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Diabetes: Are You Eating Yourself to Death?

It’s not worth it.

French fries, pizza and ice cream are so delicious, but overeating can lead to unbelievable misery. About 65,000 Americans have limbs amputated every year due to a completely curable condition called Type II diabetes. And it doesn’t stop there. Diabetes is the number one cause of new cases of blindness in adults aged 20 – 74 according to the American Diabetes Association.

This actually begins a couple million years ago when we were hunter-gatherers. Our ancestors experienced periods of feasts and famines, and our bodies create the hormone insulin, which builds fat to be used during periods when food is scarce and we couldn’t walk into a Safeway and get a genetically engineered fish or piece of corn. And this little evolutionary adaptation was quite successful. We survived eons of hard times. But now we are modernized, and there is very little chance of a famine coming any time soon. And we are dying in a sea of food, literally eating until our limbs fall off.  

Type I and Type II Diabetes

Type I diabetes is a condition you are born with where your body does not produce insulin. As a Naturopath, I have access to the most sophisticated alternative medicines in the world and if you have diabetes type I, there is no alternative, you need insulin.

Type II diabetes is something completely different. In type II diabetes you were not born with a disease, you have created a condition by eating sugars (in the form of bread, pastas, crackers, cereals, processed foods) that your pancreas, insulin and insulin receptors no longer function properly. True certain cultures have predispositions to type II diabetes but it is by no means, “locked in”.

The worst part about this completely curable disease is that if you go blind or have a limb amputated you should consider yourself lucky.

“Two out of three people with diabetes die from stroke or heart disease,” according to the American Diabetes Association.

Fortunately there is a cure for this completely curable disease and like insulin, which has its basis in our hunter-gatherer ancestry. For millions of years, our bodies became accustomed to natural, real, actual foods. Then something happened very recently - 12,000 years ago to be precise. We started farming and controlling our food source. So, for millions of years we ate natural and real foods, and in just 12,000 years we have ended up with McDonald's and Hot Pockets.

Highly processed foods are primarily based in carbohydrates like pastas, cereals, crackers and cookies. These foods are strangers to the human body and create inflammation. 

Over-consumption of carbohydrates and elevated inflammation is a recipe for Type II diabetes. Specifically, let’s follow the timeline explaining how to become diabetic.

  1. You consume the Standard American Diet (SAD) full of processed carbohydrates.
  2. You consume what you thought were “healthy” cereals that are unfortunately filled with processed carbohydrates topped with a skim sugary substance called milk.
  3. You continue to eat breads and pastas and crackers.
  4. You begin to gain weight.
  5. Your insulin becomes less effective.
  6. You are told you are insulin resistant.
  7. You are told to lose weight.
  8. You are put on medication for blood sugar control.
  9. You continue to gain weight.
  10. Your pancreas gives up and you become insulin dependent.
  11. Due to Kidney damage you require weekly dialysis.
  12. You continue to gain weight.
  13. You begin to lose vision and feeling in your feet.
  14. Feet are amputated, your are rendered blind.
  15. You die 15-20 years early of stroke or end stage kidney failure.

People are dying daily in the United States and they don’t have to. The following are tips on how to avoid and reverse type II diabetes.

  1. Eat healthy protein at each meal. Health protein consists of nuts, seeds, beans, and natural meats. Choose beef that walked in pastures and ate actual grass. Choose fish that swam in native habitats rather than farms. Choose chickens that were allowed to run free and eat what they wanted.
  2. Eat healthy veggies: Veggies contain phytochemicals and fiber that both keep you regular and prevent disease. Veggies will save your life.
  3. Eat healthy fruits: Fruit can be seen as the icing on the cake yet it has copious antioxidants that help break down free radicals build from stress or heavy exercise.
  4. Eat limited grains, especially wheat. Feel free to consume whole grain barley, oats, or any other grain in limited quantities.
  5. Exercise  a minimum of four hours per week, hopefully more.
  6. Reduce processed foods.
  7. See a nutrition professional

(This column is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.) 

Naturopath Chris Ogilvie works at Integrative Health Center of Virginia. 

W. D. West November 14, 2012 at 04:02 AM
The latter article is not that good. I am one of 8 children. I'm the only one who exercised and put myself thru college on a football scholarship. I've always exercised and am not over weight. (197 pounds, 34 inch waist) With 8 children you are always on a diet. My A1C is 6.6. I read all labels and have taken classes from dietitians. My parents did not have diabetes. Your article is saying it is my fault I have diabetes. I do not agree that I'm at fault. I have recently been put on insulin and test 4 times a day until the dosage is figured out. I really limit sugar and carbs. I think you put the blame in the wrong place.
Sally Spangler November 15, 2012 at 07:09 PM
If, in truth, the cause of Type II Diabetes is all the snack foods of today, crackers, chips, cookies, anything containing sugar - including cereals, cold cereals have been laced with sugar since at least the end of WWII and of course, milk which contains a natural sugar and let us not forget all the soft drinks on the grocery store and places like 7-11 stores, which many of us reach for rather than a glass of water when we feel the need for something to drink are right there for our imbibing or chewing. The makers of these items are now luring us with NO SUGAR candy, which they will tell you are NOT a low calorie food. Anything made with flour contain glutin, another no-no. So - for the in crowd who would like us to not eat/drink any of the above. Our Homo-whichever version predecessors you can remember the name for ate what? It may well be they didn't eat the amount of foods which show up daily in our diet - but - "natural" or unprocessed cereals (grasses) were more than likely the better part of their diet along with meats, either trapped or hunted. Some lived close to rivers and streams and ate fish. So - so kill off the manufacturers of crackers, bakers who make and sell Toaster Tarts, etc. All those wonderful pies, cookies and cakes. Ban soft drinks from manufacture, you can figure out where I am going with all of this. And what is left? Hmm? You tell me, enjoy.
Susan Penley November 16, 2012 at 12:22 AM
This statement is not correct: "Type I diabetes is a condition you are born with...." I developed Type 1 diabetes at the age of 10. BTW, I am now 54 and have all my limbs, eye sight, and complete kidney function.
Chris Ogilvie, Naturopath November 17, 2012 at 12:59 PM
W.D. West. The article is speaking in general terms. It is not as common but quite possible that you did everything right and still got diabetes. Clearly this is not your fault, genetic predisposition do exist. The article was written for the millions of Americans eating poorly who will suffer as a result of their poor diet. Although not applicable to you, would you agree that the goal of the article is still valuable.
Chris Ogilvie, Naturopath November 17, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Sally, so nice to hear from you. My goal here is education. I do not believe in legislating dietary choices. I think people should have the freedom to buy what ever they want and let the market determine who stays or goes out of business. My goal is to educate people so they can make an educated choice. The research shows that a combination paleo-mediteranean style with low processed foods is most beneficial.
Chris Ogilvie, Naturopath November 17, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Hello Susan, Type 1 diabetes is generally seen to have a genetic component and is the result the the pancreas' inability to produce insulin, thereby making it necessary to supplement insulin. Type 2 diabetes is generally seen as a condition acquired through consumption of simple sugars where, initially, there is plenty of insulin but it becomes less effective. I couldn't be happier that you are healthy, the symptoms you mentioned are associated more with type 2 diabetes. Would you agree that as obesity rates increase in both children and adults, there is a need for nutritional education?
Sally Spangler November 18, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Nice to see you on line Chris - It is like seeing the devil himself when passing the candy counter and the snack shelves which run from one end of the store to the other. For me - walking away without dropping something or another into my cart - maybe I will not and then maybe I will. Once at home it is guaranteed to disappear before tomorrow (depending upon the size of the container) Hostess has done us all a favor - the Hostess products were off the shelves at the local 7-11 last night. NO ZINGERS for desert. All of the Hostess products had been removed. OH Woe! Sally
Leona Bukartek November 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM
One other way we get type 2 diabetes is when we live in chronic stress. The adrenal glands on overload effect the way our body handles glucose which leads to insulin resistance. Also people who have sleep apnes are nine times more likely to have diabetes than those who do not have sleep apnea. This is because the lowered oxygen associated with sleep apnea triggers the release of cortisol, which increases blood glucose levels.
Sally Spangler November 19, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Thank you Leona - Yes, over the years, I have been sometimes in very real stress. I had no idea that stress could lead to diabetes. Then the idea is to calm myself and not allow my mind to lead my body. I hope, that now that I have this piece of information, I can do something about my problem.
Chris Ogilvie, Naturopath November 20, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Very true Leona, I often tell my clients that being stress-out is like eating a candy bar. Finding an outlet for that stress is crucial to overall health. This is something we Washingtonians have a really hard time with.
Chris Ogilvie, Naturopath November 20, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Hi Sally. The nice thing about hostess is that they didn't pretend they were healthy. If you ate a Ho-ho or Ding-dong, no one would suspect you were in training for a marathon. Now we have foods that masquerade as healthy food or "heart healthy" that are not, like most cereals and many "health bars".
Mustafa G.Nazary January 06, 2013 at 01:54 AM
If stress does not cause all the diseases, it will accelerate the disease and it will make the symptoms worst. What makes us an unhealthy society is bad diet and high level of stress. We all experience difficult times in our life. It's how much you allow that difficult time to effects your overall health. I have nearly 25 years of experience in weight loss and fitness industry. http://myur.com/ I help my clients not only eat a healthy diet, I also help my clients reduce their daily stress.

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