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Why and How A Low-Carb Diet Cures Diabetes

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  • Why and How A Low-Carb Diet Cures Diabetes



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    The University of Alabama clinic successfully treats type 2 diabetes by limiting carbohydrates

    Diabetes is not only one of the most severe chronic diseases, but also the most expensive – at least in the United States. According to a new extensive financial analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the Washington Post, diabetes ranks first in terms of costs for patients and their insurance companies – $ 101 billion a year.

    For comparison, this is twice as much as the entire consolidated health budget of some European countries. In the second place in terms of health care spending in the United States – spending related to cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death for Americans – 88 billion dollars.

    At the same time, the annual growth rate of spending on diabetes treatment (6%) is 30 times higher than the growth of spending on cardiovascular diseases (0.2% per year).

    More than half of the astronomical amount that American patients and insurers spend on diabetes goes to pay for various medications. And perhaps most of this money could be saved by simply changing the diet of patients.


    Click on the image to see Video: Ketogenic diets for type 2 diabetics



    Barbara Gower, a professor at the Center for Diabetes Research at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), leads research on the impact of nutrition on the risks of metabolic diseases, and she argues that type 2 diabetes can in most cases be both prevented and reversed with a low–carb diet.

    However, this information very rarely reaches patients, instead, doctors prescribe them a lot of expensive medications.

    At the University of Alabama clinic, a strict carbohydrate-restricted diet is used to treat diabetic patients, and this method helps most patients completely eliminate the need to take any anti-diabetic medications.

    "They are amazed that they can stop injecting insulin and ask why no one has told them before that diabetes can only be controlled by dieting," says Professor Gower. - the standard recommendations for diabetics are to eat carbohydrates and then inject themselves with insulin, or take other medications.”



    Why is this happening?

    “Medications are needed because diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate intolerance. If the patient does not eat carbohydrates, there is no need to take medication” " she says.

    “I use the analogy with cigarettes. We know that smoking is harmful, and we recommend that patients do not smoke. Why don't we do the same with sugar and refined starches? The excuse I hear is that people won't stop eating sugar and starches. But using the same analogy, we could have thrown up our hands and said - ‘people can’t give up smoking.'”




    Click on the image to see Video: Low-Carb Diet & Diabetes




    "We need to apply the same approach to diabetes as to lung cancer and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) – all of these diseases can be prevented by changing the lifestyle, – says Barbara Gower. – in addition, even when the disease has already developed and continues for a long time, type 2 diabetes can be successfully controlled with a diet. There is nothing impossible about following a low-carb diet that is both healthy and satiating. We do this all the time and teach it to our patients. They love it.”

    "Carbohydrates are not a vital nutrient for the human body, and with appropriate training, patients can set their diet to minimize their share.”

    As for the question “why didn't anyone tell their patients about this before”, the answer seems fairly obvious: more than $ 50 billion that Americans spend each year on diabetes medications.



    The New York Times: a low-carb diet for diabetes

    On September 10, 2016, the New York Times published an article on the low-carb diet as an effective, but greatly underestimated, treatment for diabetes.

    The authors are two American experts in the field of obesity and diabetes: Sarah Hallberg, medical Director of weight loss programs at Indiana University, and Osama Hamdi, medical Director of weight loss and diabetes programs at Harvard medical school. The article became one of the most popular on the newspaper's website and was widely distributed via social media.


    Physical activity is one of the most frequent recommendations in popular articles about the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Tips to do sports are never superfluous – physical activity brings a lot of benefits to the body. The only problem is that the benefits of physical activity do not always help to achieve the results promised by these tips.



    Click on the image to see Video: Dr. Sarah Hallberg - 'Low Carbohydrate Diet for Type 2 Diabetes Reversal'


    We have already written that sports almost do not help to lose weight. As the results of a new study by Australian scientists show, the preventive properties of sports in relation to type 2 diabetes are also very much exaggerated. At least for those who have already gained weight and are trying to compensate for the increased risks of increased physical activity.

    The results of the study, which is part of a large project “45 and older” were presented on September 6 at the annual meeting in Sydney by the non-profit scientific organization The Sax Institute.

    People who are obese, but who are active in sports and lead a mobile lifestyle, are at five times greater risk of developing diabetes compared to those whose weight is within the normal range.

    “The results of our study clearly indicate that if you want to avoid type 2 diabetes, physical activity alone is not enough if you are overweight or obese,” says Bin Nguyen, one of the scientists working on the project “45 and older”.



    "45 and older" is the largest long – term study of healthy aging in the Southern Hemisphere, involving more than a quarter of a million participants and nearly 600 scientists who study various aspects of aging and related health indicators – from sleep quality to reasons for early retirement.

    For a study on the risks of diabetes, researchers measured the physical activity of 29.5 thousand people, 611 of whom became ill with diabetes over the past three years.

    A sedentary lifestyle turned out to be a much weaker risk factor than being overweight: people of normal weight who did not exercise were twice as likely to develop diabetes as those who were athletic but obese.

    Although, it is also impossible to say that sports are completely useless: for those who avoid physical activity, the risk of diabetes was even higher for those who were overweight. But the benefits of sports are clearly not able to compensate for the harm that is fraught with obesity.

    The scientific director of the project “45 and older”, Professor Emily Banks, believes that the large amount of data collected during the project will help to better understand and actively discuss the concept of "healthy fullness":

    “The data tells us that being overweight and obese are important factors in the development of type 2 diabetes. Physical activity is important, but it doesn't give overweight people a “free pass” from the risk zone. Maintaining a healthy weight by following a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy diet is the best way to protect yourself from type 2 diabetes.”

    Type 2 diabetes is a severe chronic disease that is fraught with many complications: vision loss, leg amputation, kidney failure, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

    Over the past few decades, the incidence of diabetes has been steadily increasing worldwide. According to the WHO, from 1980 to 2014, the number of diabetics increased from 108 to 422 million, or from 4.7% to 8.5% of the world's adult population. During the same time, the prevalence of obesity in the world has more than doubled.

    In the modern world, of course, there is no shortage of concepts of what kind of lifestyle and what kind of nutrition deserve to be defined as healthy. But a large number of serious scientific studies indicate that the best way to get rid of extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight is to seriously limit carbohydrates in your diet, i.e. compliance with the basic principles of keto.



    Nighttime snacking causes diabetes and breast cancer

    Fasting, even for a few hours, is very useful and natural for the body. It normalizes the level of insulin and ghrelin ("hunger hormone"), stimulates the production of growth hormone, and increases resistance to free radicals. It turned out that those participants who took a 12-hour night break in food every day had blood sugar levels always within the normal range - no matter how much they ate during the day.

    Scientists from the San Diego School of Medicine studied 2,000 women, interviewing them in detail about their eating habits and sleep patterns. It turned out that those participants who took a daily 12-hour night break from eating, their blood sugar levels were always within the normal range – regardless of how they ate during the day.

    According to the researchers ' calculations, every three hours of "sleepy" fasting lowered the glucose content by about 4%. And women who consistently snacked after dinner were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes: their sugar levels were on average 20% higher than normal. It is also interesting that participants who never came to the refrigerator after the end of the day consumed fewer calories.

    Numerous studies show that hyperglycemia increases the risk of developing certain forms of cancer several times, especially breast cancer. Women with high blood sugar levels are 37% more likely to get sick. And obesity, a sure companion to hyperglycemia, increases the risk of breast cancer after menopause by as much as 55%.

    The mechanisms of this phenomenon are not exactly studied: hyperglycemia is supposed to disrupt the normal production of sex hormones, and cancer cells "feed" on glucose and multiply quickly.

    Unfortunately, many people find it very difficult to refrain from additional, including night, snacks: they have too much sugar and other refined carbohydrates in their diet, leading first to a sharp increase in blood sugar levels, and then to its equally sharp drop.

    The result of such jumps is an overwhelming feeling of hunger, forcing a person to take the shortest route to the refrigerator. The best way to keep feeling full for a long time is to radically reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your diet and make fat the main source of energy. Among other things, it will improve your sleep and save you from night trips to the kitchen.

    Prior to this work, several interesting studies were published: according to them, women who work night shifts are especially likely to get breast cancer. Katrin Marinak, the lead author of the experiment in San Diego, believes that this is due to the fact that they are forced to eat at night. In her opinion, a simple habit of not eating after dinner can save the health of millions of women.



    Fatty dairy products (sour cream, cottage cheese) reduce the risk of diabetes

    Scientists from Lund University in Sweden found that the use of fatty dairy products reduces the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. However, this does not apply to popular low-fat yogurts: natural products of normal fat content are necessary.

    A group of researchers, led by Professor Ulrika Erikson, analyzed the eating habits of 27,000 people aged 45 to 74 years. All of them took part in a large-scale state experiment to study the link between cancer and nutrition, which took place in the early 1990s. Therefore, scientists had very detailed information about their respondents. They were interested in how the presence of saturated fat in the diet correlates with type 2 diabetes.

    2,860 participants in the experiment developed type 2 diabetes twenty years later (i.e., in the 2010s). It turned out that among the people who avoided this disease, those who regularly ate fatty dairy products were in the lowest risk group. On average, they were 23% less likely to develop diabetes.

    According to Ulrika Erikson, saturated fats from different foods have different effects on the body. Unlike dairy fats, meat fats do not reduce the risk of diabetes, but, for example, have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. Most likely, both calcium and vitamin d work against diabetes in natural fatty dairy products.

    Swedish scientists remind that each product should be considered as a whole, and if it brings a certain benefit, it is a matter of proper balance of nutrients. This means that low-fat yogurt fortified with calcium will not reduce the risk of developing diabetes. You need saturated fats that "trigger" the rest of the vitamins and trace elements.

    It is interesting that, according to the study, the saturated fat in different dairy products also have several different properties. For example, fats in butter significantly lower the level of " bad "cholesterol in the blood, which cannot be said about" cheese " fats. And the most powerful anti-diabetic effect has cream.



    52% of Americans are either already diabetic or pre-diabetic

    The fact that type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest-growing diseases in recent decades is no longer news. But a study shows the true scale of the disaster: about 14% of Americans have diabetes, and another 38% are pre-diabetic and have an increased risk of getting sick in the future.

    Prediabetes is a condition in which the level of glucose in the blood is constantly elevated, but not enough to make a diagnosis of diabetes.

    The study authors analyzed data from regular surveys and analyses (U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys) of 2,781 people. The presence of diabetes was determined by the following signs: fasting blood sugar, blood sugar level two hours after the patient drank glucose syrup diluted in water, and the level of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which is a marker of average blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months.

    Analysis of these indicators revealed that in addition to 9.1% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes, another 5.2% suffer from these diseases without even knowing about it. Among the 38% of Americans whose indicators fall under the definition of prediabetes, things are even worse – 95% of them do not even know about their condition.

    The incidence rate among different ethnic groups was quite different – white Americans are least susceptible to the disease (11%), while among African Americans, people from Latin America and Asia, diabetics are about twice as many: 21-22%. At the same time, 51% of Asians and 49% of people from Latin America are not aware of their diagnosis.

    There are many reasons for this state of affairs, but one of them is that genetically Asians are more predisposed to maintain the illusion of normal weight even with fairly serious obesity of the internal organs.

    This phenomenon is called TOFI - thin outside fat inside- i.e. " thin on the outside, fat on the inside”. Recognizing this problem, the American Diabetes Association has been recommending since December that doctors check Asians for diabetes with a body mass index of 23, rather than 25, like everyone else.

    The published data is a very disturbing signal. Diabetes is terrible not only in itself, but also because it significantly increases the risk of many other diseases, primarily — cardiovascular, but also-stroke, kidney disease, cancer, senile dementia, and many others.

    Diabetes is the most common cause of non-traumatic leg amputations (73 thousand a year!) and complete loss of vision among adults. The overall risk of death for diabetics is at least twice as high as for people of the same age but without diabetes.

    The growing incidence of diabetes is also a serious economic problem – in the United States, the damage from the disease is estimated at 245 billion dollars a year. The presence of diabetes increases the cost of medical care for a patient by an average of 2.3 times.

    According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidence of diabetes increased almost fourfold from 1980 to 2011. Scientists believe this is a direct consequence of the obesity epidemic of recent decades.

    “The doubling of the percentage of obese people from 1980 to 2000 led 10 years later to a dramatic increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. William Hermann, a Professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan.

    However, everyone chooses their own food and lifestyle. Reducing your personal risk of developing diabetes is not so difficult – it is enough to give up foods that cause constantly high blood sugar levels, i.e. sharply reduce the proportion of carbohydrates in your diet.

    Of course, regular physical activity helps to reduce the risks, but if you eat incorrectly, it's not very effective – even professional athletes are not insured against diabetes.

    And don't forget to regularly check with your doctor and take tests, especially if you are overweight and already at risk. After all, the first and most important step in the fight against any disease is a timely diagnosis.

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