For the month of January, I gave up eating all grains, dairy, artificial sweeteners, natural sweeteners (except fruit), and legumes. This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. Please note that we are unable to respond back directly to your questions or provide medical advice. We thought it would just be kind of wrong to wrap up March -- National Nutrition Month -- without reflecting upon a beloved condiment that many of us can't live without: KETCHUP.
This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, an initiative to call attention to the widespread and highly detrimental dysfunctional relationship that many Americans have with food.
If people really want to eat like "cavemen," they should eat the whole animal: liver, spleen, intestines, brain.
Allison - I read with interest your first hand account of your experiment with the Paleo diet. There is, however, no unequivocal evidence that fructose intake at moderate doses is directly related with adverse metabolic effects. Indeed, a high fructose consumption most of the time clusters with additional “risky” behaviors, such as a hypercaloric diet, a diet rich in saturated fat, or low physical activity. In rats, a diet high in saturated fatty acids (but not in polyunsaturated fatty acids) enhances intestinal fructose absorption. So, if you eat a hamburger and wash it down with a Coke, you’ll likely get more fructose than if you ate French fries with the Coke.
Bix One of the beer study's authors is on the organizing committee of the 7th European Beer & Health Symposium: Beer and Health. Fanatic Cook by Bix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The premis that early humans evolved to eat a specific diet and that, therefore, that diet is our healthiest option, is a severely flawed premis.
Cavemen didn't try to avoid fat, a good source of energy, and ate lean meat only when they couldn't get fattier meat.You say the Times mentions coffee without dairy. I admit, my mid twenties life expectancy claim was based on misremembering 20-30 as the lifespan rather than 30-40. Keep in mind that the original Paleo folks were also at risk for disease (because no modern medicine) and attacks from animals and other cave-people. There has also been much concern that consumption of free fructose, as provided in high fructose corn syrup, may cause more adverse effects than consumption of fructose consumed with sucrose.
Thus which part of metabolic disorders can be attributed to fructose and which results from interactions with other risk factors?
Cubans famously lost weight and lowered their rates of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer by eating a diet of primarily rice and sugar. The reason our lifespans have increased is because of our advancements in technology and medication. There is, however, no direct evidence for more serious metabolic consequences of high fructose corn syrup versus sucrose consumption. You know, it's what is dubbed the "Caveman Diet" since it involves eating what the "original" humans ate back in the cave-person days. I think LC is great for diabetes, and if paleo gets you started, that's good as long as you don't overdo the fruit. So, I decided to try it out myself and see what all the hype was about.Short for paleolithic, eating Paleo is what some folks have called a fad diet, but the premise is rooted in the supposed historical diet of humans. In my experience, the paleo-proponents are some of the worst of the lot (along with the raw foodies)!
Established by health scholar Loren Cordrain, the Paleo diet consists of lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. The diet of paleolithic man was not varied and had far fewer healthy options than we have today, and considering his generally petite stature and brief lifespan, there's not only no evidence to support the notion that it is a more healthful diet, the evidence is counter to it!Humans have evolved since the paleolithic era. They toss out all processed foods, grains, dairy, and legumes, along with simple sugars and artificial sweeteners.Proponents believe that humans were genetically and evolutionarily designed to eat foods that were available during the Paleolithic era, versus the agriculturally-based diet that was only developed in the last 10,000 years -- and even more so the processed and chemically-based diet of the last hundred years.

In just the past 250 generations we've gone from being a species that was almost entirely lactose intolerant to one where the majority of individuals are lactose tolerant.
People can debate whether grain is bad or not but regardless you can get all the nutrition you need from non-grain sources. Followers believe that eliminating certain foods in their diet will reduce inflammation in the body, and folks will enjoy health benefits like weight loss, reduced bloating, clearer skin, and more energy.Now, I've only been experimenting with the Paleo diet for a couple of months, so I'm hardly an expert.
Choosing one arbitrary point in our evolutionary past as ideal is nonsensical, and presumes that evolution has a goal (which it doesn't) or that it has stopped (which it hasn't).
A lot of the Paleo diet can be hard to swallow (pun very much intended), and as with anything health-related, your miles may vary.
The standard deviation (a measure of data variability) as measured by my CGM software downloads dropped from the 50's and 60's down to 30 or less. This is simply my experience and what I've learned.With so many food groups cut out, it's easy to see how the Paleo diet might be considered a fad, unsustainable and even unhealthy.
EVERYTHING IS CHEMICALS!There are certainly some health benefits from eating this diet, in that it's lower in sugar and made up primarily of highly nutrient-dense foods, and I have no problem with anyone who wants to give it a go for health reasons.
News & World Report thinks, which is why they named the Paleo diet the worst diet (#28 out of 28). My BG is not perfect and I do have to correct for high BGs, just not as often as I used to.Diets always seem to produce controversy since people get defensive and are highly reluctant to change their way of eating. Of course, if you look at their reasoning for the diss, it's mostly because the Paleo diet hasn't been studied scientifically in people, so the pros and cons are somewhat vague to researchers.At least, as of now. For me, eating low carb (about 50-70 grams per day max) has enhanced the quality of my life, especially my ability to control my BGs.
So all we have are the anecdotal accounts of those of us who've embraced Paleo to some extent.Why Go Paleo? And, again, I don't have a problem with marketing spin, except when it further promotes the dangerous scientific illiteracy of our culture and the paranoid, antiscientific fears of diet police. It was evident to me that PWDs who eat fewer carbohydrates seem to manage their diabetes better than those who eat a higher carbohydrate diet. Last year, I briefly researched the Paleo diet, and discovered a few "paleobetics" who seemed to be doing fabulously on the diet. Even still, I remained skeptical but I realized that I couldn't form a real opinion until I tried it myself.I came across a 30-day experimental challenge called the Whole30, which many health bloggers have participated in. The Whole30 website then led me to the New York Times best-selling book, It Starts With Food, written by Whole30 creators, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.I downloaded their book on my Kindle and devoured it in four days.
The caveman diet likely ranged from primarily meats to primarily plants, depending on where the cave-folks lived.
Plus, many Paleo followers now insert various ingredients to "paleo-ify" certain foods, such as kale chips, spaghetti bolognese made with spaghetti squash, and banana bread made with almond flour. What about all those vitamins, minerals and good whole grains?!Some folks attribute the rise in heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and other diseases to our 10,000-year-old "diet of agriculture." For most Americans, we consume far more carbohydrates than we would need on a daily basis, and our waistlines prove it. Many health experts now believe that carbohydrates, especially processed foods but even grains, stimulate the appetite because the brain doesn't respond to the nutrients the same way it does to meats and vegetables. How many of you can say the same thing about a rib-eye steak?"Legumes and whole grains contain some of the highest concentrations of anti-nutrients in any foods," Cordrain writes. Further, a leaky gut likely underlies chronic, low-grade inflammation, which underlies not only autoimmune diseases, but also heart disease and cancer."However, there is also plenty of research showing that whole grains and legumes are good for you, but that simply overdoing it on the anti-nutrients will cause problems for your gut. So perhaps it's not so much a matter of cutting these items out completely as it is consuming them in moderation a€” even the supposedly healthy stuff.For the Hartwig authors who penned It Starts With Food, it comes down to believing that grains have fewer benefits compared to fruit and veggies.
Because of the potentially unsavory consequences, they think we should stick to a non-grain diet.
In addition, many people also report seeing health improvements when going gluten-free.Dairy is probably the most hotly debated area of the Paleo movement.
Dairy that comes from hormone and antibiotic-infused cows living in incredibly close quarters should probably be avoided. High-fat, and even raw (if you can find it), dairy is recommended because it has a good mixture of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
On the Whole30 plan, they cut dairy out completely because it could have negative consequences to the gut.

Plus, it just seems unnatural to them that we humans are the only mammals that consume the "baby food" of another species.In addition, the dangers of saturated fat and cholesterol, which originally scared many people away from the Atkins diet, may have been overstated.
New research has come out that dietary saturated fat and cholesterol does not raise the body's cholesterol. The foods that replaced them, like margarine, may have actually caused more disease than the foods the health authorities originally blamed. So enjoy those eggs!Adventures on the Whole30 ChallengeThe Whole30 Challenge itself is like Paleo bootcamp. It is the Hartwigs' attempt at rebooting your system, helping you identify foods that aren't doing your body any favors. For 30 days, they ask you to go on a strict Paleo diet, but they also ask you to avoid "paleo-ifying" any junk food or treats, and you aren't supposed to count any calories or weigh yourself at all.
This is not a diet, they say, this is about our relationship with food.One of the biggest take-aways of the Whole30 is that food is a choice, but many of us find ourselves in habitual cycles of poor choices. Sometimes we anticipate the food before we're anywhere near eating it, or we think we need it because it's ingrained in our routine, like dessert even if we aren't hungry.It's easy to look at the program and think, Wow! I thought like that at first, too, but then the Hartwig's reminded me that this is not the Whole365.
The reason to do this is simply to reboot your system, and then after 30 days, you're allowed to transition back to eating normally, if you want to. It's only thirty days, and it's for the most important health cause on earth a€” the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.Really, how can you argue with that?My husband and I dove in headfirst and dumped a bunch of our non-Paleo foods. We also referred to message boards like PaleoHacks, and blogs by Paleo experts like Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, and Chris Kresser.And yes, we did start and finish the 30-day challenge!This Whole30 definitely had an influence on my diabetes and it was for the better. It only took a couple of days before I saw that my blood sugars were lower and steadier throughout the day.
When I first started dropping frequently a€” a 3-4 low blood sugars a day a€” I thought I need to cut everything. Turns out, I did need to drop my Lantus by 10%, but I didn't need to do anything to my bolus ratios. Now that I'm taking less insulin, there are fewer chances for me to go low, and more chances for me to go high.
You can never expect anything -- not a diet, not a medication, not an insulin pump -- to run the show for you.4. After querying my friends, I discovered that bolusing for approximately half the protein is what I need to do to prevent a post-meal spike. Not really diabetes-related, but certainly benefits!My body didn't respond to the Paleo diet with significant weight loss, but I did lose 4 lbs and my husband dropped a whopping 13 lbs!A lot of people have asked me about the cost of eating Paleo. While it did cost us more at the check-out counter, we also didn't eat out at all during January. But we found that meals with more protein kept us full longer, so we didn't need to spend much money on snacks.Life as a Paleo-betic It didn't take long before my husband and I were committed to keeping up our Paleo diet long-term, although we have eased up. We don't want to miss out on life moments, but we also don't want poor food choices to ruin our health either. Based on recommendations by the Hartwigs, we are eating raw and saving our non-Paleo foods for special occasions.
Actual special occasions, like birthdays a€” not a random Tuesday afternoon when we're bored!My next A1C is scheduled for April 1st.
My first A1C since going on MDIs was nothing to write home about, but I'm curious about this next one. Many people say that diabetes is easier to manage on insulin pumps, but there wasn't any difference between my insulin pump A1Cs and my first MDI A1C. I wonder if the secret to better control will be in my food choices, rather than in my technology.One thing that I kept thinking about during my month-long Paleo experiment was how much of diabetes really is an experiment anyway.
Think about how often we have to try out different things to see what works: Changing up bolus ratios and basal rates.

Strawberry banana smoothie recipe with lowfat yogurt
A sample diet for weight loss


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