Vitamin D is being studied for its potential to fight diseases and medical problems including diabetes, hypertension, cancer and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin D is believed to help improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin and thus reducing the risk of insulin resistance. Some doctors even believe this vitamin helps regulate the production of insulin in the pancreas.
Vitamin D levels should ideally be between 20-56 ng/ml (50-140 nmol/l), with anything below 20 ng/ml considered as deficient. Raising the amount of vitamin D in your body to 60-80 ng/ml does help keep blood glucose levels under control, which is vital for diabetics.
Vitamin D is crucial to help keep us looking and feeling well, but it’s difficult to get enough during winter and around half of us in colder climes have low levels. Vital for healthy bones and teeth, vitamin D is also believed to play a role in our immune systems, to help prevent and fight disease and to help us lose weight.
Research shows that Vitamin D deficiency can make you accumulate more fat, according to nutritionists. It can also make it harder to lose weight. Vitamin D is crucial for effective fat-burning and helps to control hunger and cravings. During autumn and winter in the UK the only way we can get vitamin D is from our diet because the sun isn’t strong enough for our bodies to manufacture the vitamin. As well as including a range of foods that are high in vitamin D, this diet is also carefully calorie controlled, designed to help you shed 5lb over the five days.
Should You Take Supplements?
Current Department of Health guidelines recommend you consider a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D during the winters when you cannot get enough vitamin D from sun exposure.
Most of our vitamin D comes from ultraviolet B rays. We need 15 to 30 minutes daily outside sun exposure on our faces and arms — more difficult in winter or if we always cover up when we go out.
Vitamin D Rich Foods
- Oily fish — tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, trout
- Mushroom — shitake, maitake, portobello
- Wholegrain cereals
- Fortified foods such as nut milks, yogurt and orange juice
BREAKFAST – Muesli with cranberries and milk (or nut milk, eg, almond). Mix 4tbsp oats, 1/2tbsp pumpkin seeds, 1/2tbsp chia seeds, 1/2tbsp sunflower seeds, 1/2tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/2tbsp flaked almonds, 1tbsp cranberries. Add the milk.
LUNCH – Salad with sardines. Mix salad leaves, cucumber, tomato, peppers, red onion and black olives. Add a can of sardines. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar, season with black pepper.
DINNER – Pasta with shitake mushrooms. Stir-fry 300g chopped shitake mushrooms in hot olive oil with garlic, chilli and ginger. Mix with a portion of cooked pasta. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, black pepper and parsley.
BREAKFAST – Red pepper and goat’s cheese frittata. Flash-fry some chopped red peppers and an onion with olive oil. Whisk 2 eggs in a bowl with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the pepper and onion and cook until eggs are set. Sprinkle with crumbled goat’s cheese.
LUNCH – Salade Nicoise. Salad leaves, tomatoes, new potatoes, green beans and cucumber with a small can of tuna and sliced boiled egg. Add vinaigrette.
DINNER – Spicy salmon with spinach and brown rice. Bake salmon marinated with chilli, coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Serve with spinach leaves, thinly sliced radish and brown rice.
BREAKFAST – Small pot natural live yogurt with blueberries, nuts and seeds.
LUNCH – Grilled portobello mushroom with halloumi cheese. Grill portobello mushroom halves, topped with sliced halloumi. Serve in wholemeal pitta bread with finely chopped red onion and shredded lettuce.
DINNER – Tuna steak with green vegetables and sweet potato wedges. Coat tuna with honey, soya sauce and olive oil. Pan–fry and serve with the vegetables and baked sweet potato wedges.
BREAKFAST – Poached egg with wilted spinach.
LUNCH – Tofu and vegetable stir-fry. Stir-fry chopped tofu and vegetables (eg, green beans, carrots, pak choi) in olive oil, with chilli flakes, garlic and ginger.
DINNER – Pork chops with mushroom sauce and vegetables. Grill 2 small chops. Make sauce with 1tbsp cream, 3tbsp white wine, 1/2tbsp olive oil, herbs and vegetable stock. Serve with vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, sweetcorn.
BREAKFAST – Cottage cheese with chives on a slice of rye bread with salad garnish.
LUNCH – Seafood salad with papaya. Mix prawns, mussels, shrimps with salad leaves, spring onions, green peppers, cucumber and sliced papaya. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice to serve.
DINNER – Grilled fish with vegetables. Grill fish (eg, trout, salmon, fresh mackerel or herring) and serve with selection of green vegetables.
E319 – Your Sunshine Weight Loss Diet – www.diabetic.today