If you want type 2 diabetes , follow conventional advice to cut fat and eat more “healthy whole grains.” (This is also true for type 1 diabetes in susceptible individuals with pancreatic beta cell autoimmunity triggered by wheat gliadin or corn zein.)
But what if you don’t want to follow the footsteps of the two thirds of Americans and Canadians who are now diabetic or pre-diabetic? (The CDC graph above shows only people actually diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the U.S.; if the number of undiagnosed were also included, the numbers would be significantly higher.) What if you don’t want the expense and side-effects of oral drugs and insulin–one of the most powerful weight gain drugs around? What if you don’t want to lose your eyesight, develop cardiovascular disease, experience gastroparesis, develop peripheral neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease that can lead to limb gangrene and amputation? What if you don’t want to add to the growing healthcare bubble being created by misguided dietary advice compounded by the overwhelming profit-motive that drives modern medical care?
Not following this path and being spared the awful future that diabetes creates is really pretty simple. But it cannot be done by following the advice of the American Diabetes Association, nor following the advice of the majority of diabetes educators. There are an increasingly larger number of healthcare practitioners who are enlightened and follow strategies like those listed below. But most doctors sadly remain utterly in the dark, doing more to make the diabetes epidemic worse, not contributing to any solution except to offer drugs and procedures.
Here’s a checklist that, if followed, allow the majority of pre-diabetics and diabetics to become non-pre-diabetic and non-diabetic:
- Eat NO grains or sugars–Remember: from a blood sugar standpoint, most grains are worse than sugar in their blood sugar raising potential. The safety of “complex” carbohydrates in grains is complete fiction: their glycemic indexes are higher than sucrose.
- Don’t limit fat intake–Yes: eat the fat on your pork or steak, eat bone marrow, have some liver, use more organic butter or ghee, use more coconut oil.
- Correct vitamin D deficiency–I aim to achieve a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of 60-70 ng/ml, a level usually achieved with 4000-8000 units (oil-based gelcap or liquids, not tablets) per day. This helps restore insulin responsiveness/reverse insulin resistance.
- Supplement omega-3 fatty acids–from fish oil only, not krill oil, flaxseed, or chia. (Flaxseed and chia are wonderful, but do not provide EPA and DHA.) I believe ideal intake is in the range of 3000-3600 mg EPA + DHA per day, divided in two. EPA + DHA blunt the postprandial (after-meal) surge in digestive byproducts (chylomicrons and VLDL) that oppose insulin.
- Correct bowel flora–Start with a high-potency probiotic (e.g., 50 billion CFUs per day with at least a dozen species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria) for several weeks, but it is even more important long-term to properly nourish bowel flora with prebiotic fibers/resistant starches, as discussed here. Properly feeding bowel flora yields fatty acid metabolites that increase your body’s responsiveness to insulin and reduce blood sugar.
- Supplement magnesium–e.g., magnesium malate, 1200 mg twice per day (180 mg “elemental” magnesium twice per day), a modest advantage in restoring insulin responsiveness.
- Fast intermittently–Brief periods of fasting, e.g., 15-36 hours, allow fatty liver (present to varying degrees in everyone with high blood sugars) to recede, a huge advantage in restoring insulin responsiveness. Be sure to hydrate more than usual during any fasting period.
- Sleep adequately–Not a minor factor, as sleep deprivation increases carb cravings and increases snacking, while also blocking insulin. Most people need 7 1/2 hours per night. You might have to make friends with melatonin and tryptophan to manage your circadian rhythm.
- Be active–including avoiding prolonged sitting.
Anyone on insulin or oral diabetes drugs, especially glyburide, glipizide, and glimepiride, should talk to their healthcare provider about an immediate reduction in dosage or even eliminating one or more of them, since you do not want any hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If your doctor refuses to work with you or tells you this is stupid, find a new doctor ASAP. Doctors should be experts in reversing diabetes but you will find that the majority are not, despite knowing how to prescribe the drugs.
There you have it. Should you give it a try, be sure to come back and report your experience. And for more discussions about how to reverse other health conditions with natural means, see Wheat Belly Total Health. This discussion is adapted from Chapter 10: Grainless Metabolic Mastery.