How to stop Diabetes 2
It is estimated that by 2035, rates of type 2 diabetes will increase more than 80% in the Middle East. A scary fact considering more than one in five people in the UAE have been diagnosed with this very serious condition, and many more are undiagnosed or are suffering from pre-diabetes.
So what is going on?
Poor nutrition is what is going on. In some Gulf countries obesity rates are well over 50% of the population, and if we know one thing with certainty, it is that obesity and lousy eating is the main culprit behind type 2 diabetes. How can we reverse the trend? We need to focus on our diets. And for those suffering from the condition, they need to know that all is not lost. In fact, I have seen type 2 diabetes sufferers not only control their diabetes through good eating, but reverse and eliminate the disease.
The Paleo diet is a friend to your genes
Let’s start broadly. The Paleo Diet follows the eating habits of our Paleolithic ancestors, and they did not suffer from type 2 diabetes. Meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and eggs, were the main foods that made up this diet. Why do our bodies love these foods? Because they keep your blood glucose levels just perfect and your insulin response in check.
What I tell my clients is that you need to stick to natural foods. If big business has tampered with it and put it in fancy packaging and loaded it with chemicals and sugars, then best to leave it. If you look at the main food groups that make up the Paleo Diet, all of those can be bought in their natural form from the supermarket.
The Paleo Diet is also loaded with nutrient-rich foods which can help control diabetes. For example, vegetables will help boost your phytonutrient intake, as they are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components which help tackle inflammation caused by fat cells due to insulin resistance. And the recommended oils in the Paleo Diet (virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and walnut oil) will promote a healthy omega 3:omega 6 ratio which will lower inflammation throughout the body.
Finally, besides avoiding the obvious sweets, chocolates, cookies, and cakes, and grains, I need you to entirely eliminate the “liquid candy” from your diet. By this I mean all those sodas and juices, and believe me when I tell you this is one of the most dangerous types of food. That’s because in a matter of 30 or 40 seconds you are able to inject upwards of 60 grams of sugar into your body (that’s 20 sugar packets). And since we are on the topic of liquids, where alcohol is concerned, it is a good idea to minimize as much as possible.
Diabetics should also be aware of the many supplements that can help control or even reverse their condition. There are in fact a number that can help regulate the body’s insulin response. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorites below:
o Vitamin D: For people suffering from type 2 diabetes, vitamin D can help strengthen the immune system and improve metabolism.
o Magnesium: Diabetics often feel lethargic and fatigued because glucose cannot enter cells (to be used for energy) due to insulin resistance. Taking magnesium can often aid in this process.
o Alpha lipoic acid: is a potent antioxidant that is proven to decrease blood sugar and clear glucose from the blood.
o Bergamet: Bergamet helps activate a protein called kinase, which aids in getting glucose out of the blood and into the cells, thus lowering blood sugar.
Other supplements worth a mention include chromium, biotin, cinnamon, and green tea catechins. All will have a positive affect on blood glucose levels and thus the insulin response.
There is no easy fix when it comes to diabetes, but feeding your body with the same foods that made you sick in the first place is simply a no go. Prescribing medications to diabetics without addressing the nutritional aspects is not only irresponsible, but also highly dangerous. Medications alone will not cure diabetes, and poor diet will always win over pharmaceuticals in the long run.
If you are a diabetic, you have to take it upon yourself to learn about nutrition on a much deeper level. A big part of my diabetic treatment programs in fact focus on getting the client deeply involved in the learning process, because that is also how we build the foundation for the patient discipline that is required to make the right nutritional lifestyle changes and stick to them over a lifetime.
Graham Simpson, MD is Chief Medical Officer and Founder of Intelligent Health, a preventive medical centre located in Jumeirah. Dubai. He graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. As a founding member of the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA) Dr Simpson is also a licensed homeopath.