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Do You Have Diabetes?

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

Give It a Three-Week Trial. What Have You Got to Lose?

1. Build Your Meals from The Power Plate. It’s not complicated! Fill your plate with whole grains, legumes (beans, lentils, peas), fruits, and vegetables. Drink water. Keep nuts or seeds to a small handful once a day.

2. Begin a Vegan Diet: Avoid Animal Products.A vegan diet has no animal products at all: No red meat, poultry, pork, fish, dairy products, and eggs. Why? Animal products contain saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease, insulin resistance, and certain forms of cancer. They also contain cholesterol and, of course, animal protein. It may surprise you to learn that diets high in animal protein can aggravate kidney problems and calcium losses. All the protein you need can be found in whole grains, legumes, and vegetables.

3. Avoid Added Vegetable Oils and Other High-Fat Foods. Although vegetable oils are healthier than animal fats, oils are not health foods. All fats and oils are high in calories; 1 gram of any fat or oil has nine calories, while 1 gram of carbohydrate has only four calories. The amount of fat we really need each day is quite small and comes packed inside the Power Plate vegetables, grains, and beans. Avoid oily sauces and salad dressings and foods fried in oil. Limit olives, avocados, nuts, and peanut butter. Read labels, and choose mostly foods with no more than 2–3 grams of fat per serving.

4. Favor Foods with a Low Glycemic Index. The glycemic index (GI) identifies foods that raise blood sugar more than other foods. High GI foods can also raise triglyceride levels. Fortunately, beans, oats, sweet potatoes, and, surprisingly, white and wheat pasta, are among foods that are lower GI champions. So are breads such as pumpernickel, rye, multigrain and sourdough, and tortillas. Lower GI cereals are bran cereals, muesli, and rolled or steel-cut oats. Grains such as barley, parboiled rice, couscous, corn, and quinoa have a low GI. High GI foods to limit are sugar and sugary products, white and wheat bread, corn flakes, and puffed rice cereals.

5. Go High-Fiber. Aim for at least 40 grams of fiber each day. Choose beans, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains (e.g., whole-wheat pasta, barley, oats, quinoa). Aim for at least 3 grams of fiber per serving on labels and 10 to 15 grams per meal. Start slowly. Expect a change in bowel habits (usually for the better). Gassiness from beans can be minimized with small servings and thorough cooking and, if a problem, will get better over time!

*A note on vitamin B12: Those following a diet free of animal products (and all adults over the age of 50) should take a B12 supplement to protect blood and nerve cells.

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