Diabetes, Preventable and Reversible Disease

Scary numbers are in our future, right now 1 of 2 people are overweight, 1 of 3 are obese and 1 of 5 children in the pediatrician’s office is obese. Think about it, how many people, friends or family, do you know that have diabetes?   What used to be an adult disease is now being diagnosed in children as young as 10 years old.   According to the most recent statistics from WHO, the World Health Organization, there are now 1.8 billion diabetics in the world.  Countries like Japan, traditionally had a healthy diet but diabetes has increased from 5% to 20%.  When the “American Diet” comes to a country, the road soon leads to higher rates of obesity.  Jim Rohn, business philosopher and world traveller often said that he observed through his years of travelling the world, when McDonalds & other fast food companies arrived, the obesity rate soon increased.   

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.  In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin, insulin resistant.  The pancreas produces insulin which is necessary for the body to use glucose for energy.  When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in your body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells.  When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells, it causes two problems, first your cells are starved of energy and high blood glucose begins damaging your eye, kidneys, nerves & heart.  Dr. David Heber, director of Human Nutrition for UCLA, says, 80% of heart disease will occur in type 2 diabetics.

Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders.  Aging populations are among the most susceptible.  Total health care & related costs for treatment of diabetes now costs about $174 billion each year.  Previous research has suggested that the financial burden may easily double or even triple in the next 20 years, says David Kendall, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association.

The world wide revolution of medicine has given control of most infectious disease but most countries are not prepared for the onslaught of chronic diseases or dysfunctions associated with diabetes.  The growing problem affects every area of medicine.  Diabetics, over time are at very high risk of loss of vision, heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems leading to dialysis and poor circulation leading to amputation of limbs, according to latest statistics, someone loses a limb every 30 seconds in the U.S.

Amidst all the bad news, there is good news, diabetes is both preventable and reversible. Globally people have been consuming far more calories than they need and performing far too little physical activity.  Poor Diet, little exercise, the opposite of that equation is Better Diet, more exercise.  Yes, I know you’ve heard that a million times and I really believe most people understand that but because of so many options, they are confused and either hesitate or do nothing.  

My purpose or goal is to tell you it is a simple balancing act of food in, energy out.  It is possible to clear some of the confusion by explaining that you must use more vegetables, complex carbohydrates, complex carbs assimilate slower in the body so the insulin level can compensate. I know most people hear carbs and they panic, but the bad carbs that cause insulin spikes are  from bread, sugar and processed foods. 

By the way, when we talk exercise it is not “beat yourself up” gym stuff, you can start by simply walking 30 minutes a day.  Walking is simple, no cost and no special clothes or equipment to buy just a nice walk with more than one benefit.  It helps relieve stress, especially if you take a break at work, it changes your mood, your brain gets better oxygen, better muscle tone in your legs & butt plus, you’re burning calories

More protein is the most important change for most of us, we only consume about 40% of the protein our body needs to support the body’s muscles.  Not just meat, but a ratio of 50/50 from plants and animal.  Women need about 90-100 grams of protein and the average man needs 125-150 grams.  Sources of plant protein are legumes, soy, rice, and beans.  Sources of animal protein are chicken, fish, turkey, beef and pork.  My preference has been a combination of soy and whey for easy preparation and absorption.  Recent clinical research proved when subjects (people, not rats) ate more protein they lost more fat and maintained more muscle.  The beauty of that is….muscle burns 14 calories, fat only burns 2 calories!  No wonder the high-protein diets work, they force the body to increase the muscle which burns more calories and weight loss becomes much simpler.

I found for me, a former yoyo syndrome, making a simple protein shake or smoothie was a great way to change my diet without drastically changing my diet.  I simply drank or ate two healthy meal replacement smoothies each day and still looked forward to eating my evening meal with my family. If I ate my big meal at lunch, that was not a problem, I simply switched and had my protein healthy meal replacement in the evening.  I do have protein snacks every 2 or 3 hours.  Doctors always told me I should eat 5 or 6 times a day.  I have really good energy, my health is incredible and I lost 45 lbs in little over 4 months!  

Check back soon as I will be publishing more info about veggies, fruit, recipes and other exciting exercise tips.


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