Low carb diet means better blood sugar control

5 years ago when I first started experimenting with a low carb diet to control my blood sugars, it was a controversial idea. My doctor and my trainer at the ADA both argued against it, the ADA person quite vigorously. There’s a saying in diabetes management that you should learn to eat to your meter, and my meter was saying this was working great, so I ignored them. Ultimately I won over my physician – he could see how well this was working from my 3 month blood tests. The ADA rep never came around. Anyway I mention all this because the results of a Duke University study confirm what I already knew – this approach works best for controlling sugars.

Ironically, just as mainstream science seems to be catching up to where I was 5 years ago, it’s also starting to conclude that sugar management is not the highest priority, at least not later in life – cholesterol and blood pressure is where the focus should be. My reading of this is that for the medium term, I’m still good to go with my current strategy. I’ll confess though – I’m starting to think I need to cave in and begin taking a statin of some kind. My cholesterol numbers have never been good, despite trying a huge variety of things to balance them over the last 5 years. I’ve avoided statins because when they first put me on them I had huge pain issues, to the point where I was waking up in the middle of the night shouting in pain. Also statins have become like aspirin – physicians are prescribing them at the drop of the hat for a ever broadening definition of who needs them. This has left me feeling like big money pharma is what is pushing the statin use, not actual health issues. I don’t know where I’ll end up on this, my guess though is I’ll try some statin this year to see how things go.

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Delicious food tip: celeriac

Image via Wikipedia

Susan’s a member of a local CSA farm, and she often picks up celeriac, which I’d never had until a month or so ago. Celeriac is the root of a particular kind of celery plant. It looks like a very large gnurled potato, but it has almost no starch content so it’s perfect for diabetics. You can prepare it much like you would prepare mashed potatoes, or you can dice it and steam, boil. or stirfry it and serve it as a side vegetable with your dinner. It’s great! It has a very mild celery taste, it’s versatile, and when you can find it it’s dirt cheap. Definitely worth trying if you’re looking to add some healthy variety to your diet.

Incidence of type 2 diabetes doubled in the last decade

That title pretty much sums up what recent statements by US federal health officials revealed, reported on here on US News & World Report’s website. I don’t have too much to add to this, just getting the word out. They don’t go into much detail in terms of causes of type 2 diabetes beyond the typical ‘sedentary lifestyle, obesity = higher incidence of the disease.’ The one aspect of it that I don’t think I’ve noted here before is how incidence rates are much higher in the poorer southern states than in the northern states. Education is a critical component of the disease that folks don’t seem to focus on as much – new drugs and approaches to treatment are great, but making sure kids are taught from a young age that fried twinkies + 2 quarts of soda + 6 hours of videogame daily = you’re going to be fat and get diabetes seems to be as big if not the biggest piece of the puzzle.

Diabetes: maybe it wasn’t the corn syrup after all

Andrew pointed out to me that I ought to write up a recent study that showed a correlation between the presence of inorganic arsenic in urine and the incidence of diabetes in humans. Scary stuff – maybe it wasn’t the high fructose corn syrup after all, which is what I’ve been convinced is the primary cause of me developing type 2 diabetes in my mid-30’s. Here’s an article covering the research over on google, and here’s the article over on the Journal of the American Medical Association website.