Fatty acid lowering type 1 risk

Somehow I just got the winter 2008 issue of Countdown, (not sure why it was late), and I saw an interesting newsbrief that says, “Children at risk for type 1 diabetes may gain some protection from developing the disease by increasing omega-3 fatty acids in their diet, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.” The newsbrief explains that Omega-3 fatty acids are “abundant” in certain fish, dark green veggies, canola and sunflower oils.

Hmmmm…I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 23 years and am the mother to 2 boys, ages 4&6. My boys are not fans of fish but they do eat “trees” (broccoli), so this is wonderful news! Who knew there were ways to fight this disease, and that our tools in battle could be so simple like tuna and broccoli! I think this is very exciting and so if anyone has any kid-friendly tuna recipes, send them on over!

Easy, simple, and probably a gross oversimplification.

If you look at the actual study you may find that the relationship touted in the headline is tenuous and that the statistics are full of holes. Most medical researchers seem to have a very weak grasp of how statistics work and though they use fancy software, they don’t really understand what the statistical methods they use really mean. A recent study by a statistician found that 88% of a group of cancer studies misused statistics often very egregiously. Read about that study HERE.

You may also find that the sponsor of the study has some agenda related to promoting the result.

There are a zillion studies purporting to show that eating this or that food can prevent diabetes but none of them hold up to much scrutiny.

The “cleanliness” hypothesis is more persuasive. Let your babies play with microbes when they are little and it is possible that their immune systems won’t turn on themselves the way they do if you surround them with cleanliness and use those antibacterial soaps!

however my sister and I, who were both diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 23 years ago, grew up in the middle of the woods in Vermont, surrounded by dirt and a general, casual approach to “cleanliness”…

When you and your sister both come down with Type 1, it’s pretty clear that you have a strong genetic disposition and there may not be anything you could have done to avoid it.

The cleanliness hypothesis is an attempt to explain why the number of people who don’t have family histories of Type 1 has risen so steeply over the past couple decades.

Hi Amy
Everyone is going to get sick of me talking about ground flax seed, but it is just loaded with omeaga 3’s and very healthy lignans. We have a lot of diabetes in our family and a couple of pre-diabetics so we keep the diet for the whole family as healthy as possible. My kids wanted a “granola” bar so I made up a new recipe. It has peanut butter, sweetener, sugar free marshmallows, vanilla, sugar free honey, ground flax seed and chopped pecans in it and the recipe makes 24 bars. But the whole pan is gone in one day because everyone just loves them. I have 8 grandchildren (7 of whom are old enough to have teeth) and the adults have to scramble to get any of these bars. The kids don’t care that it is healthy food, they just love the bars. I feel good about them because i am getting good stuff in my family. Now I am working on another recipe for some more bars I want to make some with unsweetened coconut, chopped almonds, flax seed, sunflower seed and some sugar free chocolate. I don’t have everything worked out in my mind yet about what else to add, but this gives you an idea about how easy it is to add flax seed to things you make. I hope this gives you ideas about more things to add omega 3’s. I think you are on the right track.


Your recipe sounds very good and healthy…I have a 10 years old Type 1 son which I know will enjoy your bars…how can I get the recipe? I would love to try it…

As far as the research…I have another son whom is not diabetic and I will try anything to prevent him from diabetes…if it doesn’t work, at least he is eating healthy…

Yen here is the recipe. Andf i am working on the coconut one. I just need to find the unsweetened coconut.
1 cup of peanut butter 1 cup of ground flax seed
1/2 cup of erythritol 5 cups of chopped pecans
1/2 cup of splenda 1 cup of sugar free honey
1 package of sugar free marshmallows
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Put chopped pecans, ground flax seed, splenda and erythritol in a bowl and mix well. Put peanut butter, marshmallows, vanilla and honey in a bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir until marshmallows are melted and all ingredients are blended. Pour over dry ingredients, mix well and pour into baking dish. Smooth out into the dish and refrigerate for about 5 minutes. Cut into bars.
I usually cut these into 24 bars. The peanut butter and the honey make such a good smell and taste but if you can’t find the sugar free honey, I would try a good sugar free maple flavored syrup.
If I get the coconut recipe to work out well I can post that one also. My big effort in trying these out is to replace the higher carb cereal that spikes the blood sugar so much with the chopped nuts. But I wanted something for energy for the kids. They are playing baseball, track and swimming. These will keep in a gym bag for after games and won’t melt, but will stay fairly soft. I sure hope your sons like them. I also give the kids a little gel cap, gas pill (make sure it is nothing but simethicone to break up gas) until their tummies get accustomed to taking in the flax seed. It can cause gas if they aren’t accustomed to eating it. I don’t let them eat more than 2 a day until they get used to them. If you come up with anything kid appealing please let me know. I too will do anything to try to keep mine from becoming diabetic too.

This sounds delicious! I’ll give it a try and hope my picky eaters will like them! Thank you!

I wonder if any of you have considered genetic testing to determine if your kids carry the gene for diabetes? I don’t know much about it and I don’t know if I would even want to have that information…but I’m curious.

Thanks a world Saundra!!! This is great!!! am going to try it this weekend…

I recently learned of an “Oatmeal Pancakes”…it is low in carbs and fulfilling…it was the first time I ever heard of it…just in case here is the recipe:

¼ cup of Quaker Oatmeal
3 egg whites or egg substitute for those that can’t eat eggs
Just a pinch of chayanne red pepper
Just a pinch of Splenda
Just a pinch of cinnamon

Mix all together in a mixer so that the Oatmeal dissolves/mix properly and let it sit for a minute or two for thickening. Put a bit of butter on the pan and cook as a regular pancake.

You could use sugar free syrup on top once done or fruits which ever you like better.

Also, depending on you taste you could reduce or increase the amounts on the pepper and the cinnamon. The pepper adds a little spice to it…

My son loves it and he can eat much more that the wheat pancakes…

I thought about it, but our insurance would not pay for it and it is very expensive…I was curious to know as he is the only one in our family with diabetes and I have another son which I am also worry…but I guess knowing will not help us much to solve the problem…

However, I have been taking my other son to TrialNet every year for a blood test that identifies antibodies that could lead to diabetes…it is free as this is a trial they are working on for those that are direct family of a Type 1 Diabetes and are not diabetics…it is not a genetic test, but it could tell you if the person is at risk of developing Type 1 diabetes for the next year….it is good only for a year, but it is better than nothing…check or call JDRF for details and if they are doing those trial near your area…the test is once a year until the age of 18…for the past three years my son’s result have come back negative…

I hope it helps!!!


There are a bunch of genes for diabetes all different, and even for Type 1, there are various malfunctions of the immune system that can predispose people to it.

I seem to have one of the clearly genetic forms of diabetes, but since getting the test doesn’t make any difference in the treatment, and since one kid has it and the other doesn’t (It’s already evident in blood sugars by time they are teens if not earlier) what’s the point? It costs a lot, not covered by insurance.

I left out one ingredient to the recipe above…sorry…

You also need to add:

¼ cup of low fat cottage cheese

Sorry…I wrote the recipe from memory and just realize I missed one important component…

Thanks very Much Yen. I truly appreciate this reipe. I will try this tomorrow morning. My husband truly loves anything oatmeal. I bet he will really enjoy these. And as soon as I can get the coconut recipe together I will send it on.