Best Diabetes Diet :Engine 2 Diet
The aim: Loss of weight; prevention or cure of disease.
The claim: Daily exercise and nutritious food for six weeks is certainly the right way to weight-loss. Besides this, it will certainly improve your immune system, strengthen your heart, reduce the possibility of Alzheimer’s, dementia and cancer, as well as prevent or cure type 2 diabetes.
The theory: Being sedentary, eating more of foods that harm rather than those that are suitable can bring health problems. Obviously, the way to better health is through regular exercise; eating daily meals consisting of whole grains, lean meat, fish, vegetables and fruits; having portion control; and keeping a record of the foods you eat.
Will there be weight loss?
It is possible since the Engine 2 diet, similar to all plant-based diets, emphasizes on low fat intake but a high consumption of fiber to help you staff off hunger longer. The use of vegetable oil, which has a big amount of calories, will also be eliminated.
Are there cardiovascular benefits?
Definitely! Studies have shown that fat and cholesterol, usually existing in animal meat, are hardly found in fruits and vegetables. As Engine 2 diet is plant-based, it can prevent heart disease with this control over blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Prior to the use of the Engine 2 diet, Esselstyn did two studies to find out about its effects. In the 2006 test which involved 58 people for a period of six weeks, the participants’ average cholesterol was reduced to 142 mg/dl from 181 mg/dl. Then, for 28 days in 2008, 15 participants followed the second test to have this small group’s average cholesterol lowered to 135 mg/dl. from 197 mg/dl. According to the American Heart Association, the cholesterol level should be kept lower than 200 mg/dl. Esselstyn as well as his father claim that a person can never get a heart attack if the cholesterol level is lower than 150.
- In 1985, Caldwell Esselstyn gathered 18 participants, who had serious heart disease, for a study with a plant-based diet in which merely ten percent of its calories came from fat. The participants were allowed to eat yogurt, non-fat cheese and skim milk but they were not given oil, meat and fish. Medication to reduce their cholesterol was continued. By 1990, the average level of their cholesterol had been lowered to 137 mg/dl. from 237 mg/dl. Only one participant suffered from serious chest pain after 12 years, when he stopped following the program for a short period. At that time, there were 17 participants. The result of this study convinced Caldwell Esselstyn’s family to use this plant-based diet.
- In 1990, The Lancet published a one-year research lead by Dean Ornish. The Ornish diet was also evaluated by U.S. News. There were 48 participants who had heart disease and twenty of them were put into a control group while the remaining 28 had to stop smoking, ate a reduced-fat, vegetarian diet, followed a stress-management program and did regular, moderate exercise. As a result of the program, there were less artery blockages among the participants of the experimental group. Artery blockages among the participants in the control group increased.
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What about the prevention or control of diabetes?
Yes, the Engine 2 diet is an excellent choice for the prevention and control of diabetes.
Control: Studies have concluded that diabetes can be controlled as well as reversed with loss of weight and the consumption of a low-fat vegan diet.
Prevention: Being obese increases the possibility of getting type 2 diabetes. So, if weight loss and maintenance of the lowered weight are necessary, the Engine 2 Diet can certainly be of help to you when it concerns type 2 diabetes.
In a 2006 Diabetes Care publication, there was a 22-week study of 99 diabetics. The participants were divided into two groups; with one group of 50 diabetics following the American Diabetes Association’s 2003 dietary guidelines while the other group of 49 diabetics ate low-fat vegan foods. The ADA dietary guidelines recommended that the daily calorie intake from saturated fat be not more than 7 percent, the calorie intake from carbohydrates be between 60 – 70 percent, and the protein intake be between 15 – 20 percent. There is no restriction on the carbohydrates consumed, calories and portion size in the low-fat vegan diet. Forty-three percent of those who did the vegan diet reduced their need for diabetes medications while only 26 percent of the diabetics who followed the ADA diet had similar results. And, to show how good the vegan diet is for the management of diabetes, the A1C hemoglobin levels of those on the diet went down much more than those on the ADA diet. Furthermore, an average of 13 pounds was lost by the vegan diet group while the ADA group lost only an average of 9 pounds.
What about health risks?
No severe side effects have been noticed. Nevertheless, it is wise to consult your doctor about following this diet if a health problem exists.
In 2010, Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism published a study in which there was a claim that vegans usually suffer from a lack of calcium, and this lack results in bone weakness leading to broken bones and fractures. In 2009, a study, which appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was made on the vegan diet and its health effects. The researchers came to the conclusion that vegans usually lack zinc, vitamin B-12 and vitamin D. According to them, vegans get very little n-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, which are essential for cardiovascular health, eye, and brain. So, vegans may need supplements. Still, in his book, Esselstyn insists that all necessary nutrients, with the exception of vitamin B-12, can be obtained from plants. He informed that vitamin B-12 is available from nutritional yeast, cereal, fortified soy milk or a pill each day.
Does it conform to standard dietary guidelines?
- Carbohydrates: From the menu provided by the Engine 2 Diet, 68 percent of each day’s calories come from carbohydrates. This is more than the government’s recommendation which is from 45 – 65 percent.
- Protein: The Engine 2 Diet recommends that 12 percent of the daily calories come from protein. This is within the range of 10 – 35 percent recommended by the government.
- Fat: Getting between 20 – 35 percent of each day’s calories from fat, which is the recommendation of the government, is possible with the Engine 2 diet. The daily menu given as a sample on the Engine 2 diet gives 24 percent.
- Salt: Most Americans take excessive amounts of salt. 2,300 mg is each day’s recommended maximum. However, if you are an African-American, or above 50 years of age, or suffering from chronic kidney disease, diabetes or hypertension; your maximum intake must not exceed 1,500 mg. Esselstyn advices using vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, vinegars, low-sodium tamari, lemon juice and lime instead of salt. From the sample menu provided by the Engine 2 Diet, the daily salt intake is 2,260 mg.
Other Essential Nutrients.
The following nutrients, which the 2010 Dietary Guidelines listed as “nutrients of concern”, are those which Americans are possibly deficient in.
- Calcium: Most of us know the importance of calcium in the building and maintenance of bones. Besides these, calcium is also important in the proper functioning of muscles and the construction of blood vessels. Yet, most Americans are deficient in calcium. A sample menu from the Engine 2 Diet, which can only provide 562 mg. of calcium, is obviously insufficient to meet the need of people above the age of 50 and women who have been advised by the government to take between 1,000 mg. and 1,300 mg. each day.
- Potassium:: The 2010 Dietary Guidelines claims enough potassium consumption can reduce the possibility of getting kidney stones, reduce bone loss and overcome the ability of salt to increase blood pressure. However, it is difficult to eat sufficient food to obtain the suggested 4,700 mg. of potassium daily. Even with bananas which are rich in potassium, eleven have to be eaten each day to get that amount. So, most Americans are deficient in potassium. The sample menu from the Engine 2 Diet can only provide 2,770 mg. which is just a little above half the recommended intake.
- Fiber:: The Engine 2 Diet supplies more than sufficient the amount suggested for daily adult consumption which is between 22 and 34 grams. Fiber improves digestion and helps you eat less. The Engine 2 Diet contains lots of whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables which are rich in fiber. The sample menu provides a daily supply of 50 grams.
- Vitamin B-12:: Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient for good cell metabolism and adults require at least 2.4 mg. of it each day. Animal protein, such as meat and dairy, is the main source of this vitamin. A sample menu from the Engine 2 Diet provides only 2 mcg. each day. Fortunately, vitamin B-12 can also be obtained from fortified breakfast cereals.
- Vitamin D:: To reduce the possibility of bone fractures, adults are advised to consume 15 mg. of vitamin D by the government. If you do cannot obtain sufficient sunlight to get this amount, you need to eat food rich in this nutrient such as meat and dairy products or take a supplement. Since a sample menu from the Engine 2 Diet provides so much less than what is recommended, only 1 mcg.; it is difficult to meet the recommended amount without a supplement.
The Engine 2 Diet advises the people who follow the diet to take vitamin B-12 supplement and consult their doctor always.
What about the cost?
Fresh produce may cost more but you do not need to go to the butcher. To get the book, you pay only $24.99. If you wish to have a year’s additional support from the”Engine 2 Extra” support community online. Of course, there is free information if you go to the website.
Are there any restrictions or preferences?
With a vegan diet like this, it is possible that there are restrictions, some of which appear in other less strict diets.
Vegan and vegetarian
Yes. This vegan diet is a smaller part of vegetarianism.
Those people who are unable to tolerate gluten, which is a protein in rye, barley and wheat, can have it substituted with rice and quinoa as well as gluten-free products such as cereals, tortillas, pastas, and breads.
It is a fact that plant foods have very little sodium. However, Essestyn advises using vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, soya sauce, vinegars, low-sodium tamari, lemon juice and lime juice as food flavoring instead of the use of salt.
The Engine 2 Diet, which is a vegan diet, is naturally kosher.
The Engine 2 Diet, which is a vegan diet, is definitely halal.
Is there any need for exercise?
Together with his vegan diet, a fitness program which is corollary is suggested by Esselstyn. To have this program become a part of your life, you need to spend about half an hour for three days in a week to an aerobic activity which can be swimming, tennis or walking. Then, you use another two days of the week for exercises which combine aerobics with strength training; in which three sets of four types of exercise are performed. This is Esselstyn’s “E2 Exercise Program”. The exercises for your upper body, core and legs, together with a cardiovascular activity, are provided with pictures and descriptions in Esselstyn’s book; with Esselstyn himself in the pictures. Esselstyn, who was a professional triathlete, claims that his vegan diet helped him win the major competitions he participated in.
Pros & Cons
- Good for health and the environment
- No need for calorie counting
- Total change in lifestyle
- A lot of time needed for meal planning as well as prep
Do’s & Don’ts:
Don’t eat animal products
Bacon and eggs are not to be used. No animal products are to be eaten. To become ”plant-strong” like Esseltyn, meat and dairy have to be replaced with soy or nut products.
Use whole foods
Eat lots of nutrient-rich seeds, nuts, legumes, whole grains, veggies and fruits. Since these foods usually contain less calories but plenty of fiber, they give you the feeling of fullness.
Use as little vegetable oil as possible
Since any kind of vegetable oil contains plenty of saturated fat and hardly any nutrition, its use is discouraged in the Engine 2 Diet.