Metabolic Syndrome Diet
The dietary guidelines for people with diabetes (non insulin dependent), prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome (without kidney disease) is roughly the same as the typical Paleo diet as described in the "What Do I Eat" section under Paleo 101. The main difference is the amount of carbohydrates you should eat. Simply put, eat less carbs and make up the difference with healthy meats, vegetables, fats/oils, nuts, and seeds. I recommend still avoiding saturated fat (except from coconut and coco sources that are higher in lauric and stearic acids respectively), starchy tubers, and diary. The wrong types of saturated fat (palmitic and myristic) may increase the risk of heart disease. Therefore it is even more important that people with a metabolic syndrome should avoid these fats (that are found in dairy and grain fed fatty meats). Beside the problems with the fatty acid profile of diary it also can worsen diabetic control. Both the whey protein and the lactose can worsen blood sugars and insulin sensitivity. So for diabetics there are three good reasons to avoid dairy.
Some in the low carb community will tell you to eat less than 20g of carbs, or 50, or 100. I am not going to give you a precise number to stay below, because you need to see what works for you. Start with my recommendations of limiting your fruits to a couple a day. Try to avoid bananas and other starchy fruits and vegetables. Check you blood sugars and how you feel after a few weeks then adjust accordingly. This has to work for your lifestyle or it will not work at all.
The diabetic Paleo diet in a nutshell. (Pun intended.)
- LEAN MEATS
- EGGS - No more than 7 per week
- FRUITS - No more than 2 per day
- HEALTHY OILS
- NUTS AND SEEDS
- EVERYTHING ELSE
One of the consequences of developing a metabolic syndrome is the alteration in your ability to handle carbohydrates and the increasing risk of heart disease. Because of these changes you have to be more strict with your diet. When you were sixteen you could get away with more dietary transgressions than when you are sixty, so it is no surprise that when you develop a chronic disease the same holds true. Diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndromes are life changing events and should be dealt with in the same way you would any crisis - with complete and total focus on fixing the problem. If you are strict on your diet and exercise program and early in the course of the disease you may be able to relax the diet in the future. But why would you? That relaxed mentality is what got you here in the first place.