Unsafe at Any Level

By: Scott M. King

At our house, we have avoided trans fats since 1993. This was the year Diabetes Health first printed a report about the dangers of eating margarine, which is often made from hydrogenated oil. Our 1993 article cited a study done in 1974, which indicates that scientists have been aware of the hazards of trans fats for quite some time.

Trans fats are created when oils are hydrogenated so that they will remain solidified at room temperature. Processing the oils in this way helps to lengthen shelf life and stabilize the flavor of the foods that contain them. But we now know that there is no safe level of trans fats.

In addition to the potential problems we face from having diabetes, eating foods with hydrogenated oils puts us at even higher risk for heart disease.

We were encouraged to learn that some fast-food restaurants and snack food makers are taking steps to eliminate trans fats from their products, but grocery store aisles are still loaded with these unhealthy food additives. We hope that more food companies will take the health of all of us into consideration and work to eliminate trans fats from many more food products as fast as possible.

Check out our article on trans fats on page 38.

Homing In on A1Cs

We’re continuing our practice of providing information about a particular product line with our handy product comparison charts. This month, we feature at-home A1C testing kits, beginning on page 50.

It’s getting easier than ever to "know your number," with a host of home A1C testing kits on the market. Because it’s so important to pay attention to your A1C level, it’s good to know that you don’t always have to wait for lab orders and doctor’s appointments to determine whether your diabetes is in good control.

Today, if your doctor doesn’t order an A1C test, or if you want to see how well your control is going between appointments, you can do it yourself. One kit allows you to read your own A1C in just a few minutes. The others have you apply blood to a specially treated material and mail it to a lab that will give you the result.

More Research

This issue of Diabetes Health presents 17 research updates, covering topics from medications to risk factors and diabetes-related complications.

Reading research papers in medical journals actually led to the birth of this magazine. Until I started visiting a medical library, I had no idea how much information was available about diabetes. Once I realized what was out there, I thought that everyone needed to know what kinds of research were being done.

For space reasons, we can’t print everything that researchers are discovering, but we do offer a sampling of some of the more important and interesting topics. We constantly check journals to read about the latest diabetes-related research so that we can tell you what’s going on.

Diabetes Health is committed to devoting several pages per issue to research updates. Because we want to report on as much relevant research as possible each month, we’ve shortened the format of the updates themselves, to contain only the essence of the research.

For those who want more information, we’re also providing the citation for the original research at the end of each brief item. Some healthcare professionals have told us they don’t have time to read a lot of medical journals, but they can gather a lot of information about the latest research from Diabetes Health. When they see a research update concerning a topic that interests them, they’ll be able to easily locate the details.

We want to continue to bring you as much of the latest research about diabetes as we can. After all, that’s what "made" Diabetes Health in the first place.

Have happy holidays, enjoy all the delicious food and remember to test your glucose levels often. Make sure your medication and exercise are keeping your levels in a good range.



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