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Dee - is there anything that you recommend for lowering blood glucose levels, other than eliminating refined sugars and white flour from our diet?  Is it necessary to elminate foods made with evaporated cane sugar or unrefined sugar (Rapadura) as well, leaving fruit as the only "sweet" that can be eaten?  And should fruit be eaten as well?  Or does it have anything to do with sweet vs unsweet foods at all? 


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ChrYour question regarding diabetes is a good one.  All diabetics should avoid sugars, in any form--especially evaporated cane juice.  Evaporated cane juice has been refined to some extent and raises blood sugar levels just like any other sugar.  Rapadura is also a sugar, albeit one of the most natural forms available, and raises blood sugar levels much more slowly.  However, Rapadura should be avoided by diabetics as well.  The most important thing to remember about eating any type of carbohydrate is the amount of fiber contained in the food itself.  For instance, if eating something with sugar in it, it should be a high fiber food such as whole oats or other whole grain.  Diabeteics are much better off avoiding any form of sugar at all and switching to using stevia.  Diabetes is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly. 


  M Most diabetics have a chromium deficiency, so taking a chromium supplement is advised.  Trace mineral chromium plays a major role in the sensitivity of cells to insulin.  Chromium deficiency is widespread in the United States.  Supplementing the diet with chromium has been shown to significantly improve insulin action; decrease fasting glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. 



Green drinks are also helpful in managing diabetes.  Green drinks refer to green tea and a number of commercially available products containing dehydrated barley grass, wheat grass, or algae sources such as chlorella or spirulina.  Such formulas are rehydrated by mixing with water or juice.  They may also be placed into a smoothie.   Some of the more popular brands are Green Vibrance, Barleans Greens, and Super Food by Garden of Life.

Green foods are exceptionally high in nutritional value.  Given their rich source of antioxidants, they are important supplements for the diabetic.  In addition, they may also help improve blood sugar control, based upon the results of  a study with spirulina.  In the study, 2 months of spirulina supplementation produced an appreciable lowering of fasting blood glucose and a significant reduction in A1C levels, clearly indicating improvements in long-term blood sugar regulation.  Triglycerides declined by 22 percent and total cholesterol dropped 11 percent.


Trans-fats (hydrogentated oils) are a major contributor to diabetes and should be completely avoided as well.  Trans-fats alter cell structure and interfere with insulin's ability to convert sugars into energy, therefore blood sugar levels remain high.


Helpful foods for managing diabetes are:

Legumes (beans), Oat bran, Nuts (almonds and walnuts), Seeds (flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower), Pears, Apples , Most vegetables, Psyllium husk, flax seeds, and raw sunflower seeds, and Pectin (from apple cider vinegar).




Dee McCaffrey
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