Dr. Oz: Fenugreek fights diabetes; eat fat-burning snacks for weight loss

If you’re concerned about diabetes, you know that blood sugar spikes can be serious. On his Feb. 21 talk show, Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed how fenugreek can stabilize blood sugar and fight diabetes. Plus: Discover new Oz-approved fat-burning snacks to accelerate your weight loss.

Fenugreek slows down your body’s digestion of carbohydrates while decreasing the absorption of glucose. As a result, it can help to control your blood sugar while battling diabetes, says Dr. Oz.

How to use: Add the seeds as a spice to meals. It’s particularly good in vegetable dishes or soups. Dr. Oz recommends one tablespoon a day.

Where to find: Look in the grocery store or online, such as Starwest Botanicals Organic Fenugreek Seed.

Also featured on the same episode, Dr. Oz dished up his new weight loss discoveries: Snacks that actually boost your body’s ability to burn fat.

Dr. Oz recommends:

  • Use figs as snacks to reduce your hunger and burn fat faster. Tip: Look for brands without added sugar and chemicals, such as Indus Organic Turkish Jumbo Dried Figs (click for details).
  • Licorice root blocks an enzyme that plays a role in fat accumulation and helps control cravings. You can also find it in tea form, such as Yogi Egyptian Licorice Tea.
  • Protein-packed pistachios help you stay full, reducing your cravings. Tip: If you have a problem with portion control, look for mini bags, such as 130-calorie bags of Wonderful Pistachios.
  • Hydrating watermelon supports your metabolism. Try one cup in a smoothie to lose weight more easily.
  • High in polyunsaturated fats, pine nuts make your body burn calories faster. Dr. Oz suggests two tablespoons three times a week. Look for pine nuts in health food stores or online, such as Good Sense Pine nuts.
  • Make snacks that use beans, which have soluble fiber and reduce fattening inflammation. Try the recipe below as an example.

Midnight Brownies

This recipe was created by Kim, a guest of “The Dr. Oz Show” who lost more than 200 pounds. The secret ingredient: black beans. Kim authored a book about how she lost the weight: “Finally Thin!: How I Lost More Than 200 Pounds and Kept Them Off–and How You Can, Too” (click for details).

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp mini semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 8×8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a food processor, mix all brownie ingredients (except chips) together. Chop on high, until smooth. Clean off sides and blend for another 20 seconds. Add the chips and stir well. Spread into the 8×8 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 1 hour at room temperature.

Frosting
Ingredients

  • 6 oz. fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp semisweet mini chocolate chips, melted

Directions

With a whisk attachment on an electric beater, blend all ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread evenly over the top of the cooled brownies. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the 2 tbsp of chips with a 2-second spray of nonstick cooking oil. Using a spoon, swirl the chocolate on top. Allow it to set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Diabetes Foot Problems

Diabetes is a disease in which the body is not able to filter glucose levels properly, and that leads to damage of the nerves and blood vessels. When this damage occurs, two main problems happen, nerve damage and poor blood flow. These conditions can lead to many diabetic foot problems.

Neuropathy

Diabetic nerve damage is also called neuropathy. When you have neuropathy, your sensation of pain in your feet is diminished. This loss of pain sensation could make one unaware of a sore, blister, cut or rash until it becomes infected. Neuropathy will affect the amount of moisture delivered to your skin and may cause dry, cracked feet. These cracks can also become infected.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Damage to your blood vessels, or peripheral vascular disease, leads to poor blood flow to your legs and feet. This condition impacts how well your body will be able to heal a cut or blister. Smoking also decreases blood flow to your extremities and will compound the lack of blood flow.

Potential Problems

Neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease work together to create major problems for your feet. For example; you have a rock in your shoe, but you can’t feel it under your toe because of neuropathy. By the end of the day, you have a blister on your toe and it does not heal well because lack of blood flow to your foot. The blister gets infected, and excess glucose in your bloodstream (due to diabetes) feeds on the germs on the infected toe. If this sore does not heal, it may turn to gangrene. If your physician can’t keep this from spreading, you may have to have your toe, foot or part of your leg amputated. Gangrene is a condition where the skin and flesh around a wound turns black and dies.

Calluses

Calluses on your feet are also common when you have diabetes, usually due to poor fitting shoes. You should prevent calluses from forming in the first place, by gently using a pumice stone while your skin is wet. Rub lotion on your feet directly after using the pumice stone. Calluses need to be treated by a doctor. If left without proper care, calluses may get thick and fall off, leave an open wound in the skin, and become infected.

Prevention/Solution

How can you avoid diabetic foot problems? Stop smoking. Buy comfortable, properly fitting shoes. Inspect your feet every day, preferably at night after a long day of usage. Look for redness, sores, cracks, blisters, calluses, cuts and rashes. If you are unable to bend down to look at your feet, use a mirror, or better yet, get someone to check for you. Wash your feet every day in warm water; avoid hot water, as it dries the skin out. Rub a good lotion on them; make sure the foot is completely dry before putting on socks and shoes. Make sure the area between the toes is dry as well. Use a pumice stone on calluses every day. Trim your toenails carefully, or have a professional do it who understands the proper way to avoid skin injury. Wear socks, shoes or slippers to protect your feet. Get the proper amount of exercise each day to keep circulation moving to your feet.

You should be under a physician’s care to help protect your feet from diabetic foot problems.