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This dish is a super healthy dish for digestion. They do contain some starch like potatoes so supply some calories (approx 100 calories in a one cup serving) Jerusalem artichokes are also high in polysaccharide sugars (Inulin). This means that we do not absorb the calories from these sugars, as we cannot use them. Inulin promotes the growth of vital human strain bacteria, your gut flora feeds on this and produces many nutrients that we need to fuel and heal the gut lining. By increasing good gut flora other disease-causing organisms are prohibited or at least kept in check. (See Digestion section on my website for further info on gut health)

They are high in minerals (Iron, potassium, molybdenum and magnesium) and B Vitamins, which we can use. They are particularly good for people suffering with blood sugar problems like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. BUT they are also very healthy for everyone, they help the gut recover after antibiotics and aid weight loss as they make you feel fuller with fewer calories Ideally take an enteric coated probiotic (meaning more chance of surviving through stomach acids) capsule with this meal if you are working on gut healing.

Jerusalem artichokes may also promote immune function.

Note: A high content of inulin can cause flatulence by the very nature of feeding bacteria. As a professor specialising in gut flora said at a seminar I attended – “If you’re passing non smelling wind the gut is doing its job and supporting old friends’. You can’t produce good gut flora without a bit of wind – so start with small amounts. It does settle down after a while of eating them.

Cooking – Inulin can be leached out if you boil in water or steam for a long time. I like to sauté them in either a little water or olive oil on medium heat. They shouldn’t be too soft. You can bake in the oven, I don’t recommend microwave for any foods. The skin contains lots of iron – just scrub and cook. The flesh can go a bit grey – apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can help this.

Recipe

Can be a side dish or can add: chicken, duck, fish or tofu to make into a complete meal. I had chicken with mine for lunch. Serves one

2 x Jerusalem artichoke tubers – scrubbed and sliced

4 x Carvelo Nero leaves (in season) or can use Savoy cabbage or fresh spinach leaves -destalked and shredded

Olive oil

Black pepper

Pinch of Himalayan pink crystal salt

Directions:

Sauté the Jerusalem artichoke pieces in a little water at first stirring and keep adding small amounts so it doesn’t dry out. When they are softening add some olive oil and black pepper, pink salt stir for a few minutes until they semi soft, add a little more water and place all the green leaves for 30 seconds, Serve immediately.

I added a small amount sautéed chicken

Enjoy

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Type II Diabetes was in the news again yesterday. The Public Accounts Committee are claiming that ‘Diabetes Care is depressingly poor’ and recommend that the NHS should be doing a lot more preventative and educational work with potential sufferers AND those that are diagnosed. There are at any one point in the UK (let alone the rest of the world) 1 million people who have no idea that they are suffering from either Type II Diabetes or pre-diabetes or even metabolic syndrome (which may affect even more people)

Type II is mainly self-inflicted through diet and lifestyle (Genetics may play a part but you are not born with it – it has to be expressed through lifestyle). The body becomes desensitised to sugar, insulin resistance ensues which means the body cannot work to get the sugar from the blood quickly enough, eventually not at all and it then becomes life threatening. 90% of all Diabetes cases are Type II.

I listened to an MP for Leicester East, Keith Vaz, speaking on breakfast radio yesterday morning claiming that doctors diagnosed diabetes and supplied medication, but there is shockingly no dietary advice and no real explanation as to why high blood sugar causes so much damage. This came from his own personal experience, when he found out that his symptoms of fatigue, thirst, frequent urination, lack of good sleep patterns and stress, were in fact symptoms of type II Diabetes, he was shocked that he had such little knowledge. Other symptoms can be blurred vision and skin pigmentation.

It is a wonder why the NHS and doctors don’t campaign to educate and inform the masses.

We all know that sugar is bad for you – but many people don’t want to believe it.
It seems that because manufacturers are able to continue to promote their sugary and refined products (some even claiming to be healthy) that somehow it won’t affect health. It does. It really does. That bowl of refined cereal with milk sugars you had this morning. That piece of white toast, the jam on top, the croissant, the juice, the sugary yoghurt, the sugar in your tea or coffee, the toasted tea cake, the pancake, the high sugar muesli – all this even before you had some chocolate or a biscuit mid-morning washed down with a
can of sugary drink.

In moderation or very occasionally it is okay to have some sugar, the body can cope. But the Western diet is loaded with refined carbohydrates: white bread, white cheap pasta, white products, sugary foods and drink, fruit juices, sweetened foods ready meals and foods. The sugars in dairy and all sweet fruits are implicated too. And don’t get me started on alcohol! No wonder more than half the population feels unwell at anyone time.

Sugar – I dare to say it: Does more damage than fat!. Sugar makes you put on weight more than fat does! (Good fats and eaten in moderation that is) Products that claim to be ‘Fat Free’ are not necessarily good for you – they are normally loaded with sugar – take yoghurt and cereals for example. What’s is the point of being fat-free when it’s laced with sugar?

Some people are even more susceptible to Type II diabetes; it may run in the family, it may be connected to ethnic background. For example diabetes is an even bigger problem in India than in Western countries.

The figures – £9 Billion a Year!!!

Did you know that £1 Million per hour is spent on treatment and care for Diabetes sufferers in the UK alone – that’s 10% of the NHS budget! £9 Billion a year! Think what we could do with that money for the homeless, the jobless, the economy etc. It would only take a fraction of this money to create better education and help with diet and lifestyle. More laws on food manufacturing and retailing of such products are needed. Some retailers have now signed up to putting more about the content of foods on pack.

Everybody needs to understand what sugar does to the blood and therefore the tissues and why it does so much damage – and why every time you consume sugar, coffee (causes a blood sugar rise) or alcohol your body goes into crisis management. When the insulin response is set in motion it puts a strain on the whole system.

Although Obesity is said to be one of the main causes of Type II diabetes, it can affect people who are not obviously overweight and even slim people can suffer blood sugar imbalance.

Sugar in the blood is dangerous, it damages and hardens arteries and destroys the smaller blood vessels.

In people with metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes and diabetes, it can seriously damage the bloods vessels in the eyes and the peripheral vessels in toes and fingers. This can lead to eye problems even blindness. Damaged vessels can lead to gangrene in feet causing sores and even lead to amputation. Heart disease is very much implicated as well it affects all vessels.

As a person ages this becomes more and more serious with many health issues linked to a lifetime of consuming sugar and refined carbohydrates.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Firstly if you have any of the symptoms or are concerned – see your doctor, get tested.

When accessing your blood sugar levels in the general term you can easily get an idea from your energy levels during the day. If it fluctuates, you feel tired, then eat something are fine, then later feel tired again until by mid afternoon you are even sleepy – you need to address your blood sugar.

It applies to all ages as low or high blood sugar can affect everyone.

When simple sugars are eaten a blood sugar boost happens giving immediate energy, but the body removes this quickly as it will cause serious damage if left in the blood, then low blood sugar levels are experienced, causing a tiredness, sleepiness or fatigue – this is generally when we crave carbs.

The answer is to reduce or even remove all sugary and stimulating foods and substances and then work to balance your blood sugar levels. This will also balance hormones for men and women.

Balancing blood sugar is one of the most health promoting things you can do.

It doesn’t just improve health but also the quality of life as you will have more energy and feel more vital, you will be protecting yourself against many diseases including cancer and heart disease.

The following is a guide to reduce your exposure to high blood sugar and what you can do if you have been diagnosed with a blood sugar problem.

  1. Avoid sugary foods, sugar, white refined carbs, alcohol, coffee, and too much dried fruit.
  2. Eata substantial breakfast that contains – slow release carbohydrates (whole grains, oats, brown spelt, millet, brown rice), proteins and fats. This combination takes a lot longer to digest and the sugars from the foods are released slowly – an insulin response is avoided.

    Porridge with flax oil and cinnamon

  3. Eat healthy snacks that contain some fats and proteins like nuts and seeds, avocado, whole grain spelt bread dipped in olive oil, a handful of pumpkin seeds with some goji berries or raisins, an apple with a few fresh almonds, a spelt cracker with avocado, try my ‘Power Cookies’ recipe.
  4. Eat a slow release carbohydrates (Brown or wild rice, whole grains, some pulses, quinoa, spelt) lunch that contains some fats and protein
  5. Avoid too much dairy like milk and cheese as this can play a big part in blood sugar spikes
  6. Eat a moderate evening meal with just proteins and vegetables (i.e.: Salmon and kale with shiitake mushrooms and ginger, chicken and vegetable casserole, Or Legumes and whole grains)
  7. To keep blood sugar balanced through the night, eat a snack of home-made/ or bought spelt toast and avocado, oatcakes with a tiny smear of coconut butter. You may need to do this for first few weeks until your body adjusts.
  8. Avoid ‘Grazing’ – even on healthy foods – your digestion MUST have arrest
  9. 8 Drink herbal teas and filtered water

If you have to use sugar for anything use one that is high in nutrient so it isn’t empty and can protect you from the sugar response: Rapa Dura, Molasses, Prunes or Sweeteners like Stevia.

Please be aware: The information and advice provided in this website is not
a substitute for medical advice. If you are concerned about your health or
have any symptoms you should see your GP/healthcare provider.

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