Diabetes Diet: You’re Likely In Short Supply Of This Important Vitamin

A recent nutrition review shows that 90 percent of us in the U.S. are not getting our recommended daily dose of vitamin E.

This is a concern for diabetic individuals since diabetes increases our risk for heart disease, and vitamin E is essential for heart health. Inadequate vitamin E can also lead to vision, kidney, and liver problems, muscle weakness, or loss, and an unsteady gait.

E Deficiency And Diet

The main reason for widespread E deficiency is our typical Western diet that contains an abundance of highly processed foods*. Many highly processed products lack vitamin E, other micronutrients, healthy fats, and antioxidants.

Another reason for inadequate vitamin E intake has to do with the fat content of our diet, or rather, the lack of it.

Vitamin E is fat-soluble; it needs the presence of fat to be absorbed by our body. Those on low-fat diets may consume too little fat to properly utilize the vitamin E in their food, or supplements. Studies show that just 10 percent of the vitamin E in a supplement is assimilated when taken without dietary fat.

People with metabolic syndrome** who are obese are at even greater risk for vitamin E deficiency. This is partly because they need more vitamin E to counter their condition’s increased oxidative stress (free radical production), and because their excess body fat impedes the absorption of lipids transporting vitamin E to their tissues.

Vitamin E Foods

To address vitamin deficiencies supplementation is always an option, but the best source of vitamin E is food since food provides all eight of the vitamin E compounds. Most supplements contain only one of the eight E compounds, usually alpha-tocopherol.

Fortunately, it’s easy to get plenty of vitamin E from a varied diet of whole foods. The three categories of edibles rich in vitamin E are:

  • Leafy greens.
  • Oil-rich, high-fat plants such as olives, and sliced avocados.
  • High-fat foods such as seeds, nuts, and fatty fish/seafood including sardines and shrimps.

Some particularly good vitamin E sources are wheat germ, and sunflower oils, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, boiled or steamed broccoli, sliced mango, and raw spinach.

E Supplement Tips

For those who choose to take a supplement bear in mind that synthetic vitamin E has been shown to exert toxic effects at high doses or with long term use. So, consider purchasing a supplement containing all-natural (non-synthetic) ingredients:

  • Synthetic forms of vitamin E usually have a designation starting with “dl” (dl-alpha-tocopherol). Non-synthetic versions begin with “d” (d-alpha-tocopherol).
  • Vitamin E supplements free from soy or soybean oil are recommended, since compounds in soy can effect hormonal and endocrine functions, and the absorption of certain minerals.
  • A supplement containing all four vitamin E tocopherol compounds (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) is ideal for optimal health benefits.
  • The best supplements will also contain the four tocotrienol vitamin E compounds. Although the tocotrienols are often ignored they seem to support balanced cholesterol levels, buffer against free radicals, and the effects of aging, and are good for brain health—a complete vitamin E supplement will include the tocotrienols.

Since vitamin E is formed in various plants that are now primarily genetically modified, those of you who try to avoid GM foods will want to sidestep vitamin E supplements made from corn, soybeans, or cotton seed.

Source: Mercola
Photo credit: The Good Doctor

*Food processing is a deliberate alteration to food that takes place during its manufacture. Highly processed foods undergo extensive alterations and often contain added sweeteners, colors, and other additives.

**Metabolic syndrome is a set of symptoms that include excess abdominal fat, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, and triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol.

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Today, the healing benefits of essential oils are more than the claims of ancient tradition and alternative medicine. They are increasingly the...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...

More Articles

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...

”Metabolic memory” (less commonly known as ”hyperglycemic memory” or “legacy effect”) refers to the lingering effects of a long period of either...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 7 million people in the United States have diabetes but don’t know it yet. These people...

While some celebrities aren't quick to talk about living with diabetes, others are quite transparent and inspiring - acting as advocates for the...

People with diabetes are about twice as likely to experience heart disease as those without the condition, making cardiovascular health a critical...

Pilates is an exercise method proven to improve flexibility, strength, coordination, muscular stamina, balance, and posture. Many Pilates...

All diabetics know that maintaining proper blood sugar levels is the lifeline...

It can be difficult enough to get on stage and make a roomful of strangers laugh, but for comedians suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes,...

Most people with insulin-dependent diabetes use syringes and lancets every day. However, many of them do not know how to dispose of these...

Explaining diabetes to children can seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it is no more difficult than discussing anything else important....

Diabetes is a complex disease, affecting virtually every part of the body. The damage it does, to nerve endings, blood vessels, organs, and the...