Could Big Lifestyle Changes Be Key to Managing Type 2 Diabetes?

Source: Could Big Lifestyle Changes Be Key to Managing Type 2 Diabetes?

Spoiler Alert

Yes.

My Father had diabetes which contributed to his early demise.

My youngest brother was diagnosed with the disease in his 20’s.  He is committing slow suicide by diet.

Way back last century when I was in my 20’s I was involved in a local professional group in Dallas TX.  The speaker I brought in was one of the country’s leading endocrinologists from UT Southwestern Medical Center.  After his talk I thanked him for his time and for enduring a dinner of rubber chicken and mushy vegetables.  But what I really wanted was free medical advice.

“Doctor, my father and brother both have diabetes.  Do you have any advice for me?”

The good doctor gave me a steely glare over the top rim of his glasses and said,

“Stay as thin as you can as long as you can.”

Boom.

 

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Diet for Preventing Diabetes – Nutrition Action

Source: Diet clues for preventing diabetes – Nutrition Action

The title is catchy and leads you to believe you can “prevent” diabetes with diet.  I personally favor the concept of delaying diabetes rather than preventing the disease.  My father (deceased) had, and my youngest brother has diabetes.  I knew what my risk was and continues to be.

Many years ago I asked one of the country’s top endocrinologists what I could do to avoid developing diabetes.  His answer was short and simple:

Stay as thin as you can as long as you can.

Be nice to your pancreas!

Diet and Diabetes

Changes in Overall Diet Quality and Subsequent Type 2 Diabetes Risk: Three U.S. Prospective Cohorts – Diabetes Care

CONCLUSIONS-  Improvement in overall diet quality is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas deterioration in diet quality is associated with a higher risk. The association between diet quality changes and diabetes risk is only partly explained by body weight changes.

Source: Changes in Overall Diet Quality and Subsequent Type 2 Diabetes Risk: Three U.S. Prospective Cohorts | Diabetes Care

What About Just a Little Meat?

 

Followed over time, vegetarian diets were associated with a substantially lower incidence of diabetes, indicating the potential of these diets to stem the current diabetes epidemic.

We see the same step-wise drop in rates of another leading killer, high blood pressure. The greater the proportion of plant foods, the lower the rates of hypertension, and the same with excess body fat. The only dietary group not on average overweight were those eating diets composed exclusively of plant foods, but again there was the same incremental drop with fewer and fewer animal products. This suggests that it’s not black and white, not all or nothing, any steps we can make along this spectrum of eating healthier may accrue significant benefits.

Source: What About Eating Just a Little Meat? | NutritionFacts.org

Source: PLOS ONE: Taiwanese Vegetarians and Omnivores: Dietary Composition, Prevalence of Diabetes and IFG

Source: Millennials and A Plant-Based Diet. Better Food, Better Choices.

Each and every meal is a choice.  Make good choices.  In my 20’s I pursued a vegetarian lifestyle for about two years.  Towards the end of that period I was eschewing dairy and eggs.  Then I stopped my veggie ways.  The reason?  I missed pizza.  The lessons learned however were not lost.  I thoroughly enjoy meatless meals now but if I want a piece of dead cow, I’ll eat dead cow.

Try not to get caught up in right vs. wrong.  Use your common sense.  Do not become the woman who fed her 11 month old nuts and fruit.  Just nuts and fruit!

Make wise, informed choices.  Understand as I have your need for calories decrease with age.  You have to eat less the older you are.  Strive towards more plant based meals and you’ll be OK.  Just don’t get too fruity or nutty about it all.