Type 2 diabetes has become a major health crisis in America Currently

Type 2 diabetes has become a major health crisis in America. Currently, over eleven percent of the U.S. adult population has diabetes and almost one-third of people ages 65 and older have the disease. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to multiple health complications including stroke, vision loss, heart disease, kidney failure, and other problems as a result from nerve damage and circulatory problems, such as erectile dysfunction and lower-extremity amputation. My proposed solution would be for people to adopt an organic whole food plant based diet. I hear and see all around me, people whom I know personally, that are struggling with their health because of Type 2 diabetes. No one ever thinks that they should have to change their diet. They all seem to recognize that there is a problem and many of them turn to medications for help, but not a solution. I know from extensive research, that this solution can fix, prevent, and even reverse the effects related to and causes of Type 2 diabetes. A lot of people have conquered diabetes by adopting a plant based diet. Anyone who suffers from diabetes would benefit in my proposed solution to this crisis in America. In a common approach to combat diabetes, it is normal for most doctors to have patients restrict their carbohydrates intake. This is because people experience poor glucose control when consuming carbohydrates. By eliminating carbohydrates, their blood sugar can temporarily improve. Losing weight can help people who suffer from diabetes. However, this is not a solution that address the cause of insulin resistance. A true cure would allow the body to handle carbohydrates. Doctors are now finding a low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet can achieve this goal. A licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, informs us that to be aware of the power of food to prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes, and embrace this powerful diet change is essential to be able to reduce and/or come off of medications. People can still enjoy carbohydrates like rice, pasta, beans, vegetables, and fruit while on a plant-based diet. You do not have to worry about measuring food or counting calories. Everyone gets to eat until they are full and you never need to feel hungry. It is important to recognize that carbohydrates do not cause diabetes. It’s protein and fat from animals products. A diet that focuses on no carbohydrate consumption is not an effective way to manage or reverse the disease. According to Diabetes Expert, Dr. Neal Barnard, healthy complex carbs in association with a whole foods plant-based diet can prevent, reverse, and manage diabetes. According to research, diabetes is related to fat. Not only as a result from weight gain, but due to the actual consumption of fat we eat.  There are microscopic fat particles called intramyocellular & intrahepatic lipids (IMCL’s) that exist in muscle and liver cells which various studies have shown to cause insulin resistance. Therefore, the build-up of this microscopic fat that is caused by eating fatty foods, most importantly saturated fat, results in insulin resistance. With this insulin resistance, the body is unable to get glucose from the blood into muscle cells. This increase in blood glucose is a symptom of insulin resistance, not the cause.  Not only does being overweight, consuming too many calories, and eating foods high in saturated fat, cause resistance to insulin, but many studies also show that consumption of animal proteins also cause the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.  The current Western diet shows high amounts of meat and saturated fat. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that Type 2 Diabetes rates have increased so dramatically. Researchers did a study over a 17 year period in which they observed 8,401 subjects and found out that people whom ate meat on a weekly basis had a 62% greater risk of developing diabetes compared to people who ate only plant based foods. This study even took into account body weight and other lifestyle factors. This evidence would suggest that adopting a plant-based diet is an extremely effective tool for both preventing and managing Type 2 Diabetes. In fact, according to the 2016 Nurses Health & Health Professionals Follow-Up Studies, data collected from over 200,000 subjects concluded that plant-based diets rich in organic whole foods offered protection against the development of Type 2 Diabetes. This study showed that it reduced the risk by 34%. Another study from the Netherlands in 2018 called the Rotterdam study, took 6,789 subjects and concluded that even when BMI was controlled, those who consumed a more plant-based diet were less likely to develop insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes. Therefore, a diet high in animal based products or processed foods increases your risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes and an organic whole foods plant based diet can reduce your risk.  In 2006, a twenty-two week study in Canada, at the University of Toronto, conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine with the George Washington University, looked at the health benefits of a whole food plant-based diet in people with type 2 diabetes. The plant-based diet group had no portion control and it was compared with a group that had a higher-fat diet based on American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines with food portion controls in place. The results of this study were amazing. About forty-three of the plant-based group and only twenty-six percent of the ADA group reduced their diabetes medications. The plant-based group lost an average of about thirteen pounds, and the ADA group lost an average of about nine pounds. Another study in America took twenty diabetic men and put one group on a high-carbohydrate diet and the other group on a high-fibre plant-based diet, while making sure that none of the study subjects lost weight. After only two weeks, half of the men in the plant-based group were able to stop taking insulin completely, with the remaining subjects in the plant-based group reducing their need for insulin by an average of sixty percent, even though they did not lose any weight. The control group also experienced improvements, but nowhere near as much as the plant-based group. The importance of these studies should not be overlooked. Patients who had been diabetic for many, many years were able to extremely reduce or completely give up insulin injections in only about two weeks. If there was a medication capable of such astounding results, it would be known around the world and probably cost a lot of money! Thankfully though, the benefits of a whole foods plant-based diet for sufferers of Type 2 Diabetes are increasingly being recognized by the medical community.  The well know and one of the largest healthcare organizations, Kaiser Permanente, came out in 2017 in Support of Plant-Based Nutrition with their Healthy Living: Eat Healthy Live Better program. A Doctor from Kaiser Permanente notices an increase in conditions pertaining to diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension and she states. “…I am profoundly aware that there is so much potential for preventing or even reversing most of these problems through very inexpensive lifestyle changes centered on proper nutrition.” — Carmelo Mejia, MD, Internal Medicine, Kaiser Permanente. I think there is a common misunderstanding on the benefit of an organic whole food plant based diet. People tend to think it’s a “silly fad”, it’s “stupid”, or it’s “not safe”. They judge without knowing or understanding the facts. People really need to stop and listen about the benefits of this healthy lifestyle with an open mind. A well-planned organic whole food plant based diet is completely healthy, suitable for every age, and stage of life. If you get your nutrients from organic plant foods, you are allowing less toxins to enter the body and you are consuming more beneficial fibre, vitamins and minerals. Adopting an organic whole foods plant based diet it totally manageable. It may not be as convenient at to what most people are used to in America, but it is easy to adapt. There is a pretty decent vegan community and many stores and restaurants are catering to those who choose the plant based lifestyle. There are many healthy alternatives to your favorite recipes so you do not have to fill like you are missing out. I think there is so much more to learn and explore of the benefits or an organic whole foods plant based diet. So much research and studies have been conducted and it is growing in popularity on social media. I would love for people to learn more on this subject matter and advocate for better health. Healthier habits have to become a way of life. Thankfully, a whole foods plant based diet just so happens to be the safest, cheapest way to eat, for the longest, healthiest life.

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