Author: Nicole Recine RN, MSN, CDE
Type 2 Diabetes and Diet
The American Diabetes Association leads patients and practitioners to believe that Type 2 Diabetes is a progressive disease. They tell us that once patients are diagnosed, it is inevitable that they eventually progress to needing oral glucose lowering medications and insulin injections. I am here to tell you that this is not true. Yes, following a standard high carbohydrate, low-fat diet as a diabetic will lead you down this path. However, there is a better solution. My clients with Type 2 Diabetes follow a very low-carbohydrate, high fat diet. This involves limiting total carbohydrates to less than 20g per day, eating a moderate amount of protein, and consuming their remaining calorie requirements from natural fat sources (especially fats from healthy animals). When following this way of eating, my clients typically see disease progression stop and often times reverse. I regularly see blood sugars normalized and HbA1c return to a normal value.
How does this work? Type 2 Diabetes is usually caused by an underlying state of hyperinsulinemia. This constantly high blood insulin level stems from the overconsumption of carbohydrates that is common in Western cultures. The body produces a lot of insulin to compensate for the extreme amounts of sugar and carbs, but over time our bodies become resistant to the action of insulin. This is called insulin resistance. When this happens, insulin levels rise even higher to overcome this resistance. This works for a while and blood sugar remains normal, until the whole system breaks down. At this point, the blood glucose begins to rise, as the body is no longer able to compensate. How do you stop this process? You remove the cause: sugar and excess carbohydrates. The carbohydrate is the one macronutrient that raises blood sugar the most. Protein raises blood glucose slightly. Fat has virtually no effect on blood glucose. Therefore, I instruct my clients to eat a moderate amount of protein and to eat fat to satiety.
Dietary Recommendations for Type 2 Diabetes
What do my clients eat? I encourage them to cut all sources of sugar from their diet. This means only getting carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables. I instruct my clients to consume a portion of high quality animal protein at each meal, and to be sure that they are choosing fatty cuts of meat from healthy animals. This is not a lean protein diet! I encourage eating all parts of the animal for maximum nutrient density.
Finding a Trustworthy Source For High Quality, Sugar-Free Protein
Many of my clients have busy lives and cannot cook every meal at home. Many also love bacon and sausage, which are excellent choices when trying to eat higher fat meats. However, it is virtually impossible to find bacon or sausage that is not made with some form of sugar (dextrose, brown sugar, cane sugar, honey). When limiting carbohydrates to 20g per day, trace amounts count. That is why I always recommend USWM to my clients. Their sugar-free pork and beef bacon are favorites among my clients. In addition, they sell a variety of sugar-free meat sticks, sausages, franks, jerky, sliders, brats, and liverwurst. All made without sugar. These products make following a zero sugar diet much easier because they are convenient and taste amazing. In addition to being free of sugar, I am also confident that I am recommending products that come from healthy animals and can assure my clients are eating high-quality meat. It is extremely rare that I find a company that meets both of these standards.
Nutrient Rich Meats From US Wellness Meats
I personally enjoy USWM sugar-free pork and beef bacon for breakfast, and regularly include their sugar-free liverwurst in my diet. Many of my clients are hesitant to try organ meat at first, but have found USWM beef braunschweiger and liverwurst tasty choices to start becoming accustomed to the taste of organ meat.
I would encourage everyone, but especially anyone diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes or insulin resistance, to begin to eliminate sugar from the diet. Check out USWM sugar-free options.
About the Author:
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