Diabetes: What You Need to Know To Take Control of Your Health By Nancy Addison CHC, AADP, CSN
Diabetes has increased by more than 700 percent in the last 50 years. About one in four people in the US have been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Juvenile diabetes numbers have been rising at a very rapid rate, especially for white youths ages 10–14, whose rates have risen 24 percent in the past few decades. More alarming is the 200 percent increase in diabetes among black children. Even worse, recent studies predict these numbers will double by 2020 for all youth.[i]
As I’ve researched health and nutrition over the past 28 years, I’ve seen this increase directly correlate with a number of trends:
The increasing addition to our food of harmful substances such as high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, food dyes, monosodium glutamate (MSG, which is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, fast or processed foods, canned vegetables, soups, and processed meats), and other chemicals.
Low exposure and absorption of Vitamin D in our society.
The decrease in exercise and fresh air as people become more sedentary, watching more television, or working at computers.
The growth in the genetically modified food industry, which results in food being deficient in nutrients that are necessary for health and well-being.
The increased number and variety of unhealthy GMO crops (example: corn, soy, and wheat) that have cancer-causing poisons built into them and/or applied to them when they are in the field. This is aided by government tax incentives that support industries growing GMO (genetically modified) and hybridized foods and government policies encouraging cheap prices for food that can harm health.
Food is our medicine. But food and our environment have become toxic and unhealthy, and our increasingly sedentary lifestyles are not helping.
However, research has shown type 2 diabetes is preventable and virtually 100 percent reversible, simply by implementing dietary and lifestyle changes which are easy and inexpensive. In this book, I discuss how to eat higher quality foods that will contribute to your overall health. I’ll go into detail on nutrients, preparation, recipes, and lifestyle suggestions you can use to move yourself into a healthier, happier life.
Warning signs that you may be diabetic.
Frequent infections of the skin and/or urinary tract
Numbness or tingling in hands and/or feet
Hunger, even after eating
Slow wound healing
A diabetic can no longer produce sufficient insulin to process glucose (sugar) in the blood. To lower glucose levels, diabetics need to increase insulin, either by taking medication that increases their own insulin production, or by injecting insulin directly. (A diabetic can be on four or five medications to control blood glucose.) But these treatments do nothing to address the root cause of the problem.
Diabetes medications also have serious side effects. For example, Avandia was used in a two-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study linked Avandia to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack, along with a 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death as compared to patients being treated with other methods.[ii]
Even with those devastating results, the FDA voted to allow it to remain on the market. In the words of wise medical researcher Dr. Bruce Lipton, “There is no such thing as side effects. They are direct effects.” I recommend being thoughtful about what you put in your body.
Cutting down on these foods will keep blood glucose low. Replacing those unhealthy carbohydrates with healthier varieties of plant-based protein, fats, and carbohydrates—the most naturally satisfying of foods—often eliminates hunger. People can lose weight without starving themselves, or even counting calories.
When you want to reverse disease, one of the most important dietary changes you can make is the elimination of sugar (especially fructose) and refined grains from your diet. This means eliminating processed, fast, nutrient-empty, chemically grown, chemically enhanced drinks and foods from your diet.
Diabetes is a disorder of insulin and leptin signaling, a disorder which can be caused by processed sugar and chemicals in processed food. Leptin is a hormone produced in your fat cells. Leptin’s primary functions include regulating your appetite and body weight. It tells your brain when to eat, how much to eat, and when to stop eating, which is why it’s called the “satiety hormone.”
Many of the chemicals and processed, refined sugars in so many of the fast and processed foods and drinks on the market today interfere with this hormone and prevent it from signaling. Therefore, eliminating those chemicals and processed sugars will help your body heal and begin to function in a healthier way.
Jeffrey M. Friedman and Douglas Coleman were two researchers who discovered the leptin hormone in 1994.[iii] In the research, Friedman found that obese people have very high levels of leptin in their blood. He decided to look into that. He found that “obesity can cause a resistance to leptin—in other words, the signaling pathway for leptin becomes skewed in obese people, causing the body to over-produce leptin just as it does glucose when you are insulin-resistant.”[iv]
Friedman and Coleman also discovered that leptin is responsible for the accuracy of insulin signaling and for your insulin resistance. Elevated insulin levels are not only symptoms of diabetes, but also heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and obesity.
Thus, the primary role of insulin is NOT to lower your blood sugar, but to store the extra energy for future consumption (as glycogen, a starch). Insulin’s ability to lower your blood sugar is merely a “side effect” of this energy storage process. Ultimately, this means diabetes is both a disease of insulin and of a malfunction in leptin signaling.
That’s why “treating” diabetes by merely concentrating on lowering blood sugar can be a dangerous approach. It does not address the actual issue of metabolic miscommunication that’s going on in every cell of your body when your leptin and insulin levels are disrupted and stop working together the way they should.”[v]
What this research has shown is that your diet and weight can have an incredible effect on your health and be more effective than any known drug.
So, what are the first steps to take? Dr. Richard Johnson, head of Nephrology at the University of Colorado wrote The Fat Switch about diet and weight loss. His research found that consuming fructose activates a powerful biological response that causes weight gain. It also causes the brain to not think it is satisfied or “full” after eating or drinking it, which leads to overeating. High rates of obesity and diabetes correlate with the overwhelming amount of fructose in processed foods and drinks today.
While glucose is designed to be used by your body for energy, high-fructose sugar breaks down into a variety of toxins that can destroy a person’s health. Dr. Johnson’s research found that consumption of high-fructose sugar:
Elevates uric acid, which can cause inflammation, hypertension, kidney disease, and fatty liver.
Leads to insulin resistance, a factor in type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and many cancers
Tricks your body into gaining weight. Fructose doesn’t appropriately stimulate insulin, which, as a result, fails to suppress ghrelin (“hunger hormone”) and to stimulate leptin (“satiety hormone”).
Rapidly leads to metabolic syndrome, with weight gain as the result. It can also decrease HDL, increase LDL, elevate triglycerides, elevate blood sugar, and cause high blood pressure.
Metabolizes like ethanol, causing toxic effects like non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD).[vi]
In Dr. Johnson’s 10-week study, 16 volunteers went on a controlled diet which included high levels of fructose. They produced new fat cells around their hearts, livers, and digestive organs. They also showed signs of abnormalities linked to diabetes and heart disease.
Many people purchase inexpensive processed foods full of fructose, and they think they are getting more food for their money. Why are these processed foods so cheap, and healthy, organically grown food so expensive? Because most of the fructose is made from crops (mainly corn) that are heavily subsidized by the federal government. These subsidies make fructose a less expensive ingredient for processed food manufacturers.
According to one study, drinking just ONE soda or other sweetened drink per day—including sweetened, bottled water with vitamins in it—can raise your risk of developing diabetes by 25 percent, compared to drinking just one sugary drink per month.[vii]
When you decide to take these steps, you will be on the road to radiant health! Everyone deserves to be radiantly healthy. When you give the body the right tools, it can do miraculous things.
So, let’s get started!
The book, "Diabetes And Your Diet" gives you the power to make healthy choices. This comprehensive guidebook will help you to create long-term, sustainable, and life-enhancing strategies for preventing or reversing diabetes through nutrition and lifestyle.
Nancy's book motivates, and teaches easy-to-implement suggestions, as well as offers incredible insight into health and wellness for diabetics of all ages. Her book has over 65 diabetic-friendly recipes included! Healthy foods combined with positive lifestyle tips equals a healthy life!
“Nancy Addison’s book is a comprehensive guidebook to create long-term, sustainable, and life-enhancing strategies through nutrition. In this book, Diabetes And Your Diet, she inspires, motivates and teaches easy-to-implement suggestions as well as offers incredible insight into reversing diabetes and restoring health and wellness.”
– Gary L. Massad, M.D. FACOM, FAASM, FAC, LM. Past attending physician to the 1984 and 1996 Olympic Games, attending physician to United States Cycling Federation, USTAA, and USMAA
Healthy Eating Can Be Delicious!
[i] Lipman, T.H., et al. (June, 2013). “Increasing Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes in Youth.” Diabetes Care.
[ii] Nissan S.E., et. al. (June, 2007). “Effect of Rosiglitazone on the Risk of Myocardial Infarction and Death from Cardiovascular Causes.” New England Journal of Medicine.
[iii] JCI (October 1, 2010). J Clin Invest, 120(10): 3413–3418. DOI: 10.1172/JCI45094
[vi] Mercola, Joseph. “The Deliberate Lies They Tell About Diabetes”. Dr. Mercola’s Newsletter. http://www.mercola.com/diabetes.aspx?i_cid=cse-tbd-diabetes-content
[vii] Malik, V.S., et. al. (November, 2010). “Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis.” Diabetes Care, 33(11): 2477-83. DOI: 10.2337/dc10-1079
[viii] Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (May 17, 2010). “Eating processed meats, but not unprocessed red meats, may raise risk of heart disease and diabetes”. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/processed-meats-unproce...
Micha, Renata, et. al. (June 1, 2010). “Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Risk of Incident Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Circulation, 121(21). http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.924977 Published: June 1, 2010.
By Nancy Addison CHC, AADP, CSN
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