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 Post subject: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:46 am 
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I have been having some minor health problems and my Dr tested me for diabetes and tested my thyroid function. She told me I wasn't pre-diabetic yet but I was on the high end going towards it. Although I have diabetes all over my family I was still shocked because my family members who have developed it have horrible diets and I have been vegan for 17 years and eat a pretty healthy diet. I eat very little processed foods and don't like sweet things much.
She recommended I start eating a better diet to combat becoming pre-diabetic. I did a bit of research but everything I see come up is how great vegan diets are for diabetes and the reverse effects of it etc. Well, I am already vegan. I can't find anything for people who are already vegan and want to change their diet to help. I eat almost no "white" things. I am just confused and am sick of wasting my time reading how going vegan will help me because I already do that. Any resources out there for those already convinced?


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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:19 am 
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I think genetics definitely has a strong play, my aunt had gestational diabetes in her first trimester, which I believe is pretty rare. From what I've been reading, exercise seems to have almost a greater effect than diet. I know you bike a lot but one thing I was reading that some people are being treated with diabetes by going on a 10 minute walk after meals.

Although it might drive you crazy, a glucometer might help you get a handle on how specific meals are effecting your blood sugar.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:51 am 
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That is a great idea linanil. I should get a glucometer to help me pinpoint.

I also could walk after meals, that is a good idea. It will help my mental health as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:55 am 
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I'm pre-diabetic as well (PCOS is correlated with being prediabetic), and the advice I've heard has been to lose weight, if you're overweight. It's supposed to be particularly problematic if your extra weight tends to gravitate to your midsection as mine does.

I like the idea of a walk after meals, linanil, thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:06 am 
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I am overweight and that is one of the things that prompted the test. I have gained 40 lbs in 2 years without any negative changes to diet and exercise. In fact, I have upped my cardio in the past year and been eating healthier with only weight gain to show for it. I can run now, which is a plus though.


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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:35 pm 
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Almost prediabetic isn't a thing. Not that you shouldn't reexamine your food and exercise habits. But recognize this as something to keep an eye on, not an illness or disease or an inevitable march toward type 2 diabetes.

It sounds like you're already doing well. Exercise daily. Add some resistance training if you're only doing cardio. Replace white rice, potatoes, white bread, sugar, etc with whole grains or healthy fats and proteins. Eat lots of fiber. Drink less alcohol. Avoid sugary drinks.

You're not really finding much information because that's all there is to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:14 am 
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Well, what she said was that my levels were't pre-diabetic yet but they were almost there. So if that "isn't a thing" then I need to change doctors I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:43 pm 
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I don't know that I'd change doctors. But it's like saying you're almost overweight.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:09 pm 
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Maybe get a copy of your lab work so you can have a clearer pic of what levels your doc is referring to. I'm guessing it was your a1c, probably.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:46 pm 
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I have been considering making a thread for this topic lately so this is great timing. I recently found out that my mother now has diabetes and then I was told that it runs in my family (I had no idea). My mother is obese though and eats horribly and never exercises, etc. I just want to try to do all that I can to protect myself though. I guess if it's genetics then there's not much you can do? I don't know that much about diabetes.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:35 pm 
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I should also be building healthier habits- my mother has type 2 diabetes so I'm at a higher risk for it. I don't excercise enough, I love sweet things and have been getting into frequent ruts where I don't have the energy to cook properly so fill up on too much simple starch like instant noodles, chips and bread with not enough vegetables and often not enough protein.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:59 pm 
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I'm also interested in diabetes prevention as I have a family history of type 2 diabetes. I want to do what I can to prevent diabetes as I've seen the many complications that can arise once you're diagnosed.

The diagnosis of 'prediabetes' requires multiple tests over a period of time. Here's two links to Clinical Practice Guidelines - one for the US (2016) and the other for Canada (2013)

Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2016
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/site/m ... f-Care.pdf

Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada - 2013

http://guidelines.diabetes.ca/app_theme ... ull_en.pdf

So far my tests are ok - A1C, fasting glucose and glucose tolerence test but the tracking is ongoing. I need to lose weight, exercise more and build more muscle.


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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:44 am 
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High carb low fat vegan is the best diet for diabetes prevention.


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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:13 am 
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Actually low glycemic is generally the best for diabetes prevention, generally high carb low fat is a pretty bad idea for someone who is prone to higher blood sugar levels.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:15 am 
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After reading quite a few books about this (because I'm in a similar situation) it seems the combination of fat and sugar is the biggest culprit. So high carb could be helpful for some, especially when they're eating complex carbs and not just drinking juice, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:27 am 
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It depends on what you define as high carb, usually in (some) vegan circles that means extremely high carb and lots of fruits and no fats, except maybe a slice of avocado here and there. For me, (as someone with PCOS), that has been the fastest way for me to gain weight and trigger extreme highs/lows in blood sugar. I found that I do well with complex carbs vs simple carbs, focusing on lower glycemic foods. Although diabetes runs in my family, I've been lucky to not have any more hypoglycemic episodes and not have elevated blood sugars anywhere close to pre-diabetic. So I'm not exactly in the same boat as someone who is pre-diabetic or on the verge of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:52 am 
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Can you talk to a diabetes educator or registered dietitian? I think that would really help clarify some of these issues. If it were me and I had a strong family history of diabetes, I would likely be inclined to do something about abnormal blood sugar levels even if it isn't quite in the prediabetes range yet. I do understand the skepticism regarding the type of testing that was done and whether additional followup is needed before taking further action - these are good questions to ask your doctor. Here are some links that might be helpful:

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diagnosis/

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitnes ... getarians/

From what I can tell, the key points are pretty reasonable: increasing exercise to a moderate level (at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week), weight loss if you are overweight (even if it is only a small percentage) and typical healthy eating advice -- vegetables, fruits, legumes, choosing whole grains over refined ones. It doesn't seem like there are recommendations to go extremely low fat or extremely low carbohydrate/sugar for prediabetes, but I think a dietitian or diabetes educator could help with sorting some of this out.


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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:18 pm 
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linanil wrote:
It depends on what you define as high carb, usually in (some) vegan circles that means extremely high carb and lots of fruits and no fats, except maybe a slice of avocado here and there. For me, (as someone with PCOS), that has been the fastest way for me to gain weight and trigger extreme highs/lows in blood sugar. I found that I do well with complex carbs vs simple carbs, focusing on lower glycemic foods. Although diabetes runs in my family, I've been lucky to not have any more hypoglycemic episodes and not have elevated blood sugars anywhere close to pre-diabetic. So I'm not exactly in the same boat as someone who is pre-diabetic or on the verge of it.


Can you tell me more about focusing on lower glycemic foods? Is it as simple as replacing "white" foods with their whole grain counterparts or is it more complex than that? I just haven't done a ton of research on it besides seeing random bits of lower glycemic statements on boxes and articles.


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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 6:51 am 
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tank wrote:
linanil wrote:
It depends on what you define as high carb, usually in (some) vegan circles that means extremely high carb and lots of fruits and no fats, except maybe a slice of avocado here and there. For me, (as someone with PCOS), that has been the fastest way for me to gain weight and trigger extreme highs/lows in blood sugar. I found that I do well with complex carbs vs simple carbs, focusing on lower glycemic foods. Although diabetes runs in my family, I've been lucky to not have any more hypoglycemic episodes and not have elevated blood sugars anywhere close to pre-diabetic. So I'm not exactly in the same boat as someone who is pre-diabetic or on the verge of it.


Can you tell me more about focusing on lower glycemic foods? Is it as simple as replacing "white" foods with their whole grain counterparts or is it more complex than that? I just haven't done a ton of research on it besides seeing random bits of lower glycemic statements on boxes and articles.


Yeah it is a bit more complex and usually if you look up 'glycemic load', you'll get a ton of information.

Basically, in thinking of simple terms, you focus on things that are lower glycemic load which is things like brown rice and what not but also lower sugar fruits (berries, melons, etc) and also consider adding items that lower the glycemic load such as vinegar. I was reading about a study where participants with diabetes added 2tsp of vinegar to their meals and it resulted in lower blood sugar levels but vinegar is also known to lower the glycemic load of a meal. Of course if you like vinegar, that is a good thing but if you don't then it might not be good. Fats also lower the glycemic load of a meal as well but it really isn't about getting the lowest of the low but just knowing that there are certain foods which are better for keeping blood sugar levels more stable.

And the difficulty with glycemic load is that glycemic loads are tested on single foods but generally people don't eat single foods. So a meal together could have a much lower glycemic load than the food in the meal with the highest glycemic load.

I used to like glycemic index because it had bigger numbers between foods but glycemic load is based on realistic servings so things like carrots have a high glycemic index but that is measured on an unrealistic amount of carrots vs glycemic load. And I just kind of use it as a guideline to get a general idea and it is useful for certain things like fruit.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 9:01 am 
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great information, thank you linanil


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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 9:25 am 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
I guess if it's genetics then there's not much you can do?


It depends on more than one thing - genetics make you more or less vulnerable to effects of food and activity. There is diabetes in my dad's family (he has been prediabetic for at least 10 years, and then finally got to real diabetes last year, at 72). It's one of the things that make me more motivated to exercise.

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 Post subject: Re: Diabetes prevention
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 3:23 am 
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I don't know about diabetes prevention, but type 2 diabetes is also rampant in my family. I'm 34 and 'overweight' (or fat, yanno, whatever overweight means) and every single person in my family is fat too and has been for generations. I've got to the point where I'm keeping an eye out for possible symptoms but none yet. I get my Mum to test my blood sugar every time we go over for lunch (it's a bit of a family tradition now, especially at Christmas).

My Mum was diagnosed when she was in her late 30s. She isn't veg*n but the only luck she's had is on a low (or NO) carb diet, on the logic that carbs = sugar in the body. It's utterly anecdotal but she normalised her blood sugar 100% on that diet. For a long time she cut out most fruit, root veg, etc.... She adjusted her insulin intake to almost zero.

I've always figured I'll jump off that (potentially low-carb) bridge when I get to it!

(FWIW none of us have had any other significant health issues. My Mum was an actual paralympian (swimming), was very fit, and ate a low fat/sugar diet for most of the 80s just because she wanted to be thinner. On and off I maintain a habit of cycling everywhere, love sweet stuff but also eat all my veggies, have had some drastic weight loss in the past and always put it back on. With the rampant weight stigma in the medical industry it's very hard to know what's for the best and I think these things are often very individual.)

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