The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

January 9, 2007 Number 159

This issue:

Preventing Diabetes

Action to take

Just say no to the bread served before meals and follow the other eating habit tweaks described below.


Most Americans are aware of the obesity epidemic but most haven’t caught on to its sister–the diabetes epidemic. U.S. diabetes rates are soaring due largely to our eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, and living long enough for our habits to haunt us.

At about 250,000 American deaths a year, diabetes directly causes far fewer deaths than heart disease or cancer. It's pervasive profile, however, makes for a very compromised life. It often causes:

  • loss of vision
  • male impotency
  • fatigue
  • increased sores and infections that are slow to heal
  • dry sensitive skin
  • bladder control problems
  • heart and cardiovascular problems
  • kidney damage which in extreme cases requires dialysis
  • numbing and tingling in hands and feet.

Because diabetes impairs blood circulation to legs and feet, foot tissue can literally die and turn black. Every year thousands of diabetic Americans have to have a foot or leg amputated. I even saw one patient who not only lost his legs but his penis as well.

I know that just reading the about the devastating effects of diabetes isn’t going to get many (including myself) to adopt an ideal diet. Rather I am interested in little tweaks in our eating habits that give lots of leverage.

Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes accounts for 90-95% of the 21 million Americans with diabetes.

The three keys to prevention are:

  1. don’t become obese
  2. go easy on the junk foods
  3. keep stable blood sugar levels

Let’s focus on stable blood sugar levels. When you eat a simple carbohydrate, such as white bread, your body quickly converts it to glucose and your blood sugar level spikes. This brings a surge of energy and perhaps nervousness. About an hour later the surge wears off, your blood sugar level plummets, and you feel tired and hungry.

These five tweaks can keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent Type 2 diabetes:

  1. Eat food with protein, fat, or fiber (e.g., nuts, olives, salad, vegetables, fruit)before eating any high glycemic index food
  2. Go easy on the bread (bagels, etc.) and try to stick to 100% whole wheat or whole grain bread.
  3. When eating high glycemic index foods limit yourself to modest portions.
  4. Try to graze with several mini meals or snacks spaced through the day as opposed to three meals with one or two of them being large meals.
  5. Increase the fiber in your diet or take a fiber supplement. Fiber slows the conversion of food to sugar and decreases calorie absorption. (It also helps colon health and prevents constipation.)

So here is your test. You are at a restaurant and the waiter brings a basket of bread. How many pieces do you eat? The best answer is none or you at least you have an appetizer with protein or fat first. Restaurants serve rolls to give people something to do and something to eat while waiting for their food.

The glycemic surge keeps customers feeling good, but isn’t good for their health.

Most Type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Often Type 2 diabetes can be reversed (“cured”) with weight loss and improved eating habits. A few tweaks in eating habits can make a huge difference in the long-term quality of your life.


1 in 3 Americans born after 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

~The American Diabetes Association


Managed Care Finds Cure for Diabetes Declaring diabetes mellitus non-existent, managed care companies nation-wide have managed to wipe out diabetes throughout the United States, it was announced today. It was explained that any patient insisting that they have diabetes will be re-diagnosed as having paranoia, and hence will be ineligible for medical care, as mental health benefits are essentially nonexistent in most managed care plans.

~excerpted from humor by the Midwest Diabetes Care Center, Inc.

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