Fat or no Fat for Type 2 Diabetes

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We are all aware that Type 2 Diabetes is a serious global epidemic. I am sure that you or one or two of your family members have this health crisis. You also know that diabetes leads to complications of other diseases, such as nerve damage (amputations), kidney damage, loss of vision, heart attacks and strokes. So people not only end up taking diabetes medicine, but also high blood pressure medicine, cholesterol medicine, and so on.

There are however, a number of people who have reversed type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise, but NOT with medication. You can find many success stories across the internet, found in Google. Then you will discover very controversial diet methods; ketogenic diet (which consist of 60-75% of fat, 5-10% carbohydrate, 15-30% of protein) and vegan low fat diet (close to zero fat and no animal meat). Both claim to have had success in reversing type 2 diabetes. You can find these stories from dietdoctor.com (ketogenic) and forksoverknives.com (low fat vegan).

Supporters of the ketogenic diet say that reduced amountss of carbohydrates in the diet helps eliminate large spikes in blood sugar, reducing the need for insulin, and it allows the body to maintain glucose levels at a low but healthy level. On the other hand, low fat vegan diet supporters say that type 2 diabetes is caused by diets high in saturated fat, not high in carbohydrates. If you consume more than 15% of your calories as fat (many health professionals erroneously say a low-fat diet is a 30% fat diet) you begin to store the excess fat in other tissues like the muscle, liver, pancreas, gall bladder, etc.  As these organ tissues fill up with fat, energy sensors “say” there is enough energy (as fat) in the cell so they block insulin’s ability to allow glucose (another source of energy) to enter the cell (shutting down insulin receptors). Thus, creating high blood sugar because of insulin resistance*.

There are many articles to explain in great detail each claim, but I am just highlighting the key points. I understand that it can be confusing, especially for people who are considering dietary changes due to prediabetic or diabetes. I believe both claims are true, but how body reacts are totally depend on each individual’s biomarker. Also, I need to emphasize here that both supporters are NOT telling you to eat low carb process food like high protein bars, or nonfat vegan process food like vegan cheese, vegan burger. Both diets promote whole nutrition dense food, and both agree with leafy green vegetables as well as cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. To determine if the ketogenic or low-fat vegan diet will work for, I recommend you try each for a period of time and find out. However, without the help of professionals like me or other health professionals, you have to read in detail and precisely follow the rules of the diet, otherwise you cannot earn the full benefit of what they claim. Also, the key is to keep this dietary change going forward.  There is a possibility that as soon as your doctor sees that your A1C (A1c is a test that shows the average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months) is in normal range, you slowly start eating what you used to eat before the change. Then, down the road, your diabetes showing up again.

So, to be clear, motivation and sense of purpose has to be kept up in the long term to achieve real health gains – and subsequent diabetes reversal – to actually persist for longer than three months. I really want you to be successful in this change. Be STRONG!

Insulin Resistance: Copied from Healthline.com
Insulin is a hormone secreted by an organ called the pancreas.
Its main role is to regulate the amount of nutrients circulating in the bloodstream. Although insulin is mostly implicated in blood sugar management, it also affects fat and protein metabolism.

When we eat a meal that contains carbohydrates, the amount of blood sugar in the bloodstream increases. This is sensed by the cells in the pancreas, which then release insulin into the blood. Then insulin travels around the bloodstream, telling the body’s cells that they should pick up sugar from the blood. This leads to reduced amounts of sugar in the blood, and puts it where it is intended to go, into the cells for use or storage. This is important, because high amounts of sugar in the blood can have toxic effects, causing severe harm and potentially leading to death if untreated.

However, due to various reasons (discussed below), sometimes the cells stop responding to the insulin like they are supposed to. In other words, they become “resistant” to the insulin. When this happens, the pancreas starts producing even more insulin to bring the blood sugar levels down. This leads to high insulin levels in the blood, termed hyperinsulinemia. This may continue to develop for a long time. The cells become increasingly more insulin resistant, and both insulin and blood sugar levels go up.

Eventually, the pancreas may not be able to keep up anymore and the cells in the pancreas may become damaged. This leads to decreased insulin production, so now there are low amounts of insulin and cells that don’t respond to the little insulin that is available. This can lead to skyrocketing blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels exceed a certain threshold, a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is made. In fact, this is a simplified version of how type 2 diabetes develops.

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