Lifestyle Changes to Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that causes the liver to produce excess glucose (blood sugar). The high levels of glucose that the liver produces in people with diabetes is mistakenly believed to be coming from eating too much carbohydrates and sugars. The standard diabetes education information that advises patients to limit carbohydrates and increase protein, which means high fat foods such as meat, eggs and cheese, is based on a misunderstanding of what causes high blood glucose levels.
Glucose is the main energy source for the cells in our body but in order to get into the cells glucose needs the hormone Insulin which acts like a key. The brain and eyes are the only exceptions, t for fuel the brain can only use glucose and needs a constant steady supply. When there is not enough glucose from the food we eat, the liver converts fat and protein to glucose to ensure that the brain gets fuel. When there is enough glucose, insulin shuts off glucose
production in the liver, but if there is excess fat and protein this stimulates the hormone Glucagon which opposes insulin and turns glucose production in the liver back on. This is a simplified version of complex metabolic processes, but diabetes is NOT caused by eating carbohydrates and sugar, it is a caused by eating excess protein and fat which causes the liver to make excess glucose.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with obesity but there are obese people without diabetes and normal weight people with diabetes. Some people have a genetic predisposition to store fat inside of their muscle and liver cells. When these cells have excess fat stores they stop responding to insulin and become “insulin-resistant.” Resistant liver cells cannot shut off glucose production. Abdominal obesity, regardless of total body weight, is an indicator of this predisposition. If you are prone to abdominal obesity, then you are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes Healthy weight lost would be most beneficial to you. Despite what you may have heard about diet and diabetes there is no scientific evidence that high protein diets prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes and there is a growing body of scientific evidence which makes it clear that eating excess animal protein and fat makes diabetes worse.
A 2010 study published in the Diabetes Care the journal of the American Diabetes Association, participants
who ate a low-fat, high fiber, plant-based diet were more likely to lose weight, improve insulin
function and be taken off medications because of improved glucose control than participants on
the standard ADA diet. http://care.diabetesjournals.orge/content/29/8/1777.full
In a recent study participants who ate the most animal protein over a 10 year period were twice as likely to get type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate the least. Those who ate plant proteins in this study did not have an increased
A review of 12 studies on diet and diabetes found that people who ate any kind of meat increased their risk of type 2 diabetes by 17%, eating red meat increased the risk by 21%, and processed meats increased the risk by 41%. http://www.springerlink.com/content/v1h7374736t010t0/fulltext.pdf?page=1.
1. Eat high fiber, low fat, whole unprocessed plant-based foods which scientific evidence
shows are more effective in preventing and treating Type 2 Diabetes than animal-based foods.
- EAT any and as many fruits as you want. Fructose in fruit is attached to fiber, vitamins and other essential nutrients that you need for good metabolic health.
- AVOID foods and drinks sweetened with refined sugars like cakes, cookies, sodas and juice drinks. Refined sugars (sucrose and fructose) in white table sugar and high fructose corn syrup increase fat accumulation inside the cells and insulin resistance.
- EAT any and all vegetables. High fiber, leafy greens are best; raw or steamed is the best way to prepare them. Avoid deep and batter fried vegetables.
- EAT grains and legumes prepared without fat and animal products.
- EAT small quantities of natural fats from nuts, seeds and fatty fruit such as avocados to get essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
- AVOID all oils, butters or margarine, learn new delicious recipes and cooking techniques that don’t require fat, be adventurous. You will be slimmer, happier and healthier for it.
2. Be as active as possible. Try to incorporate activity into your daily life, climb stairs instead
of taking the elevator and walk as much as possible, at least 30 minutes every day. Activity
increases insulin sensitivity and your sense of well being.
3. Learn to relax. Stress hormones increase fat deposits in the abdomen which can lead to
insulin resistance. Start by restructuring you life to get enough sleep. Learn meditation or find
stress reducers and relaxation techniques that work for you. The stress hormone Cortisol blocks the action of Insulin and keeps blood sugar high.
Humans are not the only animals that have a stress response. When an animal is about to be slaughtered it feels fear and stress. Cortisol surges just before death and stays in the flesh that you eat because cell death occurs in 4-5 minutes and cortisol metabolism takes about 4 hours. Cortisol is absorbed by diffusion and after every meal of animal products there is a spike in cortisol. http://www.endocrine-abstracts.org/ea/0020/ea0020p3. This does not cause diabetes but if you have diabetes and you are under stress this and makes it worse.
You have heard the saying “insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting
a different outcome”; if you want a different outcome, you have to change the input. Type 2
diabetes is caused by lifestyle habits. If you want to prevent or reverse it you have to make
lifestyle changes. You have the information; it is all up to you now!