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Correct diabetes diet


Proteins are essential to the body, providing the material from which body cells are made and repaired. Proteins are composed of chains of amino acids. There are hundreds of these in nature. Our bodies use around 20, which can be arranged in an almost infinite number of ways. Amino acids are usually split into two groups: essential and non-essential. The essential amino acids are those that the body cannot make for itself and which must be present in food. There are 8 of them (infants need a ninth, histidine). If a protein contains the 8 essential amino acids, in the correct proportions, it is called a complete protein; if it does not, it is said to be an incomplete protein.

Complete proteins are found in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Animal proteins, which are complete, have a high biological value for man. As we are part of the animal kingdom and composed of similar material to other animals, we can use animal proteins with the minimum of waste.

Sources of incomplete proteins are cereals, nuts, seeds and legumes. Proportions of amino acids in any one of these types of vegetable food differ markedly from those we need. Proteins from these vegetable sources are said to be 'of low biological value'. It is necessary, therefore, to combine several vegetable protein sources, fairly accurately, to ensure that the body receives the right amino acid mixture.

In practical terms, it is not too difficult to combine vegetables to meet our bodies' protein requirements. In these circumstances, the real advantage of meat over the vegetables is their associated nutrients: the B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, calcium and the more complex fatty acids.

Our bodies need proteins continually but cannot store them in any quantity. Therefore, you should eat proteins regularly on a daily basis, and at the same meal, in quantities proportional to your size. But they must be complete proteins: if only one of the essential amino acids is missing, the cell rebuilding process will abort.

Our bodies need about 1 - 1.5 grams of complete protein for every 1 kg (2 pounds) lean body weight per day.

  • All meat - lamb, beef, pork, bacon, etc

  • include the organ meats: liver, kidneys, heart, as these contain the widest range of the vitamins and minerals your body needs (weight for weight, liver has 4 times as much Vitamin C as apples and pears, for example);

  • All poultry: chicken (with the skin on), goose, duck, turkey, etc. But be aware that turkey is very low in fat, so fat needs to be added.

  • Continental sausage (beware of British sausage which usually has a high cereal content.)

  • All animal and meat fats - without restriction - never cut the fat off meat.

  • Fish and seafood of all types

  • Eggs (no limit)

  • All cheeses (except cottage cheese as this has a high carb content and very little fat)

  • Soy products are allowed but, as they are toxic, I don't recommend them (see http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz )

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