As you age, you have a good chance of being affected by changes in blood sugar levels. Why? One in four Americans over 60 struggles with this problem. But here’s something you need to know before you begin treatment.
The American Diabetes Association’s (ADA’s) recommended diet is like pouring gas on a wild fire. It’s ironic how it sets out to help people with blood sugar issues, yet it just ends up hurting them.
Take a look…
The cornerstone of the ADA’s diet program is to lower fat intake.
But the notion that eating fats will make you fat is a fundamental mistake. For most people, excess insulin makes them fat and not the fat itself.
The ADA also recommends high fiber foods, yet it doesn’t stress caution about starches like whole grains. You might be surprised to know that whole grains spike your blood sugar more than sugary foods.
To top it off, studies even show that low fat and high carb diets like the one recommended by the ADA just don’t work.
For example, in a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 210 patients with blood sugar concerns followed either a low carb/low glycemic diet or a high cereal/high fiber diet. Those on the low glycemic/low carb diet saw a larger reduction in blood glucose levels and even cholesterol levels compared to those who were on the high cereal/high carb diet.
Here’s something else…
Of the three types of macronutrients used by the body – protein, carbohydrates, and fats – carbohydrates is the only one that affects insulin levels. Fat and protein don’t. However, the ADA continues to tell you to stop eating fat. In fact, your body needs fat to help slow the conversion of carbs into sugar
The ADA also provides tips and guidelines for reducing your protein intake. But proteins are a crucial component to sustaining your body and breaking the cycle caused by insulin resistance. And the chemical reactions that take place in your body when you are insulin resistant raise cortisol. Cortisol speeds the breakdown of proteins.
Fat and protein are not the bad guys. The key is to eat the right kinds of fat and the right kinds of protein.
The last thing you want to do is follow the diet advice of the ADA for a low fat diet full of whole grains, or you’ll surely suffer with diabetes for the rest of your life.
The best thing you can do is to eat the right fats and proteins and kick out the starchy carbs. Here are some tips to help you make the right choices.
Don’t be afraid of fat. Avoid trans fats (partially or fully hydrogenated oils) which are found in processed foods. Get healthy fat from lean proteins (grass-fed beef), wild fish, olives/oil, Sacha Inchi oil, avocados, and nuts.
- Avoid starches like grains including corn, potatoes, and rice.
- Choose good quality protein – it’s “guilt-free” food. It won’t raise your blood sugar and helps handle insulin better, build muscle and repair tissue – all essential for staying lean and preventing diabetes. Grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, cage-free eggs, and wild salmon are all good choices.
- Choose vegetables that don’t spike your blood sugar (low glycemic). Those that grow above ground are good choices – cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms, green beans, leafy green vegetables, and tomatoes.
- Eat fruits such as berries and those you can eat with the skin on. Skip dried fruit and fruit juices (they have added sugar).
- Avoid processed foods. They are loaded with bad fats and carbs, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives.
- Avoid high fructose corn syrup. It contributes to insulin resistance. Fructose is converted to fat more than other sweeteners. In fact, HFCS has been linked to obesity. And limit natural sweeteners like sugar and honey.
1 National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) National Diabetes Statistics. 2007. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/index.htm 2. Rabin , Roni Caryn. “Recommended Diet for Diabetics May Need Changing, Study Suggests”, The New York Times, 12/19/08, www.nytimes.com 3. “The Diabetes Food Pyramid: Protein,” The American Diabetes Association. (http://www.diabetes.org/nutrition-and-recipes/nutrition/protein.jsp), 9/1/2004 4. “Consumption of High-Fructose Corn Syrup in Beverages May Play a Role in the Epidemic of Obesity” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 4, April 2004.
Dr. Al Sears is fast becoming the nation's leading authority on longevity and heart health. His cutting edge breakthroughs and commanding knowledge of alternative medicine have been transforming the lives of his patients for over 15 years.
Dr. Sears currently owns and operates a successful integrative medicine and anti-aging clinic in Wellington, Florida with over 15,000 patients. Over the course of his career, he has developed his own approach to heart health, longevity and anti-aging medicine - combining the best of modern medical science with natural holistic techniques and treatments.