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How to prevent diabetes

by Mark Lamendola,
who is genetically at risk for it

When the body cannot produce or properly use insulin, it cannot adequately metabolize sugar. This condition is the disease we call diabetes. When the body cannot adequately metabolize sugar, this sugar then accumulates in excess quantities in the blood. This causes a host of problems, such as vascular damage and damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, and other organs.

Diabetics must pay particular attention to their feet, as that is where the first signs of advanced vascular damage appear. And that's why you hear so much about diabetics and amputations of toes, feet, legs, fingers, and so on.

Obviously, diabetes is not a great disease to have.

Risk factors

The primary risk factor is excess body fat. This fat in itself doesn't cause the diabetes. It's a marker. The same behavior that makes you fat increases the likelihood of diabetes.

Note that being fat and having diabetes don't always coincide. In fact, diabetes can cause rapid weight loss. Any time you experience a rapid weight loss, see your physician immediately.

Smoking is a secondary risk factor for diabetes. As always, it is a very stupid thing to do. The vascular damage from smoking will also exacerbate damage from diabetes.

Genetics also plays a role. But, you can get adult onset diabetes regardless of your genetics. Of course, many people become diabetics through no fault of their own or are born with diabetes. Everyone else should manage the risk factors to reduce the likelihood of getting diabetes to begin with.

Make no assumptions, regarding these risk factors. Nothing is guaranteed.

 

Causes

If you look at the statistics for sugar consumption in the USA and the percentage of the population with Type II (Adult Onset) diabetes, you'll see they track pretty much one-for-one. A friend of mine has "the other kind" of diabetes--the kind you get through no fault of your own. He is amazed that non-diabetic people live a lifestyle that puts them at such high risk for a disease that complicates his life so much.

Type II (Adult Onset) diabetes is a sugar disease. You can control it, even prevent it. The keys are these:

  • Managing your insulin (controlling sugar sources)

  • Eating small portions instead of "filling up" at meals

  • Keeping your bodyfat percentage down (obesity is a high risk factor)

Let's take a closer look at what you can do about diabetes.

 

Diet

There is no one magic diet that works for everyone. Nor is there a single diet that works best for one individual over a long time. Pay attention to your genetics, and to your ethnic group's traditional foods. If you are African American, that does not mean overcooked vegetables or pork rinds. Such garbage came on the nutritional scene only recently, and is not a true ethnic food. The same is true for Italians who overdose on pepperoni pizza. Being Italian myself as, well as having enjoyed fantastic African cuisine, I can tell you there is a lot more to these diets than the recent introductions often associated with these cultural groups.

Except for Eskimos and a few other highly specialized ethnic groups, all diets must adhere to the same few macronutrient rules. For example:

  • Eliminate as many processed carbohydrates as possible.

  • Don't eat carbohydrates 2 hours before bedtime.

  •  Balance your fat/carbos/protein in a roughly 30/40/30 ratio (this is a guideline, not a hard and fast rule--it doesn't work for everyone).

  • Eat at least 5 or 6 small meals a day.

  • Always eat a high-protein breakfast.

  • Cut saturated fats, but eat unsaturated fats. Good sources are walnuts, cashews, peanuts, and any oils that are liquid at room temperature (don't go overboard).

Did you know that the peanuts offered on airlines are LESS fattening than the fat-free pretzels? It's true. Stay away from fat-free foods--they make your insulin levels do a yo-yo, and that makes you put on fat. Yuck. Worse, it sets the stage for adult-onset diabetes.

Do NOT eat white flour, bleached flour, enriched flour, or any other kind of wheat flour that is not whole wheat. The glycemic effects of such flours will work against you. Eat whole grain flours, and try to get a variety. Amaranth and soy are two good flours. Eat oat groats instead of oatmeal. In short, get your grains in the least-processed form you can. This holds true for everyone, regardless of genetics (unless you have a malabsorption problem). This one "trick" will help you keep your insulin level on an even keel, and that is paramount to diabetes prevention and management.

What also holds true for everyone is: drink lots of water! Fill a gallon jug twice a day, and make sure you drink all of it. Once you get as lean as you want to be, cut back to a single gallon if you want to. For added fat loss, drink chilled (but not super cold) water. Sodas do not count. Such beverages are extremely unhealthy, for reasons I won't cover here. However, I will say that if you want to get osteoporosis, soft drinks are for you. Soft drinks make for soft bones.

Learn about insulin management. Make a trip to your library and get a book on the glycemic index. Also, look for Ann Louise Gittleman's book,"Your Body Knows Best." She has other books that are good, too. If you can't find it at your library, you can order it via this hyperlink: Your Body Knows Best, $5.59. Be careful on these diet books: most of them are completely wrong.

Make sure to eat at least 5 or 6 small meals a day, rather than one big one. Doing so levels out your insulin and your blood sugar. Forget about that full feeling. If you find yourself overeating out of anxiety or boredom, fix the underlying problem--don't add to it by poor eating!

 

Exercise

You need to build muscle and burn fat. How many lean, muscular people do you know with diabetes? OK, so listen! Live the lean lifestyle, and you will be way ahead in the diabetes game.

Walking is a great exercise. Do it every day, and you'll raise your metabolic rate, as well as level out your blood sugar. This means you will burn extra calories even while you are sitting in front of your computer or sleeping in your bed! Look at the ways you save calories, and then spend them instead. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Park away from the door, instead of up close. Use a push mower instead of a riding mower. Pay attention to what you do and think of how you can burn more calories while doing it.

 

See www.supplecity.com for related health information.

 

 
 
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