So why am I hearing this for the first time now? Why hasn’t my doctor told me this?
This is a question Ive been thinking about a lot and the answer is complex.
1 Doctors have become very dependent on their script pad. It has become a reflex to prescribe a medication for every condition and symptom. Medications can be very useful but unfortunately for type 2 diabetes we do not have effective medications. Often medication deal with the symptoms but not the cause of the problem.
2 Doctors have very little training in nutrition, receiving less than 10 hours in their entire degree. So there is reliance on medication rather than lifestyle interventions.
3 Cognitive dissidence. As doctors we tend to think “if we were not taught about this in medical school it is unlikely to be true”.
So what has changed in our understanding of T2 Diabetes? Certainly, human genetics has not changed but scientific knowledge in this area has advanced greatly. We know have an evidence-based understanding of metabolism, which allows us to deal with the biochemical cause of the problem. We know that insulin is a powerful hormone, causing T2 diabetes. Insulin a nutrient sensor and growth factor. When insulin levels are high it sends powerful signals telling every cell of the body to store energy. When insulin levels remain high for too long the cells become resistant to insulin’s message and it takes higher and higher levels of insulin to move glucose into the cells. This is called insulin resistance. I have read papers suggesting that seven out of eight American adults are insulin resistant leading to metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
We now have a powerful dietary tool that can dramatically lower insulin resistance. This is the low carb/ healthy fat or ketogenic diet. This diet is low in carbohydrate. This lowers blood glucose levels and results in insulin levels dropping and fat storage being turned off. In fact it releases stored fat from adipose tissue and results in dramatic weight loss as well as reversing diabetes.
So why is not every doctor and dietician prescribing every diabetic patient a LCHF diets. Again, this comes back to cognitive bias. For 40 years we have had strongly held beliefs about diet, such as “carbohydrates are essential for energy”, “saturated fat causes heart disease”, “cholesterol, especially LDL causes heart disease”, and “it is all about calories”. Modern science has proven all these strongly held beliefs to be in fact myths. Carbohydrates are not essential, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day, saturated fats, that we have been eating for millions of years, are both healthy and stable and in fact it is poly-unsaturated oils like canola and margarine that are causing inflammation and damage.
LC/HF diets are powerful tools. Compared to medication they can deal with the cause of the problem and reverse diabetes, where as medications can only moderate blood sugars and in many cases make the problem worse.
So the solution is a whole food, Low carb, healthy fat diet with truckloads of above ground vegetables, moderate amounts of quality protein such as meat, fish, chicken and eggs and healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil for cooking and the fat on the meat and skin on the chicken.
The science supports this particularly, Sarah Hallberg’s Virta Health trials (ref) and Davd Unwin in the UK (ref). In NZ at the Taupo Medical Centre 115 patients have completely reversed their diabetes
and pre-diabetes with normal HbA1C and have been able to come off their medication (with exception of Metformin).
We have a powerful dietary tool that can reverse diabetes but here at Reversal NZ we realise lifestyle changes are not always quite that easy. Life can get in the way. That is why we have created a comprehensive plan involving time with the clinician and support from highly trained Health Coaches. Your Health Coach will help you find your intrinsic motivation by discovering your “why”. We will help you find the reasons for “falling off the wagon”. We will name your saboteur. We will give you tools such as APPs to record carbohydrates and tools to measure ketones. You will have other resources including diet plans and all the resources and support and knowledge to reverse your diabetes within six months.
Having diabetes increases your chance of having a heart attack by 1000%. After smoking it is the biggest cause of cancer. High insulin levels cause high blood pressure, obesity, gout, Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and are a major cause of Alzheimer’s (type 3 diabetes) and poor mental health.
Clients who have used LC/HF and ketogenic diets tell us so many stories about how their energy has increased, vitality has improved, their thinking is clear, their joints stop aching, in fact, one man, after 19 days on a ketogenic diet told his surgeon at a pre-anaesthetic check he no longer needed his knee replacement surgery, as he no longer has pain.
This is all about fuelling the body correctly, to restore hormonal balance, which will result in metabolic health. We now have powerful tools, supported by modern science and the health coach approach, as part of a comprehensive lifestyle programme addressing exercise, sleep, stress, breathing and relationships, to offer you the opportunity, not just to reverse your diabetes but also to feel well, vibrant and energetic.
DR GLEN DAVIES