The truth of the matter is that type 2 diabetes is a fully preventable condition that arises from faulty leptin signaling and insulin resistance, both of which are directly diet- and exercise-related. It is NOT a disease of blood sugar.
Once you understand that, the remedy becomes clear: To reverse the disease, you need to recover your body's insulin and leptin sensitivities. The ONLY way to accomplish this is through proper diet and exercise, as detailed in my free Nutrition Plan. Bariatric surgery, which is being increasingly recommended as a diabetes treatment, will NOT do the trick, and there is NO drug that can correct leptin signaling and insulin resistance... Adhering to the following guidelines can help you do at least three things that are essential for successfully treating diabetes: recover your insulin/leptin sensitivity; normalize your weight; and normalize your blood pressure:
- Severely limit or eliminate sugar and grains in your diet, especially fructose which is far more detrimental than any other type of sugar. Following my Nutrition Plan will help you do this without too much fuss.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is an absolutely essential factor, and without it, you're unlikely to get this devastating disease under control. It is one of the fastest and most powerful ways to lower your insulin and leptin resistance. If you're unsure of how to get started, I recommend reviewing my Peak Fitness program for tips and guidelines.
- Avoid trans fats.
- Get plenty of omega-3 fats from a high quality, animal-based source, such as krill oil.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels. Recent studies have revealed that getting enough vitamin D can have a powerful effect on normalizing your blood pressure and that low vitamin D levels may increase your risk of heart disease.
- Optimize your gut flora. Your gut is a living ecosystem, full of both good bacteria and bad. Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than lean people. The more good bacteria you have, the stronger your immune system will be and the better your body will function overall. Fortunately, optimizing your gut flora is relatively easy. You can reseed your body with good bacteria by eating fermented foods (such as fermented vegetables, natto, raw organic cheese, or raw milk kefir) or by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.
- Address any underlying emotional issues and/or stress. Non-invasive tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique can be helpful and effective.
- Get enough high-quality sleep every night.
- Monitor your fasting insulin level. This is every bit as important as your fasting blood sugar. You'll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 and 4. The higher your level, the worse your insulin sensitivity is.
Diet and Healthy AgingIn related news, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine4 reviewed the conflicting research on calorie restriction and mortality.
"Two long-term studies of the effect of calorie restriction in rhesus monkeys conflict: one concludes that restriction does not affect mortality, and the other concludes that it does. Differences in dietary composition and extent of restriction may explain the discrepant results," Linda Partridge, PhD, writes.Yes, as always, the devil is in the details, and this is particularly true when it comes to diet. A calorie is not "just a calorie," for example. There's every reason to believe that the key to improved health and longevity lies not in calorie restriction per se, but in restricting certain kinds of calories—calories from sugars, to be specific. And possibly also those from poor quality proteins.
Dr. Ron Rosedale has been passionate about diabetes and aging for over 30 years and he is constantly reviewing the literature in this area. He is one of my primary mentors on this topic. He is convinced, as most other experts are, that calorie restriction does indeed provide life extension. But it is likely not because there are decreased total calories. He believes the key is to limit the carbs and excessive protein. The fat calories are "essentially free' and do not impair insulin or leptin signaling, or the mTOR pathways, which can contribute to decreased longevity.