This past week, friends and family have been telling me about different diets. They want me to look into them. I really don't need to actually examine them. I discuss with them the goals of the diet and which foods are recommended to get a feel for how successful the diet will be for that individual.
All diets are about three dietary components mixed up with differing amounts and timing. The timing is usually eating more during the day instead of late at night. There is usually some fasting, Fasting is any time when you don't eat but can drink clear liquids to stay hydrated. What is really interesting is that people I care about are feeling they need to become healthier.
In the past, dieting meant giving up foods you love. Going on a diet was all about deprivation. It was miserable! It wasn't sustainable; so many people went on a yo-yo diet. They would lose weight and then gain it right back or gain even more weight repeatedly.
It doesn't have to be this way. You can eat very healthy food that you actually like to eat. You just have to educate yourself and be willing to try some new foods and recipes. One new food or recipe a week leads to a lasting change over 52 weeks in one year.
All diets are based off of changing the three basic macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Then there is the timing of when to eat or not eat, fasting. When you learn how to balance these and eat the best options from each macronutrient group, you will become much healthier. By finding foods that you love and are healthy, you make your own personalized diet that is sustainable.
Carbohydrates are the macronutrient that can be completely confusing. Carbohydrates are in vegetables. Colorful green, purple, red, orange, and yellow vegetables tend to have more nutrients. They have fiber that slows down the body's absorption of sugar. Fiber scrubs the digestive track leading to weight loss. Make sure you stay extremely well hydrated to help flush out the toxins without adding more stress to your body. These are the best foods to eat.
Some vegetables are high in starch. This leads to skyrocketing blood sugar, not just for diabetics, but for everyone. Examples are potatoes, rice, and grains. These can be processed into starchy foods like bread, pastas, and cereal. These don't just lead to increased blood sugar. Too much of these foods can lead to weight gain due to the additional sugars usually added to them.
Protein is interesting. Pork, sausages, and red meat should be consumed in moderation because they can increase cholesterol and risks of heart attack and/or stroke. Staying with chicken or fish is better. Chicken boosts your immune system. Fish contain omega 3's that assist with your brain's overall health.
We don't really have to eat meat all the time. A meal with just vegetables is a very healthy substitute. To get the nutrients that your body needs without meat, nutritional yeast can be substituted. It has a nice cheesy flavor. Nuts and seeds are also good options. They are high in healthy fats. Eat them in moderation so they don't cause you to gain weight.
Fat is the last macronutrient. It has a bad rap. Over the years, we've been taught fat is bad for us to eat. Not all fat is equal! Bad saturated fat is found in red meats, pork, dairy, fast food and baked foods. It can increase your bad cholesterol leading to heart disease and stroke.
Good unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, avocados, and olive oil. It increases good cholesterol. Good cholesterol picks up bad cholesterol to move it to the liver. The liver breaks it down and removes it from your system. Eating good fat aids in improved brain function due to the omega 3's. Fatty acids are extremely critical for your brain's ability to perform.
Source: "Know the Facts about Fat"
Harvard Health Publishing 04/19/2021
What you spend more time on and energy on in your life tends to improve over time. Why not spend more time interested in what you eat? You can get healthier over time, becoming more knowledgeable about nutrition. What you appreciate appreciates.
Just remember, it is quite challenging to eat right all the time. It takes time to learn about nutrition. Just when you think you have it down, a new study will come out, with new different conflicting information. Just learn a bit at a time and keep up with your continuing education. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie
2 1/2 cups ice cubes
1 cup of almond milk
1 cup of blueberries
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 teaspoons maple flavoring or vanilla flavoring
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds
1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon chia seeds
1.) Toss all the ingredients into a Ninja blender and blend until the ice cubes and spinach are completely chopped up, 3 minutes.
2.) Serve immediately. Serves 2 people.
This is a nutritionally dense smoothie. Blueberries and 100% pure cocoa powder are antioxidants that help with reducing inflammation in the body. Ceylon cinnamon helps with blood sugar regulation. Spinach provides iron to replenish red blood cells, and the carbs in chia seeds are mostly fiber.
The most interesting ingredients are flaxseeds. The flaxseeds are full of omega 3's helping to lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk of getting some cancers. The omega 3's add moisture to the skin reducing fine lines from aging. Make sure to grind it because the body can't process whole flaxseed. I use my coffee grinder and store it in an air tight solid container to keep it from spoiling. Refrigerating it is even better.
Source: "Flaxseed is Nutritionally Powerful"
Mayo Clinic Health System 03/21/2015
Now is a great time to start a garden. Gardening helps with exercise that helps burn off blood sugar. Vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, tend to help reduce blood sugar as well. It also helps offset inflation from the rising cost of food from increasing gas prices, that is hitting our wallets. I'm taking it a bit farther by adding growing mushrooms. No, they aren't the funny medicinal type. I'm trying out food grade pearl oyster mushrooms. I'll keep you posted on the results... In the meantime, if you have a favorite dish you would like to be diabetic friendly, just let me know by leaving a note below. Please comment, share, and come back next week for more recipe ideas and tips. Subscribe to the website if you would like weekly email reminders to add more recipes to your recipe list. Bon appetite!
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice but a compilation of research from medical sites. Make sure to see your doctor to have up-to-date lab work.