Why is Diabetes Increasing?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and it is usually preventable and reversible with a healthy diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle choices. Although some insulin is required for type 1 and 1.5 diabetics, they can improve their diet and physical activity to minimize their insulin requirements and lowers the risk of complications. Most diabetics are unaware of the many things they can do for themselves to get in control of their health and be well.

The Diabetes Epidemic

In the United States, 30% of people are diabetic or prediabetic. Most cases of diabetes are caused by food and lifestyle habits. As more countries adopt a Western diet, diabetes is increasingly a global problem.

Global Changes

Unfortunately, since the 1980’s there has been an explosion of diabetes in China. Fifty years ago, diabetes was rare in China; however, today 11% of Chinese adults have diabetes and 50% have prediabetes.

What changed?
For one thing, they started eating a lot of chicken. In 1987 KFC was introduced and other fast food restaurants quickly followed. Chinese families switched from their traditional diet of rice and vegetables and began consuming large amounts of meat, dairy, sugar, and junk food, patterning after the Standard American Diet (SAD).

Over the last 50 years, the  Americans diet increased their portions of meat, especially chicken.  Americans eat more chicken than ever before. In 1965 Americans consumed 36 pounds of poultry per person. In 2018 they ate over 90 pounds per person. [Ref 1]

Diseases of Affluence

Diabetes is considered a disease of affluence (caused by Western diets and lifestyle habits). The disease continues spreading as more people around the world are abandoning their traditional plant-based diets and adopting Western lifestyle habits. [Ref 2]

Diseases of affluence include:
• Heart disease
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Hypertension
• Stroke
• Arthritis
• Kidney Failure
• Dementia
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Autoimmune diseases

These diseases are similar in that they are all triggered by inflammation and/or atherosclerosis associated with the standard American diet. Other contributing factors include stress and a sedentary lifestyle etc. The diseases appear unrelated, but they are different manifestations of the same root problem.

Traditional Medicine

The traditional approach to health care treats chronic diseases as if they are separate problems, but this doesn’t really make sense. A human body is very much like a tree. It never makes sense to treat tree branches individually and ignore the roots. Similarly, when a person has multiple chronic health problems, we ought to address the root cause. Individuals with diabetes and other chronic conditions cannot cure themselves with traditional medications because the deeper root problem is usually their diet and lifestyle habits.

In an emergency, traditional treatments are excellent for crisis stabilization. They are life-saving in case of a heart attack, trauma or infectious diseases. But medicine and surgery are expensive and you rely on a physician to provide them. Furthermore, they will not address the underlying cause of chronic diseases

On the other hand, lifestyle habits effectively address the root cause of the disease. Research shows eating and lifestyle choices prevent and reverse chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Ideally, a person experiencing type 2 diabetes would only rely upon pharmaceutical drugs as a bridge to buy time to address their underlying problems and adopt a healthy diet.

Anti-Inflammatory Healing Foods

Here are the main qualities of healthy anti-inflammatory food

1. Plant based
2. High in nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
3. High in fiber
4. Unrefined (unprocessed)
5. Low fat and low calorie

In my current practice is a health coach I have seen clients change from unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits to regaining control of their lives. Research shows that the majority of diabetes can potentially lower their blood sugar and reduce their dependence on medication naturally.

If you want to learn more information about healthy eating and lifestyle habits, allowing you to regain control of your health, download the free Guide to Overcoming Diabetes Naturally

Ref 1. National Chicken Council Website. Per capita consumption of poultry and livestock, 1965 to Forecast 2019 in pounds.
Ref 2. Kearney J. Food consumption trends and drivers. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2010 Sep 27; 365(1554): 2793–2807. NCBI website

By |2019-05-29T14:25:12-05:00February 11th, 2019|Recommendations & Thoughts|0 Comments

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About the Author:

Dr. Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a certified integrative health coach, speaker, and corporate wellness consultant. She helps busy people develop healthier lifestyle habits and use plant-based nutrition so they can heal themselves. She provides educational information through her health coaching services and an online course on diabetes. In addition she is an engaging speaker on the subject of plant-based food and healthy lifestyle habits that improve health, energy and productivity. In her prior career she practiced anesthesiology for 21 years. In the midst of that career she overcame personal health challenges by adopting a plant-based lifestyle. Also, she observed that most of her patients were suffering from preventable complications of chronic lifestyle diseases. From those experiences she is motivated to teach people how to take full control of their health through better eating and lifestyle habits.

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