Stomach talk: How a sustainable diet can stave off hunger and diabetes |

Stomach talk: How a sustainable diet can stave off hunger and diabetes |

Kristen Maksa

You Hungry. It’s only been two hours since I had breakfast, so you can grab a quick snack until lunch. Two hours after lunch, you feel hungry again. What is this? You snack to take you until the next meal.

The human body can be as complex as the universe, but with all its intricate details, there are some basic needs that if they are met, you can go far to keep it healthy and happy. One, a healthy diet, can make the difference between thriving and dealing with major health issues, including feeling hungry all the time.

The mechanism of hunger, that gurgle from an empty stomach, is your body’s way of groaning for what it needs: good grade fuel to keep you active, thinking clearly and feeling healthy. Generally, a meal will keep your stomach occupied for a few hours by breaking down food using acid chemistry and enzymes into a pulpal mess called chyme and gradually passing the chyme into the small intestine via contractions.

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Once the food is out, the contractions that push the food along the way begin to sweep away any remaining undigested food. A grumble begins when the undigested portions of food are gone and the stomach releases a hormone called ghrelin. This signals to the brain that it is time to eat. You obey, and the process begins all over again.

To make this process work optimally, your daily diet should include 15-16% protein, 46-48% carbohydrates, 34-35% fat, 25-30 grams of fiber and 91-120 ounces of water each day. The problem starts when you overlook your RDA of each of these and only gets worse when you eat refined carbohydrates.

“Carbs are not your enemy,” says Cecilia Chapman, a registered dietitian and diabetes care education specialist at Mission of Mercy Arizona, a nonprofit clinic in Phoenix. “Carbohydrates are essential to good health. The problem is that we tend to get those carbs that are devoid of nutrients and low in fiber.”

Carbohydrates such as candy, cookies, soda and juice. A food made with white flour or processed sugar. These are empty carbs because they impart energy but they don’t add any value to your body and over time can affect the health of your pancreas. To make matters worse, you’ll be hungry in half the time than if you ate something nutritious.

Chapman explained, “When you eat carbs, what happens is that the body uses these carbs as energy, which is what we need to live and think, for our heart to beat, for the muscles to work. So when we choose carbs, we need to choose the best, the best. These are fruits and vegetables that are full of vitamins. And minerals and fibres. And they also have water, which is very important.”

Chapman provides clinics for the American Diabetes Foundation in Phoenix and teaches people with diabetes how to eat. She maintains that life on losing carbohydrates is not sustainable.

“One of the things I tell people is when you eat something, think about it,” Chapman said. “Like an orange versus a candy bar, an orange will be more beneficial to your body than a candy bar because of the vitamins, minerals and energy for your body. In contrast, that candy bar has energy. Yes it is. So, too, is the fat. But the nutrients are missing, so all you get are empty calories that will add to your weight without any benefits.”

Eating a lot of empty carbs may eventually lead to the decimation of beta cells in the pancreas, Chapman said. Beta cells produce and release the insulin needed to lower blood sugar levels in the body. Without enough insulin, you could develop type 2 diabetes, which is twice as likely as it was 10 years ago. age and gender do not matter; Pediatricians have reported seeing signs in their patients. About 10% of the Arizona population has been diagnosed with diabetes. Many people are not diagnosed.

“People tell me, ‘I don’t feel bad, so I should be fine,'” Chapman said. “You can be healthy and have no idea you have diabetes. The key is to get tested. See your doctor on a regular basis.”

Chapman continued, “Most patients, once diagnosed, studies show they may have had diabetes for at least five years without knowing. And during those five years that they developed diabetes without knowing, they don’t take care of themselves and it damages their bodies.”

By the time type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, Chapman said your pancreas may have burned up to half of the beta cells in it. This means that your pancreas has to work harder to produce the required insulin.

“Anyone can live without problems with 50% insulin, but they have to make changes,” Chapman said. “If they don’t start making changes or start taking care of themselves with oral medications, they will reach the point of needing insulin. This it’s the truth.”

The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes is to know your risks: having a family member with diabetes (especially a sibling), being overweight, not being physically active, and having a baby weighing 9 pounds or more (gestational diabetes). Then, eat sustainably, exercise, and get regular checkups.

“Good food can get your blood sugar under control and your health back to what it should be,” Chapman said.

Eliminating or significantly reducing sources of sugar can make a big difference. In the American diet, soda, energy, sports drinks, and desserts are in that order. Chapman suggested replacing sugary drinks with water.

“And of course it’s not easy,” Chapman admitted. “But once you do that and get more active and make sure you’re going to the doctor, these three things will make a huge difference.”

A difference could mean not feeling hungry all the time.

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