Sunday, February 22, 2009


I get a lot of comments that for instance, "I am vegetarian, I don't need all that protein" - or "Just where did you get your target numbers?"

These numbers represent the Zone diet - which normalizes blood sugar. Why is this? It is because the body has specific biological responses to protein, and to carbs.

Carbs trigger insulin spikes, and protein triggers glucagon release, which lowers blood sugar. They MUST be in balance. You would not put diesel fuel into a gasoline engine. If you are eating the standard American diet, you are doing just that, putting the wrong fuel mixture into your body and damaging it. The human body has a preferred fuel composition, and that is a balance of protein and carbs, and low fat. If you do anything else, over time, you will become diabetic.

I was the world's greatest natural food cook. I was doing my very best to cook for my family and maintain a semi-vegetarian, natural foods orientation. Imagine my shock when I learned I was diabetic. Not to mention the fact that I weighed 283 pounds. I had to find out what went wrong.

The answer? In my zest to pursue whole grains, bread baking, lots of fruits and veggies, brown rice, granola, and lots of honey, cheese, and eggs, I knew NOTHING of food composition. I had poisoned myself, and my family, with too many carbs and not enough protein. And all the cheese I was eating overloaded my fat processing ability and gave me pancreatitis, which is at root a lipid processing problem.

The Zone diet assigns equal amounts of carbs and proteins to balance blood sugar. We have further refined that to say that it is the lean muscle mass in the body that defines your protein, carb, and fat targets.

I have helped over 600 people lose weight without hunger. The key to this is to hit those targets on the left side of this blog. It does not matter what food you use, but you must hit your targets. This means you can be a vegetarian and lose weight and control blood sugar, but you must be very careful to add some low fat source of protein to match each and every carb gram that you eat. As a diabetic, you can have protein without carbs, but never carbs by themselves. If you do that you are further damaging your pancreas and spiking your blood sugar. That all goes away when you balance protein and carbs.

The key to getting off of diabetic meds is to log every bite of food that goes into your mouth, and to hit your targets for fat, protein, and carbs. If you do that, the supplements will show a pronounced effect, and the chances that you will completely get off diabetic medications are very good. But work with your doctor to confirm your progress. You should never stop diabetic medications without the approval and knowledge of your doctor.

We have seen the evidence play out on a body composition scale with over 600 clients. If they are short on carbs, or not getting enough protein, or starving themselves and going to the gym, they lose muscle mass. It is that simple. So don't try to re-invent the wheel, it is already proven many times over that the low carb diet is wrong, high fat diet is wrong, and none of us are getting the recommended amount of protein. And a high carb approach to diabetes will only make the problem worse. Instead we need to add a source of low fat protein to match all carb grams.

Whey protein fills the bill. Adds muscle, alkalinizes the body, and puts you in a good mood! I recommend half of the recommended amounts of protein as whey protein. For me, that is around 45 grams of whey protein daily. That amount can be achieved with the protein cocoa and Reese's shake.

But thank goodness I found this information. I have half a pancreas, and my last A1C was 6.4 - and my insulin needs are practically non-existant. I am never hungry or tired, and I have lost over 110 pounds. Try it, you will like it!

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