Tag Archives: carbohydrates

Dangerous Weight Loss Programs for Diabetics


A few days ago I was concluding a visit with a patient with thyroid disease, while her diabetic
husband, also my patient, looked on. They are a pleasant older couple I have known for
years, who are devotedly helping each other stay healthy. As they were leaving the exam room the
wife apologetically turned the subject to her husband mentioning he was having almost
daily “episodes” of weakness and confusion. “I hadn’t changed his diabetic medication recently
so why should his blood sugar be an problem now”, I thought. A number of other unpleasant
possibilities immediately occurred to me. I inquired about signs of a possible stroke or heart
condition. If these other angles were unproductive I faced the choice of sending him to the
hospital for an evaluation. We quickly ran through a routine systems review. He had lost 10
lbs in the past month, the wife mentioned. “Oh, no, cancer” , was my first thought. His wife
explained that as a New Year’s resolution he enrolled in a commercial weight loss program for
diabetics. With relief, I knew we had the explanation of his disturbing new symptoms.

Most of my diabetic patients are on medication since they are unable to maintain good glucose
control with diet and exercise only. If they succeed however, in achieving weight loss then the
diabetes medication must be reduced to prevent undesirable hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Hypoglycemia is potentially dangerous because the brain cannot function properly resulting in
abnormal behavior, loss of muscle control and even unconsciousness. Imagine this occurring
while behind the wheel? Down here in Florida this is all too common.

Many commercial weight loss programs have started targeting Type 2 diabetics (adult onset)
with their TV ads. These programs are generally administered by people without any medical
background. They cannot advise medication changes (not that you would want them to) without
breaking the law by practicing medicine without a license. The result, as with my patient, is the
development of potentially serious complications of hypoglycemia.

In a previous blog http://www.metabolism.com/2010/10/17/injured-diabetic-diet , I worried that this type of problem could develop with commercial weight loss programs. I didn’t expect to see evidence of it so soon and in my own exam room. If my patient’s wife didn’t stop and mention his new symptoms at the last moment
that day, I imagine a far worse outcome for her husband was possible.

Gary Pepper, M.D.
Editor-in-Chief, metabolism.com

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Spirulina and other Green Superfoods Can Jumpstart Good Health by Tom Hines


Metabolism.com is pleased to share the following article provided by our guest contributor, Tom Hines.
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In some ways, your body is like a machine — it works best when it’s properly maintained and tuned up. Food is your fuel and when you fill your tank with lousy fuel, your engine sputters and stalls. If your body’s engine is sluggish and needs a jumpstart, spirulina and other green superfoods can help deliver the energy necessary to keep the machine running smoothly, avoiding a breakdown.

Spirulina is a ‘green superfood,’ a term used to describe various nutrient-rich natural supplements, which include Chlorella, Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, Alfalfa and Kelp. Unlike most store-bought supplements, the concentrated vitamins and minerals they provide are not synthetic. Green superfoods are whole foods harvested directly from nature and are exactly what your body needs to offset stress and to clear away toxins.

SAD is very sad indeed

S.A.D. stands for Standard American Diet – there was never a more apt acronym. The majority of U.S. citizens today subsist on processed fast food laden with refined carbohydrates and saturated fats. Meats are frequently tainted with growth hormones, antibiotics and pathogens. For people who manage to work the recommended five to nine daily servings of fruit and vegetables into their diet, modern agricultural techniques have stripped crops of many vitamins and minerals.

Processed and cooked foods, which are the cornerstones of the S.A.D, and beverages such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol create an acidic blood pH, encouraging the growth of bacteria, fungus and mold. In an overly acidic environment, the body literally begins to compost. Illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes are often the result of the composting process. Green superfoods have an alkalizing effect, counteracting the acidity caused by poor diet, stress and toxic overload and setting the stage for a return to good health.

Spirulina and Chlorella, the most super of the green superfoods

Spirulina is a blue-green algae whose name comes from its spiral coil shape. High quality spirulina thrives in both salt and fresh water in tropical climates and it is known to have nourished the Aztecs, who harvested the algae from Lake Texcoco. Some of the benefits of Spirulina are:

  • Contains all of the essential amino acids vital to human health
  • An excellent protein source for all vegetarians, including vegans
  • Balances blood sugar by boosting glycogen, which offsets insulin
  • Rich in GLA (gamma linolenic acid) and other essential fatty acids Delivers an array of vitamins, including the all-important folic acid
  • High in potassium and a dozen other minerals
  • Improves focus and mental clarity

Chlorella is a single-celled green algae whose name is derived from Greek and Latin words that translate to “little green.” In the 1940’s and 1950’s, intensive research was done on little green algae’s potential role in solving world hunger, due to its high protein content and its bounty of beneficial vitamins and minerals. The natural health community, meanwhile, has always touted Chlorella’s health-imparting properties, particularly in the area of detoxification. In addition to being the very best source of chlorophyll, here are some more of Chlorella supplement benefits:

  • Rids the body of toxins and stored waste
  • Tones and cleanses the blood
  • Reduces body odor, acting as an internal deodorant
  • Improves bowel health and reduces flatulence
  • Naturally freshens the breath
  • Clears the skin

Cereal grasses and seaweed

Wheat grass is a popular juicing ingredient due to its superior nutrition, which it delivers without raising blood sugar. It also helps to lower blood pressure.

Barley grass alkalizes the blood and strengthens the digestive system.

Alfalfa helps reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol, without affecting levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol and studies are underway to determine its effectiveness at lowering blood sugar levels and its ability to invigorate the immune system.

Kelp is a brown-algae seaweed, which grows in abundant kelp forests in shallow oceans all around the world. Kelp is rich in iodine and therefore beneficial to overall thyroid health. Its high vitamin and mineral content promotes pituitary and adrenal gland health as well. It’s renowned for its contribution to lustrous hair and skin. Taken shortly after exposure, it can also mitigate the negative ramifications of heavy metals and irradiation.

Making the most of green superfoods

Incorporating Spirulina, Chlorella and other green superfoods into the diet is easy, since they are all available in powdered form. Simply mix the desired amount into salad dressing, or add it to soup, juice or water. The taste is fresh and green and the active enzymes of living food add a healthy dimension even to a less than healthy meal. Of course, pregnant or breastfeeding women and people taking medications should consult with their doctors before incorporating any new food into their diets.

Many people who regularly incorporate green superfoods into their daily regimen have reported increased energy, mental clarity and an overall healthy glow. When stress, toxic thoughts and an imperfect diet have left your body’s engine sluggish, green superfoods are a quick and easy way to put yourself back on the road to health. Long may you run!

About the Author
Tom Hines, co-owner of NutritionGeeks.com (MN #1 Now Foods herbal provider), has been working in the nutrition industry since 1997, is a competitive powerlifter, lives with his wife Netti and three boys TJ, Grady and Brock on the prairie in west central Minnesota, spends his leisure time coaching youth wrestling, working with his horses and being play toy #1 for his boys.

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What to expect from a Nutrition Consultation


What exactly is a Nutrition Consultation? That is Question Number One from the public! Well, a nutrition consultation is something that takes into account someone’s medical and weight history; blood work/laboratory values; activity; habits; Calorie, protein, carbohydrate, fat and fluid needs; nutrition support needs and personal goals. A good nutrition assessment will take all of this into account in order to get a full picture of a client and what their specific needs and recommendations are.

A very common issue is that people think they are eating way too much at night and want to cut down on their intake a night. Most of the time, these folks aren’t eating enough during the day and find themselves so hungry at night that they make up for missed meals and more! In this case, I teach that food is the best appetite suppressant around! If you eat good, solid, healthy meals and snacks, you won’t feel so hungry later on in the night.

Of course, sometimes people experience “emotional eating” where they are counting on food to meet an emotional need that they have. At first it may feel like the need is fulfilled. Food is comforting, nurturing, it can seem like a “companion”. HOWEVER, food is fuel, not emotional support. When we mistake food for emotional support, we stop looking for the real, underlying emotional issues that need our attention. That is when food becomes a distraction, a past time, even an addiction. I urge clients to look at food as food and not an emotional crutch or distraction.
On the other end of the spectrum are the folks who need to gain weight and can’t seem to gain no matter what they do. A nutrition consultation will provide an assessment of exactly how many Calories they need to maintain and to gain weight. It will provide guidance for consuming healthy foods and not empty Calories, as well as recommendations for maintaining lean body mass.

Some folks need nutrition support, especially if they are on medications that deplete nutrients. My professional opinion is that the majority of people in this country do not even meet the RDA’s for many nutrients and I believe that the RDA’s need to be updated to reflect current knowledge and research in the science of nutrition.

A Nutrition Consultation will also help dispel the numerous misleading concept about nutrition that are out there floating around on the internet and in the media. I teach people some very basic concepts so that when they look at the latest headlines or listen to what other people have to say about nutrition, they will be armed with knowledge that will help them to judge what it truly best for themselves. So that is a Nutrition Consultation in a NUTshell.
And as always,
Consider having an individualized consultation!
http://www.metabolism.com/beth-ellen-diluglio/

Beth Ellen DiLuglio, MS, RD, CNSD, CCN, LD/N
In regards to this reply please read the our terms of service at:http://www.metabolism.com/legal_disclaimer/

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Helpful Nutrition Hints for Avoiding Diabetes


I am attaching an excerpt from a recent book by Dr. Frederic Vagnini and Lawrence D. Chilnick on how to use nutritional techniques to avoid developing diabetes. Thanks to the authors for permission to use this information.

Overcome Supermarket Roadblocks

by Frederic Vagnini, M.D., FACS, and Lawrence D. Chilnick,
Authors of The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes: The 5-Step Program That Removes Metabolic Roadblocks, Sheds Pounds Safely, and Reverses Prediabetes and Diabetes

Shopping Defensively

Here are some specific hints for defensive shopping:

Prepare ahead. If there’s one rule to follow, this is it: Don’t to go to the supermarket “on the fly.” We’ve all run out for a few things and ended up buying twice as much as we needed. Often, something in the store tempts us to do just that. For example, how many supermarkets position the bakery right where you walk in, with the wonderful smell of newly baked bread or cakes perfuming the air? It’s not an accident.
Consult your cookbooks and create a weekly menu. Write down all of the ingredients you need for it.
Know what you are going to make, and make sure that most of what you buy fits into your overall meal plan.
Check the fridge and pantry so you know what you don’t need to buy.
Shop weekly. Shopping too often or stretching your shopping trips to every two weeks will make sticking to your meal plan more difficult.
Learn the store layout. The fewer tempting products you see and the less time you spend browsing, the easier it will be to avoid buying the wrong foods. The healthiest fresh foods are in areas against the store walls. Don’t spend time in the central aisles with things you don’t need.
Look up and down. The most attractively packaged food is on shelves at eye level.
Stay away from the areas where store employees are offering free samples of high-carb and fatty foods.
Eat before you shop. A hungry shopper buys more food and makes worse food choices, plus with diabetes, you need to eat at specific times and in amounts that ensure stable blood sugar.
Shop alone and without the kids. Although research claims that men are more likely to stick to their list only, the levels of obesity in both genders suggests otherwise. Going to the supermarket should be a directed, time-limited event. You are there to buy certain things you need; you don’t have to review every single one of the store’s offerings. If possible, shop for food when the kids are in school because they are special targets for marketers.
Make healthy choices. This doesn’t only mean buying fresh vegetables from local farms or good produce in the supermarket. A healthy choice is a meal you make at home — not take-out or prepared foods. Over the past decade, sales of prepared foods at the deli counters and throughout the store have risen steadily. Americans now spend over $15 billion per year on prepared foods in supermarkets and in shopping mall food courts.
While sales of starchy, fat-dripping fast foods are dropping, prepared take-out foods aren’t much better. The choices are often “family friendly”: fried chicken, chicken nuggets, chicken wings, baked potatoes, egg rolls, tacos, and creamy “comfort food” soups. Did you know that much of the prepared supermarket food is made by the same giant food companies that make the fast foods? If you buy prepared foods, avoid those with heavy mayonnaise or breading and high calories. Dodge items featuring rice or mashed potatoes, too.

Some experts suggest you take a close look at how much of your diet comes from the prepared choices. If prepared food makes up more than half of your diet, you have a problem. While one solution would be to learn to cook more or better, some people simply don’t like to cook or have too little time to make meals at home. But this isn’t an insurmountable problem.

Making the Supermarket Your Support System

If you are truly going to make a change that will bring your glucose under control and help you lose weight, you will have to take control of what you and your family eat. It is less difficult than you think. The secret is in your commitment to change.

There are scores of healthy-eating-oriented cookbooks in bookstores, supermarkets, mega-stores, and online recipe sources. These books help you follow some basic rules that will help meet the requirements of the Five-Step Plan.

Doing your own cooking will help you control what you eat, control your glucose, and lose weight. You will still go to the supermarket, but buying fresh vegetables in season, certain fruits, and good protein sources such as fish, chicken, turkey, and other lean meats will make your diet more interesting and flavorful. You might even discover that cooking can be fun, and you can make it a group activity. As you lose weight, you will feel better physically and mentally because the food you eat will be better for you. Your body will thank you.

Another good tip is to ask questions at the market. You’d be surprised how much help the people behind the counters can be, and not only at high-end supermarkets.

The desire for certain foods has been studied and reported on over the years. It’s often been noted that people fantasize more about food than any other pleasure, including sex. After all, food gave us our first pleasure as children, and eating habits last a lifetime. Given the level of obesity in the country, is it any surprise that many adolescents who do their “hunting” in front of the computer or video game are following in their parents’ footsteps?

The above is an excerpt from the book The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes: The 5-Step Program That Removes Metabolic Roadblocks, Sheds Pounds Safely, and Reverses Prediabetes and Diabetes by Frederic Vagnini, M.D., FACS, and Lawrence D. Chilnick. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2009 Frederic Vagnini, M.D., FACS, and Lawrence D. Chilnick, authors of The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes: The 5-Step Program That Removes Metabolic Roadblocks, Sheds Pounds Safely, and Reverses Prediabetes and Diabetes

Author Bios
Frederic J. Vagnini, M.D., FACS, coauthor of The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes: The 5-Step Program That Removes Metabolic Roadblocks, Sheds Pounds Safely, and Reverses Prediabetes and Diabetes, is a board-certified cardiovascular surgeon whose understanding of the ravages of cardiovascular diseases is grounded in twenty years as a cardiac surgeon. He hosts a popular call-in radio show and has published several books, including The Carbohydrate Addict’s Healthy Heart Program, a New York Times bestseller.

Lawrence D. Chilnick, coauthor of The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes: The 5-Step Program That Removes Metabolic Roadblocks, Sheds Pounds Safely, and Reverses Prediabetes and Diabetes, is the authors and creator of the New York Times bestseller The Pill Book, which has sold 17 million copies and is still in print after more than two decades. He is a publishing executive, editor, teacher, journalist, broadcaster, and author of several popular health reference books, electronic products, audiotapes, and videos.

For more information please visit www.amazon.com.

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