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“Sugar Does Not Cause Diabetes”: Did The Film What The Health Get It Right?

“Sugar Does Not Cause Diabetes”: Did the Film What the Health Get it Right?

“Sugar Does Not Cause Diabetes”: Did the Film What the Health Get it Right?

The documentary What the Health is receiving a huge amount of attention and most of it is positive. Many reports of people attempting to eat better are filling social media. I discussed the film on a local TV station in Detroit after two reporters indicated that the movie had made a big impact on their diets. There have even been reports that restaurants serving healthier fare have seen an uptick in customers attributing the change to the film. I have seen this in my own plant-based restaurant and have a What The Health Happy Hour that has been very popular.
Naturally, there have been critics of the movie defending their viewpoint that meat based diets are healthy, but most have rallied around a statement in the film by Neal Barnard, MD that “sugar does not cause diabetes”. As the answer to this question may be important to you, I have done some research and share it here but this is in NO way an endorsement to add back soda and candy bars to your diet. In a world stressed by growing obesity and its medical consequences, limiting sugar is a universal recommendation from all health experts.
1) Type 1 diabetes is not caused by sugar. All agree on this as type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease leading to destruction of the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. However, patients with type 1 diabetes can develop and reverse insulin resistance (IR) in their muscles and liver so understanding the origin of IR is important.
2) Who is Neal Barnard, MD? Dr. Barnard is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Medicine and an adjunct associate profes Continue reading

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Can you get diabetes from eating too much sugar?

Can you get diabetes from eating too much sugar?

Sugar is irresistible to most people. So irresistible, in fact, that sugar cravings might be rooted in evolution. Craving sugary foods, or so the theory goes, could help prevent starvation.
In a modern world, however, where food is often plentiful, sugar consumption is linked to diabetes, obesity, and other health problems.
Research into the connection between sugar consumption and diabetes is ongoing. Most doctors argue that sugar alone does not trigger diabetes. But some emerging research suggests a closer link between sugar consumption and diabetes than was previously thought.
Can people get diabetes from eating too much sugar?
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes affect the body's ability to regulate blood glucose levels. But eating sugar will not cause type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, which causes the body to attack cells that produce insulin. Damage to these cells undermines the body's ability to manage blood glucose.
Type 2 diabetes is more complex. Sugar consumption will not directly cause diabetes. However, excess sugar consumption can cause weight gain. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes.
Once a person has diabetes, eating too much sugar can make symptoms worse, since diabetes makes it more difficult for the body to manage blood sugar levels.
Understanding the link between sugar and diabetes
Although eating sugar is not directly linked to developing diabetes, some evidence suggests that increased overall availability of sugar makes diabetes more common. A 2013 study that looked at 175 different countries found that more sugar in the food Continue reading

Change Your Ways, Reduce Your Risk: 7 Tips for Preventing Diabetes

Change Your Ways, Reduce Your Risk: 7 Tips for Preventing Diabetes

Piggybacking the obesity epidemic, diabetes rates continue to surge. On June 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new and alarming statistics on diabetes. An estimated 29 million Americans have the disease, a nearly 12 percent increase from the 26 million diabetics in 2010.
One-fourth of people don’t know they have diabetes—a scary fact, given the complications of chronically high blood sugar: heart attack, stroke, sight-robbing eye disease, kidney failure, foot amputation. Worse, another 86 million adults have prediabetes, a condition of elevated blood sugar just below the threshold for diabetes.
The vast majority of cases are type 2 diabetes, a condition characterized by insulin resistance, meaning cells fail to respond to insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin.
The good news is type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. A seminal 2006 study demonstrated that intensive lifestyle modification reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent, as compared to a 31 percent risk reduction achieved with the antidiabetes drug metformin.
7 tips to help reduce your risk:
Lose excess body fat. Being overweight is a big risk factor for diabetes. In contrast, every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight lost reduces diabetes risk by 16 percent.
Follow a plant-based, low-calorie diet. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables—a dietary pattern studies show reduces diabetes risk. Foods to avoid are those rich in trans fats (also called hydrogenated fat), saturated fat, and sugar.
Drink water. Studies link sugar-sweetened bevera Continue reading

Relief for Diabetes Stomach Pain

Relief for Diabetes Stomach Pain

Managing diabetes often brings changes in what we eat and the medications we take. You may also notice some changes in how your gut, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract, feels, sounds, and responds.
Changes in eating
You are likely making changes in eating habits, including more foods rich in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and beans. Fiber can be filling without adding unwanted calories, and it can help improve abnormal cholesterol levels. But there may be a few uh-ohs if you rapidly increase the amount you eat. "Gas and bloating are a side effect of fiber," says Judith Wylie-Rosett, Ed.D., R.D., professor of health promotion and nutrition research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. "Increasing your intake gradually may help." She suggests adding legumes, such as beans and lentils, to increase dietary fiber. "Throwing out the water you soak them in and giving them an extra rinse before cooking may also help decrease the gas and bloating," she says.
Glucose-lowering meds
Several prescription medications used to lower blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes can stir up your gut. Experts tend to suggest that you start with a low dose and slowly increase it based on your provider's instructions.
Metformin
Metformin, the typical starting medication in type 2 diabetes to bring blood glucose levels in range, can lead to heartburn, nausea, or diarrhea. Ralph DeFronzo, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the diabetes division at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, says, "I try to use metformin in all of my patients who have type Continue reading

Diabetes and blood sugar: When to go to the hospital

Diabetes and blood sugar: When to go to the hospital

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control can be tough.
There are so many factors that can affect blood sugar, like exercise, food, illness, exhaustion and stress. Any of these can cause your careful control to go right out the window.
So how do you know if your loss of control is an emergency?
Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia is the condition of having too little glucose in the blood, usually below 70 mg/dl. It can result from taking too much insulin, not eating, illness or exercise. Hypoglycemia, sometimes called insulin shock or insulin reaction, can cause serious physical and mental changes.
Symptoms and Risks
Physical changes include shakiness, sweating, chills and feeling clammy, increased heart rate, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, weakness or excessive fatigue, tingling and numbness in the lips or tongue, lack of coordination, nausea and, in worst cases, seizures and unconsciousness.
Mental changes include confusion and delirium, anger, stubbornness and sadness. On occasion, someone who is suffering an episode of hypoglycemia might be mistaken for being extremely drunk.
All of the symptoms above are preliminary to passing out and/or entering a coma state, if left untreated.
The danger in hypoglycemia is the risk of accidental injury, including crashing the car while driving, falling down stairs, and so forth. The other risk is the inability of the patient to respond to the symptoms they are experiencing, which results in taking no action to reverse the condition. While rare, severe hypoglycemia, left untreated, can result in death.
What to Do
If the diabetic is co Continue reading

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