- 1 The Food Industry Does Not Act In Our Best Interest
- 2 Carbohydrates
- 3 The Glycemic Index or GI
- 4 Healthy Foods Include Whole Grains
- 5 Fruit Has Good Stuff For Us
- 6 Vegetables Are Powerful Medicine
- 7 Nuts and Seeds Are Great
- 8 Dietary Fiber
- 9 Soy Milk and Soy Products
- 10 Dairy Foods
- 11 MSG
- 12 Shopping to Lower Your Glucose
- 13 A Must Have App
Food Is Not Like Medicine, It Is Medicine
The right food and diet will lower your glucose by a huge amount. Most people don’t realize that most of the food they eat today turns to sugar along with empty calories and other chemicals that are bad for your body. Food and diet along with some moderate exercise will make a big difference in you blood sugar. Most people who are living with bad health and many problems is because of a lifetime of eating the wrong foods from childhood and it just catches up over time. Don’t think of the term “Diet” as meaning that you have to limit how much you eat and be hungry all the time. If you are eating the right foods you can eat as much as you want and will be full and satisfied for a longer period of time. Food and diet are the most important thing for how to be healthy and lower your glucose. There are many realities about the food industry that we need to recognize.
The Food Industry Does Not Act In Our Best Interest
We need to start out here with the realization that the food industries are competitive in nature and are interested in making a profit. The end result is the food industry has gotten extremely good at creating food that tastes VERY good, full of calories, very cheap to make and lacking any meaningful nutrients. We live in a time of overabundance of food and at the same time being malnourished. A pretty amazing thing in this land of plenty.
The food and diet that most people eat today is having a terrible effect on our health. If you look at the ingredient labels on all this processed food, it’s full of chemicals, fats, simple carbohydrates and sugar that we have no idea what they are. It is pretty amazing that the human body tolerates this stuff as well as it does. Ultimately after a lifetime of the accumulative effects it starts catching up to us as we get older giving us high glucose, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, many years of ill health and premature death.
Our bodies are starved for the natural ingredients we require to be healthy and vibrant. What we desperately need is food that grows out of the ground, full of life giving nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, and the building blocks of life.
A good understanding of carbohydrates it critical in lowering your glucose. Your liver breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. There are simple and complex carbs. Simple carbs are found in all the white stuff like white bread, rice, pasta, chips, potatoes, etc. They are also very prevalent in processed food and junk food. Complex carbs come from whole grains, fruit, oats, and brown rice and many others. You need to stay away from simple carbs because they make your sugar or glucose spike. Complex carbs even out the sugar and eating in combination with the right fiber, fats, and proteins can help to minimize it. Food and diet need to consist of the right carbs.
For finding out carb content in different foods use the glycemic index (GI),it is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Please look below at the Glycemic Index Database, it is a great tool for lowering your glucose. There is more about carbohydrates in the article I wrote called “Carbohydrates and Prediabetes”
The Glycemic Index or GI
The GI is a great tool for evaluating carbs, it is a measure from 1-100 that indicates how high and how fast a certain food can raise your bloods glucose. Foods that have a lower GI are much better for keeping blood sugar low and has other good health benefits.
|Low GI||55 or Less||Most fruits & vegetables, legumes, intact grains, nuts, beans, beets, oatmeal|
|Medium GI||56-69||Whole wheat products, basmati rice, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, mini wheats|
|Hi GI||70-100||White bread, white rice, corn flakes, corn chips, watermelon, bagels, donuts|
I will not go into an exhaustive study about the glycemic index but here is an excellent searchable database that you can search for any food item from the University of Sydney, Glycemic Index Database and it will tell you where it falls in the glycemic index. There is also a whole lot on this site about the glycemic index.
Healthy Foods Include Whole Grains
Grain kernels consist of bran, endosperm and germ. When grains are processed the bran and the germ are removed. Processors then add back or “enrich” some vitamins and minerals but whole grains are healthier. The endosperm is the germs food supply that the plant needs to grow from a seedling, it is the necessary energy that the seed needs to send roots down for nutrients in the soil and the shoots that come up to get sunlight. The endosperm is the largest part of the kernel and has starchy carbohydrates, protein and only small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Note that starch is what converts to blood sugar.
The bran is the multi-layered skin and protects the rest of the kernel and contains important anti-oxidants, vitamin B and fiber. The germ is the part that if pollinated will sprout and grow into a new plant, it contains many more B vitamins, minerals, protein and essential fats. You see that when you buy bread, most of the time it is bleached and/or enriched, that means that most of the good stuff has been stripped out and other so called “enriched” additives put back in but you are left mostly with the starchy part of the grain that your body turns to sugar. The bottom line is that when you buy bread or baked goods make sure that the label has the word “Whole” in it to get the real deal.
White foods like white bread and all things made with white flour are white because all of the fiber, minerals, nutrients and vitamins have been stripped out. This is the refining process that makes white flour. The result is food with empty calories and these turn into simple carbohydrates that cause sugar to spike in your blood.
To make wheat grain white it undergoes a chemical bleaching process with substances like chlorine, benzoyl peroxide, chlorine dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, bromides, and many more. This strips the flour of all meaningful nutrients. After bleaching additives or “enrichment” additives are but back into the flour to bring some of the nutrition value back but these are also chemical additives.
Eating these heavily refined foods contribute to high blood sugar, increased heart disease and high blood pressure. Eating whole foods and whole grains that are unprocessed lowers the risk of high blood sugar and lessens heart disease. Here is a great article about white flour from NaturalNews.com that is worth the read. White flour is a big player in raising your glucose levels, is used extensively and we need to avoid it to help in lowering our blood sugar.
Fruit Has Good Stuff For Us
Fruit provides a lot of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber that are beneficial to good health and normal blood sugar. Fruit does have naturally occurring carbohydrates in them that turn to sugar but are also high in fiber and fiber slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. Most fruits are OK but there are a few that are high in glucose that you might want to avoid or eat moderately like watermelon and cantaloupe. Fruit should definitely be included in moderation in your diet because of the other great health benefits. Search the Glycemic Index Database to find out which ones are high.
Vegetables Are Powerful Medicine
Vegetables are packed with all of natures best medicine to give our bodies everything it needs to self regulate and bring everything into balance. Vegetables are high in nutrition, fiber and healing power, most people are lucky if they get 1 serving a day, if you really want to lower your glucose then try to eat 3-4 servings a day of veggies. Your body will love you for it. Eat as much non-starchy vegetables as you can, veggies that are starchy should be avoided like potatoes, corn, peas, winter squash. Healthy low starch veggies include artichoke, carrots, asparagus, greens, mushrooms, and spinach just to name a few. An extensive list of can be found on the Mayo Clinic web site for Non-Starchy vegetables.
Nuts and Seeds Are Great
Nuts and seeds are very healthy and nutritious and are full of vitamins, minerals, essential good fats like omega 3 and 6, fiber, essential amino acids and other chemicals that can help reduce you risk of diabetes, improve your cholesterol, and prevent heart disease. Some nuts and seeds are better for you than others, like walnuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds to name a few. Just about all nuts and seeds are good for you but you should eat them in moderate amounts and watch out for candy/sugar coatings and excessive salt like in salted sunflower seeds. I found this great site called GlucoMenu.com that has all the nutrition facts about nuts and seeds as well as other valuable information.
This is so important because it will help lower your glucose because fiber delays the absorption of sugar, lowers your cholesterol, carries away toxins and makes you very regular. You can get fiber from lots of foods like brown rice, fruits and veggies, and whole grains are good sources. I use an additional fiber source that works great for me, I use a full teaspoon of psyllium seed husks and mix it with about a half a cup of organic soy milk, it needs to be a little thick so that the psyllium seed husks will suspend in the liquid and not all sink to the bottom, it’s much more drinkable this way. NOW Foods Psyllium Husks Whole, 16 Ounce
Soy Milk and Soy Products
You need to be careful about soy products. The majority of soybeans, over 90% are grown from genetically modified organisms or GMO’s. What this means is that these crops are sprayed with the potent toxic herbicide called Roundup. Soy products from these GMO crops have been associated with many bad health implications and I recommend that you avoid them altogether. You need to buy soy milk and soy products that are organic. I’m sure there are other brands out there but the soy milk and soy creamer that I use and know about are the Silk brand. It is certified organic and they use soybeans that are grown without genetic engineering in America. As a side note most corn is also grown from genetically engineered crops. Make sure as much as possible that you buy organic.
Dairy food is good for you but it all has fat in it. It is recommended for prediabetic and diabetics that you limit dairy products to low fat and not drink whole milk. Myself I drink very little milk if at all and instead drink organic vanilla soy milk and I love it. Another thing I need to touch on here is for the coffee lovers out there (me included) who love to have cream in their coffee, heavy cream, half and half, and whole milk should be cut out. Also all of the powered creamers and liquid flavored creamers have bad fat and have hydrogenated compounds that you have to cut out because they clog your arteries. I have discovered only one thing so far that replaces all those other creamers and is by far the healthiest and best tasting, it is soy creamer made by Silk, it is becoming more available on the market and comes in plain and flavored, you just need to be sure that it says “Creamer” on the label because it is the same color and packaging as the regular soy milk.
There is a lot of controversy about MSG or Monosodium Glutamate. My own opinion is that it is very bad and should be avoided as much as possible. It is used extensively as a flavor enhancer in processed foods, at restaurants, fast food places and especially Chinese food buffets. There is a lot of medical and scientific data concerning MSG that I will place a link to at the end of this MSG segment but just some basics. MSG excites your neuro-transmitters also called excitotoxins, this factory made food enhancer chemical is put into all kinds of foods and has been associated with obesity, diabetes, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, racing heart, restless leg syndrome, autism, and many more. The body systems affected are the brain, nervous system, pancreas, digestive system, heart, endocrine system , and blood pressure to name most of them. Most people have food addictions and don’t even realize it. MSG is highly addictive and many people suffer afflictions that are aften caused by MSG but never diagnosed.
When scientists need obese lab rats to conduct obesity research they inject them with MSG to make them obese because there are no species of rats that are naturally obese. MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas produces and causes the rats to become obese. (scary huh?) You might ask why doesn’t the government but a stop to this health impairing chemical, after all aren’t they suppose to be protecting us? Well the truth is that it would cost the food industry millions of dollars and the food industry has a lot of lobbyists in Washington.
You need to lookout for your self and protect your own health and learn how to be healthy because you can’t depend on the government or anyone else to do it for you. MSG is cleverly disguised under many different names, these are additives that always have MSG: Autolyzed Yeast, Calcium Caseinate, Corn Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, Plant Protein Extract, Sodium Caseinate, Textured Protein (Including TVP), Yeast Extract, and Natural Flavors. Also products that are Hydrolyzed like Plant Protein,Vegetable Protein, and Oat Flour. Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list.
Other additives that frequently have MSG: Bouillon, Broth, Flavoring, Malt Flavoring or Extract, Natural Flavors/Flavoring, Seasoning, Spices, and Stock to name just a few. The bottom line on MSG is that you will not be able to avoid it entirely because it is everywhere but by reading labels and having knowledge of this you can avoid a lot of it. My personel opinion is that the evidence is clear, this is some bad stuff. You will also hear others say that it is all a big myth and it causes no harm, it just makes you wonder if these voices are coming from the food industry. There are some great resources to learn more about MSG, one of them is MSGTruth.org, their information is based on science and not for profit and this one called MSGMyth.com that is about someone who had some serious health issues that turned out to be directly related to MSG.
Shopping to Lower Your Glucose
The way we shop for groceries now becomes so important when it comes to lowering your blood sugar, no longer can you just grab anything that looks good. You need to become experts in reading and understanding the labels. First of all the ingredients are listed in the order that has the most quantity in the product. Look for corn syrup, fructose, sugar, hydrogenated, fat content, etc. These ingredients are in most processed foods. It sounds funny but I recommend just shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store and stay out of the center, the perimeter is where all the fruits, vegetables, fresh produce, nuts and all the things that will help you to lower your glucose are located.
A Must Have App
I have discovered a couple of apps for my smartphone that can be a great help to take along with you when you are in the grocery store that will help you to figure out what is healthy and not so healthy. The first one is “Fooducate” you just scan the barcode and it gives the product a color and letter grade to tell you on the spot how healthy it is and caution you about any red flags that you might want to avoid. The second one is “Chemical Cuisine” it lists what all those chemicals are that you cannot spell or pronounce, it gives you the description and safety rating of all those additives. You can either scroll through the list or enter the chemical name. Both of these apps are great and I highly recommend them, you can check them out on the apps page.