By Dr. Mercola
According to the American Diabetes Association, over 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, the majority of whom are Type 2 diabetics. Still another 84 million Americans have prediabetes, meaning that they could progress to the full-scale illness in less than five decades. By 2035, diabetes is expected to afflict 592 million people worldwide.
As I have frequently said, a healthy lifestyle not just can prevent Type 2 diabetes, but is also capable of reversing it. With appropriate attention to diet and lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes can bealso typically, a curable illness. In the majority of situations, it doesn’t need medication.
Based on its influence on blood glucose levels, research has indicated a compound found in cocoa can help delay the onset of diabetes. If you are diabetic or prediabetic, and also a chocolate lover, this might sound like just the news you want to justify your sweet tooth. After all, cocoa can be found in chocolate. Before you get too excited, however, let us have a good look at the research.
Scientists Strive to Identify Possible Medical Interventions for Diabetes
Due to the growing prevalence of diabetes, scientists have been working hard to recognize medical interventions for people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Considering that the data presented above, there’s great reason for their own interest. Nevertheless, everything that is proposed may not necessarily be beneficial for you.
One case comes from a team at the University of South Carolina that implanted antimicrobial properties from the oily abdomens of obese mice. They suggest the existence of the sponges helped decrease blood sugar and staved off weight reduction. From a health perspective, it is hard to comprehend why you’d want to depend on a foreign object implanted on your abdomen to control your blood sugar and weight, when you could attain the same or better results simply by adjusting your diet and lifestyle.
In that context, let us consider the research involving diabetes and schizophrenia, first by reviewing some fundamentals about diabetes. If you have Type 2 diabetes, your physician has probably told you that your body is less sensitive to insulin, a hormone generated, stored and published by beta cells in your pancreas. Unlike what you’ve already been told, the principal job of insulin isn’t to lower your blood sugar, but to keep the extra energy (glycogen, a starch) for current and future consumption.
Its capacity to lower your blood sugar is merely a side effect of this energy storage procedure. In the end, diabetes is a disease of insulin and of a malfunction in leptin signaling. Nevertheless, if your blood sugar level gets too high, it can damage your blood vessels and organs, but if it’s too low, then your body isn’t able to operate properly.
As a Type 2 diabetic who is significantly less sensitive to insulin, the human body not only has to create more of this hormone to attain the desired effects, but also your beta cells are more vulnerable to greater death prices. Given the sensitivity of your beta cells to oxidative stress — also known as free radicals — investigators from Brigham Young University and Virginia Tech set out to bolster beta cell functionality.
They opted to study the impact of flavanol compounds found in anti aging on beta cells. These chemicals include antioxidants. The analysis, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, found that rats getting a high-fat diet which contained the cocoa compound had lower obesity levels and an increased capacity to manage higher blood sugar levels.
Cocoa Your Mitochondria Team Up to Fight Diabetes
While scientists have researched the relationship between flavanols and beta cell function for the better part of 10 decades, this research is the first to center on a flavanol known as catechin. Of all the flavanols tested thus far, catechin has generated the most positive results toward enhancing the beta cells’ capacity to secrete insulin.
Researchers still haven’t found how catechin, that can be a single molecule and the smallest compound tested, really makes developments on your beta cells. Study writer Jeffery Tessem, Ph.D., assistant professor of nutrition, dietetics and food science at Brigham Young University, clarifies what has been discovered thus far:
“What happens, [catechin is] protecting the cells, it is increasing their capacity to deal with oxidative stress. The catechin monomers are making the mitochondria from the beta cells stronger, which produces more ATP (a cell’s energy source), which contributes to more insulin being released.”
Because scientists observed that an increase in the expression of genes promoting mitochondrial function and the body’s response to oxidative stress, they’ve concluded epicatechin monomers strengthen the mitochondria inside the beta cells. Your mitochondria are the “power houses” of your cells. Mitochondria are so vital to your health, I made Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy (MMT) the fundamental theme of my latest novel “Fat for Fuel.”
MMT is a whole program that involves eating a cyclical ketogenic diet, also aims to heal not just your mitochondria, but also the root causes of chronic disease and aging. Given my comprehension of the significant role they perform concerning your general health, it makes sense mitochondria would be called out from the diabetes study. About the research, co-author Andrew Neilson, Ph.D., assistant professor of food science and technology at Virginia Tech, said:
“These results will help us get nearer to using these chemicals more efficiently in supplements or foods to maintain normal blood glucose control, and possibly even delay or prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.”
Nevertheless, both Tessem and Neilson were quick to dismiss any notions that eating sour, high-fat chocolate will help defend you against diabetes. For sure, if you are diabetic or prediabetic, Tessem notes you’d “likely have to consume a good deal of cocoa” to ingestion sufficient epicatechin monomers to attain the desired impact in your blood sugar levels. “It is the compound in cocoa, [not the chocolate], you are after.”
Seven Steps You Can Take Now to Control Your Blood Glucose
As opposed to depend on future scientific advancements to boost your wellbeing related to diabetes or prediabetes, I advise you to consider the next seven measures you can take today to control your blood sugar.
|Increase your fiber: Many whole foods, especially vegetables and fruits, obviously contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber, such as that found in blueberries, cucumbers and nuts was shown to be beneficial to Type 2 diabetes because it slows down your digestion.
Insoluble fiber, found in celery, carrots anddark green leafy vegetables does not dissolve and therefore adds bulk to your stool to encourage regularity. I suggest getting 40 to 50 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume.
A study conducted in Imperial College London indicated participants with the highest fiber intake (greater than 26 grams a day) had an 18 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those with the lowest intake (less than 19 grams a day).
|Reduce net carbs: A low-net-carbohydrate diet of 50 grams per day or two will decrease inflammation, stress in the body and the amount of insulin necessary to transform the food you eat into energy. You are able to calculate net carbohydrates by simply carrying the quantity of carbohydrates you’ve eaten and subtracting the number of grams of fiber. A high-fiber diet will help your body lower the amount of insulin it needs to produce.|
|Eat high-quality fats: If you reduce your carbohydrates, you need to replace them with high-quality fats. Your body thrives on healthy fats because they’re necessary for mitochondrial wellbeing, which affects your entire body, and lowers your disease risk. Healthy fats include avocados, coconut oil, organic grass fed butter and meat, genuine virgin olive oil, organic pastured eggs and uncooked nuts.
|Get more exercise: While exercise does not seem to have any influence on the amount of leptin secreted inside your body, it has a significant impact on the resistance your body builds up for this important hormone, which can be discussed more extensively below. The longer you exercise, the more sensitive your cells turn into leptin. As your body becomes sensitive to leptin, you cut your potential resistance to insulin, and therefore your own risk of diabetes.|
|Stay hydrated: If you become dehydrated, your liver will secrete a hormone which raises your blood sugar. As you hydrate blood sugar levels lower obviously. You can easily track your hydration by detecting the colour of your urine during the day. It should be light yellow, if you don’t choose B-vitamin nutritional supplements, which leaves your urine yellow.|
|Reduce stress: If you are stressed, your body secretes cortisol and glucagon, both of which impact your blood sugar level. You may have the ability to lower your stress levels through exercise, meditation, prayer, relaxation techniques or yoga. The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is also an effective approach to address stress.|
|Get sufficient sleep: Adequate excellent sleep is necessary to feel great and experience great health. Poor sleeping habits can decrease insulin sensitivity and promote weight reduction. Sleep is so important, I will address it again later in this article.|
Insulin Is Not the Only Hormone Influencing Your Risk of Diabetes
While you’re most likely to hear a lot about insulin and its function concerning diabetes, it is important to get acquainted with two other hormones — leptin and ghrelin — which also influence the disease. Beyond consuming too much sugar in your bloodstream, diabetics fight with insulin resistance at a cellular level. If your cells become resistant to insulin, glucose (sugar) stays in your bloodstream, increasing your blood sugar level.
As previously mentioned, another element of Type 2 diabetes is the error of leptin signaling. Leptin, also referred to as the “obesity hormone,” controls hunger and feelings of satiety. Leptin is a hormone produced by your own fat cells involved with energy expenditure, food intake, immune function, metabolism and neuroendocrine function.
The third hormone intimately involved with diabetes is ghrelin, your “hunger hormone,” that is secreted by your stomach lining. This hormone is responsible for telling your brain you are hungry. Ghrelin, it appears, may also act in your brain’s “pleasure centers,” forcing you to achieve for another bowl of ice cream only because you remember how good the first one tasted and made you feel while you were eating it.
These are the three chief players in the development of diabetes. Having an error of leptin or ghrelin signaling, you may eat too much food to your activity level and the rate of your metabolism, leading to weight gain and obesity. With obesity frequently comes immunity in a cellular level to insulin, which translates to you having chronic high blood sugar. Then, it is merely a matter of time until you receive a diagnosis of diabetes.
Lack of Quality Sleep Impacts Ghrelin and Leptin
Now that you know just how ghrelin and leptin play a function with diabetes, I wanted to mention how these hormones have been influenced by lack of sleep, largely because inadequate sleep appears to be an increasing problem worldwide. You may not bear in mind that a lack of consistent, high-quality sleep wreak havoc on both the ghrelin and leptin, thus putting you at risk for diabetes.
Chronic lack of sleep may cause ghrelin to overeat, which makes you feel hungry when you don’t really have to consume. Late-night eating is of particular concern. If you are caught in a cycle of late night eating, you are very likely tempted to indulge in foods high in carbohydrates, and these extra calories are inclined to be stored as fat.
If you eat a sugary dessert your generation of insulin raises so the sugar in your bloodstream may be taken to your own cells and utilized for energy. It also increases the production of leptin. Because leptin is secreted by fat tissue, if you are too heavy, you probably have greater than normal levels of leptin, which may result in leptin resistance. High leptin levels have been tied to heart disease, higher blood pressure, stroke and obesity, in addition to blood sugar issues.
If you are leptin resistant, your body will probably receive signals leading you to keep on eating even when you’ve really had enough. Researchers involved with a sleep disorders study involving over 1,000 participants, which sought to uncover a connection between sleep Issues and metabolic hormones, concluded:
“Participants with short sleep had decreased leptin and elevated ghrelin. These differences in leptin and ghrelin are most likely to increase appetite, maybe explaining the greater BMI detected with short sleep length.”
If you want to help yourself along to better hormone balance among insulin, ghrelin and leptin, 1 thing you can take today is to get better sleep. After reviewing over 300 studies to ascertain just how many hours of sleep many people need to maintain their wellbeing, an expert panel concluded most adults need around eight hours each night to function well. Children and teenagers require more.
How to Limit Your Own Sugar Consumption
Sugar in its normal form, such as that found in fruit, isn’t inherently bad if consumed in amounts that allow you to burn fat as the primary fuel. However, you need to avoid all sources of processed fructose, especially processed foods and beverages such as soda and salty juices. According to SugarScience.org, 74 percent of processed foods bought from the grocery store contain sugar. Other sources have indicated it can be as large as 80 percent.
For that reason and more, I advise you to consume a diet composed chiefly of naturally occurring foods that are whole, with 10 per cent or less coming from processed foods. I urge severely limiting your intake of refined carbohydrates found in cereal, bread, pasta and other grain-based foods, because they break down to sugar on the human body, which raises your insulin levels and leads to insulin resistance.
As a general recommendation, I suggest you keep your complete fructose intake below 25 grams every day, including fructose from whole fruit, as low as 15 grams per day if you have diabetes or other chronic disease. Remember that while veggies are rich in antioxidants and nutrients, they obviously contain fructose. If consumed in large amounts (especially if you are not burning off fat as the primary fuel), fructose from fruit worsens your insulin sensitivity also raises your uric acid levels.
Make sure to steer clear of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose on account of the health issues related to them. In my view, the risks related to these toxic substances are worse than those you may face with corn sugar and syrup. As mentioned previously, your best bet is to replace the sugary carbohydrates into your diet with healthy, high-quality fats. A few of my favorites are avocados, grass-fed butter, raw macadamia nuts and wild Alaskan salmon.
If you believe you might be addicted to sugar, and many people are, I strongly advise you to look at using EFT to break the grip sugar has in your life. In the video below, Julie Schiffman demonstrates how to tap your method free from a sugar addiction.
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting Can Reduce Your Diabetes Risk
Simply stated, a ketogenic diet seeks to minimize carbohydrates, substituting them with healthy fats and adequate amounts of high-quality protein. Just about everyone can benefit from a concentrated ketogenic diet, in which you increase protein and carbs on the a couple of days per week you are strength training — once you are able to burn fat for fuel.
By executing a cyclical ketogenic approach, you may lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and a host of other chronic diseases. In a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism, researchers noticed that girls who ate low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets were able to significantly decrease their dependency on diabetes medication.
They said, “The … ketogenic diet was more effective for improving glycemic control than the low glycemic diet. Lifestyle modification using low-carbohydrate diet pills are effective for enhancing obesity and type two diabetes.”
I believe this diet is healthy for many individuals, whether you’ve got a chronic health problem or not. I say that because the ketogenic diet will help you optimize your wellbeing by switching from burning carbohydrates to burning fat as the primary fuel. Your body ought to be able to burn both sugar and fat for fuel, but the majority of people have lost the capacity to burn fat, thanks to eating a diet too high in sugars. Regaining this metabolic versatility is foundational for optimal weight and health reduction.
Among the most common negative effects of being a true sugar-burner is that you find yourself with insulin and leptin resistance, which can be in the root of most chronic disease, including diabetes. Because your body has lost its ability to burn fat for fuel, you’ll also find weight loss is a struggle. As soon as you recover the capacity to burn fat, then you’ll probably find your weight will clot mechanically.
Adopting the ketogenic diet along with intermittent fasting can further boost your outcomes. Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective strategies I know of to shift your entire body from burning sugar to burning fat for fuel. While there are many approaches, the one I utilized to become fat adapted entails restricting your everyday eating to some six- to eight-hour window. This means you are going to be fasting for approximately 16 to 18 hours each day.
It may take some time to work up to that period of fasting. Start with pushing your breakfast out a bit later until you are ready to skip it altogether. You are able to use intermittent fasting to help you slowly transition to a ketogenic diet. It is especially beneficial to help you break your body’s addiction to glucose. You’ll find that eliminating sugar cravings is one of the most welcomed unwanted effects of fasting.
More Advanced Fasting Might Also Be Useful
Over time, you may be able to fast more. I’ve been performing 14- to 16-hour daily intermittent fasts for 18 weeks. Over the previous two months I raised that to 20- to 21-hour fasts, and I have also started experimenting with four-day water fasts.
In all my medical experience, I have never seen a more effective intervention compared to multiday fasts where the one thing you eat is water and mineral supplements, and no other food or beverage. I’d previously been compared to fasting if a person was already at an perfect body weight. However, I failed to understand that there’s metabolic wonder which simply won’t occur in any other setting.
I view this kind of extreme fast as taking out the trash. It enables the human body to seriously upregulate autophagy and mitophagy and eliminate the majority of the damaged senescent cells inside the body. This, clearly, would include premalignant cells. It is a magnificent way to help cancer-proof your physique. It is also outstanding for helping you achieve optimal body weight, and it may improve your wellbeing and extend your life span.
I will be interviewing specialists on fasting in the long run to enter more detail of all the advantages that are provided, but until then I would strongly urge you to seriously consider upping your daily intermittent fasting toward the 18- to 20-hour range so you’ll have the ability to painlessly conduct water fasting after that feast like a king subsequently.
Getting Started With the Ketogenic Diet
Regardless of whether you are intermittently fasting or not, the next food tips will help you regain balance on your eating and discard unwanted weight — just two significant steps if you are a diabetic. Start by focusing on the next. To find out more on implementing a ketogenic diet, check out “A Beginner’s Guide to the Ketogenic Diet: A Effective Means of Optimizing Your Health.”
Avoid processed foods, refined sugar and processed sugars in excess of 15 grams per day, and carbohydrates
Eat foods that are whole, ideally organic
Replace grain carbohydrates together:
◦Large amounts of organic vegetables
◦Greater amounts of fats (you may reap getting as much as 50 to 85 percent of your total daily calories from high-quality, healthy fats — saturated and monounsaturated fats from tropical and animal oil sources)
◦Low-to-moderate amounts of high-quality protein
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With This Healthy Chocolate Truffle Recipe
If the thought of consuming candy is holding you back from making the dietary modifications you understand your own body longs for and needs, consider this healthy choice to store-bought chocolate truffles, courtesy of Jennafer Ashley of Paleohacks. It contains healthy, delicious ingredients and is easy to prepare.
Chocolate Fat Bomb Truffles Recipe
Prep Time: 10 moments
- 1 tbsp Dr. Mercola’s vanilla infusion
- 2 small ripe organic avocados
- 1 cup raw cacao powder
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder for dusting
- 3 tbsp Dr. Mercola’s coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp Dr. Mercola’s raw honey or 1 tbsp monk fruit sweetener
- 1-2 drops of stevia (optional)
Serving Size: 12 truffles
- In a mixing bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, avocado, honey and stevia, if you are using it. Use a hand mixer on medium speed to combine the ingredients until they achieve a smooth consistency.
- Gradually blend in 1 cup of raw cacao powder till it completely combines with the other ingredients. Put in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture and roll it into balls. Dust with the reserved cacao powder.
- Store in the fridge, then serve once chilled.