From the September 2003 edition of Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times:
I often am asked, “Is your program appropriate for type I diabetics? Aren’t they going to require insulin forever, no matter what they eat?”
A type 1 diabetic can never stop taking all insulin entirely like a type 2 diabetic can. Even after adopting a high-nutrient, Eat to Live (ETL) dietary approach, they still will need to take regular injections. However, stopping insulin is not the reason for the type 1 diabetics to adopt this approach.
With conventional care, the long-term prognosis for a type 1 diabetic is dismal. More than one-third of all type 1 diabetics die before the age of fifty. I contend that this need not be the case. Type 1 diabetics need not feel doomed to a life of medical disasters and an early death sentence.
A different approach
I find that when type 1 diabetics adopt the ETL program, they can lower their insulin requirements by about half. They no longer have swings of highs and lows, and their glucose levels and lipids stay under excellent control. In other words, it is not Type 1 diabetes itself that causes such negative health consequences. Rather, it is the combination of the diabetes and the typical nutritional “advice” given to these patients—advice that requires them to take large amounts of unnecessary insulin.
The extra insulin and the high glucose levels raise lipids, accelerate atherosclerosis, and damage the body. With this in mind, it should be clear that while the Standard American Diet (SAD), which has spread to all industrialized nations, is dangerous for everyone, it is particularly deadly for diabetics.
With a truly health-supporting lifestyle, including exercise and real food designed by nature, the type 1 diabetic can have the same potential for a long, disease-free life as everyone else. Even though the type 1 diabetic still will require exogenous (external) insulin, they will no longer need excessive amounts of it.
The vegetable-based, nutrient-dense, Eat to Live dietary program I recommend is designed to be the most effective treatment available for those with diabetes. For the vast majority of type 2 diabetic patients, this approach results in complete reversal of the diabetic condition. For type 1 diabetic patients, it solves the problem of excessive highs and lows and prevents the typical dangerous complications that too frequently befall those with this medical condition.
A total approach
Of course, no dietary approach to diabetes will succeed without attention to other risk factors—especially sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and lack of sleep. The road to wellness involves making a commitment to a new lifestyle.
From the September 2003 edition of Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times:
- There’s some major irony here. It seems one acetaminophen manufacturer has got a major headache on its hands. According to the Associated Press metal fragments were discovered in a batch of pain relievers sold by Wal-Mart, CVS, and Safeway. Prompting a huge recall:
The contaminated pills included metal fragments ranging in size from "microdots" to portions of wire one-third of an inch long, the Food and Drug Administration said. Perrigo discovered the metal bits during quality-control checks after realizing the equipment it uses to make pills was wearing down prematurely, the FDA said.
- Smoking, these days it’s impossible to defend—and rightfully so! Most people could probably rattle off at least a dozen reasons not to smoke. Well, here’s one more. New research reveals heavy smoking interferes with pregnancy by compromising the fetus’s ability to implant in the uterus. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News has more:
"Tobacco consumption reduces your pregnancy probability, not only due to the already known ovarian effects but also due to impaired uterine receptiveness," said Dr. Sergio R. Soares, lead author of the study and director of the IVI Clinic in Lisbon, Portugal.
- If you keep up with all the health news you’ll soon realize one of the biggest dangers associated with obesity is the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. One Miami social studies teacher was all too afraid of this. According to The Miami Herald he created an annual free diabetes screening for young students. Desonta Holder reports:
Since the program began in 2004, about 1,500 students -- 500 each year -- have been screened for risk factors that could lead to diabetes -- obesity, high blood pressure and elevated blood glucose levels. Many of these high school students -- 80 percent Hispanic and 13 percent black (non-Hispanic) -- in this middle-class area were already beginning to show signs of diabetes.
- Here’s some more obesity news for you. Recently the European Union praised several food companies for their promise to help Europe control its growing obesity crisis. Although I find it odd that the companies receiving the adulation include Pepsi, Coca Cola, and McDonalds. More from the Associated Press:
At a press conference with top executives of these companies, he said it was crucial food and drink companies cooperate in the fight against flab because the EU cannot legislate against products that are not dangerous.
If Europe wants to curb overweight, "we have to form public-private partnerships. We are all part of the problem — industry, parents, consumers, the authorities, doctors — and will have to be part of the solution."
- One thing’s for sure, exercise is a good thing. I doubt you’ll ever see a surgeon general's warning on physical activity. Especially since according to a new study exercise might lower children’s risk of developing hay fever. Reuters explains:
According to the researchers, their findings are unlikely to be a case of "reverse causality," where hay fever caused some children to avoid outdoor activities. For one, the study followed the children over time, documenting new cases of hay fever. In addition, sedentary children were inactive year-round, not only during pollen season.
While they are a step in the right direction, grain- and starch-based diets pose risks for diabetics. I want to make it clear that diabetics can’t just “eat better.” They have to go all the way and follow the vegetable-based diet I call Eat To Live (ETL). This is the only dietary approach that lowers cholesterol, improves the cholesterol ratio, and lowers triglycerides.
With only one or two exceptions, other vegetarian diets simply are not as effective or safe because they typically rely heavily on cooked starchy vegetables, such as bread, grains, and potatoes. The recommendations of vegetarian diet authors, such as Dean Ornish and John McDougall, can be helpful for the general public but are far from ideal for those with diabetes. Certain individuals may experience beneficial changes after adopting recommendations such as these, since they are a big improvement over the Standard American Diet (SAD), but most diabetics will not achieve the results available to them unless they adopt the ETL approach.
Diabetics need to avoid baked starchy vegetables and flour-based products. Most low-fat and vegetarian-type diets are cooked starch- and grain-based, not steamed vegetable-based. By utilizing more green vegetables, beans, nuts, and even fruit, the ETL approach sets the stage for more dramatic weight loss and more effective glucose lowering.
The ETL vegetable-based dietary program is the only dietary intervention ever shown in medical studies to lower cholesterol more effectively than cholesterol-lowering medication. Other styles of plant-based dietary interventions—because they are grain- and potato-based— have been relatively ineffective at lowering cholesterol. Although the low-fat vegetarian diet lowered LDL cholesterol 16 percent, it raised triglycerides 18.7 percent, and the LDL/HDL ratio remained unchanged, reflecting minimal overall improvement.1
The ETL approach differed in that the LDL cholesterol was more significantly lowered (33 percent) without unfavorable impact on HDL or triglycerides, reflecting sizable improvement in reducing the risk of heart attack. ETL simply is the most cardio-protective dietary approach one can follow, which is of crucial importance since diabetics have such an increased cardiac risk.
Exposure to advanced glycation end products
Another reason why typical vegetarian diets are not ideal for diabetics is they are not designed to avoid exposure to advanced glycation end products (AGEs). There is a huge body of literature documenting that the high sugar in the bloodstream in diabetics promotes the formation of AGEs in the body as the sugars react with body proteins. The formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) on connective tissue and within cells stiffens and ages your blood vessels and accelerates aging throughout the body. AGEs are a significant causal factor of the horrible side effects of diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, and strokes.The chemical modifications of cells that occur as a result of the accumulation of AGEs are one of the primary hallmarks of aged and diseased tissues.
But the accumulation of AGEs in the body does not result solely from increased sugar in the bloodstream. AGEs also are formed when starchy foods are cooked at higher temperatures, causing molecular rearrangement. Acrylamides are an example of AGEs that occur from cooking carbohydrates—such as potatoes and grains—in the absence of water. The higher the temperature, the more these toxic compounds are formed. Neither acrylamides nor other AGEs are formed when vegetables are steamed or cooked in soups.
Refined carbohydrates in bakery products and processed foods can cause heart attacks even in people who are not diabetic,2 but these products are even more dangerous for diabetics, since diabetics are more sensitive to the damaging effects of AGEs. Vegetarians (my wife calls them “vegjunktarians”) who eat large quantities of cooked starches and honey were found to have higher measurable levels of AGEs than people eating a more omnivorous diet.3 To be lifespan-promoting and diabetic-reversing, vegetarian diets must be designed to minimize exposure to large amounts of cooked starches and simple sugars. In addition, they must be very high in fiber to maximize glucose lowering. My high-nutrient ETL approach meets all of these criteria. Continue Reading...