Diabetes Support

Providing Tools & Information for Diabetic Health

Category: Diabetic Articles (Page 4 of 7)

Lower Cholesterol and Blood Sugar Naturally and Without Drugs

A diet rich in fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood sugar in diabetics. Many diabetics can significantly maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and as a result, reduce their diabetic and cholesterol medications or stop taking them altogether, by eating lots of high fiber foods.

A recent study published in the May issue of The New England Journal of Medicine found that blood sugar levels were reduced by 8.9% on a high fiber diet. It also lowered cholesterol and triglycerides.

Fiber comes from the cell walls of plants. Additionally, fiber and water work together to keep the bowels regular.

Unfortunately, the majority of high fiber foods also contain a high amount of carbohydrates, and if you are diabetic, those will increase your blood sugar levels dramatically.

Below are lists of low-carb foods that are also high in fiber, along with the approximate number of grams of fiber they contain.

The fiber content shown is for a quantity of 1/2 cup.

Low-Carb Fruits

  • Blackberries, 4.9 grams
  • Avocado, 3.8 grams
  • Medium-sized Apple, 3.6 grams
  • Raspberries, 2.6 grams
  • Blueberries, 2.1 grams
  • Cherries, 1.5 grams
  • Strawberries, 1.4 grams

Low-Carb Vegetables

  • Brussels Sprouts, 3.1 grams
  • Broccoli, 2.7 grams
  • Greens, cooked, 2-4 grams (beet greens, collards, kale, spinach, and turnip greens)
  • Mushrooms, canned, 2.0 grams
  • Green Beans, 1.4 – 2 grams (broad beans, pole beans, and snap beans)
  • Asparagus, 1.8 grams
  • Okra, 1.6 grams
  • Zucchini, 1.3 grams
  • Yellow Summer Squash, 1.3 grams
  • Cauliflower, 1.4 grams
  • Onions, 1.3 grams
  • Celery, 1.1 grams
  • Peppers, 1.1 grams

Including more of the above foods in your diet will help in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

You should make changes to your diet to include more high fiber foods, and do it gradually. Just add a few grams at a time so that your digestive system can adjust.

It’s best to increase the amount of fiber in your diet over several weeks. This prevents problems with stomach-aches, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

The message is, increase the amount of fiber in your diet!

 


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Another Way to Lower Cholesterol Without Drugs

*Cholesterol is a vital material produced daily by your liver and is part of every cell wall in your body. It is also found in various foods.

Just to give an example of the disease mongering covered in Selling Disease – Creating Diseases to Sell Drugs!, the problem of elevated cholesterol levels has been blown way out of proportion by the drug companies, in an attempt to scare the public into buying a pharmaceutical drug solution. The drugs being pushed on the American public as the solution to lowering cholesterol levels are a group of man-made chemicals called statin drugs, that do not belong in the body and have really bad side effects.

Ronald Rosedale, M.D. is one of the most highly regarded diabetic specialists in the United States. At the Designs for Health Institute’s BoulderFest he lectured other doctors on how medications can slow or even prevent patients from getting well. In one part of the presentation he was discussing cholesterol medications:

“Patient B is a 42-year-old man who was referred by patient A. He had a triglyceride level of 2200, a cholesterol level of 950 and was on maximum doses of all his medications. He was not fat at all; he was fairly thin.”

“This man was told that he had “familial hyperlipidema”[Definition: very high cholesterol levels that run in the family, from one generation to the next.], and that he had better get his personal and business matters in order, because if that was what his lipids [Definition: blood fat levels.] were despite the best medications with the highest doses, he was in trouble.”

“Whenever I see a patient on any of those medications, they’re off the very first visit. They have no place in medicine. He was taken off the medications and in six weeks his lipid levels, both his triglycerides and his cholesterol, were hovering around 220. After six more weeks, they were both under 200, off of the medications. As I said earlier, they have no place in medicine.”

Ronald Rosedale, M.D.

Some doctors see through the false solutions created by the pharmaceutical companies and are not afraid to speak out about them. There are several natural alternatives for lowering your cholesterol levels. One such alternative is covered here:

“The Journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians, which usually takes a very cautious approach regarding natural supplements, did not hesitate to publish a study of red yeast rice for reducing cholesterol.”

“Red yeast rice has been used in China since 800 A.D. It is produced by fermenting [Definition: breaking down of food into simpler materials.] rice with a yeast that gives it a reddish hue. Red yeast rice contains approximately ten compounds [Definition: substance made up of two or more things combined.] that are similar to prescription statins.”

“Red yeast rice does not seem to cause the typical side effects – muscle pain, abdominal discomfort, liver irritation – that commonly occur with statins.”

Excerpted from Statin Drugs & their Natural Alternatives
by Jay S. Cohen, M.D.

Red yeast rice can be purchased from numerous sellers on the Internet.


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High Morning Sugar Levels: Should They Dictate Your Actions?

Let’s look again at what happens as you become insulin resistant.

The liver becomes resistant first, then the muscle tissue, then the fat. What is the effect of insulin on the liver? It is to suppress the production of sugar by the liver.

“The sugar floating around in your body at any one time is the result of two things, the sugar that you have eaten and how much sugar your liver has made. When you wake up in the morning it is more of a reflection of how much sugar your liver has made. If your liver is listening to insulin properly it won’t make much sugar in the middle of the night. If your liver is resistant, those brakes are lifted and your liver starts making a bunch of sugar so you wake up with a bunch of sugar.”

excerpted from a talk at the Designs for Health Institute
by Dr. Ronald Rosedale, noted Diabetic Specialist

In a book by Julian Whitaker, M.D., there is a section that covers research with insulin-dependant diabetics that explained the mechanics behind the cause of the “Dawn Phenomenon”. Though the research concerned insulin-dependant diabetics, it applies equally to non-insulin-dependant type 2 diabetics. Dr. Whitaker explains:

“Dr. Peter Campbell and his associates from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, have documented that most insulin-dependent diabetics have early morning surges of growth hormone, an insulin antagonist [antagonist: a substance that counteracts the effect another substance has on the body] that regularly causes elevated blood sugar readings in the morning.”

In other words, the growth hormone reduces the force or effectiveness of the insulin the body would make in the morning, which would normally handle the high output of sugar by the liver. Also, growth hormone enhances the making of glucose by the liver, thus you have the creation of the “dawn phenomenon.”

“This phenomenon creates a problem because the early morning blood sugar level is the level most commonly used to establish the amount of insulin [or drugs] used that day. Second, if this level is high, there is a tendency to try to bring it down aggressively with larger insulin dosages [or drugs] in the afternoon or evening. This approach only worsens the problem by creating hypoglycemia.”

“The bottom line is that we should be less concerned with blood sugar levels that are elevated (150-250) in the morning unless there is a consistent elevation throughout the day.”

excerpted from Reversing Diabetes
by Julian M. Whitaker, M.D.

If you are experiencing high morning sugar levels 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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Higher Morning Sugar Levels

Blood sugar can be brought down and kept at normal levels throughout the day, yet, many diabetics find that even though they have not eaten before bedtime, when they wake up in the morning their blood sugar levels are elevated. This is caused by something called the “dawn phenomenon”:

“Although the mechanics of the dawn phenomenon aren’t yet entirely clear, research suggests that the liver deactivates more circulating insulin during the early morning hours.” [This results in sugar not being pushed into cells for energy but building up in the blood instead.]

“Investigators have actually measured blood sugar every hour throughout the night under similar circumstances. They find that the entire blood sugar increase occurs about 6-10 hours after bedtime for most people who are so affected.”

“Both the time it takes for blood sugar to increase and the amount of the increase vary from one person to another. An increase may be negligible in some and profound in others.”

Excerpted from Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution
by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein

You can begin maintaining healthy blood sugar levels with regular exercise combined with a low carbohydrate diet and by supplementing with the correct nutrients. This can also help reduce the effects of the “dawn phenomenon”.


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Improve Your Health Without Drugs

People today are being put on drugs to handle the blood sugar levels of diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and high cholesterol. Are drugs the answer to these health challenges or do they just make things worse?

Factually, medical drugs are not the answer to the above health challenges. Doctors and researchers are now realizing that drugs are more often destructive and should not even be used, as you can see from the following excerpts:

“A type of therapy used by the majority of physicians in our country for the past fifty years is the administration of drugs at sublethal levels [sublethal: not quite enough to cause death ] . Drugs of course, are alien chemicals that are not normally present in the cellular environment of the human body. They radically alter man’s internal environment and often create very severe and dangerous side effects.”

“Drugs do not halt or prevent the disease process, especially degenerative diseases. At best they offer only relief of symptoms, while the basic, underlying disease process continues uninterrupted.”

“Nature’s biological nutrients [gotten from food] have been used as a defense system for millions of years in the battle against all forms of disease. They are far more reliable and more time-proven than the relatively recent drug-therapy fads that have swept the modern world.”

“When our body cells are ailing, as they do in disease, then chances are excellent that it is because they are being given inadequate nutrition. The list of things that these cells may need includes not only all amino acids and all the minerals, plus trace elements [trace elements: simple chemical substances in very tiny amounts], but about fifteen vitamins and probably many other nutrients.”

“Drugs at best are only a palliative [palliative: treating only the symptoms of a disease , alleviating pain and symptoms without providing a cure ] form of treatment…. The basic fault of drugs is that they have no known connection with the disease process itself…. Drugs are wholly unlike nature’s nutrients…. They tend to mask the difficulty, not eliminate it. They contaminate the body’s internal environment, create dependence on the part of the patient, and often complicate the physician’s job by erasing valuable clues as to the real source of the trouble.”

“Statistics tell us that as much as 5 percent of all hospital admissions – 1.5 million people – are now the result of negative reactions to legally gotten prescription drugs. Once a patient is in the hospital, his chances of getting a drug-created sickness more than doubles. This means that over three and a half million people experience drug-created internal contamination and dependence.”

“Many physicians are beginning to insist that the primary reliance in the battle against infectious disease – all forms of disease – should always be on weapons that are most similar to nature’s own biological weapons.”

“Nutrient therapy*, is a safe, economical, prevention oriented, and effective alternative to our current medical crisis.”

“The simple truth is that our country needs physicians who are interested in curing and preventing the causes of disease rather than merely treating symptoms.”

excerpted from Brain Allergies
by William H. Philpott, M.D. and Dwight K. Kalita, Ph.D.

Increasing numbers of people in the medical profession are now realizing that drugs are not the great solution they once thought them to be. In fact, the dangers of taking drugs have recently become headline news, with drug companies being found to have hidden previously known side effects to many of their “wonder drugs”.

There are safe and natural ways to lower blood sugar levels, lower triglycerides, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and effectively lose weight. It all starts with diet, proper nutrition (by supplementing with vitamins and minerals, as our food today has far less of them than 50 years ago), and putting a little exercise into your life. And, within weeks or a few months, health can be yours again.


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What is Insulin Resistance and How It Affects Your Body

There are 17 million diabetics in the United States and 80 million more who are in some stage of insulin resistance. A diet high in carbohydrates and lack of nutrition are the two main factors in creating insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a “pre-diabetic” condition, which, when it gets extreme, becomes type 2 diabetes. Below are two doctors clarifying how this condition develops and its effects on the body:

“When cells become resistant to insulin, the receptors on their surfaces designed to respond to insulin have begun to malfunction.”

“It simply means that the receptors require more insulin to make them work properly in removing sugar from the blood. Whereas before they needed just a touch to lower it, now they need a continuous supply of excess insulin to keep blood sugar within normal range.”

“As time goes by, blood sugar rises higher and stays up longer after the carbohydrate meal despite the enormous amount of insulin mustered to lower it. Bear in mind that were your doctor to check blood sugar during this stage of developing insulin resistance, your blood sugar would be perfectly normal. The major silent change taking place is the ever-growing quantity of insulin needed to keep it that way.”

excerpted from Protein Power
by Doctors Michael and Mary Eades

“The liver becomes resistant first, then the muscle tissue, then the fat. What is the effect of insulin on the liver? It is to suppress the production of sugar by the liver.

“The sugar floating around in your body at any one time is the result of two things, the sugar that you have eaten and how much sugar your liver has made. When you wake up in the morning it is more of a reflection of how much sugar your liver has made. If your liver is listening to insulin properly it won’t make much sugar in the middle of the night. If your liver is resistant, those brakes are lifted and your liver starts making a bunch of sugar so you wake up with a bunch of sugar.

“The next tissue to become resistant is the muscle tissue. What is the action of insulin in muscles? It allows your muscles to burn sugar for one thing. So if your muscles become resistant to insulin it can’t burn that sugar that was just manufactured by the liver. So the liver is producing too much, the muscles can’t burn it, and this raises your blood sugar.

“Well the fat cells become resistant, but not for a while. It is only after a while that they become resistant. It takes them longer. Liver first, muscle second, and then your fat cells.

“So for a while your fat cells retain their sensitivity. What is the action of insulin on your fat cells? To store that fat. It takes sugar and it stores it as fat. So until your fat cells become resistant you get fat, and that is what you see. As people become more and more insulin resistant, they get fat and their weight goes up.

“But eventually they plateau. They might plateau at three hundred pounds, two hundred and twenty pounds, one hundred and fifty pounds, but they will eventually plateau as the fat cells protect themselves and become insulin resistant.

“As all these major tissues, this massive body becomes resistant, your liver, muscles and fat, your pancreas is putting out more insulin to compensate, so you are hyperinsulinemic [having an abnormally high level of insulin in the blood] and you’ve got insulin floating around all the time.

“Insulin floating around in the blood causes a plaque build up. Insulin causes the blood to clot too readily. Insulin causes cells that accumulate fatty deposits. Every step of the way, insulin’s got its fingers in it and is causing cardiovascular disease. It fills it with plaque, it constricts the arteries, it increases platelet adhesiveness and ability of the blood to coagulate [clot]. Any known cause of cardiovascular disease, insulin is a part of.”

“If you want to know if insulin sensitivity can be restored to its original state, well, perhaps not to its original state, but you can restore it to the state of about a ten year old.”

“You can increase sensitivity by diet and a lot of supplements.”

excerpted from a talk at the Designs for Health Institute given
by Dr. Ronald Rosedale, noted Diabetic Specialist


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Low Carb Diets Work for Overweight Diabetics

Overweight people with type 2 diabetes can keep their weight and blood sugar under control over the long term by following a low-carbohydrate diet, Swedish researchers reported in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism.

In a recent 44 month study (3 years, 8 months) carried out in Sweden, type 2 diabetics were found to be able keep their weight and blood sugar under control by following a low-carbohydrate diet.

The participants in the study limited their carbohydrate intake and reported that the most significant effect of this low-carb diet is the absence of hunger.

By avoiding starch-rich bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, and breakfast cereals, it minimized the glucose spikes that made it necessary for people with diabetes to take insulin, researchers said.

Of the patients in the trial, all but one had lower weight after the 44 months than when first starting the diet. Furthermore, glucose levels dropped soon after starting the diet and have stayed down over the 44 month period.

A low-carb diet, proper nutrition and adding even a small amount of exercise will directly address and improve your diabetic condition.


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Effectiveness of Low Carb Diets

A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine medical journal looked at low-carbohydrate diets and found that they are an excellent way for people to lose weight.

A three-week study published in the March 15, 2005, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine found that during a two-week period on a strictly controlled very-low carbohydrate diet, participants lost an average of 3.6 pounds.

The study compared a very low-carbohydrate diet with a regular diet.  During the first study week, participants ate a regular diet in which they could eat anything and as much as they wanted.  They ate about 3,000 calories and 300 grams of carbohydrates per day and remained at the same weight.

In the following two weeks, when the dieters were restricted to 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, and despite the fact that they could eat as much protein and fat foods as they liked, they wound up actually eating about 1,000 fewer calories per day.  As an additional benefit, participants’ blood sugar levels improved on the low-carb diet.

The study showed that eating carbohydrates makes it far more difficult to reduce both food and calorie intake.  So cutting your carbohydrate intake will help you lower your caloric intake as well.  With fewer carbohydrates, you’re going to eat fewer total calories a day, which will result in easier weight loss.


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Why Low Fat Diets are Dangerous

Many individuals when first diagnosed with diabetes are directed by their physician onto a “low fat” diet and warned about the dangers of eating foods that contain fat or cholesterol.

The overwhelming evidence now shows that this is totally opposite of what they should be doing. Low fat diets result in the diabetic condition getting worse along with declining health levels. Below is what Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, M.D. states regarding cholesterol and fat in the diet:

“The medical profession and the media has so frightened the public about cholesterol and fat that people firmly believe they must be avoided at all costs. For many people today, eggs, butter and red meat represent the fear of cholesterol, and meats, nuts and oils represent the fear of fat. But this fear of cholesterol and fat is not grounded in scientific fact. On the contrary, cholesterol and fat are essential to life.”

“Cholesterol and fat are used by the body as building materials for constant replenishment and are supposed to come from dietary sources. Eating cholesterol and fat do not cause heart disease and accelerated death. In fact, you must eat them to avoid heart disease.”

“Cholesterol is a type of fat that has many functions in the body. Cholesterol is an important structure in cell membranes [cell membrane: the thin layer of tissue that forms the outer surface of the cell and regulates the passage of materials in and out of the cell], keeping the cell membrane permeable [permeable: allowing liquids to pass through] so that material can pass easily through the cell. The inside of the cell is also filled with various cholesterol-containing membranes that must be maintained so that the cell can function well.”

“When your body is comprised of cells that are cholesterol depleted, and thereby less efficient, all the biochemical processes of your metabolism are affected, which means your metabolism cannot function as it should.”

“When you deprive your body of cholesterol, an essential building material, membrane structure is altered. When membrane structure is altered, cell growth is disrupted. As a result, there is a potential increase in cancer because cancer arises from abnormal cell division.”

“In addition, cholesterol is important to maintain normal functioning of various hormone systems and the immune system. Cholesterol is also the structural material from which many important hormones are made.”

“Cholesterol is essential for brain function and the stabilization of neurotransmitters [neurotransmitters: a substance that transmits impulses between nerve cells]. Mood problems such as depression, agitation and irritability can occur when your body does not get sufficient cholesterol.”

“Cholesterol also forms insulation around the nerves to keep electrical impulses moving. Without this insulation there is an increase in the potential for diseases of the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis.”

“Cholesterol can be obtained directly from cholesterol-laden foods, such as butter, meat, eggs and shellfish. You should eat these foods and other types of fats every day.”

excerpted from The Schwarzbein Principle
by Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, M.D.

Not only is it possible that the “low fat” diet will damage your body, studies have shown that it will occur, as can be seen in the following excerpt:

“Low-fat high-carbohydrate diets eaten by patients with diabetes [non-insulin dependant] have been shown to lead to higher day-long plasma glucose [higher blood sugar levels], insulin, triglycerides, and very low density lipoproteins [bad cholesterol], among other negative effects. In general, study has demonstrated that multiple risk factors for coronary heart disease are worsened for diabetics who consume the low-fat high-carbohydrate diet so often recommended to reduce these risks.”

excerpted from Diabetes Care, January 1995 Issue
by Dr. Y. D. Chen

Again, 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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Incredible Edible Egg in a Diabetic Diet

Some years ago a negative ad campaign was run concerning eggs. There were ads on TV and on billboards, with images of four eggs being led into a jail cell, and another ad showing the four eggs behind bars.

This was part of a campaign to tell the public that eating eggs was dangerous and could contribute to heart disease (which turns out to be incorrect). As a result, many people stopped eating eggs or greatly reduced the number of eggs they ate.

Even today, many people still remain afraid of eating eggs or eating too many eggs, due to that false advertising.

Today, what do nutritional experts say regarding eggs in the diet?

“The egg is nearly the perfect food for health and weight loss. It is easily digestible as well as a complete food. Eggs give your liver the building blocks it needs to repair your body. Cholesterol levels are not increased by eating them and you can lose weight by including them in your diet.”

“Eggs contain ingredients to develop a healthy body including nearly all of the essential nutrients such as B-l, B-6, folic acid and B-12. They contain such minerals as calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. Choline and biotin, which are important for energy and stress reduction, are also found in eggs. Eggs are also complete in all amino acids (protein building blocks), which are found in the yolk.”

“The fat in the egg yolk is in nearly perfect balance. These essential fats are very important in the regulation of cholesterol. This is because the antidote [Definition: something that counteracts.] to cholesterol is lecithin, which helps dissolve cholesterol and the yolk is loaded with lecithin. Make sure not to overcook the egg yolk, as this will destroy the lecithin. These yolk fats in your diet lower the risk for heart disease.”

“Eggs have almost zero carbohydrates and have the highest rating for complete proteins (containing all the amino acids) of any food. Amino acids are necessary for repairing tissue as well as making hormones and brain chemicals.”

“As a side note, many people are afraid of eating egg yolks because of cholesterol. The fact is that most of the cholesterol found in our blood is not there because of what we eat. It’s our livers that make approximately 75% of the cholesterol that exists in our blood.”

“The more cholesterol we eat, the less the body will make. The less cholesterol we eat, the more the body will make. If cholesterol were so bad for us, why would our bodies make so much?”

“The body is an incredible system that knows exactly what to do to create a natural balance. When we consume foods containing cholesterol, we only absorb 1 to 2 mg of cholesterol per pound of body weight per day. So even if we were to eat a dozen eggs each day, we would only absorb about 300 mg of cholesterol, which is, by the way, the recommended maximum daily amount.”

“On a personal note: I have been eating four organic eggs every morning for the past 6 years and never felt better. My cholesterol is also within the normal range (below 200).”

excerpted from Dr. Berg’s BODY SHAPE DIETS
by Dr. Eric Berg

Yes, eggs are a very safe and excellent source of nutrition for the whole family, and should be made a regular part of the diet. But not all eggs are the same, so let’s look at how to choose your eggs from another expert on nutrition:

“You can kiss your fear of eggs good-bye. There have been a number of previous studies that have supported that eggs do not increase your risk of heart disease. So go ahead and have your eggs as they are one of the healthiest foods on the planet.”

“While you are at it, please be sure and purchase healthy eggs as they are not that much more expensive than commercial factory raised chicken eggs. Please be sure to look for ‘free range organic’ on the box.”

“Just as important as where you buy your eggs is how you prepare them for eating.”

“If you want to fine tune eating your eggs, it is best not to cook them. This helps preserve many of the highly perishable nutrients, some of which are very effective at preventing the most common cause of blindness, called ‘age related macular degeneration.’ [Definition – Macular Degeneration: the gradual blurring of the center of your field of vision, which continues to get worse, eventually resulting in blindness].”

“Some may be concerned about the risk of salmonella in raw eggs. [Definition: a type of bacteria which can cause food poisoning.] but I analyzed the risk a few years ago and most people have a better chance of winning the lottery than contracting salmonella from eggs from healthy chickens. Personally I consume three raw eggs nearly every morning as part of my breakfast and believe it has enormously contributed to my health.”

Excerpted from Dr. Joseph Mercola’s comment
on an article appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 4, 855-861, October 2004

So, be sure to include eggs as a regular item in your diet for improved health whether it is part of a meal or egg as a main dish.

Click here for low carb Egg Recipes and Egg Recipes with Meat


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