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Archive for January, 2010

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Here’s Part 10 on my series about Iodine, a critical element for your health that most of us are severely depleted in! This week’s input includes my synopsis of some of the information provided by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

___   Iodine is a non-metallic trace element, and it is required by humans for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Serious Iodine deficiency is an important health problem throughout much of the world, as most of the earth’s Iodine is found in oceans, and Iodine content in the soil varies with region. Seaweeds, sea veggies and ocean fish are the main sources of this CRITICAL element.

The older, land-locked countries or internal areas of large land masses have an old exposed soil surface, so more  Iodine has been leached away by erosion and weather. In mountainous regions, (such as the Himalayas, the Andes, the Alps) and in annually-flooded river valleys, (such as the Ganges an Nile), these are among the most severely iodine-deficient areas in the world.

Severe lack of Iodine causes irreversible brain damage.

Function

___   Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).  So, Iodine is essential for normal thyroid function, your metabolism and your ability to control your weight. Your body must also be able to convert T4 into the active form, T3 and some groups of people have problems doing this chemical conversion, so they do not have enough “energy”, and also gain weight.

To meet your body’s demand for thyroid hormones, your thyroid gland traps Iodine from the blood and then incorporates it into thyroid hormones. These are stored and released into the circulation when needed, and travel to all tissues and organ systems.

In target tissues, such as the liver and the brain, T3, the physiologically active thyroid hormone, can bind to thyroid receptors in the nuclei of cells and then regulate gene expression.

In target tissues, T4, the most abundant circulating thyroid hormone, can be converted to T3 by selenium-containing enzymes. So having enough selenium in your diet is also important, as again, most people are selenium-deficient.

This process is how thyroid hormones regulate a number of physiologic activities in your body, including:  growth, development, metabolism and reproductive function.

___   The regulation of thyroid function is a complex process that involves the brain (hypothalamus) and pituitary gland, as well as the thyroid gland itself. You can read more about it at:   Scientific Iodine Information

But, it is important to know that, in response to decreased blood levels of T4, the pituitary gland increases its output of TSH, and that persistently elevated TSH may lead enlargement of the thyroid gland, also known as goiter.

Deficiency

___   Iodine deficiency is now accepted as the most common cause of preventable brain damage in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) affect 740 million people throughout the world (that’s about 10% of all humans! But 35% are in jeopardy, due to deficiency of Iodine.). Nearly 50 million people suffer from some degree of IDD-related brain damage.

IDD’s result in: mental retardation, hypothyroidism, goiter and varying degrees of other growth and developmental abnormalities.

Estimates are that over 35% of the world’s population (almost 2 billion people) has insufficient Iodine intake (as measured by urinary iodine excretion below 100 µg/L. Moreover, this analysis estimated that 36.5% of school-age children (6-12 years old) worldwide (285 million total children) has insufficient Iodine intake, and are therefore at risk for brain damage.

Since the 1990’s, major international efforts have produced dramatic improvements in the correction of Iodine deficiency, mainly through the use of iodized salt and iodized vegetable oil in iodine-deficient countries.

Adequate Iodine intake will usually reduce the size of goiters, but the reversibility of the other effects of hypothyroidism depends on an individual’s stage of development. Iodine deficiency has adverse effects in all stages of human development, but is most damaging to the developing brain of fetuses and infants.

In addition to regulating many aspects of growth and development, thyroid hormone is critical for the myelination of your central nervous system, which is most active before and shortly after birth. The  myelin sheath covers nerves, the way insulating rubber or plastic does for electrical wires, and it prevents the short-circuiting and disruption of our nerves’ messages. MS, Multiple Sclerosis, is a dis-ease where the nerves have been deprived of their myelin sheath; it is presently increasing in incidence.

The effects of Iodine deficiency by developmental stage

Prenatal development

Fetal Iodine deficiency is caused by Iodine deficiency in the mother, and one of the most devastating effects of that deficiency is congenital hypothyroidism, (referred to as cretinism). It results in irreversible mental retardation.

Newborns and infants

Infant mortality is increased in areas of Iodine deficiency. When Iodine deficiency is corrected, there is an increase in childhood survival. Infancy is also a period of rapid brain growth and development and normal brain growth depends on Iodine intake. Deficiency results in impaired intellectual development.

Children and adolescents

Iodine deficiency in children and adolescents is often associated with goiter, and  goiter peaks in adolescence. It is more common in girls, as the female thyroid is twice the size of the male’s gland; so girls automatically need more Iodine. Any Iodine deficient child can show lower IQs and a higher incidence of learning disabilities than matched groups from Iodine-sufficient children. A meta-analysis of 18 studies concluded that Iodine deficiency alone lowered mean IQ scores in children by 13.5 points. That’s HUGE!

When I taught school, I had two children in one year’s class who had IQ’s of 70 (as well as others in the same class with IQ’s above 135); it was a teaching night-mare with such disparate needs (but I enjoyed the challenge of teaching the brightest to excel). However, teaching the two at IQ 70 was nearly impossible. It is heart-breaking to know that if it was Iodine related, it could have been eliminated by proper pre-natal and post-natal care for those kids. It’s another reason why I am trying to hammer this lesson home so hard!

Adults

Inadequate Iodine intake can still result in goiter and hypothyroidism in adults, during any part of their life. The effects of hypothyroidism are more subtle in adult brains, but research suggests that low-functioning thyroid due to Iodine deficiency results in slower response times and impaired mental function.

Pregnancy and Lactation

Daily Iodine requirements are increased in pregnant and breast-feeding women. And, Iodine deficiency during pregnancy has been associated with increased incidence of miscarriage, stillbirth and birth defects, as well as decreased intelligence for the child.

Moreover, severe Iodine deficiency during pregnancy and lactation affects the fetus, infant and child. Iodine-deficient women who are breast-feeding cannot provide sufficient Iodine to their infants (who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of Iodine deficiency).

A daily prenatal supplement providing the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Iodine will help to ensure that pregnant and breast-feeding women consume sufficient Iodine during these critical periods. Check if you can get this! Not all pre-natal vitamins include Iodine and Selenium.

Increased Cancer Risk

Because Iodine deficiency results in increased Iodine trapping by the thyroid, Iodine-deficient individuals of all ages are more susceptible to radiation-induced thyroid cancer from the radio-active Iodine produced from the environment due to human activity (nuclear energy industry and above-ground atomic testing). If you are eating seaweeds, in sufficient quantity, your thyroid will first take up the healthy Iodine 127 isotope, and reject the radio-active, toxic Iodine 131 version, (which will otherwise hog your Iodine receptors in deficiency disease states causing ill health for you and disturbed metabolism).

Nutrient Interactions

Selenium deficiency can also exacerbate the effects of Iodine deficiency, as selenium-dependent enzymes are also required for the conversion of thyroxine (T4) to the biologically active thyroid hormone (T3). Additionally, deficiencies of vitamin A or iron may also exacerbate the effects of Iodine deficiency.

Goitrogens – Substances Causing Thyroid Damage

Some foods interfere with Iodine utilization or thyroid hormone production; culprit substances in these foods are called goitrogens.

Cassava, which contains a compound that is metabolized to thiocyanate and that blocks thyroidal uptake of Iodine. Some species of millet and cruciferous vegetables (cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens) also contain goitrogens. Further, the ever-touted  soybean isoflavones, genistein and daidzein, have been found to inhibit thyroid hormone synthesis. Most of these goitrogens are not of clinical importance unless they are consumed in large amounts or there is coexisting Iodine deficiency (which exists in most Americans).

Results also indicate that tobacco smoking may be associated with an increased risk of goiter, in iodine-deficient areas.

Individuals at risk of Iodine deficiency

Vegetarian, vegan and meat-eating diets that exclude iodized salt, fish and seaweed have been found to contain very little Iodine.

Urinary Iodine excretion studies suggest that Iodine intakes have also declined in Switzerland, New Zealand, as well as in the U.S. (but recently the US was showing progress, as was Switzerland) . This lack may be happening due to dietary recommendations to eat less salt, so iodized salt intake needs to be replaced with use of ocean fish and / or use of seaweeds and sea veggies.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

Dr. Guy Abraham, MD, world-expert in Iodine says the RDA is set way too low. Read about this in the early part of my series.

The RDA for Iodine was reevaluated by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine in 2001, and it was slightly increased. These are the currents RDA’s.

I apologize for the formatting here. I’ll try to make a table when time permits. Meanwhile, please just persist to read it.
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Minimal RDA Intake: double-click on the image to enlarge it

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Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for Iodine
Age Group UL (mg/day)
Infants 0-12 months Not possible to establish*
Children 1-3 years 200 mcg/day
Children 4-8 years 300 mcg/day
Children 9-13 years 600 mcg/day
Adolescents 14-18 years 900 mcg/day
Adults 19 years and older 1,100 mcg/day (1.1 mg/day)

*Source of intake should be from mother’s milk, food and formula only.
___ Children with cystic fibrosis may also be more sensitive to the adverse effects of excess Iodine.
___ Individuals with Iodine deficiency, nodular goiter or autoimmune thyroid disease may be sensitive to these intake levels which are considered safe for the general population.
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You can get too much Iodine and that is detrimental, just like too little is, but it’s almost impossible to get too much if you get you just get your Iodine from normal portions of food. It is rare for diets of natural foods to supply more than 2,000 mcg of Iodine/day, and most diets supply less than 1,000 mcg of Iodine/day.

The exception is people living in the northern coastal regions of Japan, whose diets contain large amounts of seaweed. They have been found to have Iodine intakes ranging from 50,000 to 80,000 mcg (50-80 mg) of iodine/day, and are healthy! But, they built-up those tolerances over a life-time of use. For you, use just a small serving of seaweed daily or a nori wrap or some seaweed stock or ocean fish a few times a week to get a reasonable quota.

Food sources

The Iodine in most foods depends on the Iodine soil content. Seafood is rich in Iodine because marine animals can concentrate the Iodine from seawater. Certain types of seaweed (e.g. brown kelps like wakame and kombu) are also very rich in Iodine, for the same reason.

Processed foods may contain slightly higher levels of Iodine due to the use of Iodized salt or food additives, such as calcium iodate and potassium iodate.

Dairy products are relatively good sources of Iodine because Iodine is used to clean cow’s udders before milking and it is commonly added to animal feed in America. But, be aware that in the U.K. and northern Europe, Iodine levels in dairy products tend to be lower in summer when cattle are allowed to graze in pastures with low soil Iodine content.
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The table below lists the Iodine content of some foods in micrograms (mcg); 1000 mcg = 1 gram. These values should be considered approximate. See how they affect your Optimal Iodine goal. Double-click on the image to enlarge it.

*A three-ounce serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards.
** may be greater than 4,500 mcg !!!
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I’ll continue next week.

Best to all — Em

Please read additional articles in my Archive on the upper navigation bar. Please highlight this article at your favorite Web 2.0 site; sharing this information is critical. Thanks!

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you desire to use my article or quote more than one paragraph of it, please write for permission to use it at the About Me tab on the upper navigation bar. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

If you are having trouble losing weight, and keeping it off, then keep reading! If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, keep reading! The newest nutritional research is showing there’s about a 90% chance that this problem is being caused by a deficiency in an essential nutrient (because there’s not enough coming from your dietary choices or you are eating antagonists which deplete it).

Often, knowledgeable clinicians find that up to 90% of their overweight clients (especially women) are lacking in iodine and iodide (our body needs both forms), and when the problem is corrected properly, the people lose weight and often keep it off, usually permanently.

Your thyroid gland, which orchestrates your metabolism, needs Iodine to function. Period. If you do not get enough good Iodine through safe food, then you will start absorbing the toxic, radioactive forms of iodine from the nuclear industry, which is rampant in our environment. Most of us are already absorbing this bad form (Isotope 131) because we don’t get enough of the safe form (Isotope 127).

Read the other parts of this series which are available in the Archive, (accessed on the upper Navigation Bar). They are listed on page 3. Get caught up now.  I will move forward in this lesson, which is just a very brief summary of the last 8 and a little new information, before I add more next week.

It’s imperative to understand Iodine, as its proper use helps all diabetics and corrects MANY other critical, chronic dis-eases, in all people.

Every cell in your body, and every organ-system, needs its quota of Iodine, not just your thyroid gland. Most of us are severely Iodine depleted, even if we are not showing up with goiters. I say that, because many scientists think that the daily requirement is set too low to begin with.

Paleo-anthropologists studying ancient humankind have long since known that their diet was very rich in seafood — which is a prime source of iodine. Ancients tribes definitely clung to the coast and lived from ocean food for millions of years. Those countries whose peoples still eat copious amounts of seafood — fish, crustaceans or seaweed — in their diets are usually the healthiest peoples on our planet and are the slimmest, like the long-lived Okinawans.

Dr. Guy Abraham, MD’s research shows that we need 50 mg a day for proper metabolic efficiency instead of only the .15mg RDA! He’s the world’s expert on Iodine.

He uses a safe, consistent, non-radioactive, inorganic, stable form of Iodine as well as a new iodide identical with Lugol solution (which has been used for 180 years, but is foul-tasting). His better-tasting Iodine supplement is called Iodoral. BUT, before starting any supplementation program, you must get a baseline reading of your Iodine status and be followed by your doctor.

Eating Iodine-rich foods is a less problematical approach, but if you are on Warfarin or Coumadin, even food sources need to be monitored until you consistently balance iodine-rich foods (amount and frequency) with your medication.

Be patient; it takes a long time (usually many. many months) to come up to optimal levels. In the proper amounts, Iodine becomes “an adaptogen” — a substance which balances your biochemistry, intuitively, knowing just what it needs.

Bromine, another member of the same chemical family as Iodine (the Halogen Family of elements) takes over your vital receptors meant for Iodine. This means you cannot absorb enough Iodine if the receptors are being used by harmful Bromine (which is found in Gatorade, flours and bakery goods – those using using brominated, “enriched” flours). Other halogens, Chlorine and Fluorine (fluoride, most often from tap-water and dental treatments) cause the same problems! Read more about this in Part 2.

This thyroid epidemic is actually much worse, as mainstream medicine’s blood “tests” do NOT truly show the problem. Even so, some endocrinologists say 1 in 4 women have over-active or under-active thyroids. Women are much more at risk because female thyroids are automatically twice as large as males’, so women need much more Iodine in their diet! And, diabetic women can have a double-whammy, so are likely to need Iodine, for sure.

And, stress, for anyone, also creates the need for yet more dietary Iodine.

Seaweeds are a very potent source of Iodine in food. Seaweed’s good Iodine isotope 127 is also protective, to prevent you absorbing the toxic Iodine isotope 131. Seventy years ago, the average American ate 500 – 800 micrograms of Iodine a day in their usual diet. In 1995, the average American only ate 135 micrograms!

Use only Organic Seaweeds, and eat none at all from Chinese sources. Get your seaweed only from reliable sources, from people who harvest them in the cleanest waters possible. Learn more in Part 2.

Parts 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 contain recipes to start understanding ways to use sea vegetables which are filled with healing polysaccharides.

I believe that Seaweed is really the Foundational Food of Life.

Sea vegetables are low glycemic, high nutrition foods which have no calories and have lots of fiber; they have wonderful mineral content, along with great, clean taste. But they must be harvested from pristine,  pure waters, and only a few places on our planet qualify. None are in Chinese waters; so do not use their products; assays show levels of arsenic from pollution and their use of the term “Organic” is suspicious at best. If it is labeled Organic, from other countries like Japan and the United States, then trust it.

Introduce your children to this pH alkaline, life-giving food, too. Start them on better habits than you had. There are lots of ready-made Japanese snacks which incorporate seaweed.

Don’t overdo it; if you are using powdered Japanese seaweed (kombu, is the most likely seaweed you’ll find this way), then one teaspoon of a powdered seaweed is equivalent to eating a whole plate of seaweed. It takes about 40 pounds of seaweed to make one pound of powdered product. So, a serving of 1/4t every few days is a good way to start, in my opinion. It is important not to overdose, for a variety of reasons explained in the longer lessons.

Iodine is critical for pregnant women, lactating women, babies in utero and babies and children under 4 years old (the 1/4t is too much for small children — they need some most days, just a tiny pinch or so, after they stop getting breast milk). Or, a little second-water soup (see instructions 5 paragraphs below).

Thyroid hormone and your thyroid gland, together with iodine, are the most important factors by far for completion of a normal pregnancy and delivering a normal baby.

The science on all of this is very clear, and you need to read it in the series, and Part 4 lists the labs to contact for your Iodine level assessment.

Unless your food happens to be organically-farmed where seaweed actually has been applied as fertilizer, almost no land plants provide iodine.

SECOND-WATER SOUP STOCK:
People who have sea vegetables most days, like the Japanese and Okinawans, and other Asians who eat much more seaweed than the rest of the world does, apparently soak their Kombu and other Kelp seaweeds in freshwater for 10-30 minutes prior to using in miso broth (dashi) and other cooking. This effectively removes about 60% of the iodine (called “Hazutosi” in Japanese). This second-water soup will still provide lots of Iodine, and it is important not to use too much seaweed daily per person, as it is possible to overdose. This is the way the Asians protect themselves from overdose, or they use Nori, a seaweed which contains much less Iodine as their more frequent daily source.

Nori is the seaweed used for sushi wraps. A few cuts of nori added as a garnish to their rice also does the trick. The Welsh know this seaweed as “Laver” and they have used it for generations. Nori is actually a general word which describes a group of marine oceanic plants which were once gathered from the wild, centuries ago, and are now “cultivated” in the sea. The origin of Nori cultivation can be traced back to ancient China and Japan around the 8th century.

Kelp, wakame ans kombu all have very high Iodine counts and so are used in the second-water technique, or in tiny amounts or just weekly or so.

Use Japanese and Okinawan food patterns and portions as your guide. Dr. Tunis Hunt, DC suggests:  For an adult, the dose is about 5 grams a day or about one ounce per week, so a pound of dry seaweed would last about two months.

Reaching correct Iodine levels in your body may result in cure or vast improvement or lessened need for medication for many chronic diseases, so do this under your doctor’s supervision.

Sea vegetables have been harvested for food and medicine for thousands of years;  in fact, early records show the Chinese used aquatic plants for medicinal purposes as early as 3,000 B.C.

Kombu can help regulate blood sugar.

Wakame has long been an important source of high-quality protein, lipids, minerals (such as calcium), and vitamins A, B1, B2 and C in many Asian food cultures, especially as most Asians have severe lactose intolerance, so dairy calcium sources were never used by them.

The amount of Iodine put in “iodized” salt or which is in my favorite whole sea salts is NOT enough. The naturally-occurring Iodine in sea water is concentrated within the seaweeds and sea veggies, so they become a nutritious source for us and for ocean fish (which also help us get Iodine when we eat them).

Packets of Eden Foods AGAR-AGAR // KANTEN are easy to find in health stores. This product is made from tegusa seaweed and it is tasteless and is not eaten in its own right. Instead, it is boiled and its extract is used as a gelling agent for vegetarian “Jello” instead of animal-based gelatin.

Kanten is rich in fiber, but has zero calories. It is also believed to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. You will find many recipes for its use in Macrobiotic cookbooks, and the food industry uses agar-agar and carrageenan (another seaweed product) in many foods. Read the labels and you’ll be surprised at how often you have already been eating seaweed!

There are some new seaweed sources. Personally, I am interested in Seagreens® which are harvested during the short Arctic summer, in an archipelago of remote conservation islands (which stretches more than 100 miles (180 kms) off the coast of Norway). This habitat produces dense shallow-water Wrack seaweeds with an outstanding nutritional profile.

It is very important to have a pH alkaline body. Each cell needs to be pH alkaline to work optimally. Seaweed is one of the most alkaline foods on the planet, but the typical Western diet is very acid-provoking.

Now, here’s another recipe to help introduce seaweeds to your family. This one uses Eden Foods agar-agar flakes.

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From veganlunchbox.blogspot.com

VEGAN FRUIT JELL – KANTEN

Using agar alone makes a rubbery jell. If you add some starch it makes a more delicate jell.

4C sweet fruit juice of choice
OPTIONAL: a small amount of agave nectar if juice isn’t sweet enough
pinch of sea salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla or other flavoring , if desired
2 tsp. agar powder (OR 1/4C agar flakes) – Eden Foods

1 T cornstarch dissolved in 1 T. water
OPTIONAL:  fresh fruit to add to jell

Sprinkle the agar over the juice (with sweetener, salt and any flavoring). Let soak a few minutes. Then cook over medium heat until boiling. Agar powder just needs to simmer for a minute; flakes should simmer at least 5 minutes. Add dissolved starch and stir in. Boil for 30 seconds.

Pour into a bowl or small bowls. Place in refrigerator. When half-jelled, you can stir in fruit. Let set until firm and cold.

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Enjoy!

Best to all — Em

P.S. Please share this article.

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you decide to use my article or to quote more than one short paragraph, please write for permission to the About Me page, on the upper navigation bar on this page. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Here’s new information because New Year, is a good time to update so that all the choices you make in daily living utilize the best options! Read Part 1 of Diabetes – New Info. And, now here’s Part 2.

___ Save time looking for recipes in cookbooks which you already own. Or, search for recipes when you are away from your cookbook collection. This site also has a shopping list for each recipe in the cookbooks they’ve indexed online.

This is a new web engine in beta — see what’s offered if you go to Eat Your Books and click on the Community page (where there is a link to the already indexed books list). More cookbooks are added constantly. There’s a free 30 day trial; a limited time for a life-time membership, and otherwise, monthly membership.

___ And, another tip for Americans – check out Groupon.com for local “deals”. In this tough economy, only choose beneficial ones, and maybe that will help you save money for critical bills or purchases.

___ People with fat in their thighs and backsides may live longer because this type of fat actually traps harmful acid particles while it actively secretes helpful compounds, according to a report recently published in the International Journal of Obesity. “Pear-shaped” people also appear to have lower levels of inflammatory cytokines — signaling chemicals involved in the body’s response to infection — increased levels can play a role in heart disease and diabetes especially when they are inappropriately active.

Many studies have shown that people who accumulate deep, visceral fat around the abdomen and stomach are more likely to die of heart disease and other causes, than bottom-heavy people, but the reasons for this biochemistry are not clear. The author, Konstantinos Manolopoulos, of Britain’s University of Oxford, says “It is the protective role of lower body fat, (gluteofemoral fat), that is striking,” and this big-bottom body shape is most often found in females (think Jennifer Lopez).

Nature knows it must “protect” females for the preservation of the species (you only need about 10 males to re-populate the world with plenty of genetic diversity, if many more females survive, I read long ago)(and scientists already know very small groups are what all humans originally developed from).

So, “apple-shape” people, who hold fat around their middle, should be even more careful, I believe, to live a pH balanced life and to have gentle-to-moderate levels of exercise 3 to 4 times per week for at least 30 minutes – 45 minutes duration, if your doctor allows it. This group has less margin for error. More on exercise below.

___ About 70% of everyone’s diet should be from vegetables. These are pH balancing foods, and along with lots of pure water (work up to 1qt per 50 lb lean body mass weight, over at least a month to give your kidneys time to adapt to increased use — consult your doctor beforehand if you already have kidney disease), this is your diet’s foundation. Also, use about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of good fats daily (only hemp and flax – never cook these; olive, macadamia nut, canola [not for people on Coumadin or Warfarin], walnut, and organic butter or ghee or organic coconut oil [these 3 in small amounts] [MUST be organic] or the Omega-3s in cold-water fish like wild salmon, cod, herring, sardines (limit if you tend to have gout), arctic char, and mackerel [less use due to mercury]. You’ll get enough essential fatty acid Omega-6 in the EFA Omega-3 foods. Right now the western diet has way too many Omega-6s. Protein per meal should be as described in Part 1, and there’s more dietary information below, too.

___ America may laud thinness, but a new Japanese study shows being too thin is shortening people’s lives by around 5 years, and that too thin people live shorter lives than obese people do!

People who are just a little chubby live longest (their Body Mass Index was 25 – 30). People who are a little overweight at age 40 live six to seven years longer than very thin people (BMI 18.5 or less) or obese people (BMI above 30). Normal BMI is 18.5 to 25 range.

“We found skinny people run the highest risk,” said Shinichi Kuriyama, an associate professor at Tohoku University’s Graduate School of Medicine who worked on the long-term study of middle-aged and elderly people, which was conducted by a health ministry team led by professor Ichiro Tsuji. The team covered 50,000 people between the ages of 40 and 79, over 12 years in the northern Japanese prefecture of Miyagi. “There had been an argument that thin people’s lives are short because many of them are sick or smoke. But the difference was almost unchanged even when we eliminated these factors,” Kuriyama said.

___ For Americans, 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese, but at least we’re leveling off (according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association) from the steep climb that started developing in the late 1980s, with the increased use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and larger portion fast-food meal marketing.

The study found that if obesity rates had continued to rise as rapidly as they’d been since the late 1980s, then an increase of 6 to 7 percentage points would have been expected for men and women between 1999 and 2009. But, instead, rates increased by less than 5 percent in men and did not appear to increase much at all in women.

So for women, the news seems somewhat hopeful, as our obesity rates remained virtually unchanged over the past decade. But this still leaves us at: 36% of women are obese (50% of black women are) and 30% are overweight (75% for black women). A woman who is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds is clinically obese.

Now, we just need to start seeing the numbers returning to normal weight ranges! These tips in this series will help you accomplish that!

___ The weight issue for many Americans is economic. Poor food costs less and it is all that many people can afford with the choices they make as to how they spend what money they have (and some people are in such dire straits that they don’t have any choices).

___ We need to be lobbying Congress to provide farmers who grow vegetables the farm subsidies now spent on grain (used mostly for biofuel and exports) and soybeans (used mostly to feed cattle). That is what we HAVE to do. This will bring down the consumer prices of fresh foods.

Including fruit growers (for a lesser percentage) is important, too, as orchards are a huge investment and take up to a decade before they “bear fruit” and start to earn back an investment. But, as fresh food in our diet, fruit is less essential, yet it is also Nature’s food bank and will survive better than vegetable crops in a problematic climate or other disaster. Real estate developers routinely rip-out orchards which will take decades to add to our food supply if new ones are even planted elsewhere. There needs to be laws regarding whether orchards must instead be sold only to other farmers. Lobby Congress to make it so.

___ Continuing, now, with new exercise information. Dr. James Lyons, MD, author of “The Brown Fat Revolution” tells patients to get a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes of aerobic activity, and to then focus on doing resistance training exercises that work the abdominal core like: yoga or pilates and weightlifting to build arm and leg muscles.

This moderate aerobic approach prevents stimulating hunger and will help you retain muscle (normally shed with aging). Since your newly re-gained muscle requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does, your metabolism will boosted throughout the day. Therefore, you’ll burn off belly fat (and without increasing your appetite like too much aerobics would), because you have stimulated your metabolically helpful brown fat to burn-off your life depleting white fat tissue.

You must do some moderate activity at least twice a week for 40 minutes (3 or 4 times weekly is better) — especially if you’ve recently lost weight. It’s well known that regular exercise is essential for maintaining weight loss.

University of Alabama researchers discovered in October 2009 that it takes 40 minutes a day, twice a week, (minimum) to keep the belly fat from creeping back on if you are trying to maintain newly-lost weight. The study participants were white and black women who had lost an average of 27 pounds on a lower-calorie diet.

Interestingly, this time it didn’t matter whether the women did aerobic activity or resistance training as long as they kept it up twice a week for a year. “While they did regain some weight, they gained it in their legs and arms, not their midsection,” says Hunter, who led the study.

He also stated that those participants who didn’t exercise, regained most of their lost weight, the bulk of it around their belly – the danger zone! Hunter theorizes that exercise helps to trigger beneficial hormonal changes which make it easier for the body to store excess fat in the arms, hips and thighs rather than near vital organs of the waist and belly region. This abdominal fat can squeeze, push-over and otherwise inhibit vital organs’ functionality.

Eat a healthy snack or light meal before and after a workout — each about 200 calories.

___ When it comes to shedding belly fat, think 6 mini-meals a day. As 85% of the success comes from proper diet management and timing, the rest is the proper stimulation of metabolism from the balance and length of an exercise program. The dietary approach you stick to is critical.

The before and after exercise meals mentioned above count for 2 mini-meals (regard it as two halves of your breakfast, eaten in stages; total 400 calories). Next comes 400 calories of a well-balanced lunch with 70% – 80% vegetables (at least 2 cups), 1 serving of oils (see above), 3 ozs. cooked meat protein (or 6 oz. fish, 1 cup beans, 2 Omega-3 fortified eggs, 1/2 cup cottage cheese or 1C yoghurt). Then an afternoon snack mini-meal — a piece of fruit and a few nuts (total 200 calories). Next, dinner mini-meal, like lunch and 400 calories. Lastly, a before-bed snack mini-meal, preferably some dairy to help give you tryptophan to make into serotonin, to aid sleep (200 calories).

Men are entitled to enlarge one meal or both meals for a total of 400 “extra” calories (total = 2000 for men for the day, 1600 calories per day for women).

___ get enough sleep. If you don’t sleep well, get this checked out, in a sleep-lab if necessary.

Too little sleep (meaning less than 6 hours) or too much (more than 8 hours) results in excess production of the stress hormone named cortisol, which is produced in your adrenal glands.

This hormone promotes the storage of fat in your belly. As your adrenals prepare you to respond to life-threatening stresses, these glands shuttle fat off to a storage place where it can be easily burned off for fuel in an emergency. That storage depot is abdominal fat! Whereas, fat on your hips and thighs isn’t released from cells as quickly, which is why it is much harder to “lose”.

___ Help to de-stress yourself by living in the present moment, only. You can handle the present moment. This is called Mindfulness. It will help bring your biochemistry in from overloaded adrenal stress. Of course, meditation is a more formal version of this practice, but this real-world adaptation will work. Don’t “worry” or have thoughts persistently in the future or past; stay in the NOW.

Treat every moment as the opportunity to learn, grow, and change.

That’s all for this post. See you next week. I wish you well.

Em

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Here’s a basket of info and techniques to jump-start your resolve and increase your chance for success. It takes at least 21 days to get a new habit started well, so if you begin today, you’ll have a successful first month of 2010 and it will help to shape a successful year.

Here’s a first pass at suggestions to start now:

___ Use only fresh, seasonal food. It is less expensive and it helps your body by being in tune with your natural instincts. Your body knows what it needs to endure in each season; the fact that you can get out-of-season “food” only confuses it, and that leads to complications and possible dis-ease.

How do you know what is in season? Go to your market and look for the least expensive fresh foods! But, if you are at home planning menus or looking at recipes, you can use Seasonal Food Availability Charts by month, by hemisphere.

This will help you make a healthy, budget shopping list, which will give you more healthy food for your money.

___ Cooking your food at home need not be difficult or time consuming. It is a fundamental skill that you literally cannot live without. I was shocked to see how even some 50 and 60 year olds had never learned to cook, when I watched the first episode of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” last week.

Yes, I was totally shocked by the ineptitude of all these people and the lack of respect for themselves and their well-being that this ignorance engendered!

And, when several of the people were shown again at the end of the episode, I was also impressed at how their knowledge base expanded exponentially in just one lesson, along with their confidence!

Every city has places where there are food demonstrations, and if you can afford it, go get real cooking lessons, but if you cannot, then buy a good, basic cook book and start at page 1. If you learn technique and understand the principles, you can cook anything in a healthy way.

Make sure you get a recipe book which has the nutritional content along with each recipe or use the recipes at a site which does, too.

I will be putting my own easy-to-make-food information out soon; I’ll let you know when you can buy it online on a print-on-request site for a reasonable fee.

___ Have at least 30 favorite, healthy recipes which you feel comfortable making. Use these staples to make either 2 meals per day for a fortnight OR use them to take one meal’s slot for a month. Variety will help you stick to any regimen. If you just learn 1 or 2 recipes a week, you will change your life quickly for the better.

‘Make sure you stay with a portion size which will give women about 1600 calories a day and men about 2,000 calories a day. Anything less than that, as typical diets are, will NOT give you enough to get proper nutrition’, so says the editor of Prevention Magazine, and I agree, even if you are taking supplements. Food provides factors we don’t even know about, let alone can reproduce in a lab. Supplements are just that; they are not the solution, and most of us need them as a back-up support system to help, as we are stressed all the time.

Obesity and morbid obesity are epidemic among all age groups in America, Britain and Australia, for sure. Some other countries are not far behind. As people become impoverished in this financial tsunami, if you are not putting Healthy Food First (TM), then expect that you will find your budget stretched to the max with medical bills or pills or worse. Eating too few calories makes your body think it is going to be starving and starts a bad biochemical cascade; and eating poor food tells your body that you ARE starving, and it keeps eating. Both result in obesity. But, when you eat healthy, whole, fresh food and treat it lightly and carefully in cooking, your body IS nourished and relearns to be satisfied with just an amazingly reasonable amount of food.

___ If you want to make double-recipes and freeze half, then you have you’ll half a month of main meals already made! If you get into the rhythm of this, then you can make a huge change in your budget, health and time available for other things, daily.

One relative held a full-time, executive job, with 2 children (starting when about 8-9 and 11-12 years old) and a husband she was teaching to cook, gradually over a year, starting by being there as she did this once-a-week or once-a-month cooking and freezing, depending on her schedule. By the end of the year, he could do the whole regimen, and will never be stuck eating commercial ready-made “food” and he can be a real partner. Each child had prep and clean-up chores and it became a great use of quality family time. Now the kids know how to cook, too, and know it’s easy to make real food, so don’t get sucked in to junk food.

This requires an upfront commitment, but the rewards are great and are life-long.

___ Eat about every 4 – 5 hours, and preferably make your meals about the same size and importance, along with a snack about 8 – 9 pm. Having each eating session be about 400 calories of balanced, high mineral, high vitamin, healthy fat and moderate proteins what we want to aim for or make 3 meals and a smaller snack but have the meals fairly equal.

Some people need a slightly bigger meal at breakfast, others at dinner. If you know by instinct, then honor that, but if it is a dinner, make sure you eat early, and are finished by 6:30 pm – 7pm at the latest – the earlier everyone eats dinner, the better. Some body types want more equal meals, and if you don’t have an instinct, then use that schedule format.  Never skip meals.

___ Make your plates look full. Use luncheon size plates for most meals.

___ The protein should be about the size and thickness of a deck of cards (about 3 – 4 ozs. cooked) or half that for a lesser meal. Two eggs, equivalent beans and dried peas or dals, as well as nuts and seeds are other protein options. Four ounces of red meats or 6 ozs of fish are the max your body can process for a protein source at one meal, so that great big juicy 12 oz. steak mostly is not even used and just becomes toxic waste that overtaxes your kidneys!

___ Vegetables are the only carbohydrates that you need to use. They should be preferably fresh or frozen, not canned, and should take up the rest of the plate i.e. about 70% – 80% of the plate’s area.

As carbs, all veggies should be the mainstay of your diet in all seasons, and I include potatoes and sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots in sometimes, and in appropriate amounts and preparations. Most vegetables are potent alkalizers. You DO NOT NEED any other carbs, and if you use grains, be especially careful, as huge numbers of people have food sensitivities to them or outright allergies. Rice and Quinoa, Buckwheat and Amaranth are the least likely to produce allergy. Quinoa, Buckwheat and Amaranth are actually, botanically, fruits, and are alkaline foods!

Listen to your body; if you truly, deeply don’t “like” a food, don’t eat it. If you want to check if you are likely sensitive to it (or anything else in your environment), follow the instructions at: Kiniesiology Self-Testing.

___ You also need monosaturated or omega-3 healthy fats. Use 1  1/2 t per meal of hemp oil or flax oil (never cook either of these!) or have about 1 1/2t of olive oil or 1   1/2T vinaigrette dressing (with organic olive, flax or hemp oil and organic apple cider vinegar and lemon juice) or organic butter or ghee on them (which ever is appropriate). No margarine; no “vegetable” oils; no deep fried foods or hydrogenated fats like Crisco.

Healthy saturated fat is organic coconut oil. Healthy and saturated fat in the same breath is not an oxymoron. Read my articles in the Archive, above, about the miraculous goodness of coconut. But it is a limited food, when used in its fat form. You need just a tiny bit, daily, to help produce important hormones, and “no”, other saturated fats won’t provide the same benefit.

___ Fruits are dense carbohydrates and are Nature’s dessert. They should be used only once or twice a day, at most, and NO fruit juices — they are blood-sugar imbalancers. Only some fruits are alkaline and all cooked fruits are pH acidic — not where you want to be!

Never use high fructose corn syrup in anything and never use fructose as your sweetener — these are VERY bad for creating high blood sugar readings.

Agave nectar is the best sweetener for diabetics; it is natural and low-glycemic, but it has an acidic pH, so so use it moderately. Buy an organic version.

Use NO artificial sweeteners, including the ones like sucralose which pretend they are not different from Nature, but they still are, as Nature does not chlorinate sugars!

___ Science shows that your brain is calculating visually as to whether it thinks there’s “enough”, and if not, then you will trigger biochemistry which causes you to over-eat by not being satiated. That’s another reason to fill every plate or bowl with lots of nutrient-dense yet low-calorie marvelous veggies!

Eat slowly, as it takes 20 minutes for satiation signals to operate in your brain. Be mindful of your eating; be in a quiet environment or at least a relaxed one. Chew well, preferably chew each bite to liquid.

___ Try to find actual time every day for Quietude or Meditation – formal or informal. And, just walk after one meal, for about 20 – 30 minutes at a moderate – to brisk, but still “conversational” pace. You should never be breathless.

While you can still view it online, spend a little time watching “This Emotional Life” on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Later, you will still be able to buy the DVD. Last night Episode 3 aired for 2 hours — “Finding Happiness” was fascinating and worthwhile. I encourage you to see it. Finding Happiness – “This Emotional Life”, PBS At the moment, it’s in a video which you can stop and start, if you act now, fitting it in as you can.

OK, I’m going to finish this post and may add another similar one later.

At some point, hopefully soon, Dear Reader, I will return to the Iodine Series to finish up, but I am bogged down about half-way through an 150 page tome and I don’t have the time to finish it right now. Please bear with me.

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
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Here’s your ticket to the most important event – Your Life!

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Begin the New Year well. Here’s a few pointers. I may continue to add to this post, so check back. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, make a New Year Checklist. I think you will find you will be able to execute that better.

Here’s a starter:

___   I have made time for myself today.

___   I have put organized steps in place for healthy menus and shopping.

___   I have set aside time to relax and to laugh.

___   I have spent time with loved ones.

___   I have learned to cook simple, healthy meals.

___   I have helped others learn about Health.

___   I have kept the promises I have made to myself.

___   I have begun to advocate for children’s Health.

___   I am thinking only positive, peaceful, life-affirming thoughts.

___   I respect my body, mind and spirit.

Now, use your 2010 Another Chance ticket to initiate the Opening Day of the most important production of your Life. This is the year to learn more and turn around your diabetes.

I’ll continue my life-giving information next week.

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please write to me at the About Me page above, on the upper Navigation Bar, if you want to use this post and / or image. Thanks.

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