On Monday, Tom Hanks, Academy Award winning actor, announced he is living with Type 2 diabetes on CBS, a condition which affects nearly 26 million Americans. While promoting his latest film on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” Hanks explained to audience members, “I went to the doctor and he said ‘You know those high blood sugar numbers you’ve been dealing with since you were 36? Well, you’ve graduated. You’ve got Type 2 diabetes, young man.”
The famous movie star, known for accepting challenging roles throughout his career, established himself for his dramatic on-screen character performances and transformational overhauls, such as his roles in “A League of Their Own” and “Castaway.”
Maintaining a healthy weight is critical for general well-being, but yo-yo dieting can have long-lasting complications. According to studies, after weight cycling, individuals experienced more fat around their stomachs, a location commonly associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes. An avowed vegetarian, Hanks could be causing more harm than he realizes. Since many vegetarian diets lack high-quality sources of protein, the potential for sugar spikes increases, B12 deficiency becomes an issue, and homocysteine levels rise.
According to “Fight Fat With Fat,” Dr. Salerno’s best-selling nutrition and lifestyle book, blood sugar fluctuations put a significant demand on the pancreas to produce insulin, which is leading cause of Type 2 diabetes. To combat spikes, Dr. Salerno recommends eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates. If you’re carrying excess weight, this will help stabilize levels. For even more protection, follow a consistent eating schedule with 5 small meals a day, watch out for starchy vegetables, and choose foods with healthy saturated fats, such as butter, heavy cream, grass-fed beef, nitrate-free bacon, seafood, and eggs.
Visceral fat, the kind that gathers around the tummy area, affects insulin sensitivity. On the side of things, when you rapidly lose weight, the body has the potential to lose a significant amount of muscle as well. For previous roles, Hanks gained 30 and dropped up to 55 pounds. Unlike calories in calories out, weight cycling is not a natural process and should be avoided. For a healthier approach, remember to keep carbs below 20 grams a day. As Dr. Salerno explains, “Enjoy full fat foods, but eat until you’re full.”
Unfortunately, Hanks was not so receptive to his doctor’s initial wishes, which involved weighing as much as he did in high school. When asked what the 57-year old weighed back in high school, Hanks commented, “I was 96 pounds.” Even though the actor hasn’t made a genuine effort to establish a healthy weight, it’s important to emphasize a diet rich in organic, minimally processed, low-sugar foods. With the right guidelines, it’s never too late to look and feel like you’re still in high school.