Get the inside scoop on diabetes from Nature’s Nutritionist Bahar Mahmoudi!
What is diabetes?
By: Bahar Mahmoudi, International Pharmacy Graduate, Natural Health Practitioner and Registered Iridologist
Diabetes is a condition that prevents the body from properly using energy from food. It occurs when the pancreas does not produce insulin, or when the pancreas produces insulin, but it is resisted by the body.
Many people have heard of diabetes, but most people don’t know exactly what diabetes really is. When we eat food, it is broken down in glucose or sugar.
During digestion, glucose moves through the body through the bloodstream to feed your cells. To be able to transfer the blood sugar into the cells, your body needs insulin, which is made by the pancreas and released into the bloodstream.
The problem happens when you have too much blood sugar in your body compared to the amount of insulin your pancreas is providing.
[blockquote_left] The problem happens when you have too much blood sugar in your body compared to the amount of insulin your pancreas is providing. [/blockquote_left]
If you’re body is not making enough insulin to keep up with the amount of sugar in your bloodstream, or if your body is having trouble making insulin, the glucose in the blood remains there and causes your blood sugar levels to elevate. If it continues, even after monitoring your diet, you will develop diabetes. The major type of diabetes are diabetes type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. What is known is that your immune system , which normally fights harmful bacteria or viruses — attacks and destroys your insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This leaves you with little or no insulin. Instead of being transported into your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream.
Type 1 is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors.
[blockquote_right] Type 1 is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. [/blockquote_right]
Type 2 diabetes
In prediabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and in type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, and your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Instead of moving into your cells where it’s needed for energy, sugar builds up in your bloodstream.
Exactly why this happens is uncertain, although it’s believed that genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight is strongly linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, but not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight.
This is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. It affects approximately 2 to 4 per cent of all pregnancies (in the non-Aboriginal population) and involves an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child
Signs and symptoms of diabetes
- Unusual thirst
- Frequent urination
- Weight change (gain or loss)
- Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
- Blurred vision
- Frequent or recurring infections
- Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Trouble getting or maintaining an erection
- Male sexual dysfunction.
Ways to Plan and Monitor Glycemic Index
The glycemic index (GI) is a tool that ranks carbohydrates containing foods based on their effect on blood glucose levels. Foods that rank low generally cause the blood glucose to fluctuate only a little, while foods that rank high do the opposite. The more refined a food is, the higher its GI; the more fiber it has, the lower its GI. As you might imagine, foods that are high in simple sugar like cake, white breads, baked goods made from white flour, etc., are high GI, though some whole foods (like potatoes) can be even higher. Most vegetables are low in carbohydrate and don’t even have a GI value.
[blockquote_left] different people can react very differently to the same foods, despite expectations based on the “high” or “low” GI label [/blockquote_left]
The glycemic index can be a valuable tool to help you control your blood glucose levels. However, different people can react very differently to the same foods, despite expectations based on the “high” or “low” GI label. Also, what else is eaten at the same time, how the food is cooked, and so on may also alter the effect of the food.
Screening Guidelines for Diabetes
- People with symptoms of thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss are tested immediately.
- People over age 45 should be tested every three years if otherwise normal.
- People should be tested at a younger age and more often if:
- They are obese.
- They have a parent or sibling with diabetes.
- They are from a high-risk group, such as African American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American.
- They have delivered a baby over 9 pounds or had gestational diabetes.
- They have high blood pressure.
- They have low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides.
Specific Food Groups
The number of servings to be eaten each day from the different food groups will vary from person to person depending on age, weight, individual goals, and individual blood glucose reactions to specific foods. There are some basic things to keep in mind for each group.
Fats, Oils, Sweets
Diabetics are at higher risk for heart disease and stroke, to which high-fat diets contribute. Keep saturated fats out of your diet, using small amounts of poly- and monounsaturated fats and oils. Don’t be fooled by the lack of carbohydrate in these foods—that doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want with no effects.
Sweets are not forbidden to a diabetic, but as they are usually highly refined and high in simple sugar and carbohydrate, they must be carefully incorporated into the overall meal plan. When you eat a donut, you’ll need to make adjustments to the amounts of other carbohydrates you eat at the same time, and possibly to your insulin dosage and timing.
Meat and Meat Substitutes
Animal-based proteins do not contain carbohydrates and are great sources for certain nutrients. The amount any person needs is fairly low, however, and meats also contain higher levels of fats and cholesterol. Plant sources of protein do contain carbohydrate and must be taken into consideration, as well.
It may be surprising to learn that dairy foods are high in carbohydrate and must be carefully incorporated. They can also be high in fat, so choosing low-fat versions or very small portions of higher-fat versions of milk, cheese, and yogurt is best.
Fruits and Vegetables
Most vegetables are low in carbohydrate and high in fiber and nutritional value, and are therefore an important part of a diabetic’s meal plan. Fruits contain fruit sugar and can therefore cause confusion about their effect on blood glucose levels. However, they are high in nutritional value so they are an important part of a balanced diet. They should be treated like any other carbohydrate.
Foods from the grains group will provide the bulk of any person’s healthy diet, even a diabetic’s. These contain the highest levels of carbohydrate and will therefore have the biggest effect on blood glucose levels. However, whole grains and starchy vegetables (such as potatoes or beans) balance that effect by being high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and are low in fat and cholesterol. Space these out throughout the day and choose the least refined items for maximum nutrition.
This is a medical food formulated to meet the specialized nutritional needs of patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance by providing a low-glycemic-index ingredient blend that includes high-amylase starch (a resistant starch), targeted plant nutrients, and heart-healthy soy protein. Featuring chlorogenic acid from green coffee bean extract, barley beta-glucans, cinnamon bark, and 11 grams of dietary fiber per serving, this formula provides enhanced nutritional support for glucose, lipid, and insulin metabolism.
- A pleasant-tasting beverage mix that provides protein, carbohydrates, and fat, with the inclusion of specific fibers, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients—including cinnamon—to nutritionally support insulin and glucose homeostasis.
- Provides nutritional support to individuals suspected of insulin resistance when combined with a low-glycemic-load dietary program.
- Provides a balanced, low-glycemic-index formula when mixed with water.
- Features cinnamon bark, which has been shown to promote healthy insulin and glucose metabolism in people with diabetes.
Restorative Formulation, Glucose Balance Px:
This formula contains some minerals such as vanadium and chromium as well as gymnema, lipoic acid, devil’s claw, milk thistle seed, pirkly pear fruit. Herbs and trace minerals combine to support healthy glucose metabolism, facilitate glucose transport and support glycogen storage. This formula supports healthy liver function and promotes balanced fat and glucose metabolism. Milk thistle helps maintain normal levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) enzymes to decrease oxidative stress.
Glucose Balance Px promotes the metabolism of glucose and fat in the liver, and their entry into cells where they can be utilized appropriately. Prickly pear cactus preserves healthy blood lipids and sugar in their normal range. Extracts from prickly pear cactus are used worldwide for supporting healthy metabolism of fats and sugars.
New Nordic See 3 more pictures Mulberry Zuccarin Max:
Mulberry Zuccarin Max tablets are based on natural mulberry leaf extract containing DNJ – a proven ingredient that reduces the amount of sugar your body can absorb from carbohydrates you eat. The Mulberry leaf contains a natural substance called DNJ (1-deoxynojirimycin), which significantly reduces the breakdown of sugars (polysaccharides) to glucose, and thereby slows the entry of sugar into the blood. Several clinical studies have shown that Mulberry extracts effectively stabilizes blood sugar levels. Mulberry leaves are natural and safe.
Canprev Blood sugar support:
Blood Sugar Support is a comprehensive natural formula designed to help maintain stable blood sugar levels and to prevent complications associated with fluctuating blood sugar levels. The formula contains all natural herbs, antioxidants and extracts that have been used medicinally for centuries or have been shown, through scientific studies, to help maintain stable blood sugar levels and help reduce the risk of complications usually associated with high, low or fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Now Chromium Piccolinate:
Chromium is an essential trace mineral that works with insulin to support healthy blood glucose levels and plays an important role in the proper utilization of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Chromium increases insulin sensitivity, leading to increased numbers of insulin receptors and greater binding of insulin to cells. Chromium helps insulin to metabolize fat, turn protein into muscle and convert sugar into energy.
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