The Importance of Diet

Prevent Diabetes
First of all, let me repeat:

You can prevent diabetes from ever developing by eating properly. Even if you already disturbed the blood sugar and insulin resistance, you can stop them in their tracks without drugs simply by changing the way you eat. This applies even if your parents and or siblings have type two diabetes. The way of eating I advocate is not what the American Diabetic Association recommends. Rather, instead of obsessing about fat and allowing plenty of sugar, white flour, and other nutritionally deficient foods as the ADA program does, my approach comes from practices that bring verifiable and significantly positive results. People on the Fight Fat with Fat diet lose weight, keep it off, and reduce or eliminate factors contributing to diabetes.

My work is derived from the work of Dr. Robert Atkins, although his low carbohydrate diet is best known for its weight loss results, it is also key to avoiding diabetes. His program called for avoiding processed carbohydrates and eating only fiber and nutrient-rich carbohydrates in combination with a mix of protein sources and natural fats. This diet makes it easy to keep weight.

Under control, at the same time, its ideally suited for managing blood sugar and insulin levels. In fact, at the time of his death, Dr. Atkins was at work on the book he felt was the culmination of his life’s work. The Atkins diabetes revolution. This groundbreaking approach to preventing and controlling type 2 diabetes was published posthumously. Much of the book is based upon his observations of working with thousands of patients, some of whom have since become my patients who were able to correct their metabolic disorders by changing their diet, and becoming physically active and following a supplement protocol similar to the one I describe in my book, Fight Fat with Fat, which is, of course, about prevention. So, my focus is on how carbohydrate controls can effectively prevent diabetes.

WHY LOW FAT DOES NOT WORK?

Everyone agrees that keeping weight down reduces the risk of getting diabetes as well as heart disease and a host of other conditions discussed in my book. Long term, the best way to control your weight is to develop healthy eating habits and eat moderately. Do that, and unless you have a major metabolic disorder and are extremely inactive, you will arrive at a weight that is appropriate for your age and body type. But if a diet; and I’m speaking a way of eating, not specifically a weight loss diet; is impossible to maintain because its lacking in the flavor and leaves you hungry and with cravings for certain foods, It’s only a matter of time before it becomes a former diet. In decades since the American government has advocated a low-fat diet, the obesity epidemic has exploded. Low fat is high carb, and a low-fat diet, by definition, is inherently a high carbohydrate diet. That’s because when you restrict fat, you are restricting protein as well since meat, poultry, fish, cheese, and most other forms of protein contain a good amount of fat. What you are left with then is carbohydrates, which encompasses an array of foods. Most foods contain some combination of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Low glycemic (“good”) carbohydrates are typically whole foods like leafy green vegetables, brown rice, lentils, raspberries, and hundreds of other vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Then there is an endless array of high glycemic carbohydrates that beckon from supermarket shelves, including the processed, refined offerings such as cookies, chips, syrupy drinks, white bread, and so on.

By definition, high glycemic foods have a dramatic impact on blood sugar levels. Within a couple of hours after consumption. In contrast, lower glycemic foods raise blood sugar levels more slowly and moderately. In addition, dairy products contain carbohydrates along with fat and protein.

CARBS, SUGAR, AND INSULIN

While it is definitely possible to eat a high carbohydrate diet, comprised primarily of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and fruits; witness the Mediterranean cuisine with a modest amount of fish cheese and meat in this country; a so-called low-fat diet is usually packed with high glycemic carbohydrates. For someone with a genetic propensity to diabetes, that is a recipe for disaster. Here’s why when you indulge in high glycemic refined carbohydrate foods, your blood sugar quickly rises, prompting your pancreas to release insulin to ferry the blood sugar to your cells. If you continue to eat this way over time, the cells become increasingly resistant to the effects of insulin stimulating the pancreas to produce even more insulin. When the insulin finally does the trick, your blood sugar level dips so low that it can stimulate stress hormones that cause hunger and cravings for sweets and other carbohydrate foods. When you give in to those cravings, the cycle repeats itself, and the pounds pile on. It is this craving that distinguishes the condition known as carbohydrate addiction, which makes it so difficult for someone people to take control of their weight. In addition to promoting the storage of excess glucose as body fat, the release of insulin has another dangerous result. The fat is transported around your body in the bloodstream in the form of triglycerides. High triglycerides you will recall are an independent risk factor for diabetes.

MOST FATS ARE FINE

When you control carbohydrates, you don’t have to keep track of your consumption of fat other than trans fat, known as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, which are to be avoided at all costs. That means that you can enjoy lamp chop, salmon, olive oil on your veggies, and in your salad dressing and whipped cream on fresh raspberries without feeling guilty. In fact, all of these fats carry flavor, which makes food more satisfying. When you eliminate most fat from your diet, you earn full flavor, which can often lead to overeating. Fats provide comforting satiety in a way that carbohydrates do not.

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