After exhaustive research, I found eating plans that not only help diabetics, but also help anyone lose weight and feel better. Although diabetics come here to find out how to eat, these plans are great for weight loss and managing inflammatory chronic conditions.
Finding good diabetes diet information is one of the largest components to maintaining your health as a diabetic. Diabetics, those suffering from inflammatory issues, and those with autoimmune conditions all benefit from the same types of anti-inflammatory diets.
I used to use a Paleo/low carb diet on my patients to help stabilize and maintain their blood sugar throughout the day. A low carb or caveman diet does work to lower blood sugar, but I found it causes a whole cascade of new problems to develop. I was a big proponent of a high protein and low carbohydrate diet for years. Although I saw it help diabetics lower their HbA1c in my practice, their blood work would come back with new issues. I realized I was just trading one set of problems for another set and really was not helping my patients as much as I had hoped.
In desperation to find the best diabetes diet information I started researching plant-based diets. After discovering that science supports a plant-based diet, I began trying them first on myself, and then on patients. I was very impressed with the results; not just for diabetics, but for the overall health of everyone. What few doctors realize is how much meat, dairy, and oils disrupt sugar regulation and cause or contribute to systemic inflammation.
Eating lots of animal products, fats, and oils causes the insulin receptors on cells to malfunction. When this happens the fat cells swell so much that the fatty material spills out of the cell membrane into the blood and surrounding tissues. This causes a process known as lipotoxicity. The extra fat someone is carrying will actually cause them to become insulin resistant and gain even more fat. So the fatter a person gets the faster they gain more weight. It is a vicious and demoralizing cycle. A person like this will try exercising and diet after diet with very little results.
Refined carbohydrates play their part too. This is why eating a low carb diet will change their blood sugar markers for the better for a time. But only addressing carbohydrates misses a huge part of the diabetic’s problem. Unfortunately this is what I see all the low carb diets do. They never address the major factor of lipotoxicity.
I found three different ways of eating a plant-based diet that I recommend. All of these work, but a person will need to choose the one that fits their personality the best. If they can’t learn to enjoy the process, they won’t actually stick with it. This diabetes diet information can transform a person's life when followed correctly.
This is the healthiest way to eat and the #1 plan I recommend to my patients. It is also how I personally eat now. It is an ideal diet that is packed with raw fruits and vegetables.
A person loads up their body with nutrient-dense, low fat raw food. This floods the body with proper nutrition and allows it to function at optimal levels.
I know going on a high carb diet seems opposite of what is conventionally recommended for diabetics and autoimmune patients, but slow burning carbohydrates actually help stabilize your blood sugar. It is very hard to get wild blood sugar swings and spikes from consuming raw fruit. To some patients this eating lifestyle can seem restrictive at first, but once someone adapts it is easy to follow. It really works well for dropping weight fast and addressing chronic health issues.
On a positive note, if you have bad sweet tooth cravings or binge eating issues, you will love being a raw food fruitarian. You literally can stuff yourself with sweet fruit and still lose weight.
Again, this is my favorite program and the one I think works the best overall. Not only will you lose weight quickly in a healthy way, but it will also put the breaks on inflammatory issues, which makes most chronic symptoms better. When someone is struggling with weight issues or health problems this is the go-to plan I send them to. If you want fast results this is what you are looking for.
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If you don't want to go with my top choice, then this is my second choice. One drawback is it involves a good deal of cooking which burns nutrients out of the food. This second plant-based eating system focuses on high-nutrient foods. The “nutritarian” lifestyle focuses on eating the foods with the lowest calories that also have the highest nutrition. “Nutritarian” eating delivers results very fast and works on even the most stubborn diabetes, inflammatory, and autoimmune conditions.
I have seen people melt away stubborn weight so fast it is almost hard to believe. It’s like they step out of a fat suit they have been imprisoned in most of their life. The down side to a “nutritarian” lifestyle is it is a pretty restrictive way of eating and takes some discipline at first. It also does not work as well on cravings as a full raw diet.
Once you get in the swing of it, it becomes second nature and is easy. If you are more motivated by watching the scale move quickly rather than eating fruit and starchy foods, then this is the plan for you. I really like this cookbook because it takes all the guesswork out of what to eat. The recipes are quick and tasty.
The third choice and final plant-based way of eating I have seen work well with diabetes, autoimmune conditions, and other inflammatory conditions is a high starch diet. At first glance eating a high amount of carbohydrates would seem counter-intuitive for a diabetic, and a lot of diabetes diet information out there will tell you to avoid it. But there is solid science backing it up.
The plan focuses on nutrient-dense carbohydrates and resistant starch. These carbohydrates don’t have the same effect on the blood stream as refined carbohydrates do. Throughout history until recently, people survived on high-starch foods and never had diabetes or insulin resistance.
This approach returns people to that primal form of eating. If you are a "carboholic" and want to lose weight eating pancakes and oatmeal, this might be the way you want to go. The down side is it gets results slowly and weight loss can take a while. The up side to this plan is you get to eat lots of comfort foods and it is much easier for people to comply with. This cookbook teaches you how to eat like this.
The above three approaches (fruitarian, nutritarian, starch-based) are the ones I have seen have the most success. By far plant-based lifestyles are superior for reversing diabetes and other inflammation-based autoimmune conditions.
Even with all this diabetes diet information and research, some of my patients refuse to give up eating a meat-based diet even though meat, oil, and dairy are killing them. They still want to eat unlimited amounts of bacon, steak, and cheese.
While not always what you want to hear, diabetes diet information that actually works is what you need in order to maintain or even reverse your condition.
Sometimes eating a plant-based diet is just not enough. Patients who are on diabetic medications, anti-inflammatory medications, and/or autoimmune medications have whole other sets of problems caused by the side effects of the drugs.
The other 800-pound gorilla of diabetes and other autoimmune diseases is systemic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is really what is responsible for causing most of the diabetic’s serious problems. A plant-based diet is anti-inflammatory and will help reverse tissue destruction. This is why diabetes diet information is key to treating and even reversing this disease.
Unfortunately people are so sick these days that eating a plant-based diet by itself won’t always cut it. For my more stubborn diabetic patients, I have to use high-power nutraceuticals to turn down the inflammation first so the diet will work. If your condition is bad enough that you are on medications to control your blood sugar or autoimmune issues, you would be wise to find a nutritionally-oriented functional medicine doctor. You will really want proper nutritional support through this lifestyle change.
One of the biggest side effects with diabetes and insulin resistance is often left untreated and undiagnosed. The unchecked sugar regulation is very taxing on the body and can cause massive systemic inflammation. Longstanding inflammation is the most damaging side effect of diabetes/autoimmune conditions and sets all the really deadly complications in motion. Inflammation in diabetics is what ultimately causes nerve damage, blindness, heart attacks, amputation, and death.
Food sensitivities can keep someone in their chronically inflamed state, even if they are losing weight and eating a plant-based diet. If you've been tested and have food sensitivities you will need to avoid these categories of food as well.
There are three common groups of foods that come up when I test my patients. I will list them in order of what is most common:
Always consult a doctor before to make sure it is right for you to eat a plant-based diet.
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