Monday, July 9, 2018

The 5 Live Super Foods for Diabetics

The 5 "live" super foods that help to better manage your blood sugar and your Type 2 diabetes include:
  1. Vegetables, Some Fruits, Other Plants
  2. Filtered Water/Liquids
  3. Lean Proteins
  4. Unsaturated/Polyunsaturated Fats
  5. Some Organic Whole Grains

Some of these "live" foods include:
-- Vegetables, e.g. broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale
-- Some fruits, e.g. blueberries, apples
-- Raw juices, e.g. green juices
-- Green smoothies
-- Lean proteins with Omega-3 EFAs, e.g. wild salmon, sardines, nuts, seeds
-- Other lean proteins include grass-fed, organic chicken/turkey (no skin), beef, bison, venison,  tofu, tempeh, etc.
-- Plant oils, e.g. extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
-- Quinoa, amaranth (limited) 

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Attributes

As you are probably aware, there are a lot of diabetes diets out there that claim to help you with lowering your blood sugar and managing your Type 2 diabetes!  This can be very frustrating when it comes to trying to figure out what you can and cannot eat to properly manage your diabetes.

I experienced the same frustration when I was diabetic. There was a lot of conflicting dietary information, especially about foods that were supposed to be healthy for diabetics. 

So, I decided to go back to the basics of nutritional science and cell biology to identify which foods contain the proper macronutrients and micronutrients that are needed to fight a disease like Type 2 diabetes.

Based on my research, I identified the foods that were healthy for Type 2 diabetics Then, I grouped them into 5 categories and called them the 5 "live" super foods.

Then, I identified the foods that were unhealthy for Type 2 diabetics, e.g. sweets, bread, cereal, fast foods, ground beef, tap water, etc. Again, I grouped them into 5 categories and called them the 5 "dead" processed foods.

But, knowing what foods to eat and not eat is not enough. You have to know what percentages and portions of each major macronutrient that you should eat with each meal.

So, I designed a meal plate model that  describes how meals should be designed and what portions of each major macronutrient that should be part of each meal. 

Key Attributes of Diabetes Diet
Here is a list of the key attributes associated with an effective diabetes diet :
  • Meal frequency: 4 to 6 times/day
  • Smaller meals: 400-500 calories)
  • Plant-based meals
  • Macronutrient-balanced meals
  • At least half the plate is full of vegetables
  • Key micronutrients, e.g. vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals 
  • High fiber content: 30-35g/day
  • Fermented foods: 3-5 times/week)
  • Raw vegetables: 50%-80%
  • Steamed vegetables (Note: Don't boil your vegetables!)
  • Some raw whole fruits
  • Wild-caught fish, e.g. wild salmon, sardines
  • Grass-fed animal meat, e.g. bison, chicken, beef, turkey
  • Plant oils, e.g. extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
  • Raw grass-fed milk, butter/ghee, cheese, sour cream 
  • No vegetable oils, e.g. corn, soybean, canola oil
  • Nutritional Supplementation (food-based)
  • Antioxidants, Anti-inflammatories, Detoxifiers, Immune System Supporters
  • Minimum/no flour, gluten,sugar, wheat, fructose, processed foods, fast foods
  • No Grains during 1st 4 Stages
  • Minimum/No HFCS, PHO, nitrates, artificial sweeteners, food additives
  • Minimum/No caffeine, alcohol, drugs
  • Minimum/No dairy, especially pasteurized cow's milk/cheese; gluten (esp. for Type 1s)
Key Point: This is not a low fat diet! Ironically, low fat diets helped to create the obesity and diabetes epidemics! In fact, it's very important that you eat a balanced amount of fat -- just make sure they're the  healthy fats and oils.

Type 2 Diabetes Management Principles

The key health & wellness principles involved in a sound Type 2 diabetes management strategy include the following elements:
-- Nutrition
-- Exercise
-- Blood glucose testing
-- Cleanse and detox
-- Supplementation
-- Doctor visits/Physical exams
-- Medications
-- Support
-- Education

Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes

Here is a list of the major risk factors associated with Type 2 diabetes:
  • Abdominal fat: waistline greater than 40 in. (man), 35 in. (woman)
  • Note: Abdominal fat is biologically more active, causing inflammation
  • Overweight/obesity: Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25
  • Note: 5-10% of Type 2s are not overweight or obese
  • Poor nutrition: too many processed foods
  • Sedentary lifestyle: very little physical activity or exercise
  • Age: 45 years or older
  • High blood glucose: 126 or higher
  • High blood pressure: 130/80 or higher
  • High triglycerides: over 150
  • Low HDL cholesterol: under 40 for men, 50 for women
  • High inflammation: high homocysteine, high C-reactive protein
  • A family history: of Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease
  • Non-Caucasian ethnicity: Hispanic-American, African-American, Native-American, Asian- American
  • Poor mental health: e.g. depression, anxiety
  • Gestational diabetes: during multiple pregnancies
  • Drug use: tobacco, alcohol; prescription, OTC, recreational drugs
  • Inflammation markers: C-Reactive Protein (CRP), Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF-α), Interleukin-6 (IL-6)  
Note: If you have 3 or more of these risk factors, you may be at risk for eventually developing Type 2 diabetes. Contact your doctor and set up an appointment for a complete physical.

Doctor Appointments

You should ensure that you set up the necessary doctor appointments during the calendar year as specified by your doctor (Primary Care Physician). If possible, try to schedule your appointments during the same time period each year. The table (on the right) shows a list of the key doctor visits that you should complete during the year. 

You should visit your primary care physician and/or endocrinologist on a regular basis to review your progress, your blood glucose readings, corrective actions, and other notes – at least until you have your blood glucose level under control. 

Depending on your health needs and your health goals, you should get a complete physical and set of blood work every 6 to 12 months to identify any trends that may be getting overlooked, especially if you’re not making any significant improvements. 

Concerning your feet, you should always clean and inspect them daily. Record any abnormalities to discuss with your physician at your next visit. Keep your feet clean and moist; and wear cotton socks for better absorbency. Concerning your teeth/gums, you should always check them for any bleeding.

Medical Diagnosis

In most cases, your doctor will use one or more of the following tests to diagnose if you have diabetes:

Random blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken at a random time. Regardless of when you last ate, a random blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) — 11.1 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) — or higher suggests diabetes.

Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast. A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. If it's 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, your doctor will diagnose you with diabetes.

Oral glucose tolerance test. For this test, you fast overnight, and the fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood sugar levels are tested periodically for the next two hours.
A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is normal. A reading of more than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) after two hours indicates diabetes. A reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L and 11.0 mmol/L) indicates prediabetes.

Another test that your doctor may perform is the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test, which doesn't require fasting, indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells.

The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you'll have with sugar attached. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates that you have diabetes. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent indicates prediabetes. Below 5.7 is considered normal.The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you'll have with sugar attached. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates that you have diabetes. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent indicates prediabetes. Below 5.7 is considered normal.

Root Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

The major root causes and co-factors associated with diabetes include the following:
  • Biochemical/Hormonal Imbalances
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Hyperglycemia/Hyperinsulinemia
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Nutrient Deficiencies (Cell Starvation/Dehydration)
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Protein Glycation
  • Toxicity (Excess Cellular Toxic Load)
  • Immune System Impairment/Dysfunction
  • Healing & Cell Repair Dysfunction
The key message to get from this list is that diabetes is a complex disease with multiple root causes.

Purpose of Blog

The primary purpose of this blog is to provide diabetes education and awareness about Type 2 diabetes in order to support effective Type 2 ...