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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Should Type 2 Diabetics Try The Paleo Diet?
Studies have shown that people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes could get a lot of benefit by adapting the Paleolithic diet. With this type of diet, you can remove a good portion of the foods that would have the most dramatic effect on your blood glucose levels, while at the same time it can help you shed some of those extra pounds. The paleo diet is comprised of foods that can help balance your blood sugar and leave you feeling more satisfied after a meal, which means that you would be less likely to have to go searching for a snack an hour or so later. Why Does It Work? As you may already be aware, people who have type 2 diabetes have become resistant to the insulin that their bodies produce, unlike type 1 diabetics who can no longer produce their own insulin. Overtime, glucose levels will rise in the blood stream of the patient, as this hormone is unable to release the glucose into the cells. If no action is taken, this can quickly become a life-threatening situation. By following the caveman diet, people can remove grains and refined sugars from their diet. Since these are the types of foods that cause the biggest spikes in blood sugar, this diet has proven to be very effective for diabetics. By eating paleo, many diabetics have been able to reduce the amount of insulin they need to take in order to regulate their condition. In fact, the caveman diet could even help someone who is prediabetes reverse their condition completely. Teachers, Unruly Children, and Insulin….. It may help to think about this in terms of a teacher working with a large class. Say this teacher has to constantly deal with 30 or more kids speaking out of turn and not being receptive. Eventually this teacher may begin to drown most of them out, since he/she can’t get them all to b 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 >>
Warning: The Paleo Diet Will Change Your Life With Diabetes!
The idea of drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake may feel like you’ll be left with a diet of chicken and broccoli (boring!) and perhaps even a lot of low blood sugars! Ryan from 1HappyDiabetic.com is a type 1 diabetic with a Masters in Human Nutrition who is currently pursuing his degree as a Naturopathic Physician…and he has changed his life through following a Paleo lifestyle. In this interview, we straighten out the many misconceptions that people with diabetes have around the Paleo diet! (We’ve also talked to him in-depth about being a crossfit maniac with type 1 diabetes and a podcast on the paleo diet!) Below you’ll find Ryan’s most recent A1C results followed by our conversation on the Paleo lifestyle! Ryan’s most recent A1C results Ginger: Okay, so you’ve achieved totally non-diabetic A1C ranges through a low-carb, higher protein & fats, lots of whole veggies diet combined with carefully fine-tuned insulin doses…yes? Ryan: You know it! Well, let me correct you, low carb, moderate protein, and high fat. High protein can elevate blood sugars, so I make sure that I don’t overdo it with protein. Its really my goal to keep my blood sugars and A1Cs at the same level that a healthy person without diabetes would have. It probably would surprise a lot of people with diabetes that this is actually an A1C in the 4s and blood sugars never spiking much above 100. Something like this: image. I’ve tried many different nutritional protocols, and am very disciplined when it comes to eating, and I’ve found the only way I’ve been able to attain blood sugars and A1Cs similar to people who do not have diabetes is by eating high fat, moderate protein and restricting carbohydrates as much as possible. Basically I follow Dr. Bernstein’s method. Ginger 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 >>
How Safe Are Paleo Diets?
“Paleo,” or paleolithic diets — named after the ancient era when humans were still hunter-gatherers, before the development of agriculture — have seen a spike in interest in recent years. According to a recent article, “paleo diet” was the most searched-for type of diet on the Internet in 2014. Yet there is still confusion about what such a diet entails (hence the common reference to “paleo diets” in plural, rather than to one single diet), as well as uncertainty about how healthy such a diet is. Many advocates of paleo diets see them as a good choice for people with diabetes or prediabetes, since they’re low in refined and easily digestible carbohydrates. Yet a recent study, published in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, found that an approximation of a paleo diet had negative effects on metabolism in mice. As described in an article on the study at Medical News Today, two groups of overweight mice with symptoms of prediabetes were followed for eight weeks. The first group was fed a diet designed to resemble a paleo diet, which was 60% fat and 20% carbohydrate. The second group followed its regular diet, which was only 3% fat. At the end of the eight weeks, the high-fat-diet mice had gained an average of 15% of their body weight, and they had higher levels of insulin and other markers of insulin resistance. Their average body-fat percentage also doubled, from about 2% to about 4%. As the study’s authors point out, the weight gain seen in the high-fat-diet mice is equivalent to someone weighing 200 pounds gaining 30 pounds in less than two months. Such weight gain raises a person’s risk of developing prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and other disorders. The main lesson, they write, is that eating too much fat is unhe Continue reading >>
The Paleo Diet Guide : A Solution To Manage Type 2 Diabetes
The Paleo diet guide might just be want you need for your type 2 diabetes management. One of the most common conditions for the women in my free and private community is blood sugar management issues. As we get older, our body is no longer able to properly manage the food we eat and our blood sugar takes the hit. Every minute three people in the U.S. are diagnosed with diabetes for a total of 20.9 million people living with the disease. That’s up from 5.6 million in 1980. Although it is very critical and life threatening, type 2 diabetes can be managed and in some cases reversed through diet and lifestyle modifications. The paleo diet guide is the perfect nutritional template for this healing to happen. The Paleo diet with a low carb approach has been researched and studied for its benefits to manage blood sugar. The Paleo Diet improves glycemic control and CVD markers often as quickly as 3 months. So let’s get started with this Paleo diet transformation! More Than Just Healthy Eating Trying to make sense of all the conflicting nutritional information to manage insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes can feel like a second full-time job. Eat more whole grains. Go low fat. Use artificial sweeteners. Yuck. These are some of the most common recommendations that you will find. We know eating a diet that is rich in protein from animals, seafood, nuts, and seeds; healthy, anti-inflammatory oils; fibre and nutrient filled carbohydrates has been shown to improve glycemic control and markers of cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes. Essentially this is a Paleo diet. If it ran, swam, grew or flew, eat it! Simple and it works. Any nutritional change is easier said than understood for most people. We have prepared a breakdown of what you can and cannot eat including a l Continue reading >>
Paleo For Type 2? Pros And Cons
Thinking about “going Paleo” to help manage your diabetes? You’re not alone. Many in the type 2 diabetes community are adopting the Paleo diet in the hopes that it will help increase insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugars. The diet is based on the principle of eating as similar to our Paleolithic ancestors as is modernly possible. Although what is “allowed” and “not allowed” varies depending on which version of the diet you’re considering, the overall idea is that you’re eating foods straight from the earth – fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat and fish – and avoiding foods that were likely not eaten by our primal descendants. So what’s the verdict? Is this just another trendy diet plan that will lose its luster? Or could going Paleo actually work to improve your diabetes management plan? Here are some pros and cons to consider before taking the Paleo plunge: Pro: The focus is on whole, unprocessed foods As a health coach and dietitian, I am typically wary of new diet fads. One reason (among many) is that trendy diets often encourage followers to eat processed foods in the form of shakes, bars, powders or pills – all of which are far from a sustainable (and budget-friendly) approach to healthy eating. This is where I have to hand it to the Paleo diet – it is founded on real food. In fact, the whole premise of the Paleo diet is to eat as nature intended. This means filling up on high-fiber fruits and veggies, high-quality protein sources like grass-fed meats, and heart-healthy fats like avocados and nuts. This style of eating often means less eating out and more cooking at home. When you are cooking, you have more control—control of the ingredients, control of how much you put into your mouth. and control of your blood glucose l Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>