Type II diabetes is not caused by sugar or carbs. It is caused by a disruption in how the body processes them.
Type II diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in affluent countries. In fact, it has been coined one of the diseases of affluence. Neal Barnard, MD is forging the way with a unique approach to this insidious disease.
With the current approach, doctors ask patients to control their sugar and carbs so that they can get their medication regulated, medication that will not cure the condition, only hope to slow the disease's inevitable damage.
Type II diabetes is caused by excess intramyocellular lipids, another name for excess fat within the walls of each of your cells. You can appear very thin and still retain excess fat in these cells. Excess intramyocellular lipids paralyze insulin's ability to function according to Dr. Barnard.
Here is what happens. When we eat, our food is digested. Starches are broken down into simple sugars, including glucose, the body's preferred primary source of fuel. The glucose enters the small intestine where it permeates the gut barrier and enters the bloodstream. There it is delivered to all of the cells of our body where it provides the energy to fuel our cell furnaces, our mitochondria. Insulin acts as the key that opens the lock to our cell's doors. Excess fat in our diet can end up within our cells and "gum up" the lock. There is nothing wrong with our insulin "key". It is the lock that is not functioning properly. This is referred to as insulin resistance. Insulin is unable to move our glucose into our cells where it belongs so it builds up in our bloodstream and eventually spills into our urine. The excess fat in our diet can also disable the genes that determine the number of mitochondria that exist within our cells.
A low-fat, plant-based lifestyle will not only not contribute to additional cellular fat, it will encourage what lipids currently reside within our cells to dissipate, enabling our cellular locks to clean themselves out and renew insulin's ability to usher glucose into our cells and into the mitochondria where it is burned as fuel for energy. The genes that determine the number of mitochondria within our cells also begin to operate properly again.
It is worth mentioning that when I refer to starch, I am referring to the minimally processed, nutrient dense grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, corn, sweet potatoes, pasta, and whole grain breads and cereals. These foods have not been stripped of their nutrients as refined carbohydrates have. These foods, along with legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), vegetables, and fruits all tend to have a low glycemic index, which means they digest and enter your bloodstream slowly and steadily and don't cause a rapid spike and later crash of your blood sugar. There are a few exceptions: watermelon, pineapple, whole wheat bread, baking potatoes, and most cold cereals.
You will also want to minimize added oils, even if they are vegetable in origin. Oils are 100% pure fat and you do not want to further contribute to the fat within your cells.
If you are a type II diabetic, and especially if you are taking insulin, it is imperative that you notify your doctor before test driving this lifestyle as your insulin can regain its sensitivity within as little as a week and your current medication regimen may end up needing to be decreased or eliminated entirely. Do not make any changes to your medication or stop taking it entirely without the direction of your doctor.
So once you have spoken to your doctor, give this a try for just three weeks. Anyone can do something for a mere 21 days. Give it your all so that you can see just how good you can feel and how positively your health will respond. The guidelines are simple to remember. Set aside all animal products, minimize oils, and choose foods with a low glycemic index. Enjoy a variety of minimally processed whole grains, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), vegetables, and fruits. Then after three weeks, you can make the decision to try it for another three weeks. It's that simple. Contact me if you would like assistance.
I am a Plant-Based Nutrition Counselor, a graduate of Cornell University's plant-based nutrition program, the only collegiate program in the country which focuses on the medical benefits of a low-fat, plant-based lifestyle, and am board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. I help people to achieve their wellness goals by providing them with the tools that they need to gain control over their health. I hope you enjoy my blogs. If you would prefer individualized assistance with your weight, with a chronic, degenerative disease, with other health and wellness aspirations, or if you would like me to speak to a group, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 724.469.0693 to arrange a time.