Ok, I know wild salmon is darn expensive but remember food is medicine...if you catch a good sale, toss it in the fridge....or alternately, you could marry a salmon fisherman/woman (just a joke, sort of)
Wild Salmon Can Help Make Your Diabetic Cell Membranes Function Properly Again
You may have heard that omega-3 is good but you may not realize how important it is to the healthy functioning of our cell membranes and why that's important to diabetics. Unlike type 1 diabetics, type 2 diabetics usually produce plenty of insulin. In type 2 diabetics, the problem is really more about improperly functioning cell membranes, i.e. type 2 diabetics are insulin resistant.
When we eat, our food is broken down into glucose. This glucose enters the blood stream and the hormone insulin aids the glucose in transport across the cell membrane. The glucose must get inside the cell to fuel our bodies. If the glucose stays in our blood stream and does not get inside our cells, it doesn't do us any good and it causes type 2 diabetes.
It turns out that in order for our bodies to build healthy cell membranes capable of transporting the glucose across them, we have to have the proper building blocks. Omega-3 is one of the key building blocks to creating a healthy cell membrane. American diets are notoriously low in omega-3. To make matters worse, the American diet consists of lots of artificially manufactured trans fats which are unfortunately added to a wide variety of foods. These trans fats get substituted for the omega-3 in our cell membranes when there isn't enough omega-3 around.
Fish in general is rich in omega-3 but fatty cold water fish like salmon, herring, and sardines have by far the highest concentration of omega-3. For this reason, salmon is one of the healthiest foods a diabetic, or anyone at risk to develop diabetes, can eat.
Diabetics Can Not Convert Vegetarian Sources of Omega-3 Into the Right Type of Omega-3 Efficiently
The omega-3 found in vegetarian sources like flax seed, flax oil, and walnuts is a type of omega-3 called ALA. While humans can convert ALA into the more important types of omega-3 called DHA and EPA, it turns out we do not do so very inefficiently. Females convert it better than males. Young people convert it better than older people.However, the very best humans can do (in a young healthy female) is a 25-30% conversion. And most importantly to those with diabetes, some diabetics can't convert much ALA at all.
If you are diabetic, it is extremely important that you get enough DHA and EPA so your body can build new cell membranes and repair old cell membranes with the right type of omega-3. The right type of omega-3 is not found in vegetarian sources except for certain kinds of algae. If you are an omnivore, your best choice for obtaining omega-3 is salmon or a high quality salmon oil supplement. If you are a strict vegetarian, you need to look into taking an algal supplement that contains DHA and EPA.
Wild Salmon Has Less Mercury and Other Toxins Than Farmed Salmon
This fact was counterintuitive when I first learned about it but it makes sense if you know why. Mercury and other toxins like PCB's become more concentrated as they move up the food chain. This is why top predators are always more susceptible to toxins than those lower on the food chain. The classic example of this is DDT making the egg shells of predatory raptors too thin. Wild salmon eat a much wider variety of food than do farmed salmon, including things lower down on the food chain. Farmed salmon basically just get to eat the feed given to them. It turns out that much of this feed contains fish mill made from salmon so the toxins just become that more concentrated.
I like to skillet poach my salmon and either eat with lots of fresh lemon or a mixture of sour cream, lemon, and dill. Yum! If others have more suggestions, please leave a comment and I will post.
If you want to know the other best foods for diabetics and why...and how these foods can not only control but actually REVERSE (i.e. CURE) your diabetes, please check out the reference guide I review at the top of this page. It's MUST HAVE info for all diabetics and those who are at risk to develop diabetes which is more than half of the American population unfortunately. It also tells you what foods you have to avoid at all costs.