You sit in the doctor’s office and the doctor comes in, sits down with a serious look and says, “You have diabetes.” Your heart rate goes up, you get that “sinking feeling” as though you’d just received a death sentence. The doctor seems very worried and hands you several prescriptions telling you to take the pills to bring down your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. You leave in a daze, fill the prescriptions and go home.
This scene is played out thousands of times every day in doctor’s offices all over the world. People believe they are getting the best treatment for an incurable disease because that’s what everyone is doing, but this is not true.
Type 2 diabetes is completely curable and preventable. Think of it this way: You lived for many years without diabetes, then something changed and you were diagnosed with diabetes. Is it possible to change that back and no longer have diabetes? Absolutely! It is done every day by natural physicians and regular people like you. What you need is not drugs, but information.
There are several factors that contribute to the metabolic problem that we call diabetes. First of all, it is a “disease” of too much energy. The body becomes lazy and inefficient at using energy because there is a constant supply of simple sugars. The liver stops making the enzymes needed to use fat for energy so people store all their fat. Because of this, even if you eat less you will just store all the fat. Thus, it seems impossible to lose weight.
However, there is a way to reverse this process. This home cure works. The top three ways to cure diabetes type II are:
» Quit eating prepared foods
» Quit eating snack foods
» Quit eating for taste
In fact, just quit eating so much. The best way to tell if you are eating too much is by body fat. If you have more than 20 percent body fat, you eat too much — no matter how much that is. I have people tell me they only have one small meal a day, but they weigh more than 200 pounds. They still need to eat less.
Only eating less has been proven to cure diabetes. Everything else is an adjunct to these. People who have their stomachs shrunk surgically begin to drop their blood sugar before they even lose a pound of weight because they can’t eat. Consider this: People suffer through this surgery and all its complications just to eat less.
All the published diets that work restrict calories. This is not rocket science — it’s so simple a caveman could do it (and often did when there was no food to hunt or gather).
Alcoholics must give up liquor; smokers must give up cigarettes and diabetics must give up food. If you can face this reality, then you are on Easy Street!
The first thing to give up is prepared foods. Prepared foods are made for taste, not health. That means every restaurant, box, bag, can or bottle. None of it is healthy, especially the ones that use the word “healthy,” “low-fat,” “low carb” or some such similar wording. “If it has a list of ingredients, it causes diabetes” is a good rule of thumb. And, yes, restaurants only make food for taste, even the “healthy” ones. A salad at Wendy’s has more calories than its hamburger meal by the time you add the dressing.
The next thing to give up is all your favorite things: pizza, pasta, bread, cereal, candy, soda, diet drinks, tortillas, chips, juice, cake, cookies, artificial sweeteners and so forth.
People then ask me, “What do I eat?” Fiber. Lots of fiber. The more fiber in the diet (not pills, drinks or supplements), the less likely people will have diabetes. This means fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and so forth. Drink only water.
Meat has concentrated calories and should be eaten sparingly. Fish is a good choice. You don’t need to have a meat dish with every meal. Try beans and brown rice for a complete protein.
Once you have a healthy diet, eating only home-cooked meals, the next part is to eat less of it. You can get diabetes by overeating good food.
Here are a few simple tips to help you out:
» 1) Eat from a smaller plate — use a salad plate.
» 2) Drink only water between meals, and don’t drink with a meal.
» 3) Eat only homemade food. Bring your lunch.
» 4) Eat your calories in the morning. In the evening have small or low-cal meals such as green salads.
» 5) Eat the same things regularly. Don’t insist on variety. Remember, traditional diets have always been the same — Mexicans eat Mexican food every day!
In medical school we are told not to fast, but no reasons are given. There is nothing that has been proven to prolong life except severe calorie restriction, such as fasting. Thus, without any evidence to back it up your doctor will tell you not to fast.
Fasting is the single best thing you can do for your health. If you have diabetes, it is the best way to cure your disease. Remember, this is a disease of too much food, or too many calories. The best way to reverse it is to cut off the supply.
There is no known limit. Every animal tested from monkeys to worms and yeast live about 30 percent longer with fewer conditions, diseases and illnesses when they eat 50 percent fewer calories.
There are several tips you could use:
» 1) Drink water. People with diabetes will easily become dehydrated.
» 2) It is best to begin with one-day fasts, such as drinking only water from Saturday night to Monday morning. This could be done every week or once a month.
» 3) Three-day fasts could be done once a month.
» 4) Don’t pig out when breaking the fast. Just eat a normal meal.
Exercise is extremely important. Remember that the cells are inefficient at using energy; the way to make them more efficient is to use energy. Also, having more muscle mass helps keep your metabolism up.
Mixed exercises are best. Do some aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, cycling and so forth every other day; on alternate days do resistance exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, knee bends and so forth.
There are a few supplements that can be helpful. There are several good “Diabetes Formulas” in health-food stores that contain:
» 1) chromium
» 2) vanadium
» 3) fish oil
» 4) cinnamon, and other herbs
These are a great idea because they help you to be more efficient in your energy usage, but don’t take the place of your diet and exercise program.
All diabetics should take Alpha Lipoic Acid 300mg per day because it can prevent complications such as blindness, neuropathy and kidney failure.
The program may be simple, but it isn’t always easy. It requires a lot of changing. But I can assure you, it’s worth the effort. This is the best home cure!
— Scott Saunders, M.D., is medical director of The Integrative Medicine Center of Santa Barbara. For more information, click here or contact the Santa Barbara location at 601 E. Arrellaga St., Suite 101, or 805.963.1824, or the Lompoc location at 806 E. Ocean Ave. or 805.740.9700.