1. What is diabetes?
How many types of diabetes are there?
Diabetes is a condition whereby the glucose (derived from food) cannot get into your cells due to insulin resistance. The glucose in the blood then accumulates, the glucose level becomes too high.
A. type 1 diabetes (usually diagnosed in children and young adults)
B. type 2 diabetes (can occur at any age, most often in adults, the most common type of diabetes)
C. gestation diabetes (develops in some women when they are pregnant)
X. there is also “pre-diabetes”
For simplicity, today’s discussion will focus on type 2 diabetes, or T2D.
2. What is insulin resistance?
Our body uses insulin (produced by the pancreas) to make glucose which goes into our cells. When there is insulin but the insulin doesn’t work, meaning, the glucose cannot go into the cells – this is insulin resistance.
3. What causes insulin resistance?
Dr Greger explains:
– fat toxicity is the start of the problem
– too much fat (especially saturated fat and cholesterol) can cause insulin to fail within 3 hours
– fats can also damage the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin
– this problem can build up over 13 years before the pancreas finally breaks down – leading to full-blown diabetes
4. What is the solution?
– if we can clear the fat out of the blood, we can clear the sugar also
– T2D can be reversed with low calorie, nutrient dense diets (especially, high in leafy greens)
– studies in 1930s showed that a diet of leafy greens, fruit, whole grains and beans was effective in treating diabetes
5. Can diabetics eat fruit? How much fruit?
Dr Greger: some health professionals restrict diabetics’ fruit intake because of concerns about the sugar content of fruit. However, studies show that whole fruit has no long-term adverse side effects on diabetics, only benefits.
6. Studies have found white rice causes or worsens diabetes.
Dr Greger explains:
– China and Japan have been eating white rice for centuries, but their diabetes rate shot up only in the last 20-30 years – why?
– blood glucose shoots up when rice is mixed with animal protein (including fish)
– in the last 20-30 years, daily meat consumption has become common in China and Japan
7. Many doctors say T2D is a progressive disease, not reversible. Also, medication is necessary for the rest of the diabetic’s life. Is T2D reversal possible?
Reversal of T2D has been proven over and over, in the West and East, in the past and present. However, dietary lifestyle needs to be changed. Family support is also crucial.
The information shared here is for educational purposes only.
These opinions are not given as medical advice and not intended to replace or conflict with your decisions or healthcare providers’ advice.
1. “What is Diabetes?”, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Dec 2016.
2 & 3. Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “What Causes Insulin Resistance?” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 33, January 6th, 2017.
Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “Diabetes as a Disease of Fat Toxicity” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 24, April 8th, 2015.
4. Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “Diabetes Reversal: Is It the Calories or the Food?” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 29, March 4th, 2016.
5. Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “How Much Fruit Is Too Much?” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 23, .
6. “Daily ‘dose’ of white rice linked to diabetes“, Harvard Health Publishing, June, 2012.
Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “If White Rice Is Linked to Diabetes, What About China?” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 23, March 18, 2015.
7. Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “Reversing Diabetes with Food” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 29, March 2, 2016.
Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “Diabetes Reversal: Is It the Calories or the Food?” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 29, March 4, 2016.