From advanced to emerging economies, Diabetes is spreading worldwide to epidemic proportions. The WHO predicts by 2030 Diabetes will become the seventh leading cause of death globally.
I am sure if you are like me, a passionate fitness professional, you want to scream and tell people to WAKE UP! This disease CAN be prevented and CAN be reversed (type 2 anyway).
Type 2 Diabetes is a dietary and lifestyle disease – inactive and obese people are at highest risk
Why do we get type 2 diabetes? When we eat sugar or carbohydrates our digestive system converts these larger molecules into glucose, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream and taken to every cell of the body. Blood sugar fuels the cells keeping them healthy. For healthy function it is critical to maintain stable blood sugar levels. In response to frequent high blood sugar (through excessive carbohydrate consumption), the body produces excessive insulin, which leads to insulin resistance and eventually prediabetes and diabetes.
So have we come full circle? Do dietary therapies hold the most promise of success? As an advocate for finding natural solutions and a firm believer our bodies are capable of self-healing, I would answer YES.
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Many studies support the notion that the two methods of eliminating toxic glucose overload out of the body is to first stop putting glucose into the body, which can be done by consuming a very low carbohydrate diet or ‘Ketogenic’ diet. Additionally, the body needs to burn off the excess glucose so fasting is the obvious solution. During fasting no new glucose is coming in, so the body has no choice but to use up the stored glucose.
Following a diet rich in phytonutrient dense vegetables, healthy fats and clean protein sources is paramount. Healthy fats include coconut products, avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds and purified omega-3 fish oil supplements. Healthy protein includes wild caught fish, grass fed meat and free-range chicken, turkey and eggs.
High intensity interval training is ideal as this form of exercise utilizes stored sugar in the liver and muscles during the exercise session. In response, the cells of the muscle and liver take on an insulin-like effect and have an increased affinity for glucose to fill their storage tanks.
Knowledge can save you
Numerous people of all ages are undiagnosed and unaware that they have diabetes or are pre-diabetic. The following test determines if you are one of those.
Healthy HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1c) levels are considered as under 5.7 although most functional medicine doctors like to see them below 5.4. Levels above 6.5 are clinically diagnosed as diabetes mellitus. From 5.7-6.5 it is considered pre-diabetic. If you or someone you know are diabetic and ready to take a nutritional approach, it is imperative if on medication, to speak to your physician before embarking on either a fasting or low carbohydrate diet as most diabetic medications work to lower blood sugar based on your current diet so if you change your diet, you need to change your medication too.