Diabetes: can you really eat to beat it?
Just over four years ago, my GP gave me unwelcome news: I had type 2 diabetes. I was shocked. I didn’t match the stereotypical patient profile of an overweight couch potato. Aged 59, I was thin, fit and 5ft 7in tall, drank frugally, went running every week and weighed just 10st 7lb. The outlook was not good, with the risk of heart attacks, strokes, blindness, amputations and a 36% greater chance of dying early. I thought, this can’t be happening to me; there has to be a way through. I started trawling the web for information and unearthed a report about a research trial at Newcastle University, led by Professor Roy Taylor.
The results suggested you could reverse type 2 with a daily 800-calorie diet for eight weeks, depending on how quickly and how much weight you need to lose. Taylor’s team discovered that type 2 is caused by fat clogging up the pancreas, preventing it from producing sufficient insulin to control blood sugar level. They calculated you need to reduce your pre-diagnosis body weight by a sixth to starve your body into using up the rogue fat lodged in your pancreas and allow it to function normally. “The body does not like any fat lying around in the pancreas, so it consumes that first,” says Taylor. The daily 800-calorie diet comprises either three 200g liquid food supplements of soups and shakes, and 200g of non-starchy vegetables or the tastier 800g equivalent of calorie-shy meals you measure out yourself, plus 2-3 litres of water.
It sounded tough, but what could I lose? I chose the supplement route. It was like a leap in the dark – I’d always Continue reading