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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Kindle Made a Mistake

All the reviews for my Kindle book, Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Less Than Six Weeks, since the second edition publication in April have been positive except two. Of the total 35 reviews, most of the negative ones appear before the second edition. Most of those complained of the book’s brevity. I took this to heart and doubled the content for the second edition.

One negative review appeared within minutes after Kindle uploaded the second edition. Why?

Kindle made a mistake. It uploaded only the cover and a few pages of the book. The person who bought the book was justifiable in her anger so she give it a one star review. Kindle remedied the problem swiftly. However, appeals to the reviewer to revise or delete the review went unheeded.   

 Kindle’s publication of random review headlines on the sales page damage the book’s sales. These review headlines include the one star review from the disgruntled customer and unfavorable reviews before I published the second edition. The one favorable review in the three headlines summaries was written following the second edition publication.

Kindle says there is nothing they can do about this because headline summaries are automatic and random. Unfortunately the summary headlines have an adverse effect on book sales. The summaries disappeared for about two weeks and book sales returned to a normal level. As soon as the summaries reappeared about a week ago, sales took a nosedive.  

I understand Kindle’s policy and appreciate their support for independent writers. I also understand the huge publication volume they check and why they must have “no exception” policies. However, it would be easy to delete the coding for the damaging headlines.  They did it once before but refuse to do it again.

If you decide to buy the book I hope you’ll consider the review headlines are not an accurate reflection of the book’s second edition.

Thanks for reading along.

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Alpha Lipoic Acid and Diabetic Eye Health

In an earlier blog post I wrote about some of the benefits of alpha lipoic acid and how it can strengthen nerves and help prevent nerve damage. It helped erase the tingling in my feet after my type 2 diabetes diagnosis. 

I also mentioned in that post that alpha lipoic acid could help diabetic eye health by preventing diabetic retinopathy. Much of the information on the Internet mentions alpha lipoic acid but further digging reveals it’s R-Alpha Lipoic acid that is most effective.  

There have been several studies in recent years on R-Alpha Lipoic acid (R-ALA). According to one report on a 2011 study by Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit, the supplement “has produced a significant beneficial effect on the impaired mitochondria biogenesis and on the continued progression of diabetic retinopathy.” In other words, R-ALA has the power to regenerate healthy cells not only for eye health but for other body organs like the pancreas. 

R-ALA has many side benefits according to Web-MD. It helps in weight loss because it improves blood sugar levels 

Applying a cream with 5 percent of the supplement may reduce fine lines. Some reports suggest taking the supplement orally has the same effect. 

Several sources including Dr. Mercola’s website reports R-ALA can slow the spread of Alzheimer’s. WebMD reports at a year’s treatment needed. 

WebMD published over 100 reviews from people who used R-ALA all with good results. Most of the reviews reported the supplement eliminated diabetic nerve pain.  

A medical student wrote, “As a medical student I was surprised from the efficiency of Alpha Lipoic Acid in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy in a 90 y.o DM paitent who has already lost one of her legs as a result of the disease. ALA gives her and also for one of my relatives a dramatic relief in pain.” 

A woman listed between the ages of 25-34 wrote, “After taking 2 pills a day for a few days, I immediately felt the difference. The pain had been so severe, I couldn’t sleep. I noticed a difference in the severity of the pain after the first few days. I have now been on these pills, taken once in the morning and once in the evening, for over a month and I have NO pain. This has truly changed me.” 

The only side effect I found was a possible skin rash. I began taking the R-ALA about two weeks ago and noticed about a 10 percent drop in my morning glucose readings after just a few days. However, I noticed itching on my hands and arms. This could be a reaction to some recent gardening as this happened before.

 

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Please Review my Book

As my Kindle book “Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Less than Six Weeks” enters its first year of publication it’s sold over 3,000 copies. I’m so grateful to those who purchased it and thankful for those who took the time to review it or send me private thanks and comments. 

I recently published the second edition with twice the content as the original. There is more information in the book besides the milkshake diet I used to reverse my diabetes. The new edition features herbal remedies as well as handy instructions for calculating nutritional information for your recipes. If you haven’t bought the book, I believe you will find at least one item or more to help you manage your type 2 diabetes. We know that type 2 diabetes is an individual disease. What works for me may not work for you. There are a few remedies in the book that didn’t work for me as well as for others.  

You don’t need a Kindle reader to download and read a Kindle eBook. You can download software for almost any electronic device including laptops, PCs and smartphones. It’s a simple download and you can be reading an eBook in minutes. You can download the software here.

 

If you already bought the book, please consider writing a review. It doesn’t have to be long. A sentence or two is fine. Your input is valuable. Even negative reviews helped me make some changes and add more material. Good reviews do give the book a higher position on Amazon search and of course that’s helpful for book sales. Just click on the book page and scroll down to the “Review” section. Simply click on the box reading “Write a customer review.” The book page is here.

You can go directly to the “Write a review page” here.

 

Thanks for reading along! Please review my book.

 

Bilberry for Diabetic Eye Health

I began taking bilberry supplements for diabetic eye health about the time of my type 2 diabetes diagnosis.    Adding lutein to the bilberries could have provided better control for my macular degeneration. However, I credit bilberry supplements and alpha lipoic acid for fighting diabetic retinopathy and improving my diabetic eye health. 

Bilberries grow in Europe and look like small blueberries though darker. They’re related to huckleberries that grow wild in some parts of North America. Europeans have used bilberry extract to promote eye health for years. There is a World War II legend British RAF pilots ate bilberry jam before bombing missions and it increased their accuracy. Nothing was ever proven, but it makes an interesting yarn. 

According to information on the University of Maryland Medical Center website, bilberries have strong antioxidants.  The compounds in bilberries help build strong blood vessels and improve circulation in all parts of the body.  

Anecdotal evidence points to night vision improvement for those using bilberry extract. I’ve had terrible night vision over the years, but believe bilberry has improved mine even as I age. Some of the reviews on Amazon.com for bilberry products report dramatic improvement in night vision. 

Recent research suggests bilberry extract can help control and lower blood sugar. I’ve found no evidence it lowers my blood sugar. 

Bilberry supplements are a staple in health food stores. You can buy it as a liquid extract, tea or in capsules. According to WebMD, a typical dose of dried berries is 20-60 grams daily. A dose of 160 mg of bilberry extract taken twice daily is used for people with diseased retinas. 

Like any other supplement, check with your doctor and use caution. According to some of the medical websites, don’t use bilberry with blood-thinning medications like warfarin or even aspirin. The websites also suggest a halt at least two weeks before surgery. 

In the next post we’ll take a look at alpha lipoic acid for diabetic eye health.

 

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Diabetic Eye Health and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Diabetic Health experts recommend a thorough eye examination every year. I missed a couple of years and paid the price. The good news was there was no hint of diabetic retinopathy.  However I had the beginning of age-related macular degeneration. 

I made an ophthalmologist appointment a few weeks ago because of recent vision decrease and occasional blurring when I awoke.  

I thought the problem was diabetic related until the eye exam. It included an Amsler Grid exam which tests the eyes’ focus on a vertical and horizontal grid. If the lines appear wavy in the center, that suggests a problem. This is a test for age-related macular degeneration or AMD.  

I saw wavy lines with each eye so the doctor took some pictures and sent me to a specialist. I was a little annoyed with the clinic which has several practitioners because they had never given me this test before. I mention this because if you are keeping your yearly appointments and are over age 45 make sure they give you this exam. 

Age-related macular degeneration is hereditary. There is no reversal, though vitamins and minerals can halt its progress. There are two forms of the disease; dry and wet. The dry form develops slowly but can turn to the wet form which needs special treatment.  

There are other reasons putting people at risk for AMD. They include smoking and obesity. Women are more at risk than men. 

Vitamins and diet can stanch the dry form from progressing. The young doctor who examined me was an acclaimed AMD doctor. He told me about a National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health study called “Age Related Eye Disease Study” or AREDS. The study discovered a compound of certain vitamins and minerals could slow or stop AMD. A later study last year, known as AREDS2, refined the ingredients. He recommended a supplement branded Focus Select. It has all the ingredients AREDS2 found to slow AMD spread. 

The ingredients in the supplement include vitamins C and E, zinc and copper oxide, lutein and zeaxanthin. AREDS2 also recommended fish oil, which I already used.  

Treatment for the wet form of AMD doesn’t sound pleasant. It includes injections in the eye with a medication to stop leakage and new blood vessel development. This doesn’t sound comfortable though according to my doctor some people recover more vision after treatment. There is also laser therapy and advanced treatments under review.  

People, especially seniors, are at risk for both AMD and diabetic retinopathy. Together they could result in incurable blindness. I’ve taken several natural supplements for the last few years to boost diabetic eye health and we’ll discuss them next time.

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