My Father Who Ate "Healthy" was a Diabetic
For many centuries, rice has been the staple food in every Asian home. The more polished the rice grain, the more successful or wealthy the family must be. And for good fortune, there must always be a rice urn filled with rice.
The cultural belief is that we, as Asians, need to eat rice. But this is not true. I believe many things could be different today if only I had known better...
My father was a type 2 diabetic. Just like many diabetics he was prescribed with medication, and was told by his doctor to eat less meat, reduce fat intake and eat 45 gram of carbohydrate each meal, three meals a day and two snacks in between.
Every morning his breakfast was oatmeal or bread. Lunch and dinner was usually a bowl of rice, rice porridge, or noodles with a small portion of meat, fish, and vegetables. He avoided eating all fat, including his favorite braised pork belly and mutton soup. He lived a very normal life...He worked hard, ate well, and slept well. That was the healthy lifestyle he knew.
For as long as I can remember, bread, rice porridge, steamed fish, vegetables, and fresh fruit were his main foods for almost every meal. He avoided all sugary beverages and all fat. He tried very hard to eat “healthy.”
This went on for many years as he continued to live with pain from arthritis and occasional kidney stones. It was sad to see that he avoided so many of his favorite foods.
It didn’t occur to me then that one day my dad would get sicker and die...
One evening, my father felt very sick and was brought to the hospital emergency room. He was diagnosed with stage-four prostate cancer as a diabetic patient and was told he had only six months to a year to live.
During that time, I met my husband, Dr. Dan Peterson who specialized in Preventive Medicine. I learned from Dan about the causes of diseases.
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic syndrome caused from carbohydrate intolerance. Prostate cancer metastasis can occur in diabetics...mainly due to high blood glucose that injured nerves fibers throughout the body, just like retinopathy and neuropathy.
Why didn’t his doctor or nutritionist tell him that starches actually turn into glucose, that fruit is high in sugar, and that diabetics should not be eating either of those!? Instead he was told to eat lots of carbohydrates.
I wish I had known all that earlier...I wish I’d had more knowledge about why avoiding eating starches and sugar would help control blood sugar, because my father would probably have lived longer. Ignorance is not bliss, in this case.
During that time in my life, I was overweight and often experienced hypoglycemia. I also had a bad blood lipid profile. I realized that my eating habits and lifestyle were leading me to the risk of becoming a diabetic just like my father.
With help from Dan, I begin to eat a flavorful diet with high fat and eliminate all simple carbohydrates. After 16 months of eating low carb high fat, I lost the extra weights and have had no sign of hypoglycemia ever since. My blood glucose level normalized, and blood lipid panel became very good...all without medication.
I swore that I would never walk my father’s path to become a type 2 diabetic, and I wanted to spread the knowledge on how to prevent or reverse diabetes. After this personal experience coupled with the death of my beloved father, I became very passionate about studying a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet in depth.
Eating low carb—replacing carbs with high amounts of good fat - can convert the body from being dependent on glucose for fuel to burning fat for energy. I am on my seventh year of living a healthy low carb high fat ketogenic lifestyle!
Yes, my body has been using fat for energy for the last seven years! I am healthy, full of energy and look younger than my actual age. I am glad that some of my family and friends had adapted this eating lifestyle and got healthier. Some of them have even came off their diabetes medication!
- Diabetes Risk: Brown Rice vs White Rice
- Which Rice is Best for People with Diabetes?
- White rice and diabetes risk
- This Common Sense Approach To Type 2 Diabetes Supported By Science
There are so many people around us who are walking the same path as my father did. High blood sugar eventually leads to diabetes and many other common diseases. Many people are not aware that eliminating carbs and sugar intake can help to maintain healthy blood sugar and prevent diabetes and many other diseases. Are you one?
Believe this: Asians do not need well-polished white rice to show that we are wealthy. Without health, wealth is nothing. We do not need to eat rice or potato. All rice including brown, red or black rice all are starch that turn into glucose in the body. Avoid them all. Filling your rice urn with lard is equally auspicious.
Kelly Peterson blogs at Cooking Inspired Love.