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    Happy 2019! It's a new year--time for a restorative. Me? Bok choy broth with tofu for lunch. The purple tinge is not your hangover talking to you--I added purple and gold "black" carrots to the bowl and it got a little Rose Parade on me.

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    Copyright 2008-2019Slow Food Fast. All writing and images on this blog unless otherwise attributed or set in quotes are the sole property of Slow Food Fast. Please contact DebbieN via the comments form for permissions before reprinting or reproducing any of the material on this blog.


    I may post affiliate links to books and movies that I personally review and recommend. Currently I favor Alibris and Vroman's, our terrific and venerable (now past the century mark!) independent bookstore in Pasadena. Or go to your local library--and make sure to support them with actual donations, not just overdue fines (ahem!), because your state probably has cut their budget and hours. Again.

    In keeping with the disclaimer below, I DO NOT endorse, profit from, or recommend any medications, health treatments, commercial diet plans, supplements or any other such products.


    SlowFoodFast sometimes addresses general public health topics related to nutrition, heart disease, blood pressure, and diabetes. Because this is a blog with a personal point of view, my health and food politics entries often include my opinions on the trends I see, and I try to be as blatant as possible about that. None of these articles should be construed as specific medical advice for an individual case. I do try to keep to findings from well-vetted research sources and large, well-controlled studies, and I try not to sensationalize the science (though if they actually come up with a real cure for Type I diabetes in the next couple of years, I'm gonna be dancing in the streets with a hat that would put Carmen Miranda to shame. Consider yourself warned).

DASH is US News & World Report’s “Best Overall Diet”

US News & World Report asked a panel of nationally recognized nutrition, diet, cardiovascular health and diabetes prevention experts to rank 32 popular diets. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) topped out as the overall best, including for long-term weight loss and maintenance.

The article and rankings online: Best Diets 2014 | US News & World Report

Where the experts complained–sort of–was that following it requires eating more real food and fewer boxed processed meals. So it’s technically “harder” to do than Lean Cuisine, Jenny Craig, and so on. They also said that buying produce is more expensive than eating out at fast food restaurants all the time. I’m not sure where they’re shopping or how they’re counting. But from my experience and checking out current fast food prices for a family of three, shopping relatively smart and unchic and sticking with the cheap nutritious bulk vegetables rather than the fashionable or precut, prebagged ones in the foodie magazines that cost three times as much–I’d have to say no, it really isn’t more expensive for what you get. Especially if you count the extra gasoline per trip to the fast food joints on a daily basis.

And I’m not happy that a nationally acclaimed panel of nutritionists–or the editorial staff, I’m not sure–seem more than a little veg-phobic. Buried somewhere in the blather–I mean, expanded description of the DASH Diet and how they ranked it–is the distinct suggestion that it’s too much work and too unrealistic to expect people to prepare and eat–you know–fresh unprocessed vegetables and fruits themselves. They actually put in the phrase that it’s too much “gruntwork” unless you can hire a private chef to do your cooking for you. Makes you wonder how they were raised–probably on a steady diet of Pop-Tarts.

Fifty, or “Sugar Shock, Part II”

I’m back, though a little bummed out. I didn’t post anything at all in September. There’s a reason for that. No, it’s not because I turned 50 last month (which I did). No, it’s not because I rebelled and declared against cooking anything ever again (which I almost wish I had, even though most of what I cooked was pretty good).

It’s because my routine physical showed up with a higher-than-normal-for-nondiabetics A1c even though my fasting blood glucose was under 100. The A1c measures the fraction of hemoglobins (the red blood cell proteins that include iron atoms and transport oxygen) with glucose molecules stuck to them. There’s always some level of glycosylated protein in the bloodstream, but above a certain threshold it means your average blood glucose for the previous 3 months or so has been over 100.  Not a good thing at 50. And when I borrowed my daughter’s old glucose meter and tested myself before breakfast a couple of days in a row, I saw why my A1c had been up–my fasting glucose was now hovering about 105, 110, even though it didn’t happen to be up on the day I tested at the lab.

Don’t that just figure, I thought. Happy birthday to me.

So I’ve been pretty PO’d and somewhat panicked. I do NOT want to become a full-blown diabetic. One in the family is more than plenty, thanks. Even though all the finest news outlets announced today that Tom Hanks is now diabetic. Not a huge comfort.

I think of myself as eating a generally healthy diet. I know full well how to count carbs, having had to for the past 4 years. My blood pressure’s good. I walk nearly every day. I know how to balance a meal.

But the Type II diabetes prevention and management advice I can find in the popular diabetes magazines and cookbooks (and online sites), even the ones endorsed by the American Diabetes Association, always seems to be ludicrously lax and useless compared with what we already have to do at home.

I’ve spent the past month reading up and seeing why the popular diabetes cookbooks and magazine recipe sections seem so useless–or even deceptive. Next post, coming up this week. You won’t believe what I found in most of them (other than all the pharmaceutical and sweetener ads, of course).

But for now, back to basics. Can I do the simple common-sense stuff they tell you (without actual instructions) at the doctor’s office to back away from diabetes risk?

Marion Nestle has pointed out that in large studies, the factors with the highest Continue reading

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