By Brad Lemley
“Cure” is a powerful word. Not one I toss around lightly.
I don’t pretend to offer cures for every person who has every condition known to humankind — and I think those who do so are irresponsible.
But Type 2 diabetes? The modern scourge? The condition that the Centers for Disease Control predicts will afflict one in three Americans by 2050?
“The American Diabetes Association’s explanation for diabetes is measly-mouthed and weasel-worded.”
The malady that roughly a third of my readers have told me is their chief health concern?
Yes… that condition is often curable. And the strategy I’ll outline below really can, and has, cured it.
(Note: All of what I’ll have to say here is about Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for roughly 90 percent of all diabetes cases in the U.S. Type 1 diabetes is a different disease with different, more complex causes, which I will not address in this article.)
Will this strategy cure everyone? No. Nothing cures everyone. Human physiology is too varied and complex to make that claim.
But I will predict that this strategy would knock back the incidence of Type 2 diabetes to the “background” level. In other words, I’m confident this measure, if widely implemented, would push this disease back to the levels we saw in the middle of the last century, when about 1 percent of Americans had the condition. (See the chart below).
Note that the incidence of Type 2 diabetes begins ratcheting skyward in 1988 — roughly the same time low-fat foods became ubiquitous in the American diet.
So here it is…
Eat a Low-Carbohydrate Diet
To understand why this is the true solution, let’s first examine why obesity and diabetes are going parabolic.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) would have you believe it’s largely due to eating too many calories, including calories from protein and fat.
Specifically, its website says, “Being overweight does increase your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain.”
This mealy-mouthed, weasel-worded statement sidesteps the central role that carbohydrates— not calories per se — play in the development of Type 2 diabetes.
“Carbohydrate restriction should be the central strategy for both weight loss and diabetes prevention, alleviation and cure.”
Consider… in this, the age of obesity and diabetes, or what many now call “diabesity,” here are the top four foods, ranked by daily caloric consumption, that modern Americans eat:
1. Grain-based desserts (cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pies, chips, cobblers and granola bars): 139 calories daily
2. Yeast breads: 129 calories daily
3. Chicken and chicken-mixed dishes: 121 calories daily
4. Soda, energy drinks and sports drinks: 114 calories daily
Note that all are carb-intensive. None, with the possible exception of the chicken, is a significant source of fat or protein. These are the types of food that are driving the diabesity epidemic.
The Real Experts Agree
Meanwhile, all that needs to be said about the amazing power of a low-carb diet’s ability to reverse Type 2 diabetes is included in a definitive scientific paper called…
“Dietary Carbohydrate Restriction as the First Approach in Diabetes Management: Critical Review and Evidence Base.”
It was published in January 2015 in the prestigious journal Nutrition.
Co-written by 20 of the top researchers in the field, it summarized dozens of high-quality studies showing that a low-carb diet quickly and decisively lowers high blood sugar, which is the fundamental cause of Type 2 diabetes.
Its conclusions are unequivocal:
• “Current knowledge dictates that carbohydrate restriction should be a default treatment for Type 2 diabetes”
• “The benefits of carbohydrate restriction in diabetes are immediate and well documented”
• “Dietary carbohydrate restriction reliably reduces high blood glucose, does not require weight loss (although is still best for weight loss) and leads to the reduction or elimination of medication.”
Note the phrase “elimination of medication.”
In other words — a cure.
Uniquely Frustrated Researchers
I read many, many papers on nutrition and health. This one is unique in that one can actually feel the exasperation of the top-notch research team that came to the conclusion that carbohydrate restriction — not drugs, not even exercise — should be the primary intervention for Type 2 diabetes.
Believe me, for a scientific paper to contain a statement like the one below, from Eric Westman, MD, is unusual:
“At the end of our clinic day, we go home thinking, ‘The clinical improvements are so large and obvious, why don’t other doctors understand?”
And here’s the kicker. Dr. Westman, whose patients have had extraordinary success, notes that:
“By reducing the carbohydrate in the diet, we have been able to taper patients off as much as 150 units of insulin per day in 8 days, with marked improvement in glycemic control — even normalization of glycemic parameters.”
Dr. Westman is reluctant to say the word “cure,” but that’s exactly what he means by “normalization of glycemic parameters.”
And to repeat, this was in just eight days.
What About Exercise?
Exercise is vital. Exercise accelerates and solidifies the progress one can experience with a low-carb diet. But the research is clear — in reversing diabetes, the low-carb diet is primary, exercise secondary.1
The carbohydrate industry’s big lie is arguing that if we all “just get moving,” we can eat all of the grains and sugar we want.
While exercise can help somewhat against both obesity and diabetes, carbohydrate restriction should be the central strategy for both weight loss and diabetes prevention, alleviation and cure.
So What’s the Holdup?
It infuriates me that the powers that be, especially the leaders of the American Diabetes Association, refuse to clearly and concisely tell people suffering with this debilitating, life-shortening condition that eating far fewer carbohydrates — which means eating more protein and, especially, more fat — is the solution to their problem.
“The biggest drug companies in the world sponsor the American Diabetes Association.”
So why doesn’t the ADA tell you this? Here, direct from its own website, is a list of its top sponsors:
• Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
• Eli Lilly
• Janssen Pharmaceuticals
• Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Solutions
• Novo Nordisk
That’s right. The biggest drug companies in the world sponsor the ADA. So do you think they are eager to reveal the simple, safe method to cure Type 2 diabetes, thereby cratering their backers’ profits?
There is, however, cause for some optimism. In December of 2018, the ADA released its new 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. This official publication stated that a low-carb diet may lower blood sugar levels, and potentially lower the use of blood-sugar-controlling medications. It’s too little, too late, and too guarded given the severity of the crisis the ADA helped to usher in. But perhaps it’s a start.
My High-Fat, Real-Food Diet is an example of a health-promoting low-carb diet, one based on extensive research.
Another great diet resource is pioneering low-carb physician Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt’s Diet Doctor website, which walks you through the basics of what one should and should not eat.
For those who crave more structure, Dr. Westman’s HEALcare low-carbohydrate program offers both an on-site program (based in Durham, North Carolina) and an online diet program which have been clinically shown to alleviate and reverse Type 2 diabetes.
Whichever low-carb diet you choose to follow, do so confidently. Such diets are powerful preventatives for anyone at risk for Type 2 diabetes and powerful curatives for those who already have it.
And — above all — ignore the ADA.
- Feinman RD, Pogozelski WK, Astrup A, et al. Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: critical review and evidence base. Nutrition. 2015