I have type 2 diabetes. It could eventually damage my heart, kidneys, eyes and extremities, or I could end up with gangrene in my legs which would then have to be amputated. The outlook could be an early death... slow, messy and painful... unless I can keep it under control.
I am now keeping my diabetes under control... using diet alone.
I was first diagnosed with borderline or early onset diabetes in 2001. My condition gradually became worse until a few years ago when I researched what I could do to beat it.
My research proved very fruitful. All I had to do, I discovered, was to eliminate certain foods from what I was eating. I did so and my numbers... blood glucose and HbA1c... improved dramatically, even when I stopped taking the medications I was on.
Nowadays, two hours after a meal my blood glucose is usually less than 6mmol/L (108mg/dl), while my HbA1c levels regularly come in at 42mmol/mol (6.0%) when I have my blood tested every 4 months or so.
Before I started on this diet I was very overweight, almost obese. Even though my diet allows me to eat as much as I want, I lost my excess weight and my BMI (body mass index) is now within the 20-25 'normal' range. Indeed I now feel much lighter, healthier and more energetic.
And best of all, beating diabetes... putting off the effects it was having on my body... has improved my prospects of living to a ripe old age.
Here's what I eat and don't eat:
The foods I eat are... natural... low in sugar... low in fat... low in salt... high in fibre... and are digested slowly (ie, have low glycemic index (GI) values).
The easiest way to do this is by concentrating on natural, unprocessed foods that are mostly plants. I am not a vegan and do eat some ultra-lean meat and fish after I have removed any visible fat.
I also drink lots of water, to aid the absorption of the fibre I eat... at least two and up to four litres a day in addition to the water I get in juices, tea, coffee, and soy milk.
The foods Idon't eat at all are... eggs... and dairy products.
In other words, I exclude... animal milk... cheese... butter... ie, anything with milk, milk products or derivatives in it. I use soy milk as a substitute of cow's milk. You'll find plenty of other substitutes for animal milk and other dairy products in your local supermarket or health food store.
In my view, avoiding eggs and dairy products is crucial to getting diabetes under control. I did not notice any changes in my glucose levels until I suddenly stopped eating eggs and dairy products entirely. About three weeks later I experienced rapid weight loss and a significant improvement in my post-prandial blood glucose levels.
In addition to the diet I have outlined above, I also take a range of dietary supplements. This, I feel, is necessary in order to cover any possible dietary deficiencies because I am not longer eating any eggs or dairy products.
The great thing about this diet is that you can eat as much as you want... no calorie counting... no restrictions on portion size... no going to bed on an empty stomach at night.
This diet is about what you eat... not how much you eat. Here's a summary:
Eat... natural... low sugar... low fat... low salt... high fibre... low GI... mostly plants... all you want... with lots of water... excluding eggs and all dairy products
Believe me, it should work for you. It works for me and is helping me control my diabetes.
And it's easy to follow. All you have to do is learn to read food labels and you'll have no problem choosing the right foods to eat. You also need to learn a little about the fat and sugar content of various natural foods such as nuts, exotic fruits and so on.
Giving up foods you have been eating all your life can be a bit of a struggle. However, soon after I did the switch-over from my usual Western high-fat diet I realised a great truth... all our tastes in food and drink, with the exception of mother's milk, are acquired tastes.
I also discovered that it does not take a great deal of effort to acquire a new set of tastes.
And, as well as beating your diabetes, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much better your food tastes once you've eliminated fat and sugar from your diet.