12-days-diabetes-hpi

The 12 Days of Diabetes from the Health Performance Institute!

Click here to view the event on our Facebook page.

Continue on to learn more about it.



Starting December 12 and finishing December 23, we will host a FB Live video each day. The videos will be short – 3-5 minutes – and will discuss some of the things type 2 diabetics struggle with on a daily basis. A few of the scheduled topics include discussions about food and hunger, the good news and bad news surrounding type 2 diabetes, how what you have been told about exercise is probably wrong and a lot more. See the image for a list of all 12 topics.



In each of the videos, we will discuss the topic and tell you what to do so you can improve your condition.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition. It’s expensive and debilitating and we don’t seem to be making progress in treating the condition. If you are serious about improving your health and making real progress in controlling your diabetes, the 12 Days of Diabetes from us is what you need.

Please join us. Everything is free and there are no strings attached. Please tag all of your friends, family members, co-workers and anyone else you think should hear this information!

Click here to view this event on Facebook. When there, scroll through and click “Going” for all 12 days of Diabetes. While the first live video is scheduled for noon on December 12, we will be hosting the live video each day at a different time, depending on scheduling. So click “Going” to stay updated on the next video times!

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!

Wild Fermentation

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz is one of our favorite books!

Why? Because fermented foods are good for you.

From the foreword, written by Sally Fallon of the Weston A Price Foundation:

Unfortunately, fermented foods have largely disappeared from the Western diet, much to the detriment of our health and economy. Fermented foods are a powerful aid to digestion and a protection against disease. And because fermentation is, by nature, an artisanal process, the disappearance of fermented foods has hastened the centralization and industrialization of our food supply, to the detriment of small farms and local economies.

There are many things you can learn to ferment from this book, like making beer, wine or vinegar. There are also the standard recipes, like sauerkraut, dill pickles, yogurt, kimchi and kombucha. But the real benefit of this book is learning the technique of fermenting.

For example, it is rather simple to make sauerkraut. You need cabbage, salt and a couple of kitchen tools. That’s pretty much it. Katz takes three pages to explain and discuss this topic. Reading this book, you feel how much he enjoys preparing foods this way.

And if you take the time to read and absorb what he has written, you appreciate it more.

It’s why this is one of our favorite books!

RPE and Determining Exercise Intensity

While heart rate (HR) is a popular way to measure exercise intensity, we prefer Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and will explain why in this post.

When using HR, you workout at some percentage of Max HR; for example between 50-60% or 70-80% of Max HR. The usual way to determine Max HR is by subtracting your age from 220 (Max HR = 220 – age). Once you know Max HR, the upper and lower ends of your HR range can easily be determined.

This seems simple and straightforward but technology doesn’t always get it right. For example, there is a class action lawsuit against Fitbit, claiming their technology and/or algorithms are inaccurate. This can have serious consequences for the user, particularly at the higher end of intensity.

We prefer RPE

RPE stands for Ratings of Perceived Exertion and the key word here is “perceived.”

The “perception” of how hard you are exercising is important for evaluating the overall intensity of the workout. And it is probably more accurate than measuring heart rate only. For example, let’s say you were working out hard – near your maximum capacity. You would certainly “feel” like you were working hard, but if you were using a HR monitor to determine intensity and this HR monitor consistently under-reported your HR, you might think you weren’t working hard enough. This would be in spite of how you “feel” and might compel you to try or push yourself harder. This could lead to a dangerous situation.

The RPE scale takes this into account.

Using numbers on a scale and descriptors for how you should feel at various levels of intensity, a user can accurately identify exercise intensity.

This is probably the most popular RPE scale. If you’ve ever taken a treadmill test – either for a research project in college (or graduate school) or at the cardiologist office, you probably saw something like this.



Notice on the left there are numbers for rating the intensity of exercise and descriptors on the right for helping you pick the most appropriate rating. This is the perception part we refer to and think is important.

While the ratings correlate with HR, they are not 100% accurate.

In both The Academy and HPI Diabetes Academy, we use a slightly different RPE scale – the CR-10 Scale.



We use this version for a couple of reasons:

One, it starts at zero. Notice the scale above starts at 6. We prefer a scale that starts at zero so we have a better anchor point for a resting intensity.

Second, it is much more convenient than any type of HR monitor.

Once a person is comfortable with using the scale, nothing else is needed.

To finish this up, the green areas indicate how we prescribe exercise for those in our programs. We recommend either “light” or “hard” exercise and prescribe intensity using this scale. For example, light workouts should have an RPE of 2-5 while hard workouts should have an RPE of 7+. We skip “6” on purpose and it’s not because there is no descriptor. There is a metabolic reason.

Beyond the two points mentioned above, this also allows our users a lot of flexibility. They can do any activity they’d like, as long as it meets the RPE criteria. This means they aren’t restricted to walking, jogging, cycling or any activity where measuring HR might be problematic (like swimming).

This is why we like to use RPE for measuring exercise intensity.

Reading List 2016: Part 2

The list below contains books that we use on a very frequent basis.

Here is Brian’s personal reading list for 2016. He most recently reviewed Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo.

Reference Resources

Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson

There is so much to learn from this book, it’s hard to pick where to start. If learning about foods, preparing them yourself and doing little things to improve the health impact of a food are important, this book is for you.

Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn

The fine art and science of curing just about any meat in any way imaginable!

Bones by Jennifer McLagan

Your grandparents can probably relate to many things in this book. And there is a reason they didn’t get sick. Bones are healthy. In this book, there are many ways to prepare bones to extract the goodness from them.

Ruhlman’s Twenty by Ruhlman

The 20 refers to 20 1-word techniques, like think or butter or sauté or sauce. With these 20 techniques, there are 100 recipes.

Odd Bits by Jennifer McLagan

From McLagan about this book: “Most of the meat we eat – the tenderloins, racks, steaks, legs and chops – is only a small percentage of the animal carcass.”

Well, I’m not interested in these cuts and you won’t find them here. This book is about the rest of the animal: The pieces we once enjoyed and relished but no longer bother with.

Textbook of Medical Physiology by Guyton

At one point, this was the number one selling textbook on human physiology in the country. I didn’t know a single graduate student that didn’t have a copy! Whether or not it is still the number one seller, I don’t know. But this book is invaluable as a reference. Plainly written, thorough and easy to understand.

Books on Sports / Exercise Physiology (several of them)

This is the “in motion” or “during exercise” equivalent to the Guyton textbook above.

Countless articles through medical/science/research journals

There is always a stack of these to go through, highlight and either write about or decide if we should make changes to our recommendations.

3 tips on dealing with food cravings

3 Tips on Dealing with Food Cravings


Are You Hungry

You’ve probably experienced it frequently. Maybe daily. The mid-afternoon urge to go find a snack. The late night craving for something sweet or salty and crunchy.

We talk quite a bit about cravings in Module 2: Why the body gets hungry (the psychological aspects).

One thing we emphasize, endorsed by many that have gone through The Academy, is the intensity of cravings seems to be related to how well you have eaten throughout the day. For example, most of our users report the mid-afternoon urge to visit the vending machine (or break room ) is harder to deal with after a lunch of Chicken Alfredo versus a grilled chicken breast salad.

This makes sense and we discuss why in Module 1: How the body gets hungry.

But if you know this and still eat the Chicken Alfredo, how should you deal with the cravings? In no particular order, here are three tips you can try:

Tip #1: Do something different!

If it’s the middle of the afternoon and you’ve been sitting at your desk since lunch, that’s too long to be sitting. Start doing something else. Follow up on phone calls. Do some filing. Get out of the chair and do something different.

Tip #2: Take a 10 minute walk!

If you ate the Chicken Alfredo for lunch, make it a 20 minute walk! As we discuss at several points in The Academy, walking does an excellent job of temporarily reducing hunger (for a bunch of metabolic reasons). Think you can’t afford a 10 minute walk? Think again. Nothing is so important that it can’t wait 10 minutes.

Tip #3: Drink some water!

You may be thirsty. You may not be thirsty. But get up and get a big glass of water. And drink it.

Sometimes you might have cravings because you are bored. That’s when you try something different. Sometimes you might really be thirsty, so drink some water.

No matter the craving, a good walk around the office building will be helpful.

And please…stop eating Chicken Alfredo for lunch!

Try any of these the next time you feel cravings coming on. Then let us know how they work for you.

PS. We are partial to the 10-minute walk!