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Published on February 8th, 2014 | by Grinds4Gamers

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The Daily Grind #3

HOW TO EAT CLEAN WITH DIABETES

So I recently received a question from a fellow gamer.  He was interested in diving into the Paleolithic lifestyle, but he has Diabetes.  So the first thing I asked was, “What type of Diabetes do you have?”  Let’s have a quick class on Diabetes.

Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder that causes a high concentration of sugar in the blood.  This is generally caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin.  See, insulin acts as a “key” of sorts, that unlocks the cells in the blood, allowing sugars to enter the cells and metabolize.  Without enough insulin to unlock the cells, sugar just circulates in the blood and can cause excess urination, increased thirst and hunger.

The three types of Diabetes are:

TYPE 1:  This type occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin.  In this case, the person either takes insulin shots or wears an insulin pump.

TYPE 2:  This type results from an increase in insulin resistance, where the cells themselves fail to use the available insulin properly.  This type is often caused by obesity.

GESTATIONAL:  The third type of Diabetes can occur when pregnant women develop a high blood glucose level. 

The issue with Diabetes in any form, is that if it isn’t controlled, it can lead to complications such as coma caused by extremely high or low blood sugar fluctuations.  In the long-term, untreated diabetes may cause or exacerbate cardiovascular disease, renal failure & retinopathy (disease process of the retina).

So, our gamer told me that he has Diabetes Type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes.  Keep in mind that in order to keep sugar levels in check and enough fuel in the tank, type-1 diabetics need to keep a close eye on the balance of complex carbohydrate in their diet and insulin in their blood.  It can get very tricky!  Many times keeping this balance in line makes it difficult for diabetics to try new foods or adopt new diets.

But this does not mean that type-1 diabetics cannot live a Paleolithic lifestyle!  One of the main differences here is that a type-1 diabetic would need to make the switch from complex carbohydrates like grains, pastas, rice, etc – to other complex carb sources such as dense, grain & gluten-free sources.  Well how in the heck do you do that?  Try these tips:

  • Eat whole fruits and stay away from fruit juices.
  • Use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.  They will become a BIG source of your dense carbs!
  • Focus on increasing good fibers such as fruits and vegetables with edible skins and/seeds:  Examples are apples and berries.
  • Focus on remaining Gluten, Grain, Legume and Dairy Free!
  • VERY IMPORTANT:  Get plenty of sleep, at least 8 hours per night.
  • Don’t be afraid of cutting out the grains as a main carbohydrate source.  There are plenty of good, paleo-friendly, dense carbohydrate sources!  Some choices include green beans, broccoli, spinach, sweet potato, squash, zucchini, carrots, nuts, fresh fruits and seeds.  Don’t forget the good fats such as almond butter and avocado!

I will say this:  There are success stories within the Paleolithic community that have shown diabetics with actual complete restoration of pancreatic function after the adoption of the Paleolithic lifestyle.  Boom, so there’s that.  As a matter of fact, check out www.RobbWolf.com .  He’s pretty much the Godfather of the Paleo Diet and he has many T1D followers!

As for the Type II Diabetics and Gestational Diabetics, balancing blood sugar issues has proven to become much easier when you commit to a clean diet such as Paleo.  There is solid evidence that test groups of T2D patients that changed to a Paleo diet ACTUALLY REVERSED the signs and symptoms of insulin resistant, Type 2 Diabetes.  So, there’s that too.  Here’s where my “opinion” comes from.  Read it for yourself!

Of course, I wouldn’t be a paranoid wellness-coach if I didn’t tell you to check with your physician prior to starting any new regimen, especially if you are a diabetic patient – especially for those Type 1’s out there.  Start incorporating changes slowly to assure your blood sugar and insulin levels are stable.  Eventually, you should be experiencing some very positive changes.  Hopefully, you’ll find your symptoms disappearing and maybe it will give your pancreas a jump-start. 

Great questions are coming into G4G, my friends.  I will continue to answer these to the best of my ability and provide you all with a source of good information.  Get serious about your health, gamers, you only have ONE you!

Eat Good, Feel Better…..

 

Some great articles:

http://robbwolf.com/2011/02/14/real-life-testimonial-controlling-type-1-diabetes-with-the-paleo-diet/

http://robbwolf.com/2011/11/18/sean-paleo-type-1-diabetes-endurance/

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About the Author

Kash is the creator of Grinds 4 Gamers and the Founder of MOG Nation Gaming & a Co-Host on the Wildcast Podcast. I'm a busy & humble public servant, daddy, hubby, game geek, Crossfit Coach and self-proclaimed Paleo chef. Need help with min-maxing your life? Hit me up at kash@grinds4gamers.com.



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