It has taken decades, but medical professionals are finally starting to give diet and exercise for the prevention and reversal of type 2 diabetes some well-deserved attention.
"... the new study can give people with the disease hope that through lifestyle changes, they could end up getting off medication and likely lowering their risk of diabetes-related complications," Reuters Health reports. The research, also featured by MedPage Today, demonstrates that diet and physical activity are the answer diabetics have been searching for.
It's worth noting that I do not at all agree with some of the dietary recommendations given to the participants in this study. For example, I believe including healthy saturated fats and avoiding processed liquid meal replacements would be a wise move.
The researchers randomly assigned diabetic participants, who were also overweight or obese, to an intensive program of diet and exercise, in which they were urged to cut calories down to 1,200-1,800 calories per day and engage in nearly three hours of physical exercise per week.
After one year, 11.5 percent of the program participants no longer needed medication to keep their blood sugar levels below the diabetes threshold. Only two percent of the non-intervention group experienced any significant improvement in their condition.
Those who'd had been diagnosed with diabetes more recently saw greater blood sugar improvements on the program. Ditto for those who lost the most amount of weight and/or made the greatest progress in raising their fitness level. The lifestyle intervention group also managed to sustain their remission better over the following 3 years.
Amazingly, one in four Americans has some form of diabetes or pre-diabetes. If this is not a clear sign that conventional health recommendations are flawed, I don't know what is. I too have personal experience with this disease. I developed it myself for a short while, when I tried to implement an Eat Right for Your Type program in the late 90s.
Additionally, most of my paternal relatives (my dad included), have, or have died from, diabetes. My personal experience with diabetes and subsequent review of the literature made it very clear to me that virtually every case of type 2 diabetes is reversible.
And the cure for type 2 diabetes has nothing to do with giving insulin or taking drugs to control your blood sugar. In fact, giving insulin to someone with type 2 diabetes is one of the worst things that can be done.
The truth of the matter is that type 2 diabetes is a fully preventable condition that arises from faulty leptin signaling and insulin resistance, both of which are directly diet- and exercise-related. It is NOT a disease of blood sugar.
Once you understand that, the remedy becomes clear: To reverse the disease, you need to recover your body's insulin and leptin sensitivities. The ONLY way to accomplish this is through proper diet and exercise. Bariatric surgery, which is being increasingly recommended as a diabetes treatment, will NOT do the trick, and there is NO drug that can correct leptin signaling and insulin resistance..
Adhering to the following guidelines can help you do at least three things that are essential for successfully treating diabetes: recover your insulin/leptin sensitivity; normalize your weight; and normalize your blood pressure.
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