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This Killer Disease will Affect one in three Americans by 2050.
We’re aware obesity and Type 2 diabetes are huge problems, which science spells out with sobering statistics.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Type 2 diabetes in America has tripled since the 1980s, and researchers estimate one in three Americans will have diabetes by mid-century. More than one-third of American adults are obese.
Sadly, these numbers continue to increase and experts predict things will only become worse.
I coined the term “diabesity” to describe the continuum of health problems that range from mild insulin resistance and overweight to obesity and diabetes. These problems contribute to most heart disease, cancer and premature death.
Tragically, diabesity and all its complications are actually 100 percent preventable and reversible with some simple but powerfully effective modifications.
Food is medicine. When we remove disease-producing foods and add the right foods, healing occurs quickly. These seven strategies can help prevent, treat or reverse diabesity and help us regain health without drugs and surgery.
- Remove sugar. Every American eats about 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour (which turns to sugar) every year. That’s about a pound of sugar every day. These empty calories create high insulin levels, eventually leading to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Chronically high insulin levels contribute to inflammation, high blood pressure, poor sex drive, increased cancer risk, and depression. If we could only do one thing to reverse diabesity, it would be to reduce sugar.
- Eat whole foods. Whole, unprocessed real foods balance our blood sugar, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and improve our liver detoxification to prevent or reverse insulin resistance and diabetes. Stock up on colorful fruits and vegetables, plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, coconut butter and olive oil, legumes, nuts and seeds.
- Supplement. Supplements make our cells more insulin-sensitive and more effective at metabolizing sugar and fat. Combined with the right diet and lifestyle modifications, these nutrients can help balance blood sugar and reverse or prevent diabetes. For everyone who wishes to reduce their diabetes risk, I recommend:
- A high-quality multivitamin and mineral
- One to two grams of omega-3 fatty acids
- 1,000 to 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3
- 300 to 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid twice daily
- 200 to 600 mcg of chromium polynicotinate
- 5 grams of PGX, a unique type of fiber that controls appetite and blood sugar, before each meal with eight ounces of water
- Move. While even a 30-minute walk can help, vigorous exercise becomes the key to help balance blood sugar and lower insulin levels. We want to get our heart rate up to 70 to 80 percent of its maximum capacity for 60 minutes, up to six times a week. For more intense exercise, incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training. Studies show HIIT can benefit Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Best of all, we can do it in just minutes a day.
- Sleep. Insufficient sleep or poor sleep damages our metabolism, spikes sugar and carb cravings, makes us eat more, and increases our risk for numerous diseases including Type 2 diabetes. One study among healthy subjects found even a partial night’s poor sleep could induce insulin resistance. We need to prioritize sleep and get eight hours of solid, uninterrupted slumber every night. Create a sleep ritual that includes herbal therapies, creating total darkness and quiet, and relaxing with my UltraBath.
- Relax. Chronic stress spikes insulin, cortisol and inflammatory compounds called cytokines. This hormonal havoc drives the relentless metabolic dysfunction that leads to weight gain, insulin resistance and eventually Type 2 diabetes. Managing stress becomes a critical component of obesity and diabetes management. We can become more resilient to the detrimental effects of stress with meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, massage, laughing and dancing.
- Measure. Research shows people who track their results lose twice as much weight and do twice as well. A journal can help track our progress and keep us accountable. In addition to what we eat, we want to get a baseline of all measurements: our height, weight, waist size, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (optional). Many patients become inspired when they see their results on paper.
What strategy would you add to reverse diabesity? Share yours below or on my Facebook fan page.
Boutcher SH. High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. Journal of Obesity. 2011;2011:868305. doi:10.1155/2011/868305.
Donga E, et al. A single night of partial sleep deprivation induces insulin resistance in multiple metabolic pathways in healthy subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Jun;95(6):2963-8. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-2430. Epub 2010 Apr 6.
Pitteloud N, et al. Relationship between testosterone levels, insulin sensitivity, and mitochondrial function in men. Diabetes Care. 2005 Jul;28(7):1636-42.
Ryan JP, et al. A neural circuitry linking insulin resistance to depressed mood. Psychosom Med. 2012 Jun;74(5):476-82. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e31824d0865. Epub 2012 Mar 20.
Shaban N, et al. The effects of a 2 week modified high intensity interval training program on the homeostatic model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in adults with type 2 diabetes. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2014 Apr;54(2):203-9.
Sharma AM, Chetty VT. Obesity, hypertension and insulin resistance. Acta Diabetol. 2005 Apr;42 Suppl 1:S3-8.
Shoelson SE, et al. Inflammation and insulin resistance. J Clin Invest. 2006 Jul;116(7):1793-801.
Dr. Mark Hyman’s Doable Health Tip for Everybody:
Author: Mary Hyman
Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Author’s own