Diet and Diabetes: Recipes for Success
In the past few years, much of what we thought we knew about diabetes has been turned on its head. New understanding of the nutritional causes of diabetes gives us the power to keep it from occurring or to turn it around.
Here is what is supposed to happen: Our bodies turn starchy and sweet foods into glucose for our muscle cells to use for fuel. Insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas, ushers glucose into the cells. People with type 2 diabetes, the most common type, generally have enough insulin. However, their cells become resistant to it, leaving too much glucose in the bloodstream, where it can cause problems.
Over the short run, people with uncontrolled diabetes may feel tired, thirsty, urinate frequently, and notice blurred vision. In the long run, they are at risk for heart disease, kidney problems, vision loss, nerve damage, and other difficulties.
Dietary Approaches to Diabetes
Diabetes diets typically call for portion control, carbohydrate limits, and, for those who are overweight, calorie restrictions. Fortunately, there is another way. Low-fat, plant-based diets are ideal for diabetes and the conditions associated with it, such as heart disease, weight gain, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. And they offer the advantage of not requiring any weighing or measuring of portions. Going hungry is not necessary!
The old approach recommended cutting down on carbohydrates. It’s true that overly processed carbohydrates—those made with sugar or white flour, for example—are poor choices. However, delicious unprocessed or minimally processed fo Continue reading