You Want To Know!
As a member of the LCDA, you should be proud knowing you are taking a proactive lead in healing the prediabetes or diabetes of yourself or a loved one or a patient. And, you have come to the right organization. By learning about The Eight Essentials, and how to bring positive changes to your diet, lifestyle, supplementation, you will learn information that may help you reverse prediabetes and can help you to reverse or control diabetes.
New Expert Interviews!
The low carb diet is the foundation diet for people who have prediabetes or diabetes. The LCDA promotes a nutritional, fun, tasty way to implement the diet.
The LCDA knows that change can be difficult! That is why we are here to help make sense of diabetes and help educate you about how simple life changes can have profound effects on your health and on reversing and controlling your diabetes. We know that you may start only dipping your toes into the water of healing. We are here to lend hope, support and offer answers and confidence in your success.
Quote of the Day:
“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.”
~ Dalai Lama
Board Member Updates
Dr. Mona Morstein has been doing a lot of interviews and podcasts about diabetes and her new highly praised book: “Master Your Diabetes: A Comprehensive, Integrative Approach for Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes”. You can check them out by clicking here.
Magnesium and Diabetes
Essential #7: Supplementation
Magnesium is a mineral it has been estimated that up to half the US population may be deficient in. An interesting medical study was recently published. It analyzed data from the Nurses Health Studies and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, totally over 200,000 people. The study was designed to see if eating more magnesium resulted in less Type 2 Diabetes onset. The participants were followed for 28 years.
Participants who ate more magnesium tended to be older, more physically active, with lower BMIs, and less likely to have high blood pressure, compared to those who ate less magnesium. Those with higher magnesium levels took more supplements, ate more whole grain products, and ingested less trans fat, saturated fat and processed meats.
All in all, a total of 13,130 participants developed diabetes over the 28 years. Those eating more magnesium had a 15% less risk of developing diabetes than those who ate less magnesium. Researchers also concluded that there is a 4% decrease in diabetes risk for each additional 50 mg of magnesium per day ingested. Even in those participants who ate badly, very little whole grains, more fast foods, having a higher magnesium intake protected them against developing T2DM.
So, let’s talk about magnesium!
Magnesium is an essential mineral we need to get in everyday. It is very prevalent in our bodies and is a nutrient cofactor responsbile for helping over 300 enzymes work. Magnesium is needed for detoxification, protein synthesis, neurotransmitter formation, muscle and nerve functioning, blood glucose control, energy production, and blood pressure control, bone structure, DNA formation and antioxidant production, among other actions. Magnesium works with calcium and potassium to cross cell membranes, allowing proper nerve conduction, muscle contraction and maintaining a normal heart rhythm. In a solid study published in Diabetes Care Journal, oral magnesium intake was shown to reduce insulin reistance and metabolic control in T2DM patients. Those patients who had been dosed magnesium had lower insulin resistance, reduced fasting glucose and reduced A1C values. And, the magnesium they used in the study, magnesium chloride is not ideal quality!
Magnesium is found in many foods, particularly those providing dietary fiber:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Nuts and seeds–almonds, peanuts, cashews (may raise glucose in some diabetic patients)
So, if a person’s meals come from some fast food restaurant, or is filled with candy, and pretzels made from refined flour, and isn’t high in green leafies, etc–in other words, if a person is eating the Standard American Diet–we can see that it is pretty easy to get deficient in magnesium in Western societies!
How much magnesium do we need a day?
The RDA for magnesium in an adult is:
- Adult woman: 310 mg/day (400 when pregnant)
- Adult man: 400 mg/day
- Children: 30-410 mg/day based on age and gender
Taking magnesium as a supplement while also eating almonds, peanuts, leafy greens, edamame (also avocado, halibut, plain yoghurt, unsweetened soymilk)–higher magnesium foods perfectly fine for diabetic patients to eat regularly–is a good idea for everyone, but particularly pre-diabetic and diabetic patients. The best type of magnesium is a chelated product which usually lists magnesium as magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate. The worse types of magnesium supplementation include magnesium oxide, magnesium gluconate, magnesium hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia). Magnesium may cause a laxative effect if it is over-dosed, including magnesium citrate/hydroxide, which are used medically as effective laxatives.
Magnesium can help calm you, help you sleep, give you energy, help you detox environemental toxins, prevent cramping, and help regulate your blood sugars.
Your integrative physician can easily help guide you to the proper dosing of magnesium, and ensure to help you learn to add magnesium foods regularly into your diet.
Hruby A, Guasch-Ferre M, Bhupathiraju SN, et al. Magnesium Intake, Quality of Carbohydrates, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Results From Three U.S. Cohorts. Diabetes Care. 2017; 40(11): 1-8
One Hour Vs. Two Hour Glucose Measurements
When is the best time to check glucose during an oral glucose challenge to ensure the most accurate prediction of risk of developing T2DM is made?
A recent study seems to hold the answer.
In general, checking glucose two hours after meals or an oral challenge has been the norm, even though the ADA stated a few years ago that checking 1-2 hours after meals was better, and would discern a higher glucose peak. That means that in general don’t check your glucose more than 1.5 hours after a meal.
In this study by Dr. Michael Bergman, at NYU School of Medicine, they found that in screening middle-aged men for diabetes, by using an oral glucose challenge, measuring glucose levels 1 hour after the drink vs. 2 hours after the drink was much more effective at identifying high risk patients at risk for developing diabetes, complications and mortality.
The study analyzed nearly 5000 men, who did the oral test and had glucose measured at baseline before the drink then 1 and 2 hours after the drink. They were then followed for up to 39 years. In the follow-up years, 636 men developed T2DM. Elevated 1 hour glucose was associated with the diabetes occurring, and was also associated with vascular complications (heart attack, stroke, retinopathy, peripheral vascular disease) and death.
The hour one oral glucose challenge test has a cut off range of 155 mg/dl, while the two hour cut-off is 140 mg/dl.
For those who already have diabetes, measuring glucose after meals at 1 hour or 1.5 hours, and not waiting 2 hours is a better measurement of glucose peak after meals. By having lower 1 hour glucose readings, it will lower one’s risk of diabetic complications.
Bianchi C, Miccoli R, Trombetta M, et al.; GENFIEV Investigators. Elevated 1-hour postload plasma glucose levels identify subjects with normal glucose tolerance but impaired b-cell function, insulin resistance, and worse cardiovascular risk profile: the GENFIEV study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2013;98:2100–2105 Healio ITJ Journal Nov.14, 2017
Blood Pressure + Diabetes
High blood pressure, AKA hypertension, is a condition commonly associated with T2DM patients. Part of the Metabolic Syndrome, with elevated glucose, lipids and cholesterol, abdominal weight, high blood pressure has serious risks for the cardiovascular system.
What is high blood pressure? Well, blood pressure is the force of the blood, being pumped out of the heart, on the blood vessels–arteries, capillaries and veins–it travels through. This pressure exists due to two forces: the first (systolic pressure) occurs as a result of the blood pumped out of the heart into the arteries; the second (diastolic pressure) occurs occurs as the heart rests between heart beats. Those are the two numbers recorded when your blood pressure is taken in a medical office.
If circumstances are not healthy in your blood vessels, they can become atherosclerotic, filled with cholesterol plaques, due to inflammation and insulin resistance (NOT due to eating fat and cholesterol!). This can narrow the space for the blood to flow, and thus the heart needs to beat harder to get the blood perfusing the vessels. Unfortunately, this higher pressure itself can lead to further blood vessel damage and now you have a recurrent problem: high blood pressure causing damage, damage causing higher blood pressure. This puts a person at risk of a heart attack, a stroke, kidney failure, peripheral vascular disease and other unwanted health problems.
Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg or less. High blood pressure is considered either one or both numbers being above 140/90 mmHg. Pre-hypertension are numbers from 120-139/80-89 mmHg. The ADA believes people should be at 140/90 mmHg or lower if possible, down to 130/80 mmHg, if it can be achieved.
In one study from 2002-2012 71% of patients with diabetes had hypertension. And, unfortunately, using conventional care, it can take 2-4 medications to get high blood pressure under control. Common drug categories for hypertension include: ACE-Inhibitors, ARBs, Beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers.
One of the best integrative ways to significantly reduce or cure hypertension is to do a vegetable juice fast (NEVER a fruit juice fast). A 10-21 day veggie juice fast is 1) safe to do for the vast majority of diabetic patients, 2) very healthy to do, 3) can significantly lower blood pressure, 4) can cause weight loss, 5) can have glucose numbers significantly reduce. Juicing allows some calories and nutrients, unlike a water fast, which most people should not do as it is much harsher on the body and can only be done for a 1-3 days in most people safely.
The LCDA does not recommend anyone doing a juice fast unless it is first approved by one’s integrative physician who will guide you through it safely.
Below are a couple of juicing recipes (from The Juicing Book by Stephen Bauer):
- 1 cup kale
- 1 cup alfalfa sprouts
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 stalk celery
- ½ medium cucumber
- 1 small scallion
- 2 TBSP sauerkraut
- 1 cup kale
- ¼ cup radish sprouts
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 stalk celery
- ½ small zucchini
- ½ green pepper
- ½ beet root
Following The Eight Essentials® is a wonderful way to get glucose and insulin resistance and weight under control, thus avoiding the development of hypertension, and helping to eradicate if it already developed. Check the LCDA website for integrative diabetes physicians who live near you.
High Blood Pressure Natural Treatments
Essential #7: Supplements
There are some natural ways than can be very useful in treating hypertension, especially when The Eight Essentials® are being followed in a comprehensive diabetes plan. Weight loss is usually important, as are the other Essentials such as avoiding sugar and eating low carb, stress management, good sleep, exercise, reducing alcohol intake, increasing vegetable intake. Please do not use these on your own but seek care with an integrative physician to have supplements properly prescribed to you at proper dosages.
Supplements used to help reduce blood pressure:
- Rauwolfia serpentina
- Coleus forskohlii
- Gynostemma pentaphyllym extract
- Grape seed extract: 200 mg/day
- Beet juice: 4 oz a day (watch for elevation in glucose, though!)
- Tribulus terrestris
- Vinca rosa
- Convolvulus pluricalus
- Fish oils: at least 1000 mg EPA/750 mg DHA a day
- Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium
- L-arginine: 1500-3000 mg/day
- Crystal Free CoQ10: 50-300 mg/day
Your integrative physician will probably recommend a product or two that contains many of the above listed supplements all together, and can give you good dosing recommendations.
Integrative care is very helpful in preventing and treating hypertension without the use of multiple medications.
TedTx Talks on YouTube: Dr. Jody Stanislaw:
LOW CARB RECIPES
Recipe #1 | Slow Cooker Grain Free Granola
You’ll love this easy recipe for slow cooker grain-free granola recipe. The chocolate orange (Jaffa) flavour is incredible and it is made with simple ingredients you probably have in your pantry right now. A healthy family breakfast meal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
* 5 cups desiccated/shredded coconut unsweetened
* 1/3 cups sunflower seeds
* 1/3 cups pumpkin seeds
* 1 cup almonds chopped
* 1/4 cup cacao nibs
* 2.5 oz coconut oil
* 2 tbsp granulated sweetener of choice or more, to taste
* 4 tbsp cocoa powder unsweetened
* 2 tbsp orange zest
1. Place all the ingredients tin the slow cooker. Stir.
2. Turn the slow cooker to LOW and cook for 6 hours. Stir every 30 minutes.
3. Alternatively, turn the slow cooker to HIGH and cook for 4 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
4. Each slow cooker will vary considerably. So adjust your cooking time, and frequency of stirring, to prevent burning.
* Nutrition values will vary widely for this recipe depending on which seed/nuts you add and how much.
* Use the nutrition panel as a guide only.
* I have calculated the values using a 1/2 cup (43g) but will depend on how much you use for breakfast (maybe more) or as a dessert on berries (maybe less).
* Store in an airtight jar for 3-4 weeks.
Amount per serving: 43 g
Calories: 277 kcal
Total Fat 26g
Total Carbohydrates 9g
Dietary Fiber 6.1g
Net Carbs: 2.9 g
Recipe #2 | Eggnog Excellence
* 1 cup of cold unsweetened coconut milk
* 1/3 cup of coconut water
* 1/2 frozen ripe banana
* 1 teaspoon of maca powder
* 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
* 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
* 2 tablespoons of vanilla plant-based protein
* 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
* 1/3 teaspoon of vanilla
* a touch of stevia
1. Put all the ingredients together in a blender. Serve, garnish with cinnamon & nutmeg on top & enjoy!