Think about diabetes as bein
g on a spectrum.  

Type-1 diabetes is caused by substantial loss of pancreatic function and is considered irreversible.  These people have insulin deficiency and need to be on daily insulin injections. 

Slim people who have a partial insulin deficiency and blood sugars above 126 mg/dL are considered to have Type- 1 1/2  and may need insulin injections.

Type- 2 diabetics have insulin sufficiency meaning there is plenty of insulin.  This type of diabetes can be cured with substantial weight loss and a change in diet, but not with medication.  

The longer you go without controlling your diabetes, the greater your risk for heart disease, kidney disease, amputation, blindness, and other serious complications. Besides being overweight, other risk factors for Type- 2 diabetes include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high triglycerides.

President Franklin Roosevelt had extreme hypertension and died of a massive stroke in 1945 while still in office.  There was no known cure at the time for high blood pressure.

In 1940 a young physician from Germany began treating patients with extreme hypertension at Duke medical center.  Dr. Kempner’s treatment involved a drastic change in diet.  He had patients eat a diet that consisted of white rice, fruit and fruit juices for two weeks. They then came back in to be checked.  Nearly all of them had a rapid reduction in their blood pressure, in kidney failure and congestive heart failure.  If Dr. Kempner had only treated President Roosevelt, it might have changed history.

According to Dr. John McDougall, the populations worldwide with the lowest rates of diabetes are those that eat the most rice and other starches; type- 2 diabetes is all but unknown in rural Asia, Africa, Mexico, and Peru, where a high-carbohydrate diet is the cultural norm.

We’ve known for a long while that being overweight and obese are important risk factors for diabetes.  But, according to Dr. Michael Greger, not much attention has been paid to food.  Research has found that a higher risk of diabetes has been correlated with higher meat consumption, especially processed meat and poultry.

In one recent study researchers fed patients chicken, eggs and tuna and measured their inflammatory markers.  Their inflammation shot up drastically.  There was an 8% increase in diabetes risk for every 50 grams of daily meat consumption.  That’s like a quarter of a chicken breast worth of meat for the entire day.

Another study has found that workers in the meat industry who handle fresh cuts of meats, including poultry, are diagnosed with Type- 2 diabetes much more frequently than the general population.

Animal proteins (dairy and meat) stimulate insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and provide high amounts of leucine. Leucine tends to burn out the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and contributes to Type- 2 diabetes. Lower leucine levels are only really reached by the restriction of animal proteins.

We are also exposed to pollutants in the environment which may increase diabetes risk, but 95% of our pollutant intake comes through eating animal fats.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell wrote, “One of the dangers of being diabetic is the secondary outcomes such as heart disease and stroke.  Lowering risk factors for those secondary outcomes by improving the cholesterol profile is almost as important as treating high blood sugar.”

In a study of fourteen lean diabetic patients, Dr. James W. Anderson found that diet alone could lower total cholesterol levels by 32% in just over two weeks.

Drug therapy has consistently failed patients with type- 2 diabetes.  Since the rich Western diet is agreed to be the cause of this epidemic, should diet not be the first place to look for the prevention and the cure? 

Eating a whole foods, plant based diet for diabetes has also been shown to prevent and treat heart and kidney disease, and prevent many common forms of cancer. Heart disease accounts for 70% of the deaths in diabetics. Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure, and cancer is more common in diabetics.

Because nutritional benefits appear rapidly when a patient begins a whole foods plant based diet, diabetics must be monitored from the very first day they adopt the diet, so their medications can be reduced as the diet takes effect.

Changing your lifestyle can be challenging.  It requires diligence and commitment while you develop new habits and skills.

For more help, you can order Coco’s Healthy Cooking on Amazon.  Check the box to the right.  It is a book full of  whole foods, plant-based recipes.

© 2015 Melinda Coker

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