Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Paula Deen and Type II Diabetes

For days now, I've been watching the news on television and reading articles on the Internet about Paula Deen's high fat diet causing her Type II Diabetes.   Too much southern fried chicken?  High fat diets do NOT cause Type II Diabetes.   This myth has been going on for decades now.  This myth has gone on because people who are overweight are at higher risk of Diabetes and therefore the assumption that high fat diets cause Diabetes continues.  
It's actually high consumption of sugar, starchy foods, and processed flours cause weight gain and Type II Diabetes.  Fats, except trans fats or hydrogenated fats, actually help regulate blood sugar and are needed for hormone metabolism.  Insulin is a hormone but not the only hormone that requires fat in the diet.  Fats, especially omega 3's are required by the brain and have been shown to reduce depression.  If you have ever reduced your fat intake drastically, have you noticed how irritable you get after a couple of weeks?

Paula Deen probably would have gotten Diabetes much sooner without the fat in her diet.  I hope Paula Deen and everyone with Type II Diabetes would stop listening to the media and the health practitioners who wrongly tell them to go on a low fat diet.  People with Type II Diabetes need to go on a low simple carbohydrate diet NOT a low fat diet.  Getting rid of the sugar, white flour, white rice, fast foods high in processed carbohydrates, and trans fats is critical not only for a Diabetic but everyone.    It doesn't mean you should get rid of vegetables or foods high in fiber.  Someone with Type II Diabetes can eat complex carbohydrates as long as they are eaten in moderation.  A healthy diet to prevent Diabetes and for those who already have Diabetes should include the following recommendations:

  • Protein (chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, nuts, seeds, and dairy*) -  3 to 6 servings per day - one at every meal  and for snacks.
  • Vegetables  (starchy should be eaten with fats and protein) -   6 to 8 servings per day.                                      
  • Good fats (butter, coconut oil, olive, grape seed,  & sesame oils) -  2 to 3 tablespoons per day.
  • Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, barley, oatmeal, etc.) -  3 servings per day preferably at meal time.
  • Fruit  -  1 to 2 servings per day.
  • Spices and herbs - use liberally especially cinnamon which has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.       

*organic whole milk plain yogurt and cheese

Although recommended by many health practitioners, low fat processed foods, including dairy, are not healthy for you.  The processing to remove fats not only makes the food tasteless but also renders it a foreign substance to the body.  Eat real butter and whole milk plain yogurt.  Drinking milk regularly is not recommended (unless you are a growing child) because you do not need it and should not be drinking your calories if you are trying to lose weight.  An occasional drink of whole milk or half and half in coffee is fine.  If you are worried about calcium, then do not drink sodas, coffees, and teas which take calcium out of your bones and take a calcium/magnesium supplement.   Organic whole milk plain yogurt contains probiotics.  Fruit and a little maple syrup can be added to plain yogurt for a delicious, healthy dessert.  If you are left satisfied (and fat is satisfying in any food) then you won't be reaching for junk food.  

Caution:  Do not change your exercise program, diet, or nutritional supplementation without your physician's knowledge and approval.

Image: vichie81 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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