Once relatively rare, type 2 diabetes has surged to frightening new levels.
More than 30 million Americans – or nearly 10% of the population – have been diagnosed with diabetes. Another 84 million have prediabetes, the precursor condition. 90% of those with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
Together, that means 1 out of every 3 adults are in a fight for their lives against diabetes.
In order to explain what everyone at risk for diabetes needs to know, let’s first do a quick science lesson on what diabetes is…
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to process blood sugar (or glucose). It’s completely different than type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that cannot be reversed.
In type 2, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. Insulin’s job is to move glucose from the blood into the cells, where it can then be stored as fat and used for energy later on.
But when high amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, and grains are consumed regularly, insulin levels spike, and over time, the body’s ability to produce or effectively utilize insulin becomes impaired. This is known as “insulin resistance.”
Insulin resistance changes how sugar and carbs are broken down and turned into energy. That can mean too much glucose in the blood and urine, putting the person’s health at risk. That’s why people with diabetes test their blood glucose levels.
(We’ll talk much more about the scary effects of insulin resistance at my upcoming virtual SUGAR SUMMIT! It’s happening in March, so be on the lookout for how to reserve your spot soon!)
Here’s what this has to do with protein…
Protein is converted to sugar when it’s metabolized. The reason for that is complex, but basically, high sugar, carb, and protein consumption releases mycotoxins, a type of yeast, into the blood, leading to uric acid waste.
So bottom line: when people experience insulin resistance, not only are sugar and carbs not broken down properly leading to high blood sugar levels, but also the same thing is happening with protein.
This is a problem because the average American consumes 3 to 5 times more protein than the body requires.
On top of that, many people with diabetes and prediabetes cut carbs and sugar in favor of MORE PROTEIN. Now you know why that’s not doing them any favors, right?
It also puts them at greater risk for heart disease and kidney stones, but that’s another lesson for another day.
The resulting insulin resistance from too much sugar OR protein will put undue stress on the pancreas, which will pump out more insulin in response to rising blood sugar, as cells are unable to get the sugar out of the bloodstream.
So now you know the problem and you may be wondering about the solution, either for yourself or someone you care about.
If you’re at risk for diabetes, what should you do?
Type 2 diabetes is an inflammation and acid problem. To prevent it, you need to stay away from not just sugar, grains, and starchy carbs, but also excess proteins.
If you eat animal-based proteins, I recommend limiting them to twice per week. Why? Because depending on a person’s sex, weight, and lifestyle, adults need an average of 46 to 56 grams of protein per day, according to a plethora of public health officials. But the average American eats 2 to 3 times that amount!
It’s easy to go way overboard if you eat animal proteins, because a chicken breast contains 43 grams of protein – just about an entire day’s recommended amount! A typical steak contains a whopping 62 grams, which is more than anyone needs in a day. And that’s before any other protein sources.
Compare that to vegetarian sources of protein, like chickpeas for example, that supply 20 grams per half cup. It’s much easier to eat the proper amount of protein with numbers like those. Another way to think about it is limiting your plate to proteins taking up only 15% of it.
Also, if you are going to eat animal proteins, make sure your sources are organic and grass fed. If it’s not, you can almost guarantee the animal was fed with grains, and you will indirectly increase not only your insulin levels but also unhealthy omega-6 fatty acid levels, which are inflammatory – the opposite of what you want.
So if you can’t replace carbs and sugar for protein, what should you eat instead?
As you shift away from excess sugar, carbohydrates, and protein, eat more and more leafy greens, vegetables, and healthy fats. Foods like:
- Leafy greens like spinach, kale, watercress, chard, and romaine
- Cucumbers, celery, carrots, snap peas, green beans, zucchini, squashes, bell peppers, and asparagus
- Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts
- Seeds like chia, hemp, flax, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds
- Herbs and spices
- Hummus and chickpeas
- Seaweed and other sea vegetables
- Raw nuts and nut butters like almond butter, coconut butter, and cacao butter
- Almond or coconut milk
- Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
- Low sugar fruits like tomatoes, lemons, limes, grapefruits, coconuts, and pomegranates
A great way to easily get more of the leafy greens your body craves is by starting your day with Alkamind Daily Greens, which delivers 5 whole servings of green super foods in only 30 seconds.
Did you know that the #1 ingredient in our greens is organic wheatgrass? It’s actually over half wheatgrass. We’ve combined that with cabbage, collard greens, parsley, romaine, dandelion, beets, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, and celery.
Amazing experience and product
“The ordering process was smooth and easy, customer service was great!!! The product itself is simply delicious. Let me just say that within first week I LOST 2 KILOGRAMS!! Love to take my Greens first thing in the morning, wakes me up and sits light in my stomach. Coming from someone who couldn’t drink a glass of water on an empty stomach... Thank you Dr. D you are a real inspiration and motivation! I wish I found you a decade ago.” –Marina H., Verified Buyer
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