There is a diabetes epidemic in America! This of course is common knowledge. We all have family or friends who have blood sugar difficulties. My first introduction to diabetes was as over 46 years ago when as a boy my sister was diagnosed as an extremely brittle Type I diabetic. The name Diabetes Mellituscomes from the Greek; diabetes means “passing through” and mellitus means “honey.” In other words, “honey passing through,” or high levels of sugar in the urine. When I was 10 years old, one of my chores in the morning was to test my sister’s urine for sugar using a little chemistry set designed for that purpose. This was before all the fancy blood sugar monitors we have today. These tests were to see if sugar was “spilling” into the urine. This happens when the blood has high levels of sugar that spills over into urine because the body was not properly metabolizing sugar due to a lack of insulin or insulin resistance.
Juvenile diabetes later classified as Type I diabetes was a misunderstood disease back then. Today, however the epidemic rages with adult onset diabetes now known as Type II which often leads to insulin dependence. Indeed because of our poor diets and lifestyle many pre-teens are developing what use to be known as Adult Onset diabetes at very early ages, the term Adult Onsetbecame a misnomer.
The major cause of Type II diabetes is the high processed foods we eat in America. These processed foods, especially white flour and white sugar products (white trash) push us into glucose intolerance. White flour is the foremost cause of high triglycerides in the blood and the quickest way to normalize triglycerides and glucose levels is to stop eating all white trashproducts and processed foods. As Type II Diabetes develops our cells become resistant to insulin. Most Type II diabetics do not lack insulin; rather cells see insulin as an enemy and block its uptake. The first stage of its development often is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyper-insulinemia (high amounts of insulin in the blood). The Cells begin to resist this deluge of insulin which develops into Type II diabetes – more and more insulin is required to metabolize sugar.
The pancreas’ primary job is not to make insulin. Rather it is to create enzymes. You can think of the pancreas as a single gland with two functions: to create enzymes and supply insulin. Since our diets are largely made up of dead over cooked foods lacking vital enzymes, the over worked pancreas is further stressed having to create additional enzymes that are lacking in our diet. Often the result of this burden is that the pancreas cannot keep up with the taxing requirements of required insulin. We eat high sugar, white trash foods and over cooked foods; both stress the pancreas. You could say that the lack of enzymes in our diet is another cause of diabetes.
The medical approach to Type II is to use drugs to artificially stimulate the pancreas to increase insulin production. By increasing the insulin levels you force insulin into resistant cells by overwhelming them with insulin. There are two problems with this approach. First, this will build greater insulin resistance creating the need for even greater stimulation of the pancreas. Second the pancreas will eventually not be able to keep up. Your doctor will tell you that you will now need to supplement insulin by injection. Congratulations! You have just graduated from being a diet controlled diabetic to an insulin dependent cash cow for the medical industry.
A better approach is to first work with diet changes and exercise to lower triglycerides and glucose intolerance. The key is basically low to no refined sugar, high complex carbohydrates and raw foods, low fat, high fiber and easy on the fruit. Refined sugar means any carbohydrate that has been processed, bleached or otherwise chemically altered. All White Trash Foods (white flour and white sugar) are problematic. We’re talking about cookies, cake, candy, ice-cream, pastries, pizza, boxed cereal, all soda-pops, alcohol; these foods push us toward diabetes. Recent studies also have linked the ingestion of cow’s milk by children to development of Diabetes. Cow’s milk is just not fit for human consumption, especially not when it’s full of bovine growth hormone and antibiotics.
Quality nutritional supplements can be used to restore the cells integrity. Correct forms of calcium and Essential Fatty Acids will work on cell walls to restore their integrity. Quality forms of chromium, vanadium and other minerals will reestablish glucose balance. Chromium is the central element in a very important molecule called the “glucose tolerance factor” (GTF). GTF is needed to allow insulin to do its work in getting sugar into the cells.
Foods that help resist diabetes are Chromium-rich foods such as Brewer’s yeast, lean beef, calf’s liver, wheat bran, rye bread, oysters. Also, Zinc rich foods such as pumpkin seeds, oysters, ginger root, wheat germ, lamb chops, pecans, Brazil nuts and split peas are good for many biochemical reactions in our body. Onions and garlic prolong the action of compromised insulin stores. Jerusalem artichokes, burdock, parsley are high in inulin, an insulin analog. Spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, bay leaf, and cloves also lower blood sugar. The list of vitamin and mineral “pills” can be overwhelming, so get the help of a naturopath, nutritionally trained doctor, or progressive dietician to help choose the right ones for you.
The fight against Type II Diabetes is winnable, but it takes a true commitment to the principles of good health: Eating whole real food. Avoiding white trash, taking quality supplements, exercise, and educating yourself.