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Enter the Protein Powder/Fruit Smoothie Combo.
I thank Doug Graham, DC, and Robert Rowen, MD, for their assistance in explaining that all fruits aren't equally glycemic in raising blood sugars. My wife has been a type 1 diabetic for over a decade, so when Dr. Rowen introduced me to this secret, I "experimented" on her. The results astounded me. Debra drank an entire protein powder smoothie made with 10 oz. of frozen peaches. That's over a half-pound of fruit, and with the water added – more than enough to expand anyone's stomach to the maximum.
Before the experiment, I made sure that she hadn't eaten anything for the previous 3 hours and that her blood sugars were on the high side (they were 150 mg/dL) to limit the effect of any possible endogenous insulin that she still produces. Less than 1/2 ounce of protein powder has negligible effect on raising blood glucose, but I calculated that with this amount of peaches, her blood glucose (BG) should have risen by at least 150 points. It rose 17 points as measured 2 hours after she was finished eating (with a highly accurate meter). I was dumbfounded. By comparison, with the consumption of a half pound of cake/pie/ice cream, patient blood sugars would rise significantly higher. Of course, I redid the experiment the next day under the same circumstances. BG increased 15 points – the exact result within the accuracy of the meter. A teaspoon of glucose (from a soda, cake, or ice cream, etc.) raises blood sugar by 70 to 90 mg/dL. How did the glucose from the fruit "disappear"? That will be answered shortly.
I call this great combo of protein powder and fruit the "water diet" because so much of the fruit's content is water. This special combination uniquely fills the patient's stomach – both volume-wise and in satisfying the craving for sweets – the patient won't want to eat anything else afterwards for many hours, if at all. Furthermore, your patients obtain protein and fully functional LA (from the fruit), too. Peaches, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries are a few good choices. For optimal effectiveness, I recommend 5 to 10 ounces of fruit per smoothie. I cut up the fruit, place it in a plastic bag, and freeze it, eliminating the need for ice. Just add water and blend for an ideal consistency.
No fruit juices, dried fruits, bananas, or pineapple are to be used. 33,34
Consuming whole fruit satisfies your patients much more than fruit juice, which significantly increases blood glucose levels while not fulfilling the appetite. ("Consuming whole fruit produces ratings of satiety more than fruit juice."34)
What Makes Fruit Different?
Fruits are combinations of three different types of sugars: glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Sucrose is a naturally occurring combination of 1 part glucose and 1 part fructose and is naturally very resistant to breakdown via hydrolysis: these molecules normally stay together. Glucose is blood sugar, so pure glucose is the benchmark against other insulin-response foods. Fructose is known as the "fruit sugar"; it is the most satisfying (sweetest) of all sugars, and the natural fructose from fruit does not cause a significant rise in blood glucose, or cause liver issues. Nature created an ideal food. Patients can perform their own individualized "fruit experiment" to determine the specific fruits for minimum BG rise.
Processed fructose such as "high-fructose corn syrup" (HFCS) is the problem, not natural fructose.
GLUTs: The Sugar Transporters
There are 14 glucose transporters (GLUTs); 7 can transport fructose, with GLUT5 being the sole specific fructose transporter. Physicians are familiar with GLUT4, regulated by insulin: with an improper insulin response, you get fat. But there are many other pathways the sugars in fruit utilize that don't make you fat or increase BG levels. For example, GLUT1 / GLUT3 fuel the central nervous system – not adding to adipose tissue. They have kinetic and regulatory properties in both cellular and whole body glucose homeostasis. GLUT5 regulates fructose in the intestines, testis, kidney, skeletal muscles, and brain – not raising blood sugar. Physicians need to have their patients find specifically what fruits are best for them.
Success with LA/ALA/GLA and Protein Powder / Fruit Smoothie Combo
I have been vegetarian for many years. … Lately, I have noticed a rise in my blood sugar count to the high borderline, which means prediabetic. I have been asking myself what was I doing wrong. I have started using the unprocessed, organic omega-6 and -3 in the ratio as Prof. Peskin suggests.35
I also recommend it to my patients, friends, and family. Almost immediately, I felt a significant decrease in carb cravings … which was followed by losing weight, feeling energetic and satisfied.
– Nurit Nitzan, clinical psychologist/holistic health practitioner
I was born in 1961 and received the prediabetic diagnosis in 2009. When I was first diagnosed with prediabetes, I started a vegan diet based on a best-selling author known as an excellent resource for vegans. But it didn't work for me. My sugars would skyrocket ... it was frustrating to say the least. I then tried the ADA diet that was a "little" better but not ideal. I stayed away from juices, cookies, sugar, etc. and still had glucose meter readings of 125–180 after meals.
After adopting his [Peskin's] recommendations, I quickly normalize my postmeal sugars to a range of 85–105. It was amazing. I also have a device that allows me to monitor my LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. Although my total cholesterol went up to 185 from 155, my HDLs went from 30 to 75 and my triglycerides went from 115 down to 70. The protocol works – my sugar has continued to stay in a range of 85–105 and morning fasting sugars typically stay in the 85–95 range. What a difference from the vegan and ADA diets.
– Ed E.
Thank you for recommending the protein powder/fruit smoothie. Up until then, Paul has only had one strawberry a day for fear of raising his blood sugar. We were very surprised when the protein powder/fruit smoothie did not raise his blood sugar. Also, he has not awakened starving in the mornings like he had been.
– Paul and Rhoda M.
Special thanks to pediatric endocrinologist Amid Habib, MD, for his technical assistance.
Brian Scott Peskin, BSEE, is a translational research scientist with a long-term interest in diabetes and its underlying pathophysiology. He specializes in lipids-based pharmacognosy – a class of drug derived from plant-based sources; specifically, seed oils. Consulting for numerous nutritional companies, including Your Essential Supplements (USA), BioAge Ltd. (UK), Pure Form Omega (Canada), Natural Bodz (Australia), and Succesboeken (Netherlands), he holds multiple patents regarding plant-based lipid formulations. Peskin earned his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founded the field of Life-SystemsEngineering Science in 1995, and was appointed adjunct professor at Texas Southern University in the Department of Pharmacy and Health Science from 1998 to 1999. He is chief research scientist at Peskin Pharmaceuticals (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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