Category Archives: Type 2 Diabetes

Juicing Diets May Just Be Too Sweet

The Juicing Diet claims

You have probably heard people touting the benefits of a juicing diet. The “nutrients are in the juice” “speed up the absorption of nutrients”, “concentrate the nutrients”…etc. These are the claims of proponents of heavy juicing diets. While this can be partially true, there is a significant problem that few hear about. It is the very concentration of the juice that is the issue.

I will acknowledge that juice from fresh fruit and veggies is a decent source of nutrients. It does even concentrate them in a smaller easier to ingest form. But remember, EVERYTHING in the juice is concentrated. Why does this matter? Have you ever wondered why fruits and vegetables have all that fibrous build up around all that healthy juice? It was no mistake they were created that way. It is the same reason pharmaceutical pills are designed as time release, dissolving tablets and capsules.

Why Juice comes in a Fibrous Package

Your body requires a measured dose of macro and micro nutrients each day, throughout the day. While a juicing diet does flood the many essential nutrients rapidly, one element of juice makes drinking too much, or using juice as your vegetable intake a dangerous proposition. Sugar. Yes juices have all the sugar from the vegetables and fruits they come from. This can be a lot. Fiber provides a safe and manageable absorption rate for these nutrients and sugars to be absorbed. Without regulation, excess sugar consumed too rapidly, even from healthy foods, is bad for you. As discussed in the posts on this site Type 2 Diabetes and other problems including cardiovascular disease, are associated with excess sugars in the diet, and increased insulin levels. It does not matter where the sugar comes from, even if its supposed to be a healthy juicing diet. We are not saying a Juicing diet would cause Type 2 Diabetes, but the spikes in sugar and insulin can be an unhealthy roller coaster for your body to ride.

When you eat whole foods veggies and fruits included, they are like time release capsules. The nutrients are assimilated into the body in a slow methodical and calculated digestive process, which allows the body to unpack and distribute nutrients and sugars in an organized way. The fiber in those foods actually regulate and slow the process of assimilation so the bodies systems can keep up with the intake, particularly of the sugars. This allows insulin levels to keep a measured pace and the body can use the energy from the sugars during the few hours of assimilation.

The Sugar Flood

Juice however takes all the roadblocks out of the process. Its like a torrential downpour on a drought stricken area. Flash floods and erosion, instead of saturation. So much sugar is taken in so fast (think of how many apples it takes to make an average glass of juice) your body cannot possibly assimilate it quickly enough, and the result is excess sugar in the system, releasing excess insulin, possibly even creating insulin resistance over time, just like too  much candy or fast food. Then the excess sugar the body cannot assimilate or expel fast enough is turned into fat, and stored as metabolically active and toxin releasing cells, which can even create or exacerbate inflammation and all the inflammatory disorders so common today.

The fact is you need the fiber. The fiber is essential to regulating blood sugar, and keeping the GI tract in good shape. Fiber also fills space, so you feel full and don’t take in too much food. In addition to fruit and vegetable fibers good fiber sources include: beans, bran, brown rice, and nuts. You can even use powdered varieties, but the whole grains and complete foods are always best both for the fiber, nutrients, and sugars.

The Balance of a Juicing Diet

Obviously moderate use of juice can be beneficial. Adding protein and fiber to a smoothie can also help make a concentrated juicing diet a little more balanced. But it is always best to eat as many whole fruits and vegetables as is possible, since they are perfectly designed to allow the body to properly use and distribute the components of the food appropriately.

In my next post I will address the importance of water.

Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Metabolic Syndrome is one of the most prevalent health issues facing the industrialized world. Basically it is the name for the condition associated with the following combination of factors any 3 of which together are indicators of the condition:

1. Blood pressure = or above 130/85 mmHg

2. Fasting blood sugar (glucose) = or above 100 mg/dL

3. Increased waist circumference (central fat) in Men of 40 or more inches and in Women of 35 inches or more

4. Low HDL (also called good) cholesterol in Men – under 40 mg/dL and in Women – under 50 mg/dL

5. Triglycerides equal to or higher than 150 mg/dL

These factors ultimately are associated with a gain in fat tissue ratio to lean tissue, resulting from improper diet and lifestyle, which increases the overall fat content in the body, raising health risks significantly. This is not always seen in obvious visible obesity. In some cases persons whose body size is not necessarily significantly larger, will be what is called “over fat” while not necessarily overweight. However much of the time the visceral or central fat tissue is a visible sign of problems. This is not an aesthetic condition. How it looks is not the problem, but the actual quantitative effect on a persons health is. That is why what I do as a professional Lifestyle Educator is not a weight loss program per se, but a body composition program.

In 2001 the then Surgeon General of the United States David Satcher M.D. Ph.D. issued a report entitled Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity”. This report indicated the significant health risks, premature death, disability, health care costs, and other factors associated with any overweight condition, and obesity. Just this year, the current Surgeon General Vice Admiral Regina M. Benjamin M.D. M.B.A. has issued a report entitled “The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010” which explains her take on this concept with both reports calling the problem “epidemic”.

As a result of this overweight, obesity, and metabolic syndrome problem, the bodies of persons affected by these conditions will often develop a resistance to the proper utilization of insulin. As mentioned in a couple other posts about Type 2 Diabetes, this resistance tends to grow and ultimately can result in full blown type 2 diabetes if left unchecked.

Metabolic Syndrome is actually pretty easy to prevent though. With a system of properly scheduled meals, as well as well proportioned meal sizes you can keep your body fed, and reduce the risk of any of these conditions. One important thing to note is, if at all possible, never skip a meal! This seems counter-intuitive. Most people would think taking in less calories would help the body lose unwanted pounds. This is actually the opposite. When you skip meals, you force your body to basically eat itself to get the energy it needs, and you lose important lean mass which is calorie burning, metabolic tissue, since the protein in muscle is what is usually used to get this energy. You then eat a large meal being starving, and the body must store the unusable excess food eaten as fat. Your body needs a constant flow of nutrients and calories to keep going, so you need to eat to lose weight. So never skip meals!

If you live in the Orange County California area call me for a personal consulting session, and I can formulate a personal plan for your metabolism. Call me at 714-866-9649.

Managing Type 2 Diabetes with Food.

Type 2 Diabetes

There has been so much talk lately about type 2 diabetes. This used to be called “Adult Onset Diabetes” but with the proliferation of new cases spanning the age spectrum, and particularly affecting youth, another more inclusive name was chosen. There is even a Type 3 now, but we’ll get to that another time.

First of all, what causes it? A great deal of research has been done on the topic. There are various stages to insulin regulation in the body. To make a complicated topic simpler, when your body takes in too much sugar, which could be refined sugars or even carbohydrates and other foods that are changed to sugar during digestion, it cannot process it effectively. Insulin is the hormone that the body uses to signal cells to let sugar through the door. When too much sugar is there, your cells start to rebel and restrict the acceptance of new sugar in the cell by basically not answering the door when the insulin knocks. Your pancreas senses the resistance, and sends out more insulin.

This is the beginning of problems. Not only will the insulin resistance have the potential if unchecked to become Type 2 Diabetes, but cardiovascular risk is correlated to excessive insulin in the system. Some studies have indicated insulin is an even more powerful antagonist, and marker for cardiovascular risk than cholesterol. When your activity level is not sufficient to burn off the massive sugar content and calories, your body stores the extra sugars as fat. This cycle has every quality of a catastrophic system meltdown. The longer you wait to address it, the worse it will get.

What Can You Do?

Thankfully, there are some pretty simple and yet powerful things you can do, without spending any more money (again unless you want to or to speed up the process with targeted supplements), just changing your eating schedule, and some of the components of your diet. The best part about this is that while most diets restrict the quantity of foods, when I counsel people on food intake, most complain not of being hungry, but of not being able to eat all the food. One of the biggest things is being sure to eat every two to three hours. These meals of course are going to be a bit smaller, but that is the point. You want your body to use the food as fuel progressively, and not flood the engine with too much gas. that is what has been happening to create the insulin resistance in the first place.

The only thing that can make it a bit tricky is the actual plan must be specific to an individuals body composition, weight, and fat/lean ratio, as well as the amount of calories that the person burns in any given day. That is unique to each person, so establishing your metabolic rate is important but it is not that difficult to get a general idea just based upon weight and height with some of the online charts. However to be specific enough to really nail it down a test with a bio-impedence machine is very helpful, and not too expensive.

These tests, which I administer regularly, also give you a chance as you progress through your personal program of lifestyle change, to see a real number for each part of your body’s composition, and watch as your fat, water, muscle and other components change to create a better overall body makeup which results in a superior functioning system.

Real Results

 

Amazingly enough, I have personally seen people go from a fasting glucose of 135 to between 90-100 in a week or two, just by changing diet scheduling, some food types, and adding a small amount of what is termed a “medical food”, a high quality protein enriched beverage which I will also explain later in another post. But this is an optional component, that just speeds up the natural process.

Mediterranean Diet

If you look up ‘mediterranean diet” online, you will see the basic kinds of foods that are best to consume for optimum health and vitality. It is a mixture of vegetables, lean meats, limited grains, and yes even wine! If you eat a balanced diet of these foods and spread out your 1300-2500 calorie menu for the day every 2-3 hours, it is a good start. You can contact me directly for more information, and if you are in the Orange County California area, I am available for private consultations, and can actually monitor your composition with the Bio-impedence test I spoke of earlier. I do encourage close collaboration with your doctor though particularly when  dealing with a serious condition such as Type 2 Diabetes.

The Onslaught of Type 2 Diabetes

diabetes metabolic syndrome diet lose weightThe Modern Western diet has created a generation of people who are held captive to bad food choices which ultimately destroy their body’s natural biochemical balance. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas to assist cells in transporting sugar from the bloodstream into the cells where the mitochondria use it as energy.
Processed foods and foods high in sugar cause the glucose levels in the bloodstream to spike, or raise very quickly which sends a disproportionate amount of sugar into the blood resulting in excessive insulin production. When the cells sense the excess, they start to ignore the insulin in a process that has been termed insulin resistance. This results in bad sugar metabolism, dysfunctional insulin receptors in the cells, and ultimately leads to Type 2 adult onset Diabetes.
With minor modifications in menu planning and food intake studies indicate a person can manage this condition and in many cases reverse its affects. Meal size, type and timing of meals all play an important role in this process, and are simple to adjust. With minimal supplementation, a person suffering from this condition can start down a path to recovery, and all without any drugs in most cases.