Diabetes Support

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Category: Diabetic Articles (Page 3 of 7)

Are Pre-Packaged “Low Carb” Foods Really Low Carb?

In the last couple of years there have been more and more prepackaged foods going onto shelves in supermarkets and health food shops that are advertised as having a “Low Carb” content.

Being a diabetic, it is important to maintain a low carb intake for several reasons: 1) carbs convert to sugar (glucose) in the digestive tract and raise blood sugar levels, 2) to compensate for the increase in sugar coming into the bloodstream, the body increases its production of insulin, which adds to the already existing problem of insulin resistance that diabetics must deal with, and 3) the excess sugar in the bloodstream that cannot be pushed into the cells of the body for food and energy get converted into triglycerides (fat) and get packed away in the fat cells causing weight gain.

To maintain a low carb diet the diabetic must have the correct information on the carb content of the food he or she is eating. Many new pre-packaged foods today have prominent wording the front of the packaging about it being “Low Carb” and stating that the product has only so many “net carbs” or “effective carbs” per serving.

Some of the “low carb” products that can be found on shelves are energy bars, noodles and even cookies. In inspecting several of these products, the energy bars had 2 “Effective Carbs” per serving, but when looking at the nutritional panel on the back it said Total Carbohydrates per serving was 24. The noodles advertised 5 “Net Carbs” per serving on the front, but the nutritional panel on the back stated Total Carbohydrates per serving was 43. The cookies advertised at only 2 “Net Carbs”, yet the nutritional panel stated Total Carbohydrates at 15.

How can this contradiction be and which information is correct?

Not counting carbs occurs two ways: The first is that some food manufacturers use sugar alcohols as ingredients to sweeten their products. The common sugar alcohols used are mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, and maltitol amongst others.

Because these sugar alcohols are not technically sugar (even though they do contain carbs and do raise blood sugar levels — but more slowly than sugar) the food manufacturers do not count their carb content or label it as zero.

The second way that carbs are not counted is: Fiber is known to help lower blood sugar levels. Because of this, certain food manufacturers count the number of grams of fiber per serving and subtract that number from the number of carbohydrates. Of course this is not based on any scientific evidence that the fiber cancels the carbs, but these food manufacturers do it anyway.

By using the above two techniques the result is “Net Carbs” or “Effective Carbs” which are advertised on the front of the packaging as the carb contents per serving.

But if you look at the nutritional panel on the back of these products it lists the true Total Carbohydrates per serving, which is required by law to be shown there.

So, do not be fooled by misleading advertising gimmicks, judge the carb content by looking at the Total Carbohydrates in the nutritional panel on the back of the product. If you have been using these incorrectly labeled products, you now know the real carb content of the foods you are eating. This will make it easier to keep your blood sugar levels under control.


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Why You Don’t Want Reduced Fat Milk in Your Diet

If you were to visit a milk processing plant, you would see it is filled with all types of stainless steel equipment and machinery.

Inside that machinery, the milk shipped from farms around the processing plant is completely re-made, so that there is so much protein, so much butterfat, etc.

This is done so that the milk products produced are both uniform and meet the standards for milk products set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

First the milk is separated with special machinery into fat, protein and various other solids and liquids. Once separated, these are remixed to set levels for whole, low-fat and no-fat milks.

The butterfat left over goes into butter, cream, cheese, toppings and ice cream.

When the fat is removed to make reduced fat milks, they replace the fat with powdered milk concentrate. All reduced-fat milks have dried skim milk added to give them body, although this ingredient is not usually on the labels.

The powdered skim milk concentrate is created by high temperature spray drying. The result is a very high-protein, low-fat product.

The milk is forced through a tiny hole at high pressure, and then blown out into the air. This causes the cholesterol in the milk to oxidize (chemically changed).

NOTE: The natural cholesterol found in food contributes to health and is a vital part of every cell membrane in your body.

However, you do not want to eat oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque inside the arteries), which causes high blood pressure that eventually leads to heart attacks and strokes.

So when you drink any kind of reduced-fat milk thinking that it will help you avoid heart disease, you are actually consuming oxidized cholesterol, which contributes to the process of heart disease as it builds up on the inside walls of your arteries.

The moral to this story is stay away from any kind of reduced fat milk. If you are going to buy milk buy only whole milk!

If you are lucky enough to live where it is available buy raw unpasturized milk, one of nature’s finest foods.


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Diabetes – Handle Symptoms or Reverse It

Ron Rosedale, M.D., is an internationally recognized expert in nutritional and metabolic medicine [metabolic: of or having to do with the series of processes by which food is converted into the energy and products needed to maintain life] and an anti-aging specialist. In this excerpted article he reviews the incorrect approach “conventional medicine” is taking towards diabetes. He says:

“As I have stated previously, and one concept that I would like to make well-known to save thousands and perhaps millions of lives as soon as possible, is that diabetes is not a disease of blood sugar, but a disease of insulin and perhaps more importantly leptin [a hormone produced by the fat stored in the body].

“Until that concept becomes well-known in the medical community, articles will continue to be published revealing the inadequacy of current conventional medical treatment for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and the falsity of their advice about nutrition.

“Typically treatment concentrates on fixing a symptom, in this case elevated blood sugar, rather than the underlying disease.

“Treatments which concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar for diabetes while raising insulin levels can actually worsen rather than remedy the actual problem.

“Elevated insulin levels are highly associated and even causative of:

*heart disease,
*peripheral vascular disease [blockage of blood vessels to the arms or legs],
*stroke,
*high blood pressure,
*cancer,
*obesity and many other so-called diseases.

“Since most treatments for type 2, insulin resistant diabetes, utilize drugs which raise insulin or actual insulin injections itself, the tragic result is that the typical, conventional medical treatment for diabetes contributes to the obvious side effects and the shortened lifespan that diabetics experience.”

A proper diet with reduced carbs, effective nutritional supplementation and adding just a bit of regular exercise is a very effective and natural way of reversing the diabetic condition.


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Spice Up the Diabetic Diet

Want to spice up your meal? How about experimenting with different herbs and spices. Varying the flavors of your favorite foods can keep you meals interesting.

Asian: Spices like coriander, cardamom, cumin, lemongrass, ginger, and red pepper will lend your foods an Asian flavor. Several of these spices can be combined to make a delicious seasoning rub for fish and chicken.

Italian: Herbs like parsley, basil, rosemary, and thyme as well as garlic and allspice are key ingredients in Italian food.

Mexican: Use hot peppers, cilantro, and garlic. These seasonings can be used with meat, chicken, and pork, but can also be put in soups and salads.

Crunchy crust: A coating made with flour or bread crumbs is a high-carb no-no. A great, flavorful substitutions for bread crumbs is nuts & seeds (sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, macadamia, etc) They can be chopped (or crushed up in a plastic storage bag) and used to coat fish filets, chicken, shrimp, veggies or anything else you’d normally want to put bread crumbs on

Another idea for breading is to use pork rind flour.

For crab cakes, meat balls and the like, try mixing up a paste of baking powder and beaten egg to use as a binder instead of bread crumbs and egg.

Cajun influence – use Cajun Spices & Seasonings


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Stevia Conversion

Stevia – How to use in different Recipes

Below is the equivalent to “1 cup exchange” In other words, one cup sugar or sucralose (splenda) called for a recipe is equivalent to the below amounts.
If the recipe calls for 1/2 cup exchange, you would use 12 packets blend, etc. etc.

24 packets Stevia Blend
12 tsp. Spoonable Stevia Blend
2.5 tsp. Stevia Extract Liquid
1.5 tsp. PURE Stevia Extract Powder

1/3 tsp “Sweet Leaf” = 1 cup sugar.

NOTE: Not all Stevia Extract Powders are pure. Look for a 28 mg serving size or thereabouts… If the serving size is significantly larger, the Stevia isn’t pure

From a book called “Sugar-Free Cooking with Stevia”

One cup = 48 teaspoons
One cup = 16 tablespoons


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The Symptoms Surrounding Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition caused by a diet that is too high in carbohydrates over a long period of time. Ultimately, the high carbohydrate diet brings about a condition known as insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance occurs as a result of the body continuously producing increased insulin in an attempt to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrates are simply long chains of sugar molecules hooked end-to-end. When a person eats carbohydrates their normal digestive process breaks up these chains into the individual sugar molecules, and they pass right through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, and load up the bloodstream with sugar.

If this happened every once in a while it would not be a problem. But as diets today are so high in carbohydrates, people have a constant high level of sugar pouring into their bloodstream year after year.

This requires their body to continuously produce high levels of insulin to keep that sugar level down. (Insulin’s job is to push sugar out of the bloodstream into the cells where it is used for energy.)

Eventually the cells in their body becomes insensitive to the effects of the insulin (insulin resistance). To handle this problem of insulin resistance their body begins to produce even higher levels of insulin. This continues until their pancreas reaches the maximum amount of insulin it can produce, and when the insulin resistance increases again, their blood sugar begins to rise out of control.

The result is type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is actually an extreme case of insulin resistance.

Not everyone experiences all the symptoms and there is no specific sequence in which these signs of high blood sugar symptoms appear. Some symptoms may appear before the blood sugar levels rise above normal and others may not show up until after the blood sugar levels have gone up.

“High insulin levels, not low insulin levels, are the problem originally associated with Type II diabetes, and high insulin levels are harder to detect because it is normal for insulin levels to rise under many circumstances. The slightly higher insulin level causes slow weight gain, small increases in blood pressure, slow changes in cholesterol numbers and the beginning of artery plaque formation.”

“One by one, diagnoses of obesity, hypertension, cholesterol abnormalities, and heart disease are made without taking into account that these are all related to higher insulin levels and to each other. If the underlying physiology is not corrected, Type II diabetes will likely be the next diagnosis.”

“The physical changes that occur when you have higher insulin levels are so subtle and cause damage over so many years that it takes approximately ten to thirty years for your blood sugar-levels to rise after the initial changes in insulin levels begin. By the time Type II diabetes is diagnosed, chronic high insulin levels have done a lot of metabolic damage though it will seem to happen overnight.”

excerpted from The Schwartzbein Principle II, The Transition
by Diana Schwartzbein, M.D.

In an attempt to reduce the symptoms of insulin resistance or hold them in check, the symptoms are often treated by drugs, medications or insulin. Addressing symptoms does nothing to handle the underlying condition causing it, and so the condition continues to get worse, resulting often in more and more medications to keep the symptoms “under control.”

It can get so crazy that diabetics can wind up being prescribed for several drugs for high blood sugar, as well as another drug for high triglycerides, and another for high cholesterol, and another one for high blood pressure. Yet none of these drugs addresses or corrects the underlying cause of the diabetic condition, insulin resistance!

If you have not yet done so, you can turn your diabetic condition around and improve your overall health by getting onto a high protein/low carbohydrate diet, taking the correct nutritional supplements, and putting a little exercise into your life!


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Tight Blood Sugar Control Increases Diabetic Death Rate

A long-term study, featuring 10,000 diabetic patients, was recently halted 18 months early, due to an unexpected increase in deaths.

The US Government’s National Institutes of Health was running this study to answer the key question:

“Could pushing blood sugar to near-normal levels of an average of 100 help protect high-risk patients’ hearts?”

(This is below today’s recommended blood sugar target of an average of 170 for diabetics.)

In the group pushing for near normal levels, many patients took multiple drugs and insulin shots, adhered to strict diets and regularly met with counselors and doctors who monitored them.

The reason the study ended early was that the number of deaths from heart attacks and unexpected sudden deaths was 25% higher in the group that was pushing for normal or close to normal blood sugar levels as compared to those looking to maintain the existing recommended blood sugar target of 170.

The use of diabetic oral drugs and insulin does not address the root cause of the diabetic problem.

A proper diet with reduced carbs, effective nutritional supplementation and adding just a bit of regular exercise is a very effective and natural way of reversing the diabetic condition.


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Why a Diabetic Diet Should Be Low in Carbs

The Anatomy of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are long chains of sugar molecules connected together. There are basically two kinds of Carbohydrates: Simple and Complex.

Simple Carbohydrates are made up of only 1 or 2 sugar molecules. Complex carbohydrates are made up of many sugar molecules linked together.

Simple and Complex Carbohydrates in the diet

Examples of foods that contain Carbohydrates are:

Rice, grains, cereals, and pasta
Breads, tortillas, crackers, bagels and rolls
Dried beans, split peas and lentils
Vegetables, like potatoes, corn, peas and winter squash
Fruit
Milk
Yogurt
Sugars, like table sugar and honey
Foods and drinks made with sugar, like regular soft drinks and desserts

Starch found in Potatoes is a complex carbohydrate whereas table sugar is one of the most simple.

Whether the carbohydrate is complex or simple it can’t be used by the body until it is broken down into a basic sugar molecule.

Stages of Digestion of a Carbohydrate

Stages of Digestion in Carbohydrate Metabolism

Stages of Digestion

1. In the stomach complex carbohydrates are broken down into more simple or basic forms by the stomach acid. Your stomach then passes its contents into the intestines.

2. In the intestines with the help of intestinal bacteria and other digestive enzymes the carbohydrates are broken down into even simpler forms.

3. This digestion in the intestines continues until the carbohydrates are broken down into basic sugar molecules.

4. These sugars pass through the intestinal walls into the blood stream. That is why a person’s blood sugar levels go up after eating carbohydrates.

5. The sugar now in your blood travels through the body.

6. Your body recognizes this increase of blood sugar and produces insulin, which is used to transport the sugar from the bloodstream into the cells of the body where it is used for food and energy.


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Vitamin C – the Missing Vitamin

Facts on Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It is needed for tissue growth and repair, adrenal gland functions, healthy gums, skin and blood. It also aids in the production of anti-stress hormones, is needed for metabolism, protects against harmful effects of pollution, protects against infection, and enhances immunity.

Without it you can bruise easily, have wounds that don’t heal, gum problems and aching joints.

Why do we need to take Vitamin C supplements?

As a place to start, you need to understand, there are only 3 mammals on planet earth that have bodies that do not manufacture vitamin C. These are the guinea pig, the rhesus monkey, and humans. The way all three must acquire the vitamin C they need is through their diets and/or supplementation.

If you are diabetic, taking vitamin C is essential. Your body attempts to protect itself from high blood sugar levels by converting excess glucose in your bloodstream to sorbitol, which is a form of sugar that is initially less damaging to your body.

But over time, sorbitol travels to certain parts of the body where it builds up. Research indicates that this buildup of sorbitol is a factor in the long-term complications of diabetes.

These complications are cataracts, neuropathy (nerve damage), retinopathy (going blind) and nephropathy (kidney failure).

Studies have shown that taking 2,000 mg/day of vitamin C reduces the production of sorbitol and strips sorbitol out of the body.

Another study presented at the Nuffield College of Ophthalmology [Definition: the branch of medicine concerned with the eye and its diseases] of Oxford University, England, showed that vitamin C actually slowed and stopped the development of cataracts, and how natural vitamin C was more effective than synthetic ascorbic acid.

If you have high blood pressure, taking vitamin C is a must! A study done by scientists at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, showed that people with high blood pressure had their blood pressure levels fall by an average of 9.1% by taking 500 mg of vitamin C each day for a month.

A 10-year study from UCLA showed that in a population of more than 11,000 US adults aged 25-74, men who took 800 mg of vitamin C daily lived about six years longer than men who took only 60 mg of vitamin C daily. Increased vitamin C intake was likewise associated with greater longevity in women. Higher vitamin C intake reduced cardiovascular deaths by 42% in men and 25% in women.

There is a huge difference between whole food Vitamin C and ascorbic acid. The more ascorbic acid you take the less your body absorbs. An intake of less than 20 mg has a 98% absorption rate. By the time the intake increases to 1 to 1.5 grams, the absorption has dropped to 50%. In amounts over 12 grams, the absorption of ascorbic acid drops to only 16%.

In contrast, Whole Food Vitamin C contains no ascorbic acid and the body knows how to absorb and use it.

In fact, comparison studies showed that after 12 hours there remained 25 times more Vitamin C in the blood stream than ascorbic acid.

Three Whole Food Vitamin C tablets contain almost as much vitamin C as a half-gallon of fresh squeezed orange juice!

The problem for people who want real vitamin C, is that glass for glass, orange juice contains more sugar than Coca-Cola!

Find out more about a Whole Food Vitamin C


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How to Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetics are often given contrary information on what is the correct diet or even what types of food are best for the diabetic condition. Here is an article that clearly shows the reason and need for a low carbohydrate diet:

“All carbohydrates are basically sugar. Various sugar molecules – primarily glucose – hooked together chemically [“bonded”] compose the entire family of carbohydrates. Your body has digestive enzymes that break these chemical bonds and release the sugar molecules into the blood, where they stimulate insulin.”

“This means that if you follow a 2,200-calorie diet that is 60 percent carbohydrates – the very one most nutritionists recommend – your body will end up having to contend with almost 2 cups of pure sugar per day.”

excerpted from Protein Power
by Doctors Michael and Mary Eades

Based on this astounding information, the question is not whether or not a diabetic should be on a low carbohydrate diet, but just what are the foods for a low carbohydrate diet?

Without attempting to list every kind and type of food, and for simplicity, I have grouped foods into three general categories below; those that are high carbohydrate content which should be avoided, medium carbohydrate content which can be eaten only in modest or extremely small portions, and low carbohydrate content that can be eaten as much as one likes:

 

High Carbohydrate Content:

All kinds of potato and potato products (including yams and sweet potatoes). Any products made from grain such as wheat, rye, oats, rice and corn. This includes any type of bread, pasta, chips or cereals. Any type of hard beans such as navy beans, pinto beans, black eyed peas, kidney beans, soy beans, lima beans, red beans, black beans, etc., as well as peas and peanuts. Most fruits and any fruit juices.

 

Medium Carbohydrate Content:

All root vegetables such as beets, carrots, turnips, parsnips and rutabagas. Most kinds of nuts, avocado, onions, apricots, strawberries, peaches, plums, tangerines (not oranges), and honeydew or casaba melons.

 

Low Carbohydrate Content:

Any kind of meat including beef, pork, lamb, turkey, chicken, any kind of fish, seafood or shellfish, eggs, or cheese. Vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, asparagus, any kind of greens such as spinach, beet greens, kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens and turnip greens. Summer and zucchini squashes. Salad materials such as any kind of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc., and any kind of oil such as corn, olive, peanut, etc., and butter.

Follow the above guidelines, get in a low carbohydrate diet and add supplements needed.


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