Are you prone to getting headaches on a regular basis?
Do you go through life feeling feeling sluggish and fatigued all the time?
If so, these symptoms can be easily blamed on the day to day stress of work and raising a family, but there may be another cause to your daily misery. It is quite easy to place the blame for how you feel on outside stressors, but maybe you should take a look at yourself and what you feed your body with. If you fuel your body with bad fuel, it is going to be just like your car when it is fueled with bad gas. It is going to be under powered and it will run badly. Even if you are not diabetic, choosing poor foods to fuel your body is going to make you feel rundown over time. Hyperglycemia can, and does affect people who are not yet diabetic. When you begin your day with donuts and sugary coffee drinks, and then continue to snack on high carbohydrate foods during the day, you are setting yourself up to feeling like dirt after the initial feel good sensation that comes from the consumption of simple carbs.
When you give up eating high carb, low nutrition foods there will always be people who insist you should lighten up and enjoy life by having a slice of cake. These family and friends may have good intentions, but there is a simple fact that escapes them. Maybe it is a concept they either can’t or possibly refuse to understand – for those of us who do not eat sugar filled foods, we actually do enjoy a better quality of life without sugar. If consuming something makes you feel bad, why the hell would you accept it in the first place. It’s like purposely hitting your own thumb with a hammer, it is not going to feel good and you did it to yourself!
There are lots of folks running around with their glucose levels spiking, and they don’t even know it. These spikes are a problem because high blood sugar levels, especially when prolonged, can contribute to cardiovascular disease risk and a person’s tendencies to develop insulin resistance, which is a common precursor to diabetes. Often people who are prediabetic have no idea they’re prediabetic. In fact, this is the case about 90 percent of the time. It’s a big deal, as about 70 percent of people who are prediabetic will eventually develop the disease. Some doctors won’t tell you how important your blood glucose control is as a non-diabetic. I will.
The reason your doctor may fail to tell you this is mainly because it is generally thought that until a diagnosis of diabetes is made, you are assumed to be metabolically competent. And of course, many, if not most people will not pay heed until they feel they have to anyhow.
But that is not always the case.
In actual fact, this is the reason why a lot of prediabetes cases are missed. Prediabetes is the abnormal metabolic stage before type 2 diabetes actually bites.
Before the prediabetes stage, you also develop insulin resistance which is largely silent as well. Doctors don’t always pay enough attention to metabolic health in a run-of-the-mill consultation even if the consultation is for a wellness overview. The reality is, if you eat poorly and especially if you have a weight problem, you do not need a doctor to tell you this, deep down you know why you feel bad. It is up to you to make the personal choice to make yourself feel better, and here are some foods that will help you to get there:
Fatty fish is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies and mackerel are great sources of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which have major benefits for heart health. Getting enough of these fats on a regular basis is especially important for those who have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. DHA and EPA protect the cells that line your blood vessels, reduce markers of inflammation and improve the way your arteries function after eating. A number of observational studies suggest that people who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart failure and are less likely to die from heart disease.
Leafy green vegetables are extremely nutritious and low in calories.
They’re also very low in digestible carbs, which raise your blood sugar levels. Spinach, kale and other leafy greens are good sources of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C.
In one study, increasing vitamin C intake reduced inflammatory markers and fasting blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
In addition, leafy greens are good sources of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
These antioxidants protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts, which are common diabetes complication.
Eggs provide amazing health benefits.
In fact, they’re one of the best foods for keeping you full for hours. Regular egg consumption may also reduce your heart disease risk in several ways. Eggs decrease inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, increase your “good” HDL cholesterol levels and modify the size and shape of your “bad” LDL cholesterol. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who consumed 2 eggs daily as part of a high-protein diet had improvements in cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In addition, eggs are one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect the eyes from disease.
Just be sure to eat whole eggs. The benefits of eggs are primarily due to nutrients found in the yolk rather than the white.
Oatmeal is a popular breakfast food made from oat groats, which are oat kernels with the husks removed.
Oatmeal is said to have a low glycemic index, which can help maintain blood sugar levels. Moreover, it can also reduce the amount of insulin a patient needs. Oat’s are a good source of long-term energy, and helps in regulating digestion, which is one of the most important factors in keeping blood sugar in check. They are also helpful in weight management, thanks to the presence of fiber, which is digested slowly, leaving you feeling fuller for longer, further preventing you from overeating.
Chia seeds are a wonderful food for people watching their blood sugar.
They’re extremely high in fiber, yet low in digestible carbs. In fact, 11 of the 12 grams of carbs in a 28-gram (1-oz) serving of chia seeds are fiber, which doesn’t raise blood sugar. The viscous fiber in chia seeds can actually lower your blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate at which food moves through your gut and is absorbed. Chia seeds may help you achieve a healthy weight because fiber reduces hunger and makes you feel full. In addition, fiber can decrease the amount of calories you absorb from other foods eaten at the same meal. Additionally, chia seeds have been shown to reduce blood pressure and inflammatory markers.
Greek yogurt is a great dairy choice.
It’s been shown to improve blood sugar control and reduce heart disease risk, perhaps partly due to the probiotics it contains. Studies have found that yogurt and other dairy foods may lead to weight loss and improved body composition in people with type 2 diabetes.It’s believed that dairy’s high calcium and conjugated linolic acid (CLA) content may play a role.
What’s more, Greek yogurt contains only 6–8 grams of carbs per serving, which is lower than conventional yogurt. It’s also higher in protein, which promotes weight loss by reducing appetite and decreasing calorie intake.
Nuts are delicious and nutritious.
All types of nuts contain fiber and are low in digestible carbs, although some have more than others. Here are the amounts of digestible carbs per 1-oz (28-gram) serving of nuts:
- Almonds: 2.6 grams
- Brazil nuts: 1.4 grams
- Cashews: 7.7 grams
- Hazelnuts: 2 grams
- Macadamia: 1.5 grams
- Pecans: 1.2 grams
- Pistachios: 5 grams
- Walnuts: 2 grams
Research on a variety of different nuts has shown that regular consumption may reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar, HbA1c and LDL levels.
Flaxseeds are an incredibly healthy food.
A portion of their insoluble fiber is made up of lignans, which can decrease heart disease risk and improve blood sugar control. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who took flaxseed lignans for 12 weeks had a significant improvement in hemoglobin A1c. Flaxseeds are very high in viscous fiber, which improves gut health, insulin sensitivity and feelings of fullness.
Your body can’t absorb whole flaxseeds, so purchase ground seeds or grind them yourself. It’s also important to keep flaxseeds tightly covered in the refrigerator to prevent them from going rancid.
Strawberries are one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat.
They’re high in antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which give them their red color. Anthocyanins have been shown to reduce cholesterol and insulin levels after a meal. They also improve blood sugar and heart disease risk factors in type 2 diabetes. A one-cup serving of strawberries contains 49 calories and 11 grams of carbs, three of which are fiber. This serving also provides more than 100% of the RDI for vitamin C, which provides additional anti-inflammatory benefits for heart health.
Garlic is a delicious herb with impressive health benefits.
Several studies have shown it can reduce inflammation, blood sugar and LDL cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. It may also be very effective at reducing blood pressure.In one study, people with uncontrolled high blood pressure who took aged garlic for 12 weeks averaged a 10-point decrease in blood pressure.
One clove of raw garlic contains only 4 calories and 1 gram of carbs.
Squash is one of the healthiest vegetables around.
Winter varieties have a hard shell and include acorn, pumpkin and butternut. Summer squash has a soft peel that can be eaten. The most common types are zucchini and Italian squash. Like most vegetables, squash contains beneficial antioxidants. Many types of winter squash are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.
Diabetes is currently the seventh leading cause of death in the United States—and studies show that deaths related to diabetes may be under-reported! Today, 1 in 10 U.S. adults has diabetes, and if trends continue, 1 in 5 will have it by 2025.
An additional 88 million U.S. adults – 1 in 3 – have prediabetes, which means their blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. Without intervention, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.
David’s Way to Health and Fitness now has a weight loss/management, health and fitness support group on Facebook! All are free to join, just look for David’s Way to Health and Fitness.