Diabetes and Insulin; the New Baseball and Apple Pie of America

Image of a shot of insulin going into a piece of apple pie, there is a baseball propping the needle up.

With the current epidemic of 40% of adults living in the US having diabetes or pre-diabetes, diabetes and insulin have become household words; almost as common and all-American as baseball and apple pie.

Obesity.  Diabetes.  Metabolic Syndrome.  Insulin resistance.  Blaah.  Blaah.  Blaah.  Yawn.

Ten percent of those with diabetes have type I or juvenile diabetes.  It’s an auto-immune disease where the body attacks and destroys its own islet cells that produce insulin.  Most often it appears in childhood and the child is totally dependent upon insulin 24/7 for the rest of his or her life.

The remaining ninety percent have type II or adult onset diabetes.  (Some call it insulin resistant diabetes.)  The pancreas makes insulin, but due to layers of excess fat surrounding the cells, they become insulin resistant, thus resulting in high blood sugar.

Diabetes, whether it is type I or type II, is a nasty disease that eventually produces life threatening complications such as heart disease, heart failure, blindness, kidney disease, circulatory problems and amputations; not to mention daily micromanagement of blood sugars, and astronomical costs of diabetic supplies, insulin, doctor and hospital bills, and high insurance premiums as a result of the disease.  On top of all that, with the best of care and self-management, one can still feel miserable when blood sugars fluctuate. 

The type I diabetics can utilize less insulin, stop hypoglycemic events and protect their future health with a nutritarian diet.  However, almost everyone with type II diabetes can get completely rid of it through embracing Dr. Fuhrman’s diet-style.  Dr. Fuhrman’s results in this arena are remarkable.  Imagine if the majority of type II diabetics took the challenge to get totally well.  That translates into almost 90% of those with diabetes; resulting in nearly 40% of the adult US population completely free from a life of diabetes and diabetes related complications!

Ask any kid who lives day-in-and-day-out with type I diabetes if he or she would consider committing to the nutritarian way of eating in exchange for the privilege of getting completely rid of diabetes for the rest of his/her life.  Hands down every child and teen would gladly embrace the opportunity.

As a nation, let’s all get healthy and eradicate type II diabetes from our vocabulary.  May diabetes no longer be an all-American, household word for generations to come!

Drugs for diabetes can perpetuate type II diabetes, and often cause more weight gain and worse disease outcomes.  Let’s get real and expose this nasty disease called diabetes.  Do you know someone suffering from it?  Without revealing the person’s identity, how has it affected his or her life?  If they knew for sure they could get rid of it, with excellent nutrition and daily exercise, would they?

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Healthy Eating for Diabetics

As the number of people with type-two (adult onset) diabetes continues to soar, it is openly recognized that the growing waistline of the modern world is the main cause of this epidemic; however, most physicians, dieticians, and even the American Diabetes Association have virtually given up on weight reduction as the primary treatment for diabetics. Consider this statement from a medical advisory committee: “It is nearly impossible to take very obese people and get them to lose significant weight. So rather than specifying an amount of weight loss, we are targeting getting metabolic control.” This is doublespeak for—our recommended diets don’t work, so we just give medications and watch patients gradually deteriorate as the diabetes advances. Today, medications are the mainstay of treatment and, unfortunately, most of these medications cause weight gain, worsening the syndrome and making the individual more diabetic. Additionally, the narrow focus on blood-sugar reduction and reliance on medications gives patients a false sense of security because they mistakenly think their somewhat better controlled glucose levels are an indication of restored or improved health. They continue to gain weight following the same dietary habits that originally caused the problem.

It is well accepted that if it were possible for people to stick with weight reduction and high nutrient eating, that route would be the most successful. Patients with diabetes who successfully lose weight from undergoing gastric bypass surgery typically see their diabetes melt away.1 Dietary programs that have been successful at effecting weight loss have been dramatically effective for diabetics too, enabling patients to discontinue medications.2 Preventing and reversing diabetes is not all about weight loss. The nutritional features of Eat for Health have profound effects on improving pancreatic function and lowering insulin resistance over and above what could be accomplished with weight loss alone. The increased fiber, micronutrients, and stool bulk, plus the cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory effects of this eating-style, have dramatic effects on type-II diabetes. Scores of my patients have been able to restore their glucose levels to the normal range without any further need for medications. They have become non-diabetic. Even my thin, type-I, insulin-dependent diabetic patients are typically able to reduce their insulin requirements by almost half and have better glucose control using this high-nutrient eating-style.

Diets high in fiber and vegetables have been consistently shown to be beneficial for diabetic patients and offer considerably better results when compared to the current recommendations of the American Diabetic Association Diet.3 The dietary advice typically offered to diabetics is not science-based, and it caters to Americans’ social and food preferences and food addictions. In contrast, the qualities of an eating-style that maximizes benefits for weight reduction, cardio protection, and diabetes reversal are described in Eat for Health.

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