Diabetes kills one American every three minutes and is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It is the third-hightest cause of death in the U.S. It is a leading cause of kidney failure and limb amputations.
Yet a study in the Feb. 7, 2002 issue of New England Journal of Medicine reported that adult-onset diabetes is 90% preventable. The study found that lifestyle changes-eating right and exercising moderately-work better than drugs.
Thirteen million Americans have diabetes and at least five million more are thought to have it without knowing it. Obesity is a major risk fator. If you are overweight, sign up for a diabetes test today.
You must add exercise and a healthier diet and quit smoking (if you haven’t already done so) for the best chance of controlling diabetes. You must reduce your weight and exercise daily in order to keep your diabetic condition stable. But here’s the good part: it’s guaranteed to work.
Obesity Causes Diabetes
Diabetes is one direct consequence of obesity. Diabetes results when the body can’t produce or use insulin properly, resulting in abnormally high blood sugar levels.
Insulin is a hormone that gets energy in the form of glucose, or blood sugar, into your cells. Over time, if too much insulin is released because of all that sugar you’re eating, the cells start to ignore insulin’s signal to use sugar for energy.
It’s kind of like the tale of the boy who cried wolf. When a person becomes obese, their cells “resist” the message of insulin to burn sugar. When there really is a need to burn sugar, the cells don’t respond. Sugar builds up inside the cells and causes all kinds of problems.
The pancreas manufactures more and more insulin in an attempt to get the message through. But it doesn’t work. When we overeat on a daily basis, we bombard our pancreas with such a huge hit of sugars and fats that the organ’s insulin-producing islets can eventually wear out, leading to diabetes.
Yet you can actually block the onset of diabetes with diet and exercise. One of the best ways is to lose weight. Our out-of-control appetites have caused the biggest explosion of obesity and diabetes ever recorded. The culprits are excessive eating and physical inactivity. [Note: In addition to these two culprits, our toxic society and nutritionally depleted food contribute equally well.]
Other risk factors for diabetes are:
- Having a close relative who had diabetes.
- For women, having a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds at birth.
- Being black, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian
Lifestyle Changes Work
All it takes are a few lifestyle changes to ward off this crippling disease. Finnish researcher reported that in a study of 523 people with elevated blood sugar levels-a pre-diabetic condition called impaired glucose tolerance-those who began a program of moderate exercise, healthier eating, and modest weight loss (less than 10 pounds a year) reduced their risk of progressing to full-blown diabetes by 58%.
By the way, impaired glucose tolerance affects an estimated 20 million Americans. That’s 20 million people at risk of developing diabetes.
Research shows that fat people are more likely than normal-weight people to have medical problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease (including stroke) and Type 2 diabetes.
Source: Tony O’Donnell, Miracle Super Foods That Heal, p. 44