease than others. For example, American Indians and Alaskan Natives have a higher percentage of their population getting the disease.

What are the Risk Factors for Type One and Type Two Diabetes?

Lifestyle and diet habits play a part in getting the disease but this is not always true. For type one diabetes, it is unavoidable as the risk factors stem from family history and genetics. If you have a family member who has type one diabetes, there is a higher chance that you might get it as well. Other factors are things like age as young children and youths are more likely to develop type one diabetes. Where you stay also plays a part as people who stay a greater distance away from the equator are more at risk.

On the other hand, type two diabetes is different in the fact that there are things you can do to prevent its occurrence. Type two diabetes develops when one has prediabetes, is overweight, over the age of 45, have gestational diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome before, a lot of belly fat or is unfit, among other things. Despite so, there are ways to reduce the risk of getting the disease; some ways include keeping your weight within the acceptable range, increasing the amount of physical activity you partake in and eating less sugary and over-processed food items.

How are Type One and Type Two Diabetes Diagnosed?

It is a fairly simple procedure when it comes to checking if you have diabetes. All you’ll need is to go for a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test which will measure your blood sugar level over the past few months. If your A1C level exceeds 6.5, you will be diagnosed with diabetes.

How are Type One and Type Two Diabetes Treated?

There is no remedy for someone with type one diabetes and they will need to rely on constant injections of insulin throughout the day to keep their insulin levels steady. They are usually injected in the stomach, arms, or buttocks; some may even use insulin pumps. Another point is that they’ll need to check their blood sugar levels regularly.

In comparison, type two diabetes is less tricky to treat if you are willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes. This means paying close attention to the food you eat and making it a point to exercise more. Sometimes, that is insufficient and some people may need medications to aid their body in using insulin better. Similar to type one diabetes, the constant checking of blood sugars is imperative to avoid health ailments.

Diabetes Diet

In order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, your diet is of utmost importance. For type one diabetics, you’ll need to take note of the types of food you eat and count your carbohydrates as they are the number one culprit in raising your blood sugar levels. This will then determine the amount of insulin you’ll need to match what you eat.

For type two diabetics, you will need to concentrate on decreasing the amount of junk food you consume. Losing weight is often the focus of most and you can do so by watching your calorie intake.

Diabetes can happen to anyone so it is imperative to educate yourself earlier and pre-empt yourself for what’s to come if you have had a family member with this disease. Attempt to make lifestyle changes starting today if you are worried and definitely adjust your diet and physical activities if you have been diagnosed to play it safe.

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What is Diabetes? | Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and disordered metabolism resulting from low levels of the hormone insulin (pancreas not producing insulin in type 1 diabetes) or abnormal insulin resistance (cells not responding to insulin in type 2 diabetes). Without proper management, it can lead to a buildup of sugars in the blood and cause serious complications such as heart disease and stroke.   

What Causes Diabetes? 

The common characteristic of all types of diabetes is the fact that they cause the affected person to have too much glucose in the blood. Everyone needs some glucose for energy. Your body gets energy when carbohydrates from the food and beverages consumed are broken down. The glucose is then released into the bloodstream.   

Your body also needs the hormone insulin produced by your pancreas. Insulin is responsible for allowing glucose to get into the cells and fuel the body. The pancreas of non-diabetics can sense the presence of glucose in the blood, and is, therefore, able to release the right amounts of insulin to drive glucose into the cells. If you are diabetic, it would mean that your system does not work well. 

Different Types of Diabetes 

The 3 main types of diabetes include type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.  

Type 1 Diabetes 

Also known as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes, this is the more severe type occurring when the body fails to produce insulin. The immune system of a type 1 diabetic mistakenly attacks the cells responsible for making insulin in the pancreas and destroys them. The attack is referred to as an autoimmune disease. Although it can be diagnosed at any age, type 1 is more common in children and young adults. The patients are insulin-dependent, meaning artificial insulin has to be taken every day.  

The causes are unknown, but type 1 is believed to stem from environmental factors and genetic susceptibility. For this type, weight is not considered a risk factor. The risk factors for type 1 would include: 

  • Ecological factors: Could include exposure to a viral illness linked to type 1 diabetes 
  • Family history: Parents, siblings, or immediate relatives have type 1 diabetes 
  • Geography: Some countries have high rates of the disease especially Sweden and Finland 
  • The presence of auto-antibodies: If you are tested to have damaged immune system cells, there are high chances of developing type 1 diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes 

With type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin properly. While in this type your body makes insulin, the cells do not respond to it effectively. Also known as adult-onset diabetes, this is the most common type strongly linked to obese people with a sedentary lifestyle. However, not every obese person has type 2 diabetes. Although it can be diagnosed in children, it is common among the older and middle-aged groups. The main focus of treatment targets exercise and diet. 

A sedentary lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors are believed to be the major players in the onset of type 2 diabetes. The risk factors include: 

  • Lack of exercise: Exercise enables you to control your weight, which would prompt your body to use glucose as energy and cause your cells to have more insulin sensitivity. 
  • Weight: Obesity increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes 
  • Family history: If any of your parents, siblings, or immediate relatives have type 2 diabetes, you are at a high risk of developing the disease. 
  • Age: The older you get, the higher the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. It could be a result of a sedentary lifestyle, inactivity, and loss of muscle mass.  
  • Race: Asian-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians are at high risk.  
  • High blood pressure: With a blood pressure of more than 140/90 mm of mercury, your chances of developing type 2 diabetes increase.  
  • Gestational diabetes: Developing gestational diabetes when pregnant predisposes you to type 2 diabetes in the future.  
  • Abnormal triglyceride and cholesterol levels: Low HDL –high-density lipoprotein levels expose you to type 2 diabetes risk. 

Gestational Diabetes 

This type is common during pregnancy and often disappears after delivery. However, developing gestational diabetes increases your risk of type 2 diabetes.  

During the pregnancy period, your placenta releases hormones designed to sustain the pregnancy. The hormones cause the cells in your body to resist insulin. In response, the pancreas then produces more insulin to counteract the resistance. Sometimes, however, the pancreas gives up, causing little glucose to penetrate the cells and leaves much of it in the blood. This then results in gestational diabetes. The risk factors include: 

  • Family history: If a close family member has type 2 diabetes, you are at risk of developing gestational diabetes.  
  • Age: Pregnant women aged 25 and above are at a high risk 
  • Weight: Too much weight during pregnancy exposes you to gestational diabetes

Uncontrolled gestational diabetes can lead to the death of the baby before or shortly after birth. The mother may also suffer from preeclampsia characterized by high blood pressure and swelling in the legs. 

Complications 

Poor management of diabetes exposes you to a higher risk of complications. Most of the complications could be life-threatening. All types of diabetes increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage, retinopathy, skin conditions such as bacterial and fungal infections, hearing impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and foot damage such as infections which could eventually result in limb amputation.  

The Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes 

The symptoms of diabetes vary depending on the elevation of blood glucose. If you have pre-diabetes or even a type 2, you are likely to miss the symptoms during the onset of the disease. Symptoms are more apparent and severe in Type 1. Here are some of the signs that could signal the presence of diabetes. 

  • Frequent urination 
  • Increased thirst 
  • Hunger pangs  
  • Unexplained loss of weight 
  • Ketones in the urine 
  • Irritability 
  • Fatigue 
  • Slow-healing sores 
  • Frequent infections

Diabetes Treatment 

The goal of treating diabetes is to achieve low glucose levels that is within the normal range. Type 1 is treated with insulin, a low carb diet, and exercise. In type 2, weight reduction, proper nutrition, and exercise are the first treatment measures. Should they fail, medications are prescribed to stabilize the elevated levels of blood glucose. In cases where the medications also fail, insulin may be initiated.  

Diabetic people are also likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, the two ingredients of a heightened level of blood glucose. In such a situation, it is essential to talk to a counselor to better cope with your condition.  

Because the complications of uncontrolled diabetes can be severe including kidney disease and stroke, it is vital to manage your condition accordingly.  

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What Clothing Features Should Diabetics Look For?

According to the World Health Organization, diabetes could be the 7th leading cause of death across the world by 2030. Worse still, the statistics show that the number of Americans with diabetes could record a rise of up to 1 in 3 by 2050. 

Because the stakes are already too high and the number of affected people devastating, there are possible ways of alleviating the symptoms of diabetes and perhaps even reach a cure. People living with diabetes have a lot to overcome. Maintaining an active lifestyle and keeping up with treatment plans are some of them. Type 1 diabetics, for instance, administer treatment through wearing an insulin pump or injecting insulin into their skin. Although combining exercise, the right diet, and oral medication can at times be sufficient for some diabetics, injections may still be required. 

Just because you are diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, it does not mean that you cannot start pumping the breaks. As the levels of your blood sugars begin to climb up to dangerous levels, you can embrace various lifestyle changes to get them trickling down. Let’s start with what you wear every day. For many, fashion may not come across as a major concern, but for diabetics it does. This is where proper diabetes clothing comes in. For people with diabetes, deciding what to wear each morning can be complicated. Look for diabetic clothing products with protective sleeves, arms and leg protectors for improved circulation.   

Diabetic Foot Problems and what to Wear 

Understand that poorly controlled blood glucose can greatly contribute to poor circulation. This can then cause major damages in various parts of your body especially the vessels and nerves that go to your feet. Neuropathy is a condition that sets in when nerves are damaged. Diabetic neuropathy causes a lack of feeling in the feet, making it difficult for you to realize a cut or an injury. Because diabetics suffer from poor circulation, cuts take too much time to heal.  Left untreated, an injury or a cut can result in a dangerous infection that could lead to amputation. The following are some of the foot problems diabetics suffer from: 

  • Corns 
  • Calluses 
  • Bunions 
  • Gangrene  
  • Fungal infections 

Although many people do not consider diabetic shoes and socks important, they play a crucial role in promoting health and preventing complications associated with diabetes. Wearing improper footwear can lead to painful foot ulcers if you are suffering from diabetes. Wearing the wrong footwear causes nerve damage which can then change the form of your feet. If you have diabetes, you are at risk of developing a deformity that can lead to inward bending of the toenails, referred to as hammertoe.  

Diabetic Shoes can Prevent Amputations 

For people living with diabetes, there is no perfect footwear, but there are shoe designs that can help delay or accelerate the onset of ulcers. When shopping, look for shoes that are not too loose or too tight. You can only keep your feet healthy by wearing well-fitting shoes. Features to look for include: 

  • Leather, suede, or canvas material 
  • Lightweight shoes 
  • Shock-absorbing sole 
  • Shoes with laces for easier loosening or tightening 
  • Solid back for better support 

Shoes a diabetic must avoid include: 

  • Unfitting shoes – These could injure your feet 
  • Pointed toes – These restrict circulation 
  • Shoes lacking arch support – These could cause tissue breakdown in your feet 

If you have diabetes but need to wear heels, ensure they have a rounded-toe style, must be below 2 inches, and should be worn sparingly.  

Who should Wear Diabetic Socks?  

Diabetic socks are purely designed for healthy blood circulation. Some are moisture-wicking, others non-elastic, and do not constrict the foot. Because they are light and breathable, they can prevent the development of clots, which is great for pregnant women with gestational diabetes. 

How do you know if diabetic socks are meant for you? If you experience the following: 

  • Feet sensitive to changes in temperature 
  • Constant swelling of feet 
  • Nerve damages 
  • Frequent injuries on your feet 

Diabetic socks would be very beneficial for your feet. 

If you do not have any of these symptoms, any sock would suffice. Do note that you should avoid very tight or loose socks, and those with uncomfortable seams. 

Which are the Best Diabetic Socks?  

Socks designed for diabetics prevent blisters and reduce the pressure exerted to the legs and feet. The socks you choose should be seamless and non-elastic for maximum comfort.  Because diabetes exposes your feet to swelling, the non-elasticity feature should help prevent constriction.  

The seamless feature minimizes neurological pain and friction to the nerves. Wearing tight socks can lead to limited circulation in a diabetic person. Socks with the right features play a crucial role in preventing future amputation or even death resulting from an injured foot.  

White socks are also better options as it would allow you to spot blood from an injury quickly, especially if you have nerve damage. 

Should Diabetics Wear Slippers? 

Diabetics can wear slippers but with limitations. First, the choice of slippers a person with diabetes uses should offer more than just comfort. Diabetic slippers should contain cushioning to provide support to the knees, back, and the hips. Switching from shoes to slippers when indoors can help your feet to dry and prevent possible infections.  

Because your feet shed skin cells constantly, purchase a pair of new slippers each year. The dead cells are microscopic and tend to build up in your sandals. Because diabetics are prone to nerve damage meaning they feel pain when it is too late, they should opt for closed or open-back slippers to protect their feet from sharp objects.  

If you have diabetes and do not know the clothing to wear, you might want to get some insight from Natalie Balmain, a budding fashion designer living with type 1 diabetes. There are many styles and designs of clothing to choose from. Whichever brand or size you prefer, you could buy just one pair first to see how you like it. 

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What are your Socks Made of?

Your feet support the entire weight of your body and contain multiple sweat glands. It means your feet need to be kept dry under regulated temperatures. During the manufacturing process of socks, there are two main approaches incorporated to manage moisture. The first one is the insulation approach designed to reduce perspiration and the second one is a devised method of transporting moisture from the body.  

Common Sock Yarns 

The process of manufacturing socks has advanced. Today, there are dyes, fiber blending, and more. If you are diabetic, your doctor must have emphasized the need to wear clothes that encourage circulation, and a knee length sock comes in handy. Because there are a lot of materials used in making socks, it is crucial that you choose a comfortable material.  

Cotton 

Cotton is 100 percent natural fiber with a soft and smooth feel. Even after repeated washing, this strong material stays in shape.  It is less likely to shrink, is biodegradable, breathable, and retains color. Although it can withstand wear and tear, and abrasion, it can also hold moisture well. It soaks up uneven amounts of water, meaning it is not the best for people in sports. 

Cotton also tends to heat up, creating the perfect environment for bacteria and blisters. If you are in sports, avoid 100 percent cotton socks. The types of cotton mostly used in socks include: 

  • Recycled Cotton: This is normally spun from scraps that would have otherwise been discarded after cutting or weaving. 
  • Organic Cotton: This is cotton grown with the absence of fertilizers and pesticides. The method used to produce this type of cotton is believed to give room for biodiversity.  
  • Combed Cotton: This is combed cotton that leaves straight and long fibers behind. It is one of the most popular and expensive.  
  • Mercerized Cotton: This cotton goes through extra processing to offer softness and luster and to also intensify dyed colors. 

Wool 

Wool is mostly used in cold climates and can also absorb moisture. Although prices depend on the type of wool used to manufacture the socks, quality is determined by the diameter and the length of the fibers. Finer and longer fibers are warmer. Understand that wool is anti-microbial, meaning it is resistant to odor.   

Merino wool is the most common type. It is a fine grade originally derived from the merino sheep. What makes it different from other types is its luxurious softness and comfort. This type of wool is shrink-treated allowing it to hold its shape and size. It also does not itch.  

Microfiber 

Because it is excellent at wicking moisture away from your body, it is mostly used in the sports and medical industries. Unlike cotton, this material keeps the feet dry thereby preventing the occurrence of blisters during sports. With this material, thinner socks can be created. It is a thin yet durable material that takes up very little room in your shoes. Since it is also resistant to stain, it is easy to maintain.  

Nylon 

This is a popular polymer that is strong yet versatile and hard. It is bulky and thin often used in combination with other materials to produce stretchy and durable socks. This material is mostly used in modern socks to offer the stretchy feature needed in socks.  

Your Socks Have Dye 

Dyes used in manufacturing socks are many and different. The process of dyeing happens on the fiber which is then woven into socks. The most common dyes include: 

  • Natural Dyes: Natural dyes are derived from wild plants and natural materials. For a saturated color to be achieved, environmental materials are used in high quantities.  
  • Low-Impact Dyes: These dyes do not contain toxic substances, have high water absorption rates, and are rinsed less, meaning they are great when you want to save water. 
  • Mordant: A mordant is used in dyes to enable them to bond chemically to the fiber. Without it, the molecules just lie on the surface of the fiber and could be rinsed off. It is an inorganic substance great at preparing and opening up the fiber chemically to allow it to bond. Sodium chloride, aluminum salts, tannic acid, and alum are the most commonly used mordants. 

When choosing socks, find out about the fabric content. Most are made from a blend of fabrics. Here, learn the most common fibers and techniques used to make your socks. 

Bamboo 

These are fibers extracted from natural plants. It is a breathable and soft fiber with a natural sheen on the surface and feels like cashmere or silk. Bamboo is naturally microbial, hypoallergenic, and durable.   

Acrylic 

Although it is man-made, acrylic is highly durable offering warmth and softness. Acrylic is an all versatile fabric that retains elasticity amidst pulling.  

Cashmere 

Cashmere is produced from the soft hair of Cashmere goat and offers natural and light-weight insulation. Because it is comfortable and soft, it considered a luxury fiber.  

Olefin 

Also referred to as polypropylene, it is a high-tech synthetic that repels water. It is commonly used alongside other layers to help in wicking away moisture from the body. Out of all man-made fibers, cashmere is the lightest.  

Most Breathable and Anti-Odor Socks 

With the feet containing more than 250,000 sweat glands, anyone can sweat. Normally, excessive sweating in the feet is attributed to hyperhidrosis. It can also result from hormonal changes and medications. However, wearing thick socks and those with poor fabric can cause sweating in your feet.   

Choose socks with moisture wicking properties to ensure sweat is absorbed from your skin and released into the air. Such socks can help keep your feet comfortable and prevent bad odor and the growth of bacteria. Olefin, polyester, and merino wool are the best moisture wicking materials.  

If you, at some point, have to treat blisters in the middle of a hike because of your wrong socks, then you know you can’t scrimp on that one piece of gear. Depending on what you want to do in your socks, knowing what they are made of can help you make a perfect choice.  

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