The Paleo Diet And Diabetes: Preventing And Healing Type 2 Diabetes
50% of Americans are pre-diabetic. Can getting back to your ancestral roots reduce your risk? We’re in the midst of a diabetes (type 2) epidemic. The global burden of diabetes doubled from 1980 to 2014, and it is rising rapidly in low to middle income families and countries. (1) The World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2030, diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in the world. (2) Today, 50% of Americans are classified as pre-diabetic or diabetic, despite experts being in agreement that the standard American diet (SAD) figures centrally in the pathogenesis of “diseases of civilization,” such as diabetes. (3) Can getting back to your ancestral roots and adopting a Paleo diet reduce your risk or reverse pre-diabetes and diabetes? What is Diabetes? After you eat a meal, your food travels from your gut to your liver, and finally into your bloodstream. In order to get blood sugars from your bloodstream INTO the cells, your pancreas releases insulin, which signals cell receptors to take up glucose. Insulin’s job (amongst many other tasks) is to lower your blood sugar levels and deliver the glucose to your tissues to fuel activity and cellular processes. Suffering from Diabetes or blood sugar imbalance? Grab our FREE Diabetes Guide & 7 Day Meal Plan here! Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the beta cells of the pancreas do not produce insulin. This is where the wonders of modern medicine save the day, providing lifesaving insulin that can be delivered after each meal. This condition requires the use of exogenous (i.e., medication) insulin to survive. Although this article will not address type 1 diabetes, there is still a crossover benefit from making the suggested changes (i.e., you use less insulin after each meal). Type 1 dia Continue reading >>
Can The Paleo Diet Help Diabetics?
November is National Diabetes Month, so now is a great time to reflect upon the 26 million people who already have diabetes, as well as the nearly 80 million with pre-diabetes (those on high alert for developing the condition). If you fall into any of these groups, or know someone who does, take the time to consider what kinds of food choices may lead to better health. Sometimes, better health means that weight loss is necessary. Obesity increases the risk for diabetes, and losing weight can help keep your blood glucose level on target. Luckily, it may not be necessary to lose all those excess pounds to improve diabetes outcomes. Losing just 5-10% of your body weight can help lower your blood glucose, total cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. Here, we will outline one eating plan that can help people with diabetes lose weight, among many other possible benefits. Often, people do not make time to prepare their own meals or even monitor their food intake. This can lead to regular intake of packaged, processed foods. Many experts believe that this trend away from carefully prepared whole foods has contributed to the rise in obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. A growing number of nutrition researchers and doctors now suggest that we try a return to simpler diets, based on grass-fed and free-range animal products, fresh seafood, and whole fruit, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. The Paleo (Paleolithic) Diet, also known the Hunter-Gatherer Diet, is a healthy-eating plan based on fresh, unprocessed plants and animals. Even though it is modeled after human diets from thousands of years ago, the Paleo Diet consists of easy-to-find foods, such as fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and grass-fed meats. Most versions of the diet do not include grains (like wheat, rye, Continue reading >>
Can The Paleo Diet Help Diabetes?
After 55-year-old Steve Cooksey was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2009, he knew he wanted to approach the disease differently from the way his two diabetic family members had. “I went home and realized that to eat their way required more and more insulin," he says. For some reason, "My blood sugar should have been going down, but it wasn’t.” A few months after he was diagnosed, Cooksey abandoned the traditional diabetes diet in favor of the so-called paleo diet — a high-protein, low-carb food plan, likened to a “caveman diet,” that minimizes processed foods and emphasizes meats and vegetables. Within a month, Cooksey was able to stop taking all his medications, including those for diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. He still checks his blood sugar regularly, and it’s always within normal ranges. “I have normal blood sugars for normal people, not just normal blood sugars for a diabetic,” says Cooksey, whose website, Diabetes Warrior, explains the benefits of a paleo diet for diabetes. The Potential Benefits of a Paleo Diet for Diabetes Cooksey isn’t alone. In recent years, the popularity of the paleo diet has skyrocketed, with many of its proponents touting the approach as an effective way to improve health and lose weight. A study published in August 2015 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (ECJN) suggests that people with type 2 diabetes who followed a "caveman diet" were able to improve their blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol by significant amounts in just two weeks. Other study participants who followed a traditional diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association saw little to no improvement. The participants were given enough food to prevent them from losing weight, eliminating the possibility that Continue reading >>
Pills Or Paleo? Preventing And Reversing Type 2 Diabetes
The incidence of type 2 diabetes continues to skyrocket, but current drug treatments are inadequate and potentially dangerous. The Paleo diet offers a safe and effective alternative. This article is the first in an ongoing series that compares a Paleo-based diet and lifestyle with medication for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Stay tuned for future articles on high blood pressure, heartburn/GERD, autoimmune disease, skin disorders, and more. Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes have reached epidemic proportions. In the U.S. today, someone dies from diabetes-related causes every ten seconds, and recent reports suggest that one-third of people born in 2010 will develop diabetes at some point in their lives. Find out how the Paleo diet can prevent and even reverse diabetes naturally. What is particularly horrifying about this statistic is that many of those who develop diabetes will be kids. Type 2 diabetes used to be a disease of the middle-aged and elderly. No longer. A recent Yale study indicated that nearly one in four kids between the ages of four and eighteen have pre-diabetes. And some regional studies show that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children and young adults has jumped from less than 5 percent before 1994 to 50 percent in 2004. It’s clear that type 2 diabetes is one of the most significant and dangerous health problems of our times, and we desperately need safe and effective treatments that won’t bankrupt our health care system. With this in mind, let’s compare two possible ways of addressing type 2 diabetes: conventional medication, and a Paleo diet. Conventional Medication for Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is typically treated with the following (impossible to pronounce!) classes of drugs: These medic Continue reading >>
The Paleo Diet For Diabetes
Can we improve upon the standard Paleo diet for diabetes? Over the past few decades, diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, skyrocketing from 108 million people worldwide in 1980 to over 422 million people today (according to the most recent World Health Organization data)! That includes 29 million people in the United States alone, which is 9.3% of the entire US population (yes, almost one out of ten people in America have diabetes!). And, if we think about all the additional cases of pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome out there, those numbers shoot even higher. In fact, pre-diabetes is estimated to affect an additional 87 million Americans. How did we get in this mess? A combination of genetic and modern environmental factors created the perfect storm for type 2 diabetes, as well as autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes (type 2 diabetes happens when the body can’t properly use insulin, whereas type 1 diabetes involves the destruction of beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin). Scientific Studies of the Paleo Diet for Diabetes Lucky for us, diabetes is one of the many conditions that the Paleo diet can help manage or (in the case of type 2!) reverse. In fact, trials of Paleo-style diets on type 2 diabetics (as well as other people with poor glycemic control) consistently show that Paleo can be a powerful tool for reducing both the risk factors and symptoms of diabetes. Multiple studies have shown that the Paleo diet improves glucose tolerance on oral challenge, fasting blood sugar, insulin sensitivity, HbA1c (a measurement of average blood sugar levels over the last 3 months), C-peptide (a marker of insulin secretion), and HOMA indices (measures of insulin resistance and beta-cell function). In fact, the Paleo diet outperforms the American Diabetes A Continue reading >>
The Paleo Diet For Diabetes
Paleo stands for Paleolithic, a prehistoric era spanning over 2.5 million years. During these times, people were hunters and gatherers. This means that they ate meat, fish, and seasonal plants, such as foraged berries, vegetables, roots, and nuts. They did not eat processed foods, like refined sugars, any grains, or dairy. From an evolutionary perspective, many people believe that this is the kind of diet that we are adapted to eat. The health benefits of eating nutrient-dense, less processed food are well-established. The current dietary guidelines emphasize the benefits of focusing on nutrient-dense vs. processed foods. Can a Paleo Diet Benefit People with Diabetes? Because it focuses on nutrient-dense foods, avoiding processed ingredients, sugar, and grains, a Paleo diet is likely to be lower in carbohydrate content than a more traditional western diet. Minimizing the number of carbohydrates, while consuming more foods that are lower on the glycemic index, such as non-starchy vegetables, may help more effectively manage blood glucose levels. In fact, some researchers suggest that limiting carbohydrate intake should be the main tool for managing type 2 diabetes and an important supportive treatment to insulin therapy for type 1 diabetes . Several studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of the Paleo diet on type 2 diabetes management, demonstrating the potential health benefits of the diet. Specifically, research studies indicate that adhering to a Paleo diet is effective in lowering BMI and A1C levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. At least one study showed that a Paleo diet resulted in lower average triglycerides and blood pressure in type 2 diabetics in comparison to those following a more traditional diet. Research also suggests that eating Paleo, e Continue reading >>
Is Paleo Good For Diabetics?
On the Paleo diet, you're cutting out bread, grains, and processed foods... so naturally, you're decreasing your sugar intake. So is the Paleo diet good for diabetics? Currently, the research looking at the impact of a Paleo diet on diabetes control looks promising. One small 2009 randomized control trial found that compared with a diabetic diet, patients with type 2 diabetes who followed a Paleo diet for three months lost more weight and inches off their waist. They also saw reductions in their HbA1c and cholesterol while seeing improvements in their good HDL cholesterol. Other studies (here, here, and here) have echoed these short-term improvements too. A 2015 study also found that individuals with type 2 diabetes who followed a Paleo diet were able to improve their blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol in just two weeks. The only problem with these studies is that the sample sizes are generally (embarrassingly) small, and the duration of the studies are (incredibly) short, meaning we have no information about patients' ability to maintain weight loss and metabolic improvements in the long run. We also aren’t sure about the long-term implications of a diet high in saturated fat (as promoted on the Paleo diet) since the 2015 study that showed improvements in blood markers did not include any red meat, which is often consumed on a typical Paleo diet. Rather, the patients were given lean protein sources like fish, chicken, and unsaturated fats to result in their health improvements. While the early research we have to date looks exciting for the role of a Paleo-like diet for people with diabetes, we probably need longer studies and more specific guidelines on fat sources to be able to confidently make recommendations. We think it's safe to say it's still Continue reading >>
Paleo Diet For Disease Prevention, Weight Loss?
Proponents of the Paleo diet, which focuses on lean meat, fruits, vegetables and nuts, promote it as a way to avoid many of the chronic diseases present now that were absent in hunter-gatherers of olden times. They may be right, say researchers from the City of Hope National Medical Center. They reviewed 13 studies on the diet, including 4 that looked at people with type 2 diabetes, and call it promising for reducing chronic disease risk and for weight loss and other health improvements.1 "The studies so far showed promising results with declines mainly in weight, and some studies showing a decline in fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c," says Maximiliano Hyon, DO, MPH, senior endocrine fellow at City of Hope National Medical Center. He presented the findings at ENDO 2017, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando Apr. 3. He stops short of recommending it at this time, however. "These are small studies with short study duration, so we need to have larger and more robust data before we can truly make a recommendation regarding the Paleo diet for people with type 2 diabetes." The studies each included only 10 to 30 people each, he says. Researchers compared the Paleo diet to a variety of other diets. Hyon and his colleagues evaluated the effects of the diet on the potential to prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer risks.1 Paleo Results Results weren't consistent across all studies, Dr. Hyon tells Endocrine Web. Nor did all studies look at the same outcomes. "The mean weight loss in most of the studies was between 5 and 20.5 pounds," he says. This was over a brief study period, usually three months. "In terms of blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C [a three-month look back at blood sugar levels], not all the studies showed a significant decline," he sa Continue reading >>
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Experts Weigh-in On The Paleo Diet And Diabetes
Experts Weigh-in on the Paleo Diet and Diabetes Theres been a buzz in the diet-world about the Paleo diet and many want to know if the diet is good for people with diabetes or not. New research has shown that following a Paleo diet can help patients lose weight and lower A1C levels. Others, however,are convinced a Paleo diet deprives individuals of much needed fiber and nutrition. Well explore both sides of the story. The Paleo diet is based on our ancestors hunter-gatherer lifestyle from the Paleolitic Era, or Old Stone Age period. It is high in protein and low in processed carbohydrates. According to Dr. Steve Parker, author ofPaleobetic Diet,diabetescan be controlled with Paleolithic eating, which is comprised of the following components: nuts, seeds, proteins, vegetables, fruits and healthy oils. Foods to avoid on the Paleo diet are: corn, wheat, rice, dairy, legumes (including peanuts, beans, peas, green beans), and vegetable, soybean, corn, safflower oils, alcohol and refined sugars. Parker advocates a low-carbpaleo diet for people with diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2. Low-carb in this context means 50-80 grams per day of net carbs (total carbohydrate grams minus fiber grams), he explains. People who can tolerate a high-carb-gram count might include those with very high activity levels, or relatively mild type 2 diabetes with significant residual insulin production by the pancreas plus low insulin resistance. On his blog, Parker points out that if you take certain diabetes drugs, the Paleobetic Diet could put you at major risk for seriouseven life-threateninghypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Along with his extensive diet plan for the Paleobetic Diet, he advises people to consult their physicians, certified diabetes educators, and dietitian regarding this and oth Continue reading >>
Diabetics Should Think Twice Before Starting The Paleo Diet
Diabetics Should Think Twice Before Starting the Paleo Diet There is no long-term evidence showing the benefits of the Paleo diet for those with type 2 diabetes, and it may actually do more harm than good. Associate Professor Sof Andrikopoulos of the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine, stated in the Medical Journal of Australia that those with type 2 diabetes should not get too hyped up about the Paleo diet that is being promoted in social media on dozens of websites. There have been only two trials worldwide of less than 20 participants, each with type 2 diabetes. One had no control diet, and neitherof the trials lasted more than 12 weeks. Therefore, the long-termeffects on diabetes sufferers andsolid conclusions about the impact ofglycemic control onweight were not determined. Andrikopoulos states that the Paleo diet insists that people avoid refined sugar and processed food, which would be a positive benefit and consistent with worldwide dietary guidelines. However, it also advocates cutting out dairy and whole grains, which are important sources of calcium and fiber. Some celebrities make matters worse, by also making the diet zero-carb and high-fat, which could cause rapid weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease. If a person is already overweight, or lives a sedentary life, it could be risky to adopt a high-fat diet and could actually be dangerous if he or she has diabetes. Andrikopoulos believes that diabetes sufferers benefit most from exercise and the Mediterranean diet with its fats from fish, olive oil, legumes and low refined sugar. Additionally, extra virgin olive oil has been shown to beneficially impact post-meal blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as to reverse metabolic syndrome . A knowledgable academic, Professor Andriko Continue reading >>
Tweet The paleolithic (or paleo) diet is based on the food that is believed to be similar to the daily diet of cave people. The theory is that the food cavemen and cavewomen survived on is good for health because it was what the human body was meant to eat. Paleolithic diets are thought to be especially useful for people with diabetes, with possible benefits including weight loss, increased insulin sensitivity and improved heart health. You should speak to your doctor or dietitian if are you considering going paleo to evaluate whether the diet would be suitable for you. What is a Paleo diet? A well-formulated paleo diet typically resembles a low-carb diet. The focus is on eating fresh foods and removing processed foods including dairy, starches and refined sugar. A paleo diet will usually be: Lower in carbohydrate Higher in protein Moderate or higher in fat Paleo diets are categorised into two groups of food: in and out. Pre-agricultural/animal foods such as red meat and fish are in, but Neolithic era foods such as grains and dairy are not. This cuts out a lot of the bad aspects of a Western diet. Alcohol, dairy and coffee are generally rejected on the diet, but some people may choose to modify their diet to allow these foods on occasion. It depends how strict you wish to be. A good intake of non-starchy vegetables is recommended when following the diet. Read more about foods to eat on a paleo diet. Why would someone eat a Paleo diet? Many people who eat paleolithic diets are looking to return to their roots and eat more healthily. Advocates argue that humans were able to live and thrive on the diet for 40,000 years and that modern lifestyle diseases could be prevented by returning to paleo foods. People with diabetes can attain several benefits from the paleo diet, imp Continue reading >>
Paleo And Diabetes Risk | Eat This Not That
Diabetes experts warn against one of the popular dietary lifestyles. Lots of meat, healthy fats, veggies, and no dairy, grains, or processed sugar of any kindthose are the main principles of the highly popular Paleo diet, which loyal followers credit for everything from losing weight to curing adult acne. With celebs like Jessica Biel and Kobe Bryant embracing the dietary lifestyle, you would think it's a foolproof way to slim down and stay healthy. But not necessarily, says a new study out of the University of Melbourne; it's far from being one of the best 50 zero belly tips ever A study published in the nature journal Nutrition and Diabetes reveals that researchers found Paleo-esque diets to be a problem for the pre-diabetes mice they tested. Here's how it went down: One group of rodents went from a diet of 3% fat to a diet with 60% more fat and only 20% carbs. The other group ate their normal diet. Although the researchers were testing to see if a high-fat, low-carb diet would be beneficial for those with pre-diabetes (translation: checking to see if a Paleo-like diet could help), they actually found the opposite. The high-fat, low-carb group actually gained more weight than the constant group after eight weeks, doubling their fat mass from 2% to 4%. Their insulin levels rose, and they also had worse glucose intolerance. "This level of weight gain will increase blood pressure and increase your risk of anxiety and depression and may cause bone issues and arthritis," said Professor Sof Andrikopoulos, lead author of the study. "For someone who is already overweight, this diet would only further increase blood sugar and insulin levelsand could actually predispose them to diabetes." The mice examined in the study were, however, sedentary. Any healthy weight-loss program Continue reading >>
On The Paleo Diet And Diabetes
The Paleo Diet, otherwise known as the “Caveman Diet,” is hugely popular at the moment. And lots of folks want to know how it plays with diabetes... The DiabetesMine Team has taken a deep dive here into what this eating plan entails, and what nutrition experts and research have to say about it. What is Paleo? The basic idea of the Paleo Diet is returning to our dietary roots. That is, the name is short for “Paleolithic” referring to the Stone Age, when humans had a very simple diet of whole, unprocessed foods. The theory here is that if we go back to eating that way, we’ll all be healthier and toxin-free. This diet is super-trendy at the moment as almost a modern “cure-all,” but the premise is based on scientific evidence about what early humans ate. Established by health scholar Loren Cordrain, Paleo assumes that humans were genetically and evolutionarily designed to eat foods that were available during the Paleolithic era, versus the agriculturally-based diet that was only developed in the last 10,000 years -- and even more so the processed and chemically-based diet of the last hundred years. The diet consists of lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. What’s missing are all processed foods, grains, dairy, and legumes, along with simple sugars and artificial sweeteners. Because, you know... cavemen didn’t eat that stuff. According experts, the Paleo Diet is high in protein, fiber and healthy fats; high in potassium salt intake and low in sodium salt (healthier option); and provides dietary acid and alkaline balance as well as high intake of vitamins, minerals, plant phytochemicals and antioxidants. It’s also quite low-carb -- a plus for those of us with diabetes, to be sure! But for many people, it is difficult to make a long-term commitment to s Continue reading >>
Why The Paleo Diet Is Good For Type 1 Diabetes
Note: By providing a place for the community to share real life experiences we hope you find inspiration and new ways of thinking about management. We encourage you to approach these offerings as you would a buffet — review the options, maybe try a few new things and come back for what works best for you. Bon Appetit! Check out our library of resources on Food. To me, the term “Paleo” is not a diet or a fad but rather a framework — a framework for building a healthy lifestyle centered around real food, food that is un-refined and un-processed, just as nature intended it to be. Eating real food doesn’t have to be complicated or flavorless, quite the opposite in fact! The basis of the Paleo diet eliminates grains, gluten (even corn and oats), hydrogenated oils, refined animal dairy products, refined sugars, soy and preservatives. Now, that may sound like a lot of foods and you are probably wondering well what do I even eat then?! I prefer to focus on the foods I can eat and enjoy rather than those that I can’t and trust me, there are endless foods, flavors, textures and colors that you can eat! Personally, I believe that everyone can benefit from the framework of the Paleo diet, but personalization is key. Some people will need more good quality sources of carbohydrates depending on their activity level and some people like me do really well incorporating high quality dairy items. Keep in mind that diet is a foundation but not everything when it comes to staying healthy with Type 1 diabetes and other lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep and emotions play a huge role in managing blood sugar. Paleo friendly foods are rich in nutrients, keeping you satisfied and your blood sugar stable. When we remove processed foods and refined carbohydrates we lower the amou Continue reading >>
Diabetes And A Paleo Diet
Every minute, three people in the U.S. are diagnosed with diabetes, for a total of 20.9 million people living with the disease (as of 2011, so that number is probably even higher now). That’s up from just 5.6 million in 1980. Currently, about 7% of people in the US have diabetes, but that doesn’t actually tell the whole story. An estimated 86 million more have pre-diabetes (blood sugar high enough to be dangerous, but not enough to be diabetes. Diabetes is sometimes called a “lifestyle disease,” meaning that it’s caused by lifestyle factors like diet and exercise, rather than a particular germ or gene. It’s often (but not always!) associated with other lifestyle diseases like obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, because the same kinds of lifestyle patterns tend to cause more than one of those problems. When the Paleo crowd starts talking about diabetes, we typically start from the fact that it’s almost unknown in traditional cultures, even among people in later middle-age. The natural suggestion from there is to eat like people in those cultures – minimal processed and refined foods. But there are a few problems with this: All those traditional groups eat differently, so who do you want to imitate, the ultra low-carb and diabetes-free Maasai, or the high-carb and equally diabetes-free Kitavans? Diet isn’t the only difference. Lifestyle factors like sleep and exercise also have a huge effect on diabetes: it’s not just food. A diet that works in the context of one lifestyle might not work in another. Prevention isn’t the same as cure. People who’ve lived in the modern world their whole lives might need more intensive intervention than people who’ve always been healthy. For a really comprehensive look at diabetes, we need to get bey Continue reading >>