A Vegan Diabetic Problem

Here is a real question from a real vegan diabetic. How would you answer this person? I would like to hear from both low-carb high-fat and high-carb low-fat vegans readers and anything in between.

“My sugar levels are going up and don’t know what I am doing wrong. This is what I have eaten so far and my sugar has never been this high.

“11: 20 a.m. – I ate a peanut butter sandwich. After that my sugar was 10.4 mmol/l [166mg/dL].

“12:30 p.m. – I ate a vegan burrito. It had veggies, spinach, lentils, and avocado; and my sugar was 7.6 mmol/l [126mg/dL]

“But at 2:32 p.m., I had a headache so I checked my sugar level and it was 21 mmol/l [326mg/dL].

“What am I doing wrong? Should I go low-carb?”

Continue reading “A Vegan Diabetic Problem”

What is a Keto Diet?

When I put this question into Google, the first article that came up was “The Ketogenic Diet 101: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide” (June 17, 2017). And it is, indeed, one of the best articles on this topic with a lot of references to documented studies. Simply put, a ketogenic diet is any diet that allows your body to achieve and maintain ketosis. So, what is ketosis?

WebMD, in all its cautious simplicity, says:

Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. Ketones are substances that are made when the body breaks down fat for energy. When you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy.

Continue reading “What is a Keto Diet?”

Do Not Get Old Like This

Do Not Get Old Like This

I very seldom re-post verbatim from another blog or group, but this one was so well-written and poignant that I absolutely have to. It’s from a public Facebook group and full credit is given at the bottom. Here goes.

The High Sugar Diabetic Version

I was out walking my dogs today and saw my neighbor sitting on a bench talking urgently to an older woman. My neighbor looked up and saw me and I could tell she was very worried.

Continue reading “Do Not Get Old Like This”

Routine Diabetic Foot Care

Yesterday I had the most awesome experience that I’ve had in a very long time. Linda and I had the opportunity to meet in person with our medical nail technologist, Jeannie, who came in from out of town to attend our church picnic. She brought along her traveling podiatry care kit and offered to “take care of ” Linda and me right there in the park!

We knew about this in advance so we were careful to wash our feet before coming and remembered to not shave our legs! That’s something important to remember even if you get a regular spa pedicure in a salon because of the risk of infection. Unlike a spa pedicure, diabetic foot care is completely waterless. Continue reading “Routine Diabetic Foot Care”

Health reform does not belong to Adventists

Three days ago I read the most profound article I’ve come across in a long time. It was written by Dr. Jack Hoehn, a retired Adventist physician, who actually wrote a three-part series, “Adventists in Health Care,” published in Adventist Today (see link below).  But one section stood out as resonating so completely with the philosophy of Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics that I have to share it in its entirety:

God never intended Seventh-day Adventists to have a little treasure of privileged Divine information on health and happiness that we could use as bait to get people to join our church.  In the past we have spoken of “health care” or “the health care message” as “an opening wedge.” This used to mean if we are good doctors and nurses, they might listen to us about the Sabbath and the State of the Dead. If we get them to stop smoking with “The 5-day Plan” then they will join our churches. While this is perhaps true, it misses the point that we serve a God who gives the rain to the just and to the unjust. And to think that our vegetarianism is the cure to cancer or that not smoking or drinking wine will exempt us from death and pain is bogus and unworthy of our faith.

God gave Adventists a prophetic health message, because we were sick and needy, and he wanted us to live better and share the information with the world. It was not to make Loma Linda Adventists a Blue Zone who would live 10 years longer than anyone else; it was to help everyone everywhere live better and happier. Our health message is not unique and special; the only thing unique and special about the Adventist Health message is that we believe we should do what we know, as a spiritual duty.

But we can learn, as did our Adventist Pioneers, from non-Adventists what is healthy, what is hygienic, what is rational, what is safe, pure, and effective in living our lives. Health is from God, and God is not handing out little packets of special blessing on Adventists; he is pouring out blessings on every religion, every gender, every race. While God worked for us through Ellen White, he worked for the world through Louis Pasteur, Joseph Lister, William Osler, and Bayer chemical company with knowledge of infections as causing disease, aseptic surgery, rational medical treatments, ether anesthesia, and aspirin. These are all much larger and more important blessings to mankind than avoiding mustard, tea, and coffee ever will be.

Vegetarianism no longer belongs to Adventists. Not smoking is no longer a peculiar belief of Adventists.  Avoiding narcotics and addicting drugs is not an Adventist issue. We no longer need to talk about “dangerous drugs;” modern medicine has fully accepted that every chemical used for health purposes need to be pure, safe, and effective. The church needs to move from 19th century health concerns to 21st century health concerns. We need obesity prevention, diabetic prevention, cancer risk reduction, and mental health promotion now, not just stop-smoking clinics and harping on mustard! If the evidence shows that coffee is good for old people with memory loss, we need to encourage its use. If the evidence shows that spices actually are good for people, we need to drop those errors of our 19th-century prophetess, and move on to health for today, not the reforms useful in 1863. Once it took Adventists to make breakfast cereals and peanut butter. There is no need for us to do these things today.

And we must fully embrace cooperation with all other agencies for good in our world.  We will support every health initiative from every source. If the Muslim Red Crescent and the American Red Cross are improving health, we will support both equally. That’s the kind of God Adventists worship.

Reference: https://atoday.org/a-future-for-adventists-in-health-care/

Start With Portion Control

Start With Portion Control

If you or your loved one have been recently diagnosed—or have recently come to a shocking realization that you are going to die early if you don’t make some drastic changes—let me suggest that perhaps the very first step to take is Portion Control. And the first step in practicing Portion Control is to keep a detailed, strict food journal.

Some of you have told me that you really need both accountability and motivation. And there’s nothing like a written food journal to provide both!

Your food journal can be as simple as a manually written one or as complex as a computer or phone app (like MyFitnessPal and others). You can track only the food and the amount of carbohydrates per serving (since it’s carbohydrates that are raising your blood sugar); or you can track a full bank of macronutrients (calories, carbs, fat, fiber, protein, etc.). However, in either case you need to know the portion size of one (1) serving and write it down. Add up the grams of carbohydrate in one meal or snack then calculate the total for the day. Continue reading “Start With Portion Control”

What Is the Best Diabetes Support Group?

This blog post is excerpted from a recently edited page, Diabetes Support Groups. It reads, in part:

Most Facebook diabetes support groups are focused on a specific approach to diabetes management, such as (1) low-carb high-fat moderate-protein, (2) low-carb high-protein moderate-fat, (3) high-carb low-fat vegan, (4) vegetarian, (5) ketogenic, or (6) ADA-compliance. Or they are focused on a specific program, such as Weimar’s NEWSTART, John McDougall and “Forks Over Knives,” Dr. Ron Rosedale and the “Rosedale Health Plan,” Dr. Eric Westman’s “HEAL Clinics,” Dr. Richard K. Bernstein’s “Diabetes Solution,” or any number of the ever-growing-in-popularity ketogenic groups. All of these groups are very good in providing information about their specific focus. If information is what you are seeking. (And I’m deliberately not putting in hyperlinks to these programs. If you are interested in any specific one(s), you are free to Google.) Continue reading “What Is the Best Diabetes Support Group?”

When Your Blood Sugar Is Over 200

When Your Blood Sugar Is Over 200

When you have low blood sugar (under 67 mg/dL), there are specific things you can do to raise blood sugar back to normal (70-99 mg/dL); but it’s not so easy when you have high blood sugar. For anything over 300 mg/dL, I would definitely phone your on-call advice nurse and ask for help. For blood sugars of 400+, don’t hesitate to go to the ER! They will give you regular insulin along with fluid and electrolyte replacement. Continue reading “When Your Blood Sugar Is Over 200”

Looking at “The Ultimate List of Foods for Diabetics”

This past week, an article entitled “The Ultimate List of 25 Foods that Help Control Your Blood Sugar Levels” appeared in my Facebook Newsfeed. This type of article is written for the general gullible public for the sole purpose of generating revenue from the ads that accompany such articles. The authors are not going to bother with solid documentation from peer-reviewed studies or even from anecdotal information such as, “In my experience…” Normally, I would just say, “Meh,” and move right along.

However, since this article was shared in a diabetes support group, I responded, “This is an opinion piece, at best, and not based on any documentation of scientific studies. It is undoubtedly useful for those who are still struggling to transition from the SAD (Standard American Diet) to a more whole-foods diet, and for high-carb low-fat vegans (except for the fish) who are not tracking their carbohydrate intake. For low-carb high-fat moderate-protein diabetics and those following ADA dietary recommendations, you need to know the macronutrient composition of these foods and the portion or serving size. I’ll be blogging soon about this. Meanwhile, keep ‘eating to your meter’!” And I promised this blog post. Continue reading “Looking at “The Ultimate List of Foods for Diabetics””

Summer Foot Care

I haven’t posted much (or at all) about diabetic foot care, though it is one of the most important aspects! Today, on one of the diabetes support groups I’m in, a member wrote the following:

“Any advice for diabetic foot care, especially spending a lot of time in a pool? As we speak, hubby is in the hospital due to a horrible infection in his toe. He wasn’t even aware of it! I noticed it and we went right to the ER. They considered removing part of the toe, but for now they are trying strong antibiotics. But, going forward, I’m wondering if he should wear something on his feet in the pool. I think it’s making the skin extra soft putting him at greater risk.”

My first thought was of my friend, Paula Edwardsen, who is a certified, licensed medical nail technologist in the state of California. I posed this question to her, and this was her response: Continue reading “Summer Foot Care”