Information for Patients: Food is the Most Important Consideration in Type 2 Diabetes
Most patients people develop type 2 diabetes because of food—not genetics, not lack of exercise—food. That is the main thing. Individuals who develop diabetes most often love carbohydrates like bread, biscuits, and potatoes or they love sugar. We have trouble controlling our intake of these items. Especially when they are combined with fat and salt. They are addictive and the sweet taste is the most addictive. When we eat carbs and sugar, we make more insulin and that increases abdominal fat. The extra abdominal fat makes chemicals that raise the blood pressure, cholesterol and increase inflammation. The best thing you can do for diabetes is to drastically cut back on carbs and sugar.
Processed carbs become sugar in minutes. They raise the sugar in your blood very quickly. Patients with type 2 diabetes who eat carbs and sugar raise glucose and fat levels in the blood. The high fat and sugar levels continue to damage the pancreas which reduces the ability to make insulin. The more sugar and carbs you eat the more insulin you need and the more likely you are to need insulin shots. Cutting back on carbs and sugar is the best way to make sure that you can have good sugar levels without taking insulin.
The next question is obvious. What CAN I eat? The answer is simple. Eat real food. We can eat lean meat, eggs, low fat dairy, seafood, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, and nuts. We should eat like that all but one meal a week. You don’t need to be perfect. You can enjoy the birthday party or date night, but then go back to real food. Don’t eat three meals and snacks unless you are already on insulin. Eating all day activates processes that make us develop chronic illnesses and heart disease more rapidly. They make us age faster. Eat when you are hungry. If you can lose a pound or two a month that is great success and it makes a huge difference for your health and diabetes.
Exercise will not overcome eating carbs and sugar. You must walk a mile to use up the calories in one piece of bread. You can’t outrun a spoon! To control and prevent diabetes we must change what we eat. Metformin makes insulin more effective. It makes it work better. If you are diabetic, you should start metformin and stay on it. It only costs $4 a month at Walmart even if you have no insurance. If restricting carbs and sugar along with metformin do not lower your sugar enough, then adding a medicine like Jardiance (empagliflozin) can make a big difference but that is much more expensive. Diet, exercise, and metformin make it much less likely you will need that expensive medication. Taking care of your diabetes can be pretty easy and it can make a huge difference in your health.