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Healthy Greetings!


 
It is May and we are almost halfway through this year.  If you live in the northern hemisphere, you are undoubtedly noticing the lengthening of the days.  More flowers are blooming than last month.  Many green shoots and sprouts of edible native plants are visible.

And some of us are truly getting the itch to garden.  I have basil, parsley, sage, and sweet potatoes on the counter in my office just waiting for warmer nights before they can be safely planted outdoors.  I already have chives, arugula, French sorrel, and a hearty parsley variety ready for the salad bowl.
 
Gardening brings us close to our food supply and gives us a great degree of quality control.  If you don’t typically garden, consider just a planting few containers or planters with herbs and salad greens.  These foods are nourishing and enriching for practically everyone, especially those struggling with diabetes.

This month’s newsletter provides simple and straightforward guidance and information for those who have concerns about diabetes and preventing it.
 

THE SIMPLE APPROACH TO DIABETES,
Eat Whole and Unprocessed Foods   


By Dr. Susan L. Levy


Be good to your pancreas, it might help your blood sugar level.
 


150 years ago the term  DIABETES  was so uncommon that, though the condition existed, many people had never even heard of it.   As of 2017, there were at least 425 million people with diabetes worldwide, with Type 2 making up about 90% of the cases.   This represents 8.8% of the world’s adult population, with equal rates in both women and men.   Diabetes kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.   Every 19 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes.   That’s more than 32,000 friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members in the next 7 days.   That’s more than 3 friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members every minute of every day.   1 in 11 Americans has it.   1 in 4 adults who has it doesn’t know it.   1 in 3 adults is at risk of developing it.   Chances are higher than ever that you probably know someone who is struggling with diabetes.   Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes by 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes®.
 





Today in general conversation and public understanding, it is considered that there are three forms of diabetes.  

Diabetes type I is generally considered to be an insulin-dependent type of blood sugar disorder.  In the past it was called juvenile diabetes, since it often began in childhood.  

Diabetes type II (formerly called adult onset diabetes) now affects all age groups in all social strata in all “modern cultures”.  I will redefine modern cultures as cultures who eat processed foods.  

A newer term is diabetes type III. You may be surprised to find that this is another word for Alzheimer’s disease.  Many of the mechanisms plaguing the body in diabetes type II progress to the point that they damage the ability of the brain to function properly, and a progressive dementia develops that is ultimately termed Alzheimer’s disease or diabetes type III.

Some people have heard of or may have experienced gestational diabetes that sometimes occurs in pregnant women.  This condition is often reversed after childbirth.  We do not have time to address gestational diabetes here, but you may wish to look at Mayo Clinic’s summary about this disorder.

A rare condition with some of the signs and symptoms of diabetes is diabetes insipidus.  Again, I am providing the Mayo Clinic’s summary about diabetes insipidus HERE.

 



 

This article will focus on diabetes type II and simple food and lifestyle protective interventions that anyone can easily access.  The most basic recommendation to follow is to AVOID PROCESSED FOOD LIKE THE PLAGUE! 

You should suspect all processed foods of containing sugar in some form or milled flour in some form.  Both are adulterated forms of carbohydrate that trick your pancreas into thinking that it may be undertaking a long difficult process to break down more complicated (naturally occurring) carbohydrate.

Your pancreas and your digestive enzyme system are only programmed to handle unrefined or complex carbohydrates.  When you eat foods in the form that nature provides, your digestive process and your pancreatic function proceeds as nature had planned. 

A great resource for you to refer to is my healthy foods and nutrients list for diabetics.  Click HERE to access this very helpful chart!

To read more about keeping your blood sugar balance refer to Your Body Can Talk, Second Edition, pages 310-314.
 





Another obvious element to steer clear of would be the dangerous and harmful chemical laboratory experiments in capsule or injection form commonly used to treat minor illnesses.  At last count, there are more than 700 medications that potentially interact with insulin with varying degrees of significance.
 

 
Typically a negative drug interaction either decreases or increases insulin's effects, posing the risk of high or low blood glucose.  Commonly prescribed drugs for chronic conditions that may require an adjustment in insulin dosage include:
  • Prednisone
  • Olanzapine
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • ACE Inhibitors
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • sulfonamides
  • Disopyramide
  • Quinine and Quinidine

In addition, some drugs that are prescribed for temporary conditions, such as antibiotics for infection, may also require an adjustment to your insulin dosage, which often goes unaddressed.  It's best to check drug interaction information with your pharmacist or physician, and to double-check with your pharmacist each time you refill a prescription of insulin.






If you are going to eat grains, they should be whole grains that are not milled into flour.  The best choices are organic brown rice and millet home-cooked from the dry grain to a fluffy side dish or morning “cereal”.  

Sprouting grains always makes them easier to digest and makes their nutrients more bioavailable.  Oats as oatmeal or oat bran have traditionally been recommended to diabetics since they are high in fiber and digest more slowly than processed foods.  

Actually, quinoa and amaranth are seeds, rather than grains, and provide more protein than grains do.  They are more pancreas friendly.
 
 
Congee is a traditional Asian meal that combines cooked rice, diced yams, raw nuts and cinnamon.  I generally use brown rice, millet, or quinoa seeds.  I often prepare this in a crock-pot and sometimes add raw unsweetened coconut.  

This ancient meal is purported to balance the blood sugar and the metabolism and is recommended as a breakfast meal but truly can be used even as a dinner.  

After serving the congee in a bowl I often add coconut oil or grass-fed butter and extra cinnamon.  You may choose to garnish with other seeds or nuts or even add blueberries for a variety.
 





If you are avoiding processed food, then you must forgo bread, crackers, cookies, cake, biscuits, dinner rolls, pie crust, most snack bars, pastries, muffins, pretzels, chips, sodas and most “energy drinks”.  Just check out the ingredient list.  You will surely find flour in many of them.

These high-carb items would not be fully qualified pancreas aggravators unless they included sugar (sucrose), fructose, high fructose corn sweeteners, dextrose, maltose, invert sugar or something of the kind.

Such highly refined carb foods characteristically contain white, devitalized, nutrient depleted, overly hybridized flour with sugar to sweeten and processed oils or other trans-fats to bind the whole glob together.

Then it is typical to add preservatives, flavor enhancers, colorants, texturizers, dough conditioners, genetically modified components, excessive amounts of salt and sugar, hormones, pesticides and other toxins.

None of those components are healthy for anyone, but they are especially cumbersome for a diabetic.
 




 

Many vegetables are appropriate for people with diabetes, or those proactively working to avoid developing diabetes.

Leaving out white potatoes is best, but including sweet potatoes, yams, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, tomatoes, eggplant, onions, and salad greens to include spinach, baby kale, arugula, parsley, leaf lettuce, Boston lettuce, romaine lettuce and the like can provide nutrient rich healthy carbohydrates that do not stress the pancreas.

Including steamed greens such as kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, and even wild pot herbs such as lamb’s quarters in the diet frequently provides numerous minerals and vitamins.
 




 

Surprise!  Okra has a centuries long track record as a helpful food for diabetics!  Deep-fried okra, however, does not convey those health benefits.  The healthiest approach is to combine okra with other vegetables in a soup or stew.  The high-fiber content of okra contributes to its ability to help modulate blood sugar.  Learn more about okra in this article from Dr. Josh Axe.
 
Some people soak okra in pure drinking water for several hours and then drink the liquid to get the nutritional and blood sugar balancing benefits.  You may want to look at this article from Dr. Mercola about preparing your own okra water.
 
Adhering to a high-fiber diet (by definition this excludes most processed foods) is another way to fight or fend off diabetes.  Many of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts mentioned in this article are high in fiber.  Fiber-rich foods take a little more time and effort to digest and therefore can slow down the release of carbohydrate end-products into your bloodstream.

Be sure to enjoy this brief article on Fiber and its relationship with Diabetes by Dr. Mercola!

Then, for a list of higher fiber foods and information about fiber refer to pages 124-126 in YOUR AGING BODY CAN TALK.
 




 

Many plant-based proteins are useful.  Raw nuts, beans, and lentils are some great examples.  For those who include eggs and dairy remember to look for grass fed and organic sources.  For those who include meats and poultry in their diet, select pasture raised, humanely raised, and organic items.
 
Coconut oil and grass-fed butter are healthy sources of dietary fats along with a variety of raw nuts, walnuts, pecans, and almonds in particular.
 







Some sources admonish diabetics to avoid fruit, but fresh and natural unsweetened fruit is likely to be well-tolerated by most diabetics.  Berries are especially good, with strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries leading the way.  Recent research indicates that blackberries can increase insulin sensitivity and even increase fat burning.

If you haven’t yet tried the blackberry smoothie featured in last month’s newsletter click HERE!
 
Grapefruit is the least sweet citrus fruit and may be useful for many diabetics.  Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may potentiate the action of many pharmaceutical drugs and may need to be avoided if these medications are in use.  Statins are one classification of drugs with this precaution.  Check with your pharmacist if you are taking any prescribed medications before enjoying grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
 
Apples, cherries, peaches, pears, and plums are other good examples of fruits that most diabetics tolerate.  Many of these can be grown in your yard or obtained at a farmer’s market.
 




 
 
You will probably want to check in with your natural health care provider and have specific counseling about specific nutritional supplements to add.  Vitamins C and the B complex are good health insurance, the B3 or niacin protects the beta cells of the pancreas, and insulin resistant individuals typically are deficient in vitamin B6. Many diabetics do well with vitamin E.  Vitamin A helps protect the retina which is sometimes damaged by diabetes.
 
Many diabetics need extra minerals.  Chromium, zinc, vanadium, magnesium, and manganese are especially helpful to diabetics.  These minerals can help balance blood sugar and metabolism and assist in processing glucose.
 
Several herbs and foods are useful for diabetics and those hoping to prevent diabetes.  Cinnamon is famous for its ability to help balance the blood sugar. Bitter Melon, Fenugreek, Ginseng, Gymnea Sylvestre, Stinging Nettles, and Turmeric are appropriate for many diabetics.
 
I keep most of these vitamins, minerals and herbs in stock in my office and will be glad to assist you in determining which may be most suitable for your situation.  Just contact my office for an appointment and we can evaluate ways to help you be kind to your pancreas.
 




 
 
Jerusalem artichoke is a medicinal food that is neither native to Jerusalem nor anything like the green globe artichoke that you are probably familiar with. 

Jerusalem artichokes are fibrous roots that are a little bit sweet tasting and look like a ginger root.  They are high in fiber and are considered a prebiotic food, one that helps nurture and feed your healthy intestinal bacteria. These roots do help people to balance their blood sugar.

To read more about Jerusalem artichokes, often called “J-chokes” refer to page 170 in YOUR AGING BODY CAN TALK.  This segment addresses growing and preparing Jerusalem artichokes. 

I always have dehydrated homegrown Jerusalem artichokes available in my office for my patients.  Let me know if you would like to try some!
 




 

Artificial sweeteners are recommended if not literally “pushed” on diabetics.  These are harsh chemicals that have significant health consequences, especially for the liver.  Please avoid any of the artificial sweeteners including:
  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame Potassium (K)
  • Saccharin or Sucralose
  • NutraSweet®
  • Splenda®

Please read further on this subject HERE

Another informative resource Is the book Poisoned, by Janet Starr Hull.

Consider using small amounts of simple, unadulterated natural sweeteners if you must boost the sweet flavor of your natural unprocessed foods dietary intake.

 




REMEMBER TO AVOID PROCESSED FOODS LIKE THE PLAGUE.

Avoiding processed foods, especially sugar and flour will make your pancreas happy.  Then providing fresh and natural fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and lentils will provide many nutrients that your pancreas needs and will help it balance your blood sugar naturally.
 
Of course, staying active and incorporating purposeful movement and exercise that you tolerate frequently is another key to helping you balance your blood sugar.  Walking, yoga, and tai chi are excellent movement practices to be involved in regularly.  Chapter 4, Move It and Preserve It in YOUR AGING BODY CAN TALK provides a great deal of factual information on these and other movement practices. Reread the entire chapter from page 33 to page 51 and check out the books and websites indicated on pages 49 and 50.
 
You are welcome to CONTACT ME to discuss your concerns about your blood sugar balance and your pancreatic function. We may decide to do some testing to evaluate appropriate foods, herbs, nutrients, lifestyle enhancements or treatments that may benefit you.
 


May your wellness grow as you learn to take the best care of your pancreas and your blood sugar balance.


 
CHROMIUM

Chromium, a type of chemical element that’s actually a hard and brittle metal, is a trace mineral needed by the body in small amounts for healthy functioning. 

Blood sugar and diabetes control, heart health, weight management and brain health are all known benefits of chromium.

Chromium plays a role in the insulin-signaling pathways that allow our bodies to control the amount of sugar we take in, helping balance blood glucose levels and giving us stable energy. 

BITTER MELON

Bitter melon contains hypoglycemic compounds, which may help improve your body’s ability to utilize sugar for energy

Bitter melon may also help boost fat metabolism, which may contribute to the prevention of obesity, which is one of the risk factors of diabetes.


In addition, in a study done by the Philippine Department of Health, they found that bitter melon has the same mechanism as glibenclamide, an anti-diabetes drug.
VANADIUM
 
Vanadium is helpful in balancing blood sugar.

As a supplement, Vanadyl Sulfate, often combined with chromium, has been shown to protect against breast cancer, slow down tumor growth, and strengthen bones.

Food sources include black pepper, dill seed, and mushrooms. 

Dill is a prolific garden herb and the seed can be used in dips, spreads, salads, and soups!
 
•    1 med.     Onion, diced and peeled
•    1 cup     Carrots, sliced
•    ½ cup     Celery, diced - including leaves
•    3 cloves     Garlic, diced fine
•    1 large    Bell Pepper, diced
•    2 cups     Fresh Okra, sliced
•    2 cups     Tomatoes, diced
•    1 cup     Yellow Summer Squash, diced
•    ½ cup     Jerusalem Artichokes, sliced
•    3 cups     Cooked Lentils
•    ½ tsp.    Real or Himalayan salt
•    ½ tsp.    Ground Black Pepper
•    1 Tbsp.    Dried Sage (½ Tbsp. if fresh)
•    1 Tbsp.    Dried Oregano (½ Tbsp. if fresh)
•    Spring or Purified Water / Vegetable Broth


1.    Slice and dice vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, okra, tomatoes, yellow summer squash, Jerusalem artichokes).
2.    Immediately place in slow cooker.  Add cooked lentils and stir well.
3.    Add water, or vegetable broth to 2 inches below the top of the cooker. 
4.    Add spices. Stir well.
5.    Cook on low heat for 4 to 5 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add a little more liquid if needed.


If using canned vegetables, be sure they are high quality.  Substitute fresh whenever able.
Buy Dr. Levy's Books Now
Your Body Can Talk, 2nd Edition is about the art and application of Clinical Kinesiology, and serves as an introduction to the energetic system that links mind and body. Unlike other similar books, Your Body Can Talk, 2nd Edition provides the average reader with simple tools to begin evaluating their own health status, transforming the reader from being a victim of the medical system to thriving as a self-sufficient health consumer. 

How to become a "wise elder" is a unique emphasis of
 Your Aging Body Can Talk.  In fact, Dr. Levy coins the word "youthing" to describe such a re-orienting of mind, purpose and activity toward optimum vibrancy and flexibility, leading to longevity. Stories of successful transitions into elderhood give hope to those who are confused or anxious about becoming older.
You can now purchase Xango Products and other helpful health aids through Dr. Levy!

Dr. Susan L. Levy is accepting new patients for in-office exams and treatments, as well as phone consultations.

Please email yourbodycantalk2@gmail.com for more information.

 

 

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