“Now what can I eat?” The simple act of eating gets difficult when you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2. Your nutrition is the largest controllable variable to your health. It is too important to ignore, as your life depends on it. That’s why we made it easy for you. This is the best diabetic food list to help you manage your blood sugar levels. And lose weight.
As a Naturopathic Physician, I have helped hundreds of patients regain control of their health. It may sound simple, but the cure to many ailments starts with the food choices made everyday. After years of clinical experience I have come to this basic conclusion: The best diet is one that uses real whole food ingredients instead of highly processed inflammatory foods. When diabetics shift their eating patterns to whole foods they can see dramatic and quick results. Let me explain.
WHAT IS A WHOLE FOOD DIET?
The Five Hour Diabetic meal plan is based on the successful low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) nutrition model. Strictly controlling your daily carbohydrates is the first step. We witness diabetics reducing their fasting blood sugar levels by over 32% when eating roughly 50 grams of carbs per day. Newly diagnosed diabetics who fix their diets typically see the most dramatic results.
The second step is controlling your daily calorie intake. We suggest that women stick to around 1,500 calories per day and men stick to 2,000. It’s very easy to over consume. Portion sizes in restaurants are of cartoon-sized proportions. They know that Americans want to feel full, so they intentionally over serve. Steak ‘n Shake® serves a steak burger with cheese that’s piled 7 patties high! It has over 2,500 calories which is more than most people should eat in one day, much less in one meal. The kids’ meals are in the calorie range for an adult.
TYPE 2 DIABETIC FOOD LIST
Here it is. The food list that has resulted in hundreds of pounds lost and countless days added to people’s lives. It is important to note that avoiding toxic food choices is just as important as eating healthy whole foods. One salad per week cannot offset a week’s worth of fast food consumption.
Unfortunately, all foods are not created equal. And grocery shopping these days requires a PhD in Nutrition. Since most of us do not have the time to get a doctorate degree, we recommend this resource. Thankfully, two of the best nutrition experts created this book Rich Food Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System to guide you. It goes through everything on the shelf, brand by brand and label by label. Check your local library to see if they stock it. The weekly grocery lists we email to hundreds of our members all contain the vital information from this resource. Signing up for our resource is the easiest way to take control of your health.
Worse yet, most grocery stores are marketing traps. They are skillfully designed to trick you into buying the least healthy foods, which are the most profitable for them. Read more about hacking the grocery store in our ultimate shopping guide. Never let the grocery store decide what you should eat.
This is the easiest area for improvement. Beverages can amount to over 500 added daily calories for some diabetics. We should eat our calories, not drink our calories. Drink these healthy beverages:
- Unsweetened Tea, Hot or Cold
- Unsweetened Coffee, Hot or Cold
- Water with Slices of Lemon, Lime or Cucumber
- Unsweetened Kombucha
- Club Soda Sweetened with Liquid Stevia
- Unsweetened Lemonade
- Filtered Water
Avoid these beverages at all costs. While the nutrition information may read “Fat 0 grams” these drinks will make you gain weight. Sugar that is not immediately burned is converted to body fat by the liver. Always look for the sugar content first, then the serving size, and finally the calories. If you cannot pronounce the ingredient you should not be drinking it.
- Soda Sweetened with Sugar, High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Solids, Natural Sweetener, Honey or Fructose
- Diet Sodas
- Energy Drinks
- Sports Drinks (Gatorade, for example)
- Juice, Fresh or Premade
- Vitamin Water® is Light on Vitamins and Heavy on Sugar (Vitamin Water® Zero is the exception)
- Flavored Coffee Beverages are Full Of Low-Quality Dairy and Loaded with Sugar and Calories
- Hot Cocoa from a Vending Machine or Packet
- Alcohol from Beer, Wine or Mixed Cocktails
MIGHTY VEGETABLES & LEGUMES
There is no other food group that packs as much affordable healing as vegetables. They are tasty in salads or pureed in a smoothie. The high fiber content and vitamins and minerals make vegetables an excellent base to any meal plan. Eat these healthy veggies daily:
- Bell Peppers
- Fresh Herbs
- Lettuce Greens
- Collard Greens
- Swiss Chard
Some vegetables are not suitable for diabetics on a carbohydrate controlled diet. Most root vegetables are quite high in carbohydrates and should be avoided or eaten sparingly. Avoid or limit these:
- Black Beans
- Kidney Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Garbanzo Beans
- Butter Beans
- White Beans
Nature’s dessert has always been sun ripened fruit and berries. All fruit has beneficial fiber, vitamins and minerals. However, some fruits are too high in natural sugar which can result in a blood sugar spike. Enjoy these in moderation:
- Lemons and Limes
Avoid these sweet fruits due to their high sugar content:
- Passion Fruit
DAIRY & EGGS
This food group is one of the most confusing. The high-volume of dairy advertising has convinced many people that milk is healthy, but milk poses health challenges for most people. The dairy industry is simply trying to sell a lot of milk and cheese. You do not need to drink milk or eat cheese everyday to maintain good health and bone density. Read more in our extensive article on dairy.
Eggs often get grouped with dairy. However, eggs can be quite healthy and an affordable source of protein and healthy fat. Always buy organic and cage-free or pasture raised if your budget allows.
Dairy in all its forms encourages weight gain. This includes cheese, coffee creamer, milk, cheese curds and milk fat solids so common in processed foods. If you are struggling to get your weight loss started, try cutting all the dairy from your food. It is also one of the top food allergens, which can cause tough to diagnose problems. Avoid these:
- Cow, Sheep or Goat Milk
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Flavored Coffee Creamers (Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Oils and More)
- Yogurt (Lowfat, Skim and/or Flavored)
- Sour Cream
- Cheese Curds
- Cheez Whiz
- Cottage Cheese
However, some types of dairy are better tolerated. Goat milk products are easier to digest than cow dairy. Hard cheese that has virtually no lactose keeps blood sugar spikes to a minimum. And butter, from cows, is mostly fat, which earns it an exemption. Eat these dairy items in moderation:
- Cheddar Cheese
- Goat Cheese
- Goat Yogurt (Plain, unflavored and unsweetened)
- Greek Yogurt (Full-fat, unsweetened)
- Pasture Butter (No rBGH/rBST)
- Eggs (Organic and cage-free)
- Non-Dairy Coconut Creamer
Dr Mark Hyman has an informative video on the topic of dairy:
MEAT & FISH
The protein group is important to every diabetic. Ample protein and fat is the cornerstone for most nutritious meals. Food marketing works double over-time on the confusing labels for meat and fish. When buying fish, always reference the authority of the sea: Seafood Watch Guide. The type of fish available at your grocery market varies greatly by your region, and is not limited to the list below. When buying meat, always look for grass-fed, pasture raised, organic and/or antibiotic free. These are good protein sources:
- Chicken (Organic or No Antibiotics)
- Beef (100% Grass-Fed, No Hormones)
- Turkey (Organic or No Antibiotics)
- Wild Boar
- Bison/Buffalo (100% Grass-Fed, No Hormones)
- Deer (Venison)
- Browned Bone Broth
Most meat at grocery stores can be suspect. Read every word on the label and disregard anything that claims it is “natural”. That is the most over used word in the grocery store. When in doubt reference the above book Rich Food Poor Food or the Seafood Watch. There are too many things to list:
- Salmon (Atlantic Farmed)
- Shrimp (Imported)
- Tuna (Bluefin)
- Orange Roughy
- Cured Salami
NUTS & SEEDS
Nuts are dense and flavorful kernels of goodness. These were easy items for foragers to find in nature for a quick snack. All nuts and seeds are high in fat and calories. It is important to keep in mind portion size with this group. Too often, people over consume these delicious treats. An easy way to estimate serving size is to eat a small pile of nuts the size of your thumb.
Dr Sarah Hallberg, DO, MS, DABOM has an excellent video on this topic:
- Macadamia Nuts
- Brazil Nuts
- Hemp Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Cacao Seeds (Read: Chocolate!)
These nuts and seeds are higher in carbohydrates. Enjoy these lightly and keep the your daily nuts and seeds limited to the ones above.
HEART HEALTHY OILS
Fat, in the liquid state, has been used for cooking since the dawn of humanity. Oil can cook food without burning, and add more low-carb healing fat to every bite. Unfortunately, cheap versions of oil are mostly sold in grocery stores. These are high in bad fat and not good for the health of a diabetic (or anyone). Keep a few oils in your cupboard for making salad dressings, blending in smoothies and baking. These are good oils:
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Sesame Oil (Do not use with heat, only cold.)
- Fish Oil (Supplement)
- Avocado Oil
- Walnut Oil
- Macadamia Nut Oil
- Flaxseed Oil (Do not use with heat, only cold.)
- Hemp Seed Oil
- Pasture Butter (No rBGH/rBST)
The unhealthy list of oils are most often used in fast food restaurants. These low-cost oils are often used for deep-frying, which requires large volumes. Avoid those unhealthy oils:
- Canola Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Corn Oil
- Palm Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Sunflower Seed Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Grape Seed Oil
Explorers sailed the high seas for months looking for the best spices in the world. We are fortunate enough to find them in our local grocery stores. Traders of yesteryear used spices as a form of currency. The word salary even has origins back to salt, when production was strictly controlled by the ruling élite. Roman warriors were paid with a handful of salt each day for compensation.
Spices are a unique food. They can preserve meat. Spices can also add flavor with nearly no added carbs or calories. Best yet, most spices, from whole food sources, offer varied healing properties. Add these spices to your food, fresh or dried:
- Red Chili Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- Black Pepper
- Sea Salt
- Star Anise
Last, but not least, on our diabetic food list are fermented foods. This food group is found least in the standard American diet. Paradoxically, these foods have the biggest potential for improving the health of diabetics. The chronic inflammation of the digestive tract from highly processed foods can overwhelm the immune system.
Diets from civilizations in the past included many fermented foods, but it was not until recently that we came to understand how the bacteria functioned to our benefit. Many regions in the world still benefit from eating fermented foods. Korea eats kimchi. The Germans love sauerkraut. Fermented products make our diabetic food list because they increase the beneficial bacteria found in your gastro-intestinal tract. Probiotics, the good bacteria, are often prescribed to diabetics to help restore a healthy flora to their digestive tract. Add these to your regular diet:
- Goat Yogurt/Greek Yogurt (Full fat)
WAS THAT A LOT TO DIGEST?
Picking out the best food for you to reverse your diabetes can be challenging. Making changes to any diet is hard. Make it easy on yourself. Join the hundreds of other diabetics seeing dramatic results. Let us make your grocery list and meal plans. You will never again wonder what is for dinner.
SHARING IS CARING
Has this article helped you learn more about the healing properties of a diabetic food list? If you enjoyed this article, others may also find it useful. If we’ve earned it, can we kindly ask that you share this article online or through email? A referral is the greatest compliment a customer can give a business and we thank you for helping us spread the good word to the millions who suffer from the troubling disease of Type 2.
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CHECK YOUR DRUGS FOR INTERACTIONS
KNOWN GRAPEFRUIT DRUG INTERACTIONS
- fentanyl transdermal system
This list below is for the trade names of medications, which you may recognize easier than the technical classification listed above.
- Doral, Dormalin
- Zoloft, Lustral
- Ritalin, Concerta
- Zocor, Simlup, Simcor, Simvacor
- Quinidex, Cardioquin, Quinora
- Cafergot, Ergomar
- Elavil, Endep, Vanatrip
SHARING IS CARING
Has this article helped you learn more about the potential grapefruit drug interactions? If you enjoyed this article, others may also find it useful. If we’ve earned it, can we kindly ask that you share this article online or through email? A referral to Five Hour Diabetic is the greatest compliment a customer can give a business and we thank you for helping us spread the good word to the millions who suffer from this troubling disease.
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How many times have you heard that you need to lose weight to reverse your diabetes? If you’re like many people, you’ve tried and failed at the dieting game many times. While you may start a new diet with a lot of motivation and excitement, it can quickly become easy to get discouraged and give up. Maybe you’ve wondered why you can’t just seem to get it together. Is the problem a lack of willpower and self-discipline? What is it about weight loss that’s so difficult? After all, there are countless dieting “experts”, books, diabetic diet plans, support groups, and pre-packaged food programs that promise to make it easy and effortless. We spill the secrets on why diets fail.
With all of the dieting options available, if you haven’t been able to reach your goal weight the problem must be you, right? While the answer to this is complicated, the short response is: no, your struggles with weight control are not simply due to a lack of willpower. This article will take a look at the many reasons why dieting is a recipe for failure, and will empower you with information and strategies you can use to maintain a healthy weight, cut your risk factors for metabolic disorder and diabetes and feel great.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A HEALTHY DIET
You’re probably already aware of the many reasons why a healthy diet and lifestyle are important. On a personal level, you might be motivated by the possibility of looking better and having more confidence. You may have seen a recent picture of yourself and felt shocked at what the camera says about your appearance. Or maybe your clothes are getting tighter (again) and you can’t bear the thought of buying a new wardrobe of larger clothes.
In addition to looking better, people are commonly motivated by concerns about their health. If you’ve been told at a checkup that you’re at high risk for a heart attack or stroke, or you’ve recently been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, you may be scared for your long-term health. While getting news like this is never easy, it’s important information to have while you can still be proactive about making changes. The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” has never been more relevant than in the context of your health.
A healthy diet plan and lifestyle is also about more than looking better and reducing your risk for disease. Not only will you increase your chances of living longer; you’ll start living better right away. Your quality of life will increase ten-fold when you can meet the demands of your day with more energy and fewer aches and pains. Your healthcare costs will go down dramatically, and you’ll be able to enjoy a full, active lifestyle. Whether you want to keep up with your children or grandchildren, travel more, or just have more energy for the activities you enjoy, you’ll be able to immediately reap the benefits of a healthy diet in your everyday life.
THE MANY REASONS WHY DIETS FAIL
The obesity and diabetes epidemic are extremely complicated issues, with many factors contributing to the problem. One of the biggest reasons that diets don’t work is basic human physiology. Humans lived and ate a particular way for tens of thousands of years. For much of that time, people hunted and gathered. They might have eaten a large meal when food was plentiful, but when food wasn’t abundant the body perceived the lack of food as a famine. To cope with this unpredictable food supply, it was a great advantage to consume large amounts of food when it was available. That way the body could use any fat stores left over for survival when food was scarce.
Of course, in modern society the food supply is incredibly abundant and only requires a leisurely car ride to the grocery store or restaurant. This leads to the fundamental issue that plagues many people: overeating. As a “fix”, many people head in the opposite direction with overly restrictive diets that leave their bodies in a state of perceived famine.
THE PITFALLS OF STARVATION DIETS
Researchers have found that when people eat too few calories, they’re prone to several serious problems. One of the most famous studies on this topic is the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, where people were given such a small amount of food for six months that they lost 25% of their body weight, which is relatively drastic. After that time period, it was found that participants suffered from extreme emotional issues and depression. There was also a “preoccupation” with food, the metabolism slowed, and people had socially isolated themselves.
As shown by this classic study, dramatically cutting calories will result in quick weight loss, but ultimately it sets you up for failure. Since your body thinks that you’re starving, it’s designed to “feast after the famine” with a binge. A quote from Geneen Roth, a well-respected author and speaker on the pitfalls of dieting, illustrates this point perfectly: “For every diet, there is an equal and opposite binge.” This is one of the reasons why diets fail.
Unfortunately, many people are desperate for a solution to their weight problem, which makes them easy targets for the multi-billion dollar diet industry. Seductive promises of easy and fast weight loss may work in the short-term, but set you up to fail in the long-term. As a result, many people find themselves on a dieting roller coaster, where they jump from one diet to the next, with periods of bingeing in between.
THE SCAM OF DIET FOODS
Another big reason that dieting doesn’t work is the endless supply of “diet foods” on the market, which actually work against your weight loss efforts. Due to the influence of corporate big business on the food supply, people have been fooled into thinking that a box of processed diet food labeled as low-fat is a healthy choice. These companies aren’t interested in the health of the consumer; they’re interested in making money. Sadly, this “profits before people” approach is making these companies very wealthy, while making the American population fat and sick.
The best advice is to avoid foods with health claims on the label, or better yet avoid foods with labels in the first place.
– Dr Mark Hyman
Instead of choosing diet foods, eating from a well-designed meal plan consisting of mostly whole foods is a much more effective way to go. The reason this is so effective can be linked to the way that we humans have eaten for most of our existence. More and more, studies are backing up what common sense tells us: sticking to a natural way of eating is much better for weight loss and overall health than eating processed diet foods ever could be. Five Hour Diabetic offers easy diabetic recipes from simple whole foods.
Furthermore, a low-fat, high-carb approach simply doesn’t work. Clear and irrefutable data show that Americans began gaining more and more weight at the same time that they were being told to choose low-fat foods. This is because many of the processed diet foods that are low in fat are also high in sugar. As it turns out, sugar is the real culprit behind the obesity and diabetes epidemic.
SUGAR: THE OTHER WHITE DRUG
In the 1700s, widespread sugar cane cultivation was developed, and the shipment and sale of sugar was extremely profitable. Sugar was called “white gold,” and was consumed at an average annual rate of four pounds per person, which is a tiny fraction of what is typically consumed today. Then, around the mid 1800s sugar consumption began to increase sharply. Much of this increase was simply the result of increased availability. Up until sugar was available, people may have used maple syrup, honey, dates, or other fruits to sweeten their foods, but these were available in extremely low supply, if at all.
To make things worse, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was developed about 50 years ago, which spikes blood sugar even faster than regular sugar. HFCS is present in many processed foods, even some of those so-called “diet foods.” It’s very profitable when a company can put high amounts of sugar in their products, as the effect on the brain is like an addictive drug. Even more profitable is when HFCS is added; its addictive qualities are even greater. Sugar that does not get burned immediately is sent to the liver. Here sugar gets changed to body fat for later use that never comes. This is why diets fail that are high in sugar and low in fat.
When fat is taken out of a food, sugar or chemical sweeteners have to be added to make it taste decent enough to eat. Because of the dire and widespread consequences of sugar on human health, some scientists are calling it “the new tobacco.” Before it was a part of our food supply, obesity and diabetes were rare. With increased consumption of sugar, these conditions are now extremely common.
WHAT DOES WORK: GOING BACK TO BASICS
People who are the most successful at weight loss in the long-term haven’t succeeded through dieting. Instead, they’ve changed their habits for life by sticking to meal plans that more closely mirror a natural diet. These types of approaches include those like Paleo, Mediterranean, Slow-Carb, and Ketogenic. The meal plans created at Five Hour Diabetic, for reversing Type 2 diabetes, are similar to ketogenic diets.
Remember that fat and protein were the main constituents of the human diet for tens of thousands of years, along with the fiber, or “roughage” from the various types of vegetables that could be gathered. Carbohydrates were much less available, and were only eaten in small quantities. Even grains weren’t a regular part of the diet until agriculture became common, which happened long after the beginning of human history.
After you’ve begun to focus on healthy meal plans instead of diets, it’s easy to stick to those good habits for life. This way of eating won’t make you crazy like starvation diets will, and it won’t contribute to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity the way that low-fat, high-sugar diets can. Meal plans centered around healthy sources of protein and fat, along with plenty of vegetables, are extremely well supported by science and are nutritionally sound. While this may not be what you see in advertisements, and certainly isn’t what the food industry wants you to believe, it’s clearly one of the best ways to meet your health goals.
You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces just good food from fresh ingredients. – Julia Child
Don’t forget about the importance of exercise in your efforts to meet a healthy lifestyle. The exercise you do can be low-impact and easy to add to your day. You can take a 20-30 minute walk, play a game of basketball with your family or friends, do a 7-minute workout, or even do some gardening or housecleaning. You’ll enjoy a lot of health benefits from simply moving more!
Also remember that many of us need to make a crucial shift in how we think about weight loss. The quick-fix approach that the dieting industry has sold you for decades will not help you. When you begin eating a healthy diet that doesn’t send you into starvation mode, you may not begin to see results for several weeks. In fact, depending on how much weight you have to lose, you may not reach your goal weight for 6-12 months. This can be hard to hear and accept when you just want to be at your goal weight NOW. But what they say is true, “Slow and steady wins the race.”
The good news is that there are meal plans available that take the guesswork out of how to eat healthfully. By making changes to the way you eat that are backed by science, you’ll find be able to lose weight slowly but surely. You’re blood sugar will stabilize, you’ll have more energy, and will look great. Better yet, you’ll maintain your results for life. The easiest way to get started is to let us count your calories and carbs. Every Five Hour Diabetic meal plan tells you the exact amount of ingredients to put into a healing recipe to get the exact calories you need. It has never been easier to make good choices. Better yet, we have some amazing diabetic desserts that will not destroy your blood sugar numbers.
SHARING IS CARING
Has this article helped you learn more about why diets fail? If you enjoyed this article, others may also find it useful. If we’ve earned it, can we kindly ask that you share this article online or through email? A referral is the greatest compliment a customer can give a business and we thank you for helping us spread the good word to the millions who suffer from this troubling disease.
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TRICKING YOUR BRAIN TO CARE FOR YOUR BODY
It is a well-known fact that to reduce your body weight you must decrease your caloric intake. As with nearly everything in life, the extremes of daily calorie intake tend toward failure at both ends of the spectrum – either too little or too much causes problems. Most Americans have had their servings sizes slowly increased over the decades, seemingly unnoticed and mostly driven by restaurants to increase the amount of food sold. The heaping servings of rich foods causes too many calories, from poor quality sources, to be eaten by us everyday. The only outcome from this scenario is obesity and weight gain.
Reducing calorie levels too much (think: 500-1000 calories/day) will cause significant weight loss but at the cost of your sanity. Our primal monkey brains get hyper focused on finding food to eat for keeping us alive at these levels. One rare starvation experiment was conducted back in the 1940’s at the University of Minnesota. It was a clinical study designed to study the effects of severe and prolonged dietary restriction. Their main conclusion was that this induced state of semi-starvation causes significant increases in depression and hysteria. The mainstream diet techniques that some people use which involve very low levels of calories are nearly impossible to keep up – you slowly start to go crazy! Then quit. Keeping your cheat meal to once per week in your meal plan will lessen your chances of quitting your new lifestyle changes.
Change is hard. The longer eating and exercise habits have been in place, the more difficult it can be to change them. When results are not quickly seen, it can be easy to bag it and just quit. But change takes times – up to 6 months to for a new habit to stick and become a common routine. Change is a process that slowly happens over time, it is not a single event. A cheat meal is designed to help make the process of change easier. It allows you to gradually build new habits while maintaining some of your old ways, just at a far fewer intervals.
WHAT’S THE SKINNY ON THE CHEAT MEAL?
Doughnuts are a normal part of a healthy, balanced diet. —Brooke Smith, Krispy Kreme spokeswoman
- Suppress your hunger by inhaling mint. Research has found that inhaling the scent of mint can naturally, and safely, curb your appetite for the near future. The simplest way is to put a few drops of essential oil in your hand to smell. Or use the essential oil with a diffuser.
- Drink an entire glass of water. Filling the stomach can trigger leptin, the hormone that your body produces when it is full of food and done eating.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes. If you do feel like you must have a cookie or slice of cake, just wait. Give it 15 minutes and if you have not fully distracted yourself when the timer rings, eat the cake. Hopefully you will not and the craving will have passed.
- Weight yourself on a scale. If you are trying to reach a target weight, seeing that high number on the scale can be the negative reinforcement that your brain needs.
- Meditate for 5 minutes. The power of meditation is beyond amazing. It can be used to increase your will power and decrease your impulse behavior. Check out calm.com.
- Take a 15 minute walk. Getting active will offer a distraction and give you distance from the box of donuts in the break room or whatever the craving might be.
THE SPECIFICS OF A PROPER CHEAT MEAL
Yes, the nature of a cheat meal is to let loose. Eat what you want to revisit old foods to keep your sanity while embarking on the healthy road to change. But there are ways to use the cheat meal to satisfy indulgence while minimizing the damage it does to your body and waistline. Keep these guidelines handy to optimize your meal:
- Avoid all HFCS and trans fats. There is a direct link between high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and obesity and diabetes. Read all labels closely and chose items without these toxic ingredients. For example, Ritter Sport chocolate uses sugar instead of HFCS and milk, whey instead of trans fat. It is a less worse indulgence.
- Mind the portion size. Restaurants serve cartoon-sized portions these days. Ordering from the kids’ menu, if allowed, will get you the correct amount of fast food. Ask if it is possible to get a half-order of something or split an entrée with someone at your table. Wait at least 20 minutes before taking second servings. There is an approximate delay between you eating and when your body produces leptin, the “I am full hormone” to send to your brain.
- Eat your cheat meals out of the house. It is a bad idea to buy all the ingredients for cooking a cheat meal at home. You are then left with, and tempted, to eat all of it. This effectively turns your cheat meal into a cheat day. Eat out at a restaurant or a friend’s place and do not bring leftovers home!
- Walk for 15 minutes. Eating a cheat meal will most likely result in your highest blood sugar numbers for the week. The best thing to do in this case is some light exercise. Walking around the neighborhood or around the street with the restaurant before driving home can lessen the burden on your body.
- Do not fall immediately asleep. The worst thing to do after a big meal of poor quality ingredients is to fall asleep. This is a guaranteed way to gain weight. Keep active for at least an hour before dozing off. This technique of eating big then sleeping has been dubbed as the Sumo Diet, since this is one of the ways these famous wrestlers increase their size.
SHARING IS CARING
Has this article helped you learn more about the benefits of a cheat meal? If you enjoyed this article, others may also find it useful. If we’ve earned it, can we kindly ask that you share this article online or through email? A referral is the greatest compliment a customer can give a business and we thank you for helping us spread the good word to the millions who suffer from this troubling disease.
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The only topic more hotly debated than nutrition is that of weight loss supplements for diabetes. The endless reports in the news are conflicting from day-to-day. A handful of knowledgeable doctors use vitamins in their arsenal of tools to combat diabetes, with proven results. Keep reading for the truth on what to avoid and what to include in your diabetic meal plan regimen.
Disclaimer: The Five Hour Diabetic meal plan is meant to be used with the ongoing care of a physician or other certified medical professional. It is never meant as a replacement for proper medical treatment, nor as a substitute for medications for any health conditions. Consult with physician before adding any nutritional supplements to your intake. Most conventional medical doctors will struggle with this topic, while naturopathic physicians and functional medicine doctors can offer custom guidance.
THE GREAT DEBATE
Weight loss supplements for diabetes draw out polarized opinions from all camps. Some doctors are quick to lump all supplements together as rubbish and just tell patients to avoid them altogether. While other medical professionals and online experts claim that vitamins can heal everything, from cancer to diabetes, with just a simple daily dose. The truth is that a narrow middle ground exists and has proven beneficial in the healing process, but no “silver bullet” exists in the form of a pill that will completely reverse diabetes.
The dark side of supplements is that they fall outside of the realm of prescription drugs, the multi-billion dollar industry that is mostly unregulated, or worse yet, self-regulated by the vitamin manufacturers. It is in poor judgement to trust any company’s claims that stand to profit greatly from a regularly consumed item. Most supplements manufacturers are modern-day snake-oil salesmen. In the American Diabetic Association’s (ADA) recommendations for diabetics they state “there is no clear evidence of benefit from vitamin or mineral supplementation.” Some synthetically created vitamins have been shown in research studies to only be partially absorbed by the body.
The brighter, more promising side of supplements can safely aid in the healing process with far fewer side effects than over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Independent research studies at accredited universities have been conducted on real live human beings and shown measurable benefits, for some supplements. For example, fish oil has been researched to prove its ability to reduce inflammation and arthritic pain as a safer alternative to NSAIDs. (NSAIDs stand for Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs, such as, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) Fish oil has far fewer adverse side effects when compared to NSAIDs – such as stomach bleeding and high blood pressure. In a self-conflicting act, the ADA’s Diabetes Journal conducted a study on curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. They concluded that curcumin intervention is safe and effective for use in reversing prediabetes. This study noticed an improvement in overall β-cell functions. These independently done studies by trained professionals at universities make it difficult to completely write off nutritional weight loss supplements for diabetes as a gimmick.
Contradictory as it seems, malnutrition is a key contributor to obesity. — Madeleine M. Kunin
The reality of weight loss supplements for diabetes is that some are beneficial, when used appropriately by trained medical professionals with a healing diet of whole foods. Most medical doctors never received any training or education on nutritional supplements in school or practice. It is of no wonder that most diabetics we have spoken with report that their doctor advises against their use. The use of supplements is sadly still a counter-culture practice in doctors’ offices today. Naturopathic physicians and functional medicine doctors are both trained in their healing properties. We have created an excellent list of potential supplements for you to investigate with your medical professional. The links go to reputable sources that produce consistent products of the highest quality.
THE NEED FOR WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS FOR DIABETES
Our ancestors from thousands of years ago certainly did not have nutritional supplements for use, but they arguably ate a diet more complete in minerals and nutrients than ours. The wild fish and wild animals consumed in the past had higher levels of nutrients than our modern “engineered” animals from factory farms. Animals allowed to thrive on their natural diets make for healthier meat than those fed a foreign diet, chock full of antibiotics and growth hormones. In modern times, our meat consumed from wild sources still holds far more nutrients than their counterparts raised in stressful factories. By all means, if you can get wild deer, boar, salmon, elk or fowl, add that into your diabetic meal plan over grocery store meat selections. Wild meat certainly cannot be classified as organic, but it is a superior choice in flavor and nutrients. Eating the conventional standard American diet (SAD), with factory produced meat, will lead to nutrient deficiencies over time.
In a similar way, our modern farms suffer from mineral depletion in the soil. The need to keep plots of farmland in constant use, to be lucrative, means that the land can never naturally recover its nutrients. Fruits and vegetables that are grown in the “conventional” way, with the heavy use of sprayed chemical fertilizers and insecticides suffer from greater soil depletion due to the heavy run-off associated with these chemicals. If your budget allows, always chose organic, non-sprayed or wild produce over conventional for the most nutrient packed healing foods.
Most diabetics are overweight or obese, yet are also malnourished. We typically associate starving people with malnutrition, but a lack of key nutrients can happen in obese people, too. The reason behind this conundrum is mostly due to the standard American diet (SAD). The foods that most Americans eat come from highly processed sources (think: anything in a box or container) or from fast food. These “food like” items are notorious for being high in macronutrients (calories, fat, carbs, sugar, etc.) while also void of minerals and nutrients. Over time, a depletion of nutrients will slowly worsen the inflammation seen throughout the body in metabolic syndrome.
DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS
We are all in different places with our health, so it can be expected that our needs for weight loss supplements for diabetes will vary from person to person. The benefit of modern-day science allows us easy access to laboratories for micronutrient testing. For those fortunate enough to have medical insurance we have found that most will cover these types of tests. It is always best to call your insurance company to check beforehand (have the diagnosis and CPT codes handy!).
SpectraCell Laboratories solely operates to process testing for doctors and patients. It is well-regarded in the scientific world and used by thousands of doctors and professional athletes. They offer a comprehensive nutritional panel. Testing your micronutrient levels before, and after, embarking on a supplement plan will allow you to find your needs and gauge how well the changes in your health are responding. For doctors that are still skeptical on the benefits of nutritional supplements for diabetes these scientific tests can allow real world results to confirm the efficacy of non-prescription drug methods of healing. The only drawback of this micronutrient testing is that it cannot test for some of the supplements on our recommended list. Biotin, cinnamon, curcumin, and probiotics are not possible to test for in this method.
Once you determine a regimen of supplements with your doctor’s help, there are some details to keep in mind. Proper use of weight loss supplements for diabetes, when needed, can greatly improve your chances of getting your health under control. These are easy wins that will amplify your efforts of changes to your lifestyle.
- Buy quality! This is a key point to drive home. The supplement industry is largely left up to its own devices, so rely on the brands that trained doctors have used in the past. Resist the urge to save a few bucks with an inferior brand. Their quality and purity can vary by magnitudes.
- Take regularly with food. Take the your doctor’s recommended dosage with your meals. This both creates a habit and the food can help ease the supplements into your blood stream. Also, some supplements function biochemically better when taken with healing food.
- Reduce poor quality food first. There are no supplements that are powerful enough to offset the standard American diet (SAD) of highly processed foods. Do not fall into the nutritional pitfall of thinking that vitamins taken with a super-sized fast food meal will count as healthy – it does not work like that. Following this meal plan is the easiest way to get your nutrition on track.
SHARING IS CARING
Has this article helped you learn more about weight loss supplements for diabetes? If you enjoyed this article, others may also find it useful. If we’ve earned it, can we kindly ask that you share this article online or through email? A referral is the greatest compliment a customer can give a business and we thank you for helping us spread the good word to the millions who suffer from this troubling disease.
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The power of suggestion through marketing materials for the dairy industry is one fit for case studies at business schools. Do you believe that milk is the best source of calcium? Do you believe that your arms might randomly tear from your body if you do not drink enough milk? Is milk bad for you and reversing your diabetes? Are you under the impression that low-fat milk is healthier for you and will help you lose weight? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you have been successfully manipulated that dairy is good for you, courtesy of the Dairy Management, Inc and the dairy lobby to our federal government. Eliminating all dairy from your diet can help you lose weight. Our FiveHourDiabetic.com meal plan uses minimal amounts of dairy. Dropping several pounds from your body weight greatly reduces the effects of diabetes and can lead to a reversal of this metabolic syndrome.
The claims that the dairy industry make through clever advertising are rarely backed up by any scientific studies. The industry funded studies that occasionally surface on nutritional benefits have biases heavily in their favor. This makes sense since the dairy industry is strongly concerned with selling as much of its product as possible. The “Dairy Management Inc.™ (DMI) is funded by America’s nearly 47000 dairy farmers, as well as dairy importers” and was “created to help increase sales and demand for dairy products.” The above verbiage was taken directly from their website. DMI has an approximate annual budget of $140 million and that much money buys a lot of catchy prime-time advertising. They are not an independent agency for conducting nutritional research for the betterment of humanity, nor milk nutrition, but rather an organization driven by its capitalistic endeavors of increasing sales through marketing.
On the federal government level, our nutritional guidelines are heavily influenced by special interest lobbyists. Sadly, this is the case for many topics in Washington DC. The dairy lobby spends over $6 million annually to influence public policy. This behavior presents a clear conflict of interest when the companies looking to profit the most from dairy sales get to write our nation’s nutritional guidelines. They are in no way qualified to tell us is milk bad for you. Dr Walter Willett, the Chairman of the Department of Nutrition, at Harvard University’s School of Public Health, had some choice words to say about the USDA’s revised nutritional guidelines:
Also, the recommendation for three servings of milk per day is not justified and is likely to cause harm to some people. The primary justification is bone health and reduction of fractures. However, prospective studies and randomized trials have consistently shown no relation between milk intake and risk of fractures. On the other hand, many studies have shown a relation between high milk intake and risk of fatal or metastatic prostate cancer, and this can be explained by the fact that milk intake increases blood levels of IGF-1, a growth-promoting hormone. The justification for drinking three glasses of milk per day on the basis of increasing potassium intake is also not valid as the extra calories, even with low-fat milk, would easily counterbalance the benefit of the extra potassium. Also, the recommendation for people of all ages to drink three servings of milk per day is very radical and would double dairy production if adopted; this would have huge environmental impacts that would need to be considered. –Dr Walter Willett, the Chairman of the Department of Nutrition, at Harvard University’s School of Public Health
To get an unbiased perspective on milk and dairy it’s helpful to dig into some past research studies. One study on adolescents found that children who drank the most milk, put on the most weight. They continue to conclude “contrary to our hypotheses, dietary calcium and skim and 1% milk were associated with weight gain, but dairy fat was not.” Oops. The “conventional” wisdom on drinking low-fat milk is wronger than wrong. Dr Ludwig and Dr Walter Willett expressed a similar recommendation in this article. The belief that milk is good for strong bones does not stand up either. This study found no overall association between milk intake and bone fractures. Another study found the same conclusion. Do not believe everything that you hear on the television without conclusive evidence.
BUT IS MILK BAD FOR YOU?
Dairy has a clearly defined place in our culture. It is part of our nutritional status quo, so it goes against the grain to question its necessity for our species. Stepping back a bit from the gallons of low-fat milk on the shelves, it’s useful to think about this liquid in the scope of our mammalian world. Google defines milk as “an opaque white fluid rich in fat and protein, secreted by female mammals for the nourishment of their young.” All mammals use this dense energy source when their digestive tracts are too immature to chew or process solid foods. Once mammals are old enough, they are all weaned from their mothers’ milk and the activity of the enzyme to digest lactose is dramatically reduced. Humans are no different, in this sense, from whales or dogs or meerkats. So, why are we as a society drinking milk into our adulthood? And why are we drinking milk from a different mammal? No other mammals in the world show such confounding behavior as we do and we should question it as we ask is milk bad for you?
Numerous cultures in Asia and Africa barely consume milk. It’s simply not part of their culture’s diet. Their status quo is one without dairy farms and gallons of milk. China, Laos, Ghana, Togo, Cambodia, etc. consume less than 13 lbs per person per year. The US consumes about 160 lbs per person per year! That’s a lot of dairy and a lot of cows. It is completely possible to eat a healthy meal plan without drinking a drop of milk.
Another interesting subset of our population to look at are bodybuilders. They are usually the proverbial guinea pigs for health and diet, to varied results. For most male bodybuilders they are constantly trying to find affordable and effective ways to gain weight. One popular and effective tactic is GOMAD. It stands for Gallon Of Milk A Day. I get phlegm-y just thinking about it. For the same reason that body builders love to down milk, you should not. Milk encourages weight gain with low-fat, skim or full-fat types. Ditch the dairy to ditch some pounds.
Dairy is one of the main allergens that is actively avoided on this diabetic meal plan. In addition to dairy promoting weight gain, it comes with some potential side effects, too. Dairy can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, hives, runny nose, eczema, and many other non-pleasant conditions.
Dr Hyman has an excellent short video on milk:
THE MILKMAN COMETH
The modern milk on our grocery store shelves has not escaped the pitfalls of large-scale food manufacturing. A while ago, ranchers and dairy farmers realized that their cattle would grow larger quicker if they fed grains to their animals instead of their normal diet of grass. Grains are much cheaper as feed when compared to pastures of healthy grass. Most of the beef and dairy in the US comes from such grain-fed cattle. This creates problems for the animals and for the consumer. Cows literally cannot stomach to eat grains and creates problems that require a constant slurry of antibiotics to resolve. Frankensteer, the documentary dives deep into these problems and is worth your time. When cows eat their natural food source grass, they benefit by living healthy lives and pass on the healthy micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids to you. The constant use of antibiotics and growth hormones that cattle receive get indirectly served to the consumer through milk, beef and cheese. The overuse of antibiotics in any format will undermine their effectiveness over time. Dairy farmers that inject their livestock with artificial growth hormones (rBST and/or rBGH) to increase their milk production put their consumers at risk. The early onset of puberty in children has been correlated to the excessive use of these hormones in livestock. Further research testing is needed to find a causal link. The use of hormones also increases the IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1) levels in milk which has been linked to the increased risk of developing cancer. When we are asked “Is milk bad for you?” we always tell our valued subscribers that it mostly certainly is bad for reversing diabetes.
The problems continue for milk after it is captured from the cow. In the 1800’s the French scientist, Louis Pasteur, developed a technique of heating beer and wine to a temperature just high enough to neutralize the bacteria that caused these liquids to spoil. Pasteurization is the process named for this scientist and it was found to also work on milk to extend the shelf-life. Originally, it was meant as a short-term solution for dairy farms that lacked in cleanliness but was quickly adopted as a cheaper way to produce milk. The major drawbacks from pasteurization include killing off the good bacteria in milk and nearly eliminating the micronutrient content. It also changes the structure of the protein molecules to make it harder to digest and increases the IGF-1, promoting cancerous cell growth. Raw milk is sold un-pasteurized. In the US, it is hard to find raw milk for sale due to stiff regulations, but it is widely sold throughout Europe, Africa, India and Asia. In Europe, you can buy raw milk directly from vending machines. It does not have a shelf life as long as pasteurized milk, but buying in smaller quantities and consuming it quickly can avoid this problem. The opponents of raw milk claim that it can be dangerous to drink spoiled milk, but the reality is that a quick smell test can tell if it’s bad or not. This is a good case of the nose knows.
ALTERNATIVES TO COW MILK
The list of reasons to avoid dairy are long, but thankfully there are some easier to digest options. Goat milk is one of the best alternatives to cow, if you can find it. It digests quicker and easier since the fat globules are smaller and the levels of lactose are much lower. Goat milk can be digested by humans in about 30 minutes vs 3 hours for cow milk. Lactose is a form of natural sugar (easy to spot since it ends in –ose) which can spike blood sugar levels so it is not good for diabetics, not to mention being the actual part of what forms a dairy intolerance. Goat milk drinkers can also benefit from getting higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and potassium, an important and necessary mineral.
Several non-animal types of “milk” are gaining shelf space at grocery stores these days. Healthier choices include coconut, hemp or almond milk. These all have labels that need to be read carefully since they all vary in how they are produced. The first thing to look for is the amount of sugar per servings. It should be low to zero. The unsweetened varieties are the best for diabetics. Double check the ingredient list to avoid sugar, honey, agave syrup, corn solids or any other added sugar. These sugars, even though they sound “natural”, can and will spike your blood sugar just as quicker as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Coffee drinkers that like cream have a reason to rejoice. This So Delicious® coconut milk creamer is a great alternative in your daily vice of caffeine. It mixes the best with coffee of any of the non-animal types of milk. While it does have some guar gum in it, the benefits of not consuming cow dairy trump the additives. I was skeptical at first, but now I cannot imagine a cup of coffee without it. This is great to keep in mind when asking if milk is bad for you.
The aisle of non-animal milk does have a few things to intentionally steer clear of. Soy milk can be heavily estrogenic due to the heavy processing it receives and can potentially increase the risk for cancer. Soy does not mix into coffee nor cooking well either. Rice milk should be avoided by diabetics for the same reasons as whole grain rice. It is a grain and will increase blood sugar levels. Some specific brands to avoid include Silk® Soymilk since it has MSG and evaporated cane juice (read: sugar), not to mention it uses a non-organic soy beans. Almond Breeze® almond milk should also be avoided since it also has cane juice and MSG.
All dairy will encourage weight gain and that’s working against your best interests. However, there are some forms of dairy that are less worse. Eating some dairy on an infrequent schedule (think: once per week at the most) can satisfy those with cravings for dairy. It’s helpful to keep dairy limited to your once-per-week cheat meal, if you are doing one.
Some cheese can fall into the “less worse” group for diabetics. The goat milk mentioned above can be made into goat cheese, sometimes called chevre, and easily found at Trader Joe’s. It is great on salads. There even exists a few types of cheese made from cow’s milk that are low in lactose. When these types of cheeses are being made, the majority of the lactose is drained off with the whey (<10mg/100g). If you have to reach for some cheese, choose these first:
- Parmigiano Reggiano
- Grana Padano
- Mature Cheddar Cheese
Fermented foods are seldom found in fast food nor the standard American diet. The fermentation process produces beneficial bacteria that can heal your inflamed digestive tract. One of the most familiar forms of fermented dairy is yogurt. Unfortunately, the food manufacturers have managed to make it a toxic food with additives, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Read the labels carefully. The best choices are usually the plain goat yogurt, organic, if available. When buying yogurt from cow sources, try to find one that comes from antibiotic and hormone (rBST and/or rBGH) free cows. Kefir is slowly gaining popularity. It is a type of fermented yogurt-like beverage originating in the mountains of Turkey. Sour cream is widely known in the US, but most people do not realize that it is a fermented food with healing properties. As with all dairy products, only try to buy those without hormones and antibiotics; organic is preferable when available.
SHARING IS CARING
Has this article helped you learn more about whether milk is bad for you? If you enjoyed this article, others may also find it useful. If we’ve earned it, can we kindly ask that you share this article online or through email? A referral is the greatest compliment a customer can give a business and we thank you for helping us spread the good word to the millions who suffer from this troubling disease.
The act of healing can arise from different sources if you keep an open eye and open mind. To the chagrin of the multi-billion dollar diabetic pharmaceutical industry, healing can occur from your food and spices, not just from expensive pills. Most medications can also generate serious side effects to complicate the healing process. Consuming food in its whole format can slowly add minerals and nutrients back into your body to stimulate natural cellular reactions that can heal the damage done by diabetes. Those who have reversed their type 2 or prediabetes have done so with the best foods for diabetics. There have been no documented cases of anyone reversing their diabetes through pill-based medication alone. If you are subscribed to this diabetic meal plan, you will recognize many of the items below from the weekly grocery lists and recipes.
FRUIT: NATURE’S DESSERT
Fruit is defined as the fleshy part of a flower-bearing plant used to spread seeds. But we know it is as the naturally sweet produce with some of the most diverse flavors in the culinary world. While fruit makes its sugars naturally, it can still spike your blood sugar levels significantly. For diabetics, it is best to consume fruits in moderation and in whole format. Diabetics should never drink juice! The act of juicing separates the fiber from the sugar, making it more concentrated. A glass of orange juice is just as toxic to a diabetic as a glass of sugary soda. It’s good practice to consume sweet fruit with fat to lower the resultant blood sugar spike. For example, a diabetic could eat an apple with some almond butter on it as a healthy midday snack.
One of the most versatile fruit groups for cooking is the citrus family. These tart fruits are not just limited to dessert, but can be incorporated in sauces, dressings and entrees. This group includes the common lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits and the less common kumquat and pomellos. They are all high vitamin C and can encourage good digestion. Citrus, while acidic in taste, is surprisingly alkalizing to our digestive track, which helps to mitigate the other acidic items in your diet. Citrus fruits have many detoxifying properties to them making them one of the best foods for diabetics.
Lemons are antibacterial and have the most calcium citrate of all the citrus fruits. This is important because it can decrease the rate of formation of kidney stones. Drinking lemon juice with hot water can be used to counteract nausea, heart burn or acid indigestion. The mighty lemon can also reduce swelling, water retention and inflammation in your body. It’s antibacterial properties can help to rid the body of the bacteria that causes UTI’s (urinary tract infection).
If there was a fruit designed specifically for the needs of diabetics, it would be the grapefruit. This bitter-sweet flavor profile rarely makes it in any mass-produced foods, but can be used to make drinks, teas, desserts or dressings. A study using grapefruit, grapefruit juice and grapefruit capsules found excellent results when grapefruit was consumed three times per day before meals. This is why it is one of the best foods for diabetics. After 12 weeks, the study found that those people eating half of a grapefruit before each meal lost the most amount of weight comparatively, an average of 3.5 pounds lost. Those people in the study that also suffered from metabolic syndrome demonstrated the weight loss significantly higher than the average. The group consuming the grapefruit also had a significant reduction in insulin levels two hours after the meal. The outer peel of the grapefruit also has beneficial healing properties and works to regulate the digestive energy of the spleen and pancreas. To consume the properties of the peel, make a simple tea with a few 2-inch pieces and steep for 20 minutes covered.
These small fruits pack a big amount of flavor and healing benefits. This flavor profile has found is way into processed, inflammatory foods (think: Boo-Berry cereal) but the healing properties are non-existent since the simulated berry flavors come from a food lab, not its whole food counterpart. You can only reap the healing benefits from consuming whole foods, not through processed ones. The berry family has properties that are excellent for combating metabolic syndrome. Other benefits include being anti-cancer, supporting vision, chock full of antioxidants and much more. Trader Joe’s offers a wide choice of frozen berries that are organic or at least wild and not sprayed with fertilizers.
Blueberries are one of the most common berries in grocery stores across the country. They are native to North America and delicious when consumed fresh. These dark berries are full of antioxidants to improve eyesight and antibacterial to combat intestinal bugs. Studies have found that blueberries can slow the growth of cancerous cells, specifically prostate cancer cells, due to their concentration of proanthocyandin compounds. This makes them one of the best foods for diabetics. Consider using frozen blueberries in smoothie recipes for maximizing the absorption of all of its healing properties.
Strawberries are the most popular berry and with good reason. They are seasonal but delicious when consumed fresh. Sadly, all berries are heavily fertilized, so try to buy organic or wild if your budget allows it. Strawberries are high in vitamin C and the good flavonoids of quercetin and kaempferol, both of which promote the good type of cholesterol and reduce atherosclerosis. The leaves of the strawberry plant can also aid indigestion. Make a simple tea with the leaves by steeping them for 5 minutes.
Cranberries are not just for the Thanksgiving table, but can be eaten year round. Most cranberry sauces do come with a lot of added sugar to balance out this sour berry. Diabetics should avoid cranberry juice and cranberry chutneys/sauces/relish with added sugar. The best way to consume this berry is to buy it in its whole, raw berry format, whether fresh or frozen. In addition to the antioxidants and antibacterial properties, the cranberry can promote good gum health. As most folks know, the cranberry is also good for preventing UTI’s (urinary tract infection) and bladder and kidney infections due to its nondialyzable material.
The main picture of this article is of the vine fruit bitter melon. It has healing properties ideal for diabetics, but is native to Asia, Africa and South America and hard to find in the US. Asian markets are most likely to carry this melon. As the name suggests, it is quite bitter. In Vietnam, they slice this melon very thin and serve it raw with noodle dishes. Bitter melon has complex compounds, such as charantin, vicine, and polypeptide-P, which function very much like insulin. These healing compounds help your body metabolize sugars in your blood stream.
Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.
The diverse world of vegetables are defined as plant-based matter that are consumed by humans. It’s a definition as wide as the selection of colors, flavors and textures of vegetables found around the planet. Consuming a vegetable dense diet can help prevent or reverse diseases such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, dementia, and more. These nutrient packed foods can help your skin clear up and look younger, as well as being great sources of natural fiber to increase mineral absorption and speed up your digestive tract.
One of the powerhouses of the plant kingdom comes with a long list of healing vitamins and minerals. Kale alone has vitamin C, K, chlorophyll, iron and more calcium than milk per the same serving. It is also a strong anti-inflammatory which makes it key for diabetics, as metabolic syndrome is defined as an inflammation of various organs and body tissue. Swiss chard, or sometimes called rainbow or green chard, has many antioxidants and syringic acid which has been recently studied due its blood sugar regulating properties.
Native cuisines across the globe usually have some fermented foods consumed regularly with most meals. The Germans have their cabbage fermented to sauerkraut. The Koreans have many varieties of kimchi, which captures a sweet and sour flavor profile. Indonesia ferments soybeans into tempeh, while the Japanese ferment soy into miso. Unfortunately, the American palate is dominated by fast foods and highly processed food-like items, none of which have anything fermented. It may not be a flavor that ranks well in food testing labs for our food industry, but that’s no reason to shy away from it. Several recipes used on this diabetic meal plan incorporate fermented components and with good reason, it makes for a healthy gut.
The fermentation process grows healthy bacteria in a controlled environment to keep the food from rotting or otherwise going bad. The bacteria from this fermentation process can help to form a healthy flora in your gut and digestive tract, thus reducing intestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and more. A research study in Brazil found that evidence “suggests that some chronic inflammatory diseases are mediated or affected by the dysfunction of the gut microbiota and its metabolic products.” They continue to conclude “based on these observations, manipulation of intestinal microbiota may prevent or alleviate chronic inflammatory disease. The composition of the microbiota can be manipulated by antibiotics, probiotics, and dietary components.” Adding in kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi or by supplementation with probiotics, you can help reset the importance balance of the good bacteria you might not have known existed in your body.
RED HOT CHILE PEPPERS
The vast group of different chiles extends from jalapeño to cayenne to guajillo to habañero. Peppers all may taste very differently but all have similar health benefits to diabetics. The heat from the plant originates from the volatile oils in the pod. As most of us have experienced, the heat from peppers can cause sweating and a burning intensity if too much is consumed. Controlling the amount of heat to keep food palatable allows you to reap its benefits. The slight increase in sweating is good to stimulate detoxing. The pepper also stimulates blood circulation throughout the body, even when your face is not melting off. And peppers are chock full of anti-oxidants and can lower bad cholesterol, too. A side effect of the heat is that it can cut food cravings and greatly slow down your pace of eating. The slower that you eat means the more nutrients you can extract from your food and the sooner your body will release leptin, the satiety hormone. This tells your brain that you’re full and should stop eating. Anyone who eats too quickly should consider adding 1/8 tsp of cayenne to your savory meals.
MUSHROOMS: THE FUNGUS AMONG US
There’s an entire world of edible fungi with healing properties. Grocery stores are starting to carry a wider selection, but some mushrooms can be ordered online at Amazon since they take well to drying. The canned button mushrooms are most widely known and sold in the US, but keep an eye out for fresh shiitakes, oysters, and portobellos. Most mushrooms contain the amino acid ergothioneine which helps to reduce inflammation in the body. When eaten raw, on salads for example, mushrooms can contain higher levels of prebiotics to help foster healthy gut bacteria. The benefits continue, as mushrooms are also antibacterial, antiviral and anticancer.
GOOD FAT ONE OF THE BEST FOODS FOR DIABETICS
Many people, with or without diabetes, are quite surprised to see that butter is okay and even encouraged for diabetics to consume. To clarify, the butter that is good to eat is real butter made from milk from cows raised without antibiotics nor hormones. The butter-like spreads are not real butter and typically packed with poor sources of palm oil and transfats. As Dr Hyman has stated, good fats do not make you fat, but sugar makes you fat. Real butter is a good source of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which promote heart health. Long-chain fatty acids are the ones to avoid and are linked to heart disease. Ghee or clarified butter has been used for thousands of years in the Indian subcontinent. It has healing properties and even is used on wounds and as a hair tonic, as well as cooking.
Olive oil is another excellent source of healthy fatty acids and has not been vilified as butter has in the past. It is a staple in the Mediterranean Diet, which is endorsed by the ADA. This oil raises healthy (HDL) cholesterol levels and has the most monounsaturated fatty acids of any of the natural oils. Olive oil’s low smoke point means it is best used for low-temp cooking or for salad dressings and sauces.
Coconut oil is another great source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), the healthy fatty acid. Some of the healthiest cultures around the globe use lots of coconut oil in their diets. One study done on the Tokelauans (a country in the south Pacific) found low levels of cholesterol because of the higher amounts of fat they consumed. The lauric acid found in coconuts is also antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. The marketing campaigns by the corn and soy industry, in the 70’s, still affect the common “nutritional” beliefs that coconut oil and saturated fat are bad for us. It’s this type of marketing disguised as science that has led to us one of the highest obesity rates of any nation. Corn and soy oils happen to be some of the highest in polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) which are high in the pro-inflammatory omega-6’s, both of which are not good for us. Stick to virgin, unrefined coconut oils for the healthiest choices.
HERBS AND SPICES
Spices are truly a gift to cooking and to your health. Most spices are relatively affordable and can add a great deal of flavor to even the most pedestrian of dishes. The spices listed below have macronutrients (calories, fat, sugar, etc.) at levels of low to none and come with varied healing benefits as their “side effects.” Those folks who are heat intolerant of chili’s need not shy away – these kinds of spices have flavor without setting your face on fire. If you’re coming off of the SAD (standard American diet) it could take some time for your taste buds to readjust to whole foods with flavor profiles beyond just fat and salt.
STEVIA: THE DIABETIC’S SPICE
Some may have heard of stevia, but it is still lacking in presence when compared to the artificial sweeteners on the market. Stevia is native to South America but is being cultivated around the world. It is a natural plant that happens to be quite sweet and pictured above. Stevia has no calories, when used in a pure extract form, does not cause dental problems, like sugar, and has been shown to reduce post postprandial blood sugar spikes. A study done by a panel of medical doctors at the University of Florida found that those participants in the stevia group consumed much less food than compared to those in the sugar group. They also found that the stevia group had much lower postprandial blood sugar levels than the sugar group did. Amazon and some grocery stores have the pure liquid stevia extract. Avoid Stevia In The Raw® at all costs – it has dextrose in it. Dextrose is a sugar (easy to spot since it ends in -ose) derived from corn, one of the top six inflammatory foods.
TURMERIC: NATURE’S PAIN RELIEVER
The bundle of roots from this plant are often dried or used fresh as a spice in food, a dietary supplement, or topical ointment. Turmeric is native to India which is why it is an ingredient in so many India dishes. It has been documented for its healing properties for thousands of years without a side effect or overdose ever documented. A mind-blowing study published in the ADA Diabetes Care journal back in 2012 showed great promise with turmeric and its active component, curcumin. They concluded the following: “A 9-month curcumin intervention in a prediabetic population significantly lowered the number of prediabetic people who eventually developed T2DM. In addition, the curcumin treatment appeared to improve overall function of β-cells, with very minor adverse effects. Therefore, this study demonstrated that the curcumin intervention in a prediabetic population may be beneficial.” You could add turmeric to every meal you consume, but a more effective way to get more curcumin in your diet is through dietary supplements. This is the reason curcumin falls in the top three supplements we suggest for diabetics. Turmeric is truly a healing and one of the best foods for diabetics.
CINNAMON FOR BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL
Cinnamon is a spice made from the sweet bark of trees. It is dried and sold in sticks or ground for convenience and comes in several varieties. Studies show that cinnamon is beneficial to controlling postprandial blood sugar levels. Stick to Ceylon or Saigon for the best results. Most types of cinnamon served in coffee shops is the sweet Saigon version. Max dosage: 1tsp per day.
IT’S ALWAYS TEA TIME
You do not need to be British to reap the benefits of daily tea consumption. It’s a great substitute for weaning yourself off of heavy coffee drinking. Tea, unlike coffee, comes with some widely studied and documented health benefits. This study concluded that drinking black tea daily lowered stress biomarkers, increased total antioxidant capacity, and decreased C-reactive protein in type 2 diabetics. And this is why tea is one of the best foods for diabetics. C-reactive protein is found in your blood stream and increases with inflammation, meaning that tea helped to decrease this effect, which is a good thing. Black tea has also been identified to increase relaxation and lower your cortisol levels, which is your stress hormone. Oolong tea, which is widely consumed in China, has been found to increase fat burning in men (sorry ladies). A study of over 40,000 people in Japan found that drinking green tea greatly reduced your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Green tea has also been found to have “a small, positive effect on weight loss and weight maintenance.” Tea is often heavily sprayed with pesticides, so buying organic is important to maximize the health benefits. Loose leaf tea is always the cheapest option, although it requires a tea strainer. Check out the teas we have listed on our shopping guide.
There are several types of mint – peppermint, spearmint, wild mint, and even chocolate mint. This plant is easy to grow and a good staple in every home garden since it thrives on neglect. Herbalists have long known that mint flavors and smells can be used as a mild natural stimulant and an appetite suppressant. In the recent past, we have had a few studies on how the mint smell can affect your appetite. A study at the Wheeling Jesuit University concluded: “The primary implication of these results is that peppermint scent can be used as an effective adjunct to decrease appetite, decrease hunger cravings, and consume fewer calories, which may lead to weight reduction and greater overall health.” It was specifically the scent that made the difference, not necessarily eating the mint. Conversely, chewing mint gum or sucking on a mint will not produce the same result. To replicate this result, use pure peppermint oil extract and an ultrasonic oil diffuser. I have tried it before and a few inhales of mint will certainly block the path in your brain from food cravings. It’s a better, safer choice than suffering delayed cardiac arrest from using fen-phen or other speedy weight loss pills.
MEAT AND FISH
Meat quality varies the greatest of all healing foods. Good meat is expensive but it does come with some health benefits, whereas bad meat will reliably decrease your health. Chicken has high levels of vitamin B, as does beef, along with being high sources of protein, the building block of muscles. Lamb is nearly always pasture-raised and has excellent omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and zinc. The fat in lamb is mostly monounsaturated, which is a good type of fat. Turkey can actually help balance post-meal insulin secretion for more even blood sugar numbers. It’s no accident that turkey shows up often on this diabetic meal plan! It’s one of the best foods for diabetics.
Bone broth has got much press lately in the news and with good reason. This simple to make and affordable foodstuff has been used in cultures for thousands of years for its flavor and healing powers. Broth is an excellent source of protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. By using joints and knuckles in a broth, it’s possible to extract natural and potent sources of gelatin. Gelatin is helpful for skin health, proper digestion, strong bones and fighting arthritis. Broth can be made from red meat or poultry or fish. Some stores sell it pre-made, but it’s easy to make at home and can be used in any recipe that calls for broth or stock. Bone broth is a perfect base for simple soups.
Fish and seafood are well-known for being a healthy piece of protein in a meal. Salmon and tuna are packed selenium, magnesium, potassium, and protein, not to mention high levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Research studies have shown that fish oil can be as potent as ibuprofen for arthritic relief while being a safer source than NSAIDs, with no known side effects. Sardines are one of the highest concentrated source of omega-3’s and with the least amount of mercury and other absorbed toxins from the sea. It’s best to buy wild caught fish. Check out Seafood Watch and their searchable database of sustainable fish & shellfish by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You can search by fish type or by one of their state by state guides. They also have convenient & free smart phone apps to use in the grocery store, fish market or farmers’ markets. Making wise seafood choices has never been easier.
PUTTING THIS TO GOOD USE
Hopefully you are more informed on picking best foods for diabetics reversing their disease. Please understand the context of healing foods. They should be eaten on a regular basis but are not substitutes for medication, such as metformin. Whole foods can supply a long and steady supply of nutrients to repair damage from highly processed, inflammatory foods which make up the standard American diet (SAD). Let your physician know if you are making changes to your diet that could affect the medications you are taking. If your biomarkers are showing improvement, your medications should be reduced under the discretion of your medical professional.
SHARING IS CARING
Has this article helped you learn more about the best foods for diabetics? If you enjoyed this article, others may also find it useful. If we’ve earned it, can we kindly ask that you share this article online or through email? A referral is the greatest compliment a customer can give a business and we thank you for helping us spread the good word to the millions who suffer from this troubling disease.
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References: Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition and Healing Foods
This magical compound covers over 70% of our planet Earth, yet most people, diabetics included, do not drink enough of it. Water is so crucial to our survival that we can only live a mere 3 days without it. When water is consumed in the amounts that the body needs its benefits are far-reaching. And drinking water to lose weight can help to potentially cure diabetes. Decreasing your daily soda intake (even diet!) and increasing your water intake will accelerate the process of reversing your diabetes.
Body Weight (in lbs) * ½ = Water (in ounces)
Use the above formula to calculate your approximate daily intake of water. If you’re being active through exercise or live in the desert, your daily minimum water needs will be higher. Likewise, if you are detoxifying from the standard American diet (SAD), your body could need more water to rid it from the toxins.
FINDING CLEAN WATER
Getting a good, clean water source can prove challenging, however. Most tap water is heavily chlorinated and has other chemicals that can make water taste and smell like it came straight from Shamu’s holding tank. It’s no wonder that many prefer the sweet taste of sodas, juice and energy drinks when compared to this fishy alternative. There’s some simple options to help make tap water more appealing.
- Drink cold water. Fill up a pitcher of water and place it in your fridge. Not only will the cold mask some of the smell and taste of tap water, but cold water can speed up your metabolism slightly.
- Add mint and/or lemon to your water. Both of these will make water taste better and come with some added benefits. Lemons can help reduce inflammation, swelling, and is antibacterial. Mint is also antibacterial and can relive irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), soothe upset stomachs and suppress your appetite.
- Add liquid stevia to your water. If your taste buds are used to the sugary sweet nectar of cherry cola, it could be difficult to drink something so neutral. A few guilt-free drops of the natural sweetener stevia can make the transition off of soda somewhat easier. Stevia Extract Clear Liquid
- Use an affordable water filter. This Brita water filter can help reduce odor and taste from tap water. While the Brita will make it easier for you to drink more water, it does not remove a great deal of chemicals from the water, it just neutralizes their taste through a charcoal filter.
- Purchase a dedicate water filtering system. Utilizing a ceramic filter will make sure that chemicals, odors and tastes all get removed from your water. These systems are not cheap but will make the best tasting water you have ever had. Multipure Drinking Water Systems
There are a few things to avoid with water. Avoid bottled water at all costs. It produces an amazing amount of plastic waste, not to mention the fuel costs needed to drive water from the factory to the store to your home. Bottled water can also leach harmful hormone disrupting chemicals into the liquid from the plastic.
Avoid distilled water, also. Water sold at stores as distilled can still suffer from the same problems as mentioned above from the plastic. But distilled water is also void of the good trace minerals that are found in spring water that our bodies need. If you are buying bottle water, choose the spring water over the distilled.
Water is the driving force of all nature.
― Leonardo da Vinci
DRINKING WATER TO LOSE WEIGHT AND OTHER BENEFITS
The human body uses water for nearly every bodily function. It is essential to our existence. When you give the body what it needs it is amazing in how it responds. Here are some of the known benefits to drinking the proper amount of water everyday:
- Reduces food intake by drinking a glass pre-meal. When the stomach is full, we tend to stop eating sooner. The water in your stomach can help curb your appetite. Just like drinking the proper amount of water, eating the proper amount of food can aid in weight loss and reversing your diabetes.
- Boosts metabolism. Drinking 16 oz of cold water first thing in the morning can boost your metabolism slightly. This jump-start on hydration during the day is especially important to those who suffer from sleep apnea. These people tend to lose more moisture throughout the night from heavy mouth breathing.
- Makes skin look younger. The downside of dehydration is that you physical looks suffer from dry skin and wrinkles. Adding water back into your daily diabetic meal plan may clear up your skin and help you look younger longer.
- Reduces headaches. Several doctors that I know have found strong correlations between those who suffer from frequent headaches and dehydration. The brain is composed of about 75% water. When you are dehydrated your grey matter can diminish in size and pull away from your skull. This situation understandably causes discomfort to your head.
- Fights fatigue. One of the major side effects of those suffering from dehydration is a general tiredness. Adding water back into your routine can help you feel more alert and awake.
- Combats constipation. The process of digestion requires a good amount of liquid to work properly. When food passes through the large intestine a large amount of water is also withdrawn. Not surprisingly, the leading cause of chronic constipation is from dehydration.
- Assists your body to detox. The main liquid waste from the body is urine, which has waste from the kidneys. Drinking the proper amount of water means that the kidneys have an easier time doing their job of expelling waste.
TIPS FOR DRINKING MORE WATER
The importance of water in our diet is up there with the quality of food that we consume. If you’re subscribed to our diabetic meal plan, you will be consuming more water inadvertently through whole food ingredients. Good vegetables and fruit contain a significant amount of water in addition to loads of other vitamins and minerals.
Grab yourself a nice water bottle made from inert stainless steel or glass. If you keep this with you throughout the day it will urge you to drink more water. And also prevent you from accidentally ingesting some toxic chemicals from plastic bottles and cups. The Kleen Kanteen makes several affordable shapes and sizes of water bottles. These containers are great for air travel, too. The TSA does not allow fluids to go through security but they do allow containers to go through. Fill it up after security and save yourself the $5 they charge for bottled water.
Check your progress. Make a simple note on your smart phone or on a piece of paper throughout the day with the time and amount of water you drank. By the day’s end you should be close to, or have exceeded, the calculated number above.
As sales of colas are slowly dropping, companies are getting creative with their product offerings to continue making money from sugary beverages. The public is slowly waking up to the fact that colas are bad for your health, hence the drop in sales. Beverages are excellent money makers for companies, yielding about 90% profits over their costs to manufacture. Vitaminwater is one of the latest beverage products to hit the grocery store shelf, along with its deceptive marketing.
What could be wrong with vitamins and water? At first glance it seems like it should be a beverage that offers some health benefits or, at the very least, does not kill you slowly, but unfortunately it is not the case. While it does offer some low-grade vitamins, it also packs a sweet punch of blood sugar spiking carbohydrates. This is precisely what diabetics (and prediabetics) need to avoid, especially those diabetics trying to reverse the damage of this disease. Let’s look at the nutrition label below under a close eye. The first thing to note is how they label a serving. One bottle is not considered a serving, rather 8 oz is or 1/2.5 of the container. I doubt most consumers will only drink 40% of it. This marketing trick will get past most consumers unnoticed. To calculate the total amount of sugar in this bottle you need to multiple the 13 g by 2.5 to get 32.5 g total. To get a good feeling of how much sugar that is, divide by 4.2 g, or the amount of sugar in one teaspoon. This “healthy” vitamin water yields a whopping 7.7 teaspoons of sugar in every bottle, not to mention the 125 empty calories. Another clever marketing trick employed on this label is in the ingredient list. Have you ever heard of crystalline fructose? It is an affordable sweetener that is highly processed and derived from America’s favorite vegetable: corn. It is not good for you at all and about 20% sweeter than conventional table sugar. Crystalline fructose is even 5% sweeter than high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)! Not only is corn one of the top six inflammatory foods that this diabetic meal plan actively avoids, but it also raises your blood sugar and decreases your insulin sensitivity over time.
Vitaminwater was acquired by Coca-Cola in 2007 for over $4 billion to increase their product offerings in the rapidly growing flavored water segment. In 2010, a class action lawsuit was filed against Coca-Cola for misleading consumers on its health benefits. Coca-Cola denies any wrongdoing but settled the lawsuit nonetheless and removed some of the deceptive wording from its labels.
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Can eating healthy be simple and straight forward? The world of nutrition can overwhelm anyone with counting calories, deciphering mysterious food ingredients and conflicting dietary advice. It’s suspicious to think that it could honestly be so easy. This one essential trick is the core belief of this website and diabetic meal plan. It is truly how to eat healthy. Our weekly meal plans have been designed specifically to meet the needs of Type 2 and Prediabetics by cooking every meal at home. This is the key for healthy eating and potentially reversing your diabetes!
Fast food options and processed food-like items in every grocery store saturate our modern world. The best way to control the quantity and quality of food that makes it past your lips is to cook everything yourself. This can seem like a large time commitment, but it isn’t. Cooking meals in larger batches with smart cooking techniques saves you time in your life. And just might add some life to your time in this world. Subscribing to our meal plan is the easiest way to jump-start your time in the kitchen. And we take the entire hassle out of creating a grocery list and meal plan to follow. It’s truly that easy.
SHARING IS CARING
Has this article helped you learn more about how to eat healthy? If you enjoyed this article, others may also find it useful. If we’ve earned it, can we kindly ask that you share this article online or through email? A referral is the greatest compliment a customer can give a business and we thank you for helping us spread the good word to the millions who suffer from this troubling disease.
Photos by Fotolia.