A while back on Maria Bartiromo’s “Mornings with Maria” on Fox Business, a doctor was asked, “What are the symptoms of pre-diabetes?” He answered emphatically, “Symptoms are too late!” Expecting a different reply, the questioner continued, “But can’t [type 2] pre-diabetes be reversed?” The doctor replied indirectly, but correctly, “Once you are diagnosed diabetic, you are diabetic for life, but you can manage your condition.”
Of course, pre-diabetes and even “clinical” type 2 diabetes, diagnosed with the current blood testing methods (A1c and/or Fasting Blood Glucose), can be “reversed”…but only by and with a permanent lifestyle change.
The doctor interviewed on Maria’s show was introduced with a recorded “teaser” from the popular singer Patti LaBelle. She told how her family had suffered terribly from type 2 diabetes and how she, who was now a diagnosed type 2, was determined to avoid those “complications.” She said she had changed her “way of living, eating and thinking.” She’s right, of course, but of the three, Patti just talked about what she eats.
Ways of eating, however, are still open to many interpretations, including ways of eating to lose weight. Arguably, there are countless ways to lose weight, albeit not permanently. As all dieters know, weight loss is usually followed – often quickly – by weight gain. The reason is that the dieter is hungry. The dieter’s body demands more food to return to energy balance. The signals are hormonal and beyond control of the dieter.
There is a way of eating, if adopted permanently, that will manage both pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes and produce permanent weight loss. That way is Very Low Carb (VLC). Eating VLC both enables the “dieter” to either reverse pre-diabetes or manage type 2 diabetes and lose weight easily and permanently…so long as you continue to eat VLC. That’s the condition. It’s a trade-off. You get to permanently keep the weight off, and reverse your prediabetes, that is to say, put it in “clinical remission.” Based on the medical Standard of Care for diagnosis and treatment, a doctor will declare you clinically “non-diabetic” Really! Seriously!
Another huge benefit of this “win-win” outcome is that it will cut in half your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and dying from a heart condition or stroke. These macrovascular complications are in addition to the usual microvascular complications long associated with type 2 diabetes: blindness, amputation and end-stage kidney disease (with dialysis). Other “Diseases of Civilization” associated with the high-processed-carb diet are Alzheimer’s (type 3 diabetes) and various cancers, particularly liver, pancreas, endometrial, colon and rectum, breast, and bladder cancers.
The doctor on Bartiromo’s program made another good point: He declared type 2 diabetes to be a scourge of our modern lifestyle that is “self-caused.” He said 1) we overeat, 2) we don’t eat properly, and 3) we don’t exercise. The first two are interrelated, with the 2nd being the cause of the 1st. But to his point: “WE” IS THE PATIENT. “Self-caused” means that WE can do something about it, without intercession by our doctors.
The doctor then lost his way on the eating part. He advocated “fruits and vegetables and lean meat” and avoiding “saturated fat and sugary drinks.” It was essentially, the Mediterranean Diet: Eat processed vegetable oils (PUFAs) and avoid fatty red meat (saturated fat). That’s the government’s pitch. Sad, really, and too bad.For perspective, just remember that too many processed carbs and simple sugars, and wheat, excessive fructose and excessive linoleic acid (Omega 6s in the polyunsaturated vegetable oils), is how we got sick and fat in the first place. Note that the government’s dietary guidelines no longer limit dietary cholesterol or total fats; they just get it wrong about which fats are bad. For more see #445, “Are doctors in denial?” next week.