Diabetes and Diet: Here’s What You Need to Know
Around 34 million Americans—roughly 1 in 10—have some form of diabetes, and another 88 million have prediabetes. Read on for an overview of how diabetes works; how type 1 differs from type 2; common symptoms; and how you can prevent, manage, or (in the case of type 2 diabetes) even reverse it.
- By Courtney Davison, Last Updated: Nov 11, 2021
THE DANGERS OF LOW-CARB DIETS
If you have diabetes, you may have been told at some point to eat a low-carb, high-fat diet, such as the ketogenic diet. While these diets can help normalize blood sugar levels in the short term, they fail to address the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes: insulin resistance.
This is why people on high-fat diets might experience high blood glucose immediately after eating fruit, whole grains, or other carb-rich foods. “From a biological perspective, this makes perfect sense, because the more fat you eat, the less tolerant of carbohydrates your muscles and liver become,” explain Khambatta and Barbaro in their book Mastering Diabetes. But “fruit is not to blame for elevated blood glucose; it’s the high-fat foods you ate before eating fruit that makes it difficult for your muscles and liver to metabolize glucose effectively.”In the long term, high-fat, low-carb diets also increase the risk of heart disease and premature death from all causes.
REAL-LIFE SUCCESS STORIES OF TYPE 2 DIABETES REVERSAL
If you’ve already been diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, you can likely improve your outcomes by eating more whole plant foods and avoiding animal products and highly processed foods.
For inspiration, check out these first-person testimonials from people who reversed type 2 diabetes after adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet….
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