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The truth about diabetes

January 30, 2012

“Simply put, our genetic blueprint indicates that we are not meant to consume much sugar.”  Mark Sisson

The steak is great on slad the next day!

Diabetes is an epidemic. No matter how hard our society is working at managing this runaway train, it is out of control. It is no wonder because just like everything else, we over consume sugar. There is sugar in our drinks, canned goods, bread, condiments and even in our spaghetti sauce. Then we have all the baked goods, candy and sugar products that we adore. The average American consumes over 150 pounds of sugar a year. Compared to the 7.5 pounds that we consumed a year in 1700, that is an enormous change. No wonder diabetes is having its way with us.

But why does consuming so much sugar cause diabetes? To get that answer lets go back in time a bit, oh about 200,000 years. Homo sapiens have been on earth since about then and reached the “modern brain” about 50,000 years ago. Our Paleolithic ancestors rarely needed insulin to process food due to the fact that they seldom ate anything with much sugar content. Even ancient fruit was filled mostly with fiber and not much fructose.

Then with the advent of agriculture about 8,000 years ago, sugar was introduced into Homo sapiens diet. It is important to note here that Homo sapiens basic physiology has not evolved much in the last 30,000 years or so. Then evolution took another fatal hit due to the marvel of modern medicine. Consequently, here we are with a hunter and gather’s digestion and eating like a fruit bat. Our caveman like metabolisms are not up to processing as much sugar as we are throwing at it. “Simply put, our genetic blueprint indicates that we are not meant to consume much sugar.” (Mark Sisson)

Cutting back on obvious sugar is very important to our health but knowing where hidden sugars are is equally important. Here is the eye opener, every carbohydrate that you eat is converted to a simple sugar known as glucose. So all the bread, corn, potatoes, rice, and oatmeal you consume is just like eating a candy bar to your body. Insulin still has to ride out like tiny cowboys and round up the glucose and tuck it away in a safe corral so you won’t die. It is all the same to your body.

Consider that the very foundation of our food pyramid is 6-11 serving of grain a day and you can see why we are in the pickle we are today. As a culture, we eat more sugar, in its many forms, than our ancient but elegant metabolisms can possible handle. (If you would like to know more of the science of this to geek out on, go here.)

One of the best ways to stop this runaway train of disaster is to focus on eating lots of lovely vegetables, fruit and lean clean protein and avoid the grains and sugar. If I can do it so can you. I was a confirmed “bread-a-holic” and now I rarely eat it or miss it. Wisely choose grass finished meats like beef, buffalo or venison when possible for the best health. We are lucky that there are quite a few farmers in this area that sell these wholesome meats like Lance’s farm vittles 503-322-2226 and Okay Ranch 503-322-3546.

When cooking wild game or grass finished meats, remember that it has more connective tissue in it and less fat so if you over cook it, it will be really dry and liver tasting. My caveman hubby really knows how to cook this kind of meat. One of my favorite meals he prepares is pan seared venison steaks with onions and mushrooms. We have shared it here for you. Here’s to good health!


Paul’s perfectly seared grass finished steak

5-6 cloves of sliced garlic
4-6 grass finished or venison steaks, about 1 1/4 inches thick
A couple tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
1 large onion sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
About one cup of red wine

Slice your garlic and wrap them in a paper towel and squeeze them dry. Cut your steaks into portion sizes and then take a paper towel and dab off all the moisture on both sizes. I know this sounds weird but you must get the moisture off the steaks to get the right sear on them. Then heat up a heavy bottomed skillet and melt the coconut oil in there. (We use a cast iron skillet big and heavy enough to knock out a bear.) Put the garlic in the pan on medium heat and sauté the garlic until it is a nice golden brown color. Fish out the garlic and put aside. Turn up the heat to medium high and lay the steaks in the hot oil.

It is important to note here that you do not want to crowd the steaks. They need to be at least an inch a part to sear correctly or they end up boiling. Scouch the steaks around with your spatula so they do not stick as they are searing and cook 3 – 5 minutes on one side, then flip over and cook another 3 minutes or so. (We like our meat done medium rare) Pull out your steaks and put them on a plate a least an inch apart so they do not keep cooking. If you think they are overdone quickly cut them into slices to stop the cooking all together. Don’t be bashful to cut into the smallest runt steak and test the doneness. If that steak is cooked perfectly to your liking, remove and let the other bigger steaks cook about 30 seconds more.

After you have pulled the steaks out, pour the red wine in the skillet to deglaze it. Cook for a few minutes while stirring up the browned bits in the bottom of the skittle then dump in the mushrooms and onions. Sauté for about 5-10 minutes or so while the meat rests. When your mushrooms and onions are just perfect, pour them and all the pan drippings over the steaks and serve immediately with the sautéed garlic. Enjoy!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2012 9:32 pm

    I’m in the middle of a little diabetes scare (it seems like I’m close to being prediabetes) and was horrified to learn that carbs are also a problem. I thought it was just all my baking. But I think maybe my problem is that I basically live off of whole grain bread, potatoes, white rice, corn and whole grain pasta. And fruit. No wonder my blood sugar is high. I’m going to do everything possible to fight diabetes! In one week, I’ve totally changed my diet and gotten way more active. I could be crazy, but I think I have more energy. Even if I turn out to be okay, I’m going to keep on going like I am, eating waaay more vegetables and way fewer sweets, pasta and bread. Something I haven’t figured out is how to get all the fiber without the bread. It’s 100% rye and really made it easy to reach my fiber goals. Oh well. I’ll have to find a solution! Thanks for the information. It was interesting. 🙂

  2. February 9, 2012 3:06 am

    This is a great post. I’ve been trying to eat fewer grains lately, but it’s hard!

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