Diabetes and Dehydration 

Diabetics should be careful to avoid dehydration. In a recent book, one prominent researcher advises all readers (including diabetics) to drink fluids equivalent to half their body weight in ounces (for example, a 160 pound man should drink at least 80 ounces of fluid daily) as it makes things easier for the kidneys and gives the pancreas the fluid it needs to properly produce the insulin that regulates blood sugar levels. Fact is, the metabolism of sugar is a very fluid dependent system that quickly suffers if fluid intake is in any way limited. 

And don’t fall into the trap of thinking that all you have to do is pay attention to your sense of thirst. You can’t rely on your sense of thirst to keep you well hydrated. If you wait until you are thirsty to drink water, you’re waiting too long. You should consume water at regular intervals throughout the day even if your not thirsty at the moment. And that goes double for senior citizens whose sense of thirst slows with the passing years.


The Great Protein Conspiracy

I’ve always found it curious that when kidney disease becomes advanced, kidney specialists will advise patients to restrict protein intake. Why wait for your kidneys to be near collapse? Start now to avoid problems later.

Did you know that excessive protein and salt intake also promotes osteoporosis? Despite what the milk industry is spending over $300 million a year to tell you - it’s not the lack of calcium that is the main cause of osteoporosis, it’s instead caused by too much protein and/or too much salt. (milk contains generous portions of both)

For those with osteoporosis – cow’s milk is exactly the wrong food, despite all the media campaigning. The countries with the highest dairy consumption are the United States, Sweden, Israel, Finland and the United Kingdom. Is it a coincidence that these same countries have the highest rates of osteoporosis? Countries with low dairy diets such as  Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa, have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.  

Eskimos experience osteoporosis due to their extraordinarily high protein high animal fat diet. In a study, a liquid protein diet puts even healthy young college-aged males into a negative calcium balance that causes them to develop osteoporosis in as few as ten days!

As long as you’re consuming a high protein diet, it doesn’t matter how much calcium you take in. Even senior citizens can add calcium to their bones if they reduce protein intake and at the same time take calcium supplements. Weight bearing exercise also helps to build bone mass and prevent osteoporosis. You can choose any kind of activity you find pleasurable just as long as it works your large thigh muscles.  

Why do so many Americans consume so much protein? Because we’re constantly being bombarded by propaganda from various industry groups promoting the sale of their products including the dairy, egg, beef, cheese, pork, poultry and seafood industries. These groups continue to promote the idea that we all have a need for protein. As a result, most Americans believe that we need to take in a lot of protein if we’re to remain healthy.

Unfortunately according to the latest research, their idea of our minimum requirement is clearly excessive.


Cola, Burger, and a Side of Fries 

In the United States, we enjoy a tremendous abundance of a wide variety of foods. But  unfortunately many people make very poor food choices -- white bread, hot dogs, alcoholic beverages and diet soft drinks are but a few that come to mind – and these choices help fuel a wide range of chronic degenerative diseases. It’s indeed a sad fact that most Americans are currently suffering from several different nutritional deficiencies.  

The popular author/physician Dr. Andrew Weil states it very simply. If you surveyed all the latest medical research and designed the worst possible diet – it would be very much like today’s typical American diet! Too much fat, too much sugar, too much salt, too little fiber, too little nutrition, too much diary, too much prepared food, too much protein, too much fried food, too much meat etc… 

The best advice is - go natural, i.e., eat foods in their natural state or as close as possible. Eat frequent, small meals. Take nutritional supplements and eat nutritious foods. Drink purified water and hit the salad bar (except for the shredded cheese, macaroni salad, potatoes and eggs!). Colorful fruits and veggies are best – nature made them attractive so we would eat them. Their colors are nature’s way of saying, “This is a good food – eat it.” 

What about juicing? It’s supposed to be good for you, right? Juicing is one way to consume fruits and vegetables, but remember: juicing eliminates the part of the food you need the most – the fiber. Also, you should avoid consuming too much juice as it can raise the levels of fats circulating in the blood and juice also contains a lot of calories. 

And juices made from common vegetables may contain significant levels of sugar. Fresh undiluted carrot juice, for instance, usually tastes like candy due to it’s very high sugar content.


Sweet Stevia

Stevia Rebaudiana is a low-lying plant native to Brazil and Paraguay. It was first discovered in 1887 when it was noticed that local Paraguayan Indians used the leaves of the plant to sweeten their drinks. The natives called the plant “Honeyleaf”. 

In 1931 two French scientists perfected a process for extracting pure Stevia from the plants leaves. They called their extract “Stevioside”. It’s an extremely sweet substance that is from 100 to 200 times as sweet as normal table sugar! For this reason it’s important to use it very sparingly, particularly at first, until you get used to the taste.  

Numerous studies have found Stevia to be an effective sweetener without toxic effects and best of all, it appears to have almost no effect on blood sugar levels. 

Since 1971 Stevia has been widely used throughout the world (except in the US where drug companies have opposed FDA approval in an effort to protect their artificial sweetener profits.) 

Stevia has a nice sweet taste, and no aftertaste and can be purchased at any well-stocked health food store. Many diabetics find it useful to sweeten shakes and other drinks and find it tastes much more like natural sugar than the commercial artificial sweeteners.

The problem with Stevia is it’s a little pricey compared to plain old sugar. A box of 100 little packets of Stevia (each packet seems about as sweet as two packets of artificial sweetener) costs around eight or nine dollars. That means the overall cost of a single portion would be around four and a half cents. ($9.00 divided by 200 portions)


Smoking

Studies have shown that by smoking only a few cigarettes each day you increase your heart disease risk two to two and a half times the norm. And since diabetics are already at an increased risk, a smoking diabetic is a heart attack just waiting to happen.

Every time you take a puff your entire circulatory system constricts, reducing blood flow throughout your entire body. At the same time the toxins in the smoke create a wave of dangerous free radicals that can damage tissues anywhere in the body.

The bottom line? For a diabetic, smoking is nothing more than slow suicide. If you smoke you simply must stop!

 

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