Hello again. Derek here with some more paleo advice. This time we are looking at paleo and diabetes.
1. In the Beginning
As a diabetic, (type 2), I have tried several diets in the past. I found some more well-known ones did nothing for me as what I lost one week I would put back on the next week!
I also tried the Atkins diet on which I lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks. When my physician found out how I lost it I was advised to come off of it straight away. I did this and the pounds started to roll back on.
I next tried the Ducharme diet with little success and the annoyance of my physician.
In the meantime I learned a little about metabolic body typing.
Now I first came across this with the Atkins diet but expecting the results of the procedure in the Atkins book to point out that I had a protein body type was no surprise. (The Atkins diet is heavily centered around a high protein diet).
It was only after I had taken 3 more tests from different organizations that I started to believe what the tests were telling me. I have a protein metabolic body type. My body deals with protein better than it does with carbohydrates or fats.
So I should be eating more protein than carbohydrates to keep a healthy body life balance. So what was so wrong with Atkins? It was the total absence of carbohydrates!
While we are looking to lose a little weight that is not the main reason for following the paleo diet. So far I haven’t had any discussions with my physician about the paleo way of life, but if the subject comes up I will discuss it with him.
I want to feel better, have more energy and carry on enjoying what time I have left.
2. What is not good for Diabetics?
One of the most important things I have found is the eating of regular meals at regular times and if I can’t do that then I need a snack to tide me over.
As a diabetic my sugars go high and the medication brings it back to a more normal figure. When I don’t eat at a regular time then my blood sugars can dip. When they dip too far without me realizing then I can go into hyperglycemia. If they are not treated very quickly I would become unconscious.
we are quite lucky that so far whenever my blood sugars have gone low I have had signs of it and been able to stave off the hyperglycemia. we are very fussy about when I eat as a consequence of this.
So what has this got to do with Paleo? Some foods that are bad for a diabetic such as bread and rice are not on the paleo list of acceptable foods. So straight away we are looking for good substitutes for these foods.
Perhaps a quick explanation of why they are not good for diabetics is in order here.
Simple carbohydrates i.e. white bread and white rice are broken down when they enter the body into sugar. These sugars enter the bloodstream and in a diabetic person who does not have a good supply of natural insulin raise the blood sugars to an abnormally high reading. This can cause hypoglycemia.
So straight away the paleo diet offers some suitable alternatives to eating bread or rice. This is a very good advantage for the diabetes sufferer. It is quite surprising to what foods can be substituted. Of course, it is not the same but if your health is important to you it gives you more choices.
3. What is good for diabetics.
First I must put right a modern misconception. Paleo is not a high protein low carbohydrate diet. Yes protein does play a part as it does in any diet, but so do carbohydrates. The diet features many fruit and vegetables but it does not feature manufactured products. Nor does it feature refined products. So paleo is gluten free. It can also be dairy free depending on your stance. Some decry dairy while others say it is OK as long as you are not lactose intolerant.
As with most diabetics I have to keep my carbohydrate consumption down to control my blood sugars adequately. I also need to keep my actual sugar intake low or non existent. I do have sugars but in their natural form from fruits and vegetables.
we are yet to find anything on the paleo diet that is incompatible with good eating as a diabetic. Perhaps if I had found paleo a few years back I would never have been diabetic! The paleo breads I make and eat do not seem to affect me in any negative way.
4. Will diet alone work?
Yes it will, but much better results will be achieved by taking exercise as well. Before you take part in any diet you should check your own body metabolism type. This can make a big difference in any diet you follow.
There are basically 3 types of body metabolism.
1. Protein type
2. Carbohydrate type
3. Neutral type
All metabolic types can make use of the paleo diet. It will mean that you change the amount of each food type you eat depending on your metabolic typing.
1. Protein type – 50% protein, 30% carbohydrates, 20% fats & oils
2. Carbohydrate type – 20% protein, 70% carbohydrates, 10% fats & oils
3. Mixed type – 40% protein, 50% carbohydrates, 10% fats & oils
As you can see from these figures it is impossible to have a one diet fits all scenario. This I believe is why there are so many discrepancies when it comes to diet results. This does not mean that you cannot make a diet work for you, but you do have to take into consideration what your body needs for you to be at peak potential.
To avoid any confusion proteins are mainly meat, seafood, eggs and dairy, carbohydrates are all fruits and vegetables and fats & oils are butters, cooking oils, nuts, seeds and cheese etc.
So just what do I conclude from my own observations as a person who suffers from type 2 diabetes.
Initially my blood sugars fell quite a lot, (from 9.0 to 5.0), but after a few days they were back to around 6.0.
For me this was a good result as my bloods used to average around the 8 mark.
My whole well-being was improved and I was, and still am,getting a better sleep pattern.
So Paleo and Diabetes can diabetics follow this diet, or way of life, from me is a resounding YES.