Dietary Counseling and Consultations


Today’s Preventable Pandemic

Published March 25th, 2010 in Diabeties

Today’s Preventable Pandemic

Everyone knows someone with Type 2 diabetes
By Tammera J. Karr, MSHN, CNC, CNW, CNH

Everyone knows someone with Type 2 diabetes; it is so common it is assumed by many they will “get it” like a cold or flu bug, as they get older.  The truth of the matter is, Type 2 diabetes is one of the most preventable illnesses in America, one unique to Americans and entirely dependent on the food choices consumers make.  “Well my grandfather had diabetes”, a client will say to me;  I ask how old was your grandfather when he was diagnosed with diabetes? “Oh he was in his late seventies”.   As we age our cells become more resistant to insulin and sugars. This is in large part due to the lack of exercise many older and today’s younger folks are getting.  And the foods most often eaten by older people are those highest in sugar forming content – carbohydrates.

My mother came from southern stock, corn bread soaked in sweet milk or buttermilk was a favorite, the problem with this is her blood sugars would go through the roof, because her blood stream was unable to process all the sugar made from these foods. Today’s version may be saltine crackers, chips or snack cookies. I have learned through clinical research that 3 saltine crackers will elevate my client’s blood sugars faster than glucose tabs or jell- good to know if you are traveling with a type one diabetic , as I often do and there is no glucose to be found.  30% of the glucose converted from our food goes striate to feed the brain, the rest is used for rapid energy or put into fat storage.  The foods we eat and drink have a direct and profound effect on our brain; the brain is the central computer that controls all the rest of the body’s chemical responses.

The” SAD” (standard American diet) is loaded with food stuffs that the digestive system barely needs to break down to make sugar – a lot of sugar. Highly refined flour found in crackers, bread, TV dinners, coating mixes, cereals and fast foods are the worst. When you combine all the GMO (genetically modified organism) fats (canola oil), and sugars (high fructose corn syrup) with these grain products the liver goes into a tail spin and the pancreas cries out for help.  Cholesterols, blood sugars and insulin climb, this in turn effects blood pressure, heart health, liver health and how well your brain works.

What to do?

It may not be reasonable to expect everyone to give up their favorite restaurant, but if Americans are going to get healthy it will not be because of a new health care bill, drug or insurance company – it will be because the populace begin being proactive about eating well, supplementation, exercise and learning to manage stress better.

  • Eat locally grown meat and egg’s – Organic as much as possible. 3-5oz of protein per meal or about 30gr per day. Look at the palm of your hand that is about how much real meat you need per meal.
  • LOT’S of vegetables start your meal with raw vegetables and a tablespoon of vinegar – no potatoes and iceberg lettuce don’t count. The darker the greens the better for your liver and eyes. Dark greens contain vital nutrients that help both stay healthy.  Raw carrots and snap peas make great snacks but if cooked they are prone to elevating blood sugars.  With the exception of once in a while when it is fresh out of the fields’ corn in any form should stay out of your diet.
  • Fruit especially berries are a great substitute for deserts loaded with calories and sugars. Remember diabetics crave sugar because their brain says it is starving.  Bananas, melons and tropical fruits are not recommended as they affect blood sugar levels the same way potatoes and cooked squash do – up up up it goes.  Your fruits and vegetables should make up about 40% of your meal.
  • Fat’s are a must for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Real fats the liver knows what to do with like extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, organic butter, walnut oil, macadamia nut oil all have a place in the food plan for those with diabetes. Oil is the stabilizer and regulator of sugars.  All nuts are counted as a fat not a protein. Many mistake peanuts for a nut, however they are a legume.  Healthy fats should make up about 30% of your meal. That runs about a tablespoon.

Supplements are a must.

  • Chromium and vanadium are found to be deficient in diabetics. They play a major role in blood sugar regulation and uptake into the cells.
  • Selenium is an antioxidant and necessary for healthy cell formation.
  • Vitamin C is a daily must. 2000mg daily for protecting cells, blood sugar regulation and heart health. Remember heart disease and diabetes go hand in hand.
  • B complex vitamins are a daily requirement. It is important to protect the brain and nervous system from damage; B vitamins play a vital role in keeping the entire body healthy.

Last but not least – Exercise.

  • At least three times a week to maintain bone health, circulation, brain health, and balance.  For many individuals a run of physical therapy is the best place to start. Therapists will help you establish a workout program that will be appropriate for your abilities. This will help you stay motivated and keep from having injuries that will stop your efforts.  In the Roseburg area First Choice Physical Therapy has been used most by clients needing their insurance billed for the fee.

To your good Health.

Category: Diabeties