We’ve been given to understand that since the main sign of diabetes is raised blood glucose, that high carbohydrate foods must be the cause of diabetes.
However, although this concept that carbohydrates is the cause of diabetes has been disproved, it’s still believed to be true. So, based on this premise people still believe that foods high in carbs can only be eaten in small amounts if one has diabetes.
But the fact is including foods like fruit, beans, potatoes & yams in one’s diet has scientifically been proven to reverse insulin resistance, prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes.
So, What is the Cause of Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes is caused by a fat metabolism disorder which then results in a glucose metabolism disorder. Let me explain.
About a century ago studies were done where they took two groups of healthy young people. One group was put on a fat rich diet & the other on a carb rich diet & within two days this is what they found.
The glucose in the group that was on a high fat diet went sky high & they ended with twice the blood sugar. They really didn’t know why the blood sugar spiked except that they there was a large amount of fat in the diet, & it took nearly 70 years to find out the reason.
Knowing this fact that it was the fat would hold the key to the current understanding of the cause of Type 2 Diabetes.
The reason athletes consume a lot of carbs before they race is b/c they are building their fuel supply inside their muscles. The starch from the carbs that they eat is broken down into glucose in their digestive tract.
The glucose or blood sugar travels through the blood stream & is stored by the muscles & used as energy as it’s needed. However, glucose cannot enter the muscles without the help of insulin.
Insulin is the key that unlocks the door that allows glucose to enter into these muscle cells. If there wasn’t any insulin, the blood sugar would rise & would have to stay in the bloodstream b/c it was unable to get inside the muscles.
That’s what happen in Type 1 Diabetes. The beta cells in the pancreas that make the insulin, get destroyed & without insulin the sugar in the blood can’t get out of the blood stream & into the muscles.
But what if there was enough insulin but the insulin doesn’t work properly? What if we have the key which is insulin but the keyhole is plugged up? Our muscle cells become resistant to the effect of insulin.
Why is that? There’s something that is plugging the keyhole & that something is the fat. The fat is preventing insulin from letting the glucose into our muscle cells.
People think that it’s sugar – the candy, & the carbs that is the cause of diabetes & understandably so b/c diabetes means there’s too much sugar in the blood.
So, they think that the primary cause is eating too much sugar, & especially if they have diabetes, they think that if they stop eating all these carbs, it will go away, but that’s not so.
The body is designed to use glucose as fuel. The problem is that your body can’t use the insulin. The body can’t get it out of the blood stream into the muscles & liver where it can be used as fuel. This results in a build up of glucose in the blood stream.
The Primary Function of Insulin is to Help Transport Glucose Out of The Blood & Into Tissues.
The consumption of excess fat blocks the ability of insulin receptors in your muscles & liver to allow glucose to exit the blood & enter these tissues. Glucose then gets trapped in the blood resulting in high blood glucose & an increased need for insulin.
The mechanics of how saturated fat causes insulin resistance wasn’t known until MRI techniques were developed to see what was happening inside people’s muscles as fat was infused into their blood stream.
That’s how scientists found that the elevation of fat levels in the blood causes insulin resistance by preventing glucose from moving into the muscles.
Eating a meal of excess saturated fat can start causing insulin resistance which stops glucose getting into the cells after just two hours. So, it doesn’t matter how much insulin is in the blood, the sugar in the blood rises.
Again, using MRI technology, it was found that when they cleared the fat out of the blood, the sugar was also cleared out of the blood. So as we lower the amount of fat in our diet, insulin works better because it decreases insulin resistance, the cause of prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes.
Now that we’ve seen that excess fat in our diet is the key reason for insulin resistance, I want to make sure we understand that I’m not saying that we need to cut out all fat from the diet.
The body needs some fat, just not excess fat & especially saturated fat. So, let’s see where we get all this excess saturated fat from.
The Standard American Diet is High in Animal Fats which is high in saturated fats & it’s also found in dairy products, eggs, & in processed foods.
The SAD diet is low in fiber & low in complex carbohydrates
The recommended amount of fiber we need is 35 grams per day. Most people are getting around 15 gm of fiber a day which is less than half the daily requirement.
Why are we getting so little fiber in our diet? This is something I didn’t know for a long time. The reason is that is there’s no fiber in meat, no fiber in dairy products, & no fiber in eggs.
That’s the reason we need to eat fruit, vegetables, & whole grain & legumes, b/c that’s where we get our fiber from.
Why is fiber important?
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Blood sugar control – b/c it slows down the body’s breakdown of carbs absorption of sugar & helps improve blood sugar levels.
- Heart health. Fiber-containing foods may not only help prevent heart disease but help treat it as well. Heart patients who increase their intake of fiber after their first heart attack reduce their risk of a second and live longer than those that don’t.
The American Heart Association says that at least 68 percent of people age 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease; and 16% die of stroke.
Also, adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes.
4. Stroke. Again, research has shown that for every 7 grams more of fiber you consume every day your risk is decreased by 7%.
96% of Americans don’t eat the recommended minimum daily intake of greens & beans & 99% of them don’t get enough of whole grain.
Now, if a person wants to increase their intake of fiber it needs to be done gradually. No more than 5 grams of fiber each week. If done too quickly they may experience discomfort which may cause people to discontinue getting their dietary fiber.
I hope this has given you a better understanding of what the cause of Type 2 Diabetes is, which then helps us to treat the root of the problem instead of treating the symptoms.
I invite you to do this very important assessment which will help you figure out how much fat you are consuming each day.
- Keep track of what you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, the beverages & snacks that you consume for a couple of days
- How much dairy you consume like butter, cheese, yogurt, milk, cream
- How much meat and eggs you eat
After making a list of what you eat at each meal along with the drinks & snacks you consume each day, total up the grams of fat you eat for now.
You can use Cronometer to track your nutrition, fitness & health results. There are easy tutorials you can check out on YouTube that will teach you how to use Cronometer.
I’d love it if you would post your comments in the section below. What motivates people is when people read you comments & that inspires them to do the same. So, thank you for taking the time to share your results with us.
We’ve created an audio version of our article:
Love & Blessings,
Health & Wellness Coach