I’m so excited. I just watched a fantastic NBC news segment. It was about an exciting new way to treat type two diabetes. It may be possible to reverse it completely. It was about using a low carb diet. You may have heard about this if you’ve read a few articles here. I'll reference the study a little further in this article. Diet is an excellent place to start; but for some long-term diabetics, we may need to take it a bit further.
The NBC segment aired June 8th, 2022. You can find out about it by looking up, “Promising New Study Using Diet Change to Treat Type Two Diabetes.” Barbara Gower has been leading the study. She quite eloquently explained the idea. Over time our bodies get overloaded with carbohydrates that they can’t process. The body then turns to storing those carbs as fat in the body. It stores the fat between organs like the pancreas and liver.
A person that really looks like they’re in shape, can actually be diabetic. That person probably leads a very busy life. Some of us may not have time to prepare their food, so we choose to use fast food restaurants for our meals. I know I did.
People will look at you and say you’re not overweight so you can’t be diabetic. I had a personal experience with this. I had a texting doctor's appointment with a physician who told me I needed to lose weight. I had filled out a complete chart on my health including information about my height and weight. When I went to my general practitioner, I told him about this. He calculated my body mass index to be 21. That means I was where I needed to be for my height and weight. If I lose more weight, I will look like a skeleton. While some diabetics are overweight, not all diabetics are overweight!
Losing weight does help some diabetics reduce their blood sugar. There have been some studies in England very similar to the one I referenced done at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. You can find some information on diabetes.org.uk. The article is “Research Spotlight Putting Type 2 Diabetes into Remission.” They’ve gotten very similar results, working with diabetic’s diet. We may have to add a few points to these findings.
It’s taken time for our bodies to get to where they reject too many carbohydrates. That’s because a high carbohydrate diet leads to inflammation in the body that also causes beta cells in the pancreas to be destroyed. These cells produce insulin in your body. Insulin allows the glucose in your blood to be transported into your muscles and used.
There are even studies out there that show how the body actually regenerates its cells every seven years. So, if we take someone that’s been eating badly and warned that they may be prediabetic for say 15 years, it’s going to take a number of years for the body to be able to heal itself. By eating the right foods, you are on the right path. We just have to add time as a factor.
Another factor is our fast lifestyles. We have quit listening to our bodies. Now that you’re letting your body heal, it’s a great time to teach yourself to listen to your body. Biofeedback really helps. For example if you’re getting a pain on the left side of your body just around the bottom of your rib cage, this is probably your pancreas talking to you. It’s possible you forgot your insulin. It’s more likely you need to change your eating habits.
Another challenge is portion control. Restaurants serve us huge quantities of food. When I go out, I can usually take a second serving for another meal at home in a to go box. To get a feel for how much food you should eat at a meal, make a ball out of your fist. That is how big your stomach should be. It makes sense that we should only eat the same amount of food as the size of our fist. When we overeat, we stretch the stomach out harming the stomach barrier. This leads to more damage in the body and inflammation which can lead to diabetes, heart attack, stroke and more major health issues.
The UAB study did an excellent job of portion control. They actually sent boxes of food to be prepared. This helped the diabetic know how much to prepare. By controlling the ingredients, you control the nutrients as well as the portions. You eat in the right mix of vitamins and minerals to help heal the body.
Another interesting idea is fasting. You must consult your doctor before starting any fasting regimen, but the results are very interesting. By extending the periods of time that you are not eating food, you actually end up burning off the fats that have accumulated in your body. While you do this, make sure to stay hydrated with clear liquids without artificial sweeteners. I highly recommend you add electrolytes to your liquids. You may look into G2, a Gatorade product low in sugar with electrolytes.
The challenge when you do this is your insulin. Since you’re not eating food, you won’t need as much insulin. This is why I can’t stress enough how much you need to work with an endocrinologist, if you decide to fast. The doctor can guide you on adjusting your insulin to try to prevent hypoglycemia or even hyperglycemia.
I only fast for 12 hours during the day. I like my food. I’m willing to wait a little bit longer for my recovery. I haven’t done any extremely long fasts. I have to be able to test the weekly recipes like this one: Salmon Patties.
Total time 30 minutes Serves 5
1 can salmon 418 g
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons wild onions, minced (substitute yellow onion or shallots if you can’t find wild onions)
2 teaspoons fresh dill chopped
2 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter
1.) In a medium-size bowl, combine almond flour, dill, parsley, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt.
2.) Use a fork to combine the ingredients and smoosh out any lumps.
3.) Prepare the salmon. You will need to pull out any bones and/or dark brown meat.
4.) Add the salmon, minced onions, and eggs to the bowl. Mix well using the fork.
5.) Form the mixture into 10 miniature cakes. They should be about the size of a small woman’s palm.
6.) Heat up the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.
7.) Add the salmon patties; and cook for three minutes per side.
8.) Spoon the excess butter over the patties to keep them moist during the first three minutes of cooking. You will need to shift the patties, so they don’t get stuck to the bottom of the skillet while cooking on each side.
*It is typical to find fish bones in canned salmon. Always make sure to remove them.
**The dark brown meat in the salmon comes from the mud vein. It is like our endocrine system. It is also why some people don’t like fish. The mud vein causes the extreme fishy smell and taste that puts people off fish entirely.
There are several reasons to add salmon to your diet... The omega 3's found in it aid in brain health and help reduce inflammation in the body. It has selenium that the body uses in reproductive processes, DNA production, and thyroid hormone metabolism. It is rich in protein which aids in building muscle. Protein also helps diabetics prevent blood sugar spikes because its complex structure takes longer for the body to process.
Source: "Salmon Nutrition and Health Benefits"
This dish pairs well with coleslaw and a salad. It also happens to be the end of the growing season for many lettuces. Don’t hesitate to go outside and pick the last of your greens before they bolt. The flowers are beautiful and produce seeds for next year. Unfortunately, the lettuce will start to get bitter. So, enjoy it now while you can.
The garden is exactly where I’m headed, to weed around all the summer vegetables. It's also time to harvest many herbs. While I'm doing all this work, I take time to enjoy the flowers and find inspiration for new recipes from the herb garden. If you have a favorite recipe you would like to be diabetic friendly, just let me know by leaving a note below. I've learned how to swap blood sugar spiking ingredients for others with a lower glycemic index. It may take a week or two, but I love the challenge. Please comment, like, share, and come back next week for more recipes, ideas, and tips. Subscribe to the website, if you would like weekly email reminders to add more recipes to your recipe book.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, but a compilation of research from medical sites. Make sure to see your doctor and have up-to-date lab work.