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A Diet to Defeat Diabetes

Island Epicure

Diabetes seems to be edging into epidemic status. Native Americans and people with African ancestors are the most at risk, but none of us is immune to that disease. People in my family are susceptible to it.  My mother and her grandmother had it. (Her mother died young of tuberculosis, another disease that’s making a comeback.) One of my two sisters  and one of my two sons are diabetic and one of them is currently undergoing a series of eye surgeries related to the disease. One of my two daughters has been diagnosed with “pre-diabetes”. She’s seriously reduced her consumption of carbohydrates and lost a few pounds. That helps but can’t be carried too far. Some carbs are necessary for energy; cut back too much and your heart will stop.

Conventional medicine has chemical remedies for symptoms of diabetes but declare it “incurable.” I put quotes there because I believe it is possible to cure it using Hypocrates’ protocol. He was the doctor in ancient Greece famous for curing his patients with diet and fresh air.

So: two things to keep us free of diabetes and most if not all other diseases, plus leading to a life with energy, physical and mental, enough of it to accomplish all we need and want to do.

In Hypocrites time food did not come in cans or freezer boxes. Everybody cooked from scratch. He gave his patients lots of fresh vegetables and fruits and everybody slept on a long porch at his hospital.

A doctor in our time, Dr. David Eifrig who holds PhD’s in both Medicine and Economics, says, “Read labels. If I pick of a can or package of good and its label lists sugar, corn syrup, molasses, or any ingredient with a nam that ends in ‘ose’ I put it back on the shelf.”

That’s good advice, but he –and we—need to watch out also for such sugar substitutes as Splenda (which is actually sucralose, a derivative of cane sugar) and aspartame. That has been implicated in brain cancer.

My diabetic son’s doctor, along with Dr. Whitaker of California, recommends eating half a cup of beans every day for their folate. They’re fine for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans. Cook them from scratch and avoid the plastic that may be lining cans beans come in. Besides, cooking them yourself saves (a) money and (b) exposure to plastic can liners or at least to the metal that acids in foods can leach into foods. Accompany them with a helping of a whole grain food and you have complete protein.

I sprout beans which lets them build up their Vitamin E and shortens cooking time. If time doesn’t permit the two or three days beans take to sprout when soaked until they stick out their little white tails, I just bring them to a boil, turn down the heat and let them soak two hours. They then cook in an hour or two, depending on the size and kind of bean you are using. Don’t let the beans grow their tails any longer than a bean is wide or they will turn bitter. Many people spurn beans because they fear flatulence, read ‘gas’.  Here is an example of an easy home-cooked bean dish that should not cause gas:

2 cups cooked black beans,
1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes,
1 Tablespoon salsa,
¼ cup chopped green bell pepper.
1 teaspoon ground cumin.
Simmer 10 minutes. Divide between two bowls. Top each with 1 Tablespoon chopped red onion, 1/2 small tomato, diced, and 2 Tablespoons grated cheddar cheese. Serves 2.

Serve with a salad of lettuce, diced pear, and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese. Dress with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.