Healthy Eating for Diabetics

As the number of people with type-two (adult onset) diabetes continues to soar, it is openly recognized that the growing waistline of the modern world is the main cause of this epidemic; however, most physicians, dieticians, and even the American Diabetes Association have virtually given up on weight reduction as the primary treatment for diabetics. Consider this statement from a medical advisory committee: “It is nearly impossible to take very obese people and get them to lose significant weight. So rather than specifying an amount of weight loss, we are targeting getting metabolic control.” This is doublespeak for—our recommended diets don’t work, so we just give medications and watch patients gradually deteriorate as the diabetes advances. Today, medications are the mainstay of treatment and, unfortunately, most of these medications cause weight gain, worsening the syndrome and making the individual more diabetic. Additionally, the narrow focus on blood-sugar reduction and reliance on medications gives patients a false sense of security because they mistakenly think their somewhat better controlled glucose levels are an indication of restored or improved health. They continue to gain weight following the same dietary habits that originally caused the problem.

It is well accepted that if it were possible for people to stick with weight reduction and high nutrient eating, that route would be the most successful. Patients with diabetes who successfully lose weight from undergoing gastric bypass surgery typically see their diabetes melt away.1 Dietary programs that have been successful at effecting weight loss have been dramatically effective for diabetics too, enabling patients to discontinue medications.2 Preventing and reversing diabetes is not all about weight loss. The nutritional features of Eat for Health have profound effects on improving pancreatic function and lowering insulin resistance over and above what could be accomplished with weight loss alone. The increased fiber, micronutrients, and stool bulk, plus the cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory effects of this eating-style, have dramatic effects on type-II diabetes. Scores of my patients have been able to restore their glucose levels to the normal range without any further need for medications. They have become non-diabetic. Even my thin, type-I, insulin-dependent diabetic patients are typically able to reduce their insulin requirements by almost half and have better glucose control using this high-nutrient eating-style.

Diets high in fiber and vegetables have been consistently shown to be beneficial for diabetic patients and offer considerably better results when compared to the current recommendations of the American Diabetic Association Diet.3 The dietary advice typically offered to diabetics is not science-based, and it caters to Americans’ social and food preferences and food addictions. In contrast, the qualities of an eating-style that maximizes benefits for weight reduction, cardio protection, and diabetes reversal are described in Eat for Health.

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

1. Schauer PR, Burguera B, Ikramuddin S, et al. Effect of laparoscopic Roux-en Y gastric bypass on type 2 diabetes mellitus. Ann Surg. 2003;238(4):467-484; discussion 84-85.

2. Harder H, Dinesen B, Astrup A. The effect of a rapid weight loss on lipid profile and glycemic control in obese type 2 diabetic patients. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004;28(1):180-182.

3. Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJ, et al. A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2006;29(8):1777-1783.

Ford ES, Mokdad AH. Fruit and vegetable consumption and diabetes mellitus incidence among U.S. adults. Prev Med 2001;32(1):33-39.

Montonen J, Knekt P, Harkanen T, et al. Dietary patterns and the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. Am J Epidem 2004;161(3):219-227.

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Losing Weight May Protect Against Cancer

Unless it’s a big bag of money, no one likes carrying around extra weight. Even cute little love handles can be bad.

And having too much abdominal fat has been linked to stroke and heart failure, but losing weight can work wonders.

A new study in the journal The Lancet Oncology claims women who underwent weight-loss surgery had a lower risk of cancer. Great news?

Losing weight is a fantastic idea, but weight-loss surgery is a bad idea. Dr. Fuhrman lists depression, malnutrition, gastritis and vitamin B12 deficiency, as potential side-effects of bariatric surgery.

Instead, try fruits and vegetables. Plant foods are low in calories and high in fiber, which means you can eat until you're stuffed, protect yourself against cancer and still lose weight!

Via Journal Watch.

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Bone Fracture Risk Doubles After Obesity Surgery

Speaking at this year’s The Endocrine Society's annual meeting, scientists say bone fracture rate is higher among people who have underwent bariatric surgery. Researchers studied 90 people who had either vertical banded gastroplasty or biliopancreatic diversion. Seven years following their operation, 21 participants endured a total of 31 fractures. The risk for hand and foot fractures was the most elevated; Reuters explains.

Interestingly enough, in 2008 experts determined gastric bypass surgery caused bone loss, citing vitamin D and calcium deficiencies in individuals undergoing the procedure. Dr. Fuhrman lists depression and malnutrition as other harmful side-effects of weight-loss surgery.

Another report found people who underwent gastric surgery have a higher rate of suicide than the general population, but experts argue the surgery is not the reason why.

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Fat Gut Leads to Bad Sex Life

See ladies, guys can feel fat and not sexy too. According to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the fatter a man is, the lower his testosterone and the lamer his sex life will be. Scientists determined high BMI was associated with diminished hormone levels and study participants, 64 obese men followed for two years, rated their sexual quality of life as low; HealthDay News reports.

Sadly, the research advocates gastric bypass as a way to shrink waistlines, dumb idea! Weight-loss surgery has been linked to lots of complications, such as depression and bone loss. If you want to lose weight and stay wowsers in the trousers, eat your veggies.

Oh, and being chubby and drinking is a double-whammy. The other day a report revealed drinking too much alcohol raises—no pun intended—risk of erectile dysfunction. Eek!

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