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Red-Yellow-Green

You are in the right place if ...
  • You have prediabetes, diabetes or want to lose weight to prevent diabetes.
  • You don't know what to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • You're overwhelmed by all the information about good food vs. bad food.
  • There's too many things to juggle in your brain about what to buy at the grocery store or order when eating out.
  • Your budget doesn't allow for all organic, grass-fed, pastured, free-range "whatever".
Is eating for pleasure or because it just tastes good gone forever?
 
There is a smart way to add just about any food to a healthy menu. 
Don't know if you have prediabetes? Take quiz here.
Don't know if you have diabetes?
Take quiz here.

RYG for health

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough".

        -- Albert Einstein

 

Everyone understands what a traffic light is all about.

RED means STOP

YELLOW means CAUTION

GREEN means GO

RYGforHealth© is not a diet, fad or "food movement".

 

It's a 3-step menu planning blueprint to control weight and blood sugar. Using the concept of a traffic signal, RYG teaches you HOW to put together a healthy meal.

3 key macronutrients for a healthy diet and a satisfying balanced meal: 

  • Carbohydrate - the body's primary fuel source needed for physical activity and brain function.

  • Protein - supports growth, building and repair tissue.

  • Fat - a storage form of energy that also assists with absorption of nutrients. 

Just like a traffic signal includes a red, yellow and green light, a balanced meal includes foods from each list:

RED (carb) 1-2 per meal

YELLOW (protein/fat) 1 per meal

GREEN (free foods) All you can eat

What makes RYGforHealth© unique from other traffic light-type diets? 

  • How the foods are categorized.

  • Food intake is planned one meal at a time rather than weekly averages. 

  • Carb reduction is a focus, without the elimination of any major food group.

  • Well-balanced nutrition with reduction in calories are added bonuses. 

  • Answers: What foods are high carb, protein and fat?

  • Answers: What foods are free?

Without getting too complex, here's the bottom line:

Foods we eat must be broken down into smaller particles so our bodies can absorb and use

the nutrients:

  • Carbs are broken down to sugars

  • Proteins are broken down to amino acids

  • Fats are broken down to fatty acids

Within 15-30 minutes after eating or drinking foods and beverages:

  1. The body breaks down carbs, proteins and fats into sugars, amino acids and fatty acids.

  2. These nutrients are absorbed.

  3. Result: sugar goes up in the blood stream (even if you don't have diabetes). 

  4. Insulin (a hormone) is released by the pancreas.

  5. Insulin transports sugar for the bloodstream into the body cells, where it's used for energy. It is  the major regulator for this metabolism.

With prediabetes/diabetes: There isn't enough insulin OR insulin isn't working well enough to lower blood sugar.

High blood sugar results.

The more carbs (and to some degree, proteins and fats) consumed at one time, the higher the blood sugar goes. How long blood sugar stays elevated depends on how much fat and protein are eaten at the same time. 

 

Today more than ever, excess intake of carbs, protein and fats (with higher blood sugars and weight gain) is a huge health concern.

Why is High Blood Sugar Such a Bad Thing?

The diagnosis of diabetes is on the rise.  Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes sugar. 

  • 30 million adults and children are diagnosed with diabetes.

  • ~86 million people >20 years of age have prediabetes.

  • Prediabetes precedes the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. 

  • There are no real symptoms of prediabetes, so people don't know they have it.

  • There is a substantial increase in the incidence of diabetes among youth (10-19 years old). 

 

Poor diet, high in refined carbs and sugar and calories has been shown to increase risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver and even Alzheimer's disease. 

 

Increased weight and obesity, especially around the middle (belly fat) are major culprits for type 2 diabetes, but not the only risks.  Some other risks include:

  • Family history of type 2 diabetes

  • Development of diabetes while pregnant (gestational)

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

  • African-American, Native American, Latino, or Pacific Islander

  • Abnormal levels of blood fats (high cholesterol, high triglycerides, low HDL and high LDL)

  • Over 45 years old

  • Don't exercise+

  • Poor diet high in refined carbohydrates+

+Risk factors you can change

High blood sugar makes you feel tired, cranky, stressed, depressed and overall, lousy. Other symptoms may include blurry vision and increased thirst. 

 

High blood sugar causes inflammation. It damages blood vessels and cells throughout the body leading to other serious health problems over time:

  • Heart disease

  • Stroke

  • Kidney disease

  • Nerve damage

  • Vision problems

Healthy nutrition and physical activity are definite treatments.  Sometimes medications are needed.

Where to Begin?

 

A good starting point -- any reduction in carbs.  Now is not the time for unreachable goals. Change is a gradual process. 

 

Don't panic. Focus first on the doable changes to make a huge impact. Start here:

  1. Stop drinking sugar beverages.

These include fruit juices, "no sugar added" juices, fruit punch, koolaid, lemonade, sweetened iced tea, regular soda, sports, fitness, vitamin/mineral energy drinks, milkshakes, coffee drinks like lattes and any other beverage sweetened with sugar, honey, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Best to avoid alcohol.

Drink sugar free liquids, preferably water. Try sparkling water (seltzer, club soda) or plain water with

lemon or lime wedges, plain coffee, black/green/white and herbal teas. Diet soda and other diet drinks contain sugar substitutes that you may have reservations about, but try varieties that are sweetened with natural stevia.

 2.  Limit sweets, snack foods and added sugars.

 

Do you really need dessert after a meal?

Because it takes 30-60 minutes for the food eaten to even begin to satisfy appetite, wait at least 30-60 minutes after a meal before dessert.  Hopefully, you'll feel full and not even want dessert. 

 

But if you must -- try fruits, or small servings of the real, full fat sweets with great mouth feel and flavor --  eaten slowly and savored.

Put away the sugar and other sweeteners like brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, even agave as these all have carbs and its so easy to go overboard.

I'm not a great fan of manufactured, artificial sweeteners: saccharin (Sweet and Low), aspartame (Equal), sucralose (Splenda) or acesulfame K (Sweet One). Their use is controversial with concerns for gut health, memory loss, weight gain and cancer. You decide what is best for you.

Sugar alcohols like sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol and erythritol may cause gas and bloating, so use with caution.

Try using a plant-based sub like stevia or monkfruit. 

REMEMBER: Sugar-free doesn't always mean carb (or calorie) free!

 

Keep the "goodies" packed away in cupboard or pantry, out of sight, out of mind.

What's that go-to food for an energy boost at 3 in the afternoon -- Chocolate, crackers, chips, cookies?

Buy a smaller bag, eat it, enjoy it, and move on. Better yet, try some almonds or walnuts.

3.  Choose a variety of whole, real foods using RYGforHealth© as a guide.

  • FIRST - Focus on quantity of food.

A good foundation: Eat at least 2-3 times daily, spacing meals 4-6 hours apart. This food plan is moderately low carb, higher protein. Not extreme, but quite effective. 

 A typical American diet carb intake: ~300-500 g daily (easy).  Don't believe me? 

CHALLENGE: keep track of everything you eat and drink for 24 hours. Add up the carbs. You'll be amazed -- guaranteed! 

  • NEXT - Focus on quality of food.

Include fresh foods and produce with deep, rich colors without alot of processing or packaging. The synergic symphony of nutrients provided by these foods reinforces the beauty, simplicity and effectiveness of RYGforHealth.

Bottom Line:

  • LIMIT carb foods and beverages with ultimate goal of 100-150 g carb daily, spread out evenly throughout the day.

  • BALANCE carb, protein and fat at each meal.

  • CHOOSE whole, real foods, avoiding processed foods as much as possible, seasoned with herbs and spices.

 

Young or old, it's never too early or too late to make a change for health. 

 

All these principles are good for the entire family.  No special food plan for you and then another for the kids -- same foods, but perhaps different portions based on body size and physical activity.

NOTE: If you have diabetes, consistency from day to day with when you eat, how much you eat and when you take prescribed medications to lower blood sugar is key.

It may seem boring, but best results are seen when a consistent daily pattern or habit is formed with these daily activities.

© 2016 by RYGforHealth     

Potato

RED food high in carb