Sugar Free Key Lime Pound Cake

Nutritional Information

Serves 16

Calories 210

Net Carbs 2 grams

Fat 18 grams

Protein 7 grams

Ingredients

Cake

3 1/2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup Swerve, Granular

4 large eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup key lime juice

2 teaspoons key lime zest

Glaze

3 Tablespoons Swerve, Confectioner’s

2-3 teaspoons key lime juice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9×5 loaf pan very well.

Whisk  together almond flour, coconut flour baking powder and salt.

Beat together butter and Swerve til fluffy and add eggs til well combined and beat in half of the almond flour mixture.

Beat in the almond milk, lime juice and lime zest and then beat in the remaining almond flour mixture.

Put into the loaf pan and bake about 1 hour, covering with foil after about 45 minutes. Bake until the edges are golden brown and the top is firm to the touch and the middle is cooked through.

Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes and flip onto wire rack to cool completely.

Glaze

Whisk the Confectioner’s Swerve and lime juice together til smooth and drizzle over the cooled cake.

 

Diabetic Retinopathy

Type 2 diabetes is a damn serious condition, yet it is not uncommon to encounter people who have it which act as if it is of no true concern to them. At least in the moment that is. It is astounding to see how for some, the prospect of a high carb meal far outweighs their overall concern for the very real harm that increase of blood sugar is doing with in their body. I have personally known diabetics that will monitor their blood sugar and then proceed to consume a carbohydrate rich meal, or go out for a night of drinking. This is ignorance in the least, and stupidity at the worst. Sadly, most of the people I have known who do not take their diabetes seriously, are the most surprised when they begin losing their toes, feet and or vision. This is a real and common issue that I do not always have much sympathy for. Afterall, if you know the risks of continuing an unhealthy diet, yet proceed to do so anyhow, it is your fault when you begin losing body parts and vision. You have to take personal responsibility for your health and wellbeing as no one else is going to do it for you, and that includes your doctor. Your doctor may give you medications, but it is up to you to actually do what is right for yourself.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

I can live without a toe. I could survive just fine with a modern style leg or foot prosthetic. But, I can not imagine living the rest of my life blind, can you?

Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects your eyes. It’s caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina).

In the beginning stages, diabetic retinopathy may not cause you to experience any symptoms or you may only experience mild vision problems.  Eventually, it can lead to your blindness. Diabetic Retinopathy can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication. When you continue to eat a high carb diet as a diabetic, you really need to ask yourself if what you are about to consume is actually worth your vision tomorrow. If a high carb snack is worth blindness to you, then knock yourself out I guess, just do not whine about your condition when it actually has a negative impact on your life. You did it to yourself!

Diabetic Retinopathy is caused over a period of time when too much sugar in your blood leads to the blockage of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, thereby shutting off the blood supply to them. As a result, your eyes attempt to grow new blood vessels. The problem is, these new blood vessels don’t develop properly and can easily leak.

Think about this the next time you are snarfing down an extra large value meal with a milkshake or soda at your local fast food joint.

Can you imagine losing the ability to look into the eyes of your loved ones?

Would you miss this emotional connection with your children or grandchildren?

There are two types of diabetic retinopathy:

  • Early diabetic retinopathy. In this more common form — called nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) — new blood vessels aren’t growing (proliferating).When you have NPDR, the walls of the blood vessels in your retina weaken. Tiny bulges (microaneurysms) protrude from the vessel walls of the smaller vessels, sometimes leaking fluid and blood into the retina. Larger retinal vessels can begin to dilate and become irregular in diameter, as well. NPDR can progress from mild to severe, as more blood vessels become blocked.Nerve fibers in the retina may begin to swell. Sometimes the central part of the retina (macula) begins to swell (macular edema), a condition that requires treatment.
  • Advanced diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can progress to this more severe type, known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In this type, damaged blood vessels close off, causing the growth of new, abnormal blood vessels in the retina, and can leak into the clear, jelly-like substance that fills the center of your eye (vitreous).Eventually, scar tissue stimulated by the growth of new blood vessels may cause the retina to detach from the back of your eye. If the new blood vessels interfere with the normal flow of fluid out of the eye, pressure may build up in the eyeball. This can damage the nerve that carries images from your eye to your brain (optic nerve), resulting in glaucoma. (1)

Poor control of blood sugar and high blood pressure can increase your risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy. Anyone who has diabetes can develop this condition and the longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk of developing it becomes.

 Complications of Diabetic Retinopathy can lead to serious vision problems:

  • Vitreous hemorrhage. The new blood vessels may bleed into the clear, jelly-like substance that fills the center of your eye. If the amount of bleeding is small, you might see only a few dark spots (floaters). In more-severe cases, blood can fill the vitreous cavity and completely block your vision.Vitreous hemorrhage by itself usually doesn’t cause permanent vision loss. The blood often clears from the eye within a few weeks or months. Unless your retina is damaged, your vision may return to its previous clarity.
  • Retinal detachment. The abnormal blood vessels associated with diabetic retinopathy stimulate the growth of scar tissue, which can pull the retina away from the back of the eye. This may cause spots floating in your vision, flashes of light or severe vision loss.
  • Glaucoma. New blood vessels may grow in the front part of your eye and interfere with the normal flow of fluid out of the eye, causing pressure in the eye to build up (glaucoma). This pressure can damage the nerve that carries images from your eye to your brain (optic nerve).
  • Blindness. Eventually, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or both can lead to complete vision loss. (1)

Diabetes doesn’t necessarily have to lead to a loss of your vision. By making the choice to take an active role in your diabetes management, you can go a long way towards the prevention of complications.  Regular eye exams, good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure, and early intervention for vision problems can help prevent severe vision loss. Once you get this terrible complication from diabetes, you are not going to get over it, there is no cure. Surgery often slows or stops the progression of diabetic retinopathy, but that is a best case scenario as it’s not a cure.

Manage your diabetes.

Make healthy eating habits and physical activity part of your lifestyle! Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Take oral diabetes medications or insulin as directed.

Monitor your blood sugar level.

You may need to check and record your blood sugar level several times a day — more-frequent measurements may be required if you’re ill or under stress. Ask your doctor how often you need to test your blood sugar. But do not be a fool and use a good reading as justification to eat or drink those high carb foods you know that you should avoid!

Ask your doctor about a glycosylated hemoglobin test.

The glycosylated hemoglobin test, or hemoglobin A1C test, reflects your average blood sugar level for the two- to three-month period before the test. For most people, the A1C goal is to be under 7 percent.

Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.

Eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and losing excess weight can help. Sometimes medication is needed too, but not always.

If you smoke or use other types of tobacco, ask your doctor to help you quit.

 Smoking increases your risk of various diabetes complications, including Diabetic Retinopathy.

Pay attention to vision changes.

Contact your eye doctor right away if you experience sudden vision changes or your vision becomes blurry, spotty or hazy.

(1) MayoClinic.org

Believe In Yourself

We frequently tell you to create your life. You alone have administrative powers in your life. Regardless of your situation right now, you can create a vision of the life that you want. Once you have your vision, focus every thought and action towards achieving that life. We have never told you that it would be easy, only possible. It’s up to you. However, working through great difficulty is still easier than allowing your health to deteriorate and living as a chronically ill person. If you find yourself chronically ill today, listen to your medical doctor. Listen to everything he tells you. Don’t listen selectively to justify unhealthy habits.  Listen and do your part. Pursue health with everything in you. Envision yourself healthy and develop healthy habits. Your quality of life will be better. If you’re healthy now, your health will be even better when you focus all of your efforts on becoming your best self.

Fill your life with positive input in the form of people who encourage you to excel. Be pro-active in self advocacy. Champion your own cause. Never allow yourself to be manipulated by negative people and circumstances that do not have your best interest at heart. When the office doughnut pusher confronts you with a box of beautifully decorated doughnuts, smile and say, “No way!” That individual might be trying to keep you weaker than them. Rise up and do what’s best for you.

When you get your vision and pursue it with your whole heart, you will see a different life begin to unfold right before your eyes. Take control. You are the Boss.

To Snack or Not Snack

Friday night, I posed a question on social media about favorite snacks only to have one individual respond “I do not snack, I eat 3 meals a day”. Now, with social media conversations too much is left out of context to where you do not always know if the person is just being concise in their statement because that is how they write, or possibly their shortness is just them being a tad bit snarky. We just do not know when there is no tone of voice to be heard, or body and facial expressions to be seen. Unless I am given reason to believe otherwise, I will always assume they are just concise in how they write, and that is no problem with me.

So, should I snack or not?

My question to you would be – what are you trying to accomplish with a snack?

Well dummy, I’m trying to quell my hunger, DUH!

Okay, now for me to be serious about my question of what are you trying to accomplish. If you are snacking purely out of boredom as we can be prone to do, I would say not to snack. If you are working at maintaining your metabolism, by controlling your blood sugar and insulin levels, then by all means enjoy a couple healthy snacks during the day. There is no hard and fast rules written anywhere dictating if it is alright for you to snack or not, Nor should there ever be as long as what you are consuming is providing benefit to your body as a whole.

If you are going to eat junk foods that are full of sugar, simple carbs and unhealthy fats and excessive sodium, just say NO to yourself.

If your snack is something good for your body, GO FOR IT!

Me personally, I snack almost all day on most days of the week. I have a certain amount of calories and macronutrients as a goal to consume each and every day. For me, by spreading my consumption of foods out during the course of the day, it is a better method for managing my blood sugar levels. It keeps me on an even keel to enjoy an ounce of almonds, maybe a couple boiled eggs, whole fat greek yogurt, and fruit during the day, These are all healthy snacks that provide my body with the nourishment of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats which keep my body fit, trim and healthy. These snacks help give me the energy to perform my physically demanding job and to keep up with my hard core weight training regiment that I work at 4 days per week. If this is more than your body needs, then you do not need to do it. But, if it helps to keep you well mentally and physically, then by all means snack away on healthy foods.

A snack does not necessarily have to be junk food.

Create your snack to be a small, but well composed meal instead.

Losing weight is about more than just cutting calories. It is about managing your metabolism, and even if yours is slow, you can still learn to manage it.

The bottom line of controlling your metabolism lies in controlling the metabolic hormones in your body, insulin and glucagon specifically. When you consume a meal, or snack comprised of  a good blend of the macronutrients you need for optimal health, you set the hormonal tone in your body for the next several hours.

Your body needs protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats!

At some point in time, you will need to recharge with more macronutrients to fine tune the metabolic system again. How often you need to do this is all unique to each individual, considering how active you may be, or the physical condition of your body. In other words, if you carry too much body fat, it may be better for you to eat up to 6 small meals per day instead of 3. This is just one of those things you have to figure out, as your needs can, and will change as your body composition changes. What you need one year from today may be entirely different than what you need today, and that is a natural part of achieving a healthy body through weight loss.

Snacks while on the run should provide you with protein and complex carbohydrates. I deliver construction and industrial supplies from a semi during the week and with a 60 hour work week, I am always on the go. Yet, I pre-plan my road food and carry premeasured almonds, a couple boiled eggs, an apple, and yogurt along with a lean deli meat wrapped in a high fiber tortilla which I wash down with a protein shake. I also carry plenty of bottled water in order to remain well hydrated while on the road.

If you find yourself having to buy food while on the go, with a little bit of planning you can always find something healthy to carry you over until you can have a proper meal. It may take a little bit of work to find commercially available snack foods that are not full of sugar or refined carbohydrates, but it is not impossible. Just do not convince yourself that any of the fat free versions of any junk food are any better than the types full of fat. Usually fat free foods have more sugar added to them to improve the taste that is lost when the fat is removed. If you are going to succumb to a junk food snack, you might as well go ahead and get the ones with fat since fat is actually more satiating than non-fat.

Control your hunger instead of letting your hunger control you!

You DO have the power to do so!

No Sugar, No Flour, Now What?

In the journey of becoming a healthier individual, people will correctly quit eating certain foods. It is a wise decision to give up sugar and refined flours as a part of a healthy nutritional lifestyle.

But, do we actually know why these are good decisions?

Have you really thought this through?

Have you considered what to use as healthy alternatives?

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we have advocated from the beginning that people quit consuming sugar, and foods that contain added sugars, and simple carbohydrates in general. Table sugar  and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are the two main types of added sugar in the Western diet. Sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose, while high fructose corn syrup is about 45% glucose and 55% fructose. One of the reasons that added sugars are harmful is that they can increase inflammation, which can lead to diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, obesity and more. Sugar is as harmful within our body as it is delicious to the palate, yet most people will not give it up and will therefore eventually suffer the consequences of consuming too much of this white crystalline goodness over the years. Sugar is known to trigger the same receptors in the brain as cocaine, and it is processed by the body in an almost identical manner as alcohol. Your feeling of addiction to sugar and simple carbs is a real thing, it is not a figment of your imagination.

Why give up refined flour?

In the case of refined wheat flour you are getting too many grams of carbohydrates and an abundance of empty calories that provide your body with very minimal nutrition. These carbs then contribute to an increase of blood sugar and insulin. If you consume too much on a daily basis, then your hormonal response is always going to be out of balance the same as if you were eating actual sugar. When you consume refined white flour, all of the nutrients and fiber have been removed, it is just another refined, simple carbohydrate.  is linked to drastically increased risk of many diseases, including obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Almost every nutrition expert agrees that refined carbs should be limited if not entirely eliminated.

 Because many people do not want to give up baked goods entirely when they set off on a mission to discover good health,  many people become interested in replacing white flour with more wholesome options for baking and cooking. And there are indeed a few healthy alternatives you can turn to such as:

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is a grain- and gluten-free flour made by grinding dried coconut meat into a soft, fine powder.It’s more calorie-dense than traditional grain-based flours and a good source of protein, fat, fiber, and minerals like iron and potassium. Unlike grain flours, coconut flour contains a substantial amount of fat. This fat is primarily saturated and largely comprised of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which may reduce inflammation and support healthy metabolism. Although it’s controversial, saturated fat from coconut likely affects your  health differently than fast food, fried foods, and processed meats — and may even offer benefits. Coconut flour is also rich in antioxidants and appears to have antimicrobial properties.

A 1/2-cup (64-gram) serving provides:

  • Calories: 210
  • Protein: 8.5 grams
  • Fat: 13 grams
  • Carbs: 34 grams
  • Fiber: 25 grams
  • Iron: 22% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Potassium: 18% of the DV

Coconut flour has a mildly sweet flavor that lends itself to cakes, cookies, breads, and other baked goods. It tends to have a gritty texture and absorb a lot of liquid, which may dry out some baked goods. Thus, it works best in dishes that use eggs to maintain moisture and structure, such as muffins. When substituting coconut flour for wheat flour, use about 1/4 of what the recipe calls for, then replace the remaining 3/4 with another type of flour. Additionally, because it needs more liquid than other flours, add 1 egg per 1/4 cup (32 grams) of coconut flour in baked goods. (1)

Almond Flour

Almond flour is made by grinding blanched almonds into a fine powder. As it doesn’t contain grains, it’s naturally gluten-free. Note that almond flour is different than almond meal, which is a coarser ingredient made by grinding almonds with their skins still intact. Almond flour is a good source of magnesium, omega-3 unsaturated fats, plant protein, and vitamin E — a powerful antioxidant. Keep in mind that almonds, like other nuts and seeds, are high in calories.

The nutrients in this flour offer several benefits, such as improved insulin resistance, as well as lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure. Almonds may also protect brain health, as vitamin E may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s.

A 1/2-cup (56-gram) serving of almond flour offers :

  • Calories: 340
  • Protein: 12 grams
  • Fat: 30 grams
  • Carbs: 12 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Calcium: 5% of the DV
  • Iron: 6% of the DV
  • Potassium: 8% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 65% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 100% of the DV

Almond flour has a nutty flavor and is easy to use. In most recipes, you can simply substitute almond flour for wheat flour at an equal ratio. It works well in baked goods like pancakes, cookies, scones, and biscuits, plus certain savory foods like homemade pasta and meatballs. (1)

Quinoa Flour

Quinoa flour is made by grinding quinoa to make a fine powder. This gluten-free pseudocereal is widely considered a whole grain, which means that it hasn’t been processed and refined, leaving its original nutrients intact. Notably, it’s a good source of protein, fiber, iron, and unsaturated fats. Furthermore, it boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may benefit digestive health, inhibit tumor growth, and lower overall disease risk.

A 1/2-cup (56-gram) serving of quinoa flour provides:

  • Calories: 200
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 38 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Iron: 33% of the DV
  • Potassium: 4% of the DV

Quinoa flour lends a moist, tender texture to baked goods. Substitute it for half the amount of wheat flour in most recipes. Some people find this flour bitter, but you can diminish the aftertaste by toasting it on a dry skillet over medium heat for 5–10 minutes, stirring gently, before adding it to your recipe. Quinoa flour is great for pancakes, muffins, and pizza and pie crusts. You can also use it to thicken soups and sauces. (1)

Buckwheat

Buckwheat flour is made from ground buckwheat, a plant known for its grain-like seeds. Despite its name, buckwheat is unrelated to wheat and therefore gluten-free. Buckwheat flour has an earthy flavor and is used to make traditional Japanese soba noodles. It’s a good source of fiber, protein, and micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus. Research shows that this flour may reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes and improve biomarkers of heart health. It may also have anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and prebiotic properties. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which support digestive health.

A 1/2-cup (60-gram) serving of buckwheat flour offers:

  • Calories: 200
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 44 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Iron: 17% of the DV
  • Manganese: 34% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 33% of the DV
  • Copper: 73% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV

For best results, buckwheat flour should be used in combination with other whole grain flours, comprising 25–50% of the total flour in a recipe. It works well in pancakes and quick breads and makes a delectable crumb coating for meat or other proteins. (1)

Whole Wheat Flour

Wheat flour is in most baked goods you’ll find at bakeries and supermarkets. Yet, whole wheat and white flour are vastly different. Whereas the whole wheat version is made by grinding entire wheat kernels into a powder, white flour removes the most nutrient-rich parts — the bran and germ. Thus, whole wheat flour is widely considered healthier.

It’s a good source of protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. As it contains gluten, it isn’t appropriate for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

A 1/2-cup (60-gram) serving of 100% whole wheat flour provides:

  • Calories: 200
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 42 grams
  • Fiber: 8 grams
  • Iron: 11% of the DV
  • Potassium: 5% of the DV

Whole wheat flour can be used in equal amounts as white or all-purpose flour in any recipe. Bear in mind that it gives a less fluffy texture than white flour because it’s unrefined. You can enjoy it in homemade breads, muffins, cakes, cookies, rolls, pizza dough, pancakes, and waffles. (1)

Summary

Some of these flours might fit into your nutritional needs, and some may not. It is up to you to decide what you want to consume, but at least this gives you an idea of healthier alternatives than simple refined white flour, and the reasons why they are healthier alternatives.

 

(1) Healthline.com

Common Sense Eating

Let me tell you a straightforward and  blunt fact of life that I cannot in good conscious sugarcoat for you. I am not one who is into hurting feelings, but to get my message through to you, I will not wrap it up in a pretty little package and top it with a ribbon and bow to make you feel good.

My mission is first and foremost to help you.

Do you know why every diet plan you have tried has always failed you?

It is because it lacked COMMON SENSE!

If your nutritional habits are not based in common sense, you are doomed to a life of being overweight or obese. It is as simple as that.

Which food group looks most like what you eat on a regular basis?

Be real with yourself if your meals are more like the lower picture than the one above.

Are the nutritional values of these two pictures even remotely close to being the same?

Common sense dictates that we need to fuel our bodies with good fuel if we want to be at our best level of health and fitness. Yet, fast food has become a daily staple for far too many in western society.

From US Center for Disease Control:

34% of children eat fast food on any given day.

Regular fast food consumption increases your risks for obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes & depression.

Fast food consumption increases 2.2% every year.

Fast food is high in calories and loaded with fat, sugar & salt. Most of the nutrition that would be present has been stripped away due to processing, so those things are added in order to make the food taste good. Combine that with a caffeine & sugar laden soft drink and it’s no wonder we all hit that work day slump around 3 pm. Fast food might taste good – but common sense should tell us, it’s not good for our body. Fueling our body with fast food is like knowingly putting bad fuel in our car.

It just does not make sense!

Now, let’s move on to commercial weight loss diet plans and why they fail you.

Common sense dictates that to lose weight, and keep it off, your nutritional habits have to become your lifestyle and not something temporary with an endpoint. The problem with every diet is there will always be an endpoint at some time in the future. 

One of the top weight loss companies in America, if not the top, has a convoluted diet plan that can, and does work for some. But, it leaves too much wiggle room for those who do not apply common sense. In their plan, which you pay good money for, foods are given an assigned number of points while healthier choices are not given any points at all. What happens, and why people fail at this plan is, they will eat all their points in poor nutritional choices and then fill up for the rest of the day on foods that do not have any points. The problem is the foods  that are not assigned points still have calories that add up. If you eat 500 calories per day over your caloric needs, common sense dictates you are going to still gain 1 pound per week no matter the foods that put you over are zero point foods. Common sense can, and does fly right out the window when you allow people wiggle room with their nutrition.

Diet Foods/Plans Sent to Your Home

There are more than a couple companies that will promise you weight loss by eating their foods and following their simple plans for an expensive fee. They entice you with menu pictures that look like the picture above,but what you receive is pictured below.

I have to tell you, my wife tried the Nutrisystem once a few years back. The food was simply awful, and was not satisfying at all. If I had a choice between eating these prepackaged foods or the MRE (Meals Ready To Eat) that we ate while in the field when I was in the military, I would go for the MRE.

But here is the larger problem with these prepackaged diet meals.

These programs really do not teach you anything about good nutrition, and you are not learning how to prepare healthy foods for yourself at home. For permanent weight loss, and successful management of your body fat levels, you have to learn to cook foods for yourself that are nutritionally sound and which are not full of empty calories that provide you no health benefit.

Ordering a month’s worth of food is easy, and the items are already made for you. But you won’t have your usual degree of control over what foods you choose to eat.  You can  expect to pay from about $230 to the mid $300s a month for the Nutrisystem foods, plus whatever you buy from the grocery store. The real question is whether you can continue to lose weight or maintain your weight when you are no longer relying on these prepackaged foods.

Common sense should tell you the odds are stacked against you.

Meal Replacement Drinks

While there may be some valid reasons to use meal replacement drinks on occasion, it does not make sense to believe you can or should use these for the long term. The smart money is once again, on preparing healthy and nutritional whole foods to nourish your body with.

It’s just good old fashioned common sense to do so!

In most cases, these products are designed to be bought and sold in bulk and do NOT contain fresh ingredients. Grocery stores keep them stocked on shelves for months. And they’re often kept in vending machines where they must be shelf-stable. These meal replacement drinks must have a long shelf-life, and they have be safe to consume without refrigeration. When both of these features go into any food, it can be an unhealthy combination. In most cases, the ingredients need to be heavily processed. And as a direct result of all that processing, there’s little whole-food nutrition or nutrients left over in the meal replacement itself. That means many of the necessary ingredients for healthy digestion, food absorption and a nutritionally sound diet are greatly reduced.

For anyone who wants to lose unwanted weight, it can be mighty tempting to skip real food and consume meal replacement drinks. However,  there’s one major problem with this strategy – meal replacement drinks for weight loss do not work over the long-term. While you might drop a few pounds quickly, you’re more likely to end up feeling deprived, restricted, low in energy and full of cravings for the foods you actually enjoy.

At David’s Way, we take a holistic, whole body approach to weight loss and management!

David’s Way is a healthy nutrition and active lifestyle based on years of personal experience and scientific research. Our methodology involves the consumption of a high protein, low carbohydrate, nutritionally sound and diabetic friendly diet. At David’s Way we don’t tell you what to eat so much as we tell you what not to eat. This is no weight loss gimmick, this simple plan is how our mothers, grandmothers and generations past used to feed us. It is simply a matter of using portion control when consuming healthy, whole foods, while avoiding foods that are not nutritionally sound. In other words, do not consume anything that does not provide you a nutritional benefit.

  • Do not consume sugar or simple carbs such as refined sugar, pasta and breads made of refined white flour. Avoid sugar sweetened drinks and alcoholic beverages as they are loaded in simple carbohydrates.
      1. Foods containing added sugar and simple carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar and insulin which will drive your cravings for more. If you have not had control over sugar and simple carbohydrates in the past, it is unlikely you will keep them under control in the future if you have been prone to binge eating. If you are addicted to simple carbs you will almost certainly have the same issues as an alcoholic who thinks he can enjoy just one drink. This might work occasionally, but will usually derail the individual entirely.
      2. The only caveat to not consuming simple carbs is fruit. The fiber in fruit acts to buffer the simple carbohydrates in them from just dumping into your bloodstream like happens when you eat sugar and other simple carbohydrates.
      3. In our recipe category, we have subcategories with plenty of sugar free dessert recipes that are delicious, and can be eaten by anyone including diabetics, while not having to concern yourself with the health issues and cravings which come from sugar.
  •  No processed foods as they are almost always high in sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats and          preservatives.
    1. While there are some processed foods that are nutritionally sound, most are not. If you are going to consume processed foods because of the convenience factor, be sure to read the label first. For example, if you purchase a sauce, read the label to identify whether the product contains added sugar, unhealthy fats, high amounts of sodium and any other ingredients which you might have to do a Google search of in order to even know what it might be.
  • Simply put, we encourage you to eat whole foods such as meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and dairy products that are easily prepared at home. Skip restaurants and fast food’s unless you know that you are able to make healthy choices from their menu.
    1. An example of a healthy choice in a restaurant would be meat and vegetable fajitas in a Mexican restaurant. You could enjoy this while skipping the flour tortillas and the corn tortillas and salsa that is usually served. Have a unsweetened drink with your meal instead of a soda pop or alcoholic beverage.
  • Be sure to track how many calories a day you consume and do not exceed the amount your body requires. Just as important, you want to ensure you are not under eating.
    1. If you find yourself going over on one day, simply eat lighter the next day and do not stress over it. One day is not going to derail your weight loss, especially if you are eating healthy, whole foods only. You can do an average of your daily caloric intake for the week, and if your average does not exceed what it would be if your calories were spot on each day, there is no need for worry about weight gain.
    2. If you have an exercise regimen, you will especially want to track your caloric intake in order to ensure you are consuming enough calories to fuel your physical activities. Too large a caloric deficit will cause you to lose lean muscle mass along with body fat. This will only serve to slow down your metabolism.
  • Be sure during your weight loss mode to eat a diet that is high in protein and lower in carbs, Do not skip out on healthy fats either as they are essential for good health and proper absorption of nutrients from the foods you eat.
    1. A diet that is higher in protein and which includes healthy fats will keep you satiated between meals far better than a diet that is higher in carbohydrates than protein.
    2. During your weight loss, try to consume no less than 35% and up to 50% of your calories from a variety of protein sources. Meats, seafood, dairy, eggs and even protein shakes that do not contain sugar. Once you are maintaining your weight, try to eat at least 35% of your calories from protein sources. Track your macro-nutrients!
    3. If you have a vigorous exercise regimen such as strength training and or running, be sure to eat from .8 grams to 1 gram per pound of body weight if you are female. And 1 gram to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight if you are male. Protein is a must in order to maintain, build and repair your lean muscle tissue which gets broken down during vigorous exercise.
  • Be accountable to yourself! Besides tracking your calories and macro-nutrients, weigh yourself no more than once per week, and aim for only a 1 pound per week weight loss, and no more than 2 pounds per week.
    1. Be consistent in your weigh in. Do it on the same day each week, at the same time of day and in the same clothing or lack thereof. We recommend weighing yourself before you even get dressed, and before you have anything to eat and drink.

Common Sense Approach!

David’s Way to Health and Fitness is about living a healthy lifestyle over living on a diet. We believe it keeping it simple, thereby reducing the level of stress which can come when on a weight loss mindset. What we advocate is nothing new under the sun, this lifestyle is just how life used to be lived before the epidemic of rampant obesity in America. It is about personal responsibility and accountability to self and loved ones as your health will always become a burden on others should you allow it to. Someone will always have to pick up the broken pieces behind you should you live a unhealthy lifestyle. Do not allow yourself to become a burden to your loved ones simply because of a lack of dietary control or discipline. You are better than this, and your loved ones deserve better.

Reduce Your Allostatic (STRESS) Load

The allostatic load is defined as the cost of chronic exposure to elevated or fluctuating endocrine or neural responses resulting from chronic or repeated challenges that the individual experiences as stressful. There is a difference between being stressed and being stressed out. Stress is a necessary function of survival while repeated negative stress increases the allostatic load to the breaking point. This negative over-loading is a major contributor to fat deposition, changes in brain structure, atherosclerotic plaques, left ventricular hypertrophy of the heart, glycosated hemoglobin, sustained hyperglycemia, high cholesterol with low high-density lipoprotein, increased oxidative stress, elevated proinflammatory markers and chronic pain and fatigue. (1) We need to learn how to adapt to the demands of everyday life in a way that will reduce this killer.

Eat a Healthy Diet

We always tell you to avoid added sugars and other refined carbs. They cause inflammation in your body and insulin fluctuations that increase cortisol production. Cortisol is the “fight or flight” hormone that is so good at turning on your stress levels that it sometimes enables people to perform super-human feats. The little ole’ lady that lifts the car off of the accident victim is pumped full of cortisol. Avoid foods that tend to increase this powerful glucocorticoid. Choose a variety of whole foods that include complex carbohydrates and lean protein. The healthy fats found in olive oil, avocados nuts, seeds and fatty fish will satisfy your hunger and decrease inflammation which is a huge physical stress and the beginning of almost all disease.

Get Some Exercise

The benefits of a good workout, with your doctor’s permission, are almost too many to list. Good aerobic activity can improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels, help increase the good cholesterol in your body, lower your total cholesterol, help you manage your weight and improve your blood pressure. Only you and your doctor can find the type of exercise that is best for you. While we are heavy strength trainers, we are well aware that this type of exercise is not for everyone. Sometimes gentler exercise is better to reduce cortisol levels. You might like yoga, tai chi or qigong that directly improve stress levels through breathing techniques. Walking, low-intensity cycling and swimming are good mid-level aerobic activities that many people can enjoy.

Choose Optimism

Coming from the Deep South, highly religious, super critical background that I do, optimism was actually discouraged in the culture where I lived. There was pressure to “measure up” for appearances. Everything about me was critiqued to a near psychotic level. Almost everyone in that culture is constantly struggling with a negative outlook on life. I never accepted this. I really just want to have fun and enjoy life so I never fit into that culture. The old question about whether the glass is half full or half empty is the eternal test of optimism and the answer is David’s answer, “It doesn’t matter, refill the glass.” which leads right into another method for reducing your allostatic load.

Control Your Life

Feeling in control of your life is one of the greatest stress reduction tools that there is. Even though the glass isn’t full, knowing that you have the ability to refill it is satisfying and soothing. When I set out to remodel my life at 62, people thought that I was crazy. I was living in a situation that would make a saint cuss and probably stroke out. When I tell you to “Create Your Life.” I am not telling you to do anything that I have not done. The stress that I was living in when my home was destroyed by tornadoes was deadly and that night I changed everything. When life hands you lemons, make sugar-free lemonade. When you are in control, you are not at the mercy of every whim of society or an individual. Believing that you can affect the course of your destiny is empowering and calming. Helplessness is a health disaster. While working to effect change in your life can be hard, it’s necessary to reduce your stress. People who live large and in charge are free from the oppression that individuals and societies attempt to hurl at us. At the very least, you can ALWAYS control your reaction to insult, stress and trauma.

 

 

(1) https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/allostatic-load

MCT Oil For Weight Loss

Ladies, these adds piss me off, and being as they are targeted directly towards you, they should anger you too! 

These people are taking you for a fool, and are also taking advantage of those who are struggling with their weight!

And of course, there are multitudes of shysters getting in on this fraud upon vulnerable people desperate to lose weight.

If you were fit and trim in high school, you are going to have to be as fit and trim now as you were then if you want to burn calories like you did back in the day.

If you are only slightly overweight, or have been obese for several years, do you honestly believe there is anything that could possibly be healthy about a 30 pound fat loss in 3 weeks? 

Do you think that a 30 pound fat loss in 3 weeks will give you a nicer looking body?

It won’t!

First off, you will not be losing a great amount of weight simply by adding MCT oil to your diet. Secondly, if you could possibly lose 30 pounds of body fat in three weeks, you are going to have larger problems than being overweight or obese in the first place.

When people lose weight too quickly, they’re often not able to successfully keep it off. In fact, research has found that after losing weight, about two-thirds of dieters gain more than they initially dropped.

Many “quick” diets and eating plans cut out whole food groups, which means you could be missing out on key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that you need to stay healthy. Dairy-free diets can result in a calcium deficiency while a diet that cuts carbs could mean you’re not getting enough fiber. Even on a lower-calorie diet, it’s important to get a range of nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, folate, and iron. In more extreme cases, malnutrition can result in a host of symptoms like decreased energy, generalized fatigue, anemia, brittle hair, and constipation.

When in doubt, pick an eating plan such as ours here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness.  that includes all of the key macronutrients — fat, carbohydrates, protein. The goal is to think about your plan as a lifestyle, not a diet. A diet is something you go on and something you go off. There is no start and end date. When we lose weight, we want to get rid of true adipose tissue, not muscle mass. When you cut calories too quickly, your muscle tone is guaranteed to also be lost along with the fat, as well, a loss in muscle mass will slow your metabolism. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. That means one pound of muscle burns more calories a day than one pound of fat. So, a loss of muscle means you’ll burn less calories a day!

Because of the water weight we all carry, it’s common to see slightly faster weight loss in the first two weeks, especially when on low-carb or no-carb diets. Exclusively, almost all the initial weight you will lose when first going on a weight loss plan is going to be water weight.

I can guarantee you the results are “NOT” that amazing!

I recently used myself as a test subject by using MCT oil to see if it made any difference to the amount of body fat I carry, or my weight. I used MCT oil for over a month while maintaining my diet of high protein, complex carbs and healthy fats coupled with a vigorous weight training regimen. The end result was no change in my body composition at all.

My weight remained the same, and so did my level of body fat!

I did exactly this! Two tablespoons per day!

Yes, fats are highly satiating when you eat them. I advocate that people keep healthy fats in their diet for this particular reason along with the fact that fats help our body to absorb the nutrients in the foods we eat.  However, if you are still eating refined sugars, or foods full of refined carbs, you will never quit having cravings for food. You will never feel satisfied after a meal for very long. Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, cookies and pretzels, may taste good, but they tend to make you feel hungry shortly after you eat them. Sugars and refined grains are digested rapidly, creating a sharp rise in blood sugar levels. In response, your body pumps out a large dose of the hormone insulin, which causes your blood sugar to drop quickly. This crash leaves you feeling sluggish and hungry, so you may crave more carbohydrates to replenish your energy. This can create a cycle of overeating that’s often difficult to break. I’m adding this about the carbs simply because some of these MCT oil product manufacturers imply you can continue to get the same results from their products even if you are still consuming carbs.

It is true that given the shorter chain length of MCTs, they are rapidly broken down and absorbed into the body. Unlike longer-chain fatty acids, MCTs go straight to your liver, where they can be used as an instant energy source or turned into ketones. Ketones are substances produced when the liver breaks down large amounts of fat. But here’s the rub, since MCT is digested quicker than  the LCT, it does get to be used as energy first. But, if there’s an excess of MCT, they too will eventually be stored as fat too. You can bet that if daily doses of MCT place you over your caloric needs to lose weight, you are not going to lose a single pound! MCT oil is approximately 130 calories per tablespoon. At two tablespoons per day, you have consumed 260 calories. If you exceed your caloric needs by 260 calories per day, then you can expect to actually gain one half pound of body fat per week! Please do not buy into the hype that MCT oil is going to cause your body to incinerate three times more calories over a six hour period. It is not going to happen unless you are at a caloric deficit.

But, there are indeed some benefits to using MCT.

While research is somewhat promising, there has still not been enough data to show that MCT oil will actually lead to weight loss.

MCT oil may help boost your strength if you’re elderly and weak. There’s also some evidence that MCT can raise the amount of energy used by your muscles. But other research shows it might not do that much to help get you through your workout.

MCT can help your body make ketones, an energy source for your brain that doesn’t have carbs. Some say drinking it will make your mind sharper. But if you don’t have a cognitive disorder, you aren’t likely to get a long-lasting brain boost just by adding some MCT oil.

MCT may also help soothe and treat skin infections. The lauric acid in MCT works as an antimicrobial, breaking down bacteria and virus walls to destroy them.

Some research shows MCT oil may help ease problems with thinking, memory, or judgement. If you have Alzheimer’s disease, your brain may not use glucose well. Some experts think using ketones as an energy source instead may help your brain work better.

MCT oil in your diet can also help lower LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol while also increasing your HDL (the “good”) cholesterol.

However, since I am not a doctor, my recommendation for you is to always consult with your personal physician should you suffer from any of the above conditions, and please do not believe everything you read in a magazine or social media site.

And now for the bad effects MCT can cause you:

Stomach pain

Gas

Cramps

Bloating

Diarrhea

Vomiting

My personal adverse reactions to MCT use was I became terribly full of gas and bloating. I found that I would sometimes have to pass gas about every few minutes for up to several hours after taking my MCT oil. This was no matter if I took it straight from the spoon, mixed in a protein drink, pre-workout drink or even mixed into a bowl of oatmeal.

 

 

The Impossible Burger Review

Not long ago, my younger sister suggested I do a review on Burger King’s vegetarian Impossible Whopper. I normally never eat fast foods and would have no reason to enter a fast food restaurant unless I was on the go and would not be able to eat for several hours. But, it is always good to know where one can go and still have a healthier choice of foods than the typical burger and fry meals served at almost all fast food establishments.I have not had a reason, nor opportunity since her suggestion to review the Impossible Whopper, but last Saturday I was excited to see my local Dillons grocery store is now selling the Impossible Burger. I bought a package for a review and found myself quite pleased with the product.

As you can see, the Impossible Burger almost looks like actual meat, and, I noticed this product did not have the faint smell of dog food as a couple other veggie burgers I have tried.

Hmm, vegetarian burgers that bleed as you cook them… This blood is what gives the Impossible Burger it’s meaty flavor. However, it is not truly blood of course. What this blood is, is Soy leghemoglobin which is short for legume hemoglobin — the hemoglobin found in soy, a leguminous plant. Leghemoglobin is a protein found in plants that carries heme, an iron-containing molecule that is essential for life. Heme is found in every living being — both plants and animals. (Heme in animals is carried by “hemoglobin” and “myoglobin” among other proteins.)

Out of all the fake meats I have sampled for reviews, the Impossible Burger truly is more meat like than I ever thought possible. In fact, I believe that once the burgers are dressed on a bun, most people would never know the difference between these and actual ground beef. The taste and texture are similar enough to the real thing that if someone said something about the taste, it could be played off on how you had seasoned the burgers before cooking. I’m not suggesting you fib about these burgers, I am just trying to illustrate a point to how much they do in fact resemble actual ground beef burgers. I will say, this carnivore likes these veggie burgers and will buy them for a little something different in the future.

Nutrition:

 From Impossible Burger Website:

Impossible Burger is made from proteins, flavors, fats, and binders. The key difference from your average beef burger? Our ingredients are derived from plants. Here’s an overview:

  • Protein from soy and potatoes
  • Flavor from heme (the molecule that makes meat taste, well, meaty)
  • Fat from coconut and sunflower oils make it sizzle on the griddle
  • Binders, methylcellulose and food starch, hold it together so you can make anything you want — meatballs, kebabs, patties, and more.

Want the details?  Here’s the ingredient list:

Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% Or Less Of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant), Soy Protein Isolate, Vitamins and Minerals (Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12).

The Impossible Burger comes in at 240 calories which is about 49 calories less than an equivalent 4 oz 80/20 ground beef patty. Nutritionally, these burgers have somewhat of an edge over their meat counter parts since they also contain 3 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein which is the same as ground beef. Impossible Burgers contain soy protein concentrate, which is a good source of fiber, as well as folate, copper, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, phosphorus, and iron, but most importantly, it’s the only commonly consumed plant protein that’s comparable in quality to animal protein. Soy protein carries a full complement of all nine essential amino acids which our bodies can only receive from the foods we consume.

Protein quality is typically defined in terms of protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), which is a measure of its essential amino acid composition and digestibility.  Higher PDCAAS means higher quality, with 1.00 being the highest score possible. Soy protein concentrate has a published PDCAAS of 0.95. For reference, conventional ground beef from cows has a published PDCAAS of 0.92. Soy protein’s high PDCAAS means you get plenty of nutritional bang for your buck with the Impossible Burger– a 4oz. serving has 31% of the daily value (DV) for protein. Comparing the DVs for different proteins is a better way of comparing two products than grams of protein alone. Two foods may have the same amount of protein per serving, but very different DVs because of differences in their PDCAAS.

The Impossible Burgers are going to cost you about $7.00 US for a package of 2 burgers. While this is more expensive than ground beef, it is still less expensive than going out to buy a hamburger anywhere you could go anyhow. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself how much is too much for healthy foods, and why? You could spend this much or more on a single serving of ice cream at your local Dairy Queen.

My bottom line is that while I do enjoy these vegetarian products, I am not going to give up my meats anytime soon. I enjoy a good steak on occasion and there is no good reason for me to not indulge in this delicious source of protein. Going vegetarian or vegan is a personal choice, but one thing I can promise you is – if you go vegetarian or vegan, this in itself does not in any way mean that you are also going to lose any weight. I have encountered several overweight and obese vegans over the years. No matter what you choose to eat, you must make wise decisions in the foods you consume. Moderation is still key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight no matter what you are eating on a daily basis.

Foods That Help Blood Sugar

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.