Every year, November is recognized as National Diabetes Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about prevention and control of the disease that has become so pervasive in American families.
In honor of this month, we’re shedding light on important statistics and giving a guide to the essentials of a healthy diet for diabetics and discussing where Purium can fit in.
Special Note: We are not medical professionals. Please always remember to consult with your doctor or practitioner before making lifestyle changes, especially when it relates to serious medical conditions.
We always hear that diabetes is a problem in America. But really, how bad is it? Well, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that there were about 29 million Americans living with diabetes in 2016. Type-2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, with the CDC reporting that it comprised 90-95% of total adult diabetes cases. There’s definitely room for us to improve.
If those numbers don’t concern you, The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) estimates around 9.4% of Americans have diabetes (about 30 million people). This accounts for both adults and children.
And what’s worse is that about 7 million adults are not diagnosed.
Statistics for this disease don’t paint the full picture, unless you also take prediabetes into account. Prediabetes is commonly seen as a precursor.
In this condition, blood glucose levels are high. but not high enough for a full diagnosis. About 34% of American adults suffer from this, which is frightening to say the least. Unless preventative measures are taken, this 34% is on the fast track route to disease.
Adding the percentages of both together paints an even more haunting picture. With so many people suffering from this disease, education becomes increasingly important.
So, we’re doing our part. It can seem hard to manage, but it’s definitely possible.
Let’s dive in.
Healthy Eating for Glucose Imbalance
For both type 1 and 2 diabetes, the best way to approach diet is being mindful of your blood glucose level and possibly your weight.
A UK study recently reported that weight loss contributed to type-2 diabetes remission. The study, published in The Lancet, studied the lives of 300 type-2 diabetes patients (who had been diagnosed in up to six preceding years). They were split into two groups:
- Group 1: Participants were put on a low-calorie, liquid formula diet for three to five months, followed by eight weeks of reintroducing food, and introducing nutrition education and behavioral therapy. They did not take medications.
- Group 2: Participants stood on a standard diabetic medication regimen.
After one year, group 1 lost 33 pounds (or more) while group 2 were barely able to lose anything at all. Most importantly, 46% of participants in group 1 went into diabetes remission compared to just 4% in group two! Amazing news!
What Does This Mean?
This study can pioneer the future of diabetes treatment and prevention. Instead of paying costly fees for surgeries, patients might able to look to healthy eating and weight loss to relieve diabetic symptoms or even remission. What’s really cool is that the participants in group 1 made a lifestyle change–not only did they eat differently, but they educated themselves on what healthier choices they could make in the future. This is key in our healthy living journey!
Easier said than done, right?
Actually, it doesn’t have to be hard at all. Here’s a few suggestions.
Whether it was home economics, nutrition or health class, you might remember being given a special laminated meal plate. The plate was split into three separate sections.
One side of the plate is dedicated to greens/veggies. The other side is split between two sections: protein, and grains and starchy foods. Together, they made up “the ideal meal.”
As it turns out, that diet isn’t just beneficial to children. In fact, The American Diabetes Association recommends using “the plate method” to help prepare meals for diabetics. This is because It helps control portion size, but at the same time, it gives freedom of choice.
It should be mentioned that you can add one serving of fruit and/or diary if you’d like. Just be mindful and make smart choices.
What to Eat
So, what exact foods should you be loading your plate with? Good question! The Mayo Clinic recommends sticking to a healthy carb diet, including fiber-rich foods and “good” fats.
What foods fall under these categories? Here are some go-to’s courtesy of NIDDK:
For non-starchy veggies, you’re safe with the following:
- Brocolli and other greens
If you remember, starchy veggies are allowed as well, but in smaller quantities. These should be okay:
- green peas
For your proteins, it’s best to stick to lean meat, chicken and turkey, preferably without the skin. The Mayo Clinic actually recommends fish as well, because they are heart-healthy.
Looking for vegan protein options? No problem. Make sure to include these in your diet:
- chickpeas and split peas
- nuts and peanuts
Protip: To keep things low-fat, be sure to use canola and olive olive at room temperature while cooking.
As a rule of thumb, a diet for weight loss is similar to what you should be eating if you suffer from diabetes. Always be sure to manage proportions and you should be just fine.
What NOT to Eat
We want to help empower you even more so, here are some things that you should stay away from.
Generally, you can use common sense for some decisions, but you might be shocked to know others.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that you stay away from saturated and trans fat. So sorry, no processed foods! And what may be surprising is that you should avoid stick margarine as well!
Pay special attention to the meats and diary that you consume. because sometimes they can be sneaky, packing high-fat amounts without you even knowing. Always check nutritional information and opt for brands that offer more lighter choices.
Where Purium Fits
We here at Purium like to support a healthy life-style. So, how does the Purium lifestyle work in a diabetes diet?
Well, for diabetics, there are few things to always keep in mind:
- Blood glucose levels
These three things are affected by juice intake, whether that be vegetables or fruits. So, this complicates things a tad bit.
Why? Well, because superfoods juices sometimes have less fiber than their whole foods counterparts. In addition to this, they can sometimes have more carbs per serving.
Fruits juices can make things even more confusing. Natural sugars might actual cause a spike in blood glucose levels, and we don’t want that.
So, in some cases, it would make more sense for a diabetic to consume a whole food instead of simply drinking its juices.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t drink some of your Purium faves. It’s all about moderation and balance. Always ensure your numbers are in check.
In fact, we’ve developed a special green juice with this in mind – Scoop of Greens. It has been given the Diabetes Resource Center’s Seal of Approval.
If you’re making your own juices and smoothies, be sure to use 80% non-startchy greens and 20% fruit.
There’s a lot of interest in intermittent fasting right now and for good reason. While some believe the method can help promote weight loss, one new study adds benefits to those with diabetes.
One recent study found that the fasting helped “reverse” three men’s insulin dependence. The three participating men were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In the study, they ate dinner on fasting days, but drank water, coffee, and broth.
It’s worth mentioning that we are hopeful for a “cure,” but some nutritionists and doctors dub this as more of a “remission” of symptoms. Either way, we’re excited to see where research takes this topic.
Intermittent fasting is a component of our Transformations, but we’d like for you to exercise caution. Always consult with your medical professional.
Staying Healthy & Happy
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Find out more about the study here: