Diabetes – A step towards reversal
The word “Diabetes” has reached nearly every household now. Even kids are well aware of this disease now as 1 in every 2 household has a person suffering from diabetes. India has the second highest number of diabetics worldwide and if things continue the same way it will not take India long to reach the first rank which is alarming.
The main concern now is how to control the growing number of diabetics in the country. Can we completely cure diabetes? The answer is Yes.
What is Diabetes?
Let’s find out more about this disease. As we all know diabetes is of two types:
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
In short, Type 1 diabetes is mostly genetic where your body produces very little or no insulin at all
Whereas in Type 2 diabetes body keeps producing insulin and issues like pre diabetic insulin resistance arise.
Our body requires food to make energy and this food can be anything from carbohydrates, fats and protein. Everything we eat turns to glucose / sugar inside the body. There are a number of cells in the body which carry glucose to the blood but this glucose requires insulin to get absorbed in the blood.
Insulin is a hormone which is produced in the pancreas located between the liver and kidney. There are beta cells in the pancreas which help produce Insulin. This hormone is responsible for lowering blood sugar levels and it is triggered in the body due to glucose. If you consume excess amounts of carbohydrates and sugar the body considers it to be toxic. Body’s defense mechanism against this is to stop the uptake of Insulin and this is called insulin resistance. This Insulin resistance if continued for a long time can lead to increased amounts of sugar in the blood and eventually leads to diabetes.
Diabetes is mostly caused due to genetics or Unhealthy lifestyle, wrong eating habits, Irregular workout.
In simple terms, what we need to understand is
Excess carbs -> Excess Insulin –> Insulin Resistance –> Diabetes.
What is the ideal macronutrient composition for diabetes?
Macronutrients broadly consist of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. All 3 nutrients have different insulin spikes on consumption as shown in the graph.
As shown in the graph carbohydrates have the maximum amount of insulin spike in the body on consumption which is harmful for the body. Also the increased amount of insulin in the body eventually lowers the blood sugar completely leading to sugar cravings, increased thirst and urination, feeling exhausted and so on.
Now if we look at the graph for protein the insulin spike is less than that of carbs. But if we consume protein sugar, that is, a combination of carbs and protein it leads to double the amount of insulin spike.
On the other hand, the graph for fat shows that consumption of fats leads to very little insulin spike and also reduces hunger and bloating. Also a combination of fats and protein has very low amount of insulin spike as compared to protein alone.
We have often heard about essential fatty acids and essential amino acids but there is no such thing as essential glucose/carbohydrates. The body does not actually require carbohydrates but if we have a look at our Indian meals we consume close to 20-30 tsps of sugar daily. Due to this our country has high number of cases of diabetes, cholesterol, Blood pressure and thyroid. Changing our lifestyle and food habits will help us overcome these diseases.
- Low carbs
- Moderate protein
- High fats
Should be the composition of our daily meals. The amount of carbs from our daily meals should be as little as possible with enough amount of proteins and increasing the amount of fats.
How to reverse Type 2 diabetes?
2 things are of utmost importance when it comes to type 2 diabetes reversal
- Frequency of eating
Like we’ve read above that how increased insulin levels affect type 2 diabetes. This increase in insulin levels is due to the high amount of carbs from our meals. When we talk about sugar we always think about added sugar or table sugar but the carbohydrates from foods is also hidden sugar which we don’t realize. This usually comes from grains, bread, popcorn, cake, chocolates, all grain products, pasta, pizza, etc. Therefore, we need to reduce the foods that contain high amounts of carbs or with a high glycemic index from our meals. This is one thing we need to keep in mind and the most important thing we need to understand and change is frequency of eating.
We need to make this little change in our diets and avoid eating or snacking frequently and consume only 2-3 meals in a day. These meals should have enough amounts of veggies, fats and protein.
Whatever we eat during the day there are insulin spikes in the body and if there are carbs this spike is still higher.
So keeping these 2 things in mind lets try having fewer meals with lesser amounts of carbs and free ourselves from diabetes.