You ask a very general question in LPSG (Liver & Pancreas Support Group, Singapore) for anyone of us who has any nutritional food ideas to share?
Firstly, we have to understand that our bodies are dynamic and flexible. What this mean is that we react differently to the food we consume at different times and from one another. What is OK at one period may not be OK at another. And what is alright for one person may not be all right for another. There is no one group of food that fits everyone and for all seasons. We should thus experiment and adjust to the carbohydrate, animal food and fruits that suit us at that particular period.
Secondly, all plant food that can be consumed by human is carbohydrate food. And Carbohydrate food is any food that when digested is converted into sugar. But all plant food we consume has many nutrients and nutritional value. The animal food that we consume also gives us many nutrients and nutritional value. Thus, the doctor send us for various tests depending on what he is looking for in our blood stream.
Finally, we will know whether the particular food we eat is good for us, is to have ourselves tested with that particular blood tests. But, there is also a quick indication by taking our weight, BMI and BP. For example , my height is 1.68m, my normal weight should be 52.2 – 64.6kg and as an Asian-Pacific my normal BMI should be 18.5 – 22.9 kg/m2. If my BMI is between 23.0 – 24.9, I am consider to be Pre-obese. If my BMI is above 25.0, I am consider to be obese. Thus, if the food we take makes us have belly fat, overweight or underweight and obese or too thin, then we have to be extra careful with that particular food.
Essentially, there are 3 major ways we look after our health: 1.Diet, 2. Lifestyles and 3. Medicine and/or surgery. But diet is a very complex and confusing subject.
I have done quite a lot of research on diet. Please let me respond by relating my experience of how I reversed my Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) in 2 months 10 days.
I was having belly fat, overweight and obese and diabetes (FOOD).
All the food we eat, for simplicity, are Grouped under 3 Macronutrients. They are Carbs, Protein and Fat.
· These Carbs, Protein and Fat when digested in our body are converted into many nutrients for our growth and energy.
· The impact of the 3 Macronutrients Chart measures only one thing—only blood sugar level. Why? Because this glucose level will let the doctor know whether a person’s blood sugar level is normal, prediabetic or diabetic!!
• This chart is very important for me as it tells me clearly Where the sugar comes from. It let me decide which food to eat less and which food to eat more for me to manage my T2D condition.
• Let me start with Proteins. What are proteins? They are amino acid and are found in nuts and legumes and also present in animal products. Most of the science-based doctors ignore the proteins when they talk about LCHF Diet. Why? Because proteins are covered under the Carbs section and under the Fat section.
• What are Carbs? All Plant food we consume are Carbs or carbohydrates. The Carbs are converted into Glucose when digested. Glucose is also known as Blood Sugar or sugar in the blood. Any excess glucose that is not burnt as fuel, will eventually be stored as fat in our body.
• The chart shows very clearly to me that Carbs have the highest impact on the Blood Sugar Level in my body.
• Around 90-100% of the Carbs I consume will be converted into glucose or Blood Sugar within 15 mins to 2 hours.
• If I am healthy, it means my body can burn the Blood Sugar within 2 hours. Then my fasting glucose level will be normal at 4 – 6mmol/l and I will not have T2D.
• But if I am not healthy, then even after 2 hours, my body will not metabolize the Blood Sugar within the 2 hrs. My Blood Sugar level will remain high. When I go for the confirmation of the 2 hours sugar test, my glucose level test will still be high. If it is more than 11.1mmol/l, then I will be considered to have T2D. Mine was 17.3mmol/l.
• Thus. I should take less Carbs i.e. I must eat a LC Diet.
• I must not eat a HC Diet. Unfortunately, I was advised to take a HC Diet according to the charts that were given to me by the Dietician Nurse.
• What is Fat? Fat is “fatty acids or lipids.”
· The chart shows that only a small amount of the Fat I eat is converted into Blood Sugar or blood glucose.
· Only around 10% of this Fat that I eat is turned into Blood Sugar n it is released very slowly over 8-10 hours.
· This Fat has little impact on my Glucose Level—has little impact on my T2D.
· Thus, consuming dietary Fat has the least impact on my glucose level and on my T2D. So, I can eat more Fat i.e. a HF Diet.
· I should not eat less Fat as locally recommended.
· Therefore, my food consumption should be a LCHF Diet as recommended by most of the modern science-based doctors and not according to the locally recommended HCLF Diet.
· In order for me not to be fearful when I eat this dietary fat, I must fully understand that dietary fat is not the same fat that is in my body. Many people are under the mistaken idea that the fat they eat is converted to the same kind of fat in the body! That is not so!!
As an example, eating green vegetables doesn’t make our body green. Similarly, eating dietary fat doesn’t make our body fat.
• It is the Carbs that are turned into glucose. And it is the excess glucose which is ultimately stored as Fat in our body. It is the Carbs that make me have belly fat, overweight and obese!!! Not the dietary fat. Therefore, I must eat a LCHF Diet.
Various Types of Diet and my LCHF 80/20 Eating Rule
· The science-based doctors propose their own set diets such as Atkins, Keto, Mediterranean, Vegan Diets etc. They have their own individual goals n objectives.
· All doctors agree that glucose (Blood Sugar) is main culprit for T2D.
· What is the reason for me to want to start another eating diet? My LCHF 80/20 Eating Rule. My objective, my goal is different from theirs.
· I wanted to create a Diet that is simple for me to follow—what not to eat n what to eat—i.e. My LCHF 80/20 Eating Rule.
• I still follow most of the science-based doctors’ recommendation of a LCHF Diet BUT I added a 80/20 Eating rule.
· What is My 80/20 Eating Rule? It is based on the Pareto Principle of 80/20—where we are aware that:
o 80% of the sales are generated by 20% of the sale staff.
o 80% of computer problems are caused by 20% of the bugs.
o 80% of the delay is caused by 20% of the critical items.
· What this tells me—is that 80% of the T2D is caused by 20% of high Carb items.
· This means I must concentrate my attention on the 20% of high Carb items that will give rise to 80% of T2D.
· These 20% items have more power, more potency to cause T2D than 80% of the other items.
· What are these 20% items? What are they? All the science-based doctors agree that it is SUGAR.
· So, I focus on the amount of Sugar in each of the common Carbs that I consume. Thus, I must focus on the 20% of the Carbs that have the highest amount of sugar and have the most impact on my T2D. I must then Avoid the highest amount of Sugar Carb items!!
· I Concentrate on the big items and the key issues. I Focus on the critical items. If I can’t See the big picture—I will be chasing one rabbit hole after another rabbit hole and get lost.
· But doesn’t the rest of the 80% of the Carb items affect T2D? Yes, they do!! As we say, don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on the big picture!
· This is where I simplify My LCHF 80/20 Eating Rule of what not to eat n what to eat for myself.
My daily sugar intake in terms of equivalent teaspoonful of sugar.
• Do I know What is the amount of sugar I eat from the various carbs that I consume?
• Unfortunately, carbs are normally measured in glycaemic index or glycaemic load or calories in calories out or grams. These units of measurement are very difficult for me to grasp. They don’t gel with me. They don’t click with me. What do they mean in practical terms for me? What will work for me?
• It easier for me to understand when these carbs are converted or calculated as equivalent teaspoonful of sugar. I can easily visualize one teaspoonful of sugar. Everyone can understand one teaspoonful of sugar, which is a cube of sugar. I have weighed a cube of sugar and it is about 4.5gm.
• Dr David Unwin has calculated and tabulated “How many teaspoonfuls of sugar are present in various kinds of carb food” in https://youtu.be/sa7ggkDatps or https://phcuk.org/sugar/
• This list contains information regarding the equivalent teaspoonful of sugar found in each kind of Carb food I eat.
• This gives me the option to decide what not to eat and what to eat.
• Why is it vitally important for me to know how many teaspoonfuls of sugar in each Carb I eat? Why? Then it gives me the choice to select Which Carbs to eat or not to eat.
• Why do I also want to know how many teaspoonfuls of Sugar there is in the entire bloodstream of a healthy person?
• Dr Eric Westman in “The Science Behind Low Carb High Fat” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCGDAwp-y0o stated that the entire bloodstream of an adult contains only about 5 – 7 litres of blood. Out of this 5–7 litres there is 5.5 mmol/l (100 mg/dL) of sugar. This can be calculated mathematically to be 5 – 7 gm of sugar in the entire blood stream. This 5-7 gm is roughly equivalent to one teaspoonful of sugar. One cube of sugar!! Now I can then see why I should not add so much more sugar in my diet.
• A healthy individual needs only one teaspoonful of sugar in his entire bloodstream.
• Wikipedia confirms that the Blood sugar level of, “a healthy adult male of 75 kg with a blood volume of 5 litres, a blood glucose level of 5.5 mmol/l amounts to 5g, equivalent to about a teaspoonful of sugar.” I can see now that the normal blood glucose test of 4 – 6 mmol/l is equivalent to one teaspoonful of sugar. A cube of sugar!!
• A person is considered to have T2D if his blood glucose is above 7.0mmol/l.
• But a blood glucose test of above 7.0mmol/l (roughly 1.5 times of 5.5mmol/l), is equivalent to about 1.5 teaspoonfuls of sugar.
• Thus, I now understand Why—when I have 1.5 teaspoonfuls of sugar in my entire bloodstream—I am medically considered to have Type 2 Diabetes!! Can you see this???
• Once we grasp this concept, we must then ask ourselves: Why do we want to add so many more teaspoonfuls of sugar in our diet daily? Why?
o A 150gm of brown rice contains 10.1 teaspoonfuls of sugar. Avoid it.
o A can of Coca-Cola contains 10 teaspoonfuls of sugar. Avoid it.
o A 150gm of boiled potatoes contain 9.1 teaspoonfuls of sugar. Avoid it.
o A 60gm of Raisins contains 10.3 teaspoonfuls of sugar—whereas 120gm of Grapes contains 4.0 teaspoonfuls of sugar. So, avoid dry fruits.
o A glass of apple juice contains 8.6 teaspoonfuls of sugar but one apple contains 2.3 teaspoonfuls of sugar. The fibre reduces the sugar absorption. So, avoid fruit juices.
o A slice of white bread contains 3.7 teaspoonfuls of sugar. I normally take 2 slices=7.4 teaspoonfuls of sugar. Avoid it.
• This is the most important concept to grasp!!! You and I must get this concept right and perfectly clear in our mind. When I have 1.5 teaspoonfuls of sugar in my entire bloodstream—I am medically considered to have Type 2 Diabetes!! Why then do I want to add more amount of sugar in my diet?
• What do you think will happen to our body, if we do NOT avoid these high amount of sugar in the carb items we eat? What it means is that we attack or bombard our body with these high amounts of sugar in our breakfast, lunch and dinner daily for years continuously.
• Fortunately, it is a blessing that—God or Nature gives our body an opportunity of some 15 to 20 years to reverse our course.
• Sadly, it is also a curse that—many people are easily lulled into not taking any preventive action because the complications of T2D takes 15-20 years to develop.
• But the long-term complications of T2D will definitely strike—suddenly and unexpectedly. And people will be surprised when they or their loved ones have heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney dialysis or amputation. The complications are terrible. They are horrible.
Food I Avoid (Mainly Simple Sugar—A HCLF Diet)
• Here is where I make it simple for myself in my LCHF 80/20 Eating Rule.
• For me I concentrate on avoiding the carbs that have the highest amount of sugar. For me there are roughly some 20 Carb items to remember not to eat!!
• I have grouped the food that I should avoid eating under 7 main categories.
1) Fructose-—Avoid corn syrup fructose. Don’t take sweet fruits. I took a small cup of papaya and in 15 to 40 to 60 minutes the glucose level went up from 4.2 to 5.8 and level at 4.9 mmol/L.
2) Sugar—Table sugar, all processed and refined sugar such as cereal, canned fruits, carbonated drinks, fruit juices, ketchup, creamy dressings, muffins, cakes, candy, jams, ice-scream, and desserts. These foods metabolize into very much more than one equivalent teaspoonful of sugar and/or fructose.
3) Starch—Avoid potatoes, sweet potatoes, white rice, cassava, tapioca, yam, corn, wheat, maize, root vegetables. These foods metabolize into very much more than one equivalent teaspoonful of sugar and/or fructose.
4) Simple carbohydrates—Avoid processed food based on flour, such as bread, pizza, pasta, chips, cookies, biscuits, doughnuts and noodles. These foods metabolize into very much more than one equivalent teaspoonful of sugar and/or fructose.
5) Oil—Avoid all hydrogenated vegetable oil except extra virgin olive oil and organic coconut oil.
6) Processed Fat—Avoid sausages, glazed meats, bacon, deep fried foods, margarine.
7) Additives—Avoid sweeteners, aspartame, maltodextrin, dextrose, polydextrose.
Food I Take (LCHF) in moderation
1) Low Carbs (LC) food to take
Fruits—I take avocado, green kiwi, star fruit, sour sop, dragon fruit, custard apple, guava.
Raw nuts like macadamia, pecan, walnut.
Seeds like flax, chai, hemp and pumpkin.
Green leafy vegetables like Swiss chards, baby spinach, arugula, kale, lettuce, bok choy.
Bitter vegetables like bitter gourd, mustard green, asparagus, parsley.
Non-starchy fibrous vegetables like olives, broccoli, peppers, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, mushroom, okra, zucchini, tomatoes, onion, garlic, turmeric.
Fiber like beans, oat bran, legume, barley, peas, wheat bran, husk, skins of many fruits.
All these foods metabolize into very, very much less than one equivalent teaspoonful of sugar and/or fructose.
2) High Fat (HF) food to take in moderation—grass-fed meat, oily fish, seafood, chicken, turkey, tallow, lard, ghee, grass-fed butter, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, bone broth.
I have finally to confirm that I have truly reversed my T2D by taking the overnight fasting glucose tests and the glucose tolerance tests. All the food we take must be confirmed by laboratory tests to give us an accurate measurement that the food we take are nutritious for us. Otherwise it just an anecdote.
Hope this is useful as a general guide for you or your friends.