Natural Family Medicine | 360-882-1339 | 16701 SE McGillivray Blvd, Suite 265, Vancouver, WA 98683 |

Call 360-882-1339 to schedule an appointment!

Archive Category: Diabetes

Intermittent Fasting–A Brief “Skinny”

May 12th, 2020

Intermittent fasting has been proposed as an effective means of supporting weight loss and well as helping maintain ketosis. It involves fasting up to 14 hours per day with the goals of supporting ketosis and calorie restriction. In and of itself, intermittent fasting alone will not support weight loss. Nutrient intake, nutrient diversity, nutrient density, and caloric balance are still required. In other words, intermittent fasting while eating bon bons remains unhealthy and unlikely to support weight loss.

 

My general recommendation for intermittent fasting is to avoid eating after dinner, and preferably finish dinner by 7:00PM. Fast overnight at least 12 hours—late night snacking can really complicate our metabolism. I also recommend avoiding snacking between meals. Changes in meal content—including lots of vegetables (especially leafy greens!), healthy fats, and small portion of healthfully raised protein sources—can sustain us between meals. Since this may be especially difficult for those with reactive hypoglycemia—please schedule an appointment to discuss dietary and supplement support.

 

The science in a nutshell: When we eat (especially carbohydrates but proteins, too), insulin is released. Insulin is all about getting glucose out of our bloodstream and STORING energy (AKA, fat!). When all is working as designed, insulin is secreted after a meal, keeping blood glucose levels optimal. Then blood glucose starts to dip and the liver releases glucagon (another hormone). Glucagon REMOVES energy from storage in order to keep blood glucose optimal between meals and during our overnight fast. If we are constantly eating, snacking, throughout the day, insulin remains the required hormone. When insulin is elevated, weight loss is impossible. If you do have a snack, be sure that it includes a healthy fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, etc.) and avoid carbs (crackers, chips, cookies, etc.).

 

Some meal ideas!

 

  • Breakfast:
    • Ground turkey seasoned with rubbed sage, garlic salt, and a pinch of fennel and caraway seeds. Add chopped celery or fennel bulb, cubed golden beet, and red cabbage. Sauté until vegetables are done.
    • Paleo granola (lots of varieties to choose from—just watch serving size!) with 1 tsp melted coconut oil or butter.
    • Egg scramble—Sauté leafy greens (Swiss chard, kale, beet greens and stem, romaine) with chipped carrot, and mushrooms. When almost cooked, pour off water released from the mushrooms and add egg. Scramble it up and cook until egg is done.
    • Sauté fresh vegetables (try new combinations) and add tempeh or cooked leftover meat (chicken, pork, beef, salmon)
  • Lunch:
    • Well, my favorite is leftover breakfast!
    • Mixed greens with sardines and olive oil/balsamic vinegar combo. I like Navidi’s options!
    • Leftover dinner J
    • Whole-fat yogurt with nuts and berries
  • Dinner:
    • Chicken roasted in crockpot with side salad (greens, radishes, cooked and cooled beets, etc) and olive oil/vinegar.
    • Salmon curry—combine coconut milk with 1 – 2 tbsp curry paste, add vegetables (carrots, turmeric, water chestnuts, celery, etc) and simmer until almost done. Layer fish filet on top, cover, and poach fish until cooked through. I usually turn the filets after about 3 – 5 minutes.
    • Homemade meatloaf using ground turkey or ground beef or tempeh. Omit the bread crumbs but add an extra egg to help it stick together. I like to add chopped onions and bell peppers, oregano, a little tomato paste, garlic. Serve with steamed broccoli drizzled with olive oil.

 

I’ll admit I’m a lazy cook. I make mostly plain proteins and serve with sides of sautéed vegetables and/or salad. Give a lot of variety in combinations later!

Some other important tips if you are trying to lose weight: watch portion sizes, use a smaller plate to help your brain “understand” portion size, eat at your dining table, chew food thoroughly, put your fork down between bites, savor your repast!

Photo by Casey Lee on Unsplash

Intermittent Fasting? Or Skip Dinner??

March 7th, 2019

Intermittent fasting has become a popular way to try and lose weight. Certainly, reducing caloric content and avoiding between meal snacking can support weight loss. However, interestingly, newer research is showing our metabolic rate is supported by having breakfast be the largest meal, then lunch, with only a light dinner. Better, yet, having breakfast be the largest meal followed by a mid-afternoon lunch and skipping dinner. They do point out that, during famine situations, eating the most calories at dinner may be beneficial. Oh, we have so much more to learn. But my favorite quote is of Michael Pollan: “Eat Real Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.” To your health!!

Sugar Also Reduces Absorption of Nutrients

April 10th, 2017

Please read the attached article regarding sugar and how it reduces our ability to absorb certain nutrients. This is just another reason of many to avoid sugar consumption–like we need more reasons! I will never forget skimming some eclectic nutrition books when I was in medical school–I ran across a book from the late 1800’s in which the author was railing that “artificial sweetener” was going to be the bane of human health. I scratched my head wondering what “artificial sweetener” he could be referring to at the turn of the century–you guessed it, SUGAR. For more current information, please also watch “Fed Up” which is currently available on Netflix. Stick to fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth! And maintain a vegetable-based diet with healthy protein and fat sources. To your health!!

Green Tea for Artery Health

October 18th, 2016

New research is showing that drinking green tea may strengthen arteries. This means that there may be a reduced risk of aneurysm, a deadly condition. Green tea has also been shown to support healthy blood sugar levels and weight loss! And it is delicious, too–my favorite is matcha tea.

Powdered Matcha tea

Powdered Matcha tea

Air Pollution Linked to Increased Risk of Diabetes

October 11th, 2016

This is an interesting but disturbing report finding that increased particulate matter is associated with increased rates of insulin resistance which is associated with Type 2 Diabetes. If you live in an urban area, consider wearing a mask when outdoors, filter the air in your home, avoid using candles and air fresheners, and eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep and activity, too.

How The Impact of Sugar Has Been Down-Played

September 14th, 2016

Sugar is associated with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, and more. One of my favorite recollections was in medical school when I was scanning the nutrition shelves. I flipped open an OLD nutrition book (from late 1800’s)–the author was emphatically warning of the health consequences of “artificial sweeteners”. I rechecked the publication date, scratched my head, and read on, wondering what “artificial sweetener” this could be. It was CANE SUGAR!! Please read the attached article and watch the Fed-Up movie.

Low Thyroid Function in Early Pregnancy Associated with Gestational Diabetes

September 13th, 2016

This is an interesting article revealing a link between low thyroid function (specifically both low TSH AND low free T4) and increased risk for gestational diabetes. Most doctors run only TSH to monitor thyroid function. I always recommend screening TSH with free T4 AND free T3 for more complete thyroid assessment.

Multiple Small Meals? Not So Good For Us . . .

July 27th, 2016

Where do I start? This article has some great information–please check it out.

Also, for those trying to lose weight, these frequent small meals can end up being self-sabotage. Whenever we eat, we get an insulin release–higher with more carbohydrates, higher with simple sugars. Insulin is designed to STORE energy as fat. We cannot lose weight with insulin is present. We should “fast” long enough between meals to switch to release of glucagon which draws from the “energy” that insulin has stored. If we keep eating throughout the day, we get little or no glucagon. SO, if we eat many small meals throughout the day, weight loss becomes difficult or impossible. And we haven’t even mentioned leptin and ghrelin!

My recommendation for most adults (children may need healthful snacks between meals): Try eating 2 – 3 square meals daily. Focus mostly on healthy veggies and healthy fats (e.g., olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, nuts, etc.). Limit animal protein to only healthfully-raised meats/poultry/fish. Enjoy fruit but limit it, too. Fast 12 hours nightly. If you get any symptoms other than hunger, eat something healthy and see your doctor.

More Motivation to Support Healthy Insulin Levels!

July 27th, 2016

You’d probably already heard the new buzz-term for Alzheimer’s:  Diabetes of the Brain. There is evidence that elevated insulin (think Type 2 Diabetes and insulin resistance) is a factor in the development of Alzheimer’s. Talk about a compelling reason to make those diet, exercise and lifestyle changes! Please reduce grain intake, avoid sugar, include lots of veggies and greens, some colorful fruits, and healthfully-raised meats; and get that exercise in! There are also helpful supplements, and even medications, if needed. But no pill can take the place of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Check out this article. To your brain AND overall health!

Childhood Obesity on The Rise–There is Good News However!

May 2nd, 2016

The evidence is all around us–increasing obesity. Not only are adults becoming increasingly obese, but our children are as well. I’ve posted some recommended viewing and reading explaining some of the causes. Overwhelmingly, however, it is the choices we are making at the grocery store and at restaurants. We are told that our food is safe, even “healthy”, but the bottom line is that the food industry desires to make money, not provide health. THE GOOD NEWS is that healthy foods ARE offered in our groceries and we CAN choose them: fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, nuts and seeds. The challenge is that we are inundated with advertising for foods that are truly addictive–the transition to a whole food diet can be brutal. Check out Whole30.com. And please surround yourself with a cheer-leading team for your healthy lifestyle (food habits and exercise)–we love being a part of this team!!

Older Posts »