You go to the doctor and get told you have diabetes. Not news that anyone wants to get even if you’ve had some warning.
Now comes the learning curve. You ask the doctor and nurse what to eat. Of course you know sugar is out, but is there any other changes you should be making?
How about if we called diabetes by it’s real name. Carb intolerance disease.
When someone is diabetic it means their body has lost the ability to metabolise carbohydrates easily.
If we look at diabetes through the lense of carb intolerance the food to eat becomes a lot clearer.
Insulin is the key hormone. Insulin takes glucose from your bloodstream into the cells of the body to be stored or used as energy.
Without enough insulin the glucose hangs around in your bloodstream causing all the issues that diabetics are told about and live in fear of.
Do we need carbohydrates?
Let’s take a step back - how does the glucose get into the bloodstream in the first place?
That will be carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down by the body into glucose ready to be used as fuel.
All carbohydrates get broken down into glucose. It doesn’t matter if they are ‘healthy’ carbs - they still convert into glucose.
This is why studies have shown that slow release foods (low GI) don’t have any benefit for diabetics. It is the glucose that is the problem.
It doesn’t matter if the carbs come from sugar-free muesli, fruit or donuts the body still has to deal with the glucose it is broken down into.
Our traditional diet was made up of around 10% carbs, the standard western diet runs at around 60%.
Even worse is that diabetics are advised to base their diet on ‘healthy’ carbs, and we wonder why diabeties is classed as a progressive disease.
The main nutrients in our diet (called macronutrients) are fat, protein and carbohydrates. Without fat and protein in our diet we die pretty quickly.
But what happens if all carbohydrates are cut out of the human diet - what are the side effects and what goes wrong?
NOTHING! That’s right - humans can’t survive without fat and protein but we continue on just fine without any carbohydrates in our diet.
It is true that our brain needs a small amount of glucose for some functions but the body makes glucose itself from protein and fat.
This is the reason that people of low-carb high fat diets can have elevated fasting blood sugars. The liver is producing glucose for neural function.
Our 2 engines
The human body has 2 ‘engines’. The sugar (glucose) engine and the fat engine.
Our main engine is our fat engine - this gives us constant energy and we have a much larger fuel tank for fat. Many systems in our body run so much better on fat. The brain is one of them.
Using fat as fuel (ketones) is protective for our brains and is one of the best treatments for severe epilepsy.
Our sugar engine is meant to be our backup engine. It is not a constant and doesn’t have a steady fuel supply.
Think of it as a yacht - when it has to navigate into port it has a little engine that it uses, but out at sea it has massive sails. It wouldn’t make much sense to never use the sails and just use the little motor at full speed to go everywhere.
It wouldn’t be long till the engine started wearing out and causing problems.
This is exactly what happens in type 2 diabetes. The sugar engine stops working. Modern medicine tries to patch it and keep it going a bit longer.
The real solution is to put up the sails! Get the fat engine running.
The way to do this is to drop the levels of carbohydrates in the diet. All carbohydrates, no matter if it's an apple, pasta or bread - they all count.
Do this and you are treating the real disease.
When diabetes is treated as Carb Intolerance Disease the overworked sugar engine is given a rest.
It is the key to lower blood sugars and improving health.
Mary has worked with people with type 2 diabetes for over 20 years. She is determined to turn the type 2 tide by giving people the information at FreeFromType2.com that they really need to make the best choices for them. She knows that a diet sheet and a prescription isn't the answer. Mary is on a mission to reduce complications for type 2 diabetics. Download Mary's FREE GUIDE to help you take charge of your diabetes and your health.