Low Carb Diet for Diabetes

Cranberry Snack BallOver the years there has been a lot of controversy and confusion surrounding the benefits of a low carb diet for diabetes. If you are among this group and have been considering a low carb diet, there are two areas of concern you should check out first: One – what are carbohydrates and how do they function in the body? Two – what is meant by a low-carb diabetic diet?

The main function of carbohydrates is to provide the body with energy. The energy produced by carbohydrates will either be burned up immediately, or stored for later use. Carbohydrates are recognized as one of the major influences on blood sugar levels in the body. A lot of diabetics believe that eating a low-carb diabetic diet helps controls their blood sugar levels better than ordinary diabetic diets.

However, people with diabetes don’t all have the same needs, so you should definitely talk to your medical team before altering your diet in any way.

The reason why a diet lower in carbs might help, they say, is that once carbs enter the digestive system, it is up to the liver to break them down into its simpler form of glucose and sugars. This process stimulates the pancreas to produce the hormone insulin, which is necessary for converting the sugars into energy.

However, the body’s insulin production varies depending upon the kind of carbohydrates consumed by the body. Carbohydrates fall into two categories: simple and complex, or what is often called “good” and “bad” carbs, with simple being the bad, and complex being the good.

The reason for this is that simple carbs, foods that contain a lot of sugar, causes insulin levels to rise quickly, burning up the carbs at a faster rate. Conversely, complex carbs, like whole grains, digest at a slower rate, prolonging your energy reserves and making you feel full longer. More importantly, the body’s insulin levels don’t rise as fast with complex carbs… or that’s what we’re told.

However, recent research seem to refute such claims and contend that the difference between reaction times after the consumption of simple and complex carbs is a mere 30 minutes; and that the only real difference is on the reaction they have on blood sugar levels. This difference has been termed the hypoglycemic potential of carbohydrates, or glycemic index. Foods with a low glycemic index are considered the better carb.

It is very important for diabetics to factor into their diets the amount of sugar they consume. Too much sugar in their diet will cause the body to produce too much glucose. Being diabetic, the body will be unable to produce enough insulin to remove the excess glucose from the blood stream. When you consume too many simple carbs, the blood sugar balance in the blood stream is upset, as too much glucose becomes available. For the diabetic, such a scenario can be deadly.

Diabetics encounter a number of health problems, whether they are type A or B, including high blood pressure, circulatory problems, blindness, and heart disease. In addition, body will store the superfluous glucose in the blood in the tissues as fat, causing the afflicted person to become overweight.

So, what exactly is a low carb diabetic diet and how can it help you with your diabetes? Simply put, a low carb diabetic diet is one which restricts the daily consumption of carbs so that the insulin/sugar ratio in the blood can be kept at acceptable levels. This is accomplished by consuming more low carbs than those containing high amounts. This in turn restricts blood glucose and blood lipid levels. It can also help with other ailments associated with diabetes, including excessive weight gain.

Before embarking upon a low carb diet, however, it is important to do some research first. There are dozens of low carb diets out there, so finding the one that is right for you may require a little trial and error. Once you’ve decided upon the right one, it is a good idea to make a list of the foods it includes and stock up on them so that you’ll always have some available.

The majority of foods that make up the low carb list comes from meats, leafy vegetables, and most fruits. Some low carb diets also include wholegrain bread and pasta. There is a wealth of information online about low carb diabetic diets, as well as in recipe books. Once you become use to low carb dieting, you’ll find you have a whole host of delicious and healthy recipes at your disposal.

A low carb diabetic diet is often believed to relieve many of the problems associated with diabetes, and there are many success stories to back up this claim. But, be careful not to confuse low carb with no carbs. Balance is the most important thing with diabetes. Carbohydrate deficiency can cause a number of health issues itself, like fatigue, reduced mental capacity, and cramps. Therefore, your diet should at least contain the minimum threshold of carbs to be consumed every day.

More information about diets for diabetes: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/

Great Ideas for Games for Winter

Ice skating imageWinter can become a slow and long season especially when it snows or rains. Children who are stuck inside the house due to this cold season can become restless and bored. Fortunately, here are some great ideas for games for winter that will really keep your kids entertained all winter long.

For Snowy Days

1. Sled

It has been around for many years and still, a lot of people have fun playing with it. During winter, children would really love to run up to the top of the hill and just sled all the way down. This is definitely making the most of the weather.

2. Ski Skoot

If you are searching for a great alternative to sled and something that will let your child enjoy even though they are on a flat ground then a Ski Skoot is definitely the right toy for them. A Ski Skoot will let your child have fun with whatever the weather is.

3. Snowboards

There is a wide range of snowboards which are available for kids. Buy one for your child and take him or her to a local hill and teach your child how to use it and have fun with it. Snowboards don’t just let your child have fun but it also encourages them to be fit.

4. Snowman

This may not be a toy but kids do have fun building a snowman during a winter season. Building one with your child or letting them play with other kids is a fantastic way to be entertained during the long and slow winter season.

5. Snow Block Maker

This is made by Flexible Flyer and it lets you make blocks of snow and build it into something interesting. You and your child can even help each other to make an igloo or a snow wall or just anything that you want. This will surely keep you, your child or even the whole family amused for hours.

For Rainy Indoor Days

1. Puppet Show

This is a classic and it is still done by a lot of people today. It doesn’t just encourage creativity but it is also a kind of activity that can fight boredom for your kids or the whole family.

2. Theatre

This is quite similar to a puppet show. By doing this, your kids will have the chance to make their very own plays. Your kids can dress up in costumes and imagine being someone or something outside of their everyday experience. This will surely provide hours of fun and entertainment.

3. Monopoly

If your kids love board games or monopoly, then this is certainly a fantastic thing to play with during the long winter days. Playing monopoly can last for hours and this is very fun to play with.

4. Wii

This is a great game console to play indoors. The Wii has a lot of options of games for winter. This won’t just let your child have fun but this also promotes fitness because they don’t just sit down and play with it because there are several games for this game console that requires the players to stand up and do some actions, unlike most video games.

5. Legos

Legos are an excellent indoor toy. Building Lego sets will keep your child busy for hours while having fun and being creative and imaginative.

Why Dress Up Is Good For Kids

Dress up photo
Dress up is an activity that most children used to participate in, but it has become less popular with the rise of technology. A child’s development can be enhanced by dressing up as various characters and acting out historical events or anything that comes to the child’s mind.

Imagination is one of the most important things in life. Kids can dress up as superheroes, TV characters or real life heroes. The creativity that is sparked by this activity allows the brain to develop more than it would ordinarily with technological devices. The creativity inspired by dressing up can transfer into careers later on such as the performing arts: musicians, artists, and actors.

For right now, dressing up can help improve a child’s confidence and self-esteem. As they learn how to dress in a way that promotes self-expression, their development as a human being is enhanced. They can try out different roles by pretending. Does a child want to be a superhero, an astrophysicist or a favorite character in a book? Becoming secure in one’s worth as a human being is an important part of life and can be increased by an imaginative spirit and dressing up as a hero or role model.

Learning how to express oneself through clothes first happens in dressing up. It can also foster a child’s communication skills. Often the act of trying on different outfits leads to story-telling between friends and scenarios which include back and forth talking between children. The act of extemporaneous speech and acting is a skill that can be harnessed and used in business and other aspects of life later on. Being able to communicate one’s thoughts and ideas to others is a benefit that cannot be outweighed.

There’s no limit to the ways that kids can dress up. The child can imagine he is a pioneer on the Oregon trail or panning for gold in the Yukon. Other ideas include making a new scientific discovery, being a famous concert pianist, becoming President of the United Sates or going on a safari.

Also, it should be noted that the action of smiling and laughing can be brought on when children or even adults dress up. Putting on silly clothes or realizing that an outfit from years gone past looks really strange nowadays can bring a giggle to a child’s spirit. Scientifically, laughing and smiling are benefits to the soul and body. The act of laughing can bring more confidence or the fact of being amused at one’s mistakes.

Raising confident and happy kids is something that all parents want to happen. If tomorrow, your child decides to mimic your actions or the way you dress, see it as praise and encourage the child. Also, inspire them to create their own voice and way to dress.

Encourage them to make their own costumes out of things they find around the house – within reason, of course. They’ll be learning skills that could save you a bundle on expensive arts and crafts toys. Why not create a new costume idea that seems strange or silly? The developmental skills gained by thinking outside of the box can be monumental and may lead to something big down the line.

So there are tons of ways in which dress up is good for kids. Fostering the imagination will lead to the child growing up into a well-balanced and successful human being. It’s a lot of fun, too!

The Best Puzzle Toys – Why They’re So Great

Wooden puzzle photo
Most kids love puzzle toys, provided they are good ones that suit the age of the child. So it’s good that more and more puzzle toys are being manufactured nowadays. The popularity of the best puzzle toys is constantly increasing because both the parents and kids can benefit from this type of toy.

The best puzzle toys can combine fun with challenge. This encourages your child to play with the for hours. They may find it hard to stop! But, enjoyment is not the only thing that your child can get from playing with puzzle toys. You may be surprised to know they can be one of the best ways for your child to learn and have fun all at the same time.

Benefits of Playing with Puzzle Toys

1. First of all, puzzle toys can help all kids to develop their problem solving abilities. This involves planning and practicing methods or strategies on how to solve a particular problem.

2. They also help to develop a child’s logical thinking. Kids have to decide whether a particular solution will work. This helps in their decision-making skills. Some puzzle toys have more than one solution and in that situation, your child will be able to use his or her creativeness in completing it.

3. When your child gets stuck in solving the puzzle, they will learn to take another approach to try and fix it that way. This is great for learning how to tackle all kinds of problems in real life.

4. The best puzzle toys can help to build a child’s confidence, as they start to figure out how to solve different brainteasers by themselves. For this, it’s vital that the problem is not too difficult – or too easy.

5. A lot of adults think that puzzle toys are dull and dry which they are actually not. Different kids will like different types of challenge but most every child likes to be challenged by this type of game.

6. Problems and games will require your child to combine his or her creativity and spatial awareness. Games such as Sudoku, chess and Rubik’s cube will help your child to understand about spatial arrangements as well as remembering patterns and planning ahead.

7. Jigsaw puzzles can help develop your child’s fine motor skills through the need of having to hold little objects and position them accurately. Fine motor skills are important to develop your child’s writing ability, among other things.

8. Finally, puzzle toys teach your child about perseverance and patience. They will require some time to be solved especially if your child is playing with it for the first time. Kids can get irritated when things don’t go well but in case this happens, you just have to assist them on the next step or help them to think of different ways to arrive at the solution. Over time, they will learn to be more patient and their concentration span increases.

Creative thinking and problem solving skills are essential for your child’s development because this can really help them cope up with life when they grow up. These benefits alone are a very convincing reason to buy your child puzzle toys and all you have to do is to choose the right level of puzzle or game so that it will be a challenge to your child but at a level they can have fun with, and solve without too much frustration.

Want more about good toys and games? Try Art and Craft Toys for Kids

Art and Craft Toys for Kids

Arts and crafts toys photo
Kids have always loved to get involved with crafts and arts at different levels. Parents and grandparents love to see their creations too. But you should know that there are many other excellent reasons to buy kids art and craft toys and encouraging your kids to do all kinds of art related activities. Here are 4 major ones.

4 Major Advantages of Giving Kids Art and Craft Toys

1. Art and Craft Activities Can Improve Their Coordination

Art and craft activities usually involve kids working with both hands and these also allow them to move their hands in a certain manner. Thus they will have improved development of their fine motor skills and bilateral coordination. This will greatly help them in learning and getting used to other various daily activities such as tying their shoes, showering, dressing, writing etc. It will also help them in various sports when they become old enough to participate in one.

2. Doing Arts and Crafts Helps Them to Express Themselves Better

Art and crafts are some of the great ways to let children express themselves. Kids who are involved with arty activities will tend to be very visual when it comes to the things which are in their heads and that are happening around them. For kids who are reserved and shy, parents should have a bigger reason to encourage them to get involved in crafts and arts activities because this will help the parents to gain some idea as to what their child is experiencing, thinking and feeling.

3. Arts and Crafts Encourage Creativity in Kids

The imagination of a child has no limits and crafts and arts are definitely great ways for kids to further explore their imagination and ideas and turn them into something creative and productive. Art and craft activities can encourage kids to become innovative and creative and this could further nurture and improve their artistic talents which can become their passion in the future.

4. Art and Craft Fun Can Help Kids to Become Socially Flexible

Crafts and arts are activities that can either be done with company or alone thus, kids can do them whenever they want to. It means they don’t have to be bored if they have nobody to play with.

On the other hand, this type of activity can help kids to become social because it’s a good bonding activity between kids and their friends and siblings or even when they are with their parents or older relatives. But becoming engrossed in creative arts alone is good for kids too, as they learn to become self reliant and entertain themselves with something productive.

All of these benefits should have helped you in convincing yourself that crafts and arts are definitely worth it to become your kid’s hobby and interest. Go ahead and buy your kids some art and crafts toys so that they can start exploring their creativity and you can even start it by doing arty activities together with them. Art materials are very affordable and they are certainly worth the investment. You never know – your child may become a world-famous artist someday!