Stop Using Artificial Sweeteners and Lower Your Blood Sugar

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I’ve been off medication for about three years now. There were times when I struggled and still took herbal remedies like bitter melon, apple cider vinegar, Ceylon cinnamon and gymnema sylvestre. It was a consuming routine I combined with diet and exercise. Often the thought passed through my mind it might be easier to go back to metformin, but I always convinced myself that “natural” was better. Most of the herbs also have powerful antioxidants and help other vital body functions like heart, arteries and joints.

Earlier this year, I suffered pain in my hips and tendonitis in my left ankle. This cut into my exercise program and I got a little sloppy with my diet. The result was rising blood sugar, especially in the morning. Spending hours in front of a computer screen didn’t help. My morning readings went from 130 up to 176 and I had difficulty getting the morning readings to a 150 level. My A1C went to 7.5.

I credited part of the spikes to hip and ankle pain but delayed seeing a doctor fearing a diagnosis of hip replacement. The pain would come and go. I took aspirin, used salve, a hand massager and a small ultrasound unit to relieve the pain. Walking helped loosen the hip but wasn’t great for the ankle.

My weight was also back up to 225 pounds which was only five pounds less than when I went on the milkshake diet three years ago. In the past I knew my waist would lose a half inch for every five pounds I lost and my readings would go down three to five points for every five pounds I lost.

Just as I was planning a strategy of increased exercise and reduced calories, I stumbled on some articles about artificial sweeteners. I hated saccharin and never used it. There was enough evidence that aspartame, which was the chemical name for Equal and NutraSweet, was harmful so I stopped using that years ago.

I still used sucralose in the form of Splenda. At one time I was knocking back a lot of diet soda, Snapple and other Splenda flavored drinks. I had cut back on the drinks but still used Splenda in my homemade teas and morning coffee. I used the same amount of Splenda as I did sugar in my coffee. I’m too embarrassed to say how much, but I like my coffee sweet. I like it sweet enough my wife Li would get a stunned blank look on her face when I added Splenda to my coffee.

About a year ago I cut back on the Splenda and combined it with stevia. I’m not crazy about the aftertaste of stevia so I used the Splenda to balance the stevia bitterness.

Reports on sucralose safety were mixed. Some experts argued it did no harm and some argued it was harmful. My sweet tooth went with the camp that said it was harmless.

I still yearned for more freedom in my diabetes routine. I took supplements twice a day which took time each week to organize the pill boxes. I juiced bitter melon twice a week which meant two trips a week to the local Asian market. I drank four ounces every night before I went to bed. It works better than anything I’ve ever used for natural blood sugar control. My readings would have been worse if I hadn’t used it. I may have become more dependent on it than I should have. To say the least, it’s an acquired taste reminiscent of ear wax. I drank it cold, diluted with water pretending it was an exotic adult beverage. “I wonder if you can ferment bitter melon,” I mused.

I cut back my calories a bit and saw an orthopedist about my hip. It was bursitis which will go away eventually. I had a few weeks of therapy and the hip and ankle are at least manageable. The therapy and exercises began to help my blood sugar as I was just about at the point of asking my doctor to put me back on metformin.

About six weeks ago I came across an article on some research that artificial sweeteners may cause type 2 diabetes. The article suggested those with the disease could have difficulty controlling it if they used these sweeteners.

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel performed the research. The sweeteners were tested on both mice and humans. The article appeared in USA Today last September and read in part; “The benefits and risks of artificial sweeteners have been debated for decades. Some studies show no link to diabetes and others suggest there is one. The new research, from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, finds that differences in gut microbes may explain why some people can handle artificial sweeteners just fine while in an unknown percentage of others the sweeteners lead to diabetes.”

After reading the article I decided to stop using Splenda and see what that did. The results were dramatic. After two weeks on the diet and without Splenda. I’d already lost five pounds but my morning readings had never been this low at that weight. I stopped using the supplements and halted my evening dose of bitter melon juice. My readings continued to improve. It’s been several weeks and my morning readings have been under 120. In fact, my readings before all meals are within 5 points of each other which has never happened before. Morning readings are now my lowest reading of the day which is also a new development for me.

I’m confident that a few more weeks on the diet will give me morning readings of 95 to 110. The diet is simple. I do smoothies once or twice a day and eat a regular meal at least once a day. I have most of my calories for breakfast. I weigh myself every morning before breakfast. If my reading is under 110 I treat myself to some high fiber, high protein cereal with some fruit or nuts. If my weight stays the same for two days in I row I have three milk shake meals on the third day. I also exercise at least a half hour a day and usually an hour a day. The exercise includes resistance with Pilates bands and dumbbells, power walks, swimming and bouncing on a small trampoline. We’ll be discussing the trampoline in a later post.

I’m not crazy about stevia but did a little research on the best brands. Trader Joe ranked high so I’m using that. It doesn’t have the bitterness of other brands and it’s pure without any binders. If you buy stevia the best bet is powder without inulin or dextrose. Liquid stevia should be alcohol free. The powder is good in cooking and in hot drinks. It can get lumpy in cold drinks unless you stir with gusto. The liquid is better for drinks.

If you buy it from Trader Joe, make sure you get the small organic bottle of powder. The larger bottle is not pure. The Trader Joe stevia is available on Amazon.com if you don’t have a brick and mortar store in your location. Amazon sells a combination of the Trader Joe powder and liquid. It’s actually cheaper than the brick and mortar price. Shipping is free. Check it out here.

I’m also experimenting with stevia in my garden. Some stevia plants at one of our local nurseries surprised me. One stevia leaf is supposed to sweeten a cup of coffee or tea. Three teaspoons equal a cup.

Stop using artificial sweeteners and you may lower your blood sugar.

One of the facts the Weizmann research uncovered was the artificial sweeteners don’t affect everyone the same way. It has to do with the microbe chemistry in the stomach. Just as everyone’s T2 diabetes is unique so is stomach chemistry.

If you have success or have had past success with your readings after stopping artificial sweeteners, I would love to hear from you.

 

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Alzheimer’s Disease’s Relationship to Type 2 Diabetes

Alzheimer’s disease’s relationship to type 2 diabetes is proven in several scientific reports.  This discovery underlines the need to control blood sugar.Type 2 diabetes can also cause vascular dementia according to Mayo Clinic. The symptoms are difficult to distinguish from Alzheimer’s as they both cause cognitive loss. Some medical experts believe one fuels the other.

Reduced blood flow to the brain causes vascular dementia. It’s not a stretch to believe diabetes   circulatory problems that begin in feet and legs causing neuropathy could work their way up to the brain.

Not all memory loss is a symptom of Alzheimer’s. There are several conditions as we age that are absent mindedness rather than Alzheimer’s. These come under that broad heading of “senior moment.”

The Alzheimer’s Association lists 10 early warning signs on its website.

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life includes forgetting recently learned information or asking for the same information repeatedly. Forgetting names or appointments but remembering them later is an age-related change.
  1. Reduced concentration presents challenges in planning or solving problems in something as simple as following a recipe or keeping track of finances. An age-related change may include making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.
  1. Daily tasks may be difficult at home, work or at leisure. Family members and friends should watch for this one. I had a friend who drove eight hours out of his way to get home from a fishing trip. Sadly it was his last fishing trip. He was in his late fifties at the time. If someone just needs help setting controls on a cellphone or home entertainment unit, that’s age related.
  1. Confusion about the day of the week is age related but people with Alzheimer’s lose track of dates, seasons and passage of time according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
  1. Vision problems may be a sign of Alzheimer’s. These may include difficulty reading or judging distance making it difficult to drive. Vision change because of cataracts or age related macular degeneration is something many seniors experience that aren’t related to Alzheimer’s. Diabetic retinopathy is not related to Alzheimer’s but could go with the disease.
  1. Problems speaking or writing is a symptom when the person has difficulty following a conversation, or they repeat themselves. Occasional trouble finding the right word is age-related.
  1. Misplacing belongings and losing the ability to retrace steps to find them can be a symptom, but it’s one I’ve suffered since I can remember. I have attention deficit disorder (ADD) and try to put items like glasses, keys and cellphone in the same place. It’s not unusual for them to wind up on top of the refrigerator or another drawer when distractions arise. The distraction usually blocks retracing.
  1. At some point, most Alzheimer’s sufferers experience serious changes in judgment when dealing with money. This goes beyond making the occasional bad decision. It’s usually a point where there is family intervention which may cause conflict with the patient.
  1. As we age it’s normal to feel weary of work, family and social duties. I don’t know about you, but in my early 70s I love having a weekend where nothing is planned except a beer in my hand when I’m tending my Weber grill. Serious withdrawal from work or social engagements could be a red flag. Often, people with Alzheimer become withdrawn because of the mental challenges they experience. They fear interacting with others.
  1. The last item the Alzheimer’s Association lists is changes in moods and personality. Confusion, suspicion, depression and anxiety could become a part of a daily personality. Most diabetics experience mood changes. I get grouchy when my blood sugar is low and hyper when it’s high.

If you, a friend or family member has any one of these symptoms, I urge you to seek a doctor’s help. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “It’s the only cause of death in the top ten in America that cannot be prevented or cured.”  Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

I’ve spent some time as a volunteer in a nursing home and most of the Alzheimer patients were women. In fact the Alzheimer’s Association notes that two-thirds of the Alzheimer’s patients in the USA are women.

Is Alzheimer’s hereditary? According to the Mayo Clinic there are genes that are passed on that indicate the disease. The risk of type 2 diabetes is also genetic but the risk also includes obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. It might be wise to check the medical history on both sides of your family. In my family, none of the men we know of had Alzheimer’s but several women did.

On my Mom’s side of the family, her mother and two of her sisters who were identical twins had the disease. My Louisiana grandma, also known as “Mamoo,” also had Parkinson’s disease. My identical twin aunts were her caretakers. They were single and both were prominent career women long before that was an acceptable term. After retiring, my “aunties” got advanced degrees in sociology and psychology and entered second careers in their seventies.

I visited every year. They could still ride bikes, shoot some hoops, and dispense their wisdom. They managed the family home, raised cattle, supervised timber cutting. During my visits, I got on a tractor and mowed pastures and helped milk the cows just as I’d done as a boy. We groomed the local cemetery. In the evening we sipped bourbon and reminisced about past memories. There was always a lot of laughter and good advice from “Ruth and Bob.”

I lived 1500 miles away and noted when I called they seemed vague about who was on the phone. One twin had to remind the other who was on the phone and repeat parts of my conversation. Eventually they wound up in a nursing home with the stronger twin, Roberta, taking care of the weaker twin, Ruth. Within a few years they both died surrounded by….but not recognizing the friends and family that loved them.

My favorite cousin was their caretaker and executor of their complex estate. She was a bright and beautiful redhead and finalist as Miss Louisiana many years ago. She attended college when my siblings and I were kids, but always had time to take us on many adventures. After she finished her executor duties with all its complexities doctors diagnosed Alzheimer’s. Her mental spiral was fast and unexpected to her husband and seven children.

Longevity and mental alertness were characteristics on my Dad’s side of the family. My grandmother was in her nineties when she died, physically infirm from an automobile accident. She was a cultured and educated woman who reveled in her modest country estate. I remember her setting herself slowly down in her favorite easy chair and commenting, “It’s hell having a young mind in an old body.”

One of my Dad’s uncles lived to be 102 years old. He was still dragging a fishing skiff across the rocks of the Maine coast of the Atlantic Ocean when he was in his nineties. His sister, a retired schoolteacher, lived as long. There was no sign of diabetes or Alzheimer’s on that side of the family.

Both of my grandfathers died of heart related diseases. Were the diseases brought on by diabetes? We don’t know.

Now, Alzheimer’s is not curable though there are medications that can ease the symptoms. There are medications for memory loss and behavior as well as alternative treatments. All the medications have side effects and may interdict diabetes medication.

Science Alert published a report in March of this year about a non-invasive ultrasound treatment that literally shakes off the plaque from the brain that causes memory loss and disease progression. A team at the University of Queensland in Australia developed an ultrasound technique called focused therapeutic ultrasound. So far, mice have been the only test subjects with 75 percent of the treated mice able to improve memory performance tasks. Human trials won’t get underway until 2017.

Many natural aids can help control Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 2 Diabetes. I’m not a scientist but there is a certain logic behind natural herbs and ingredients that can help control both blood sugar and Alzheimer’s.

Research in India has identified at least two herbs that can reduce the plaque that causes Alzheimer’s. Indian researches have conducted experiments on both ashwagandha and circumin found in turmeric. Both have shown promise for brain health and both can reduce blood sugar. Both are available on the Internet in places like Amazon.com. The low incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s in India led researchers to studies on turmeric, which is a staple of Indian curry. Research showed circumin erased the plaque from the brain that causes Alzheimer’s.

Ginger root, both fresh and dried have shown promise as Alzheimer’s preventive. It’s another herb that can help control Alzheimer’s and diabetes blood sugar.

I take two capsules each day that have both ginger and turmeric. Check with your doctor before taking these. If you’re a younger diabetic it might be a good preventive measure. Be careful, excessive ginger has some side effects and could be unsafe if you’re taking a blood thinner. According to experts, turmeric in moderation causes few side effects, though it could cause stomach upset in some people. Supplements are available online.

Another reason to take ginger and turmeric; it’s an anti-inflammatory and helps ease joint pain. I also take glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM for joint pain. I abandoned the ginger and turmeric for a couple of weeks the pain was outrageous. A Canadian fishing trip was miserable climbing stairs and getting in and out of a boat.

Coconut oil is another ingredient that shows promise for both Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Researchers say ketones found in coconut oil slows  Alzheimer’s disease and could prevent it. Notably, Dr. Mary Newport tried coconut oil on her husband who suffered from advanced Alzheimer’s. She referred to Alzheimer’s as “diabetes of the brain.” He failed his Alzheimer’s test that required he draw a clock. His “clock” wandered all over the page and looked like something a nursery school child would draw. He took the test two weeks after using coconut oil and drew a real clock. A week later, he drew a better clock. Within a few months he regained his personality and appeared almost normal.

We use coconut oil in cooking, smoothies and coffee. I drink decaf coffee in the morning with a tablespoon of organic extra virgin coconut oil. It improves the coffee taste and gives me a better burst of energy than coffee with caffeine. Just make sure the coconut oil is not hydrogenated.

Bitter melon also helps prevent Alzheimer’s. As noted in the previous posts I drink about four ounces of this every day to control my blood sugar.

Of course none of these solutions can work unless you preserve healthy blood sugar levels. We know that drill; diet, low carbs and exercise. However, if you try these natural remedies to help control both Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes you could have a more enjoyable lifestyle. Don’t forget to consult your doctor before you try them!

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Bitter Melon Juicing for Natural Insulin

If you read the previous post, you may have Googled ahead and discovered several different ways of bitter melon juicing to make your natural insulin.

I have some tips for you but first some important warnings. Please check with your doctor before using bitter melon juice. I would be surprised if anyone said they didn’t have lower blood sugar within an hour after drinking it. Asians have used this remedy for years to control diabetes.

WebMD issues some warnings. If you’re pregnant or breast-feeding bitter melon is not safe. According to them, there are chemicals in bitter melon that can start menstrual bleeding. Bitter melon has also can cause abortion in animals.

There is also a danger if you have G6PD deficiency. The seeds from bitter melon may produce an illness called favism which is thought to cause anemia, headache, fever, stomach pain and even coma in certain people. I use a juicer and grind everything including the seeds because I’m lazy, but haven’t suffered any ill effects in the few months I’ve used the juice.

Experts also recommend no more than two ounces a day diluted with water as it can cause tummy distress in some people. I take four ounces a day including a dose after breakfast and one after dinner diluted with water. If you’re using a juicer you may add a Granny Smith apple as it’s juice is the most diabetic friendly of all apple brands. I’ve also experimented with adding some raw organic honey to the mix and it does level the taste. For me, it made no difference in the juice’s effect.

You can use either a blender or a juicer to make the juice. The blender method is a little messier as you’ll have to strain the pulp. I use a juicer. I bought a Black and Decker 400 watt fruit and vegetable juice extractor on Amazon.com for $29.99. It was worth the price.

In the previous post we may have mentioned to buy fruit that is firm. It shouldn’t have any soft spots. Keep it in the refrigerator no longer than four days.

Cut the melons in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. I usually just throw everything into the juicer. Be careful with this as I’ve had seeds pop out of the juice before processing and fall into my juice cup. You’ll know when that happens so you should stop the juicer and use a spoon to remove the seed. To remove the seed rake them out with a spoon. I use a grapefruit spoon because it has a serrated tip.

I usually juice about ten of the long bitter melons at a time and keep the juice in a closed bottle container in the refrigerator. That lasts about a week.

Click here more information on bitter melon benefits and juicing.

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Bitter Melon is Natural Insulin

I wrote at least one post on the benefits of bitter melon but in the past two months I experimented with the juice instead of the dried bitter melon for tea. I usually make a super tea that includes the dried bitter melon as well as organic Ceylon cinnamon, organic dried ginger and organic turmeric. This is my “go tea” when we travel. It helps keep my blood sugar in check after restaurant meals with unknown carbs.

We went to Taiwan last year for two weeks and I forgot to pack my special tea. I struggled for the entire trip though we did a lot of walking and I ate a lot of seafood. I had the dry supplements but they don’t work as well for me as the tea.

I’d noticed that when my wife Li made anything with fresh bitter melon my glucose reading two hours after I ate never went higher than 135. Li said bitter melon was an acquired taste and I would get used to it. Well, scotch and beer are acquired tastes and I like them. Maybe bitter melon juice isn’t that bad.

Unless you live near an Asian market or grow your own, bitter melon is hard to find. Fortunately in our corner of Northern Virginia we have several Asian markets.

You can also grow it much like cucumbers or squash. In fact, it looks like a cucumber with warts I don’t have enough room to grow it in my small townhouse garden as you need the juice from several melons each week.

Bitter melon comes in both an Asian and Indian variety. The Asian variety looks like a striated cucumber. It’s about eight to twelve inches long. The Indian variety is about half the length and slightly pear shaped. It’s bumpy. Both have the same medicinal strength. The Indian melon is a dark green, but the Asian is a light to medium green. If you buy these in a market make sure they are firm. If they have soft spots, they’ll produce less juice and won’t be as potent.

I believe the best solution is to grow your own as you have control over fertilization especially if you grow organically. According to some reports I’ve read you can freeze the juice though that could rob some of its potency. You can get the seeds from several sources on Amazon.com. I bought some seeds and may experiment so I can compare the potency with the melons sold in local Asian markets.

Several sites on the Internet teach how to make the juice. In the next post we’ll discuss how to make this natural insulin with some tips on how to make it taste better. However, after two months of using it I’ve become used to the taste. The juice allows me to add a few more carbs to each meal.

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Great Deal on Holiday Goodies Recipe Book

From Monday October 27th through Monday November 3rd get a great deal on “Holiday Goodies for Everyone Especially Diabetics.” I’ve marked the price down from $2.99 to just 99 cents.

With Thanksgiving coming soon the timing is perfect. This is a unique recipe book for cookies and candies you won’t find anywhere else. We use creative ingredients you won’t find in other diabetic friendly cookie or candy cookbooks. There’s no sugar or white flour in these tasty treats. You’ll get a sugar fix without the sugar plus ingredients that are heart healthy and diabetic friendly. Many of the recipes include ingredients that can lower blood sugar Just click here, or on the book ad in the left hand panel.

Pumpkin is a favorite ingredient for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many food experts also believe it can lower blood sugar. Here is my favorite pumpkin cookie recipe for all the holidays.

These are heart healthy, diabetic friendly, low calorie and low carb. To make them gluten free use almond flour and almond or coconut milk instead of barley and skim milk.

Ingredients

1/3 cup barley flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/8 cup skim milk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup erythritol

1 ounce raisins

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 tablespoon squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup powdered erythritol

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with baking oil.

Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a bowl or food processor.

Place on the cookie sheet a tablespoon at a time and flatten with a fork.

Bake for 12 minutes or until done.

Cool on a wire rack and prepare the glaze

For the glaze combine the grated orange peel, orange juice and erythritol so it can be applied to the cookies with a pastry brush. You may add some red food color to the glaze for a festive touch.

Makes about a dozen cookies

Nutrition per cookie: Calories 38, Fat <1g, Carb 7.5g, Fiber 1g, Protein 1g

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Peanut Butter and Chocolate are Diabetic Friendly

Is there any combo tastier than Peanuts and chocolate? The duo must be hard to beat given the number of sweet treats on the market. The best news is peanut butter and chocolate are diabetic friendly. When the treats have excessive sugar that’s not so good for us diabetics. Research shows dark chocolate diabetic friendly and chocked with strong antioxidants.

We’ve talked about chocolate before and are certain to discuss it more, but I’m not ready to swing the spotlight away from peanut butter.

Recently I discovered a peanut butter product that cuts the fat and calories in peanut butter. It’s called PB Fit and it’s a powder. Two tablespoons with one and a half tablespoons of water gives you instant, tasty peanut butter. Two tablespoons of regular peanut butter is low in carbs but has 180 calories. The same measure of PB Fit and water only has 65 calories, three grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber.

I mixed it with a little coconut oil for a spread on the puff cakes I talked about in my last post. It was delicious. The spread lives up to the advertising on the jar. It reads, “Better Body Foods PB fit is made from gently roasted peanuts. We extract 75% of the oil to create a delicious, low fat powder that is chock full of flavor. Combine PB fit and water for a healthy, low fat peanut butter spread. It also gives a delicious protein boost to smoothies.”

In the past, I was hesitant to make smoothies with both chocolate and peanut butter because of the calories. PB Fit solved the problem You can make a powerful low carb, low calorie smoothie with this . I combine two tablespoons of PB Fit with two tablespoons of dark cocoa and a tablespoon of coconut flour. Put 12 ounces of almond or coconut milk in a blender with some ice and away you go. It’s almost as tasty as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

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Peanut Butter Helps Control Blood Sugar

I love peanuts in almost any guise except boiled. I’ve discovered a small handful of roasted peanuts, light on the salt, are a perfect diabetic snack between meals. For some reason honey coated peanuts have the same amount of carbs. Unfortunately I have a tendency to go wild with the honey roasted variety. A local grocery store sells some as close to candy as you can get without the carbs.

I loved any candy with peanuts in them. Snickers and Peanut Butter Cups and Payday were my favorite candy bar snacks. Since my diagnosis seven years ago I’ve had at the most two Snickers and some sugar free Peanut Butter Cups. Snickers aren’t bad at 181 calories and about 19 carbs. I don’t chance it unless I know I’m headed for a heavy workout. Too many sugar free Peanut Butter Cups make my tummy gurgle. I don’t dare chance a Payday. The calories almost make a meal though it has some fiber and as many carbs as a Snickers Bar. I was always hungry for another Payday.

I may be addicted to peanut butter. When I was a kid I ate peanut butter, banana and honey sandwiches to gain weight for football. Two of those after football practice washed down with a big glass of milk didn’t get the job done when I was a teen, but would put me on a gurney now.

Now I might have a tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter with a squirt of sugar free Hershey’s chocolate as an occasional snack. A tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter works too. It only has 90 calories and four carbs. It is more filling than a candy bar by a long shot. If you eat a candy bar there is always the risk of wanting another one.

Is peanut butter good for diabetics? Most of the research I’ve seen says yes! An article on the website Diabetes in Control cited a clinical study reporting “Consuming peanut butter or peanuts for breakfast can control blood sugar throughout most of the day, even after eating a high carbohydrate lunch.” Purdue University and the Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil performed a joint research project proving this theory.

I know this works. Sometimes when I want to cut back on calories and carbs I’ll have two tablespoons of unadorned crunchy peanut butter for breakfast. I’m never hungry at lunch. Usually I’m hungry within five minutes after I eat even when the meal is low carb. I’d been doing this for a while before I read the research and will probably do it more often.

I’ve also noticed eating peanuts is difficult to beat the challenge of, “I’ll bet you can’t just have one.” If I want to lose some weight the peanuts have to disappear for a while. I don’t have the same urge with peanut butter.

A favorite breakfast is a tablespoon each of peanut butter and sugar free jam between two multigrain Coco-Lite pop cakes. I wash it down with a glass of unsweetened almond milk. A smidgeon of your favorite sugar free sweetener makes the almond milk taste like cow’s milk. That makes a meal just over 200 calories and under 20 carbs.

In the next post we’ll explore some more information about how peanut butter helps control blood sugar.

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Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Less Than Six Weeks [Kindle Edition]

This week only I’ve reduced the price of my book, Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Less Than Six Weeks [Kindle Edition] from $2.99 to just $1.99.

This is the second edition reflecting valuable reader contributions. By the way, if you bought the first edition you can go to your Kindle library and download the revised copy.

This is a quick read and will be helpful if you’re type 2 diabetic or pre-diabetic. Some reviewers wrote…

“This is a straightforward account of how the author responded to being diagnosed with T2 Diabetes. The book is a quick read and gives us an overview of how weight loss, diet and exercise can regulate T2 without the use of drugs. His experiences are insightful and motivational.”

“I was exposed to agent Orange on numerous occasions during my 21 months in Vietnam back in the 1960s, as were many men. Now we are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It is shock but the best thing you can do is educate yourself, get to know as much as you can, through reading books such as this. Know your enemy, learn to fight back through exercise and diet (10,000 step exercise program etc), this does not have to be a death sentence. This book is a great tool and can change your life.”

“The author explains his condition, the dedicated mindset it took to control it, and the hope his experience offers. And he does it in a personal and interesting way. Type 2 diabetics will find it worth their while.”

“This book was easy to read & very helpful with lots of information & slot of reference material given to help live healthier.”

Just click here for more information

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Sage Tea for Diabetes

We live in an end unit townhouse surrounded by trees so having a small vegetable garden or growing flowers is a challenge. I have to use much fertilizer to grow peppers, tomatoes and beans in my fenced back yard. I also have a modest herb garden. I’ve never had to worry about growing either mint or sage. Mint has its own place near an outdoor water faucet. The sage grows all year but slows in the winter. It’s hardy. It spreads. I never thought of it as useful other than for poultry rub or stuffing and pork sausage gravy. I’ve always liked its pungent, camphor smell and had a vague awareness of its herbal uses. I also discovered this year that it’s good to take a handful of the wet leaves and place them on the BBQ coals when roasting chicken instead of wood ships. You can also mix the wet leaves with the wood chips. It gives chicken an extra layer of taste. Sage has a centuries old history of medicinal benefits. According to some herbalists it aids digestion, helps arthritis and memory. Some experts say it can help control cholesterol. I’ve noticed that many herbs that help control blood sugar also help control cholesterol. I never thought of sage as a means of blood sugar management until I did a little research. There have been several clinical experiments using sage for glucose control. One experiment in Portugal in 2005 at the University of Minho in Portugal on mice substituted sage tea for water over a fourteen day period. The results showed a decrease in glucose levels in the diabetic mice. According to the experiment the sage tea acted much like much like metformin. There is a potential risk to drinking too much sage tea so it’s especially important to check with your doctor before drinking it. It can cause liver damage with some medications. I searched the Internet for more information on this but there were no specific medications mentioned. I would guess it could be dangerous if taken with metformin as that drug affects how the liver processes glucose. WebMD advises against using sage long term or in high doses. In fact, the website paints a grim picture of sage stating, “Some species of sage contain a chemical called thujone that can be poisonous if you get enough. This chemical can cause seizures and damage to the liver and nervous systems. The amount of thujone varies with the species of plant, the time of harvest, growing conditions, and other factors.” I don’t take any medications but I’m moderate in my use of the tea. I usually make a batch of it and drink it cold with a little stevia. I may add mint, which gives it a crisper taste. Mint tea also promotes better digestion and aids in weight loss according to some reports. Just crush a small handful of each herb and simmer in a two quart pot for ten to fifteen minutes. Be careful if you drink sage tea for diabetes. You should always check with your doctor before taking any herbs affecting blood sugar especially if you’re on any medication.

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Vision Improved with R-Alpha Lipoic Acid?

It’s been two months since I started using R-Alpha Lipoic Acid or R-ALA. About a week ago I was sorting my weekly supply of vitamins and natural supplements and noticed I could read the labels on the bottles with my glasses.  In the recent past I had to use a magnifying glass or glasses to read the labels. I had to use the magnifying glass while wearing my glasses. 

Oddly enough my recent vision diagnosis was due to old age and not diabetes. A specialist diagnosed me with aged-related macular degeneration (AMD). He prescribed a lutein supplement to halt the spread of the disease. However, both the specialist and my eye doctor told me my eyes would only correct to 20/30. In the past the eyes were correctible to 20/10. I never thought I would have to use a magnifying glass to read labels on bottles or recipes in small print. 

I’d taken billberry for several years. Many people have reported success with this blueberry like supplement. It stopped the floaters I’d developed in my eyes within a month after I started taking it. Bilberry is diabetic friendly. It doesn’t lower blood sugar but it promotes healthier arteries and blood vessels thus improving circulation. 

On the other hand, R-ALA lowers my blood sugar. I don’t know if this will work for everyone, but 100 milligrams twice a day works for me. If I wake up in the morning with a glucose reading between 150-170, a 100 mg R-ALA capsule will help lower my blood sugar within an hour. If I add a 400 mg eucommia capsule my blood sugar is 110-120 within an hour. 

Until I discovered R-ALA eucommia was the most effective for lowering my blood sugar. However, too much eucommia can cause diarrhea or mild stomach upset. I usually take a 400 mg capsule at night because my highest reading of the day is when I wake up.  

The bad news for me is the combination has extended the range and amount of food I can eat. This has led to increased calories and a recent return to my milkshake diet and heavier workout program.  

Was my vision improved with Alpha-Lipoic Acid? I started using it after the doctor prescribed the lutein supplement and it was the only change I made in my supplement schedule. The change was dramatic. I’m certain it lowers my blood sugar and may work for others. As reported in previous posts experiments have shown R-ALA effective for diabetic neuropathy.

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