Diabetes and Pre-diabetes

Globally, an estimated 500 million adults are living with diabetes, compared to 108 million in 1980. Pre-diabetes rates are even higher, with an estimated 50% of adults displaying growing insulin resistance. Type 2 Diabetes is a dietary disease. Doctors try and reduce the symptoms with medicine, but they they should be treating the cause via diet. Diabetes is NOT a progressive disease, as it has a very simple cure. 

  • Type 1 diabetes. People who have type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin. So when a person with type 1 diabetes eats carbohydrates, there is no insulin present to stop the blood glucose levels soaring. Glucose stays in the blood without insulin allowing the cells to process it.
  • Type 2 diabetes. People who have type 2 diabetes blood have glucose  levels rising higher than normal (hyperglycemia). Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes your cells resist the insulin produced by the pancreas. This is called insulin resistance. Insulin injections are often used to try and reduce glucose levels.
  • Pre-diabetes. Many cells in your body have insulin receptors including muscle cells, fat tissue and the liver. These cells often start to fail in their response to insulin, which results in glucose levels rising. This cannot happen so the pancreas pumps out more insulin to compensate. When insulin is high for a long time, the body begins to ignore it. The cells will become resistant to insulin. This is called pre-diabetes. Being fat does not cause insulin dependency.  But being insulin resistance will make you fat. Pre-diabetes will likely progress to diabetes if the warning signs are not heeded.

If your are fat and try a calorie controlled diet, you can statistically be sure of two things: firstly you will put the weight back on and secondly, you will develop pre-diabetes at best, leading to full type 2 diabetes. If you have fat children, they could very easily develop diabetes at an early ages, something that was virtually unheard of a generation ago.

The NHS, along with many other countries health organisations, specifically recommends not skipping breakfast and eating small meals all day long. It also recommends less fat and salt with an emphasis on meals based around foods with starchy carbs (bread, pasta, rice and potato). The NHS describes diabetes as "A lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too highthey go on to say that "if you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy.....this is completely wrong. So, for diabetes:-

  • Doctors will give you the wrong advice.
  • Doctors will put you on a dangerous drug called metformin.
  • You will need to measure blood glucose for life.
  • You could eventually be given synthetic insulin.
  • Your condition will worsen (leading to weight gain, sight-loss, amputations and other metabolic diseases).
  • You will have a terrible old age.
Diabetes is not a disease

If you look back at the dietary advice given by governments over the last 50 years (low salt, low saturated fat, more cereals, frequent eating, low calorie diets, low cholesterol, less red meat, less eggs...) we would be healthier now if people had done the exact opposite!

Insulin

Your pancreas produces insulin whenever it senses an increase in glucose. Your blood can only hold around a heaped teaspoon of sugar, so when the blood sugar starts to rise the insulin triggers your cells to take in the glucose to be used as energy. Insulin also triggers the storage of glucose (as glycogen) which is stored in the liver and muscles. This acts as an "energy battery" as the glycogen can be converted back to glucose easily. When your glycogen storage is full and you are not burning off the calories via exercise, your liver will convert the glucose into fat for longer term storage. When insulin levels are high we go into fat storage mode. High insulin levels also stop the conversion of fats into energy - in other words, your fat stores are locked.

insulin

Humans evolved to eat one or two big meals per day (catching animals and eating them) so insulin was produced infrequently. We evolved without, refrigerators, supermarkets and convenience foods. In western societies we now ingest calories (food and drink) pretty much all day and night, so our pancreas is constantly pumping out insulin. This causes constant insulin spikes. Not only do most people eat all day, they also eat highly processed foods, carbs and sugars that are easily digested (they have a high Glycemic Index).

The glycemic index (or GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to how much they raise blood sugar (glucose) levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are quickly digested, absorbed and metabolised and result in fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Low GI carbohydrates cause smaller fluctuations in your blood glucose and insulin levels. Low GI foods take much longer to break down and metabolize. High GI foods are basically "easy sugars" that will immediately spike insulin production. These types of calories never give your endocrine system a rest. The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood. So it pretty much defines who you are.

Things That Lower Insulin

  • Apple cider vinegar.
  • Glycine is a non-essential amino acid, which means our body can produce it on its own. Our recommendation for a healthy dose would be 5g before your first meal (glycine blunts the blood sugar response) and 3g before bed (glycine is great for winding down to a deep sleep).
  • Fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, pickles, blue cheese, sauerkraut).
  • High potassium foods (Avocado, pomegranate, kale, cabbage, spinach, banana, sweet potato, watermelon, beets, tomato puree).
  • Vitamin B1 (Green peas, asparagus, herring, black beans, brown rice, sunflower seeds, pistachios, spinach).
  • Fibre (avocados, beans and lentils, peas, broccoli, celery, dark berries, coconut, chickpeas, quinoa).
  • Fatty foods.
  • Lowering cortisol & estrogen.
  • Sleep well.
  • Exercise.
  • Walk and move more.
  • Plenty of vegetables. Stop being sedentary and move at every opportunity.

Obesity is up and diabetes levels are through the roof across the western world.  It is the Western diet packed with sugars and simple carbs that has caused this health crisis. Governments have pushed the "calories in - calories out" model for controlling weight (or "eat less - move more")

  • All calories are not equal, because different foods are metabolised in very different ways.
  • When you eat is just as important as what you eat.
  • Some foods are better than others from a micro-nutrient point of view.
  • Some foods are better for our gut bacteria. The health of our gut microbiota is central to our weight and overall health.
  • Some foods are bad for your health (inflammatory or containing chemicals and toxins).

Coca Cola, 2013

"Beating obesity will take action by all of us, based on one simple fact that all calories count, no matter where they come from, including Coke"

American Diabetes Association

"Being overweight increases risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain."

The big food companies and many governments are saying that it's about 2 things, calorie intake and exercise. They also say that calories from a carrot are the same as calories from a coke, and that any calorie can form part of a balanced healthy diet. Consider two people eating 2500 calories a day:-

  1. Diet 1: Low fibre, processed foods and drinks plus snacks. Eaten throughout the day and night (with a wide eating window).
  2. Diet 2: Natural foods with a high concentration of micro-nutrients and no added sugars. Eaten in a tighter eating window.

The same calories but with very different results. The typical person eating processed foods and snacks all day (grazing) will be spiking insulin throughout the day, so the body never have a rest. There will also be no 'fat burning' as the glycogen stores are never depleted. Insulin resistance will increase which could become type 2 diabetes. Diabetes should really be called the "processed food disease". When you eat and what you eat matter more than simply calories counting. Counting calories does not work. You wouldn't say to a person who is suffering from hay fever "just breath less".

According to the American Diabetes Association, an average person will need  40-60 grams of carbohydrates each day. Your body actually needs zero carbohydrates. You may have heard of essential fatty acids or essential amino acids, but there is no such thing as essential carbohydrates. Carbohydrate is not needed by the body because it converts fats and proteins into glucose to meet it's energy needs. Your body can also produce ketones when in a fasted state or on a very low carb diet. Ketones are made in the liver and are a great energy source.

Sugar in carbohydrates stimulates hunger, especially the fructose element. So you’ll have the tendency to eat more and still crave more. When you spike your carbohydrate intake, you also spike your insulin intake. It can then crash down low, because your insulin has pushed all that sugar out. You’ll end up on a glucose roller coaster. In the last 50 years, fat was eliminated in the average diet  because of the misconception that it causes obesity and diabetes. So fats were replaced with carbohydrates (mainly processed sugars). But this only worsened the situation as obesity and diabetes have rocketted.

Increase fat intake

If you have diabetes or a pre-diabetic conditions and want to solve your problem with your insulin, you should increase your fat intake. Eating a high-fat diet actually lowers you blood sugar level. Fats also suppress your hunger and give you the fuel you need. Combine fats with vegetables and other nutritious natural foods.

Proper eating

While there is no total cure for diabetes (it will come back if you revert to processed foods), you can still correct and maintain a good sugar level. Start by trying to drastically reduce your carb intake. You can eliminate diabetes if you cut sugar out. Make good judgments on what to eat. So eat more of your meat, fish, eggs, dairy and other natural fats like butter. If you are a vegetarian, eat more vegetables. Avoid sugar and starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes.

Can Diabetes be reversed?

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