Friday, March 15, 2013

Diabetes and Raw Food

On Thursday afternoon I had my brief moment of radio-fame. It might be the only one I ever get. Hopefully not; I rather enjoyed it, once the first flutter of nerves had gone. One could get used to being on radio, one could. (Listen here)

I had written quite a few notes in anticipation of talking about diabetes and raw food. It didn’t quite work out that way. That’s fine; I still introduced raw food possibilities to radio staff and listeners. And who knows, I might have the opportunity to present Diabetes and Raw Food over the air-waves another day. I’ll let you know.

Not wanting to waste my efforts, I decided to give them to you.

Here’s what I didn’t say:

Why Is Raw Food So Important (For Diabetes)?

The diabetic epidemic currently in the headlines can be mostly tracked back to lifestyle and that would be largely diet.

Eating more raw food is a viable option for those facing the reality of diabetes; in fact, anyone will benefit by learning how to incorporate more raw into their life.

It’s all very well to tell someone who’s pre or fully diabetic to not eat this or that but they need to know what to replace it with. It needs to be wholefood where possible to give their bodies the nutrients they need to improve their life. There’s nothing to lose, and you could get your life back – literally.

That’s what my goal is working with clients – eat real food and see what it can do for your health.

This doesn’t mean one has to stop eating meat but increase the amount of raw fruit and vegetables where possible.

A health improvement may be the motivation you need to adjust a meat intake. Who knows?  The sacrifice may be worth it.

Cooked food and raw food can be successfully combined and the ratio altered as one gets used to it.

Ideas to get started

  • Pasta can be replaced with spiralised courgette, and ravioli with sliced courgette. Rice could be replaced with a cauliflower risotto.
  • Depending on the severity of diabetes, one can replace cakes and biscuits with sweet treats such as Chocolate Date and Nut Rolls or banana ice cream. There is a raw version of cheesecake, which is so good.
  • Wherever possible remove food from your life that has artificial sweetener, flavour enhancers and trans fats. That would help a great deal.
  • Avoid preservatives and added anything, including scary numbers and names we can’t pronounce. 
  • Eat foods as close as possible to the original food.
  • Work on changes a bit at a time. Changing everything all at once is overwhelming and sets you up for failure.
  • Replacements for sugar for diabetes: agave can be low GI (depending on the brand and how a body reacts), coconut sugar, yacon and of course, stevia. I prefer not to use artificial sweeteners.

What are some of the best raw foods and why?

Buy what is seasonal. It’s at peak nutrition and probably budget friendly.

The most important raw foods to increase are greens. As this is possibly off-putting to people, let’s leave that for another day. Just start with more fresh fruit and vegetable and feel the difference it can make.

Taking ActionA wise book says to “Buy wisdom.” I agree. It will save you both time and money.

Workshops are coming up; email me and I’ll send the dates.

Other options are private consultations and a raw food program available (menu, recipes, shopping list, instructional videos and support).

If you DIY with raw food changes be aware that a raw recipe book or site may advocate dried fruit especially dates; they are the base of a few sweet treats.

Timing is important for eating sweet things, diabetics will know this. You might be able to eat date-based sweets as part of a meal rather than a mid-morning snack that spikes blood sugar.

Most importantly, stay in contact with your doctor and stay on your meds.



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