Diabetes is a disease in which the body fails to properly use insulin.
Insulin is a protein hormone secreted by the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. It helps the body use carbohydrates, which are the starches and sugars found in the food we eat.
Types of Diabetes:
Type 1: A chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
Type 2: A chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose).
Gestational Diabetes: A form of high blood sugar affecting pregnant women.
Symptoms of Diabetes:
In type-2 diabetes the pancreas is synthesizing normal and sometimes excess amounts of insulin. However, in this case the problem is not with the pancreas; the problem is that the cells throughout the body have become resistant to the actions of insulin. This peripheral resistance results in less sugar entering the cells and more remaining in the blood. The development of insulin resistance is a normal adaptive mechanism the body uses to ward off extreme fat accumulation when faced with the rich Western diet. See more at Dr. McDougall on this article on Simple Care for Diabetes and two videos on McDougall Moments: Diabetes and How to Prevent and Treat Diabetes, Part 1.
Insulin resistance syndrome (aka metabolic syndrome or syndrome X):
Insulin resistance can be corrected with:
The more effort you put into making necessary lifestyle changes, the greater the results will be.
Here are great videos of Dr. Neil Barnard on Neil Barnard program for Reversing Diabetes and Reverse Diabetes Part One and Tackling diabetes with a bold new dietary approach.
Write out a weekly menu and shop for ingredients.
Definition Saturated Fat:
A fat that contains only saturated fatty acids, is solid at room temperature, and comes chiefly from animal food products and tropical oils. Saturated fats are abundant in meats, dairy products, chicken, eggs, coconut oil, and palm oil, tending to raise cholesterol levels in the blood and one of the chief causes of insulin resistance.
Look on page 19 of the pamphlet from the American Diabetes Association What can I eat? available by calling 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383). It says that saturated and trans fats increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Which are the worst offenders? Click here.
USDA 2015-20120 Dietary Guidelines state that less than 10 percent of calories per day should come from saturated fats.
The World Health Organization states that no more than 7% of total daily calorie intake for people with type 2 diabetes should come from saturated fats.
The American Hearth Association states that no more than 7% of total daily calorie intake should come from saturated fats.
The McDougall Program recommends no more than 5% of total daily calorie intake come from saturated fats.
What does that translate to? Click here.
Through the process of hydrogenation (adding hydrogen under pressure) and the addition of flavorings, vegetable oils are made to look and taste like hard animal fats. Margarine was designed to replace butter and shortening to replace lard. The process of hydrogenation changes the configuration of some of the nutritious unsaturated fats in the oil to a damaging form called “trans fatty acids.” Trans fatty acids act far more like saturated fats than unsaturated fats. In The Nurses’ Health Study trans fatty acids were strongly associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, while polyunsaturated fats were associated with a reduced risk. Where are they found? Microwave popcorn, French fries, cookies, donuts, shortening, cake, margarine, crackers, potato chips, granola bars, all deep-fried foods, and in small amounts naturally occuring in meat and dairy products according to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine.
When we have excess fat in our cells insulin does not work as well. As little as five pounds of excess fat on our frame can interfere with insulin’s ability to carry glucose into the cells. Free fatty acids released from the fat cells is one of the mechanisms promoting insulin resistance in liver and muscle in a phenomenon called lipotoxicity.
With type 2 diabetes, insulin production isn’t the problem. The key (insulin) is there to open up the cells to store glucose in the cells. Something gums up the lock. Intramyocellular lipid, fat inside our muscle cells prevent insulin from letting glucose into the cells. Fat in our bloodstream, either from our own fat stores or from our diet, can build up inside our muscle cells, where it can create toxic breakdown products and free radicals that block the insulin-signaling process. No matter how much insulin you produce, your fat-compromised muscle cells can’t effectively use it.
Avoid refined carbohydrates. Eat healthy carbs.
Food Demo: Oat and Apple Cookies
Class 3 Curriculum (coming soon)
Limit sodium and alcohol. Increase exercise.
Food Demo: Sweet Potato Salad
Class 4 Curriculum (coming soon)
“It takes time to make new habits, but your patience and persistence will pay off in the long run.”
American Diabetes Association Learning How to Change Habits pg 19 in Choose to Live pamphlet
In their book Defeating Diabetes Brenda Davis, RD and Tom Barnard, MD white that “While getting rid of unhealthy foods is an extremely important first step, it is only half the battle. Fortunately, the other half is much more pleasant- adding a wide variety of delightfully delicious and nutritious foods. Begin by building a solid foundation of whole plant foods- foods that shift the balance away from harmful components that promote disease toward those constituents that will nourish and protect you.” page 55
“Phytochemicals are natural substances that regulate growth, defend against attacks by insects or fungi, and provide flavor, color texture, and odor to plants. When we eat [whole] plants, these powerful little protectors go to work on our behalf and their potential for human health is simply remarkable.” Davis page 55
Informative websites and videos:
The End of Diabetes and Super Immunity by Joe Fuhrman, M.D.
Lifestyle Changes for Heart Attack Prevention on the American Heart Association website
Why should we eat plant proteins?
According to Brenda Davis, RD and Tom Barnard, MD in their book Defeating Diabetes “Several studies suggest that vegetable proteins may be less toxic than animal protein and more protective of kidney function. In addition to concerns about kidney function, excessive protein increases calcium losses in the urine, potentially contributing to osteoporosis. Animal protein also raises blood cholesterol levels about 5 percent, while plant protein lowers it about 5 percent. Foods rich in animal protein come packaged with saturated fat and cholesterol- two dietary constituents associated with elevated blood cholesterol levels and heart disease.”
Where do I find plant protein?
How much protein do we need?It is recommended that about 10-15% of calories come from protein. On a 2,000 calorie diet that would translate to 200-300 calories from protein, which would be 50-75 grams of protein. (1,600 calories = 40-60 grams of protein)Video: Simply Raw
A person’s waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), also called waist-to-stature ratio (WSR), is defined as their waist circumference divided by their height, both measured in the same units. The WHtR is a measure of the distribution of body fat. Higher values of WHtR indicate higher risk of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases; it is correlated with abdominal obesity.
Foods That Make You Thin by Jeff Novick
How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind with Doug Lisle
Healthy Approaches to Weight Control, Reversing Diabetes, and the Best of Health by Dr. Neil Barnard
On page 107 of his book How Not To Die Dr. Michael Greger has a figure about the prevalence of diabetes among non vegetarian, semi vegetarian, pescovegetarian, vegetarian, and vegan. As diets become increasingly plant based, there appears to be a stepwise dropin diabetes rates. Please see Table 1 on page 2 of the full report of Vegetarian diets: what do we know of their effects on common chronic diseases in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (You can also see the drop in BMI and Hypertension the more the diet is plant based)
Following the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) helps reduce people’s A1C, an index of long-term blood glucose control, by 0.4 points. However, eating a plant based diet can lower hemoglobin A1C by 1.2 points, three times the change in the ADA group.
A 2006 study, conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine with the George Washington University and the University of Toronto, looked at the health benefits of a low-fat, unrefined, vegan diet (excluding all animal products) in people with type 2 diabetes. Portions of vegetables, grains, fruits, and legumes were unlimited. The vegan diet group was compared with a group following a diet based on American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines. The results of this 22-week study were astounding:
This study illustrates that a plant-based diet can dramatically improve the health of people with diabetes. It also showed that people found this way of eating highly acceptable and easy to follow.
For more details read about Diet and Diabetes: Recipes for Success