FPS Family Health Education: Sixth Edition
For Pete’s Sake welcomes guest writers in the various areas of health related to our 7 Family Health Pillars.
This nutritional education series, written by Judith Elvira Tobal Betesh, BCHNN, IHHC, FNTP, relates to the Physical Health Pillar. Judith, who battled lymphoma, is an FPS Respite Recipient and traveled to Woodloch Resort with her husband.
“A Healthy Outside Starts from The Inside.”
Continuing on with the “The Four Cornerstones Of Good Health.”
To review, the four cornerstones are:
- A positive mental attitude
- A healthful lifestyle: exercise, sleep, and health habits
- A health promoting bio individualized diet.
- Supplementary measures for nutrient deficiencies
We are continuing with the following nine principles that can help us get on the right path to a healthier you. These principles include:
- Eat a rainbow assortment of fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, and food additives.
- Eat to support blood sugar control.
- Do not overconsume animal foods.
- Eat the right types of fats.
- Keep salt intake low, potassium intake high. Use sea salt /Celtic sea salt
- Avoid food additives.
- Take measures to reduce foodborne illness.
- Drink enough water each day with electrolytes.
We are now up to: Eat to support blood sugar control.
Blood sugar problems begin in childhood with excess use of sugary snacks and drinks. This unfortunately is extremely common today. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the average American consumes from 150 to 180 pounds of sugar each year––an unbelievable amount compared to two or three hundred years ago when normal sugar consumption was one to five pounds per year.
Our bodies are simply not made to handle the excessive amount of sugar that most people consume today. The result is diabetes and a variety of other degenerative chronic illnesses. These chronic illnesses may include cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, immune impairment, hormone imbalances, fertility issues, chronic fatigue, depression, and hyperactivity, all of which are linked to high sugar intake and the effects of insulin.
Insulin is the hormone that signals the cells to take in glucose and other nutrients. Overconsumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates causes the tissues to become saturated with glucose. Over time, the cells can no longer accept additional glucose. The cells then begin to ignore the insulin signal. As insulin loses its effect on target cells, blood glucose levels soar setting the stage for metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, and eventually Type II diabetes. This form of diabetes is a result of dietary indiscretion and is, for the most part, reversible with dietary and lifestyle changes along with targeted nutritional therapy.
The progressive nature of sugar handling complications is caused by the hormonal adjustments the body makes to manage sugar levels. Blood sugar levels may vacillate widely during the day with skipped meals and the reliance on sugary snacks and beverages for quick energy.
The other form of diabetes, Type I diabetes in principle, is not reversible and is the result of the loss of pancreatic beta cells located in the Islets of Langerhans. The islets are the cells which make insulin. When the beta cells are destroyed, whether from viral infection, parasites, toxins or trauma, there is little chance of recovering the ability to make insulin. Yet, with dietary guidelines, nutritional therapy and insulin medications, these clients can live a healthy, nearly normal life.
So that leads to a question I ask most clients – Do you feel tired, run down or depressed for no apparent reason? Unfortunately I get a resounding amount of YES’s when asked this question. In many cases, problems regulating the supply of sugar to your brain and body cells may be the cause.
All cells in the body burn sugar glucose for energy, similar to the way engines burn gasoline. Reducing the supply of glucose to your brain cells can cause poor alertness, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and even confusion, loss of memory and emotional depression.
Blood sugar levels can drop for various reasons, producing a variety of symptoms. One of the most common causes is the frequent use of highly refined carbohydrates and sugar rich foods and beverages in a person’s diet.
Sugar and processed carbohydrates in the diet are rapidly absorbed from the gut, causing blood sugar to rise. The body tries to regulate blood sugar by holding it within a normal range, neither too high nor too low. The pancreas gland, for instance, produces insulin to bring the glucose level back down after a sugary meal or snack.
When sugar is consumed on a regular basis, the body often overcompensates for the frequent rises in blood sugar‐‐bringing its levels lower than it was beforehand. These lowered sugar levels make a person feel hungry or crave more sweets. Taking that sugar rich snack provides a lift only temporarily and leaves one feeling drained or tired again shortly afterward.
People caught in this vicious cycle may experience weakness, shakiness or trembling if they go too long without eating. In addition to mental fatigue or depression, they may have periods of lightheadedness, coldness of the hands and feet, or a variety of other mental or physical symptoms. These are usually relieved temporarily by eating.
If you have experienced this type of problem, you may find relief by following a few simple dietary guidelines.
1. Eliminate sugars
- Don’t eat foods or beverages containing sugar, whether added or natural. Don’t eat sweet tasting foods or drink.
- Read labels: corn syrup, corn sweetener, sugar dextrose, glucose, fructose, brown sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, turbinado sugar, date sugar, raisin syrup, and maple syrup are all sugar, and should be avoided in even the smallest amounts.
- Avoid the use of artificial sweeteners as a substitution for sugar. Research has shown that artificial sweeteners can cause aggravated hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), loss of diabetes control and precipitation of clinical diabetes in persons who were free from disease. In diabetics, it has caused an aggravation of complications related to diabetes.
- Naturally sweet foods must also be avoided, such as: honey, fruit juice, grapes, raisins, dried fruits, jams and jellies, fruits.
- Avoid all the following: ice cream, cake, candy, soda (all carbonated beverages), pies, pastries, canned jellies, preserves, Jell‐O, most cold breakfast cereals, fruit juice, punch, breakfast syrups, and similar processed food items.
- Exceptions are allowed: permitted a maximum of one 4‐ounce selections daily from the following list. Make sure the fruits are fresh and organic whenever possible: Apple, Melon , Banana , Papaya, Blueberries, Grapefruit , Orange, Fresh pineapple + Pear
2. Eat protein‐rich and/or complex carbohydrate rich foods
You will probably feel better if you include some foods rich in protein and/or complex carbohydrates in most meals and snacks. Unlike sugar rich foods, these provide a ʺtime‐releasedʺ source of sugar, yielding their glucose slowly and steadily, thereby helping to avoid the ʺpeaks and valleysʺ of poor blood sugar regulation.
Foods such as eggs, fish and meats are protein rich as well as some types of cheese (like cottage cheese), nuts and seeds, and combinations of various beans and grains. Healthy carbohydrate foods include whole grains, cereals, and starchy vegetables, such as whole grain breads, potatoes, squash, legumes, beans, and brown rice.
Eating complex carbohydrates and protein‐rich foods in small to moderate amounts (i.e., 2‐4 ounces), at most meals or snacks, does not mean you should avoid other types of helpful foods which you enjoy, such as vegetables.
3. Eat small frequent meals
Eat small to moderate amounts of food every few hours, particularly if your energy is low. For example, eat three moderate meals daily, and one, two, or three between meal snacks as desired, or as needed to keep your energy or concentration up.
The three general guidelines discussed above have helped many people to reclaim their lost energy and vitality. In following these guidelines, you may feel worse for a couple of weeks before you begin to feel much better. After a few months or so, you may be able to add moderate amounts of sweets back into your diet without producing the same old symptoms. Patience and consistency bring healthy rewards. You are worth it.
Stay tuned for the next issue continuing with: Do not overconsume animal foods.
If you have any comments or questions, please email me at Elvirasallnatural@gmail.com
Judith Elvira Tobal is a Board-certified Holistic Health and Functional Nutrition Practitioner. Her mission is to empower each client to take control of their health and improve their well-being by making sustainable changes appropriate for their own individual lifestyle and needs. Personalized tailored options for nutritional counseling including but not limited to: weight-loss consultation, mindful eating counseling, anti-inflammatory diet recommendations, heart-healthy diet guidelines, navigating food allergies, women’s health, blood sugar regulation, nutrition for disease prevention, cleansing and elimination diet, healthy skin from the inside out, as well as healthy aging through nutritional protocols.
You can reach her at Elvirasallnatural@gmail.com, @elvirasallnatural or visit www.elvirasallnatural.com
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