Metformin & Weight Loss: Is There A Connection?

diabetes weight loss

Metformin is the most prescribed anti-diabetes drug in the world, responsible for over 48 million prescriptions per year in the United States alone. More than 80% of type 2 diabetics are either overweight or obese. Studies indicate that metformin is also an effective weight loss drug.

diabetes weight lossTedTalk speaker and former Johns Hopkins University surgeon Peter Attia once described his contempt for a patient, who was “fat and with type 2 diabetes,” by saying, “if you just tried caring even a little bit, you wouldn’t be in this situation, at this moment with some doctor you just met about to amputate your foot!”

This sentiment, one of face-value judgment, is perhaps universally shared by doctors who believe that the former, being “fat,” causes the latter, “type 2 diabetes.”

Ironically, Attia, the same doctor who criticized a patient for perpetuating this ‘cause and effect,’ became insulin resistant and “massively overweight” himself “despite exercising 3-4 hours every single day and following the food pyramid to the letter.”

Dr. Attia, and other researchers, are now dedicating their life’s work to questioning scientific ‘truths’ around what is a complicated, if not an entirely known, relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes.

This relationship, interestingly enough, is made further complicated by the fact that many anti-diabetic drugs can actually cause weight gain as a side-effect. After all, it is believed that as your blood sugar levels are lowered, the hungrier you become. According to the American Diabetes Association, “many patients experience an increase or 4.4 lbs or more after initiation of these medications,” and that’s just the beginning.

In other words, these drugs, such as sulfonylurea, are both treating type 2 diabetes and causing a side-effect that – supposedly – leads to type 2 diabetes in the first place. How counter-intuitive is that?

However, there is one anti-diabetic drug, called metformin, which is doing just the opposite – causing weight loss.

According to the most cited study on metformin’s role in weight loss, metformin was shown to curb appetites, which led to significant weight reduction – specifically in type 2 diabetics who were obese and prescribed a specific amount of metformin.

Subjects were given doses of either 850mg or 1700mg twice a day. The study’s authors remarked that, “the 1700-mg metformin dose had the most marked appetite suppressant action.” In other words, the higher the dose, the more effective metformin was in reducing hunger. Over two months, subjects treated with 1700-mg metformin averaged a weight loss of nearly 18 pounds. Insane.

According to another study (as reported on diabetesjournal.org), in what was “the longest follow-up” in metformin’s history, weight loss can be seen for at least 10 years of continued treatment in all subjects (i.e. non-obese diabetics and non-diabetics included). This same study highlighted the strong correlation between metformin adherence (i.e. sticking to routine) and weight loss in the following graph:

metformin diabetes weight loss

Source: http://www.diabetesjournals.org

Despite the general optimism surrounding these findings, it should also be noted that scientists warn that significant weight loss, through the administration of metformin, can be dangerous for certain diabetic profiles, particularly in the elderly.

The American Diabetes Association also mentions that most patients beginning metformin treatment experience the side effects of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, all of which lead to weight loss. As such, weight loss can be a temporary result for many type 2 diabetics treated with metformin.

Nevertheless, numerous studies, including those cited in this article, support the finding that metformin is indeed a weight loss drug in addition to being a treatment for type 2 diabetes.

If you’ve experienced weight loss while using metformin, please share your story below. We’d love to hear all about it.

Metformin – Not Just For Diabetics?

metformin diabetes

metformin diabetesMetformin, generally known as the “first-line drug” for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, has been revealed in a recent study by Cardiff University, UK, to not only increase the life spans of diabetics but also non-diabetics.

Metformin is the most prescribed anti-diabetes drug in the world, responsible for over 48 million prescriptions per year in the United States alone. Metformin was approved by the FDA only two decades ago, however, it has been ‘prescribed’ in the form of the French lilac flower (Galega officinalis) since the Middle Ages.

In other words, over half a century ago, your ancestors were peeling off and gobbling up French lilac flower petals (i.e. “unsynthesized metformin”) to relieve their “frequent and burning urination,” a symptom of what is now known as diabetes mellitus.

The purpose of the Cardiff University School of Medicine study, led by Professor Craig Currie (who once called his U.K. countrymen “a nation of lazy porkers”), was to compare the life spans of three groups:

• Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin
• Type 2 diabetics treated with suphonylurea (another commonly prescribed anti-diabetes drug)
• Non-diabetics, i.e., “Type Zeroes”

The results of the study?

Out of 180,000 subjects, there were approximately 7,500 deaths; from those deaths, it was concluded that:

• Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin had markedly longer life spans than those treated with suphonylurea
• Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin “had a small but statistically significant improvement in survival compared to the cohort of non-diabetics”

In English, Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin were living longer (on median, by 15%) than people without diabetes.

Let me repeat that: Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin were living 15% longer than people without diabetes. Incredible.

The study’s lead author, Professor Currie, also remarked:

“Surprisingly, the findings indicate that this cheap and widely prescribed diabetic drug may have beneficial effects not only on patients with [type 2] diabetes but also for people without [diabetes], and interestingly, people with type 1 diabetes.”

In other words, metformin may extend everyone’s life span.

Case closed, right? Type 2 diabetics have their miracle drug, correct?

Not so fast. As mentioned earlier, metformin is a first-line drug. Professor Currie points out:

“This does not mean that people with type 2 diabetes get off Scott free. Their disease will progress and they will be typically switched to more aggressive treatments. People lose on average around eight years from their life expectancy after developing diabetes.”

Appropriately, Professor Currie indicates that his future research will focus on investigating how patients with metformin can be treated thereafter to ensure that their life expectancy is closer in line with the average.

For now, the message remains the same: diet and exercise are crucial to preventing and controlling diabetic conditions.

Decadent Diabetic – Apple/Cranberry/ Walnut Upside Down Cake

Neither I, nor the dozen people I asked had eaten one of these upside down cakes in years.  It is very 1960-1970’s but so homey and good I thought I would bring back this version to tempt the palate of my fellow Diabetics.

Note: I LIKE TO USE AN 8 INCH SPRING FORM PAN WELL SPRAYED TO AVOID STICKING. Remember the bottom of the pan, becomes the top of the cake so make it look pretty! *I leave it out overnight **CAKE NEEDS THIS FOR MOISTURE.

Cardamom is sometimes hard to find sometimes. If you can find it, it adds a nuance to the cake. I keep my ground cardamom frozen.

Decadent Diabetic – Apple/Cranberry/ Walnut Upside Down Cake

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick Butter (+ 2Tbsp. (divided) (I use Balance blend 50/50 OR I can’t believe its not butter sticks) at room temperature*)
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar Substitute (+ 1/4 Cup (divided))
  • 2 Large Eggs (At room temperatures)
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tablespoons Sour Cream (low fat is OK, but NOT fat free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cider Vinegar
  • 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour (You can replace up to 1/4 the amount with whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup Toasted Nuts/Walnuts (Cooled & Divided - 1/2 Cup & 1/2 Cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon (Divided)
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger (Optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg (Optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Cardamom (*If you can find it)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda (1/2 into dry mix, 1/2 into sour cream mix)
  • pinch Salt
  • 1 Apple - Sliced Thinly ((INGREDIENTS BELOW FOR TOPPING/BOTTOMING)
  • 1/2 cup Cranberries (Chopped Roughly)
  • 1/4 cup Remaining Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Remaining Cinnamon
  • Remaining Butter

Directions

Step 1. Pre heat oven to 350 Degrees.
Step 2. Dry Mixture
In a food processor:
Combine ½ cup nuts, salt, and ¼ cup flour. Pulse until the nuts are totally pulverized. Add ¼ cup more flour, and spices. Pulse until combined. Add final ¼ cup of flour, baking soda and powder and pulse until combined. (I often do this a day ahead),
Step 3. Wet Mixture
Easiest if you have a stand mixer+
Cream the ½ stick of butter and 1 cup of the GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE until light and fluffy add the oil and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl
Add vanilla
Add remaining ½ tsp. of baking soda to sour cream and stir.
Step 4. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the eggs and sour cream mixture. Start with the dry. MIX ONLY UNTIL JUST INCORPORATED otherwise you wind up with bread.
Step 5. When the wet and dry ingredients are combined, Cut a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper to fit the bottom of the springform pan. Arrange the apples on a circular pattern.
Step 6. Combine the cranberries, the remaining:
-Sugar substitute
-Cinnamon
-Nuts
-butter
Sprinkle over the apple slices.
Step 7. Spoon the batter into baking pan and bake for 26-28 minutes or until tester comes out dry from the center.

Step 8. Allow to cool for about ½ hour on a rack. Cover with a plate and invert the cake onto the plate. Remove the springform pan and the paper. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon.

 

Each serving has approximately 13g* Net Carbohydrates.

Chef Ward Alper is type 2 Diabetic who lives and eats DECADENTLY in Portland, Maine. Since his diagnosis more than four years ago he has refocused his recipes and eating to support his Diabetes health. He has maintained a consistent A1C of 5.2-5.3, while still enjoying the pleasures of eating. Chef Alper has been a professional chef in both New York City and Boston, Massachusetts.

He has a website, www.thedecadentdiabetic.com, where he shares stories and recipes with his fellow Diabetes and encourages them to expand their choices and take back their life and their table. His articles and recipes appear on Top Diabetes sites as well in medical newsletters across the United States. He is working with a major New York publisher towards publishing a cookbook so he can share with more Diabetics that you can take back your life and your table while still eating a Diabetic Diet and be DECADENT to boot!

 

Tricks To Make Your Low-Carb Diet A Treat

diabetic cooking tips

This post was written by Chef Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic.

diabetic cooking tipsOk, let us get the elephant out of the room. I use that granulated sugar substitute that comes in the yellow bag. I know, I know, all those chemicals. While I am at it, let me also admit to using SWEET AND LOW in my coffee. Could I use the stevia plant products? Perhaps I could, but at this time I find it: 1.) too expensive, and 2.) hard to work with equivalents. So I take the possible risks (?) to create desserts that still taste like the original.

Read on for some EASY chef’s tricks for making your diabetic cooking more fun, interesting, & delicious.

 

    • What I do in baking is to reduce the amount of flour in a recipe by 1/4 to 1/3 and substitute it with toasted ground nuts. I find that almonds work best for a dryer texture, and that walnuts and pecans work better for wetter texture. Each nut adds its own flavor. The new way here is better than the old way both for flavor and carbohydrates. Toasting nuts is super easy. You can either toast them in a dry pan or in the oven, or as I do at home, in my toaster oven. The one caveat is to watch them like a hawk. Because of the oil content, nuts can go from toasted to charred in the blink of an eye. This is no time for multi-tasking!

 

    • To replace things like maple syrup in a recipe, I will use butter, fruits and a little TROP 50. The apples thicken the sauce and you get that same unctuous feeling on your palate.

 

    • diabetic cooking tipsIn the “old” days, I used a lot of chicken bouillon in my cooking. Even I had to stop and consider the sodium content. What I do now is make “stock” ice cubes. I do this by adding a clove of garlic and 4-5 pepper corns to a pot of “low” sodium chicken or beef stock and reduce that down by at least half. After cooling, I pour that liquid into ice cube trays and freeze them. I keep them in an air tight container in the freezer for whenever I need a flavor boost in a recipe. I do the same thing with the liquid that remains after I reconstitute dry mushrooms. Added to the juices from a steak or chop turns it from ordinary to DECADENT with very little effort on my (or your) part.

 

    • Simple sauces that can be used in a gazillion ways is another one of my tricks. I use my remoulade sauce in dishes from simple sandwiches to chicken and pork. The royal caper sauce is another one of those recipes. Another very simple trick is to combine fresh lemon juice and low sodium soy sauce with ONE herb; then brush your protein with that liquid for more variations than you can ever imagine. Use the herbs you like and you will always love the DECADENT dish you have created.

 

    • Compound butters are another nice little trick. Combining butter with herbs and spices or shallots and garlic, and adding them at the very last minute makes a huge flavor difference. Again this takes very little effort on your part.Cooking is easy and will make sticking to your diet an easy and Decadent pleasure!

 

    • LEMON adds brightness and flavor to fish and chicken. Using lemon also helps you cut down on the amount of salt you need to use in a recipe.

 

Enjoy! Be healthy! Be DECADENT!

There Ain’t Nothing Like Chocolate: Celebrating Valentine’s Day As A Diabetic

diabetic valentines day

This post was written by Chef Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic.

You could buy every rose in town, but on Valentine’s Day, chocolate is the only true out. Oh dear, you and I are diabetics. Now what do we do?

Well as it happens, cocoa is actually not very high in carbohydrates. And believe it or not, it even has some fiber. It is the white sugars and milk solids that pump up the carbs.

diabetic chocolate recipe

So using HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK cocoa powder and a granulated sugar substitute, I have created this tongue titillating, soul satisfying, utterly romantic chocolate crème confection almost guaranteed to make your celebration, well…. you know.

Get the recipe here.

Just don’t forget to put it in a special glass and have some strawberries handy for dipping!

So this Valentine’s day, just fall in love with chocolate all over again.

Allow me to share another chocolate product that I fit into my diet from time to time: PERUGINA BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE. It is made in Italy by NESTLE. So incredibly rich that 2-3 squares (each square is 2.7 net grams of carbohydrates) will satisfy your craving for chocolate. Both the HERSHEY’S Cocoa powder and the Perugina chocolate are a permanent part of my pantry.

As long as it is Valentine’s Day, let me mention some perfect pairing: Chocolate and Orange, Chocolate and Strawberries, Orange and Strawberries. I very often “soak” my fresh strawberries in a tablespoon of TROP 50. It just makes the flavor fresher.

diabetic valentines day

Enjoy, be healthy, be DECADENT!

Fruits and Veggies (Literally) Taste Better On Sale

fruits and veggies on sale

This post was written by Chef Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic. 

fruits and veggies on saleLots of people complain about how expensive fresh fruits and vegetables are.

I say: BUY THEM ON SALE!

 

 

 

 

Why, you may ask? When a grocer does an advertisement for a fruit or vegetable, the grocer needs to plan ahead and order more of that product. They also need to keep in mind what is in season at the time of the ad. Because of the lower price, and the seasonality, the items sell faster in the market and therefore keep more of their fresh taste.

The fact that it is more budget friendly makes it taste better too, even if it is only in your mind and in your wallet.

Take advantage of sales, but don’t buy more than you can use in a short time. That is what is meant by penny wise and pound foolish.

Dinner Ideas for Diabetics Who Hate to Cook

diabetic cooking

diabetic cookingOne of the first things most people will tell you when you discover that you’re diabetic is that you can still eat all the foods you enjoy: you simply need to modify the recipes slightly. However if you hate to cook and prefer to eat takeout food or in restaurants, discovering that you have diabetes can mean having to drastically alter the way that you eat. The fatty burgers and sugar-laden ice cream sundaes that you’d typically find in your local fast food joint certainly aren’t a healthy part of a diabetic diet and even the finest average restaurant meal is packed with carbohydrates, sodium and fat. So what do you do if you don’t want to have to slice and dice veggies and slave over a hot stove, but still want to look after yourself and eat as healthy a diet as possible? Here are a few simple dinner ideas for diabetics who hate to cook:

Read the Menus

If you love eating out then the Diabetes Association of America has some great tips for the healthiest ways to do so. One of these is to eat in restaurants that are more-likely to be able to deal with your special dietary requirements. If you’re planning to eat out then phone ahead, as it may help the restaurant to deal with your needs and they will also let you know whether they allow menu substitutions. You could then order double veggies instead of French fries and gravy or steak sauce that is cooked to order without salt.

Share the Load with Friends

In the United States alone, diabetes affects 25.8 million people. That’s a whopping 8.3 percent of the U.S. population who are currently suffering from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In the UK 4.3 percent of the population (approximately 3 million people) currently suffer from diabetes and in Canada the number stands at an estimated 9 million people living with diabetes. Whilst some might find these statistics surprising, it does mean that you’re highly likely to already know one or two people who have diabetes. If you choose to join a local support group after your diagnosis then you’ll meet even more!  You might even find you’re not alone in your dislike of cooking: so why not pool your resources? Team together with a small group of friends and each cook a large batch of a dish to distribute among each other. Buy a cook book or two and learn to cook a few simple recipes you can make in huge batches. By sharing them with your friends or family you’ll be able to eat something different and delicious every day, but you’ll only have to cook once or twice a week. Alternatively, you could take cooking lessons with your friends: It could help you learn to love cooking after all!

Visit Your Local Deli

You can buy a vast variety of healthy pre-cooked food from your local deli. Dishes such as pre-baked chicken, pre-bagged salads and even cold cuts of meat can all be picked up from your deli counter and enjoyed at home with no cooking involved whatsoever. You can even purchase veggies that have already been cooked: you simply need to heat them up. Be careful when adding salad dressings and sauces to season your meal though, as these are often laden with hidden salt and can quickly turn a healthy meal into a very unhealthy one.

Remember that when you eat out or purchase pre-prepared foods you often have very little control over the amount of sugar, salt or fat that goes into the meals you are eating. This means that your levels of carbohydrates, sodium and fat could be unnecessarily high, and you may miss out on some of the more essential nutrients that your body needs. Why not consider learning to cook and whipping up a home-cooked dinner every now and again? It doesn’t take long, and it isn’t as hard as you think. Even if you hate to cook, you’ll be surprised by the positive affect it will have on your body and your well-being!

 

Eating Your Way Through The Super Bowl

diabetic super bowl snacks

This post was written by Chef Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic.

super bowl sundayNo sitting on the sidelines for us just because we have diabetes! You don’t really think you have to endure Super Bowl Sunday gnawing on a celery stick, do you?

NONSENSE!

You want chips? We got chips. Just check out the Lavash chip recipe under the recipe tab here at Diabetes Well Being, under the Decadent Diabetic. If you don’t want them to be in strips as the recipe suggests, cut them into triangles and enjoy. Want them spicier? Add a little chili or curry powder to the oil. They will hold up to any dip or guacamole.

Pizza, you say? Look at the pizza recipes from two weeks ago when I answered your questions about making pizza more diabetic-friendly.

Sliders on your dream menu? Serve them on whole wheat Arnold Sandwich Thins.

Slaw is easy-peasy. Check out the recipe for “skinny slaw” on the Decadent Diabetic website. It is so good that neither you nor your guests will ever even think it is a low carb dish.

Finger food? Check out this very simple recipe below… and may your team win big!

Cucumber and Radish Small Bites

Serving size: 6 pieces
Net Carbohydrates: 5g

Note: The first time I entertained guests after my diagnosis, I went into a panic about what to make as an Hors d’ oeuvre. I came up with this very simple little bite that is so good, I never hesitate to serve it. It is a flash to prepare.

1 7-8 inch long cucumber, peeled and sliced into ½ inch thick pieces

1 8 ounce pkg. cream cheese

1-2 Tbsp. minced shallot (or onion or scallion)

1 stalk of celery minced

5-6 radishes minced + 1-2 sliced thinly

1- Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

diabetic super bowl snacks

How I prepare this Recipe:

Step 1: Soften the cream cheese to room temperature

Step 2: Mince the onion, celery radish, and parsley together and add to the softened cream cheese.

Step 3: Spoon ½ tsp. of the mixture on each cucumber slice and top with ½ of a radish slice.

Refrigerate until set.

 

Use remaining mixture on a sheet of lavash (roll up into a log and cut into pinwheels) or on lavash chips, or save for use on your morning toast.

There are as many variations on the filling as you have an imagination to create. Curry comes to mind, as does spinach!

The Decadent Diabetic Answers Your Questions About Pasta

diabetic mac and cheese

This post was written by Chef Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic.

Dear Pasta Lovers,

Like pizza, pasta was one of the most asked for items to get back into a low carbohydrate diabetic-compatible diet.

There is a pasta product out in the marketplace that claims to have only 5g of digestible carbohydrates per portion. I can’t figure it out. Total carbs per serving is 41g and fiber is 6g. Net carbs to me is 35g. I don’t know where the rest of the grams of carbohydrate have gone. I asked a couple of dietitians and nutritionists about it, and they too are stumped. I called the company and they would not give out any information on the missing carbohydrates. I stopped using the product. I think we should make magic in the kitchen, but the numbers have to add up.

There is also black bean spaghetti available online. It has very few (4g) net carbs. It was just suggested to me by a gluten-free friend. I have not yet tried this product. I am told it is a good neutral flavor with some of the property of regular pasta. I will tell you more after I try it a few times.

Anyone eating a low carb diet will miss pasta. The question I have for you is: “What is it about the pasta you miss?” Is it the balance of sharp sauce and the neutral pasta, or the softness going down?  For me it is the “bowl of pasta” concept. I don’t want just a small handful.

If you keep an open mind and you can get very close and enjoy the flavors and the sense of pasta.

I was introduced to spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta. I made it with my favorite red sauce and meatballs (remember when you were a kid?). I HATED IT!!! The flavor was off; the texture was off. It did not work for me. I did not care that is sorta kinda looked like ”skettie.” It was not “skettie.” But there was something about it that challenged me to continue on.  I really missed pasta. My next attempt was a very old and very simple version with oil & garlic (aglio e olio). Much to my surprise and delight, it was delicious. Next stop was pesto sauce. Another hit.  From there I went to a chicken and mushroom dish with Italian cheeses and the spaghetti squash. Wondrous!  Next was a “pasta” with shrimp scampi casserole. Also amazing. But there was that nagging tomato thing. I next tried sun dried tomatoes, garlic, and shallot in olive oil. Absolutely great! So why didn’t the spaghetti and meatball thing work? My answer is I HAVEN’T A CLUE. Some things in life you just have to accept. Now I have added meatballs to this combination, and it does work. It is not what I remember from childhood, but it is very good. It is a little closer when I use roasted tomatoes. I think it is the sweetness of a spaghetti sauce that does not work.

With pasta and spaghetti squash, it is all about how you look at it. With the one exception, all of the preparations have worked out great. Pasta was used to stretch the dollar. We just got to love the soft texture of it. Spaghetti squash does not have the same texture but does have the same sense on the palate. It also does not take salt in the same way (maybe not a bad thing).

The ultimate test for me was “Mac & Cheese.” You remember that wonderful food from when you were a kid or when you were broke and that blue box was a filling cheap dinner?  Below is my recipe for that dish. It takes longer to make than the blue box, but it is worth it. I think, like me, you will find it delicious and comforting as in days gone by. The trick is to keep an open mind and after you try it, make it your own by adding those things you would add to any “Mac & Cheese”.

Enjoy, be healthy, be happy, be DECADENT!

 

diabetic mac and cheese

 

It is ALMOST “Mac & Cheese”
Serving Size:  About 1 cup
Net Carbohydrates: 12g

We all tend to miss the comfort foods of our childhood. The question I asked was whether it was really the “mac” part of this dish we missed, or the gooey, creamy, cheesy part of the dish. One spoonful of this recipe answered that question for me, and I hope for you, too.

Note: Part of the trick with this dish is to fix it with those things you remember having years ago. Hot dogs, ham, sausage, or even tuna all work if that is how you remember “Mac & Cheese.” If you remember it solo, go solo!

I use the eggs to thicken the sauce instead of flour. This both cuts down the carbohydrate count and makes the recipe gluten free (if you use gluten free cheese)

 

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked, shredded, spaghetti squash

½ cup milk (whole works best but 1% is ok) combined with:

½ tsp. mustard (yellow or Dijon)

2 eggs beaten with:

2 Tbsp. sour cream

8 ounces freshly grated cheese –Reserve a small amount to top the casserole

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. butter

1- medium shallot chopped (or 2 scallions white parts only, chopped)

1 clove minced (or grated) garlic

 

How I prepare this recipe:

Pre heat oven to 350.

Step 1- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the shallot or scallion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it softens.

Step 2-Slowly add the milk mixture.

Step 3- Add the grated cheeses and stir until incorporated into the sauce. Remove from the heat.

Step 4- VERY slowly add small amounts of the cheese sauce to the egg mixture.

Step 5- Pour over the spaghetti squash and stir to combine completely.

Step 6- Pour into a buttered casserole dish (8”x 8” works for me).

Step 7-Top with the reserved cheese.

Step 8- Bake for  40-45 minutes until the casserole is browned and bubbling.

INDULGE!

 

Could Sticking to 800 Calories a Day Cure Type 2 Diabetes?

diabetes cure

diabetes cureAs diabetes sufferers, we can’t be blamed for taking any news regarding a so-called ‘cure’ with a liberal pinch of salt. It sometimes seems that we’re hearing stories of potential cures on an almost monthly basis – and yet nothing concrete ever materializes. But what would you think if the cure wasn’t a pill or injection of some kind, but rather a radical change in lifestyle? Diabetics already have plenty of tasty recipes to choose from, but recent research at Newcastle University in England seems to suggest that some types of diabetes could be cured in certain individuals by maintaining a strict diet of 800 calories per day. Is this another case of snake oil, or is there some truth here? Let’s find out.

A ‘crash diet’ for Type 2 diabetes

The team of researchers in Newcastle took eleven overweight individuals, all of whom were suffering from Type 2 diabetes, and placed them on what they refer to as a ‘crash diet’. This diet involved the daily intake of just 800 calories – quite a challenge for anyone used to eating the recommended amount of around 2000 calories. But the results really do speak for themselves; after just a few weeks abiding by this 800-calorie diet, all eleven of the participants were free of the disease entirely. It’s important to note that this is only a sample size of eleven, and so the results are perhaps not indicative of everyone, but the team hopes to launch a large-scale trial of 280 people to see if they can replicate their success. In any case, these results are hugely encouraging for anyone suffering Type 2 diabetes – and it genuinely seems that a drastic cut in caloric intake could be the key to eliminating diabetes altogether, at least for those with the Type 2 variant.

A growing concern

In the United States alone, diabetes affects over 25 million people – that’s more than 8 per cent of the entire population. With studies such as this one being carried out to find cures for this debilitating condition, it’s easy to see why it’s so important that scientists and researchers continue important work like this. And even better, if the solution is as simple as cutting food intake to 800 calories per day, it’s a cure that’s attainable by anyone – unlike some of the pharmaceutical treatments that are available for other health problems. There are many complaints that medicinal cures take advantage of those with less financial means – but the 800 calorie cure may actually save money on the grocery bill! Naturally there are nutritional considerations, so those 800 calories will likely come from many different sources (grains, fruits, proteins, etc.) but the volume of intake is so much less that the savings surely won’t be restricted to the waist line.

Preventing the rise of diabetes

Whilst the 800-calorie cure is fantastic news for anyone suffering from diabetes Type 2, there are still more ways that we can prevent diabetes getting any more widespread than it is. Education is key to this effort, especially among children and teens. Teaching kids why they should be focusing on healthy foods (which can still taste good) is vital. It’s never too early to introduce children to healthy eating, and a good grounding in food education will help prevent them making bad decisions as they get older and are responsible for choosing their own meals. When fatty and sugary foods are available in any school cafeteria, it makes it very difficult for children to avoid these problematic foods. The healthy eating experts at Kwikmed suggest that “guidelines are six to eighteen teaspoonfuls of sugar per person per day, depending on the individual characteristics of the person and their overall diet”, and this is a great starting point for any parent who wants their child to avoid the perils of diabetes.

The final word

It’s clear that progress is being made in the treatment of diabetes. Naturally, we do not recommend you attempting the 800-calorie diet without first consulting a medical professional. It’s not clear what constituted the diet in terms of nutrition, and so it’s not advisable to try to replicate the diet. This form of cure is still in the testing stages, and as such should be seen as an interesting step forward rather than a bona fide life-saver. Diabetes is not an issue that will be fixed overnight, but with the dedicated people like the research team at Newcastle University working tirelessly for a cure – there is always hope. Who knows? The cure for all forms of diabetes could be just around the corner.