Archive for August, 2010

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

There’s exciting news for diabetics and their families. The Washington Post reported recently that the United States Department of Agriculture may finally be taking steps to actually put America on the right track!

What major policy change may be in the works? Subsidizing fresh fruit and fresh veggies to be used by Americans for food —-  instead of growing plants for export and  industrial products from corn, grains, soy, cotton, tobacco and more! That’s huge.

There’s a trial program starting.  But, only a trial — could they spare it?

Twenty million dollars for this trial program is not even  a drop in the bucket, but it is a crucial first-step to reverse the health crisis which the governement helped to create by subsizing the wrong “foods”, decades ago, and largely through legislative politics and pork-barrel pressure.

When you consider that the government budget for food stamps was more than $56 billion in 2009, and much of that was spent on poor nutrition pseudo-foods, which were highly-processed — like all the floury and sugary stuff — then making alkaline, fresh fruits and vegetables far less expensive (because they receive the federal subsidies, instead) will make a huge change in America’s dietary habits.

Most people buy what’s least expensive because that’s all they can afford, whether they are on Food Stamps, or not. If fresh fruit and vegetables are cheapest or much cheaper than they have been, more people will eat these real foods.

And, not only are these fresh foods nutritional powerhouses, but they help to alkalize our bodies and detox our tissues. We truly become healthier from the inside. That’s the way to solve the Health Crisis.

The majority of people do understand that there IS a connection between the diet they have and their Health, but money rules. They have to feed themselves, and in this huge financial crisis, the situation is even more dire and enlarged by millions of people having trouble affording healthy food.

Mrs. Obama tried to set the pace by reinstituting the vegetable garden at the White House, and although I have seen no reports about it this year, I believe that is still functioning. She’s taken on the cause of childhood obesity as it is SO critical.

I am sure that her advocacy has had an impact on USDA finally doing something.

Philosophically, it represents a shift. Amazingly, for decades, the government treated hunger and obesity as unrelated phenomena. Many in Congress hid their heads in the sand and let others suffer; the anti-hunger lobby supported that no-connection position, arguing that a mandate on what kind of food needy people should eat is both impractical and smacks of paternalism.

Yet education is essential, and public and privately funded incentive programs are gaining ground.

Wholesome Wave, which is a small foundation headed by chef Michel Nischan, has led the way by doubling the values of SNAP and WIC benefits when recipients spend the vouchers at farmers markets.

It has also launched an innovative program, dubbed Veggies Rx, in which doctors prescribe fruit and vegetable vouchers to overweight children; wouldn’t you think the AMA should have figured out that was worthwhile to lobby for, long ago? Instead, as with chef Alice Waters (Edible Schoolyard Project) and  chef Jamie Oliver’s work, yet another chef is leading the way. Bravo!

This summer, the Fair Food Network, a Detroit-based foundation, announced it would offer double vouchers at 5 city farmers markets, and as Detroit has massive need, this is a break-through.

“The Healthy Incentives Pilot (H.I.P.) is an incredible step towards reducing obesity by encouraging low-income Americans to add more fruits and vegetables to their diets,” Kevin Concannon, the USDA undersecretary of food, nutrition and consumer Services, said in a statement. “It’s time to move forward with innovative approaches like HIP to get Americans eating more healthily.”

Add that to my long series to help you garden to raise your own food, and you can make great strides to eating healthfully. If food is fresh or only lightly cooked (steaming or poaching are best; low temperature crockpot braising or roasting are next), you will be way ahead. Fresh vegetables should be the backbone of your diet (at least 70% of what you eat), and green leafy veggies will provide lots of nutrients to combat our stress and stressful life-styles.

You can garden in a window, if that’s all the space you have, or on a balcony or deck. Even in small spaces, using intenstive techniques which I shared in my articles, you can grow amazing amounts of food. Start planning an autumn (or spring) garden, now.

USDA Subsidizing Fruit and Vegetables

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

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

Food is our medicine, if we eat healthy choices. But, what foods really are healthy? This information helps diabetics and anyone else. So, listen-up!

Several avante-garde physicians have been curing and effectively curbing diabetes almost solely with diet. It really works, when you know what healthy food is. Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD and Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD and Dr. Robert Rowen, MD and several others, use a plant-based diet to prevent and reverse diabetes.

In fact, plants have always been the foundation of human diets. They can’t walk or run away!

People like to emphasize the “hunter”, but the “gatherer” really sustained human-kind. If you have any doubts about this, watch the reality TV show “Survivor” and see how hard it is to catch any animal.

Dr. Rowen, MD reports the following in an email I received this month:

There’s a four-food combination which lowers cholesterol better than statins

But, you won’t hear this from Big Pharma. A study on 34 subjects, all with high cholesterol, found that all you need to do is eat four particular foods to bring your numbers down.

“These four foods will give you the same LDL-lowering ability as a statin. But they go one step further than the drugs.”

The study found that just:

___   3.5 ounces (one gram) of plant sterols

___    ~4.5 lbs (21.4 grams) of soy protein

___    34 ozs. (9.8 grams) of soluble fibers

___   49 ozs. (14 grams) of almonds per 800 calories did the job.

This is a lot of food, and long ago, in more natural times, probably human-size meals could have had these in smaller component doses. Today, people are so badly off that these large amounts are required. But, the study shows that food can bring you most of the way, even if it is just in more normal portions or in a concentrated form.

The study’s authors conceded this intervention could be a viable alternative to statin treatments, particularly for reducing the important, dangerous, small dense VLDL particles, which carry the highest LDL risk.

We both just love reports like this.

First, diet and nutrition trumps the drug!

Secondly, food does it better — we know that statins lower LDL, but not the small dense (dangerous) VLDL (that’s why statins just don’t work). Yes, they lower cholesterol, but not all cholesterol is dangerous.Your body makes cholesterol so it can be an internal band-aid, when acidic fluids damage tissues. Acidity happens from wrong food choices, poorly-functioning metabolism and even some happens as the final byproducts of optimal metabolism. Alkalizing your body daily will eliminate this problem and the need for internal band-aids.

Your body will then use its naturally-made cholesterol to make your sex hormones. Maybe the severe numbers of infertile people is because there’s little or no cholesterol left-over to make sex hormones!

In Dr. Rowen’s opinion, and other physicians do agree, statins create danger by forcibly lowering cholesterol.  Your doctor gets excited that ‘you’re getting benefit, as your numbers are down’. But in truth, your doctor has deprived you of a needed natural chemical, and hasn’t even reduced the dangerous form of cholesterol.

But diet does do the job.

Plant sterols are abundant in veggies and fruit, as well as being in legumes (fresh beans and peas, as well as dried forms), nuts, cereals and seeds. All of these provide abundant soluble fiber.  You can find soy in: soy milk, tofu, tempeh, miso, soy nuts and many other vegetarian foods in any health food store.

You also can find plant sterols in supplements like Advanced Cholesterol Formula from AdvancedBionutritionals.com .  Two per day should be plenty to lower your cholesterol — even the dangerous cholesterol, says Dr. Rowen.

Dr. Whitaker, MD and I add:

When someone asks, “Are you getting enough fiber,” blood sugar control is likely not what you’re thinking it helps with. But a high-fiber diet is one of the most powerful tools for controlling anyone’s blood sugar levels.

Fiber slows absorption of food in the gut, promoting just a gradual rise in blood sugar levels, followed by a steady release of insulin. Therefore, this process also improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin.

Soluble fiber is the best type for improving blood sugar control. Good sources of soluble fiber include beans and other legumes, apples, hemp seed and flax seed.

Here are Dr. Whitaker’s four easy steps to better blood sugar balance:

* Eat only healthful fats: The diet at the Whitaker Wellness Institute steers clear of saturated and processed fats and contains judicious amounts of olive oil, as well as omega-3 fats, which help to promote insulin sensitivity. These fats are found in wild salmon, hemp seed, flax seed, herring, cod and sardines.

* Eat a moderate amount of protein: Protein stimulates the release of glucagon, which is a hormone, made in a healthy liver, that mobilizes fat stores and turns them into energy. It’s important to include moderate amounts of low-fat protein at every meal or snack. Your body cannot process any more than about 4 ozs. of protein per meal, so any more than that is wasted! As protein is the most expensive nutrient, pay attention; you don’t want to be wasting money or nutrition!

* Eat the right type of carbohydrates: Most simple, sugary or starchy carbohydrates are quickly broken down into glucose, and then they enter the bloodstream rapidly causing a rapid rise in blood glucose, accompanied by a rise in insulin! Others are “good carbs”. These are: vegetables, legumes, and most whole grains and fruits, as they release their sugars into the blood stream more slowly, promoting healthy blood sugar control. Even so, reduce the amount of grains you use and the fruit, too.

Most of your diet should be veggies, legumes, some cold-water fish, a few fruits and lots of spring water.

* Exercise: Both aerobic exercise and strength training help to increase insulin sensitivity. A combination is best and using different areas of the body, one day off, next day on. Read last week’s article on the importance of muscle metabolism for your Health.


Dr. Whitaker adds, “Since the 1930s, numerous studies have shown that a high-complex-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels, which is why I recommend that you make plant foods the mainstay of your meals.”

That says it all.

Best to all — Em

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

Diabetics need to be very familiar with their bodies and its processes, and then they need great advice as to how to get things back into Balance! First your body speaks to you – as pain, stress, muscle tension, calm, relaxed happiness etc., and you pay attention for the good and bad signals.

Then, again, you act to maintain or regain Balance. If we had to take responsibility for listening and knowing and acting accordingly, I think all of the population would be healthier.

But, we are being taught that  blood-sugar meter numbers tell us everything and then we should pop-a-pill or shoot-up some prescribed amount of insulin, and the same is true for many other dis-eases.

Yet, all we become then is a walking bank-account for the uninformed medical industry and for pharmaceutical companies. In an extraordinary exposè of this ignorance or collusion, Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD quotes:

No oral diabetes drug has ever been shown to do anything really good for any patient. No leg, eye, kidney, heart or brain has been spared.” —Norton Hadler, MD, of the University of North Carolina, quoted in Business Week.

What else can you do to make better steps towards Health?

___   Know more about how your body works

___   Understand its messages

___   Be willing to use food as a tool for Health

___   Learn from physicians and nutritionists who successfully ameliorate or even cure diabetes.

That’s what this series is about.

___   Muscle metabolism is critical to understand. When I was in university, I took a Physiology course from the professor who was regarded as the best in the world in muscle research, then.

I couldn’t believe how much there was to understand about muscles. Realize that just about every organ has a sort of musculature, too, including your heart, of course, and that muscles really are the champions when it comes to keeping you metabolically stable — using up excess blood-sugar and helping it enter tissues better.

The little metabolic-furnaces inside each cell, mitochondria, are where your energy is burned to make you “go”! Research shows that diabetics tend to have fewer and smaller mitochondria. The only way to get more and better-functioning mitochondria is to build more muscle and well-functioning muscle tissue.

___   When you lose muscle mass, your body is giving you a B.I.M. – a Body Information Marker – by showing you that you are not getting enough food into active cells (as your muscles are “wasting”) and that you are not using your muscles enough to keep them strong and bulky. Fat surely follows.

If your skeletal muscles are in good-shape, that will help your metabolism, and your internal organs’ metabolic stance will reflect better muscle health, too.

Insulin is a powerful fat-storing hormone and unless you demand the energy be used, by very active muscle metabolism and strong, efficient metabolic processes, you will store too much of any size or type of meal as fat tissue.

___   Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD, a very successful physician who very regularly is able to reverse diabetes (with a totally nutritional protocol along with some moderate exercise), says that there are certain nutritional herbal and mineral complexes which your body needs once it loses Balance.

He recommends using these, specifically in the doses he says, and working with a knowledgeable physician or traveling to see him in Southern California at the Whitaker Wellness Institute. Maybe your physician can work hand-in-hand with Dr. Whitaker, who I am sure wants to spread the word.

At some point in his protocol, Dr. Whitaker takes all Type 2 diabetics off their diabetic medications. The results, over time, have been wonderful returns to Health.

He, like Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD, largely or wholly reverse diabetes with a mostly plant-based diet.

Some of the herbs and mineral complexes which Dr. Whitaker prescribes aid muscle metabolism and cleanse your liver (your main detox organ – which needs to work over-time if you are on lots of medications).

About half of all diabetics secretly suffer from a life-threatening condition called Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), which is killing far more people than alcoholic cirrhosis or hepatitis. Your liver can regenerate, but you have to give it the correct support.

You can learn more about these topics and resources on his website Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD.

___   Other new research investigates whether aerobic or anaerobic exercise is more helpful for diabetics. The bottom line is that a combination of each works out better.

___   And, a new study conducted at McMaster University has shown that a similar degree of muscle building can be achieved by using lighter weights, rather than the heavy ones usually touted by trainers. The secret is to pump iron until you reach muscle fatigue, and then no further.

Stuart Phillips, an associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster University said,  “We’re convinced that growing muscle means stimulating your muscle to make new muscle proteins, a process in the body that over time accumulates into bigger muscles.”

Nicholas Burd, a PhD candidate, masterminded the project which showed it’s really not the weight you lift but the fact that you get muscular fatigue that’s the critical point in building muscle.

The study used what seem to be very light weights that represented only 30%  of what the subjects could lift.

For comparison, the heavier weights were set to 90% of a person’s best lift.

“It’s a very light weight,” says Phillips noting that the 90-80% range is usually something people can only lift from 5-10 times before fatigue sets in. But, at 30%, Burd reported the subjects could lift that weight at least 24 times before they felt fatigue.

So, as many diabetics are already in poor-shape, their muscle-messages should improve with using just light weights and stopping when the first muscle fatigue happens. Try again the next day, and the muscle will have been working on itself for repair and to get stronger. Gentle walking could accomplish this for your legs, rather than considering running or even wind-sprints (which you could graduate to, when you body tells you it is in better shape).

___   Lifting weights is especially good for teens who are pre-diabetic, a USC study shows.

Previous research had demonstrated that aerobic and resistance exercise is effective in improving insulin sensitivity in adults, but until now, no controlled studies of resistance exercise had been done on overweight youth.

Research was led by Michael Goran, PhD, professor of preventive medicine in the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, and it showed that overweight Latino teenage boys who lifted weights only twice per week (for 16 weeks) significantly reduced their insulin resistance. The findings were published in the July 2010 issue of “Medicine and Science of Sports Exercise”.

Insulin resistance means that the energy you processed from food cannot get into your cells, so you are getting fat.  This is a condition in which your body doesn’t respond to insulin and can’t process sugars properly. Insulin resistance is very common in obese children and it is a precursor of Type 2 diabetes. If the body is continually overtaxed by simple carbohydrate abuse, then Type 1 diabetes can also be triggered, when your pancreas becomes completely exhausted.

___   Your muscles need to be used and the lactic acid by-products they make will be more actively removed when your body is in better shape, working towards a healthy Balance. If you eat alkaline foods, they will help to counteract the acid that your metabolism produces as by-products.

___   When your body is too acid, your B.I.M. is pain! Acids inflame your cellular tissues, so the chances are, if you have pain, you need to alkalinize.

And, if the pain persists, of course get your physician to track down why. But, alkalinization for severely acidic bodies can take a long time to turn-around. That means you should start!

I’ve talked about strategies to do this many times, so look for articles in my Titles Archive on the upper navigation bar.

OK, that’s a start to get you going on what the messages from a few more B.I.M.s can mean! Read the first 3 parts of the series, too.

Until next week — Em


Using Light Weights to Build Muscle
Weight Lifting as Help for Overweight Teens
Using both Aerobic and Resistance Training Effectively in Combination
The Importance of Waist Circumference Measurements This is another B.I.M.
Diabetics and Muscle Strength Improvement

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

Diabetics are used to lab tests and self-testing, and the more we understand our body, the more successful we are in helping to restore its balance. Fine-tuning your body should be something you are aware of, for when Balance is lost, that’s when dis-ease erupts.

You do not always need a lab to give you information, if you become aware of your own body’s signals. It has a language with which it communicates — often through spasms, pain, rigidity, tingling etc., and whenever lab tests do expose a problem, then you must monitor and try to reverse it.

Sometimes, the tests themselves cause you problems! Then you need to discuss with your physician if the “risk” is worth the “gain”.

As many  diabetics have kidney problems and heart problems, this warning about further renal damage is the main information for today’s post.

Diabetes is not kind to kidneys or diabetic hearts, but as Dr. Robert Rowen, MD says in July 2010:

Don’t let your doctor use X-ray dyes unless you do this first …”

If you have an X-ray that uses a contrast dye scheduled, then please read this before going to the doctor for the tests. It could save your kidneys, regardless of which organ system is being tested.

Contrast dyes are important to see how your organs function, like in coronary angiography or kidney X-rays. But those contrast dyes carry significant risk of renal damage, especially if you already have kidney disease.

However, you can prevent the damage with one simple, easily found supplement.

Dr. Rowen continues: “Scientists compared the effectiveness of NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine) and vitamin C in 212 patients scheduled for angiography. They gave half of the patients 1,200 mg of NAC twice daily the day before and the day of the angiogram. They gave the other half of the patients Vitamin C:  3 grams and 2 grams the day before and 2 grams twice after the exam. Then they compared the kidney damage of both groups.”

“NAC outdid vitamin C in protection. That’s good news for those with risk. However, I don’t think you need to choose one supplement over the other.”

X-ray contrast dyes carry risk whether or not you have kidney disease. If you ever need a dye study, consider taking NAC (500 mg three times daily) along with vitamin C (1 gram three times daily).

I see no downside to this regimen. These nutrients both generate and recycle glutathione. Glutathione is your body’s most important detoxifier and cellular protector. So they will both offer protection.”

Reference: American Heart Journal, 2009.

Em says: You can also buy Glutathione. Follow the usage on the label if your physician agrees. It is unlikely the regular dose will be a problem, as Glutathione is what your own body is trying to make (successfully or unsuccessfully) in order to always protect you against cellular damage.

Diabetics must protect their kidneys, and the cellular damage which happens daily, in diabetes, is a reason to learn more about using NAC and Vitamin C  and / or Glutathione, daily, as part of your own regimen. Discuss this with a nutritionally-oriented, knowledgeable physician (not all of them are, by any means).

Make sure that you are getting plenty of water as your premier source of liquids, especially for those of you in warm or summery climes.

Also, make sure you always replace the liquids lost to sweating and exercise. Use a small pinch or two of organic whole sea-salt in a liter of spring water instead of Gatorade or other electrolyte drinks. Organic whole sea salt is an alkaline food which helps counteract tissue acidity caused by normal metabolism, stress, poor eating, lack of exercise and harmful environmental factors.

Seaweed helps to alkalize, too. (Discuss this if you take Warfarin or Coumadin, as your dose will need to be adjusted — seaweed is Nature’s blood-thinner.)

Gatorade’s artificial colors are very counter-productive for Health and it has Bromine in it too, which is also to be avoided. Make sure you are not drinking Fluoridated water, either. Kidneys need you to make good choices to preserve their function!

Best to all — Em

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