Dr. Sheehan’s Natural Help for Type 2 Diabetes
Do you, or a loved one either have Type 2 diabetes, or what is called Pre-Diabetes, aka Syndrome X?
I have a lot of patients coming in with these two disorders, so before I talk about it, I decided to look into exactly what the American Diabetes Association is saying about it.
I’m very happy that the American Diabetes Association is starting to talk about food’s relationship to diabetes, I think if they were a little clearer cut, they would encourage more people to take control of their diabetes to the best of their ability. In my office, I’ve helped at least 90 percent of cases reverse Type 2 diabetes!
In their post, the ADA attempts to answer a few so-called myths about diabetes. I found some of their information confusing.
They answer this “myth,” eating too much sugar causes diabetes, with the following answer:
“The answer is not so simple. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors.
Being overweight does increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. Research has shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people should avoid intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes…These will raise blood glucose and can provide several hundred calories in just one serving!”
After reading this, I’m left wondering, are they saying sugar causes diabetes or not? In my work with diabetics, I’ve found it works best if they cut sugar 100 percent. Why? Let’s illustrate this with another example: It’s also true alcohol alone doesn’t cause alcoholism, but shouldn’t alcoholics avoid it 100 percent?
Here’s a second “myth” the ADA attempts to address: “If you have diabetes, you should only eat small amounts of starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta.”
What’s their answer? “Starchy foods can be part of a healthy meal plan, but portion size is key. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks. In addition to these starchy foods, fruits, beans, milk, yogurt, and sweets are also sources of carbohydrate that count in your meal plan.
Wondering how much carbohydrates you can have? The amount of carbohydrates you need will vary based on many factors. You and your healthcare team can figure out the right amount for you. Once you know how much carbs to eat at a meal, choose your food and the portion size to match.”
Soooo…sounds to me like they’re saying you should only have a small amount of starchy foods. Why do they start off saying it’s a myth, and then say the opposite?
Starchy foods break down into sugar- plain and simple. Doesn’t the fact that you have diabetes indicate you should only be eating very small servings of starches, if at all?
For the record, I do agree with greatly reducing or eliminating starchy foods while you work on reversing Type 2 diabetes.
That brings me to a major point on their website I don’t agree with, and that’s this one: “There’s no cure for diabetes.” While this is true for a small minority of people, a good many people can reverse Type 2 diabetes with proper diet, exercise, supplementation, and intermittent fasting.
In the next few paragraphs, I’m going to suggest a diet designed to minimize blood sugar fluctuations, cut down insulin secretions, and re-sensitize your body to insulin. This diet helps support most, if not all, hormone imbalances that accompany Type 2 Diabetes. It decreases stress hormones such as cortisol by minimizing blood sugar swings. It also helps balance testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone by minimizing estrogen production.
This is a low carb, high veggie, moderately low protein diet that helps to support weakened blood sugar controlling organs. We have seen people reverse their diabetes by cutting sugar and carbohydrates and supporting the digestive organs as determined by a Nutrition Response Testing® program. For example, there may be a deficiency of enzymes or B vitamins in diabetes, and these deficiencies are caused by eating TOO MUCH SUGAR!
For cases of borderline Type 2 diabetes, or newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes, switching to a diet of protein, veggies, nuts, seeds, oils, and a little fruit, along with the correct supplement regiment as determined by Nutrition Response Testing rolls back diabetes over 90% of the time.
So what does a meal and exercise plan look like?
- Minimize the times you eat to 2-3x/day. Every time you eat, you secrete insulin. Seems like the intermittent fasters got it right! A lot of my patients will skip breakfast or lunch to minimize insulin surges.
- Considering sugars and carbohydrates cause the secretion of insulin, keep carbs low. You don’t want to eliminate them though because carbs from non-starchy vegetables help to cleanse your liver, colon, kidneys, and skin. They also provide you with lots of vitamins and minerals. So eat lots of non-starchy vegetables at each meal, such as kale, all types of lettuce, peppers, broccoli, you get the idea. About 3 cups of non-starchy veggies for each and every meal is right for most people. I tell my diabetic patients to just stay away from grain and starches (even a little bit is often too much for them), and to stick with berries other than cherries if they want to eat fruit, such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
- Eat enough protein, but don’t go overboard. Protein also causes the secretion of insulin, but you need this to stoke your metabolism (protein intake increases calories burned to a certain degree), retain muscle mass, and satisfy your hunger. About four to six ounces per meal seems to work best for my patients, depending on their size, metabolism, and activity level. Any kind of protein seems to work well, such as fish, chicken, beef, or even eggs. I don’t usually recommend dairy as a main source of protein as it can be a food sensitivity for some people. I do tell people that if they add a little cheese or cottage cheese to what they eat, it will not spike their insulin levels, and will add a little variety to their food. I’m not totally overbearing!
- Eat plenty of fat. Fat does not cause the release of insulin, so enjoy nuts, seeds, and oils with each meal. I usually recommend at least one fat per meal, but you could try more if it tickles your fancy. Good ones to try are avocado, coconut oil, and all kinds of nuts, seeds, butters, and so forth. Butter, cream, and cheese also have plenty of fat, so these are fine too.
- Get a calorie counting app, but not specifically to count calories. Calorie counting apps, such as My Fitness Pal will tell you how many grams of protein, fat, and carbohydrates you are eating. It also tells you other important data, like how much potassium, vitamin C, and fiber you are eating. Just make sure to adjust the macronutrient settings to something like 30% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 40% fat. You can go higher on the fat and protein, and lower on the carbs, but I find that these are pretty safe numbers. If you can achieve these numbers each day while adhering to the above 4 steps, you’re definitely seeing improvement in your blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
- Start moving! People who have Type 2 diabetes, or are prediabetic always have inflammation and high-stress hormonal levels. Walking is the perfect exercise for them. It decreases stress hormones, sensitizes insulin, and burns calories. It also gets your body used to exercise, more “in shape” so that you can exercise more vigorously later if you feel like it. I recommend one hour per day for my clients. It’s even better done 1st thing in the morning on an empty stomach, as it will increase your insulin sensitivity, and really increase your body’s output of growth hormone (the master healing hormone of the body).
Other good choices for decreasing stress hormones are yoga, qi gong, and tai chi. If relaxation is not your style, you can lift weights, run, swim, play sports or whatever floats your boat. Just remember, the harder you exercise, the less you should do of that exercise (You can always mix difficult levels of exercise-I lift 3 days per week, and walk about 3-5 hours per week). The rule of thumb is this (you can mix and match these):
- 5 hours per week of gentle exercises, such as walking, yoga, tai chi, etc.
- 3 hours per week of moderate exercises, such as jogging, swimming, weightlifting, etc.
- ½ hour (or less!) of high-intensity interval training.
There you have it, the exact diet and exercise plan I use every day in my office with my Diabetes patients. Feel free to leave comments down below. And as always, go here to see how you can get your very own personalized Nutrition Response Testing® evaluation!