If you are a diabetic, it means you have to avoid the Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Halloween candy, and even the refreshing orange juice.
However, Christina Ros, the cofounder of Be-Mixed, the all-natural, zero-calorie cocktail mixer, says she feels better when avoiding carby, sugary junk, and focusing on foods high in proteins like hard-boiled eggs, sushi, and meatballs for the three meals of the day, respectively.
She says her blood sugar stays balanced when consuming more protein, and her headaches have disappeared completely when sitting in a meeting.
The personal strategy of Christina Ros has proved to be a smart science according to new research. The European Association for the Study of Diabetes has presented the research, saying that a diet high in protein improves the balance of blood sugar, and reduces liver fat in type 2 diabetics, without damaging the kidneys.
Apparently, the source of protein doesn’t matter, so it can be both, plant or animal-based. The important thing is to make up 30 percent of your diet, or 10 to 35% as recommended by the USDA.
The German research involved people from both genders, who were separated into 2 groups. One received a protein-rich diet from animal sources like meat and dairy, and the other received a protein-rich diet from plant sources like chickpeas and lentils. The participants from both groups received the rest of their nutrition from 30 percent dietary fat, and 40 percent carbohydrates.
The research lasted for six weeks, and the results showed that both groups had reduced liver fat and improved glucose metabolism. But, the group which received animal-based proteins also marked improved insulin sensitivity, whereas the opposite group had improved kidney function.
Michael Gonzalez-Campoy, MD, wasn’t surprised by these results. He is a medical director of the Center for Obesity, Metabolism, and Endocrinology in Minnesota, so he sees the power of a healthy diet every day. He explains that eating carbohydrates with a high glycemic index increases the plasma glucose which in fact triggers insulin release. These carbohydrates turn to glucose in the blood readily, and they include beans, potatoes, pasta, rice, and sweets.
If you consume great amounts of these foods you can get chronic insulin stimulation. Over time, this can result in creating new fat cells, and more fat buildups in the existing fat cells. After a certain period, the body must start storing fat in other organs, such as the liver.
On the opposite hand, eating proteins instead of foods with a high glycemic index (soluble carbohydrates) will mean less insulin secretion, so this whole process will be reversed. Gonzalez-Campoy says that consuming foods with a low glycemic index can gradually improve metabolic function. This results in a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and better weight loss maintenance.
According to Gonzalez-Campoy, the low-carb, high-protein diet plan used in the research satisfies the recommendations given in the Healthy Eating Clinical Practice Guideline by the Obesity Society and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. He says that all adults, especially diabetics, people with insulin resistance, prediabetes, obese, and overweight people can benefit from following this healthy diet.
The following daily menu is created by two registered dietitians who specialize in diabetes. They were asked to make the macronutrients in the same ratio as the German research – 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat.
From the dietitian in the Joslin Diabetes Center’s clinical research, Veronica Salsberg, MS, RD, LDN
Breakfast – half whole wheat English muffin, one hard-boiled egg, one tablespoon of margarine spread free from trans fat, and 1 ¼ of cup strawberries.
Snack – One tablespoon of chopped nuts with 5-6 ounces of nonfat Greek yogurt with fruit flavor.
Lunch – Sandwich prepared from three ounces low-sodium lean roast beef, one small whole wheat pita bread, lettuce, and two slices red onion; plus 1/3 cup of hummus, and ¾ cup of carrots.
Snack – One cup of low-fat cottage cheese, and 1/3 cup of pineapple pieces.
Dinner – Prepare a chicken and veggie stir-fry from 8 ounces raw chicken breast strips, half a cup water chestnut slices, half a cup snow peas, half a cup mandarin juice, stir-fried in one tablespoon of canola or peanut oil, minced garlic clove, and one tablespoon of low-sodium soy sauce. Serve on top of one cup of cooked brown rice.
From the Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies’ author, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Toby Smithson, MS, RDN, CDE, who’s diabetic himself)
Breakfast – 5 ounces Greek vanilla yogurt with frittata prepared from a cup of liquid egg whites, and half a cup of shredded vegetables and cheese.
Lunch – ten whole-grain crackers; tuna Nicoise salad prepared from 4 ounces of tuna and a low-calorie Italian dressing; and a cup of fresh berries with frozen whipped topping.
Snack – Prepare yourself a banana and peanut butter sushi, by spreading two tablespoons of peanut butter on a low-carb tortilla, putting a small banana over it, rolling the tortilla, and finally cutting it into small pieces.
Dinner – four ounces of grilled chicken with a bit of lemon juice, steamed green beans with roasted red pepper, ¾ cup of rice pilaf with currant, one teaspoon of buttery spread or butter, and one small whole-grain roll.
Snack – Enjoy 25 pistachio nuts.