Thursday, January 19, 2012

FENDING OFF DIABETES


I’m upset with Paula Deen and I never heard of her until a couple of days ago. I’m upset that this apparent queen of unhealthy cooking is pushing a drug to combat Diabetes II instead of what she should be doing:  educating herself and others about metabolism and nutrition.

My husband was diagnosed with Diabetes II last fall.  His doctor set us on a path that is changing both of our lives for the better, based on learning about those two things:  metabolism and nutrition.  As a result, my husband has stabilized his blood sugar and lost almost 35 pounds in less than three months—and I’ve lost five just by watching from the sidelines.

Here’s the bottom line:  sugar makes us fat.  Refined carbohydrates almost instantly metabolize into sugar.  Fat doesn’t make us fat.  Sugar does.  Low-fat foods have more sugar in them than regular ones to make up for the taste that is lost when fat is eliminated.  Compare the nutritional info on skim milk and whole milk and see for yourself.  There’s lots more sugar in the skim milk.  A lucrative industry has sprung up around non-fat and low-fat foods even though there’s significant evidence that dietary fat isn’t actually the culprit in heart disease.  (See Diabetes Solution, referenced below, pages 463-466.)

It’s amazing where sugar can come from.  Eating one white potato is like eating twenty spoonfuls of the stuff.  It converts to sugar almost immediately in our bodies.  Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, break down slowly and are the better choice.  White bread, pastries, anything made of white flour becomes instant sugar.  Travels right to our mid-sections and stays there as fat.

If the pancreas becomes overloaded by sugar demands, it can’t produce enough insulin to metabolize it all.  Then sugar crystals circulate through our blood, cutting and scarring our arteries.  Nerves die; muscles ache.  That’s how diabetics develop neuropathy in their feet, which can result in amputation.

Eliminating sugars and refined carbs in favor of natural sweeteners, like blue agave syrup, and wholegrain foods is pretty simple.  Load up on protein, fresh vegetables and fruits, don’t worry about fats, eat small meals throughout the day.  Exercise.   Pounds drop off like magic.

Educate yourself about metabolism and nutrition easily with these two books, recommended by my husband’s doctor:  for nutrition and diet, The New Sugar Busters, by Steward, Bethea, Andrews and Balart, and for metabolism, Diabetes Solution by Richard K. Bernstein, M.D. 

This is no deprivation mode.  For instance, dark chocolate that is more than 60% cocoa but low in sugar is considered a super food, virtually a health food.  Sugarless puddings made with cream, Jell-O mixed with whole milk yogurt, wholegrain breads and wholegrain pastas are just some of the recommended taste treats.

We read up and acted on what we learned.  As a result, our lives keep improving—and unlike Paula Deen, we’re not making the drug companies rich!

2 comments:

  1. I am type 2 and am having a dickens of a time. My gf cooks lots of soups from the food channel, all veggie except for some meats. I eat raw veggies and roasted chicken along with protein drinks and go to the gym 3 days a week. Cant lose a pound. Been this way for over ayear.

    However Paula Dean who is a staple of GF's tv prides herself in heavy butter and sugar loaded foods. She should be terribly embarrassed. Her sons now have a show called not mama's cooking where they take her recipes and cut the calories out.

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    1. I agree about Paula Dean. I hope you'll take a look at the books that I list in my blog. They've changed our lives, and my husband is dropping weight like crazy without feeling deprived. It's the Sugar Busters book that we mainly use as the dietary guide. The other book is more radical, but explains clearly the way the metabolism works--but he also has some good suggestions about diet. These two books fill in a lot of the gaps regarding how to deal with Diabetes 2, as far as I'm concerned, and I really like Dr. Bernstein's explanation of some of the myths, at the back of his book. Good luck. It's a struggle to get accurate information.

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