Are you suffering from Type 2 Diabetes? How would you react if you came to know that diabetes has been categorized as “epidemic” and “progressive” by the American Diabetes Association? Even if you don’t have diabetes, do you know that by 2050, 1 in 3 American adults WILL have Type 2 Diabetes (Center for Disease Control)!
According to the latest studies, we have collected some frightening facts and statistics for this disease that will bound to make you think thrice before you think about those cheesy dips and beef burgers!
- The CDC reports 70,000 annual deaths in the US due to diabetes!
- Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death
- 2 out of 3 patients with diabetes will die of heart stroke or cardiovascular disease.
- Out of every $5 spent on healthcare, $1 is spent on diabetic patients.
- $174 billion dollars are spent annually on diagnosed diabetes.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney and liver failures today.
- 57 million citizens of America are pre-diabetic.
Scared? We haven’t even started to list the major side effects of diabetes yet! Blood pressure, kidney problems, neuropathy, Alzheimer’s disease are the side effects that tops the list but the risk of amputation is what gives diabetic patients nightmares!
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs due to elevated blood sugar levels. Normally in a healthy body, the pancreas releases a hormone called Insulin that helps the body store and use the sugar and fats from the food we intake.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces little or no Insulin or when the body undergoes insulin resistance. Till date, there is no cure for the disease but changes in the lifestyle and medication is a temporary way of tackling the disease.
Types of Diabetes
There are two major types of Diabetes, Type 1 is an autoimmune disease whereas type 2 is more related to metabolic, hormonal disorders and lifestyle.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetic Triangle – In this article, we will be discussing the Type 2 diabetes as it is considered to be reversible if you take proper medication and change your eating habits.
Let us start from the very beginning. The food that we eat is processed and metabolized by the body. Food is broken down by various bio chemical reactions into glucose(sugar), amino acids and fatty acids which are absorbed by the cells to provide energy for its respective tasks and functions. Carbohydrates are the main energy giving foods while fats and proteins are utilized for muscle, tissue generation and other important tasks.
Carbohydrates provide instant energy as they are broken down into glucose which is the simplest form of sugar and can easily be absorbed by the cells but when more is consumed excess glucose floats in the bloodstream which shoots the blood sugar levels.
The pancreas in response to this produces Insulin, which converts excess sugar into glycogen which is stored in the adipose of tissue of the liver and muscles. It is only in the presence of insulin will the cell get the signal to store more glucose.
When a person continuously takes high carb meals, the sugar level goes up after a meal, since the cells are already full of glucose, they do not absorb any more. The body perceives that the cells did not get the message and releases more insulin. Again the cells resist more glucose and in response to it, more insulin is produced. Just like excess glucose, excess insulin is also toxic!
Type 2 Diabetic patients, small or no amount of insulin is produced by the pancreas. Which means that when the patient takes up a high –carb or a sugary meal, there is no or very less insulin available to convert excess glucose into glycogen hence blood sugar levels remain high. The doctors prescribe medication to tackle the situation.
The drug will take the excess glucose and transport it to the liver. When the liver is full the excess glucose will be transported to other organs like kidneys, heart, and eyes. After this, it will only lead towards fat storage and the patient will start gaining weight which is again a very risky health issue especially for a diabetic patient.
Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
In order to naturally reverse diabetes one has to avoid all those foods that result in high insulin production. Almost all kinds of carbohydrates increase your blood insulin levels. Proteins also raise your blood insulin levels but not as much as carbohydrates do.
Fats is one of the most important food group that does not escalate your blood insulin levels surprisingly! But by fats, we mean healthy saturated fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, extra virgin olive oils, flax seeds and cold water fish.
What should I eat? 5 Recommendations
Below are some necessary changes that have to be made in your diet if you wish to reverse the condition.
- Avoid all forms of refined carbohydrates which include bread, pasta, and bakery items. Low carbohydrate diets are known for lower insulin levels which in turn mean less insulin resistance. Less insulin resistance will mean slowly breaking the progressive cycle of Type 2 diabetes.
- Eliminate most if not all forms of sugar in your diet. High sugar intake results in high insulin levels which again triggers insulin resistance.
- If you’re someone who likes to snack then keep aside some high fatty snacks with you such as nuts and hummus. High fatty snacks are better than a high-carb diet since the former keeps you filled up for long while there are high chances that the high carb will make you hungry after a short period of time.
- Include Good protein (lean proteins) and a source of healthy fats in each meal. It will help stabilize your blood sugar levels and keeps you full.
- Exercise and workout! When you move those muscles, not only you lean towards better fitness and health but you also get a chance to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Exercise helps the body become more sensitive to insulin. In addition to this, if a healthier diet is paired with regular workout sessions, the body can get away with lower insulin levels! According to a study published in 2015, 67% of the participants were able to achieve partial remission from type 2 diabetes when they agreed to follow a six-month diet and exercise program.