2.7 million Canadians that have diabetes, 90 percent of those are type 2 which is the type we create through poor diet and lifestyle. 1 out of every 10 people are expected to have diabetes by 2020, 1 million Canadians are living with undiagnosed diabetes, 5.4 million living with pre-diabetes! These statistics are absolutely alarming and very sad because diabetes can have some very unfortunate consequences.
Here is a crash course in diabetes:
We have all heard of insulin, cells, the liver and the pancreas and these are all key players when it comes to blood sugar regulation. When we eat a meal the food digests and enters the blood stream and then elevates your blood sugar levels. The brain sensing the raised levels sends a message to the pancreas to release insulin; this insulin will help transport the sugar that all food is broken down in to into the cells of our body.
Our livers (assuming you have not lost yours to organ thieves!) have the capacity to store a few hundred calories worth, our muscles also store sugar (slowly), but guess which cells are very proficient at storing sugar? You guessed right if you said “fat cells” these little guys especially the ones located around your belly and ass love to store sugar! This fact is important for other reasons of course and unless you are trying to develop a spare tire or junky trunk not what you want.
Ok back to diabetes!
So the above process is normal and is meant to happen to maintain homeostasis in our body. Here lies the problem; we all know that if we are overworked we become burnt out and this process is exactly the same when it comes to digestion. When we eat smaller meals and more healthy options low on the glycemic index our digestion takes longer because real foods take longer to be processed in the body before they get to the blood. The problem is we now have a population who eat garbage, nutrient void foods daily.
Fruit juices with added sugar, processed breads, cereals, fruit roll-ups, pizza pops, chips, chocolate, fruit, granola bars, bagels etc. the list is endless and unfortunately misleading marketing campaigns from greedy food companies exploit us and our children. Ever seen or heard these words:
Did you get your fruit today?
NO, well have some V8.
Did you get your fibre?
NO, well have some special K, nutra grain bars etc. because they are great sources of fibre.
Studies show that after a workout our body needs protein and carbs…..well guess what chocolate milk is a good source of both.
(JUST A FEW OF THE NUMEROUS FALSE AD CAMPAIGNS WE ARE BOMBARDED WITH DAILY)
What are we telling people? So the truth is when we eat these processed foods the above process of quick blood sugar spikes occurs repeatedly and eventually your cells say enough is enough. Of course usually weight gain around the mid-section accompanies this process but slow down skinny because one does not have to be overweight to develop diabetes. So essentially what is happening is little doors on your cells start to close and do not allow the sugar in which of course is why we have higher fasting blood glucose levels. Then to make matters worse the brain tells the pancreas to send out more insulin and eventually the Beta cells, the ones responsible for insulin production in the pancreas become burnt out too and now you are headed for DIABETES.
SO what to do?
#1. Eat a diet which contains plenty of good quality vegetables.
#2. Eat good quality cuts of meat.
#3. Keep your fruit consumption to a few pieces per day (less for weight loss).
#4. Stop eating from boxes, packages, take away restaurants.
#5. Exercise! (This is a fitness site!)
#6. Stop eating white foods – sugar, rice, bread, flour, pastas, bagels, muffins.
#7. Chew your food thoroughly.
#8. Don’t eat when on the run or stressed.
#9. Eat smaller more frequent meals.
#10. Supplement with Chromium.
There are more but start here and remember even if you are pre-diabetic or already diabetic the same rules apply. There are varying levels of distress associated with diabetes and the key is to be the best you can be.
LET’S REVERSE THOSE STATISTICS.