Diabetes Basics Part 24


Our next topic addresses gluten, and Dr. Hite believes, incorrectly, that the only people that have an issue with gluten sensitivity is those suffering from celiac disease.  It’s not hard to imagine him coming by this view rather honestly although his diligence here would stand improving.  This is the view of the medical community but it’s because they haven’t really looked into the effects of gluten much.

There are various degrees of sensitivity toward gluten out there and the extreme version is celiac disease, the clinical version of it, and the medical community tends to see and prefer things in black and white, like for instance if you don’t hit the requirements for a diagnosis of adrenal failure, lesser manifestations of this, adrenal fatigue, don’t count.

People without celiac disease need to be aware of the possibility that they may be reacting to gluten in a lesser but still significant way.  There are symptoms involved here and an elimination approach, stopping it for awhile and seeing how you feel, and then reintroducing gluten and seeing what it now does to you is more than adequate to get a good enough idea to base the decision on whether or not to consume it.

One may just choose not to consume gluten though as there are no real benefits and this does cause issues for a lot of people, with a long list of symptoms.  As this is sort of off topic, I invite you to investigate more about this for yourself if you are interested.

We now move on to dietary fiber and Dr. Hite is promoting grains again, although there’s no need to consume grains at all to get plenty of fiber.  Fiber from grains is at best an inferior form actually, and whole grains contain even higher amounts of lectin than processed grains, although some would argue that the removal of both the fiber and these additional lectins are of benefit to us, or perhaps just not consuming any of this stuff at all is best.

Fiber itself is actually somewhat controversial, in spite of just about everyone, conventional followers as well as so called alternative, holistic ones, being drunk on the purported benefits of fiber.  I don’t want to get into this too much here, perhaps in another article, but the soluble form is the better of the two, and most of the issues are with insoluble fiber.

Diabetics actually need to exercise caution when consuming fiber, due to our higher propensity for intestinal issues such as bezoars, masses of undigested food that can block the intestines to some degree.  Insoluble fiber in particular is not friendly in such a situation, and bezoars are a lot more common among diabetics than you may think.

Some soluble fibers offer benefits to our intestinal flora though, and are termed prebiotics because they feed it, and you can get this stuff in powdered form to add to a beverage, making it easy to consume without loading your system with a bunch of chaff that you may struggle with assimilating, not to mention all of the plant toxins that you become needlessly exposed to when you consume grain based fiber.

The slowing down of digestion that dietary fiber promotes isn’t quite the benefit that most people believe though.  This really depends on one’s digestion to a large degree though, and if it is already slow, you really don’t want to slow it down further, because what happens is that you can be digesting a lot of the meal many hours later, which ends up prolonging the period where your insulin levels are in the higher post prandial phase, and they remain higher for longer, which we really don’t want too much of.

This is already one of the defects of type 2 diabetes, prolonged high after meal insulin levels, and if we lengthen that, our bodies have less chance to rest between meals, and this is actually quite important.  We tend to eat too often as well, and less is more where this is concerned, eating larger meals for instance promotes health more than smaller but more frequent meals.

People with low blood sugar, either reactive hypoglycemia or blood sugar that is medicated too low, have to eat more often to keep their blood sugar up.  Keeping your blood sugar up is generally not a goal we want to ever be pursuing though as type 2 diabetics, it’s already up too much without this additional help.

Resting our insulin response is one of the main benefits of fasting actually, and fasting need not be for long periods in order to be effective, it’s all about giving our bodies a rest from food.  Dr. Jason Fung is the master of this and those interested in fasting should check out his site.

One does not need to consume high amounts of fiber to be regular, although if one is accustomed to large amounts of insoluble fiber, this might be the case, as this works by both impeding and irritating the colon, so if you have been impeding it but stop irritating it then you can indeed require more irritating to be regular.

Some people though are quite regular in spite of consuming no dietary fiber whatsoever.  I can attest to this myself as I went most of my life without it, although I do consume some these days, and regularity was never a problem for me.

So I would say that this can indeed be somewhat helpful, but the benefits of fiber are overstated, and this is not something I would sweat about too much and especially would not go off eating things that may not be so good for me just to add some fiber in my diet.  It’s easy enough to supplement with this anyway should one desire to.

Our next topic is Dr. Hite looking at carbs, fat, and protein, and that’s a lengthy one so we’ll leave starting that for next time.

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