My mom has juvenile onset diabetes. She contracted it at the age of four. She has battled it for sixty years and takes excellent care of herself.
As a young girl, it was scary to live in the fear of my mom passing out and leaving us to fend for ourselves. There are stories of my mom having a hypoglycemic event and my sisters and I just laying down with her and “taking a nap” until my dad got home and revived her.
We had paramedics at the house every year or so to get my mom’s sugars back up or back down. Life pretty much revolved around her diabetes- we couldn’t travel or have late nights or go to another family’s house for dinner because my mom couldn’t do any of that stuff, so we couldn’t either.
My mom took- and takes- the best care of herself that she can. She religiously monitors her sugars and is a master of glucose at this point in her life. She regularly gets questions from other patients and even doctors- how are you so healthy? She has no macular degeneration, or loss of limbs, or neuropathy, or obesity. She is an excellent example of how to care for yourself well. Yet for her, it’s still a full time job.
She has what is called brittle diabetes. Brittle diabetics have a hard time controlling the massive swings in blood sugar that can result when insulin levels in the body are out of control.
My mom and I have a back and forth conversation all of the time. She is plant-based and I am a firm proponent of animal products. Those Type 1 diabetics that want to live a plant based life should talk to the master, my mother. She takes calls, really. And she loves to share and teach.
Even though she manages herself really well, which garners her an incredible amount of respect, I still maintain that she would lose her brittle designation if she included less carbohydrate-rich foods and focused more on grounding animal fats and proteins. She is wary, and I admire that about her.
So that is my stance. And I stick to it as the clinical research is there. And my clinical experience supports it. When I work with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics, the inclusion of animal products and reduction of carbohydrates works to bring blood sugars back into normal ranges.
First, as always, let’s define terms.
Type 1 Diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. Insulin regulates blood sugar and is the hormone that allows sugar to enter the cells and be used to produce energy. Therefore, Type 1 diabetics lack the hormone to regulate blood sugar.
Type 2 Diabetes is different. In Type 2, the body usually produces sufficient insulin, but the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. Blood sugars will also wildly fluctuate with Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes has my heart because of my mom, my aunts, and my dear niece.
But this guide will be addressing Type 2 diabetes. We will revisit Type 1 at a later point.
What causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Insulin resistance is at the root of Type 2 Diabetes. Insulin is released from the pancreas every time we are about to eat. When a carbohydrate-rich meal is eaten, the body breaks down the long sugars into shorter sugars and the sugars enter the bloodstream. When sugar is detected in the bloodstream, insulin works to unlock the cell and shuttle glucose inside where it is used to make energy.
Small amounts of excess sugars can be stored in the liver and in the muscles.
When all of the sugar that can be used is used, insulin has nowhere else to put the sugar. So the pancreas gets a little confused and produces more insulin, hoping to get all of the sugar squared away to where it is supposed to go.
But there is nowhere else to go!
So insulin employs the backup plan. It begins to store the glucose inside the fat cells.
And the fat cells grow.
At the same time, you’re still eating carbohydrate-rich meals and the body is getting a steady steam of glucose. So more and more insulin is released, more and more often.
And it backs up in the body. We call this insulin resistance because plenty of insulin is being released, but the body cannot use it because there is too much sugar, too often.
This is how diabetes begins. Oftentimes, it goes unnoticed until you’ve got a secondary infection. And since microbes love to eat sugar, you will probably start getting a good amount of infections.
So, you probably see where I am going with the diet part.
You will need to get off of sugar. It just makes sense.
There is a problem, though!
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will likely hand you the Mayo-Clinic approved guidelines.
Here is what you will get:
Mayo Clinic Recommended foods (if you are skimming, know that these foods are the opposite of what you should eat!)
Focus on healthy carbohydrates, such as:
Legumes, such as beans and peas
Low-fat dairy products, such as milk and cheese
Avoid less healthy carbohydrates, such as foods or drinks with added fats, sugars and sodium.
Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Fiber moderates how your body digests and helps control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include:
Legumes, such as beans and peas
But this is precisely the diet that is keeping Type 2 diabetics fat and sick. It is the diet that has them marching toward getting fatter and sicker. If one were a conspiracy theorist, one might postulate that the fatter and sicker a diabetic gets, the more medication that diabetic will be dependent on, and Big Pharma and Big Medicine stay happy with their lucrative course of action.
Just straight glucose.
And if you are eating five or six times a day like another popular Google-approved medical site tells diabetics to do, you will be spiking your insulin five or six times a day.
And since American Diabetic guidelines warn diabetics to eat a low fat diet, there is not even any slowing down of the conversion of food to sugar. Fat slows absorption of sugar and food in general, since it is not digested until it gets to the small intestine.
You will need fat in your diet. Lots of it.
Fat is the only macronutrient that does not cause an insulin release.
And if we are trying to reverse insulin resistance, wouldn’t we want less insulin in the body, not more?
If we were antibiotic resistant, we would not keep asking for antibiotics, right? They would no longer work and could actually harm us.
Same with insulin.
Too much insulin in the bloodstream for too long means that insulin stops being as effective.
So why would you eat a diet that releases insulin 3, 4, 5, or 6 times a day?
Since insulin is also a fat storage hormone, you will also start storing fat on a diet like this.
But what if you reduced insulin in the body?
A group of smart scientists did this. And here is what they found:
“Significant insulin suppression was achieved with simultaneous improvements in insulin sensitivity, weight loss, and body mass index (BMI). Leptin, fat mass, total caloric intake, and carbohydrate craving significantly decreased”. (source)
Wait, so by reducing insulin in the body, you reduce weight, BMI, and cravings?!
Sign me up!
So let’s talk about the diet that will reduce your insulin. An insulin-free diet, if you will.
It’s not that different from what I normally recommend.
Low GI vegetables.
Berries every once and awhile.
Eat these things, 2 or three times a day, large amounts, and you will see your need for metformin, glipizide, and even insulin go down.
Will a high meat diet cause kidney issues?
Really. Nope. It’s high insulin that causes kidney disease.
Do high fat diets cause heart disease?
Nope. Actually, sugar will do that.
Do high meat diets cause inflammation?
Want to hear something really cool? Alzheimer’s disease, also known as Type 3 Diabetes, has no cure, right?
Some pretty amazing nutrition researchers are curing Alzheimer’s through a combination of time-restricted eating and low carbohydrate diets.
If Alzheimer’s is a diabetic situation, then removing the poison (sugar) that is causing the problem (beta-amyloid plaque in the brain) will allow the body’s natural desire for balance to heal the brain of these “irreversible lesions”.
God designed our bodies to function well. Of course, we suffer the effects of the Fall, but if given proper and appropriate fuel, the body will live long and well. We would have to worry about our pride and our self-righteousness and our sin nature.. but we can do it in a body that is strong and healthy instead of riddled with disease.
I could write a novel about the research that supports a high fat, low carbohydrate, sugar-free way of eating for those suffering from diabetes, but that would bore you. If you have more questions or comments or just want to chat, you can always set up your free 15 minute consultation.
If you or a loved one suffer from Type II Diabetes, I strongly encourage you to do your own research. Don’t fall for the Mayo Clinic party line.
Reduce insulin to reduce diabetes. It’s that simple. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. You can care for yourself without medication if you are prediabetic, but if you are on any medications, absolutely do not go off of them or adjust them without talking with your doctor. And if you are on metformin or glipizide or insulin and you begin practicing a low carbohydrate diet, your sugars could drop dangerously. Please do not begin a new diet without talking to your doctor.
But that’s how effective these principles are. By eating bacon and butter and green beans and ribeye, you could kiss your diabetes and your muffin top goodbye.
How cool is that?!
More to come,