sugar consumption increase 8200%

Would you like to know why our chronic disease problem is so bad? Look no further than this!

The USDA recently published “U.S. Trends in Food Availability and a Dietary Assessment of Loss-Adjusted Food Availability, 1970-2014.”

This long-worded and cumbersome title means the report was trying to answer this question: “What kind of changes in food consumption can we see over the specified period of time?” In this case, that specified period of time would be 1970 to 2014.

For a little history: The late 60’s and early 70’s was when the low-fat message started hitting Americans. The USDA published the first dietary guidelines about this time, asking Americans to eat less fat, saturated fat and red meat.

Guess what? Americans, for the most part, followed suit.

There was essentially no change in protein consumption overall – a 1% change in 40 years. Not significant. However, chicken consumption increased significantly – more than doubling during the time period. Since chicken doubled and the overall amount was essentially unchanged, this means red meat consumption went down. As instructed.

Similarly, there were decreases in saturated fat consumption and increases in poly-unsaturated fat consumption (think soybean oil).

But at what cost?

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Between 1970 and 2014, the amount of HFCS consumption increased by 8,212%, going from 0.5 pounds per person per year to 45.5 pounds. This means the average American is consuming nearly 1 pound of HFCS per week!

Grain-Based Products

Wheat and corn-based products also increased in consumption, with wheat based products increasing by 31% and corn-based products increasing by 23%.

While wheat and corn-based products look and taste different than sweets, they act the same once they reach the digestive system. In other words, bread and sugar act the same.

Look Mom, It’s a Chronic Disease Carnival!

Replacing some meat products and lowering fat consumption led to an increase in sugar and processed food consumption.

Processed foods are devoid and any nutritional value. This leaves the body hungry, craving nutrition. But people continue eating processed foods. This starts a viscous cycle.

It starts with slightly, but chronically, elevated blood sugar because insulin starts losing its ability to function efficiently. It manifests itself as pre-diabetes, high blood pressure or problems with cholesterol. Then, usually, type 2 diabetes.

Over time, a person’s health continues to deteriorate because we give them medication to change a number and do nothing to fix the problem. Chronically elevated levels of insulin and fluctuating levels of blood sugar is toxic to all tissue in the body.

This leads to increased risk for kidney problems, vision problems, liver problems, neurological problems, etc…

The shift to this dietary approach means we have chronic diseases popping up all over the place, as if we were in a field of PEZ Dispensers.

How do we fix this problem?

It’s a two-pronged approach.

First, we need a shift from quantity of calories to quality of calories.

Earlier I mentioned that people continue eating processed food when hungry. Why do they do this? Part of it is convenience. But another important part is the thought that we can eat whatever we want, as long as we eat less. This justifies eating for convenience because it’s only the amount of calories consumed that is important.

But if forgets a serious issue: If the body is craving nutrition and we never feed it quality food, we will always be hungry. Remember, foods of convenience are devoid of nutritional value. They are just calories.

So we need more focus on quality of calories. This does not imply that calories are unimportant. It only means the quality of calories is more important. Stated another way: 1,000 calories from a grilled steak salad with vegetables and an olive oil, is not the same as 1,000 calories from Twinkies and Pepsi. Our digestive system is not the same as a bomb calorimeter.

Second, we need to focus on treating these individuals once they become diagnosed. Currently, we only managing their condition by prescribing medication to change a number. This does nothing to fix the problem. If it did, the possibility of getting off medication at some point would exist. It doesn’t (unless they take it upon themselves to do something).

Dietary policy led us here and it can lead us out

If we simply make a change in dietary policy as mentioned above, we would eliminate many of the chronic conditions anticipated in the future. We need to do this sooner rather than later. Current incidence and prevalence data for obesity and these chronic conditions suggest a tidal wave hitting our heatlhcare system soon.

That’s how we get out of this mess!

Thank you!

About Brian Sekula

Brian Sekula, PhD, is the founder and CEO of the Health Performance Institute, where they work with employers, their employees and individuals to alleviate the burden of chronic conditions by preventing diagnoses or helping individuals get off their medications. They do this by focusing on fixing the problem, rather than trying to reduce a number that is a symptom of the problem.

3 Snacks for Type 2 Diabetics

3 Snacks Type 2 Diabetics need to keep with them at ALL times!

No blood sugar impact snacks

Most type 2 diabetics struggle with controlling their blood sugar. Since almost all foods seem to raise their blood sugar, they also tend to stress out over what kind of snacks they can eat.

But since they also get hungry, this is a problem. So…what to eat?

Listed below are three different snacks you should have on “your person” at all times. Under most circumstances, they have a zero to minimal impact on your blood sugar, which means you should be able to eat them without worry (at least regarding your blood sugar).

Nuts

Nuts are high in fat, good fiber, vitamins and minerals. While they vary slightly – from one variety to another – in nutrient content, they are all high in fat, which means they will have minimal impact on your blood sugar. Additionally, the fat, vitamin and mineral content will help keep you full (or sated) until your next meal.

They are pretty hardy and travel well, making them an excellent snack choice for just about anyone, but type 2 diabetics in particular.

Eat them raw (our preference) or roasted. Just don’t eat them loaded with sugar or syrup or covered in chocolate (but you already knew that).

And if you happen to be allergic to nuts, seeds are good too. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds do essentially the same things!

Beef Jerky

Another snack high in protein and fat – the combination you need to keep your blood sugar from spiking.

Our preference: Buy it from a meat market or butcher shop (or make it yourself) so you know that it has been minimally processed. Another tip: If you buy from the store, check the label and look at the sugar content. Many types of beef jerky sold at the store have a lot of added sugar. Try to keep it below 5 grams of sugar per serving.

Best bet: Sugar free beef jerky.

A Boiled Egg

This is the least hardy of our recommendations but unless you have to leave these snacks in your car and it’s hot outside, you don’t really have to worry about the boiled egg.

Eggs are a great source of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals and an excellent source of protein.

Our recommendation: Always keep a dozen boiled eggs in the refrigerator. They are great snacks at any time!

Stay away from those…

Those little packets of 100 calorie snacks should be avoided by most people, especially type 2 diabetics. They are little more than sugar-spiking food products. It does not matter that they contain only 100 calories. It matters that they consist of some type of flour and sugar, both of which spike your blood sugar. Who thinks it’s better to eat a 100 calorie pack of cookies over one triple-double-stuffed Oreo cookie, which is also 100 calories?

That is insane

These snacks help you better control your blood sugar

While the 100 calorie snack packs are insane, these three snacks are not. Eat them when hungry. Your blood sugar will thank you!

If you liked these tips and would like more, sign up for our email newsletter below.

As a bonus, there are 3 gifts from the HPI Diabetes Academy included!

Insulin Sensitivity Webinar

Thank you for viewing our webinar!

Listed below are links where you can download the files discussed during the webinar – the exercise tip sheet and the Module 1 Guide.

A link to enroll in the HPI Diabetes Academy, as discussed during the webinar, is also below.

Click here to download the slides used during the webinar.

Purpose of the Webinar: Stress the importance of improving insulin sensitivity, which is not done by conventional treatment methods.



Exercise Tip Sheet

Module 1 Guide

As mentioned during the webinar, we have an offer to enroll for an exclusive discount of $150 off.

If you’d like to enroll, get access to all 10 Modules of the HPI Diabetes Academy, all of our webinars and more, click the image below to be taken to our shopping cart where you can enroll right now and get immediate access to our website!

Here is how the process will work:

When you click the link below, you will be taken to our shopping cart. Once your transaction is complete, you will be automatically taken to the “Account Creation” page for the HPI Diabetes Academy website. From that point, all you have to do is create your account and you are registered and enrolled!



See you there!

Glycemic Control for Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus



Controlling blood sugar is not enough!

A recently published article confirms what many other articles have shown:

For type 2 diabetics, controlling blood sugar does not reduce the risk of complications.

Link to Abstract

A pull-quote from the conclusion in the abstract:

“Discordance exists between the research evidence and academic and clinical policy statements about the value of tight glycemic control to reduce micro- and macrovascular complications.”

In other words, what type 2 diabetic patients are being told about controlling their blood sugar and it reducing their risk for kidney disorders, vision problems or pain-related issues, is not consistent with the research.

In fact…

“This evidence reported no significant impact of tight glycemic control on the risk of dialysis/transplantation/renal death, blindness or neuropathy. …however, most published statements and guidelines unequivocally endorsed” the benefits.

So we have a conundrum…

Not really. There are at least three issues here

One off blood tests indicate nothing

When we visit the doctor and have a fasting blood sugar test done, it indicates almost nothing regarding blood sugar control. A step in the right direction would be to monitor blood sugar control with regular A1c tests.

Wholly invested in controlling blood sugar

Everything we do regarding treatment of type 2 diabetes and/or prediabetes (a terrible term) is geared to control blood sugar – we’ve built the entire industry around it. Whether it be the medication, a fasting blood sugar test, or “official statements” from AHA, CDC, NIH or the ADA, it’s all about controlling blood sugar and reducing risk.

This leads to zero positive impact on the cause of type 2 diabetes – insulin resistance.

Maybe type 2 diabetes really is an insidious condition

It is quite possible that insulin resistance and blood sugar dysregulation are more complicated than we currently think and/or know.

It is amusing, telling and disturbing when a complicated concept is taken to a point where it is too simple – simple beyond reason.

But…if the risk for these complications in type 2 diabetics is higher, it means those without type 2 diabetes have a lower risk. So it plays some role – maybe we don’t really understand if the risk is causative or associative. But the risk is there.

So what should you do?

First, understand and come to grips with the fact that artificially controlling your blood sugar (in other words, through medication) is not enough. In spite of what your healthcare professional(s) tell you, the evidence simply does not support it.

Second, take steps to improve insulin sensitivity, which will decrease insulin resistance. Some of these steps include the right diet, proper exercise and ensuring enough sleep (I recently hosted a live webinar on these very topics. If you’d like to view it, enter your name and email address below).

If you can improve insulin sensitivity, you make progress on naturally controlling blood sugar – as opposed to artificially. The more consistent you are, the more your insulin sensitivity improves. The more it improves, the more your body starts acting like someone who doesn’t have type 2 diabetes.

In the long run, and as noted above, this reduces your risk.

View the Webinar

Enter your name and email address below to view the webinar on improving insulin sensitivity mentioned above.

3 Keys to improving insulin sensitivity

What they aren’t telling you!

As a type 2 diabetic, you are keenly aware of the importance in controlling your blood sugar. Whether it is with your diet, the frequency or dosage of your medication, this point is hammered home!

But there is something they aren’t telling you.

Everything you are instructed to do is to control blood sugar:

  • Medication? Find the right dose so the numbers are where they like them?
  • Diet? These are the exchanges. Use them, but eat fewer calories.
  • Exercise? Go burn some of those calories you just ate!

This is nonsense.

It’s nonsense because…

Controlling blood sugar will not fix anything. Sure, you want to keep your blood sugar in check and taking your medication will help you do that. But…type 2 diabetes (and prediabetes) is a problem of insulin resistance. You’ve been told that before, right?

Insulin resistance is what causes your blood sugar to rise. Taking medication to control your blood sugar does nothing to improve insulin resistance!

So you take your medication and check your “numbers.” But what happens when your medication runs out? You need a refill or your blood sugar goes back up. Right?

This is the problem!

In order to improve your health and control your condition, you need to improve insulin sensitivity. This will allow your body to deal with the elevated blood sugar naturally, as opposed to doing it artificially with medication.

So how do you do that?

The Metabolic Problem

Outside of the obvious, type 2 diabetics are fundamentally different than non-diabetics when it comes to their metabolism. For example, at rest they burn a significantly higher amount of carbohydrates to produce calories than their non-diabetic counterparts. This is a major problem because we should all be burning fat while at rest. This holds true as they exercise – they burn a significantly lower percentage of calories from fat at all levels of exercise intensity. Beyond the metabolic and exercise differences, they have a hard time dealing with hunger and feeling satisfied because of this metabolic problem.

This is why the standard approach doesn’t work.

When you combine this with the above information – medication that controls blood sugar doesn’t improve insulin sensitivity – it is no wonder that average type 2 diabetic is told they will never be able to get off of their medication. Nothing is done to properly help them.

Improving Insulin Sensitivity is Key

There are three ways a type 2 diabetic can improve insulin sensitivity:

  • Proper diet
  • Proper exercise
  • The right amount of sleep

I know. Very groundbreaking, right?

But something in this list is key: The word proper! Because if the right kind of food is not eaten, the right kind of exercise is not done and if the right amount of sleep is not part of the equation, insulin sensitivity will not improve.

Proper Diet

The diet for a type 2 diabetic should do at least two things: 1) reduce the overall glucose load on the body. This will help reduce fat storage and help the liver better regulate circulating blood glucose (one of its many important functions). 2) It should promote a fat-burning state so that while at rest, a type 2 diabetic can decrease the amount of carbohydrates their body is burning. Did you even realize you could do this with the proper food choices?

Proper Exercise

Any kind of exercise is better than no exercise, but when it comes to a type 2 diabetic, some exercise is superior. Exercise that promotes fat-burning should serve as the bulk of physical activity. It is like a sledgehammer, battering your metabolism into submission and forcing it to get better at burning fat. Note: This will also help with the resting metabolism problem. So it has a nice side benefit. Another thing to mention: This type of activity should be continuous and last more than 30 minutes – with an hour being optimal. Why? Because it takes a while for your body to get into a good fat burning zone. You need to get in that zone and then stay there.

The right amount of sleep

A lack of quality sleep is associated with every chronic condition known to man. Type 2 diabetes is no different. Further, most people don’t necessarily need to go to bed earlier to improve the quality of their sleep. They just need to change a few things in the last hour or so before they go to bed. After a good dinner the night before and a good night’s sleep, your metabolism is just about perfect.

Start doing these things

If you start doing these things, your insulin sensitivity will improve. Your body will start controlling blood sugar naturally, like it is supposed to do.

The longer you do this, the more your insulin sensitivity will improve, which means in the long run, you won’t have to panic if/when your medication runs out.

If you’d like to learn more…

I recently hosted a webinar on these very topics.

If you’d like to view a recorded version of the webinar, enter your name and email address below and we will send it to you right away.

Why knowing what happens to digestible carbohydrate is important

What happens to the carbohydrates we eat?

Type 2 diabetics (and many others) know they turn into blood sugar. Monitoring blood sugar is something a type 2 diabetic does daily.

But did you know that understanding what happens to blood sugar is also important? I’m not talking about whether it goes up or down after you eat a meal or snack. I’m talking about after the meal and after it has reached its peak – when it starts to go down. The blood sugar goes somewhere. Do you know where it goes?

If you don’t, you should. Because knowing this will help you understand the fate of blood sugar, how you can eat to change this and what impact it will have.

Setting the Stage

It is necessary to define a key term before explaining this process and the image above.

That key term is: digestible carbohydrate. Digestible carbohydrate is the amount of carbohydrate digested by your body after eating a food. For example, one cup of zucchini contains about 12 calories (3 grams) of digestible carbohydrate. By comparison, 1 cup of diced potato contains 28 grams of carbohydrate or 112 calories from carbohydrate. However, it contains only 96 calories of digestible carbohydrate. For most foods, the difference between total carbohydrates and digestible carbohydrate is the difference in fiber content.

In both instances (and all instances of eating food) our body must deal with the digestible carbohydrate calories from the food we eat. In the explanation below, it does not matter where those carbohydrate calories come from (zucchini, potato, cake or ice cream) – the principle is still the same.

The Fate of Blood Sugar

When we eat the zucchini or potato or drink a sugary beverage, there are two outcomes for blood sugar (at least as they relate to this article): 1) some of the blood sugar will be consumed by the body to produce energy; and, 2) the rest will be stored.

The first one is easy to understand. When we eat (or drink) something, our body has to digest it. The act of digesting food is work for the body. Work for the body is done by “burning” or “producing” calories. Glucose can be used to “burn” or “produce” energy needed to do this work. So some of the blood glucose from the foods you eat will be consumed for energy production. But, depending on your circumstance and the amount of digestible carbohydrate you consumed, it is a relatively small amount. This means the rest of the blood glucose needs to be dealt with.

So what happens to the rest?

It gets stored and this is important for you to understand! There isn’t much we can do – one way or the other – to impact the amount of blood sugar that is consumed for energy production. Changing foods we eat, various combinations, whatever the case may be, there isn’t a significant change in the amount of glucose consumed during the digestive process. So this amount (whatever it may be) is pretty stable.

But we can have an impact on storage.

If you return to the image above, there is a cupcake and eggplant on the left hand side. The digestible portion of carbohydrate, that which doesn’t get consumed during the digestive process, gets stored as either glycogen or fat tissue. That’s what the arrows represent.

But how do we know what amounts goes into each and what can do to impact this?

Great questions!

First, our body would prefer to convert glucose to glycogen – the storage form of glucose. The remaining glucose, whatever doesn’t get consumed by producing energy, goes through step 1. This involves converting the glucose to glycogen and storing it – in either muscle tissue or the liver (the only real places our body can store glycogen). Step 1 continues until a condition is met: 1) Our body runs out of glucose that needs to be stored. If this happens, the process stops. Blood sugar is at “normal” levels and nothing else needs to be done. Or, 2) Glycogen levels in both the liver and muscle tissue are full and unable to accept more glycogen. When our body reaches this point, we go to step 2. Step 2 is converting glucose to fat and storing it in the fat tissue. We go through this step until blood sugar is “normal” and nothing else needs to be done.

Limiting Fat Storage

If you go back and look at the image, we can see the middle section (glycogen) dictates how much glucose gets converted to fat and stored in the fat tissue.

With that in mind, there are two things we can do to effectively minimize the amount of glucose that is converted to fat and stored in the fat tissue.

First, we can increase the storage capacity of glycogen. We can do this in one of two ways. By depleting our glycogen stores through dietary changes or exercise; or, by increasing the amount of muscle tissue on our body. Both of these strategies will work to increase the amount of digestible carbohydrate that gets stored as glycogen and decrease the amount of glucose that gets converted to fat and stored as fat tissue.

The second thing we can do is limit the amount of digestible carbohydrate we eat. Overall, the less digestible carbohydrate we consume, the less there is to convert to fat and store in fat tissue.

Both of these strategies will work to decrease fat storage. As an added benefit, it will also improve the body’s ability to access the fat stores, which helps improve insulin sensitivity. A positive outcome for type 2 diabetics.

Digestible Carbohydrate is an important concept to understand

Overall, as a type 2 diabetic, knowing how certain foods spike your blood sugar is important. However, knowing what happens to the digestible carbohydrate may be even more important to know.

Since we can eat foods that decrease (or limit) fat storage, we can impact our overall blood sugar. This will work to improve insulin sensitivity, so that we can control our blood sugar more naturally – instead of using medication to do it. Beyond all that, none of us like storing body fat – we don’t like the way too much of it makes us feel or look, but the negative impact it has on insulin sensitivity makes it worse.

Understanding this and acting accordingly will have a positive impact on your condition.

You’re doing eggs all wrong!

Image from bostonmagazine.com.

 

You’ve heard it before, maybe even believe it yourself:

Eat the egg whites and trash the yolks!

Egg yolks are full of saturated fat and cholesterol – they are bad for you!”

The list goes on…

It’s hard not to get caught up in this line of thinking because it seems to be everywhere. After all, nearly every restaurant that serves breakfast has a “healthy breakfast option” that removes the yolks from the eggs.

Thinking this way is doing eggs all wrong. It’s time to stop the egg-yolk-phobia!

Yolk is the healthiest part of the egg!

Look at the image below. From a single egg yolk (17 grams), it’s easy to see yolks are loaded with micronutrients!

These restaurants and their healthy egg options are getting rid of the healthiest part of an egg. Compare the nutrient density of the egg white from a single egg below.

Not much of a comparison. In fact, there are bunch of zeros when it comes to nutrient density of the egg white.

Beyond the direct comparison, the protein in egg whites is more difficult to digest when the fats from the egg yolks are not available to help your body digest them.

But, but saturated fat and cholesterol!

Yes, we all know the drill. Eating saturated fat raises cholesterol, which increases heart attack risk. This is simply not true. Although eating a “saturated” fat like Crisco certainly increases your risk, it’s not really a saturated fat.

Further, study after study after study has repeatedly shown that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat has little impact on your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol levels are internally regulated, when you consume more, your body makes less. And vice-versa.

Finally, studies show that consuming whole eggs improves cholesterol profile, increases HDL and improves metabolic syndrome here, here and here.

Beyond all of that, high cholesterol is (supposedly) a risk factor indicating an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Some would argue against that.

See? Eggs aren’t so bad!

In fact, they are one of the best foods you can eat. Their awesome micronutrient profile means they go a long way to filling your satiety bucket, which means your body will stay full longer.

What about the calories?

What about them? A single, large boiled egg contains 70-80 calories, depending on size. So if you eat two boiled eggs for breakfast, you are consuming 150-160 calories. Compare that to a medium, plain bagel at nearly 300 calories! And the nutrient density in the whole egg completely blows away the bagel. So you are eating fewer calories and doing a better job of feeding your body.

Not much of a comparison!

Tell’em they’re doing eggs all wrong!

The next time someone tells you the egg yolk should be thrown out, tell them they are doing eggs all wrong. Then proceed to recite everything in this article.

And the next time you have breakfast at a restaurant, tell your waiter you want the healthy eggs, those WITH the yolk!