Here’s what’s new on foods and eating for the T1 in the “know!”
Antioxidants in Grapes and Avocados is a good read by Kathleen Hoffman on Medivizor.com, 30 May 2018.
Research has been connecting the dots between chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease and oxygen free radicals. For example, a 2014 study looked at the possible benefits of grape polyphenols, an antioxidant found in grapes, in preventing diabetes. Over a nine week period half received a grape polyphenol supplement while the other half a placebo. Then at the end of the study, both groups received a high about of fructose for 6 days and measurements were made of their insulin sensitivity and oxidative stress. Those people who did not receive the grape polyphenol showed significantly higher byproducts of oxidative stress than those who took the supplement. They also had a 20% reduction in insulin sensitivity.
Read more: Antioxidants in Grapes and Avocados
What Should I Eat with Diabetes is an interesting article by Jeemin Kwon from diaTribe.org, 15 June 2018.
It’s probably the most common question we get, and definitely the most-searched diabetes topic on Google. While it’s not surprising that nutrition and diet are a high priority for people with diabetes – and also people without diabetes! – what is remarkable is the amount of unreliable and conflicting information available on the web. For those who don’t know, there are still a lot of major questions and controversies about the science of nutrition, so it is both difficult and very important to help people answer this tricky question.
Of the many opinions and research on this topic, Diabetes UK has published an updated set of 2018 nutrition guidelines. These excellent and practical guidelines, drawn from a review of hundreds of published studies, moves away from a “macronutrient” approach (fats, carbs, proteins) by taking a food-focused approach. We’ve been really impressed with the detailed work that Diabetes UK have done and the excellence of the scientists who have sieved through the evidence to develop the guidelines.
The 62-page document is posted here. Here’s a quick overview of Diabetes UK’s conclusions:
- Foods to eat more of: vegetables, fruit, lean meat, fish (particularly oily fish), whole grains, nuts, and legumes
- Foods not to worry about: eggs, dairy (particularly fermented foods like yogurt, without added sugar), tea, and coffee
- Foods to eat less of: red and processed meat, potatoes, salt, refined (processed) carbs, sugar-sweetened beverages; very notably, these guidelines have ruled that refined carbs increase risk for type 2 diabetes – a breakthrough conclusion not yet adopted by many other organizations!
Read more: What Should I Eat with Diabetes?
11 Essential Low Carb Hacks Worth Trying has some great suggestions, from ASweetLife.org by Jessica Apple, June 2018.
Having a plan in place when you start a low carb diet can make all the difference. And if you have diabetes, a low carb diet can simply blood sugar management. Never has a cheese taco budged my blood sugar over 100! So, for all you PWD who are looking for ways to keep carbs to a minimum, we put together a list of simple low carb hacks. If you have other low carb hacks, please leave them in the comments.
Two of these GREAT suggestions:
- You can make tacos out of cheese. (recipe below)
- Dark chocolate, 70% and above, is a good alternative to most candy.
Grain Free Taco Shells (Naturally Low Carb)
- 12 round slices provolone cheese (organic and grassfed)
- Garlic Powder, to taste
- Chili Powder, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Place two slices of cheese flat, but overlap slightly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining slices of cheese (I use two cookie sheets, with each “shell” on it’s own small piece of parchment paper–just make sure the parchment paper isn’t over top of the cheese)
- Sprinkle, lightly and evenly with garlic powder and chili powder.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.
- Immediately pick up each piece of parchment paper and place over the edge of a parchment paper (or foil lined) loaf pan to cool (see image below–this must be done quickly before the cheese hardens. This step is done AFTER the cheese has baked.)
- Total Carbs: 1.5 g for 1 shell
- Net Carbs: 1.5 g for 1 shell
Read more: 11 Essential Low Carb Hacks Worth Trying
So what about protein powders? According to Gid M-K, an epidemiologist (firstname.lastname@example.org), 12 June 2018, Protein Powder Is (Probably) A Waste Of Time.
The basic idea behind protein supplementation checks out fine — you need protein to build muscle, and more protein probably means more muscle. If you take that in powdered form instead of, say, eggs, even better!
The issue is, most people already eat a reasonable amount of protein. Your average person has ~50-60 grams per day already, with young, fit people often taking in significantly more than that. I calculated my daily intake based on an average weekday**, and it came out to ~100 grams of protein.
Firstly, the state of the evidence is terrible. There are virtually no long-term studies done looking at protein powders that aren’t either a) too small to be useful or b) really badly done.
That being said, even if you ignore the poor quality of virtually all studies done on protein supplementation, the evidence is extremely limited. There are very few studies that have found a functional benefit — i.e. being able to actually lift more — when comparing people who take a protein powder to those taking a carbohydrate control.
Even for people who were doing a lot of exercise, there was no consistent benefit from protein powders. This was likely because, as the review noted, that these people already ate a bunch of protein in their diet and so adding some more in the form of a supplement just didn’t do that much more for their strength.