Diabetes and the Western Diet

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Filed Under: Diabetes, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

One of the primary reasons we’re seeing a worldwide glut of insulin-resistant diabetes is because more and more emerging nations are adopting the Western diet that we’ve “enjoyed” for years. Indigenous diets of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are being replaced with processed, refined foods that have been stripped of their natural fiber and nutrients. Meat has become more prominent in the daily diet. And fast-food restaurants are springing up all over the globe. This is horrible news for anyone trying to manage diabetes.

In the US, we’ve been eating a schizophrenic diet for years. In a futile effort to lose weight, we fill up on fat-free cookies and ice cream, which are nothing more than unhealthy refined carbohydrates. We’ve also become sugar junkies. According to US Department of Agriculture statistics, Americans consume an average of 149 pounds of sweeteners a year—not counting the artificial sweeteners that we consume in more than 7,000 products. 

Excess fat is also a culprit, particularly saturated fats from meat and altered trans fatty acids in processed foods. As early as the 1920s, it was demonstrated that a high-saturated-fat diet contributes to type 2 diabetes, as it not only causes weight gain—one of several diabetes risk factors in itself—but also decreases insulin sensitivity and makes it difficult to control blood sugar.

Beating diabetes has a lot more to do with lifestyle choices than with which pill to take next. Stay tuned to this blog for additional diet recommendations and other natural remedies for diabetes.

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