I just watched a great free lecture online by Food Revolution Network called, “Tackling Type 2 Diabetes Masterclass”. In it, Ocean Robbins and my favorite dietician, Brenda Davis, cover 4 myths and 10 truths about diabetes. I highly recommend you check it out. At the end of the Masterclass, they offer a 50% discount on their 6 week course on type 2 diabetes. Here is a brief recap of the myths and truths that they cover.
- Myth #1: Pre-diabetes isn’t really that important. I saw this approach in my training. Often times we, as docs, don’t take this critical opportunity to say hey, this is really important, because there is already damage occurring to your nerves and blood vessels. Now is the time to act and give detailed guidance on how to prevent diabetes. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure here.
- Myth #2: Type 2 diabetes is permanent. I was taught in med school that once you have diabetes, you’ll have it forever. This is no longer true. Especially within the first 4-5 years of diagnosis (though even up to decades into the disease), most cases of type 2 diabetes are reversible with the right combination of a whole food plant based diet, exercise, time-based eating, and sleep and stress management.
- Myth#3: Diabetes is purely genetic. While genes do play a role, our day to day habits are more important. Brenda gives a poignant example of how in the last 80 years in the beautiful Marshall Islands where she has done research, diabetes went from an unheard of diagnosis to one of the most common on the island (for example, one of their most common surgeries has become leg amputations due to complications of diabetic foot ulcers).
- Myth #4: Type 2 diabetes is purely a disease of people who are obese. While 80% or more of cases of type 2 diabetes are in people that are overweight or obese, there are many folks of normal weight that have pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. A large percentage of people with diabetes (and a larger percentage of people with pre-diabetes) don’t know they have it. This is why it is very important to ask your health provider about getting tested, even if you are a normal weight.
10 Ground-breaking truths
- All carbs are not the enemy: The quality of the carbs matters. Refined carbs like white flour and sweets and sugary beverages are definitely bad for us. But healthy carbs from vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes like beans and lentils are very healthy for all people with diabetes.
- Plant protein is better: Studies show that people getting protein from plants have a decreased risk of having diabetes and better insulin sensitivity (insulin, the hormone that is responsible for allowing glucose into our cells from our blood stream, works better the better your insulin sensitivity is).
- Where you get your dietary fats really matters: trans fats and saturated fats from animal products and processed foods are harmful and are one of the main drivers of diabetes. They destroy the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas and promote insulin resistance (the opposite of insulin sensitivity) by getting deposited in our liver and muscle cells.
- And other truths (like fruit is good for diabetics, colorful fruits and veggies are important, fiber is key, weight loss is critical – even 5-10% can make a huge difference, movement matters – especially after meals, decrease stress to decrease your blood sugar levels, and restful sleep helps to control blood sugar.
Watch the Masterclass for all the details, and send this to someone who would benefit. You may help save a life. https://type2.foodrevolution.org/masterclass/