THE INTERNAL DISEASES SPECIALIST NAFİZ KARAGÖZOĞLU: “THERE IS SALT EVEN IN CAKES. THE BIGGEST CAUSE OF DIABETES IS PREPARED FOODS.”
THE MENU OF THE MONTH
Stuffed Grape Leaves with Bulgur
Stuffed Bulgur Balls (boiled)
Baked Sea Bass with Cinnamon
Diabetes that is caused by pancreas producing insufficient amount of insulin is a disease that affects all of our organs from our feet to our brain, spoils the systematic work of our bodies, and lasts for a lifetime. Although, it is not contagious, the number of cases are increasing rapidly regardless of age. Each year, approximately four million people around the world lose their life because of this disease. The Internal Diseases Specialist Dr. Nafiz Karagözoğlu draws the attention to the relation between nutrition and the disease, from which 10 million people suffer in Turkey. According to Dr. Nafiz Karagözoğlu, who expresses that everything we eat increases our blood sugar, the continuous increase spoils our system like a chain traffic accident and the first aid is unlikely to come in time. Karagözoğlu highlights the dangers of having food reach to consumers kept in salt or sugar to protect it from bacteria and says, “We are going to hunt for food one by one in markets and grocery stores just like our forefathers used to do millions of years ago. We are going to eat what is natural and in small amounts.”
Whether healthy or not, would anything we eat increase the level of our blood sugar?
Yes, whatever we eat increases the level of our blood sugar. What we eat, first goes into our stomach, then it is absorbed and goes to our liver. It turns into glucose there. We can call our liver a glucose factory. Whether you eat pistachios or parsley, it turns into glucose. Everything turns into glucose before entering into our blood stream. Blood reaches to our cells through the blood vessels and enters into our cells through insulin. If it is absorbed quickly, it spoils the functioning of other systems. In other words, when corrosion and excessive loading in the same location are experienced frequently, a situation resembling a chain traffic accident occurs. Insulin cannot enter into the cells, cell structure and organs become spoiled. Our body should receive glucose in a certain speed and balance. Everything has a control mechanism in our metabolism. This shouldn’t be broken.
What type of mistakes in our diet could increase the level of blood sugar quickly?
The worst part is the entrance of prepared foods into our diets. Check the nutrition labels of packaged beverages, they contain glucose. In other words, they are turned into sherbet. Those beverages are consumed heavily because they can be purchased anywhere so easily, they stimulate our taste buds too quickly, and they please us. When these types of beverages are consumed, the speed of glucose absorption goes above what our body is accustomed. We should remove sugar from our lives. The amount of our portions is also important. Eating a lot might also increase the level of blood sugar.
Which nutrition groups do you not suggest?
We do not suggest consuming of carbohydrates and foods that contain starches because they are easily absorbed. Remove rice, flour, and sugar from your tables. The first humans on earth were hunters. They could find food once or twice in a week. Therefore, we tell to consume meats once or twice a week. They were also checking for the fruits and herbs if they were in season. They didn’t have prepared food technologies, cooling, and marketing systems. They couldn’t reach grains, meats, fats, or herbs systematically; therefore, the effort spent to have them brought along the health results. But let’s take a look at today. We don’t work out, we don’t move, because we find everything prepared, especially our food.
Why do you criticize prepared foods?
Prepared foods are prepared like pickles are. Every prepared food contains preservatives in other words salt or sugar. The food is kept in a state that cannot be rotten by bacteria in its packaging. Bacteria or viruses cannot exist in that dense salt, or sugar, but how does it affect our body? There are many kinds of food on the shelves. They are all salty. Look at the nutrition label of a cake. It contains salt. Taste of sugar is heavy taste of salt is lighter. Our bodies are not accustomed to these. Then, we see that our patient’s blood sugar is out of balance. The necessary energy doesn’t reach to our cells. The structure of our vascular system becomes spoiled. Diabetes reveals itself.
Which foods balance the blood sugar?
We suggest dried legumes such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, and whole grains such as bulgur. You can consume whole grain bread, olive oil, and farmer’s butter. You should consume foods such as olives, eggs, cheeses, yogurt, milk, and walnuts that contain protein. Do not forget the fiber rich vegetables and spices such as cinnamon. You can enrich your dishes by making small changes in your recipes like adding almonds into your soup, or using bulgur in stuffed grape leaves instead of rice. Consume fruits carefully in small portions because they are high in sugar.
What else do you suggest?
Don’t be lazy. We used to be hunters because of poverty, now we have to become hunters in abundance. We are going to hunt in markets and grocery stores. We are going to search and examine and purchase the suitable foods. No more from the shelf into the basket! We have to learn what right food is. We are going to try to grow our own produce or teach someone else how to do it. We are not going to overcook. If we don’t put great effort into this, it would be impossible to prevent the increase of the diseases such as diabetes. Either life or taste.
4 tbsp of sliced and peeled raw almonds, 2 tbsp of bulgur, 1 tbsp of each: olive oil and butter, 1 cup of milk, 1 lt of boiled water.
For the sauce: fresh basil, 1 dessertspoon of olive oil.
Directions: Melt the butter and add the bulgur then sauté. Add the almonds and stir for a few times. Add the water and mix with a hand mixer. Lower the heat when it becomes to a boil. Add the warm milk into the soup slowly while stirring at the same time. Turn the heat off, when it becomes bubbly. Divide the soup into bowls. Chop the basil leaves and mix with the olive oil. Top the soups with this sauce.
STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES WITH BULGUR
500 gram of fresh grape leaves, 1.5 cups of water, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp of sugar and salt.
For the stuffing: 2 cups of bulgur, 2 onions, 1 tomato, 2 stems of parsley, half bunch of dill, 1 tea glass of olive oil, 1 dessertspoon of each: currant raisins, dried mint flakes, cinnamon, 2 cups of water, salt, and pepper.
Directions: Boil the leaves. Sauté the finely sliced onions in olive oil. Add the cubed tomatoes. Add bulgur, dill, currant raisins, mint flakes, black pepper, cinnamon, and salt and keep sautéing. Add the water and stir. Simmer until bulgur observes the water.
Place one tablespoon of the stuffing on to a leaf, shiny side faces down, and roll as thick as your index finger. After placing them into a pot, add 1.5 cups of water, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Place them onto a plate. When they are cold, you can serve them decorated with lemon slices.
STUFFED BULGUR BALLS (BOILED)
For the balls: 500 grams of fine bulgur, half cup of semolina, 3 tbsp of flour, salt.
For the stuffing: 400 grams of ground veal, 3 onions, 1 tea glass of medium grated walnuts, half bunch of parsley, 1 tsp of black pepper, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 dessertspoon of red pepper flakes, 1 tbsp of tomato paste, salt.
Directions: Cook the ground veal until it lets out its own juice and then absorbs it. Add the olive oil and cubed tomatoes. Add the tomato paste, black pepper, red pepper, and salt. Then add the walnut pieces and wait for it to cool down a little.
In a separate bowl, wash and drain the bulgur. Add the flour, semolina, and salt. Knead until it forms dough that feels like paste to touch. Break a piece as big as a lemon and open and place some stuffing in the middle then shape it into a ball. Boil the balls in salted boiling water for 10 minutes. Serve topped with black pepper and parsley.
BAKED SEA BASS WITH CINNAMON
2 sea basses, bay leaves, 1 dessertspoon of cinnamon, 1 tbsp of olive oil, black pepper, and salt.
Directions: Filet the fish and then place them onto the oven tray that is layered with wax paper. Mix the olive oil, cinnamon, bay leaves, pepper, and salt and spread over the fish. Bake them in the preheated oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve hot.