During my clinical rotation as part of my dietetic internship, a patient in the middle a diabetic education session said to me, “Sweetie, I don’t need to eat healthy with all the advancements in pharmaceutical medicine! I get to enjoy delicious food whenever I want without hesitation. I’ll just pop a pill to take care of it. Besides, fruit is full of sugar, so I can’t have that stuff.”
Really??? I could barely contain myself, especially as I watched him bite into a fast food hamburger brought in by a family member.
If you've got diabetes, then you may be a bit skeptical about Blasting, but take some of your fellow NutriBlasters' words for it and not my protesting patient – these cups of deliciousness may actually help keep your blood sugar levels in check and improve insulin sensitivity – a win/win!
Here’s what one of our very own NutriLiving members has to say about Blasting with diabetes:
I was reading a lot of different things on here while drinking my NB today and saw some place where it was suggested to test your sugar 2 hours after, so being a bit on the curious side, I did. I am a diabetic who is diet controlled, no medication at all, so really expected it to be very high, since I do use quite a bit of fruit in mine. WOW!!! I was surprised as it was only 113! I was expecting more around 175. I was really impressed before, and more so now. I have been doing this since April and feel great! As I have said before, all of my #'s have gone into the better range except my good cholesterol and I am working on that one. I figure I have way gotten my money back just in the way I feel. Thank you NB and to all of the people who post all of their good tips! Blast away all!
According to the American Diabetes Association’s 2011 data, 25.8 million children and adults in the USA have diabetes and an estimated 79 million with pre-diabetes (a total of 1/3 of the U.S. population). Even more devastating is the fact that one in three children born after the year 2000 will be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, a disease once termed “adult-onset” that is now afflicting children at a young age. Luckily, the same healthy habits we instill to help prevent the onset of insulin resistance are the same lifestyle choices one should make to help manage or even reverse the disease after diagnosis. And more importantly, the NutriBullet can help!
Focus on a Vegetarian diet to help repair how the body uses insulin and maintain a healthy weight. The Standard American Diet (SAD), loaded with refined carbohydrates that shoot blood sugar and insulin levels through the roof, abundant consumption of unhealthy fats that “clog” up your cells' ability to respond to insulin and uptake glucose, and the overconsumption of foods leading to weight gain and increased risk for diabetic complications are only a few of the dietary choices that are under your control. Take note from some renowned Doctors and researchers such as Dr. Neal Barnard or Dr. John McDougall. Both recommend a whole food, plant-based diet for diabetes prevention, management, and reversal. Dr. Barnard’s study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, was published in the August 2006 issue of Diabetes Care. Dr. Barnard’s low fat, vegan diet was found to be three times more effective than the American Diabetes Association dietary guidelines at controlling blood sugar. For more information, check out his book, “Program for Reversing Diabetes."
Let's get into specifics!
Let’s look to the just-released study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), which found blueberries, apples, and grapes to be three fruits that were significantly associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, while greater consumption of fruit juice (without the fiber) is associated with higher risk.
Blueberries – This well-known local superfood has insulin-sensitizing actions and has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. All berries, including blueberries, are great low glycemic (more on this later) fruits to add to a Blast.
Apples and Grapes – Two additional superstars in the recent BMJ study. Colorful pigments found in the skins of both apples and grapes are well researched as nutrients that protect our health and nourish our body. These skins are often lost when juicing, but retained when included in your NutriBlast. And don’t forget, the skin contains a large amount of the blood sugar-friendly fiber.
Green tea – Green tea has favorable effects for those with type 2 diabetes, including decreased fasting glucose and HbA1c levels, as well as a significant reduction in fasting insulin concentrations.
Nuts – Consuming nuts, especially almonds (but also walnuts and hazelnuts), has shown to improve insulin sensitivity. This may be due to the fiber as well as the protein and fat content.
Magnesium-rich foods – Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions including blood glucose control. Luckily, we have several magnesium-rich options we can toss into our NutriBlast. Almonds, spinach, garbanzo beans, avocado, peanut butter, raisins, broccoli, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, and sunflower seeds are just a few of my favorites.
High fiber foods - Fiber found in all whole, plant-based foods, including whole grains and legumes, slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the blood stream. By combining sugar-containing fruits with other fibrous foods like leafy greens, veggies, nuts and seeds into a NutriBlast, managing insulin and blood sugar spikes becomes easy as Apple Pie!
Low Glycemic Index (GI) foods - Several studies have examined the benefits of consuming low glycemic-index foods as they relate to blood sugar management. Most, but not all of the eleven studies where low GI foods were formally tested in type 2 and type 1 diabetics conclude that they lead to an overall benefit and reduced blood sugar and insulin spikes. Be sure to take a look at our list of Blastable ingredients and their glycemic index.
Low Glycemic Load foods – Similar to the glycemic index, the glycemic load measures a food’s effect on ones blood sugar after consumption, but also takes into consideration the number of carbs per serving. This makes it a more accurate measurement, but a bit longer to calculate. We often overlook how a food is cooked, portion size, food combinations, etc., when it comes to how it might affect us. This method helps iron out some of those variables. But don’t get your britches in a bunch trying to calculate the numbers – simply choosing high fiber, unprocessed, plant-based foods leads you in the right direction.
But what about all that sugar in fruit? Actually, research shows that Type 2 diabetics who were recommended to restrict or reduce whole fruit consumption did not show any improvement in HbA1c, weight loss, or waist circumference. Therefore, they conclude that fruit intake should NOT be restricted in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, listen to your doctor and regularly test your blood sugar levels to make any modifications necessary.
For more Superfoods that can help stabilize blood sugar and promote insulin sensitivity, check out this article about Blasting for Blood Sugar Control.
Specifics for Type 1 Diabetes
Blood sugar management is just as important for those diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes to help prevent further diabetic complications. Several of the same recommendations for those with type 2 also apply here. However, Type 1 is not reversible and often requires the assistance of insulin.
High fiber, low GI foods are key here, too! When fiber-rich, low-glycemic-index foods were fed to type 1 diabetic patients for 24 weeks, a fall in HbA1c was seen in compliant subjects. So bust out the Bullet and get your fiber on (or shall I say in)!