The Fat Truth About Diabetes There is a common misconception that eating too many carbohydrates is responsible for causing diabetes. While eating foods with refined flours and sugars may play a contributory role, it is the consumption of too much fat, mostly saturated fat from animal protein, that is the major culprit. Development of diabetes involves the complex interplay of insulin resistance from fat infiltration of muscle, liver, and pancreas; inflammation which damages the liver and pancreas; and disruption of our gut microbiome. It is true that consuming carbohydrates will lead to elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels once insulin resistance has already [...]
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Buffalo Chickpea Taquitos Rivalry Week. It's considered the most exciting college football weekend of the year. On this day, friends can become foes, and even families can become divided. Fortunately for me, my family gathers in solidarity on the Saturday following Thanksgiving each year to support the University of Florida Gators as they battle the Florida State University Seminoles. Our traditional game day grub is usually pizza. It's easy to order, delicious, and a perfect handheld meal to feed the hungry mouths of those who are tired of cooking after Thanksgiving food prep. This year, I decided to try something different. [...]
I've recently been doing more reading on the effects of higher fat consumption leading to diabetes. This process is complex and involves numerous mechanisms, one of which includes excess fat being deposited in the muscle, liver, and pancreas. When fat is deposited in the muscle, it interferes with insulin signaling and blocks entry of glucose (sugar) from the blood. Fat deposits in the liver and pancreas lead to dysfunction of these organs, resulting in greater unnecessary glucose production by the liver and failure of insulin production from the pancreas. Additionally, I found that my own LDL (bad cholesterol) had been creeping [...]
There is a misconception in Western society that in order to obtain adequate amounts of protein, one must consume animal-based foods. Proteins are composed of building blocks called amino acids, and just like animal protein, plant-based protein sources contain all of the essential amino acids that cannot be made in the body. In fact, many animals get all of their protein exclusively from plants. Animal vs. Plant Protein Ounce per ounce, animal-based foods are more concentrated sources of protein than plant-based foods. The amino acids in animal-based proteins are in a similar number and proportion to the proteins in human muscle, [...]
Creamy Oil-Free Balsamic Dressing As a whole-food, plant-based purist, I discourage my patients from consuming oil. Not only is oil calorie dense, but many oils added to processed food are high in omega-6 fatty acids which can promote inflammation. Studies have shown that consumption of even olive oil can lead to an immediate decrease in the ability of our blood vessels to dilate (see my post "Is Olive Oil Heart-Healthy?"). These effect can persist for hours. I recommend that my patient get their fats from whole-food sources such as nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados. That being said, it's still best to [...]
"Cheezy" Vegan Veggie Lasagna For my son's recent birthday party, we were having friends and family over for dinner, and I wanted to prepare a dish that I could make ahead of time, in a large quantity, and that would appeal to everyone. What would fit that role better than a homemade lasagna?! I didn't want to make just any lasagna! I wanted to create one that was healthy, veggie-filled, and plant-based, but that still had the rich ricotta filling and gooey cheesy topping that makes everyone feel like they're indulging in a guilty treat. For the ricotta filling, I decided [...]
Savory Mushroom Burgers I'm always on the lookout for a great veggie burger. Most often, homemade patties use a combination of veggies, beans, grains, and spices (check out this earlier post featuring a uniquely delicious beet burger). This recipe from Love and Lemons caught my attention because it used a mixture of savory mushrooms rather than beans to provide meatiness. And this wasn't just cooking up a portobello and putting it on a bun. This was chopping up a mixture of your favorite mushrooms and allowing them to slowly cook and absorb the sweet, salty, spicy, tangy flavors of mirin rice [...]
Introduction Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years, as a means not only of helping weight loss, but also for touted benefits of favorably influencing our genes to reduce aging, reducing inflammation (the root cause for most chronic diseases), and increasing cellular repair through a process called autophagy (when cells remove dysfunctional intracellular proteins that have accumulated) . Does scientific evidence support these claims? What Happens When We Eat? Every time we consume food, our body breaks down the protein, carbohydrates, and fats into amino acids, sugars, and fatty acids, respectively. While refined carbohydrates (not whole-food [...]
Lentil Coconut Curry Once again I found myself recipe-browsing over the weekend, searching for a unique, healthy, plant-based dish that I hadn't previously tried. This lentil coconut curry caught my eye for a few reasons. First of all, I love lentils. They are a true, plant-based super food. Not only do they cook quickly, but only one cup is loaded with protein (18 grams), fiber (16 grams), folic acid (90% RDI), and iron (37% RDI). They also happen to be a good source of potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6. Second, I love Indian-inspired curry dishes, but especially creamy coconut curries. [...]
Vegan Tostadas with Pickled Cabbage and Jalepeno Sauce Last weekend I was prepping some weekday dinners when my wife was out of town. I was in an adventurous cooking mood and was anxious to experiment with some new recipes. As you've probably noticed while perusing this site, tacos are a favorite in our household. While I was searching online for something new and exciting, I came across a portobello taco recipe that was accompanied by what appeared to be a delicious jalapeno sauce. The combination looked wonderful, with cool cucumber, spicy jalapeno, and tangy lemon and vinegar. And it looked like [...]