I know - it can be a minefield. Why is to so difficult to know the right food to eat when you’re diabetic and wanting to lose weight?
If you follow the medical dogma you are likely to be told to avoid fat and watch calories. This is despite the fact that a mountain of evidence show it doesn’t work at all. You’ve got a 5% chance of pulling that approach off - don’t do it!
One of the most common things you are likely to be told by EVERYONE is that moderation is the key.
It’s funny how people around you suddenly become experts on nutrition when you mention that you are wanting to take control of your diet. They will tell you that moderation is the key and a little of what you like is the answer.
They are wrong - moderation is NOT the answer and will actually worsen your health and help your diabetes progress.
Lions and Salad
Before we get into the science behind it - let’s take a common sense approach.
If we look to the animal kingdom, moderation doesn’t exist at all.
You don’t see lions having an antelope with salad on the side to have a balanced diet.
A balanced diet doesn’t exist in the animal kingdom. The vast majority of species rely on a very specific diet and if they deviate from that they get pretty sick pretty quickly.
Earth’s history is littered with extinct species that died because their food source disappeared.
What makes us think humans are immune from this? Yes - we are omnivores and can get our energy from a wide variety of foods - this doesn’t mean that we should.
There are definitely foods that need to make up a larger part of our diet and be the majority of what we eat.
Since the first nutritional guidelines were laid down we were advised to avoid fat and to eat in moderation. These guidelines have turned out to be a bit of an experiment and weren’t based on solid evidence.
We can look all around us and see how the ‘experiment’ turned out. The newspaper headlines tell us that this is the first generation in our history where we can expect our children to die before us.
A pretty damning result and yet - despite all this evidence - change is frustratingly slow and it will still be years before medical institutes and governments change their guidance.
Time to go nuts
There is a wealth of historical and scientific data showing the error of eating in moderation.
The mediterranean diet has long been discussed as decreasing the risk of premature death and has been thought to extend the human lifespan.
A large study examined this phenomenon. They selected 7447 people that were at a high risk of heart disease and stroke (a number were type 2 diabetic) and followed them for over 4 years.
The study divided people into 3 groups. 1 group was following the current advice of following a low-fat approach.
The other 2 groups were advised to follow a mediterranean diet with high levels of olive oil and other fats. The only difference between the groups was the addition of nuts on top of the mediterranean diet. They were told to eat freely with no calorie restrictions.
It soon became clear that the low-fat group were experiencing a much higher incidence of stroke, heart attack and death. This arm of the study had to stopped as it was considered unethical to continue when the benefit of the mediterranean diet was so clear.
The study showed that high amounts of healthy fats, fish, meats and vegetables and very low amounts of carbohydrates and processed food had a clear benefit over the traditional approach.
Here’s another study that examined the food choices of 5000 Americans and their connection to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The researchers stated:
“Eat everything in moderation”, or diet diversity, is a long standing public health recommendation. Yet, remarkably, dietary diversity has never been clearly defined nor measured, and thus little is known about its actual impact on human health.
“In conclusion, our findings provide little evidence for benefits of dietary diversity for either waist circumference or T2D.”
It’s time to stop aiming for ‘balance’ and ‘moderation’ and eat more of the foods we know have health benefits.
Moderation was never the answer.
Mary has worked with type 2 diabetics 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 eradicate complications for type 2 diabetics. Download Mary's FREE GUIDE to help you take charge of your diabetes and your health.