20 June 2013

Path to Diabetes

The stage preceding diabetes is called metabolic syndrome, a term coined by Gerald Reaven. He discovered that the symptoms are common to:
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
"Metabolic syndrome is a combination of the medical disorders that, when occurring together, increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes."
                                                                               (from Wikipedia)
These disorders or physiological abnormalities are:
  • high levels of triglycerides
  • low HDL
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • hyperinsulinemia (chronically elevated levels of insulin)
  • insulin resistance (the insensitivity of cells to insulin)
  • glucose intolerance (the inability of muscle cells to burn sugar as fuel)
  • elevated levels of small, dense LDL
  • high levels of a protein called fibrinogen, increasing the incidence of blood-clot formation
  • elevated levels of uric acid
  • high levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of chronic inflammation
These disorders are the same in diabetics, the difference is the level of exacerbation. Gerald Reaven came to the conclusion that these symptoms are worse when sugar, flour and easily digestible carbohydrates are consumed in excess. This implies that all symptoms can be eased by eating less of these foods.
"The crucial factor, Reaven explained, is that the more carbohydrates consumed, the more insulin is needed to tranport the glucose from the carbohydrates into cells where it can be used as fuel. This insulin, however, also prompts the liver to synthetize and secrete triglycerides for storage in the fat tissue. If someone who is already insulin-resistant (= has metabolic syndrome) consumes a carbohydrate-rich diet, according to Reaven's hypothesis, the person will have to secrete even more insulin to deal with the glucose, prompting in turn even greater synthesisand secretion of triglycerides by the liver, and so even higher triglyceride levels in the blood. This, in turn, implied that part two of the hypothesis: if eating a carbohydrate-rich diet in the presence of insulin resistance (metabloc sydrome) will abnormally elevate triglyceride levels, then it's hard to avoid the implication that a carbohydrate-rich diet increases the risk of heart disease."
                                                                - Gary Taubes (Good Calories, Bad Calories)
Diabetes is also associated with blood-vessel related disorders:
  • stroke
  • vascular dementia (stroke-related dementia)
  • kidney disease
  • blindness
  • nerve damage in the limbs
  • atherosclerosis, often leading to amputation
"(The) fundamental tenet of the carbohydrate hypothesis: If the risk of contracting any chronic disease or condition increases with metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes, then it's a reasonable hypothesis that insulin and/or blood sugar plays a role in the process. And if insulin and blood sugar do play a pathological role, then it's a reasonable hypothesis that the same conditions can be caused or exacerbated in healthy individulas by the consumption of refined and easily digestible carbohydrates and sugars."
                                                          - Gary Taubes (Good Calories, Bad Calories)
Animal protein and fat having very little effect on insulin levels


  1. Food that has lots of fiber and protein is the ideal diet for diabetes.Taking the balance diet will not only help you slow down the progression of diabetes but may altogether reverse the disorder when complemented with other lifestyle changes.

  2. How about the nitrates in processed meats Ilona? Please put up some solid info on that too. There's just too much misinformation pretending to be facts on that one. I put my faith in you to dig out the actual stuff :)