Gobble ‘til you wobble… ?
Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it the tradition of foodie indulgence. Yet, as we give thanks, let’s think about how our holiday eating impacts us and our loved ones.
Type 1 Versus Type 2 Diabetes
In the 1960s and 70s, the awareness of type 2 diabetes would barely have registered a blip on the radar of the vast majority of Americans.
For those alive during those decades who might have had an inkling of what diabetes was, the most common form they would have known about was juvenile diabetes. That’s a disorder diagnosed most commonly in children and young adults. Here, the pancreas ceases to produce adequate insulin to respond to the intake of dietary sugars and carbohydrate.
Type I diabetes, as juvenile diabetes has come to be known, is a devastating disease which necessitates the lifelong use of insulin, and for which there is currently no cure.
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is almost universally a weight related, weight-induced disorder, and this, believe it or not, is positive news for those at risk or dealing with this dietary disease.
Reversing Type 2 Diabetes
Contrary to outdated medical dogma and the cinematic messaging put forth in commercials from the pharmaceutical industry, most cases of type 2 diabetes can be reversed with weight loss.
We as human beings don’t ‘catch’ type 2 diabetes…but rather, develop it as we gain weight over time. That means progressively taxing our pancreas to work harder and harder to force the storage of excess carbohydrate calories that form the backbone of the (SAD) Standard American Diet.
Though over the past five decades, doctors have been trained to view and treat type 2 diabetes as a chronic, lifelong disease without a cure, there is now a groundswell of evidence that flies in the face of what most of us were taught in medical school.
The fact of the matter is that there is ‘a lot’ of money to be made by keeping you, me, and those we care about, overweight, and unhealthy.
Beware What You Eat (And How You Feed Your Family)
Where diabetes prevention is concerned, it begins with awareness.
I’ve had the benefit of six decades to observe as the manufactured, production food and fast-food industries have literally exploded in volume, number, and growth.
What’s lost on so many people, is the fact that most of us have simply grown up in an environment where fast food can literally be consumed 24/7, 365 days per year, along with a myriad of processed, unhealthy food products that never even existed, just half a century ago.
These “food” products form the bulk of the diets of millions and millions of Americans day in and day out, year after year.
Yet for most people, this is never given a second thought. It simply is the environment into which Americans have been born and raised over the past five or six decades.
4 Tips for Prevention Through Awareness
So, if your goal is to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes…or steer in the direction of reversing this disorder, here are 4 things I personally recommend doing:
Ask yourself, how much of the food you purchase requires manufacturing before it can be consumed?
Here’s what I mean. Did it come in a box? Was it wrapped in cellophane? Can it sit on a store shelf for months at a time and still be eaten despite its long shelf life?
If you’re consuming manufactured food on a daily or weekly basis, it’s time to make some changes.
Start buying fresh, real food. This means fresh vegetables, fish, beef, pork, and poultry, as well as limiting your intake of starchy, processed carbohydrates.
Many manufactured food products are high in multiple forms of sugars, often disguised on the label under names intentionally difficult to discern, pronounce or identify.
Ask yourself how many days per week you exercise, relative to the number of days per week you eat?
This may seem like an odd question, but it’s important. Most of us consume food calories every single day but stimulate our metabolism through exercise less than three days per week.
Consequently, it’s important to make exercise a part of your daily routine. Find an activity you enjoy, that gets you moving and creates a daily calorie deficit.
Don’t drink your calories. Period. Make water your drink of choice more often than not, and guard against the unnecessary consumption of calories, in the process of hydrating your body. This one decision may prevent you from gaining 10 or more pounds over the course of any given year.
See your doctor to determine the following:
1. Are you at your ideal weight for your height, or do you need to lose weight?
2. Do you have any diabetic skin changes? (Such as skin tags or darkening of the skin over the back of your neck or skin folds.)
3. Are your liver enzymes elevated, particularly your ALT & AST, indicating the possible development of fatty infiltration of the liver?
4. Is your blood pressure elevated because you’ve gained weight?
*Note: Any combination of the above may represent the presence of insulin resistance, a harbinger of type 2 diabetes to follow, and should sound the alarm that it’s time to make a lifestyle change.
Prevention, Halting and Reversal
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, and, in many cases, it can be halted and reversed. But it’s also important to understand that allowed to progress unabated, diabetes is the leading cause of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, amputation, and a host of other related ailments.
It’s important to see your doctor and to be proactive in regard to this disease, so you can live your healthiest life possible.
Don’t delay. Make an appointment to see your doctor and get a check-up today!
Dr. Kelley is an ER physician with a background in fitness-based weight management, and the founder of Type 2 To Health® Transformation Coaching. He is the author of ‘The Fitness Response,’ ‘Wealth, Fitness & Power For Life,’ and contributing author of the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Seller, ‘The Experts Cure.’ Instagram: @ RichardKelley,MD