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Cook your way to improved insulin sensitivity
You’re metabolically broken……….
At this point in time, your sugar levels are still UNDER CONTROL, but you doctor has made it clear, you’re a hair and freckle off, being declared a type 2 diabetic.
And you NEED to DO SOMETHING !
Typically the SOMETHING, your doctor has in mind is to LOSE some WEIGHT, preferably by going on a LOW FAT DIET.
You’re already trying to do this……….
You’re drinking skim milk (yuk !), removing the skin from your chicken pieces, eating muesli, with NO ADDED SUGAR, for breakfast and salad for lunch.
And clearly, it’s NOT working.
Drifting to the abyss
Every visit, your health numbers hint, you’ve slipped, a little closer to the precipice.
You’re NOT alone…..
Maybe it’s time to take a different approach ?
A different approach
This is what a team of researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, decided to do.
They signed up, 138 metabolically compromised, not quite diabetic, New Yorkers and then did something radical. Instead of counting calories or prescribing a torturous exercise programme, they sent, 77 of them, for cooking lessons.
NOTE : The remaining 61 people, continued eating as usual.
Free to eat ANYTHING
The participants, could eat what they liked, but those that attended, “cooking” school had to watch, how they prepared their meals.
Frying, baking, grilling was OUT.
Boiling, poaching, stewing and steaming, was IN.
This dietary approach, ends up lowering the level of AGEs consumed. AGEs is an acronym, for advanced glycation end-products, these are formed, when sugars and amino acids spontaneously meet, in a cooking pot. They’re ugly and DANGEROUS. Click here to learn more about the chemistry.
Cooking school graduates
Once the participants, had mastered the basics, they were sent on their way, to EAT and BE MERRY. To keep the “cooking school” participants on the “straight and narrow”, a dieticain checked in with them, on a regular basis.
The low AGE eating approach, was followed for 1 year.
A year down the line…………..
Vital signs were checked and compared, to their pre-diet status. So did it make a difference ?
At a quick glance – NOT REALLY.
They weren’t fatter
There was some weight loss, in both groups and in the case of the low AGE dieters, the effect was seen in more of the participants, but describing the low AGE diet as a weight loss intervention, would not be accurate.
Overall, the low AGE dieters, were less than 2 kg lighter.
While the regular Joes, were on average 500 g lighter.
AGEs were down
Advanced glycation end-products, in the blood and tissues, were down, in the low AGEs. And up, in those, not “watching” their AGEs.
No big surprise here.
Less AGEs in, should translate to less AGEs circulating.
Sugar control was unchanged
In terms of parameters looking at sugar control – there was also, NO REAL DIFFERENCES.
Based on these findings, it would be easy to conclude, that the dietary intervention WAS A FLOP.
But, our team was thinking beyond glucose…………
Insulin resistance is the driver
The body chemistry behind metabolic syndrome is INSULIN RESISTANCE, so this is what needs to be targeted….
Briefly, in someone who is insulin resistant, insulin levels are high : morning, noon and night, but despite the high levels, the response to insulin, is tepid. The truck loads of insulin, being pumped out, by the stressed out, overworked beta cells, is NOT enough, to overcome THE RESISTANCE. This leaves the high levels of sugar circulating.
The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, is made when this tipping point is reached.
And it was in this department, that the low AGE diet shined….
They were less insulin resistant
Insulin sensitivity improved
HOMA, a measure of insulin resistance, dropped in 80 % of the participants. And fasting insulin levels, plummeted, dropping on average by 33.4 pmol/L. This was in stark contrast, to the regular Joe’s, which saw the average value of fasting insulin, increase from 95.8 ± 41.7 to 113.2 ± 45.8 pmol/L.
Oxidative stress and inflammatory markers were also down.
HINTING, that a low AGE diet, had actually shifted body chemistry……….IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
On a regular diet, you might eat a 85 g of grilled steak for dinner, whereas on a low AGE diet, you would eat, the same 85 g piece of meat, as beef stew.
You choose STEAK over STEW.
This is SO DO-ABLE !
No dieting or exercise required
You don’t have to change what you eat or how much you eat or run a marathon, before dinner.
Just change how your food is cooked.
i.e. cook like an Italian Mamma – cook slowly, using a moderate moist heat.
The secret to longevity requires under nutrition without malnutrition. Yuck ! Few people are prepared to do this, but cooking BETTER, this is do-able
The more the kids peel potatoes and cut carrots, the more likely they are to actually eat the vegetables. Little chefs are cooking up better food choices.
The mere presence of a vegetable alongside the chicken, steak or pasta, improves the status of the meal, and the chef, transforming it to a LOVE PACKAGE