As most people know, diabetes is absolutely rampant these days and it will be on the rise for the foreseeable future. Why is this? And why is the Paleo diet so effective at treating and controlling diabetes? Lets talk about that today!
Your body is an amazing thing, and God designed it to maintain remarkable tolerances. Blood sugar is very toxic to organs and tissue above a certain level, and it is no surprise that when functioning correctly, your body maintains it inside a very narrow range. The main player in all this is insulin, that is produced by the pancreas in response to elevated blood sugars, and in turn shifts glucose inside of cells where it can do no harm. So you take in a glycemic load, your body senses it and releases enough insulin to maintain sugars at a safe level. Sounds easy enough right?
So what happens if your diet depends too highly on carbohydrates, particularly highly processed carbohydrates with high glycemic indices? Basically your body is forced to produce more and more insulin to maintain a safe glucose level, and eventually two things happen. First your body starts to ignore the released insulin (what is known as insulin resistance) and second your pancreas eventually just burns out and stops functioning. Insulin resistance leads to non-insulin dependent diabetes, and continued abuse of your pancreas in time leads to insulin dependence requiring multiple daily insulin shots. (Both considered Type 2 Diabetes in this case)
Not sure if everyone has noticed, but diabetes is kind of on the rise lately!
Why is this so? I mean why is diabetes on the rise so much these days? Well, I’ll give you one guess: it starts with carbo and ends in hydrates! Our bodies were designed to run on a certain blend or mix of nutrients, much like your car is designed to run optimally on a certain gas mixture. Over the last 25 years we have altered the formula by increasing the percentage of carbohydrates and decreasing the percentage of fat in the typical American diet. DON’T tell me it’s genetics because last I checked, genes don’t change in 15 years! People love to say that diabetes “runs in my family,” which it may, but what your family eats also runs in your family! We eat so many carbohydrates that we force our Pancreas to keep the accelerator to the floor on insulin production to compensate for our carb-addicted ways. Go ahead everyone, please, give me a different BIOCHEMICALLY PLAUSIBLE explanation for the rapid rise of diabetes in adults and children in America in the last 25 years! PLEASE, comment below with the cause if it is not our diet? Does protein spike glucose in your blood? Does fat do it? No, so all we have left is carbohydrates. Anyone notice something else on the rise in America? OBESITY! They are kissing cousins, they run hand in hand.
How does Paleo fit in? Well that’s easy, it eliminates the fuel to this fire. It takes the burden off the pancreas to produce excess insulin and allows it to relax! It’s that simple, Paleo takes away the oxygen from the fire that is diabetes. No oxygen, no fire 🙂
We often try to complicate things. I mean, it must be a vast number of things that is leading to the obesity and diabetes epidemic in America right? Sorry to disappoint, but it’s actually very simple. We eat more carbs, we gain more weight, we develop diabetes more frequently, and we therefore die younger. But, we don’t die before imposing a tremendous financial cost to society through our illness.
Our society is now all about convenience. Convenience food must remain fresh for extended periods of time, cook up in an instant, and be cheap as dirt. Convenience will be the downfall of American health, in fact it already is.
There is no conspiracy here, diabetes is about ONE thing…Inappropriate intake of carbohydrates. Any other attempt to describe the epidemic, and any other plan to stop the problem is pure fantasy.
Eat Clean, Find An Adventure that MOVES You!
PS – As one of my readers pointed out, this article is about Type 2 Diabetes which is very different than Type 1. The biochemical pathway discussed above traces how adults (and more frequently children) develop Type 2 Diabetes.
February 23, 2015 at 12:54 pm
While I believe you article is correct, the title is very misleading. My 10 year old was not overweight, ate very few carbs, and we were 80% paleo and totally gluten free when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It was caused by a virus she had several months before. It is article that do not differetiate well between Type 1 and 2 that causes a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings about the causes of Type 1 that has had adults tell me and my daughter that she needs to eat better and take better care of herself and she will be able to stop taking her insulin. This gives these kids a false sense of hope and a feeling of guilt.
February 23, 2015 at 1:13 pm
You are absolutely RIGHT! I guess I get in my internal medicine bubble. I will fix it! Thanks for reading.
February 23, 2015 at 1:38 pm
February 23, 2015 at 1:53 pm
Sorry, did not have time to answer well earlier. I did go back and specify that my blog post referred to Type 2 Diabetes. Like I said, I practice in an adult world and lose track of the little people sometimes. I apologize for that.
I applaud you for looking out for your daughter and being her champion! Although diet alone may not fix her, there are amazing things on the horizon for Type 1 Diabetes through transplant etc. I pray one day soon a more permanent treatment will be available for her! Keep fighting the good fight 🙂
February 23, 2015 at 1:03 pm
I absolutely agree with this. I was diagnosed with PCOS and given Metformin for borderline insulin resistance (it was high but not over the ledge yet.) When I discovered Paleo, several things happened. The two most notable things, however, was weight loss and the ability to go off the Met. Having grown up on predominantly sugar and carbs, it is a daily battle to keep them out of my diet. That is why I am trying so hard to maintain an 85% Paleo lifestyle for my kids. I don’t want them to develop the horrid diet I had growing up and into my thirties.