Category: Diabetes

Why Do I Even Care About Your Obesity? Our Children and Our Future as a Nation

Why in the hell do I care about you?

Why do I give a damn about helping you to manage your weight through good lifestyle habits of proper nutrition and physical fitness?

Because obesity is a human tragedy unfolding before our very eyes.

Every year, the percentage of people who are overweight, obese, or morbidly obese continues to unnecessarily rise. Every year our expenses for medical care continue to rise as well. We can sit around and bitch about Big Pharma, Big Medicine, Big Insurance and the government all day long. Yet, none of this bitching ever addresses our own personal responsibilities towards our health care expenses. If you are broke from health care expenses, you had better take a deep look inward towards how you live your life. If you have a gluttonous appetite and do no exercise, you are solely responsible for your health problems short of a few maladies.

Our lack of control over our own damn appetites is killing us.

Our lack of self control and discipline causes our obesity which is directly responsible for causing inflammation in our bodies, type 2 diabetes, heart problems, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, cancers and more. Every bit of this is preventable if we gain control over our appetites and move our asses with exercise. Movement that gets the blood flow going with an increased heart rate. Movement that burns off your glycogen stores and then fat. Movement that does not accomplish glycogen and fat burning is better than nothing at all, yet is damn near useless in helping you to live a healthier life. Counting actions such as running your vacuum cleaner as exercise is not going to win you any prizes, it will not even get you into second or third place. Nope, this kind of movement only means that you are just one step ahead of the total couch potatoe. Maybe not even that much.

Your life will always become the business of someone else when you are careless with it.

You might think your life style is no business to anyone else, but what happens when you need extended care from family, friends or health care professionals. Can you say it is still not their business how you live? If you believe you can, you are some kind of selfish. Your actions will always impact others in your life. Even when we step up to care for our loved ones with no complaints, and provide care for you out of pure selfless love, your lifestyle descisions can and will affect others. This is a truth in life you can not avoid. Even if you decide to live as a hermit and die unattended and alone in your home, someone will have to live with the mental impact of delivering your corpse to the morgue. Hopefully, you have not decomposed too far when they arrive to retrieve your body.

Obesity is dooming our children to a life of illness.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970’s. Nearly one in five school age children and young people (6 to 19 years old) in the United States are obese. This is unsatisfactory and unnecessary as obesity is preventable. Parents, if you are allowing your child to become obese, you are doing them no favors in life.

About 25% of children in the United States aged 2 to 8 years have a chronic health condition according to CDC. They have chronic health conditions such as obesity, asthma, behavior/learning problems, and other health conditions that can all be traced back to unhealthy and improper nutrition and lack of physical activity.

Parents, you owe your children guidance in living healthy. While they can recieve nutritious meals in school, you have a responsibility to feed them healthy foods at home. Get rid of the Pop Tarts and sugary cereals that you are feeding them for breakfast. And for heavens sake, quit feeding them from fast food drive throughs simply because you are too lazy to prepare a porper meal for them at home.

If you have the time and money to feed your kids from a fast food drive through, then you have the time and money to feed them a healthy home cooked meal. Using the reasoning that you are too tired to feed them healthy is a lame ass excuse that comes from laziness on your part. Your children deserve better out of you.

From US Library of Health and Medicine, Nation Insitute for Health:

Psychological disorders such as depression occur with increased frequency in obese children. Over weight children, followed up for 40 and 55 years were more likely to have cardiovascular and digestive diseases as compared to those who were lean.

Let this sink in to your thoughts for a few minutes. If you do not do anything to contribute to your childs good health, if you let them eat crap foods and not exercise, you are directly responsible as a parent for their current and future health problems. If reading this causes you to be angry, I really do not care because the anger can only come from you not accepting your parental responsibilites to your children. Being as your children did not ask you to bring them into the world, you must place their well being first and foremost over everything else in life.

Ponder this young lady’s sad story I found on a weight loss forum:

I am currently 348 lbs. I am 23 years old.

I have major health problems associated with my weight. I have major heart issues, my heart rate gets up into the 200’s with me just standing up. I have type 2 diabetes, I have chronic pain in my bones and muscles. I have been obese since I was a kid.

I suffered from depression and anxiety growing up. I was bullied a lot. I had suicidal thoughts when I was just 8 years old. Food was, and still is a gateway to ease the pain.

I have two beautiful children. But, I am unable to care for them on my own. I can’t enjoy my life. My days are mostly sitting around watching everyone else live. I am unable to exercise due to my heart rate. But, I was told that if I lose 45 lbs, they will do a pacemaker. I’ve seen multiple heart doctors. And all have suggested weight loss surgery.

This is a truly sad story, and it is not unusual in it’s very nature when you follow any type of weight loss/management social media forums. Read this young lady’s story again and consider how many lives are being affected here. Seriously consider what lifestyle actions could have been taken to prevent this unfolding tragedy. If you are a loving parent of a child who suffers from obesity, please love them enough so this does not become their sad life story too.

You’re Pre-Diabetic, Now What?

All across America people are eating more and more sugar laden meals while also getting significantly more lazy. The end result is we have a majority of our citizens who are either over weight at a minimum, or straight up obese. Many of these people will visit their physician who might order a blood glucose screening, and then find themselves receiving a diagnosis of being prediabetic. If this scenario applies to you, you are being given a stern warning that you had better get your act together in regards to your dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle. Having a diagnosis of prediabetes is akin to full blown type 2 diabetes giving you a shot across the bow to warn that you need to cease and desist in your current lifestyle. You had better get it together like right now as prediabetes can be reversed through proper diet and exercise. This is your chance to defend yourself against type 2 diabetes, do not be a fool and just give in to getting it. If you think life might be tough by turning prediabetes around, you are only setting yourself up to learn some hard life lessons if you let the shit go.

You can control it, you are not helpless.

What is prediabetes?

Being prediabetic means that your dietary habits have resulted in your blood sugar levels becoming higher than normal, yet not high enough to be type 2 diabetes. If you do not change your ways, without serious dietary changes, at this point you are quite likely to progress to type 2 diabetes. Listen up, if your ass has been diagnosed as being prediabetic, the long term damage from diabetes to your heart, blood vessels, and kidneys may already be starting.

Damage to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys is nothing to take lightly. Of course, there are many who will not take this seriously until the problems have begun to make their lives difficult. And then, when the proverbial crap hits the fan, they will expect their doctor to just fix them with a medication or something. If you are this individual who would rather have a doctor prescribe you a medication over just unfucking yourself, you are a fool.

If, however, you are half way intelligent you will understand that type 2 diabetes does not have to be inevitable and you will make the personal choice to do something about your diagnosis of being prediabetic by beginning to eat a healthy diet and incorporating physical fitness activities into your daily routine. By doing these simple lifestyle changes and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage, you can bring your blood sugar levels back to a normal level. You have a choice between eating healthy and exercising, or you can continue on your merry way with an obese body while cramming cookies and cake down your gullet and washing it all down with sugary soft drinks. This may appear to be an extreme way of putting it, but I am intentionally not sparing your feelings simply because I want you to fix yourself before it gets worse, If my words make you a bit uncomfortable or irritated, you will remember them far longer than if I was sugar coating them for you.

Sadly, children are being affected by prediabetes and full blown type 2 diabetes the same as adults. If you give a damn about the children in your life, then be the role model they require in order to live a healthy life. Make the choice that your unhealthy dietary habits are not more important to you than helping your children. If you have brought children into this world, you damn sure owe it to them to ensure they grow up healthy and fit. Anything less is a serious shortcoming on your part as a parent and is no better than anything else which can be considered child neglect. Children can have their blood sugar levels brought back down in the same way as adults, with a little exercise and a healthy diet.

Prediabetes generally has no signs or symptoms.

You may not have any symtoms at all that you are prediabetic other than the fact you are over weight and out of shape. One possible sign that you might be at risk of type 2 diabetes is darkened skin at the neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles.

If you have moved from being prediabetic to full blown type 2 diabetes, here are signs and symptoms that you have done so:

  • You will experience increased thirst.
  • You will need to urinate more frequently than normal.
  • You will feel fatigued.
  • Blurred vision will also become a problem.

If you begin experiencing these symptoms, get your tail end to your doctor and ask for a blood glucose screening, especially if you already have any of the risk factors.

Causes

While family history and genetics do play an important role in people developing prediabetes, factors that are also important are being lazy and or inactive and excess body fat, with an emphasis on belly fat. People with prediabetes no longer process blood sugar (glucose) as they should when healthy. As a result, sugar accumulates in the blood stream instead of doing it’s normal job of fueling the cells that make up muscle and other tissues, The majority of the glucose in your body comes from the foods that you consume. When food is digested, sugar enters your bloodstream. Getting this sugar from your bloodstream into your cells requires insulin which comes from your pancreas.

Every time that you eat, your pancreas secretes insulin into your bloodstream. As insulin enters your bloodstream, it causes sugar to enter your cells, thereby lowering your blood sugar. As your blood sugar levels drop, the pancreas backs off on secreting insulin. This is how it is supposed to be, however, when you are prediabetic this process begins to malfunction. Instead of fueling your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. High blood sugar occurs when your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or your cells become resistant to insulin, or both conditions.

The same factors that increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases your risk of prediabetes.

  • Weight. If you are carrying too much body fat, know that this is your primary risk factor for developing prediabetes. The more fatty tissue you have, especially inside and between the muscle and skin around your gut, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.
  • Waist size. If you are big around the waist, it is an indication that you are insulin resistant. The risk of insulin resistance goes up fo men with waists larger than 40 inches and for women with waists larger than 35 inches.
  • Dietary patterns. Eating processed foods and meats, eating foods with added sugars and drinking sugar sweetened beverages places you at higher risk for prediabetes.
  • Inactivity. The less you move your body the greater your risk of prediabetes. Get your ass and move it with a purpose. Make that purpose be one of improving your life. Physical activity not only helps you to drop body fat, it uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
  • Age. Although diabetes can develop at any age, you are at a higher risk after the age of 45. Of course this could largely be because folks over 45 tend to exercise less lose muscle mass and gain weight as they age. Do not let age be a lame excuse for not being physically active. Get up and move your body damn it. Even if you have to begin a little at a time, just do it as a part of your daily routine, You can build up to longer durations of activity over time.
  • Family history. If you have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes, your risk of prediabetes is increased. Type 2 diabetes runs on both my paternal and maternal sides of my family, which means I am at a higher risk, yet I refuse to live my life in a manner in which I make myself susceptible.
  • Race. It is unclear why, but Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders are more likely to develop prediabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes. If you develop gestational diabetes while pregnat, you and your child are at a higher risk of developing prediabetes. Knowing this, you owe it to your child to ensure they grow up eating healthy and getting plenty of physical exercise in their lives. Also, if you gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds, you are also at risk for prediabetes.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome. This common condition increases womens risks of prediabetes.
  • Sleep. People with sleep apnea have an increased risk of insulin resistance. People who work changing shifts or night shifts which can cause sleep pattern interuptions, also may have an increased risk of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Other conditions associated with prediabetes include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Low levels of high densiy lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or, the good kind.
  • High levels of triglycerides which is atype of fat in your blood.

When these conditions occur with obesity, the are associated with insulin resistance. The combination of three or more of these conditions is often referred to as metabolic syndrome.

The most serious consequences of prediabetes is progression to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can lead to:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Blindness
  • Amputations

Research has indicated that prediabetes is often associated with unrecognized heart attacks and can damage your kidneys, even if you have not progressed to type 2 diabetes.

By making a personal choice to get physically active, and to get healthier by losing bady fat, you can keep yourself from ever becoming prediabetic even if diabetes runs in your family. Eat a good healthy diet, move your body, lose weight and control your blood pressure and cholesterol. All of this can be done by making a personal choice to do so and then making it happen through dietary changes and exercise. You do not need medications to rid yourself of prediabetes or the risk of acquiring it. Nope, all that is required is a commitment on your part. Just do it. Get it done today. Follow us at David’s Way, we have almost 500 nutrition and fitness articles with tons of healthy recipes to help you along your way. Any topic you are interested in, can be entered into our blog search bar and everywhere we have written on it wil come up for your reading pleasure.

Develop Healthy Habits for a Healthy Life

What is the importance of creating healthy habits for a healthy lifestyle? This question seems simple enough to answer, yet there are far too many who have not established healthy habits in their lives and seem to have little if any grasp of doing so. This is evident by our rapidly expanding obesity problems where often if there is any sort of habits, they are usually the default of getting through the day in the easiest manner possible. The habit of going the route with the least resistance in life, is usually not going to be the healthy way.

Habit

A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. The American Journal of Psychology defines a habit from the standpoint of psychology as a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing or feelin through previous repetition or experience. Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self analysis when undertaking routine tasks.

At David’s Way, we strongly encourage you to develop healthy habits in regards to your nutrition and physical fitness.

Track the calories and macro-nutrients of everything that you consume on a daily basis. By developing this habit, over time when you have found yourself in a situation where you can not look up your calories and macro’s, you will have enough nutrional information stored in your memory that you can keep yourself on a healthy track of not over eating.

Measure and weigh your foods in order to know exactly how much you are consuming. Combining this habit with tracking, will allow you to look at a plate of food while out with family and friends and then being able to get an accurate enough estimation of how much you are about to eat. By weighing, you will etch into your mind how much of different foods are considered your normal serving size. For instance, if you weigh meats, you will automatically know that 3 ounces is typically about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. One tablespoon of a spreadable condiment or peanut butter is roughly the size of your thumb, etc… When you develop the habit of tracking and weighing, it just becomes a thing you automatically do whether out with friends or in the privacy of your own home.

Read ingredient labels on the foods you buy and especially the labels on foods you have never tried before. It takes little of your time to take a quick look to see the caloric and macro-nutrient information. Take a quick read of the ingredients to identify if there is any added sugars as so many foods of today have a lot of hidden sugars in them. Remember that almost every ingredient that ends with “ose” such as fructose, sucrose and glucose are all sugars. This is important information when you have decided to kick sugar out of your diet.

Get in the habit of pre-planning your meals. And use that meal plan as your shopping list when you go to your local grocer. Make it a habit to stick to your planned meals and do not buy junk foods that are not on the list. Of course, the junk foods should actually remain on the grocery stores shelves instead of in your kitchen pantry.

Make it a habit that when you prepare a meal, that you clean up behind yourself as you go in order to not have a sink full of dishes to deal with later. The time added to meal prep when you clean behind yourself is minimal as you can easily rince a dish and place it in a dish washer as you brown a piece of meat on the stove. You can scrub a good amount of dishes by hand if you are waiting on a pot of water to boil. When you clean behind yourself, you will find it easier to properly prepare your next healthy meal when your sink is not already full of dirty dishes.

Make it a habit to be able to tell people “No” when you need to. Even well meaning people will sabotage your weight loss or weight management efforts. They will offer up some tasty sweet treat that is irresistable while knowing that you are trying to be healthy. If the consumption of simple carbs do not drive your appetite into overdrive with cravings, then you might enjoy that small slice of cake if you can afford the calories. However, if you have never had much if any control over your appetite because of simple sugars in the past, then you really need to be able to say “no thank you” often enough that people will quit asking you to enjoy sweet treats with them. If you are addicted to simple carbs, then turning down a treat from a well meaning friend is no different than an alcoholic turning down a beer while in a social situation. After all, we are talking about your personal health. These well intentioned family and friends are not likely to step up to the plate and pay your bills when your nutritionally related health issues are keeping you from working. Nope, a lot of these folks will actually go from being kind to talking about what a fat pig you are if you get to the point where your obesity has become too much for being able to support yourself. Face it, it can be a cruel world we inhabit.

Developing healthy habits is paramount to living a healthy lifestyle. Healthy habits become what you automatically do each day with little to no thought. As with training we went through in the military, practicing real world situations where you respond while under a great deal of duress, just become automatic actions, or habits to get you through the training evolution. You perfect actions and movements so that when serious combat breaks out, the manner in which you respond is carried out with little forethought as you have these scenarios already ingrained into your mind. When you develop healthy habits in your home in regards to your nutrition, it is easier to remain on track when a tragic circumstance happens in your life. Once healthy eating habits become your lifestyle, it becomes easier by leaps and bounds to get through tough times when your body is healthier and not craving sugar which has a negative impact on your body chemistry and how you feel. When you develop healthy habits that allow you to live a healthier life, you then have an increased capacity to care for others in your life who may require your assistance. You never know when your little ballerina may break her leg. Your senior father has developed dementia and your mother is having a hip replacement. By never knowing for certaint what kinds pitfalls you might experience in life, your best course of action is to prepare yourself through healthy habits for a healthy life.

Metabolic Syndrome, The Hard Truth

As the years of our lives pass, it gets easier and easier to become a little over-weight, obese, or even morbidly obese. It may seem that just a few short years ago you were the high school star athlete or cheer leader. You were in top physical condition and a fine specimen to look at.

Then came the responsibilities of life, where you are raising a family and sometimes, no matter how hard you work, keeping the bills paid becomes a stressful focus. Sally has dance lessons, Johnny has his trumpet lessons, while the baby has colic and her constant crying is allowing no peace for anyone in the house.

Yesterday you were the picture of perfect health and fitness, today you look and feel like a busted can of biscuits. Your gut is hanging over your belt, unless you wear those stretchy pants where a belt is not required. You quit tucking in your shirts to hide said gut and you have also begun coordinating your clothing in order to not appear as fat as you have become. And yes, guys can be just as bad about this as the ladies. Well, guess what? You are not fooling anyone. If you are fat, you look fat no matter how you dress. But more importantly than your physical appearance, your health is what matters. Face it, if you continue your path to obesity with poor nutritional habits, your ability to care for your family and even yourself is going to become more difficult over time. You may find yourself making a choice between paying a utility bill this month or a co-pay at the doctors office in order for you to be seen for a condition that is 100% related to your poor dietary choices.

Metabolic Syndrome

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

In short, you are fat, out of shape and no longer a healthy individual.

Or for a longer explanation, you have a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (1)

The term Metabolic Syndrome is a medical diagnosis. What you do about this diagnosis is going to be a matter of personal choice. You can choose to continue with your poor nutritional habits of convenience foods that are packed full of simple sugars, high in fat, sodium and preservatives. This weak choice is going to lead to taking out the time for more doctor visits with blood labs possible each time, along with having to take medications to control the issues you suffer from. Unnecessary money and time being expended away from the larger responsibility of your family and home.

Your other choice is to take personal responsibility for your health and to be proactive in doing something about it. If you are smart, you will clean up your diet and replace processed foods with healthy whole foods. You will eliminate simple sugar from your diet, and you will begin some form of exercise with your doctors approval. By cleaning up your dietary habits, your blood labs will normalize. By quitting refined sugar and other simple carbohydrates, your cravings for foods that contain them will subside. If you think eating healthy foods is too expensive, consider the reduction of monthly expenses when you no longer need to see your doctor regular and all of those monthly prescription refills you may have for blood pressure drug, statins, acid reflux etc… With the cost of medcal care today, you could likely pay for at least a weeks worth of groceries with the medical expense savings alone.

Is exercise necessary to become healthy? What if I am in a condition where my ability to do so has become impaired?

Well. if you either cannot, or simply do not want to exercise, then you had damn well better be much stricter about your diet. That is a simple and plain hard truth my friends. This point is not even arguable on any level. Here is another truth, if you can move your body in any fashion, then you can begin doing something, anything to become more mobile. Even if you cannot walk, you can still do arm. abdominal and back exercises. If you are still capable of walking, then you can do the following:

  1. Walk briskly. Or, briskly for you.
  2. Put on some music and move your body with dance, Move your body around, shift your weight from one leg to another, lift your arms to the beat of the music. Look like a young child again, have fun with it.
  3. If you cannot jump rope, make believe you are by skipping in place.
  4. Get up and down from your chair 50 to 100 times.
  5. If you have stairs in your home, then walk up and down them several times per day.
  6. Try doing jumping jacks.
  7. Hop in a circle around a room in your home. Get your kids involved, the young ones will have a blast. Try hopping on one foot at a time for 30 second intervals.
  8. Rise up and down on your toes to work your calves.
  9. Stand on one leg and hold onto a chair or a wall for balance. Extend your free leg in front of you so the heel stretches out about 12 inches in front of your standing leg. Now bend your standing leg knee so you lower your body about 6 inches, and then come back up. Do this 25 times and then switch legs.
  10. Jog in place, picking your knees up higher each time and also extending the time you do this.
  11. You can pick and choose any of these simple exercises and do them as you watch television and your program is interupted by a commercial.

Now of course if you are overweight and in poor condition, fatigue and soreness are going to be a limiting factor. But, these factors are only short term in nature. The objective is for you to work your way up with increased exercise. You may not be capable of running in a marathon next month, but you may find yourself at least able to walk in a 5k event. You can walk, do a few flights of stairs until you are fatigued. Take a rest and go at it again after a few hours. Build on the amount of time you can do this until you can go for a solid hour. The more out of shape you are, the more important it will be for you to exercise in short periods on a frequent basis. If you can only go at it for 5 minutes at a time, then plan your day to dedicate six five minute time frames to do your exercise. No excuses, just choose to plan and then commit. If you make regular exercise a habit, before you know it, you will find yourself far exceeding your original capabilities.

You can burn calories and fat with a variety of cardiovascular exercises, but if you want more bang for the buck, you must consider some form of strength training in order to increase your lean muscle mass. Some people will complain that they can not lose weight even when they have cut back on their food intake. Usually the problem is they are still consuming too many calories for their basal metabolic rate, still eating sugar and have very little lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the easier it is going to be for you to burn body fat. The way to address this is to go to our Calorie Calculator in our menu to find out your caloric needs and then consume a sugar free diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, along with performing strength building exercises. Your body needs the protein to not only maintain your lean muscle mass, but more importantly to increase it. As your body fat percentage comes down, you also need for your lean muscle mass percentage to rise. At David’s Way, we actually support working towards a healthy body fat percentage over a random number you might want to see on your bathroom scale.

Invariably, people who complain that their metabolic rate is slow and they have trouble losing weight no matter what they consume week to week have weak muscles and are poorly conditioned. When you perform strength building exercises, you are going to increase the density of your lean muscle mass which is going to raise your metabolism. Increasing your lean muscle mass can be done by anyone who makes the choice to do so. If you want to be healthy, this is imperative. This is why we encourage achieving a healthy body fat percentage over a number on the scale. You might lose 50 to 100 pounds, be thin and yet be what is referred to as “Skinny fat”. Your weight means little if your body fat percentage is still at an unhealthy level. If you are thin and also soft to the touch, then you are no healthier than you were when you were much heavier. You are only thinner, do not fool yourself that being able to wear smaller clothing now means you are in decent shape. Skinny fat is still bad for you.

Many, if not most who go about losing weight, lose lean muscle along with body fat. If you do not maintain what you have or build upon it, you can regain all of the weight you have lost and now have a higher body fat percentage than you had before losing weight. This is going to be detrimental to your metabolism. If you are a yo-yo dieter who does not build muscle too, then your metabolism is going to slow more and more with each weight gain. Exercise is going to facilitate your weight loss and make you healthier. Vigorous exercise is even better. Build up to it gradually, You have the rest of your life if you have made a decision to be healthy for the remainder of your life. Start slow and build yourself up, do not injure yourself. If you have the fortitude to begin living a healthy life, you will find the will to eat healthy and exercise.

Metabolic Syndrome may be a medical diagnosis, or maybe it is actually a politically correct and polite way of saying you are fat and out of shape. Either way, you can do something about it. And what you do, does not have to require expensive doctors visits and medications. If you make an intelligent choice, you will clean up your diet and begin an exercise regimen right away. This truly is a matter of personal choices and then sticking with it. You are likely to have a few saboteurs along the way who will try to derail you by getting you to “just eat a little cake” or what ever. People who will tell you how good you have done and then pester you to join them in poor food choices. When you stick to your decision to only eat healthy and remain committed to making time for exercise, some of the people close to you may get angry when you do not join them in unhealthy habits. Bear in mind, if these kind hearted folks really care about your health and well being, they will not try to sabotage you. Misery loves company and unhealthy people will try to drag you down to their level. Sometimes, being around a crowd that eats a lot of unhealthy foods and do not exercise is like finding yourself in a bucket full of crabs. Where the harder you try to climb out, the harder they are going to try to pull you back in. Do yourself a favor and avoid the crabs.

Life and how we live it is truly a matter of personal choices. Choose wisely, you only have one body and one life.

(1) http://www.MayoClinic.org

Kicking Sugar To The Curb

Being certified Nutrition and Wellness consultants, Brenda Sue and I are often approached by folks who want to know specifics on how they should go about losing weight. One of the first things we always tell these inquiring minds is to quit eating sugar. We then encounter a wide range of reactions from people appearing a little melancholy because they need to ditch and old friend, and then there are those who get downright pissed off and refuse to accept this as the best way to permemently lose body fat.

We totally understand the emotions attached to sugar consumption. Happy childhood memories tied to sweet treats, running down the ice cream man. Grandma’s home baked chocolate chip cookies etc… Yes, we get it, we have had our own addictions to the stuff too. But, we also know that sugar is horrible for our bodies, despite the pleasures it brings us once a few sweet morsels pass though our lips. Those tasty treats made with added simple sugars are poison in your bloodstream. Like a cigarette, it is not going to kill you today with the first nibble. Nope, it is a lifetime consumption habit which will eventually creep up and bite you in the rear when you are not looking. You will be ambling through life, fat, dumb and happy and feeling good, when one day you realize that besides being over weight, your blood pressure is now high, your cholesterol and triglycerides have elevated to unhealthy levels, and your liver and kidney functions are not withn their normal ranges. And you can bet your lunch, most often these symptoms are going to be a direct result of a poor diet, high in low nutrient calories from your sugar habit.

Of course we need some sugar in our diets, only we should get them through complex carbohydrates rather than simple refined sugars. The only caveat to simple sugars is getting them through fruit where the fiber content slows the absorption of sugar into your blood stream, The fiber in fruit allows these simple sugars to be absorbed much the same as complex carbohydrates. We need a healthy amount of carbohydrates in order for our bodies, and our brains in particular, to operate properly. The problem is most people are consuming far too many carbs and sugar, and they are not even aware of the problem. It truly is absurd when you see adults drinking several servings of sugar laden soda pop every day of their lives while also eating lots of sweet treats while remaining blissfully unaware of the damage they are doing within their bodies.

In the world of today, with all of the convenience foods available, it becomes difficult for some to avoid added sugars. I get this, but I also know for certainty, it is not impossible to avoid added sugar. I live my life totally free of added sugars and keep my carbohydrate intake low too. Know that when we are talking about added sugars, we are not only referring to instances where you might eat cookies or stir a few spoons of sugar into a glass of tea. No, we are also talking about processed foods where simple sugars have been added for taste. We tell people to not only quit sugar but to also quit consuming processed foods as so many are full of empty calories derived from sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, agave syrup, and date syrup to name a few. Yes, all of this garbage is bad for you and there is really no good reason to ever consume any of it.

Reasons to quit sugar:

  1. You will immediately begin to burn body fat. The reality is once you quit sugar and processed foods, you will have a difficult time eating enough healthy, whole foods in order to meet the calories your body requires based on your basal metabolic rate. With sugary foods, exceeding your needs is quite simple. You can exceed your daily caloric needs in only one trip through a fast food restaurant drive through. Because your body will not have any of this excess sugar to use for energy, it will grab onto and burn your stored fat. Weight loss truly is a matter of calories consumed verses calories burned, unless you have a health condition such as hypothyroidism where your thyroid does not properly produce hormones. There are a few other medical reasons why some can not lose weight efficiently, but even with these problems, it is not always impossible to do so when you eat healthy foods.
  2. Your hunger cravings will go away. Yes, you will still get hungry, but those awful cravings that are sometimes referred to as being “hangry” will no longer be there to ruin your day. If you consume complex carbohydrates and plenty of fiber, your body will receive a steady dose of energy and your fuel tank will never be empty enough to make you insane with cravings. Even after fasting for lets say 16 hours, you will not feel so ravenous that you could clean out the entire pantry in one sitting.
  3. You will feel far more energetic. Your need for naps might all but disappear once you quit sugar. You will find you need fewer cups of coffee or energy drinks to get through the day. By only consuming complex carbohydrates, you wll keep your body and brain more fully fueled all day long. You will notice a huge decline in getting mental fog and malaise in general. By making wise food choices, you will feel like a new person with all of your new found energy.
  4. Your big old round tummy is going to shrink. You will notice your belly becoming flatter almost right away as simple sugars not only cause you to create body fat, they also cause you to retain water because of inflammation throughout your body. Your belly also begins to slim because your gut’s unhealthy microbes will have less sugar to munch on themselves. Unhealthy gut microbes eating the sugars you eat, cause your belly to bloat which makes it appear even larger than it really needs to. In recent years, there has been an increase in “bad” belly biome bacteria called Firmicutes. This has resulted in a quite noticeable difference in the appearance of Americans from leaner years of the past to the fat years of the 2000’s.
  5. Your risk of type 2 diabetes is going to be greatly reduced. Eating too many simple sugars can wreak havok in your system. This can happen in the short and long term. The more simple refined sugars you consume, the more insulin your pancreas produces, which will eventually lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. This is not rocket science, your body will be many times healthier by quitting sugar.
  6. Your muscles will become stronger. As you age, it becomes even more imperative to quit sugar as it has been linked to a condition called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is simply age related loss of muscle mass. This happens because added sugar blocks the body’s ability to synthesize protein into muscle. By quitting sugar, you can keep your muscles younger and stronger, that same lean muscle mass will also help to keep your metabolism revved up in order to more efficiently burn body fat.
  7. Your mental outlook is going to improve by quitting sugar. If you do not like looking like a jelly donut, if this gets you down, you are bound to have an increased level of self esteem and confidence once you have quit sugar and have an improved physical appearance.

Be sure to read the labels of foods you buy in order to avoid added sugars, Remember this, if you are regularly consuming foods with added sugar, you have given up all control over how much sugar you consume.

Make the wise choice today. Take complete control of your life and live to your fullest and healthiest. Be the best you that you can be each day.

You can do it, if only you first try…

Diabetes, Obesity and Life Choices

In America, in this modern world where we have all the information in the world contained within the phone held in our hand, we as a nation have become nutritionally ignorant. It is now the norm for American citizens to be overweight and almost all adults will eventually have to take prescribed medications for heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, or blood pressure. Today, the number of obese Americans actually outnumber those who smoke, use illegal drugs, or suffer from other ailments.

Here is a hard truth for you, obesity is a personal choice made by the individual. We choose what we consume. We choose to eat high carbohydrate foods full of sugar and preservatives. We choose fast foods of convenience rather than preparing a healthy meal at home. We choose to mindlessly eat in front of the television over sitting as a family at the dining room table. The choices we make with food creates diseases and fuels out of control medical costs. This is a scientific fact that can not be argued with any intelligence. Are you aware that even just being five extra pounds of body fat on a normal size body frame can lead to type 2 diabetes? Sadly, diabetes is now beginning to explode worldwide as populations in all corners of the globe are now being exposed to processed foods in the worlds food supply,

Around the world, most physicians are attempting to solve obesity related ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood pressure with medications and invasive medical procedures. The absurdity of this is, these maladies come from the choices we make with food. It is a fact that people who choose to eat healthy and exercise in order to keep their body fat down to healthy levels almost never get diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or the related ailments that come from these conditions. If you make the choice to eat healthy and exercise your body, you are much more likely to live a healthy life, physically, mentally and financially. Diabetes and obesity is taking a huge financial toll on America. Our choices to eat food products that are high in calories and low in nutrition may eventually bankrupt us as a nation. The average type 2 diabetic incurs about $6,650 a year in health care expenses directly related to diabetes. More than half of Americans can expect to be diabetic or prediabetic by the year 2020 which is soon to be here. Oddly, a lot of folks, despite their poor nutrition habits and obesity are totally unaware that they are either prediabetic or have it fully.

With our poor choices of nutrition, eating what is quick, cheap and makes us feel good, we as a nation are eating ourselves into premature graves. Our lack of good nutritional habits are at the core of our health care crisis If you or someone you love is obese and or diabetic these medical complications can and should be expected if you never take the initiative to clean up your diet and to begin exercising your body:

  • Heart disease-Death from heart disease and risk for stroke is three times higher for diabetics.
  • High blood pressure-75% of diabetics have high blood pressure (130/180 or higher)
  • Blindness-Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults.
  • Kidney disease-Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
  • Nervous system disease-The majority of diabetics develop nervous system impairment such as reduced feeling in the feet, impaired digestion, and erectile dysfunction.
  • Amputations-Diabetes is the leading cause of limb amputations.
  • Cancer-Diabetes increases the risk of cancer, including a 30% increase in colorectal cancer.

If you are obese and are neither diabetic or prediabetic, do not get a false sense of confidence that you can continue to live with an unhealthy diet. You really are not any safer from health risks than the diabetic and here is why. If you are significantly overweight, with an excess of fifty pounds of body fat, your body is going to require huge loads of insulin from the pancreas, up to ten times more that of people of a healthy body fat percentage. Some folks have a large pancreas beta cell capacity, so they can produce insulin levels high enough to not become diabetic. These people have insulin levels high enough to be a strong predictor of heart attack risk and a shorter life span. Whether obese folks are diabetic or not, their high insulin levels are dangerous. You physician can better predict a heart attack from your insulin levels than they can from your cholesterol levels. It is not uncommon for people to end up on a gurney in a hospital emergency room fighting for their very life as a result of a heart attack when they learn their blood sugar levels are elevated. These heart attack victims never had any idea they were diabetic as their first indication came from a heart attack as a result of having high insulin levels for far too many years.

Every day you can begin the day by making the personal choice to live healthy by consuming a diet that is conducive to low body fat levels and by beginning some form of exercise with your doctor’s approval. You can make this choice. Choosing a healthy life may seem difficult at first, but it will become easier as you develop a new and improved lifestyle.

You can also wake up and make the choice to eat poorly and to not move your body except to get your butt up off the couch to waddle into the kitchen for another jelly donut. You can make the choice to live easy in the moment, but here is a dose of reality for you. This choice to live easy in the moment is going to cost you dearly later in life when you suffer the hardships which arise from unhealthy life habits.

It is your life and your choice to make in how you are going to live it. Choose your path intelligently. If you choose to take the path of least resistance, be prepared for the hardships which are sure to come. Choose wisely.

Health Risks of Sugar Sweetened Drinks

New Incriminating Evidence

A recent study found that the more sugary drinks we ingest the more likely we are to die from heart disease. Sweet beverages were also associated with a moderate increase in the risk of dying from breast or colon cancer.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificially sweetened drinks did not produce the same effects. Researchers also found that swapping sugary drinks for diet versions could moderately reduce a person’s risk of death, but they still recommend that we drink water. The study adds to the growing body of research that sugary drinks cause a multitude of health problems simply by adding too many calories and causing weight gain. Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are also risks of ingesting extra calories through sugar.

The Big Picture

There have been many studies that have indicated that the extra calories in sugar cause weight gain that contributes to cancer. The findings of this recent study are merely another nail in the coffin for sugar. Drinking soda, sports drinks, and in the Southern United States, sweet tea increase the risk of dying from heart disease and some types of cancer, according to this new research.

Decisions

The choices that we make every moment of every day create our lives. We all have different circumstances to navigate but our destination is determined by the choices that we make at every turn. Decide to do yourself a favor. Leave the sugar sweetened drinks at the store. Drink water. Make your health a priority and live to reap the benefits in a healthy body. You will be so glad that you did when you see people around you falling victim to sugar addiction and you stay in control of your health.

(1) https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2019/03/18/harvard-researchers-say-soda-sports-drinks-increase-risk-of-dying.html

Going the Zero Added Sugar Route

At David’s Way we advocate a diet that excludes added simple or refined sugars entirely. This is truly the key to sustainable weight loss that will not leave you crazy from from carbohydrate cravings which is what typically derails almost everyone on most other diet plans. Of course, we are not a diet plan, rather we educate others to make permenent lifestyle changes. A diet has an end point, David’s Way is for life.

When we say to eat zero sugar, does that mean you will not eat any at all? Well, the answer is absolutely in regards to refined sugar. However, you will, and we encourage you to consume complex carbohydrates which are another form of sugar. We have no problem with the natural sugar which comes from a piece of fruit such as an apple, we are talking about the garbage sugar which we find in almost all desserts. Do not despair though, as scattered all throughout this blog, we have numerous sugar free dessert recipes that are real treats.

When you kick simple sugars from your diet, there are things which will happen almost immediately.

  1. You will begin burning fat immediately. This is a huge benefit as eliminating refined sugar automatically reduces the total amount of calories you are consuming in a day. Your body will not be able to draw on this sugar for energy and it will instead begin burning your fat stores from all over your body. The effects will be quickly noticed in the mirror besides the scale as sugar causes inflammation in the body which causes you to retain excess fluids. Your weight will drop off rapidly as soon as the fluids from the inflammation are released from your cellular structures.
  2. Your hunger cravings will disappear. You will notice that you no longer get “HANGRY”. You will obviously still get hungry, but it will be bearable and not drive you crazy like the cravings you get from simple carbohydrates will cause. At first, your hormones will tell your body that you are starving it and they will send out signals for you to snarf down every thing in the pantry and the refrigerator, but that quickly passes. This is where consuming a higher amount of protein and fat along with fiber rich complex carbs comes into play. Protein, fat, complex carbs and fiber will keep you satiated by keeping your blood sugar and insulin at a stable and proper level. Fiber will slow the progress of complex carbohydrates in your body to give you a steady stream of energy all day long. You will find that by cutting refined sugar from your diet that you can actually eat more as it is actually hard to eat the total calories you need in a day to maintain weight when eating a clean diet. This is good news for guys like myself who love to eat.
  3. You will feel energetic. You will feel the need for afternoon naps a whole lot less often and you can save money on energy drinks as you no longer feel the need for them to get through the day, By keeping your body and brain fueled with good foods instead of refined sugar, you will not find yourself getting brain fog any longer. By eating clean, you will not require quick energy sources to fuel your way though the day.
  4. That fat tummy is going to shrink. You are going to notice this almost right away. When you replace sugar laden foods with protein, fats, complex carbs and fiber, your belly will be flatter before the end of the week. Most Americans do not consume near enough high fiber foods, as a result, the healthy gut microbes that keep us lean have less to consume. This means the unhealthy microbes which feed on sugar take over. These microbes which feed on sugar are exactly what makes your belly rounder through bloat. That bloating makes your belly bigger than the underlying layer of fat would make it otherwise.
  5. Your risk of Type 2 Diabetes is reduced. Eating refined sugars is hard on your body in more ways than causing you to be fat. Sugar hurts both in the short and in the long runs. When you eat those cup cakes and ice cream that taste so good, your pancreas produces more insulin than necessary, which eventually leads to insulin resistance, weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes. Each one of those maladies are totally preventable if you make a personal choice to avoid the foods that cause them.
  6. Your muscles will strengthen. Scientists have linked the consumption of sugar to a condition called sarcopenia which essentially is an age related loss of muscle mass. This happens because added sugar blocks the body’s ability to synthesize protein into muscle. By cutting sugar out of your diet, you will keep your muscles younger and stronger which will help you to raise your metabolism to burn fat more efficently.

Once you have kicked the addiction of refined sugar, you will find that nothing tastes as good as you feel with this newfound health. What you have to watch out for after you are sugar free is the saboteurs who will try to talk you into having “just one serving” of a sweet treat at family fuctions or get togethers. The irony is, no one will offer an ex-smoker a cigarette. It would be ludicrous to offer a beer to a recovering alcoholic. Yet these same people that would agree with those two statements will still try to get you to eat their cake and will act all offended when you stick to your guns by saying “no thank you”. You may have had great success in weight loss and be living the healthiest life you ever have, and they will try to derail you. You just have to remain strong and eventually they will get over it. If not, it is their problem not yours. You are the one who lives in your body. You are the one who is responsible for your health. And when you give in by getting back onto sugar, you will likely at sme point be the paying for Metformin, test strips and other doctors bills. Those who egged you on to eat that birthday cake are not going to step up and pay those medical bills for you, and you can count on this, a fair amount of them will whisper in their little circles about how good you did, and then how you blew it.

Be responsible to yourself, your future depends on it.

Rest in Peace Laverne

Early Tuesday morning as I was enjoying my first cup of coffee and watching our local news and weather, I was saddened to learn about the death of Penny Marshall as a result of complications from diabetes. Ms. Marshall was a television and Hollywood icon, in the seventies I always loved watching her playing the role of Laverne on the Happy Days spin off Laverne and Shirley. She was a talented and funny lady who went on to become a highly successful movie director. Ms Marshall made history when she became the first woman to ever gross more than $100 million for directing a film. The film was the 1988 hit “Big” starring Tom Hanks.

I do not want to jump into too many conclusions about Ms. Marshall’s death, except that in my experience with people whom I have known who also died of complications from diabetes, it has been exclusively because they did not control their disease by eating a diabetes friendly diet, nor did they attempt to control their weight in any fashion. Diabetes is a disease which can be managed, this disease does not have to cause your early death. The ravages of Type 2 Diabetes can actally be reversed through proper diet and exercise. Yet, too many people settle to monitor their blood sugar and take chances with their health by continuing to eat poorly. Too many have the thought they can carry on their lives as they did pre-diabetes because they can simply take a pill or a shot of insulin in order to keep them “healthy”. The reality though, it matters little how much money you have, nor your access to the best doctors and medicines, if you do not manage your disease through diet and exercise, you will eventually suffer possible amputations of extremities and or death at some point.

Why is it so hard for so many diabetics to give up foods they know are destructive to their health?

To be successful in achieving optimal health and permenent weight loss, the nature of human complexity needs to be considered. Most foods we consume today as a part of the Standard American Diet are full of sugar and can be addicting physically and emotionally. Sadly, there are many people who would rather face death than to change their way of eating. It is as if the subconscious mind quits caring about logic and science. As a species, we humans are physical, emotional and social beings. Many folks will flat reject learning about healthy eating and living, with a good many even rationalizing or making excuses why they can not change their ways.

It is not uncommon that folks will give reasons and excuses to continue down their path to dietary suicide. Yes, suicide is the word. If you refuse to change your dietary habits after a diabetes diagnosis, then you are committing a slow suicide and your family will have to pick up the broken pieces. This being the case, remember, it is never just about you in these situations. Your actions, or lack there of, impacts your loved ones too. You may not have a conscious thought of wanting to die, you likely do not want to. Our brains are designed to dim awareness to information that causes us distress and anxiety.. For many folks, the very thought of changing the way they eat is a huge source of distress and anxiety. So many can not fathom a life without sweet treats and such. Unhealthy, sugar laden foods are a slow working poison, but the human mind can fear change more so than it fears a unhealthy diet.

If you are the type who has an addictive mind, you likely will always be able to dream up a solid reason to justify the continuation of your addiction to unhealthy sugar laden foods. Many food addicts will resort to using the line “If you had a life like mine, you would binge too”. Sorry, but that kind of thinking is a lame cop out, please refrain from getting into a self defeating cycle of of self pity and gloom if you have a diagnosis of diabetes and a weight issue. You can live a healthy life, if you make the choice to do so. Many people with addictive personalities will lose total control once the addiction to their food choices takes hold. Often the food addict will lose control of their own descision making. Over eating, eating poorly and remaining obese in spite of health consequences are prime examples the power a sugar addiction has over the individual.

Over eating is also too often the result of a low self esteem. If you read social media from weight loss apps such as Weight Watchers, you can see this every day, multiple times. This makes people vulnerable to negative peer pressure, addictions and emotional binging. Have you ever feared appearing different than others and believe that changing the way you eat will result in a loss of social status? People will also over eat to raise dopamine and serotonin activity in the brain so that they can dull the frustration, disappointment and pain of life. Is this you? If so, all negativity can be turned around. Changing your diet can go hand in hand with a new attitude about yourself, life and the many possibilities ahead of you. Know that a healthy diet goes hand in hand with a healthy attitude about life and a love of life.

If you are obese and or have been diagnosed with diabetes, please acknowledge the problem. Ackolwedge the difficulties of getting through it, and just do it. You have to face facts, accept your discomforts and then work your way through them. Your mind may not like the changes you have to make to accomodate a new healthier life, but you have to stick with it until the changes begin to just feel natural instead of foreign. No one can cure an addiction unless they are willing and have made the personal choice to fight through it. The key to getting through a food addiction is to make the commitment to stick through dietary changes that will make you healthier. Go forth with the knowledge and comfort that every day spent working to a heathier life will become easier and more pleasurable.

Low Glycemic Index Foods

 

screenshot_20181115-113045~2393868930185126298..jpgTo make easy low glycemic index food choices, you will need to stock the right foods. Here are ideas for what to keep in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. These foods have optimum flavor and nutritional value and work well, in moderation, in a low glycemic index diet.

What to keep in your pantry:

 

  • Asian sauces. Hoisin, oyster, soy, and fish sauces are a good basic range. Also jarred or canned Thai curry pastes, Chinese garlic chili paste, and mirin (sweet rice wine) for genuine flavors.
  • Barley. One of the oldest cultivated cereals, barley is very nutritious and high in soluble fiber. Look for products such as Pearl Barley to use in soups, stews and pilafs.
  • Black pepper. Buy fresh ground pepper or grind your own peppercorns.
  • Bread. Low-GI options include whole grain, 100% stone-ground whole wheat, pumpernickel, sourdough, English muffins, flat bread, and pita.
  • Breakfast cereals. These include traditional rolled oats, natural muesli, and low-GI packaged breakfast cereals.
  • Broth. Make your own or buy prepared products, which are available in cans and aseptic containers, or in cubes or granules Look for low salt options.
  • Bulgar wheat. Use it to make tabbouleh, or add to vegetable burgers, stuffings, soups, and stews.
  • Canned evaporated fat free milk. This makes an excellent substitution for cream in pasta sauces.
  • Canned fish. Keep a good stock of canned tuna packed in spring water, and canned sardines and salmon. Fish canned in oil contains about 10 times more fat than fish canned in water. If you prefer to buy tuna in oil, check the ingredient list closely for the type of oil used; canola, olive or soybean is best.
  • Canned fruit. Have a variety of canned fruit on hand, including peaches, pears, apples, and nectarines. Choose brands labeled with “No added sugar” and packed in juice.
  • Canned vegetables. Sweet corn and tomatoes can hep to boost the vegetable content of a meal. Tomatoes in particular, can be used freely because they are rich in anti-oxidants, as well as having a low-GI. Recipe-ready diced tomatoes are ultra-convenient for pasta sauces and other dishes.
  • Cornmeal. 100% stone-ground dried corn, either white or yellow, retains the most nutrients. It can be used for polenta, baking, and breading foods for oven frying.
  • Couscous. Nutritious whole wheat couscous is now sold in many supermarkets. It only takes minutes to soak it in hot broth or water as an ingredient in casseroles or an accompaniment to braised dishes.
  • Curry pastes. A tablespoon or so of jarred or canned Thai-style curry paste makes a delicious sauce base.
  • Dried fruit. These include apricots, raisins, prunes and apples.
  • Dried herbs. Oregano, basil, ground coriander, thyme, and rosemary can be useful to have on standby in the pantry.
  • Honey. Those with the lowest-GI include the floral honeys, not the commercially blended types.
  • Jam. A dollop of good quality all fruit (with no added sugar) on toast contains fewer calories than butter or margarine.
  • Legumes. Stock a variety of legumes (dried or canned) including lentils, spli peas, and beans. Incorporating them in a recipe, perhaps as a substitution for meat, will lower the fat content of the finished dish.
  • Mustard. Whole grain mustard is useful as a sandwich spread, in salad dressings, and in sauces. Dijon style mustard is a wonderful addition to sauces.
  • Noodles. Many Asian noodles, such as udon and rice vermicelli, have low to intermediate GI values because of their dense texture, whether they are made from wheat or rice flour.
  • Nuts. Try a handful of almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, or pecans (about an ounce) every other day. Try them sprinkled over your breakfast cereal, salad, or dessert, and enjoy unsalted nuts as a snack as well. Seeds such as sesame, sunflower, and flax seed are delicious in both savory and sweet dishes.
  • Oils. Try olive oil or canola oil for general use; some extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings, marinades, and dishes that benefit from its flavor; and toasted sesame oil as a condiment for Asian style stir fries. Canola and olive oil cooking sprays are handy too.
  • Pasta. A great source of carbohydrates and B vitamins. Fresh or dried, the preparation is easy. Simply cook in boiling water until just tender, or al dente, drain, and top with your favorite sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  • Quinoa. This whole grain cooks in about 10 to 15 minutes and has a slightly chewy texture. It can be used as a substitute for rice, couscous, or bulgar wheat. It is very important to rinse the grains thoroughly before cooking.
  • Rice. Basmati, brown, wild, short grain white, and Uncle Ben’s converted rice varieties have a much lower GI than, for example, jasmine rice.
  • Rolled oats. Besides their use in oatmeal oats can be added to cakes, muffins, brads and desserts.
  • Salt. Use in moderation.
  • Spices and seasoning blends. Most spices and seasoning blends, including ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, nutmeg, and chili powder, should be bought in small quantities and stored in a cool dark place.
  • Tomato pasta sauce. The classic meatless Italian tomato sauce is typically seasoned with onion, garlic, and oregano. Look for brands without high fructose corn syrup to avoid unwanted calories and sugar. It can be used in pastas, pizzas, or braised meats and poultry.
  • Tomato paste. Use in soups, sauces and casseroles.
  • Vinegar. White or red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar are excellent in vinaigrette dressings in salads.

What to keep in your refrigerator:

 

  • Bacon. Bacon is a valuable ingredient in many dishes because of the flavor it offers. You can make a little bacon go a long way by trimming off all fat and chopping it finely. Ham is oftena more economical and leaner way to go. In casseroles an soups, bacon or a ham bone imparts a fine flavor, with less fat.
  • Capers, olives and anchovies. These can be bought in jars and kept in the refrigerator. They are a tasty addition to pasta dishes, pizzas and salads.
  • Cheese. Reduced-fat cheddar cheese, or other favorite reduced-fat types, are great to keep handy in the fridge. A block of Parmesan is indispensable and will keep for up to 1 month. Reduced -fat cottage and ricotta cheeses have a short life so are best bought as needed The can be a good alternative to butter or margarine spread in a sandwich.
  • Condiments. Keep jars of minced garlic, chile, or fresh ginger in the refrigerator to spice up your cooking in an instant. Ready-diced onions and bell peppers, sold in most supermarket produce sections, also speed healthy meal preparation.
  • Cream and sour cream. Keep to very small amounts, as these are high in saturated fat. Substitute fat-free sour cream, which tastes very similar to the full fat variety. A 16 ounce container of heavy cream can be poured into ice cube trays and frozen, providing small servings of cream easily when you need it. Adding one ice-cube block o cream to a dish adds only 5 1/2 gram of fat.
  • Eggs. To enhance your intake of omega-3 fats, use omega-3 enriched eggs. The fat in eggs is predominantly monounsaturated, and therefore considered a “good fat”.
  • Fish. Try a variety of fresh fish.
  • Fresh fruit. Almost all fruit makes an excellent low-GI snack. When in season, try apples, oranges, pears, grapes, grapefruit, peaches, apricots, strawberries and mangoes.
  • Fresh herbs. These are available in most supermarkets, and there really is no substitute for the flavor they impart For variety, try parsley, basil, mint, chives and cilantro.
  • Jarred vegetables. Sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and roasted egg plant and peppers are handy to keep as flavorsome additions to to pasta and sandwiches.
  • Lemons. A lemon is one of the most versatile ingredients in the low-GI kitchen. Try a squeeze along with ground black pepper on vegetables instead of a pat of butter. Lemon juice provides acidity that slows gastric emptying and lowers the GI value. Convenient frozen 100% pure lemon juice is sold in most supermarkets.
  • Mayonnaise. Select brands prepared with canola or olive oil.
  • Meat and poultry. Lean varieties are better. Try lean beef, lamb, pork chicken and turkey.
  • Milk. Fat free or low fat milk is best, or try low fat calcium enriched soy milk.
  • Tofu. Add to stir fries and casseroles.
  • Vegetables. Keep a variety of seasonal vegetables on hand such as spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Asian greens, zucchini and mushrooms Bell peppers and scallions and sprouts are great to bulk up a salad. Sweet corn and sweet potato are essential to your low-GI food stores.
  • Yogurt. Low-fat natural yogurt provides the most calcium for the fewest calories. It also provides “friendly bacteria”, protein, and riboflavin, and unlike milk, is suitable for people who are lactose intolerant. Low fat yogurt is a good substitute for sour cream. Have vanilla or fruit versions as a dessert, or use natural plain yogurt as a condiment in savory dishes However, if using yogurt in a hot meal, make sure you add it at the last minute, and do not let it boil or curdle.

What to keep in your freezer:

 

  • Frozen berries. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries can make any dessert special, and with frozen ones, you do not have to wait until berry season to indulge. They are also a great addition to breakfasts and snacks.
  • Frozen meat, poultry and seafood. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pork tenderloins and loose pack shrimp are widely available. Take out just the amount you need to thaw for your recipe.
  • Frozen vegetables. Keep a package of peas, beans, corn, spinach, or mixed vegetables in the freezer. These are handy to add to a quick meal.