Nutrition and Wellness

With a healthy and balanced nutrition, you do something good for the body not only internally. Many foods also have a positive effect on skin and hair, which is something to be proud of! Apples or parsley, for example, ensure a firm connective tissue. Dried apricots boost the metabolism and nuts contain a true beauty cocktail and make skin and hair silky smooth with potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and pantothenic acid.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast just as the name suggests is a type of fungi called Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is a food product that has increased in popularity in recent years. It is the same type of yeast used to make bread but unlike in baking yeast, nutritional yeast is no longer alive in the final product. Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy, and savory flavor which is one of the reasons it is commonly used in plant-based cooking. In addition to having a great flavor, nutritional yeast is great for your health. It is considered a complete protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids that humans cannot synthesize on their own. Additionally, it is packed with B vitamins and trace minerals that are important for the body. Consider trying out this great ingredient by sprinkling it over salads, adding it to soups, or trying out a new recipe.

Photo: Love and Lemons

Nutritional Yeast

Living with Diabetes

Get healthy through the Holiday Season

The Holiday Season – Thanksgiving, Advent and Hanukkah – is just around the corner. Supermarkets have already been selling gingerbread, cinnamon stars, and other sweet allurements for weeks, and the Christmas markets with their aroma of freshly roasted almonds and mulled wine are nearing. Sweet, fatty and carbohydrate-rich foods tempt us everywhere and are supposed to get us through the cold, dark season with pleasure – a great challenge for those who want to keep their body shape or do not want to overstress it, but also especially for those people who should not mindlessly feast for health reasons.

Every Holiday Season diabetics, who should keep an eye on their blood sugar and insulin levels, face this challenge.

With a few tricks and a bit of planning, however, the Holiday Season can be fully enjoyed even with a diagnosis of “diabetes”.

Enjoyment is welcome – it’s the quantity that matters

For everyone – but for diabetics especially – the following is true: “The dose makes the poison.“

When snacking on sweets such as special holiday cake or pie, cookies and the like, enjoying the holiday menu and alcohol, it is important to watch the quantity or switch to tasty, healthier alternatives from the start.

When baking cakes or cookies, it is easy to reduce the amount of sugar and fat without forfeit the taste.

Carbohydrate-rich side dishes such as pasta, dumplings, rice, etc. are also a must on festive days. However, it is worth using these sparingly and preferring a larger portion of vegetables such as red cabbage, root vegetables, or lettuce. Gravy and sauces for roasts can also be thickened excellently with pureed vegetables or rye bread – therefore we can forgo processed starch as well as fatty sauces can be skipped.

In order to maintain a healthy body and metabolism, it is worthwhile to rely on light meals such as protein with vegetables or salad in the evening and to avoid a dessert. This keeps the rise in blood sugar moderate and allows the body to rest adequately overnight.

Alternative enjoyment

For example, instead of a cake, you can prepare a baked apple with raisins and cinnamon. You can easily avoid sugar and fat in this way, and at the same time increase the intake of fiber. Sautéed pears with goat cheese, for example, are also a perfect low-sugar dessert.

Instead of the usual Holiday Treats made with white flour, you can bake cookies made from oatmeal and sweeten them with pureed apple. Pralines made from nuts, dates and cocoa powder also offer wonderful alternatives without fat, white flour and refined sugar. 

Sugarcoated, roasted almonds for example can be wonderfully replaced by roasted chestnuts, which bring their very own sweetness.

Exercise lowers blood sugar

Even if the dark, cold season invites you to cuddle up on the sofa and so many suitable excuses against physical activities are quickly found, you should still incorporate exercise into your everyday life and especially during the holidays. A long walk with friends and family should definitely be a valuable activity following feasting or sitting for long periods of time. This not only burns more calories, but also lowers blood sugar.

Caution with alcohol

For most people, alcoholic beverages such as mulled wine, hot caipirinha as well as (sparkling) wine are part of a felicitous and, cozy Holiday Season. But alcohol also affects blood sugar levels. The extent to which it causes blood sugar to rise however cannot be said in general terms and varies greatly from person to person. Therefore, it is advisable to use alcoholic beverages as sparingly as possible and to measure blood sugar levels more often.

With this in mind, we wish you a joyous and healthy Holiday Season!

Diabetes and Immune System

How blood sugar goes into a tailspin during infections

Welcome to the flu season! Many are now plagued by flu, colds and sore throat. The change from wetness, coldness and dry heating air causes problems for our mucous membranes. The cold viruses are wreaking havoc – whether at work, on public transportation, the subway or while shopping. It doesn’t take long to catch a cold.

For healthy people with a strong immune system, a cold is usually just a trifle. But not for diabetics and people who have already developed insulin resistance. In this case, flu infections can have unpleasant consequences.

Whether cold, flu or gastrointestinal infection – for diabetics this means additional stress. In addition to the “fight” against bacteria and viruses, blood sugar also gets into the mix.

High blood sugar values block the immune system

Increased blood glucose levels, as scientists have been able to demonstrate, have a strong influence on the functioning of the immune system. For example, the scavenger cells are restricted in their work, i.e. unwanted viruses and bacteria cannot be trapped and eliminated by the scavenger cells with the usual speed. The migration of the defense cells to the affected tissues or to the lymph nodes, which also support the defense, is also impeded with high sugar levels.

High blood sugar levels are also responsible for the skin and mucous membranes being drier and often poorly supplied with blood. As a result, the skin barriers are weakened and pathogens can overcome them more easily and penetrate the body, where they multiply quickly.

Blood sugar fluctuations due to infections

When the immune system is fighting viruses or bacteria, fever often occurs as an accompanying symptom, which leads to an increased need for insulin. What is the connection here? Well, once the body has recognized a foreign body such as a virus, it tries to fight it off with all its might.

The metabolism really revs up and releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. At the same time, other endogenous substances are formed to fight against unwelcome bacteria and viruses. These processes cause the body temperature to rise. Fever develops and viruses and bacteria, which consist of protein, can be killed by the heat. 

To generate the heat, the body mobilizes its energy reserves, which are stored in the liver and muscle cells in the form of glycogen. In this process, the stress hormones and the hormone glucagon are instrumental in stimulating the liver to release glucose, which causes the blood glucose level to rise. As a result, insulin levels also rise, because insulin is needed to open the door to the cells so that blood glucose can be absorbed and burnt in the cells. As body temperature increases, so does the need for insulin, which is not a problem for an otherwise healthy organism. For a diabetic, however, this means that blood glucose must be monitored closely in order to be able to react quickly to fluctuations. If insulin resistance already exists, but diabetes has not yet been diagnosed, this can also seriously upset the metabolism.

Although infections generally raise blood sugar levels, there is a risk of drops in the case of a gastrointestinal flu. Vomiting or diarrhea compromises the absorption of carbohydrates. If there is too much insulin, but the person does not eat or vomits the food eaten, hypoglycemia can result. The severity of this depends on insulin sensitivity.

Prevention and strengthening the immune system

Unfortunately, you cannot prevent a cold completely, but you can strengthen your immune system. Those who exercise a lot and are also in the fresh air, who also observe hygienic rules of behavior such as keeping their distance, washing hands, etc., are already doing a lot for their health.

Nutrition is also crucial for physical well-being and a strong immune system. A predominantly alkaline diet provides true nutrient boosters to strengthen the immune system. It consists of lots of vegetables, herbs, legumes and nuts and is rich in antioxidant vital substances. Numerous studies show that especially vitamins A, C, D, E and beta-carotene, but also the trace elements zinc, iron and selenium as well as secondary plant compounds are essential for an active and strong immune system. These micronutrients activate the immune cells, stimulate antibody formation and also influence the production of natural killer cells.

Therefore, the Metabolic Balance nutrition plan is ideal. It provides a portion of alkaline foods three times a day, thus supplying the body with sufficient amounts of all vital nutrients. In addition, spices such as ginger, turmeric and chili with their essential oils strengthen the immune-stimulating effect.

Unfavorable food combinations or overeating can harm the body’s defenses, as necessary nutrients for an intact immune system are missing.

It is undisputed that we need sugar for our metabolism – but the guiding principle “the dose makes the poison” applies more than ever. When selecting carbohydrates and thus also the available sugars, be sure to choose natural products with long-chain carbohydrates and a high fiber content to achieve a slow rise in blood glucose levels. These foods are richer in vital nutrients compared to refined and highly processed foods, keep blood sugar at a healthy level, and provide long-lasting satiety and fullness.

Plenty of exercise and sufficient sleep

In addition to a diet rich in vital substances, moderate endurance activity such as long walks, hiking or cycling are suitable for supplying the body with sufficient oxygen and with that also strengthening of the immune system. Another guarantee for a healthy, strong immune system is restful sleep. When we feel unwell, a flu is on the way or we are simply tired, the need for sleep often increases significantly. The advice “sleep yourself well” does not come by chance. During sleep, the immune system works at full speed. Studies show that natural killer cells and phagocytes are more active during sleep and thereby protect the body. Stress hormone levels also drop during sleep, which also has a positive effect on blood sugar levels. A lack of sleep can therefore impair the functioning of the immune system and is partly responsible for blood sugar fluctuations.

The metabolism in balance

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that you do not necessarily have to be defenseless against. Many people do not even know that they are already in the early stages of diabetes. “Pre-diabetes” is on the rise worldwide. But with the right diet you can do a lot for your own health. A Metabolic Balance diet enables the body to produce the correct quantities of the enzymes and hormones that are important for its metabolic functions, and thus influence insulin secretion in a natural way – without having to sacrifice taste and enjoyment. With the help of nutrition according to Metabolic Balance guidelines, it is possible to keep the insulin level in the body constantly low and at the same time strengthen the immune system in a natural way.

Sources:

  1. Heidemann C & Scheidt-Nave C. Prävalenz, Inzidenz und Mortalität von Diabetes mellitus bei Erwachsenen in Deutschland – Bestandsaufnahme zur Diabetes-Surveillance. Robert Koch-Institut: Journal of Health Monitoring 2017
  2. Hemmingsen, B. et al.: Diet, physical activity or both for preventionnor delay of type 2 diabetes mellitus and its associated complications in people at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. In: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017
  3. Jacobs, E. and Rathmann, W.: Epidemiologie des Diabetes. In: Diabetologie und Stoffwechsel 2017; 12(06): 437-446.
  4. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V.: Ballaststoffe – wertvoll für Ihre Gesundheit. 1. Auflage, 2013 https://www.dge-medienservice.de/ballaststoffe.html
  5. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V.: 5 am Tag. https://www.dge.de/ernaehrungspraxis/vollwertige-ernaehrung/5-am-tag/
  6. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V.: Stellungnahme – Gemüse und Obst in der Prävention ausgewählter chronischer Krankheiten. 2012 https://www.dge.de/fileadmin/public/doc/ws/stellungnahme/DGE-Stellungnahme-Gemuese-Obst-2012.pdf
  7. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V.: Fettzufuhr und ernährungsmitbedingte Krankheiten – DGE veröffentlicht 2. Version der evidenzbasierten Leitlinie. Presseinformation vom 20.01.2015 https://www.dge.de/presse/pm/fettzufuhr-und-ernaehrungsmitbedingte-krankheiten/
  8. Toeller, M.: Evidenzbasierte Empfehlungen zur Ernährungstherapie und Prävention des Diabetes mellitus, 2005, Ernährungs-Umschau 52, Heft 6

Prevention Starts in the Supermarket

Metabolic Balance has known for many years: If you want to eat healthy and to reduce your sugar consumption to a healthy level, you must first change your shopping habits and then your eating habits. This is the only way to successfully counteract nutrition-related diseases such as diabetes. This is very easy with a Metabolic Balance nutrition plan, because it tells you exactly what you are allowed to eat and in what amounts, thus keeping your insulin level constant. To learn more contact one of our experienced coaches today!

Metabolic Balance and Sugar

Metabolic Balance deliberately avoids the use of sugar and any kind of substitutes. The body can also cover its sugar requirements with fruit and vegetables. Sugar substitutes and sweeteners, which are produced with high technological input or exclusively artificially in the laboratory, have no place in a healthy and balanced diet, which consists mainly of unprocessed and natural foods. The clear recommendation is to stay well clear of “light” products and all foods enriched with sugar substitutes. 

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Sugar and Cholesterol

Did you know that sugar can raise cholesterol?
We often think of saturated fat as the main reasons for elevated cholesterol but actually sugar can also play a crucial role.

When we eat sugar (including fruit, ‘natural’ sugars such as honey and maple syrup, and refined carbohydrates) any excess is stored in the liver. Here, it is converted into fat molecules including VLDL cholesterol. This VLDL is then carried around the body, where it can cause plaques in arteries. This in contrast to HDL which absorbs cholesterol and carries it from the tissues back to the liver.

Metabolic Balance® is a personalized nutrition plan which limits sugars of all types. Using results from your blood test and health history, we provide you with a customized food list for your body. Find out more about how Metabolic Balance can help achieve your health goals !

Credit: Metabolic Balance Australia and New Zealand

Diabetes

With World Diabetes Day approaching we wanted to share a little bit of information about common metabolic disorders such as diabetes.

Around 1 in 11 adults suffer from diabetes globally and this number continues to rise. There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1 (insulin dependent), Type 2 (insulin resistant), and gestational diabetes. Around the world, Type 2 is most common form and results from the body becoming resistant to insulin or not being able to produce enough insulin.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which allows cells in the body to take up glucose. If the body is lacking insulin, cells are unable to take up glucose and levels remain high in the body. Uncontrolled glucose levels can have dangerous health effects.

One of the best ways to control your blood sugar and glucose levels is via a healthy diet and exercise!

Metabolic Balance Nutrition

In order to create a custom and personalized meal plan for you, we need your blood results. You might be wondering why that is!

Well, your blood test results together with your personal information, such as body measurements and food preferences, is the vital information that we need to create a Metabolic Balance nutrition plan that is custom for YOU! Rather than a cookie cutter meal plan that is the same for everyone, we tailor what you eat to your body and lifestyle!

It is only when we know all this information that we can select the right foods which will match your nutritional and metabolic needs. In this way, your food can optimally support and balance your metabolism and you can reach your health goals!

Homemade Chicken Broth

In the winter months nothing is better than a nice warm bowl of comforting soup. Homemade chicken broth is a great base for a number of soups and we have the perfect recipe for you.

Ingredients:
2 lbs (1 kg) chicken bones
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 stalks of celery with leaves, diced
2 large carrots, rinsed and diced
1 large onion, diced
1 stalk of leek, of which the white part, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic
5 black peppercorns
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
½ bunch of fresh parsley
1 bay leaf

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).  Brown the bones on a tray lined with baking paper for about 30 minutes. Cover the bones in a braising pan with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water and let them simmer for 30 minutes. Boil the broth vigorously over high heat, then immediately reduce the temperature to a gentle simmer. Skim off any foam that may form. Add vegetables and herbs and simmer everything for at least 6 hours or up to 48 hours. Fill up with water so that the solid ingredients are always just covered. Pour the broth through a fine sieve lined with a cheesecloth, squeezing out the solid ingredients as best you can. To cool, place the drained broth in an ice bath for 2 hours. Use the broth as you wish – delicious!

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