“Alarm bells are ringing. The CDC estimates that one third of all Americans will develop diabetes and will live 15 years less and lose quality of life. No public health problem compares in scale.” – Dr. Mehmet Oz
According to top medical doctors, nutritionists, scientists and now even the media, type 2 diabetes is a completely reversible condition. Yet millions of people all over the world are being told that diabetes is “genetic” and that they have to live with it the rest of their life.
But there’s good news! In this article I will go over the exact steps you need to take to reverse type 2 diabetes naturally and improve type 1 diabetes. In many cases, type 2 diabetes can be reversed in less than 30 days.* I also lay out a sample eating plan and supplement regimen that you can follow or share with someone you love who needs this information.
I will also address the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and differences in treatment.
25% of the Population Is Pre-Diabetic … and They Don’t Know It
Diabetes has grown to “epidemic” proportions and the latest statistics revealed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that 25.8 million Americans have diabetes. Also, research from the ADA shows that 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes, which is 25 percent of the U.S. population!
The cost of diabetes to our nation is a staggering $245 billion dollars a year as of 2012. That’s $176 billion in direct medical costs and another $69 billion loss in productivity.
Aside from the financial costs of diabetes the more frightening findings are the side effects and the fact that diabetes is the 7th leading disease killer in America today. The most common side effects of diabetes include high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, neuropathy, Alzheimer’s and amputation.
So let’s discuss what actually causes diabetes and the difference between type 1 and type 2.
The Cause of Diabetes
Diabetes is an illness related to elevated blood sugar levels.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The damage to the pancreatic cells leads to reduced ability or complete inability to create insulin. Some of the common causes that trigger this autoimmune response may include a virus, GMO organisms, heavy metals, vaccines, or foods like wheat, cows milk, and soy.
The reason foods like wheat and cows milk have been linked to diabetes is because they contain the proteins gluten and A1 casein. These proteins can cause leaky gut which in turn causes systemic inflammation throughout the body and overtime can lead to autoimmune disease. In order to reduce the autoimmune response and improve type 1 diabetes, I suggest you implement the advice in this article and follow the steps I layout for you here: 4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease.
Type 1 Diabetes is rarely reversed but with the right dietary changes major improvements in blood sugar levels can be seen and a person can often reduce their dependence on insulin and medications.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is caused by insulin resistance. It is a metabolic disorder that is caused by high blood sugar. The body can keep up for a period of time by producing more insulin, but over time the insulin receptors sites get burned out.
Now, we know the main causative factors in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes include foods that spike blood sugar levels and cause intestinal inflammation. Next, let’s go over the top foods you MUST get out of your diet to reverse type 2 diabetes and support overall health for type 1 diabetes.
Foods You Must Remove to Reverse Diabetes Naturally
Refined sugar rapidly spikes blood glucose and soda, fruit juice and other sugary beverages are the worst culprits. These forms of sugar enter the blood stream rapidly and can cause extreme elevations in blood glucose. Even though natural sweeteners like raw honey and maple syrup are better options, they can still affect blood sugar. Your best option is to switch to stevia.
Grains, especially gluten containing grains like wheat, contain large amounts of carbohydrates which are broken down into sugar within a few minutes of consumption. As discussed earlier, gluten can cause intestinal inflammation which affects hormones like cortisol and leptin, and can lead to spikes in blood sugar. I would remove all grains from your diet for your first 90 days on this healing program and after that time you can introduce back in sprouted ancient grains in small amounts.
Conventional cow’s milk, should be eliminated especially for type 1 diabetics. Dairy can be a fantastic food for balancing blood sugar if it comes from goat’s, sheep, or A2 cows. Stay away from all other forms of dairy because the A1 casein produced by conventional cows will harm the body and trigger an immune response similar to gluten. When buying dairy, only purchase raw and organic from pasture raised animals.
Alcohol can dangerously increase blood sugar and lead to liver toxicity. Beer and sweet liquors are high in carbohydrates and should be avoided.
GMO corn, soy, and canola have been linked to kidney and liver disease and may promote diabetes. I suggest removing all GMO foods and all packaged foods from your diet. Also, remove hydrogenated oils from your diet including vegetable oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and canola oil.
Top Foods to Treat Diabetes
If you want to reverse type II diabetes or prevent diabetes, I suggest you add the following foods into your diet.
High fiber foods help slow down glucose absorption. Aim for at least 30g of fiber per day from vegetables, avocados, berries, nuts, and seeds.
Foods high in chromium can improve GTF glucose tolerance factor in your body and naturally balance out blood glucose levels. Broccoli, raw cheese, green beans and grass-fed beef are all high in chromium, however broccoli has the highest amounts by far.
MCFA’s found in coconut and red palm oil can help balance blood sugar levels and be a preferred fuel source for your body rather than sugar.
Wild-caught fish contain omega-3 fats and reduce inflammation which can help counteract some of the negative effects of elevated blood glucose.
Foods with a low glycemic load tend to not spike blood sugar as much as high glycemic foods. Low glycemic foods include vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut, organic meat, eggs, wild caught fish and raw pastured dairy.
Sprinkling herbs like cinnamon, turmeric, and parsley on your food may also help balance blood sugar levels.
The 5 Best Supplements for Balancing Blood Sugar
1. Chromium Picolinate (600 mcg daily) Helps improve insulin sensitivity.
2. Cinnamon (2 tsp daily) Add to food, smoothie or tea to help improve blood sugar control.
3. Fish Oil (1,000 mg daily) Omega-3s are necessary for proper insulin function.
4. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (300-1200 mg daily) Improves insulin sensitivity and reduces symptoms of neuropathy.
5. Fiber Powder (10 g) Fiber from vegetables and seeds can control blood glucose. I recommend finding a supplement that contains sprouted chia and flaxseeds.
Other supplements that may support diabetes include: magnesium, rhodiola, green coffee extract, bitter melon, and gymnema sylvestre.
The Eating Plan to Reverse Diabetes
If you want to balance your blood sugar and see results quickly, then follow this plan as closely as possible. I want you to focus on getting plenty of protein, healthy fat, and fiber in every meal.
Exercising Balances Your Blood Sugar
Exercise is another crucial part of improving insulin sensitivity. It naturally supports metabolism by burning fat and building lean muscle. To prevent and reverse diabetes I recommend getting outside and walking 20-30 minutes a day. This has been shown to be especially beneficial following meals.
In addition to walking, you also need to do interval training cardio (like burst training) or weight training 3 to 5 days a week for 20-40 minutes.
Burst training can help you burn up to 3x more body fat than traditional cardio and can naturally increase insulin sensitivity. You can do this on a spin bike with intervals or you can try burst training at home. Burstfit has a variety of workouts for all levels of fitness.
Strength training using free weights or machines is also recommended because it helps you build and maintain muscle, which supports balanced blood sugar and sugar metabolism.
*Results not typical. Even using the same exact program of diet, supplementation and exercise, be aware that individual results will vary.
CNN. Reversing Diabetes is Possible.http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/28/reverse.diabetes/ (accessed September 2013).
American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Statistics. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/ (accessed September 2013).
Monetini L, Cavallo MG, Manfrini S, Stefanini L, Picarelli A, Di Tola M, Petrone A, Bianchi M, La Presa M, Di Giulio C, Baroni MG, Thorpe R, Walker BK, Pozzilli P. Antibodies to bovine beta-casein in diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. Hormone and Metabolic Research 2002; 34(8): 455-9.
Hansen D, Brock-Jacobsen B, Lund E, Bjørn C, Hansen LP, Nielsen C, Fenger C, Lillevang ST, Husby S. Clinical benefit of a gluten-free diet in type 1 diabetic children with screening-detected celiac disease: a population-based screening study with 2 years’ follow-up.. Diabetes Care 2006; 169(21): 2029-32.
Wein S, Wolffram S, Schrezenmeir J, Gasperiková D, Klimes I, Seböková E. Medium-chain fatty acids ameliorate insulin resistance caused by high-fat diets in rats. Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews 2009; 25(2): 185-94.
Kalman D. Chromium picolinate and type 2 diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003; 78(1): 92.
Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2003; 26(12): 3215-8.
Ziegler D, Ametov A, Barinov A, Dyck PJ, Gurieva I, Low PA, Munzel U, Yakhno N, Raz I, Novosadova M, Maus J, Samigullin R. Oral treatment with alpha-lipoic acid improves symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy. Diabetes Care 2006; 29(11): 2365-70.
Little JP, Gillen JB, Percival ME, Safdar A, Tarnopolsky MA, Punthakee Z, Jung ME, Gibala MJ. Low-volume high-intensity interval training reduces hyperglycemia and increases muscle mitochondrial capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Applied Physiology 1985; 111(6): 1554-60.