The Truth About Diabetes

First, let’s start with some good news…US obesity rates are leveling off.  Alright, so the numbers aren’t going down, but at least they aren’t going up.  I see it kind of like individual weight loss…you didn’t gain 50lbs over night, and you aren’t going to lose 50lbs over night…America’s obesity rates didn’t sky rocket to 35.7% over the course of a year so they aren’t going to drop that fast.

In other current news, I’m sure you’ve heard the latest about Paula Deen and her diabeetus…I mean diabetes.  It’s no laughing manner, type 2 diabetes is a serious disease affecting 25.8 million Americans.  She claims it took her 3 years to come out in public about her diagnosis because she didn’t know much about it and wanted to be educated.  I respect that, however, I do not respect that she came out to endorse a drug or that she is making it seem like diet doesn’t have a huge impact on the disease.  This article from explains how the drug she is endorsing, Victoza,  which is usually used after other efforts to control the disease have failed.  This article also notes that there is no family history of diabetes Paula’s family, leading us to further believe her long term unhealthy diet is a major contribution.  Her son claims “Although my mother does cook traditional for 30 minutes each day (on TV), she only eats that way in moderation and encourages her viewers to do the same.”  I don’t really watch her show often, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard her encourage moderation.  Moderation means squat when you’re cooking up things like the “Ladies Brunch Burger” a 1/2lb burger on a glazed donut, topped with a egg that’s been fried in butter, and 2 strips of bacon.  One of those clocks in at 1162 calories and 64 grams of fat.

I would hope that people realize her recipes (such as these) are not intended for daily consumption, and that they should be enjoyed only on occasion, but I know that a good percent of the country does not think like that or care that much about their diets.  The truth is eating foods high in fat (such as those with butter, bacon, etc) not only lead to weight gain which increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, but they are pro inflammatory foods.  This means that they promote inflammation in your body, which further increases your risk of diabetes.

Here’s the facts about Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and occurs when there are high levels of sugar in your blood.
  • PubMed does a really good job at explaining it so I’m not going to try to paraphrase.
    “Diabetes is caused by a problem in the way your body makes or uses insulin. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar (glucose) into cells, where it is stored and later used for energy.When you have type 2 diabetes, your fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond correctly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar does not get into these cells to be stored for energy.When sugar cannot enter cells, high levels of sugar build up in the blood.”
  • Increased amounts of body fat make it harder for your body to use insulin correctly, that’s why people with T2 diabetes are usually overweight
  • Other major risk factors include:
    • Family history of diabetes and genes
    • HDL cholesterol under 35 mg/dL
    • High blood levels of triglycerides
    • High blood pressure (greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg)
    • Low activity level (exercising less than 3 times a week)
    • Poor diet
  • You can have symptoms for years without realizing it.  The early symptoms  include bladder, kidney, skin, or other infections that are more frequent or heal slowly, fatigue, hunger, increased thirst, increased urination, blurred vision, erectile dysfunction, or pain or numbness in the feet or hands.
  • Best way to prevent type 2 diabetes?  Maintain a healthy body weight, a well-balanced diet, and an active lifestyle.  Visit your doctor and your nutritionist regularly 😉

This information and more can be found here.