Diabetes and Dementia

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

I am currently reading a book to review entitled The Alzheimer’s Prevention & Treatment Diet, which has good information about diabetes and dementia that is worth mentioning now, during National Diabetes Month, while I finish reading the book.

diabetic diet has an emphasis on whole foods

Early in the book the authors, Dr. Richard Isaacson and Christopher Ochner, PhD, write about the link between these two ailments, specifically type 2 diabetes. The theory revolves around the fact that diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, which is defined by the authors as “a condition in which the body manufactures a hormone called insulin but is unable to respond to it properly.”  Since the job of insulin is to help your cells take in glucose, defined as a simple sugar that your body’s main energy source, as well as to clear the bloodstream of excess glucose once no more energy is absorbed, the constant and persistent elevated levels of glucose can lead to many problems because of insulin resistance* And since insulin is essential for the brain to function properly, memory problems can result when there is insulin resistance.

*an impaired response of the body to insulin, resulting in elevated levels of glucose in the blood (a key component of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (definition from the Internet)

I have been reading that some “experts” are calling Alzheimer’s “Type 3 Diabetes,” and as more research is revealed, I think we can benefit from knowing how strong a link there is between memory loss and insulin. So if you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, then whatever steps you take to correct the problem, especially with a diet that doesn’t include lots of denatured foods, like white flour and white sugar, you may be on your way to help prevent memory loss.

 

Concerning diet, in UnDo It! by Dr. Dean Ornish and his wife, Anne Ornish, here is a great deal to learn about diabetes and memory loss. For example, they note that in a study of more than 200,000 men and women over a period of 20 years years by the Harvard School of Public Health, the results demonstrated that a whole foods plant-based diet substantially lowered the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (I believe plant-based does not necessarily mean no meat, but rather that plants are eaten more than meat, depending on the researchers’ guidelines.)

In this same book, the authors note that lowering one’s blood sugar with lifestyle medicine is better than by just using drugs alone, which tells me that eating a whole foods diet with recipes similar to what I post on Menupause, is a giant step in the right direction to avoiding diabetes.  Since diabetes runs in my family, I take special care to be sure I don’t overload my body with “empty” calories, especially carbs,  or sugar-laden foods in place of naturally sweet foods.

I just copied some info that might be helpful and you may wish to investigate:

The best food choices for diabetics according to the American Diabetes Association. These foods help diabetics control blood sugar and lose weight, which makes blood-sugar management easier.

Image courtesy of share.baptisthealth.com

share.baptisthealth.com

The 16 Best Foods to Control Diabetes

www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-best-foods-for-diabetic

Here are the 16 foods:

fatty fish     leafy greens      cinnamon          
 eggs         chia seeds           turmeric
Greek yogurt    nuts        broccoli
extra virgin olive 
oil   
flax seeds      apple cider
strawberries    
garlic     squash    shiritaki noodles*

*Shiritaki Noodles (or Rice):

A meal that helps balance blood sugar? Yes!*

Source: https://miraclenoodle.com/

Glucose is a sugar that circulates in your blood. High carbohydrate foods, like regular pasta, rice, grains, etc., have a high glycemic index – they are rapidly digested and cause substantial fluctuations in your blood sugar. When you eat them you suddenly have lots of energy…and just as suddenly, you crash.

The Konjac plant fiber in Miracle Noodle, Miracle Rice, and Ready-To-Eat Meals, slows down your absorption of glucose, helping your blood sugar even out so you won’t have spikes of energy and exhaustion.

In fact, a study published in Diabetes Care confirmed that a diet rich in high-viscosity Konjac plant fiber, “improves glycemic control and lipid profile.

Miracle Noodles and rice are approved for these special diets: Keto, Paleo, Certified Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Soy-Free, Certified Vegan, Certified Kosher, Blood Sugar-Friendly.

They’re naturally low in carbs and calories, Certified Non-GMO, contain no additives, and are made from the Konjac plant.

(I plan to look for these in my health food stores  es)…….

Finally, some time ago I reviewed Suicide by Sugar by Nancy Appleton, PhD (also from Square One Publishers). Here is the internal blog link to that review: https://www.menupause.info/suicide-by-sugar-a-sweet-review/. 

On p. 10 of the book is a topic called: “Sugar by Any Other Name is Just as Troublesome,” with a list of sugar in its many forms. Use very sparingly! (Keep in mind that all not only sugars, but empty carbs can raise blood sugar levels.)

agave syrup or nectar    barley malt   beet sugar    brown sugar  cane sugar  cane syrup confections sugar crystalline sugar   date sugar   evaporated sugar cane   fructose   fruit juice concentrate   galactose   glucose granulated sugar   high fructose corn syrup   honey   invert sugar  lactose    liquid cane sugar or syrup maltose  maple syrup    molasses.   maple syrup   powdered sugar    raw sugar  rice syrup    sugarcane syrup table sugar  turbinado sugar   unrefined sugar   white sugar

When reading labels on foods you buy, check to see if any of these is near the top of the list, which means the amounts

are high. When I buy a treat, which is not too often, I check the sugar levels by seeing how many grams of sugar in a

serving and aim for 5 grams or less. (Check with your own doctor for his/her recommendations.)

Diabetes is a serious illness that can often be controlled by changes in lifestyle, especially diet. Consult with your doctor for testing and treatment. If you are pre-diabetic, find a health practitioner with lots of experience with this disease, since diabetes can result and is linked with memory loss.

 

P.S. Please note that my WordPress program doesn’t seem to keep all the words in lists the same size. I have tried several different ways and nothing works, so my apologies.

 

 

 

Type II Diabetes

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

 

This is a photo of a meter that registers your blood sugar levels with a very small prick to the finger. I have one because diabetes runs in my family and I like to monitor my glucose levels.

November is National Diabetes Month, so I wanted to make a few comments about this “disease,” since diet plays a large part. Not being a doctor, I am including information from Dr. Arnold Meshkov, which appears in Natural Awakenings Magazine, a free national magazine with interesting regional and national articles. (Not sure if this article appears nationally or only in my regional issue.)

In this short, but informative article, Dr. Meshkov notes that diabetes is a “disease of metabolism,
the biochemistry that allows our bodies to convert sugar, or glucose, in our food to energy that our body cells can use..”

The good doctor also notes that insulin, made in the pancreas, is the molecule/hormone that transports this glucose. The insulin goes into our bloodstream when sugar levels in the blood increase. However, according to the article, when the pancreas produces more than normal amounts of insulin, the latter does not work as well and we have what is called “insulin resistance.” This is followed by the statement: “And the cause of this resistance is obesity.”

Additionally, other articles I have read in addition to this one, make note that there is a strong link between diabetes and heart disease. I have also read that there maybe a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s; in fact, some medical-minded people call Alzheimer’s Type III diabetes.

The good news is that diet, exercise, and other life style changes, as well as medication if needed, can help reduce or eliminate diabetes and its long-term side effects as a result of daily insulin (ex.eye problems).  One site has a colorful Home Page that shows pictures of dishes under the title “Healthy & Tasty Recipes.” One example is their Broccoli/ Mushrooms / Cheddar Omelet; another is the Greek Salad; and another is their crunchy veggie wraps. Sounds like what I eat!

Meat recipes also included on their site. I picked non-meat ones. Many years ago I spoke with a dietitian at the local community college who claimed a meatless diet could be harmful for diabetic, but this has long been discarded, as witnessed by the number of meatless diets listed on the

If you go to this site below you will find the top 25 foods for diabetes, many of which are what I have been eating since giving up meat in 1976, such as fresh and lightly cooked organic, fresh produce, whole grains, nuts, seeds, etc.

Top 25 Power Foods for Diabetes | Diabetic Living Online

Perhaps more important are the foods to avoid, although I don’t agree with all the choices, such as egg yolks being limited, but this quote I do agree with ” …Other foods, which are considered the worst choices for diabetics, are white flour, white rice, fruit drinks, canned fruits that contain sugary syrup, whole milk and fatty meats, notes WebMD.”(www.reference.com)

In summary, what I have deducted from all the literature on diabetes is that the same recommendations show up for many diseases. They include lots of fresh foods; reducing highly processed foods that are high in sugar, salt and additives; an exercise program that includes a variety of modalities (strength training, walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi, etc.); and a positive attitude that includes managing stress.

I believe that most of my recipes (Click on Recipe Index in the right side of the Home Page) would fall into the category of healthy and suitable for preventing or treating diabetes, but my suggestion is that if pre-diabetes or diabetes is an issue, consult your doctor or dietitian or alternative practitioner for information on foods that are best for you and foods that you need to avoid except perhaps on special occasions, like pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!

P.S. www.activebeat.com lists 15 foods to help manage diabetes with lovely photos that are suitable for diabetics, most of which I have in my recipes, from apples & blueberries to tofu and to yogurt. Here’s the link: http://www.activebeat.co/health-news/15-foods-to-help-manage-diabetes/14/.

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