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
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