Anyone with diabetes has been warned about carbs. “Don’t get too much of them. Count your carbs. Stay away from sugar.”
It’s true that unhealthy carbohydrates make diabetes worse. But those who want to truly eradicate their disease need to strike at the root causes.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is responsible for getting glucose into the cells to use as energy. In type 2 diabetes, the body cells become resistant to insulin, so that insulin can no longer get enough glucose into the cells. As a result, the glucose accumulates in the blood where it wreaks havoc on the arteries, organs and nerves.
What causes this insulin resistance? Simply put, it’s saturated fat, obesity, and overloading the system with too many calories.
The solution, then, needs to go beyond the subject of carbohydrates. Should you quit the sugar? Sure, but let’s also scale way back on the saturated fat.
Where does saturated fat come from? Mostly from meat and processed foods. In fact, the top four sources of saturated fat in the American diet are cheese, pizza, dessert, and chicken.
If your favorite food was on that list, don’t despair. Recipes abound for delicious plant-based dishes. Try dinnerwiththedoctor.com/recipes. Or do an internet search for plant-based no-oil recipes.
So stay away from the saturated fat in meat and processed foods. And go ahead and enjoy healthy plant carbs – legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You’ll be amazed at the results.
by Dorothea Sarli, MS RDN LDN
Registered Dietician Nutritionist