Well, I figured since we put my mom in the spotlight last week it was only right to give my father a turn. A 58-year-old gear head who was an at-home dad for me and my sisters until I was 5. Paint that picture in your head ;) Ask either of my sisters or myself what our favorite childhood memory with dad is and undoubtedly you would get the answer “the chocolate shakes!” It was the highlight of every night in the Knight house. Dad would set my little sisters up on the counter and I would push my chair over to supervise the process. Add a little ice cream, splash of milk, and of course, the PERFECT amount of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. After blending he would get our “chocolate shake cups” out (yes we had specific cups and someone always ended up crying over not getting the blue one). It was the perfect ending to each night sitting in the living room all together enjoying the only thing we thought dad could cook. Skip ahead about 12 years, and my dad is diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Hmmmm…wonder where that came from???
In a society where eating is considered a hobby or entertainment, you really have to step back from it all to evaluate the mistakes we are making. Eating is all fun and games until your jeans don’t button or you have to give yourself daily insulin injections to manage your diabetes. As of last year, the average American consumed 19.5 teaspoons of sugar a day! But for those of you who don’t drink pop daily or snack on cookies, you probably think you didn’t contribute to that statistic, but think again. Most of our sugar is consumed in things we would never even think to contain sugar! Things such as salad dressings, ketchup, low fat foods, granola bars, and soy milk. We live in a time where reading the ingredients label is absolutely crucial to our health. So for my diabetics out there, or those of you who vow to never become diabetic, here are a few tips and tricks:
Recognize that disguised sugar. Fun fact: there are 61 different names for sugar! Holy cow! So instead of boring you with that extensive list, here are a few of the most common ones: high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, maltodextrin (see what they did there?) rice syrup, cane sugar, and of course your artificial sweeteners such as splenda, aspartame, sucralose and acesulflame. My advice here: jot these down in your phone somewhere that way you always have it with you when grocery shopping!
Low fat foods. This is a whole blog topic in itself so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet (lol). If they are taking the fat out of a food, they have to replace it with something! And that replacement is…you guessed it, SUGAR. Low fat foods are not your friend, just trust me on that until I get a chance to thoroughly explain exactly why in a couple weeks.
Increase fiber with sugar. Soluble fiber’s general effect of slowing down the digestive process means that the carbohydrates we eat take longer to be broken down into glucose. As a result, the release of glucose into the blood after eating tends to occur slower and over a longer period of time following a high-fiber meal. So this prevents glucose from rising to an extreme peak all at once, and therefore decreasing the stress placed on our glucose metabolism system to push out more insulin to accommodate. Note that I said SOLUBLE fiber. Insoluble fiber is used to push things through the digestive system rather than slow down the digestive process. A good rule of thumb is if it is the harder part of the fruit or vegetable to chew, it is likely insoluble. So the skin of an apple would be a great example, where as the inside of an apple is soluble fiber. Soluble fiber can also be acquired from foods such as seeds, peas, lentils, most fruits and vegetables, and as a supplement called pysllium. This also explains why fruit juice is actually not healthy like we think. Just drinking the juice of the fruit without the fiber of the entire fruit that gets left behind, you end up just drinking liquid sugar.
Info contributed by https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/high-fiber-diet-diabetes/
Supplement with magnesium and gymnema sylvestre. Both of these have been found to help with glucose control by slowing the release of glucose into the blood as well as helping your body manage influxes of sugar on its own. As I mentioned in last week’s post, herbs and botanicals are known for taking a little longer to show an effect, but when the effect occurs, it is a fix and not just a patch on the problem. So supplement up!
Eat your sugar and carbs early in the day. This gives your body time to use it rather than store it. When it comes to managing my fruit intake (yes fruit sugar counts as sugar) I always save it for the end of the meal for 2 reasons, 1. I can’t get “too full” for my vegetables. I use fruit as a treat so if I finish my broccoli, I get the reward. 2. Growing up with a chocolate shake night cap, I always NEED something sweet to finish a meal (I know it’s a WANT, but who are you, my mother!?). Terrible habit for sure, but that’s why I prefaced this whole thing with my story! That has been my biggest goal to tackle while doing 8 Weeks to Wellness right now, allowing myself the fruit dessert after breakfast and lunch, but cutting it out after dinner.
Stick to whole foods. This is the advice I give to everyone, not just diabetics, so no one is exempt! Our ancestors survived on food they either grew or caught and I can promise you that back then, there were nowhere near the amount of diseases we have today and obesity was not a thing (probably because all they had to wear were pieces of animal fur and leaves over their goods). But once you adopt this way of eating, the picture becomes so much easier. One ingredient foods that were either hunted, caught, grown, or picked. You can accomplish this by staying on the perimeter of the grocery store and not drifting into the center aisles. You will hit your produce, meat, and some dairy then BAM! Grocery shopping is done! Remember: if it reserved its spot on a center aisle shelf, it has something in it that makes it last for months.
I hope this is able to give you some insight on how consumed our world has become with sugar and maybe relieve some of the anxiety that comes with revamping your lifestyle. Every great journey begins with a step so anything you start to change and improve on is a step in the right direction. If you’re anything like me, I do best with direction and being held accountable, so if this is what you need, schedule a consult with us here at Back to Health of Anthem. Our mission is to help as many as possible to achieve their maximum health and we will do all that we can to find a plan that works best for you and your needs. You can reach us at 623-551-6677. Don’t keep your health on the back burner any longer!
*AZ Chiropractic License Pending*
Dr. Brian Hester, originally from Alabama, graduated from Life University in 1999 with his Doctorate of Chiropractic. He moved to Anthem, Arizona in 2003 and opened his wellness center. Dr. Hester's mission is to provide people in the North Phoenix area, with the tools they need to identify stressors in their life and the underlying causes of their health challenges. With Dr. Hester as a health partner, patients can make positive lifestyle changes and take control of their lives...... see more
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