The third and final step to reversing type 2 diabetes is setting aside animal products. This may seem like a tall order, but it is not as difficult as you think. Setting aside animal products increases insulin sensitivity, reduces risk of heart failure and improves kidney function.
Most diabetic diets attempt to regulate the amount of carbohydrates eaten in order to keep blood-sugar levels from spiking. Keeping blood-sugar levels consistent helps keep medicine dosage consistent. Although most diabetic treatment does a good job of managing the symptoms with medication, the complications-fatigue, heart failure, kidney failure, failing eyesight and peripheral neuropathy, just to name a few, slowly worsen over time.
In order to reverse type 2 diabetes, we have to do more than manage the symptoms; we must look to the source of type 2 diabetes. For the type 2 diabetic, intramyocellular fat decreases insulin sensitivity which causes high blood-glucose levels. In other words, fat inside muscle cells block insulin’s ability to help transport sugar molecules from the bloodstream to muscle cells for energy. The result is high levels of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream.
Setting aside animal products, however, attacks type 2 diabetes at the source. Animal fat is eliminated when animal products are set aside. Combine this step with step 2, keeping vegetable oils to a minimum, and you will be virtually fat-free. Research shows a correlation between high-fat diets and increased intracellular fat. In one study, people with a diet devoid of animal products (vegan) had 31 percent less intracellular fat, the source of type 2 diabetes, compared with people on a regular diet.
When intracellular fat is decreased, insulin sensitivity increases. This increase in insulin sensitivity allows more glucose to be used by cells for energy. More glucose being utilized as energy means less glucose floating in the blood stream, thus lowering blood-glucose levels.
Heart and Kidneys
Another benefit to setting aside animal products is lower cholesterol. Most cholesterol in our diets come from animal fat, so eliminating animal fat effectively eliminates cholesterol which helps keep our heart and arteries free of plaque. Although cholesterol treatment guidelines have changed recently, it should still be avoided by diabetics.
An additional benefit to setting aside animal products is not just eliminating animal fat but animal protein. Animal protein can harm the kidneys, leading to kidney failure and dialysis. Protein from plant sources is the best way to go as far as the health and longevity of the kidneys are concerned.
This is not the same diabetic diet designed to manage symptoms. This is no diet at all, but rather a lifestyle change designed to restore your health. This step combined with steps 1 and 2 will provide you with the resources you need to completely reverse type 2 diabetes.
This blog is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician before discontinuing use of medication or changing diet.
Goff, L. M., Bell, J. D., So, P., Dornhorst, A., & Frost, G. S. (2004). Veganism and its relationship with insulin resistance and intramyocellular lipid. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 59(2), 291-298. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602076
Barnard, N. D., & Grogan, B. C. (2008). Dr. Neal Barnard’s program for reversing diabetes: the scientifically proven system for reversing diabetes without drugs. New York: Rodale.