Tuesday, August 10, 2010

That Carb Counting Punishment - I Hate It!

Okay! I am supposed to remember that 1/2 cup of oatmeal has about 15 grams of carbohydrates. And so does "4 - 6 crackers"! You crack me up. And what am I supposed to do when I go to the restaurant? Take my carb counting "cheat sheet" and count my calories before I eat? I'm sure there is a better way to live than this.

Here it is, and I've been doing this for years now and maintaining normal blood sugar levels without meds. Eat high fiber complex carbohydrates, exercise, and sleep properly. Oh, that's so much easier and enjoyable than counting carbs. Plus I don't even have to consider the words high cholesterol or overweight.

I'm sorry. It's boring to count calories and blame carbohydrates for our inflation. Just leave the processed foods alone. Eat more fresh fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables as nature provides them. Check my carb guide for more delicious rants.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

High Cholesterol and the Unmentioned Statistic

According to Darshak Sanghavi, a pediatric cardiologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, scientists and drug companies usually describe the benefits of many medications in terms of relative risks. This is said to "inflate" the benefits of medical therapy. Dr. Sanghavi said there is an alternative statistic that is not used. It's called the "number needed to treat" (or NNT, for short.)

Using cholesterol lowering drug as an example, he recounts the case with Pravachol years ago when it was reported as causing a 31 percent reduction in heart attacks. This caused billions of dollars in sales. By stating the results of clinical trials in terms of "relative risks", it powerfully exaggerates the benefits of drugs and other invasive therapies.

Thirty-one percent fewer heart attacks!

What did the drug manufacturers mean when they talked about a 31 percent relative reduction in heart attacks? Borrowing Dr. Sanghavi's explanation, it meant that "taking Pravachol every day for five years reduced the incidence of heart attacks from 7.5 percent to 5.3 percent. This indeed means that there were 31 percent fewer heart attacks in patients taking the drug. But it also means that the "absolute risk" of a heart attack for any given person dropped by only 2.2 percentage points." So a 31 percent relative reduction in heart attacks equals (or means the same thing as) a 2.2 percent absolute reduction in heart attacks.

So to break this down further, if 100 people with high cholesterol took statins, 93 of them would not have had heart attacks anyway. Of the remaining seven people, five would have heart attacks despite taking Pravachol. Only two out of the original 100 avoided a heart attack by taking the daily pills for five years. This means that in order to prevent 2 people taking Pravachol over a 5-year period from having a heart, we would need to treat 100 of them. In other words, the number needed to treat (NNT) is 50 - fifty needed to be treated in order to observer a reduction in heart attacks.

Can you see what a different picture is created by stating drug research results in terms of relative risk reduction vs. absolute risk reduction? Anybody can see that these 50 people could do much better by changing their diets and getting enough exercise over a period of a few months (not even 5 years!) So the objective of this drug medication for diseases and health conditions resulting from lifestyle habits is ____________________ (you fill in the blanks.)

Did you say 'to make more money'?

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Common Diabetes Symptoms Make Catch-22 Situations

For quite a few months after my diagnosis, I happened to learn firsthand that diabetics can have some really interesting nights. Apart from the insomnia that haunts us for various reasons, such as frequent urination and severe thirst, the forced wakefulness can play other dirty games as well.

The constant thirst, frequent urination, the blurred vision, and the discouraging blow on intimacy are enough to drive you crazy. It's no wonder that so many diabetics usually go for the quick way to control diabetes symptoms very soon after their first visit to the doctor. They will still have these hidden "signs" masked or covered up by Metformin, Actos, Amaryl, and insulin in various forms. Catch-22 again. You still have it but you can't see it.

This is not a laughable matter when you are experiencing these symptoms, or when you have to depend totally on prescription drugs to simulate some semblance of "normal". But when you no longer need your medication, and when your doctor tells you there is no need for a visit until 6 to 9 months time, then you may consider it something to chuckle about. In fact, you may even write about those catch-22 diabetes symptoms like you were never bothered by them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What really needs fixing

I am at the car dealership and I am waiting for them to fix my brakes. You know it's time to get your brakes checked when those brake lights stay on when they are supposed to be off.


Many other car owners are here. We are all responding to various signs and symptoms we see on our dashboards. Many of us have not even seen any symptoms of something going or gone wrong - we just know it's time to service the vehicle.

Wish our bodies were treated like this all the time. Guess we're more afraid that the vehicle may leave us on the road MORE than that we might leave both the vehicle and the road. How many symptoms have we neglected over the past year?

We see it on the "dashboard" of our bathroom scales every day - 20, 30, 50 lbs overweight, and more! We keep driving.

Bulging at the mid-section, clothes don't fit anymore even though we are not getting any taller - the mirror is a big dashboard that doesn't lie. Yet some of us ignore the warning signs all the time.

Why do some of us take more care of our cars than our bodies?

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Friday, March 07, 2008

My doctor said she's "happy" for me

She is not the one who "threatened" to put me on insulin. This is the other doctor that's been treating me for the past (almost) 1½ years. She just called me 30 minutes ago.

If you have diabetes, please find a doctor like my doctor. She will tell you that you need to eat right, exercise, and go to bed early every night. She will give you medication ONLY if you need it - and only if those three important practices don't work.

Now, many people "need" the medication because they don't go all the way to having and maintaining a proper diet, they are not consistent in exercising, and they can't go to bed early for various reasons - especially when their favorite TV program is airing. Well, they will really need the medication, for as long as the habit lasts.

When we develop diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other similar conditions our bodies need "regularity". A regular schedule of meal times and sleep time puts us back in sync with our natural biorhythms. This promotes healing and restoration. Anyway...

Thanks doc, you have at least one happy patient.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

It Works! Do You A1c My Point?

I just got my results from my medical check last week. From past experience, I know that if I don't get a call from my doctor's office within a couple days after the tests, then there is nothing "unusual" in the results. It has been over a week. Today the mailman delivered.

It was a pleasure reading my medical results again:
- A1c (5.3%),
- total cholesterol (143 mg/dL),
- triglicerides (51 mg/dL),
- LDL (85 mg/dL), and more...
- Liver and kidney functions normal. Hey, I feel like drinking...

Water is the only drink I have had since November 2004. (Note: I've never had alcohol in my life, and I still can't understand why one would drink it rather than put it on a wound.) This week I tried cranberry juice (unsweetened) because I felt so good and had not had a high glucose reading for "I-can't-recall". For more than a year and holding, my A1c is 5.3% without even the "look" at a drug. No one can tell me that a diet and lifestyle changes don't work.

These four principles that I've shared on my website do work (in combination, of course).

  • Regular exercise - daily 1-hour walks at first, now it 30 minutes strength training, aerobics, or flexibility training
  • Proper diet - the more "vegan" the better. Don't ingest cholesterol or animal products if you don't have to. Who "must" anyway?
  • Quality sleep - this is not after midnight sleep. Sleep early (latest 10 pm). Explanation here.
  • Food supplementation - only because when the body has already succumbed to conditions like type 2 diabetes, we really need "extra" help. I haven't tried a lot of supplements - only two; one of which (a seaweed supplement) I still take daily - the other I no longer need.
Today, I'm more motivated than ever. I feel I'm blessed, and who can blame me for that? Anyway, take care, and remember the four keys I've shared. When you implement these, you really lose something - your diabetes medication (most likely). I remain convinced that health is a choice.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

7 Biggest Mistakes in Your Diet

It's my new course. It's free. It's delivered by email.

Seven diet tips that are "medicine" when you practice the simple principles. You should check it out before you take your next bite.


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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ha! My Whopper is a Clone!

OK, get used to it. The FDA has just approved cloned animal food produce as fit for consumption. You might soon be eating the same steak over again.

Although the European Food Safety Authority has not quite caught on to the the idea of cloned beef, milk, chicken, and pork as yet it won't be long before the rest of the world starts eating Moo "dolly", Oink "dolly", and cluck "dolly". In fact, they might just make it "exotic" by jacking up the price on cloned animal products.

Australia is also waiting to see how this new addition to the human diet will go down, it seems. They are waiting for opinions from their own experts. Meanwhile, in America, Dr Stephen Sundlof, of the FDA is saying, "We conclude that meat and milk from cattle, swine, and goat clones are as safe as food we eat every day."

The thing is, they have used those same words to describe all the drugs that have later proven to be "poison" - like Vioxx.

The decision seems to say to consumers, 'Never mind that cloned animals tend to have shorter life expectancy, the juicy steak will get to your plate before the cloned cattle has time to die naturally, anyway.' In fact, this decision may just pave the way for faster production. Why not? Just select the gene that has the greatest response to growth hormones. They might soon be growing drumsticks as fast as they can cook them!

But I can't get used to the idea that **IF** I bought a "whopper" from that "king" of fast food place today...

...and if I really liked it, then it's easy to get it's clone tomorrow. Then I'd say to my neighbor, "Ha! Just look at my burger. I ate the exact (same) thing yesterday!"

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Protein intake - osteoporosis

Most Americans consume much more than the recommended daily allowance of protein of 50 - 60 grams per day. In fact, the restaurants and food supply centers "compete" to make sure we exceed our needed amount of every food nutrient.

No wonder, the description - which I found surprising - a nation that is "over-fed but malnourished." How can this be?

Well, the extra protein, along with the phosphorus, caffeine, and lack of physical exercise are common factors that are being blamed for the prevalence of osteoporosis among Westerners. Maybe, our bones just don't know of the extra supply of calcium supplements we are dosing on.

So, we should just walk more, eat less, get adequate rest and keep osteoporosis at bay.
  • Take the stairs, go for a stroll after lunch
  • Eat more complex carbohydrates
  • drink more water - avoid the Coke and caffeinated drinks that leach Calcium from your bones
  • adopt an anti-diabetes type diet - it will help you take care of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other situations all at the same time
Remember, good health doesn't come by chance, it's our daily choice.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What is a healthy diabetes diet and is this the same for everyone?

The phrase "healthy diabetes diet" gets thrown around a lot. I hear medical professionals and others using this term as if you can just go pick it up in a store. Really, a healthy diet is a healthy diet, AND should be "healthy" for everyone.

From this perspective, then, there is no such thing as a diabetes diet. Whether I am a diabetic or not, if my diet does not contain normal and adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients for normal life it should be called "malnutrition".

As a type 2 diabetic who wants to lead a normal and very active life, I cannot be distracted by low carb preparations that will force me into a low energy state. No, I want lots of carbs BUT complex, high fiber carbohydrates that don't cause a blood sugar spike.

These complex carbohydrates are not usually what you find in fast food restaurants - the best diabetes diet (for me) is what is prepared at home. Still, it is amazing to see how packed the fast food places and restaurants are nowadays; especially on the weekends.

My experience tells me there are at least two ways to control your diabetes:
  • pills and insulin - and if you have to use these as recommended by your doctor, that is not a problem, but DON'T accept it as the "state of the rest of your ever waning life". You can change that.
  • the anti-diabetes diet and lifestyle approach - in conjunction with your doctor's recommended treatment, learn what a healthy diabetes diet should mean. Your diet should be "anti-diabetes" not "anti-diabetic" - which most popular diets are, since they don't remedy the diabetic syndrome.
The anti-diabetes diet (the healthy diabetes diet) and lifestyle is your best bet to help prevent and reverse the metabolic syndrome; which includes type 2 diabetes.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Beware These Diabetes Tips - Diabetes Nutritional Supplements

Every piece of the puzzle is important in order to solve it. Two major diabetes nutritional supplements are the last piece of my "bounce-back" puzzle.

Normal I would not distinguish these from my regular diet, but since the health improvement that I have experienced is also shared by so many users of the Tongan Seaweed extract and the miracle of the forest tea I have to mention these.

I've used these food supplements and have benefited significantly. Although I don't need Milagro de la Selva anymore, I have to note that this liquid nutritional supplement or tea made the first big dent in my glucose level. After 10 days I noticed I was not getting the high readings I was getting before. (It could have been less, but I was taken by surprise and only realized what was happening on the 10th day after taking it.)

But the real magic is still working...
I've listened to hundreds of people tout the praises of the fucoidan-rich Limu juice. I'm a "rebel" of some sort and a loner to some extent. I never follow the crowd. But when my coworker lost her seasonal allergies "just-like-that" I had to pay attention.

I have been using Original Limu for over two years, and while I know my exercise program, my rest, and my eating habits are major factors why I don't need diabetes medication anymore, this diabetes nutritional supplement is still a regular and vital part of my diet because of
  • the wide range of benefits,
  • the over 700 independent scientific studies confirming the health benefits of its main ingredient (fucoidan), and most of all,
  • the testimonies of thousands of people who have literally "gotten their lives back" from common illnesses like allergies, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, on down to cancer.
I'm totally convinced that this Fucoidan-rich seaweed supplement is a healthy habit breakthrough that will make you lose your medication. My doctor is sorry, she's happy for my recovery. I hope your's won't mind.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Beware These Diabetes Tips - Sleep and Glucose Metabolism

And now, my friend, go and take your rest. Sleep. I mean, sleep early - wake early. This is one of the important things I learned since developing type 2 diabetes - it matters
  • when you sleep
  • how long you sleep, and even
  • where you sleep
And all these facets of our sleep affect our ability to metabolize glucose - which is the type of impairment diabetes is, anyway.

There are several studies on sleep and diabetes that really my attention and helped me change my sleep pattern. Some of these findings are quite recent but it is a long-known fact sleep deprivation affects glucose metabolism and can lead to type 2 diabetes.
  1. "Role of sleep duration and quality in the risk and severity of type 2 diabetes mellitus," published by the Archives of Internal Medicine, and
  2. In Biological Research For Nursing, an article published in 2008 echoes the same warning: sleep affects diabetes and diabetes affects sleep.
This sounds like a double-edged sword. You have it either way. That's why your decision to handle type 2 diabetes needs to be an aggressive decision. Don't just settle for pills that simply mask the symptoms. Aim to lose your medication all together.

How sleep works
Our bodies rebuild tissues better at nights - it seems. Our bodies know the difference between night and day, and our metabolism depends on this circadian pattern to function properly. (Read about circadian rhythm in this WiKi article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circadian_rhythm)

Researchers say that an hour of sleep before midnight may be twice as beneficial as an hour of sleep after midnight. Instead of challenging their findings, I thought it was reasonable so I did (and have been doing) that, i.e going to bed early - like by 10PM. It works for me.

"But I can't sleep that early!"
That may be so for other people, but I'll make myself do anything in order to NOT have diabetes or other lifestyle-related health problems. After nearly decades of going to bed long after midnight, it was difficult, but I've gotten used to it. Glad I broke the habit.

If you want to lose your diabetes medication and be symptom-free (like me), then seriously consider practicing these simple habits: have the best diet there is, start moving, and go to bed early! Look out for my other tips.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Beware These Diabetes Tips - Exercise

This is the second of four diabetes tips that I'm sharing with you. Again, you're warned that you could lose your medication if you follow my suggestion...

Which, of course, is not a bad thing - unless you love to support the marvelous scientific "inventions" of the pharmaceutical industry. So along with the right diet, you need to exercise.

What!? You mean..?
  • Everyone can do some form of exercise - even if you are extremely physically challenged.

  • Physical exercise makes your muscles more efficient at using all the extra glucose that is cause for concern. More efficient muscles mean greater glucose metabolism.
  • As a type 2 diabetic, most likely your body still makes some insulin. Exercise causes those insulin receptor sites to start working again. See my article on the "cause of diabetes" to see more about insulin receptor action.
  • You do not need to run! In fact, if you are overweight and you begin your exercise program by running you may damage the cartilage in your knees. Take it easy. Walk. I started walking everyday for one hour - in the mornings! I did this for about four months then the Winter forced me indoors. But I didn't stop.
  • I exercised indoors - without weights. I have a treadmill that I use sometimes, but I just work the muscles. Even while sitting I do arm twirls and work my shoulder muscles. You'd be amazed at how effective the combination of diet, exercise, and these other habits could be for you over the next few months.
Some time ago, I used to think that once the doctor said, "you're diabetic" that was it. Oh no. I started walking. Today, if I were to go to a another doctor, he or she would not know (from any tests) that I am a diabetic if I don't say it.

Besides walking...
What else can you do as physical exercise? I've learned to do aerobics while sitting in a chair - useful if you are not mobile. It's great, and I can "work up a sweat" without leaving my chair!

Upper-body exercises - shoulder muscles, the muscles in your back, arm muscles, and abdominals. There are a lot of "lazy" muscles in the upper body that you can target and train them to start burning glucose again.

Make the physical change this year - start moving, even without leaving your seat! It works. Remember, the key is determination. You know it's possible, that's great...

...but the determination comes from within you. Do you want to lose your medication?

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Beware These Diabetes Tips - Food and Diet

Just a few years ago I had a hard time just watching my friends and family eat all they wanted while I counted carbs. For this New Year 2008, I have a different "misfortune", and it's all in the numbers!
  1. I lost my diabetes medication; I mean, I'm on ZERO, nothing.
  2. My A1c is below 6
  3. My total cholesterol is 147, and
  4. I love what I see on the bathroom scale - whether or not I stand on it! Nice and low. Just right.
Maybe you or someone you know want to be a "big loser" like me for this year. Well, this is the right time to start. And guess what...

You don't need to call it a "New Year's Resolution" - away with that. Just say it's your determination. That's it! Your first diabetes tip for 2008. Determine.

Then here's how you use that determination.

Shape up your diet. Don't take on those expensive "regimens" that you can't maintain for the rest of your life. Make a reasonable change that you can maintain permanently... check out the anti-diabetes diet concept.

Yes, the right diabetes diet can make you lose your medication. I lost mine, and my doctor is still surprised at my lab results too. It is a great feeling when I see the words, "excellent profile" on my medical test report.

With the right diet and lifestyle habits, most type 2 diabetics can soon begin to "eat like a king" again! If you don't mind losing your medication, this is one good thing to aim for this New Year!

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Want to control your blood sugar with diet and exercise?

I can only share my experience; this is not medical advice...

For me, and the many others who have followed this path, the key is to be consistent in providing the body with what it needs to repair itself.

Exercise - initially, I walked 45 - 60 minutes every morning. I still exercise 4 or 5 times per week in the mornings for at least 30 minutes.

In addition, I eat only high fiber anti-diabetes foods, such as whole wheat bread, corn, brown rice, etc in gradually increasing proportions as I found my glucose level normalizing.

My food also includes supplementation - extra nutrients, such as fucoidan from original limu (http://choosenow.originallimu.com/), and milagro de la selva (http://melagrodelaselva.com/). These helped very well.

Another point about food and eating is that I ate my largest meal (I still do) in the morning so that I burn the calories during the day while I am active; my smallest meal is at the end of the day. Here is another article about the cause of diabetes and what you can do.

Very importantly...

Even though my onset of diabetes has a genetic component, my research showed that this early development of the condition had to do with my lifestyle - not getting the right kind of sleep. Things really changed when I started getting my sleep early at nights. I can't explain all the science here, but it has been amazing. I will be explaining more in my newsletter and on the website that I am now re-designing.

Be consistent, be persistent: exercise, sleep right, eat right, rest and change your A1c. I got mine down to 5.3% and still holding without medication for nearly two years now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Four healthy habits that did it

I'm back. It's been a long time.

I'm also back from my former life of metformin and meager meals that I had to prepare from a sheet of paper I got from my doctor's office. Yak!

I never had to count carbs on Thanksgiving Day this year, and that's largely the result of 4 healthy practices I have adopted over the past (nearly) 2 years.
  1. I exercise for at least ½ hour at least 5 days per week. I've resurrected some muscles in my upper body, and now they're burning that glucose so fast, I don't have those high blood sugar levels anymore.
  2. I eat my biggest meal at breakfast and my smallest at the end of the day, approximately 4 hours before bed time. This means any extra calorie intake will get wiped out before the end of my day. I can't get overweight. I really can't - not with this eating style and diet.
  3. I go to bed early at nights - This was a hard one for me, but I soon learned that the early rest was what my body needed all along. Anyone with a degenerative disease such as diabetes needs all the rest he/she can get.
  4. I have been giving my body a steady diet of extra "system restore" nutrients. I could not have normal A1c (5.3%) again without some those special health supplements.
So, I'm back, and I feel great. My glucose meters are nearly unemployed. I have cut the earnings of some diabetes drug makers - boy, am I powerful! But I haven't fired my doctor. I still need her to get me those heart-warming medical reports every now and again.

You may copy my healthy habits, if you wish. You might take up a singing career in a couple years. But that would be a healthy thing to do too.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Anti-diabetes Diet Works!

I still don't mind being labeled a diabetic, even though my A1c holds at 5.3% without the use of drugs. I think the "type 2 diabetic" label reminds me well of the power of choice... a healthy choice.

Just plain diet and exercise. No low carb stuff - I eat real, complex, carb foods prepared from unrefined carbohydrates like brown rice and whole wheat flower. It took discipline but I tell the world now, that the anti-diabetes diet and lifestyle really is the way we humabs were made to eat.

I feel like 30 again! And I feel sorry for those who are doing it the wrong way! And to think that I have not yet gone to the gym - I work out at my home with a towel, a few small weights, and a chair. I haven't lifted anything heavier than 10 lbs in each arm.

But on this side of the A1c scale, it feels real good, and I'm convinced that anyone who can eat an apple can kill type 2 diabetes. You don't even have to walk. But it requires attention to everything...

Even the daily dose of that Tongan miracle health supplement. And that, in itself is another miracle. I AM FREE, my A1c is 5.3! Sorry for shouting in your ear, I feel so young again!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Dietary bites

Did you know that almost 95% of people on a calorie-restricting diet re-gain the pounds after they lose it?

Many diet pills have things like caffeine to make you "hyperactive" so you can burn fat. What's wrong with that? (a) maybe you never knew (b) maybe you think you were not taking in so much caffeine

Some weightloss pills are just a bunch of dietary fiber - the same thing they stripped away from the natural food during the processing... They sell it to you (again), but you could have had it better by eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables. But wait...

"Eighty percent of Americans do not eat fruits or vegetables that are rich in antioxidants."- Health Power, Diehl & Ludington

Wow! That's bad. But you do eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, right. And eating them is better than drinking them...

I know you knew that, but I just had to say it. Bye. Stay healthy!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Exercise Indoors

I have to move indoors now. It's getting too cold outdoors now - makes my trip on the exercise trail less than enjoyable.

At 39°F in the mornings every breath looks like a puff of cigarette smoke. Even the animals seem to be staying in now. But I'm not quitting my exercise program. I'm going indoors!

Got a gym trial membership already. Even though I love my own routine, and prefer to workout outdoors, I am forced by Mr. Winter to go for the warmth, at least for a few months.

The important thing is: diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other lifestyle conditions will not give you a break just because it gets cold outside. No. Got to keep the pressure on these ailments and take charge of our health. Choose health today.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

One For 40? A Big Bargain!

Did you know that lowering your Hemoglobin A1c reading by 1% cuts your risk of going bling or losing a kidney by up to 40 percent? I learned that from the Diabetes ClearingHouse.

Imaging the benefits of losing weight, eating right, sleeping at night, not stopping at the hospital on your way out of this world! Could I pass up Coke and Mickey Dees for that?

You bet!

Hey, do something great for your health today. The anti-diabetes diet is the way to go. You could benefit by a big margin of 40 to 1. Not bad, eh?