Top doctor explains three diets that can prevent and even reverse diabetes

By Staff 7 Min Read

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects your blood sugar levels, but it can be reversed by improving your insulin production and your liver’s response to insulin

A top doctor has explained how to dodge diabetes and even turn it around completely.

Chatting on Steven Bartlett’s hit podcast Diary of a CEO, Dr Robert Lustig dished out crucial advice on keeping blood sugar levels in check. Hailing from the University of California, San Francisco, Dr Lustig is an expert in paediatric endocrinology with a keen focus on how sugar drives diseases like diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome.

According to the doc, there’s hope for reversing diabetes by boosting insulin production and enhancing how your liver reacts to it. He recommends three diets that could be game-changers: the ketogenic diet, paleo diet, and intermittent fasting. These eating plans are all about cutting down on refined carbs and sugars, which helps your liver shed excess fat, potentially leading to weight loss and lower blood sugar levels, reports Gloucestershire Live.

Dr Lustig explained: “Numerous studies of various diets show that you can absolutely reverse type 2 diabetes. In order to do so, you have to get the pancreas to make insulin properly and the only way to do that is to get the liver to respond to insulin properly.” He added: “One way is to not challenge the liver, give the liver a rest while it’s metabolising all that refined carbohydrate and sugar. Drop the refined carbohydrate and sugar and make your liver work better.

“So ketogenic diets are the extreme version of this. But it’s not the only way. Paleo diet is another way and intermittent fasting will give your liver a chance to burn off the fat that’s accumulated over the last 16 hours.” Typically high in fat, and protein but deficient in carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet seeks to promote the body in using fat as its primary fuel source.

Initially introduced and utilised for treating refractory epilepsy in children, due to the significant reduction it offers in seizure frequency and intensity, the ketogenic diet soon gained traction among the wider populace once its weight loss benefits were realised. Another nutritional approach is the paleo diet which encourages eating as naturally as possible – think grass-fed meats, fish, ample fruit and vegetables and other whole foods like nuts and seeds, quite similar to our ancestors’ dietary habits.

Besides keeping sugar and salt consumption on the lower end, the diet eliminates processed and refined foods. Multiple studies have indicated the ability of a paleo diet to provide various health advantages, including desired weight loss, better blood sugar regulation and reducing risks related to heart disease, type II diabetes, and obesity.

Alongside these diets is the approach known as intermittent fasting where a schedule alternating between periods of fasting and eating is followed. Unlike other diets that heavily focus on the constituents of meals, intermittent fasting is keenly interested in when you eat – for instance, a specific time window during the day is designated for consuming meals and fasting makes up the rest of the period.

The method works by extending the time frame in which your body has used up the calories from your last meal and starts burning fat. It’s crucial to consult with your doctor before making any significant diet or lifestyle changes, including intermittent fasting. In the episode, Dr Lustig cautioned that for some people, simply restricting calories may not be enough to reverse diabetes. He attributes this largely to leptin resistance, which can take years to improve.

Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells that tells the brain when the body has sufficient energy. When leptin levels are low, the brain stimulates hunger and reduces energy expenditure to save energy. Leptin resistance is a rare condition where the body has high levels of leptin but the brain doesn’t respond to it. This can lead to excessive hunger and decreased activity.

Share This Article
Leave a comment