If you have diabetes, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of a book called Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. Published in 2020, Mastering Diabetes became an instant best-seller. If you’re living with diabetes the next question is obvious, “does it really work?” It almost sounds too good to be true. That’s why in today’s blog we’ll look at the science behind reversing diabetes and how you may be able to apply it to your life.
The science behind reversing diabetes:
The first thing to make clear when discussing reversing diabetes is that there is no cure for diabetes. However, recent studies have begun to show that even types of diabetes like type 1, which were previously thought to be irreversible, can be managed to the point of not needing insulin. While it is still not technically possible to reverse type 1 diabetes or gestational diabetes, most people consider managing the condition without insulin to be a success. Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured either, but it can be reversed to the point that it reaches remission. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it can be kept in remission. The same applies to prediabetes.
When trying to reverse type 1 diabetes, the goal is ultimately to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce or eliminate negative complications of the disease, since it isn’t possible to fully reverse. There have been studies that show the effectiveness of a healthy diet in managing insulin sensitivity and complications, which is likely why Mastering Diabetes has been largely successful.
Reversing type 2 diabetes is a bit different since unlike type 1, it’s not something people are born with. A recent study revealed that excess fat, when it runs out of healthy places to be stored in the body, begins to get into places it shouldn’t. Unfortunately, one of the first places it goes is the pancreas. When excess fat goes to the pancreas it becomes clogged, inhibiting its ability to naturally and effectively produce insulin. The good news is, the study also found that 9 out of 10 patients who were able to lose at least 15 kilograms saw their condition fully reversed.
Part of what makes reversing diabetes so tricky is that a “healthy diet” isn’t one specific set of foods. The dietary needs of someone living with diabetes are often far more complicated than other people in their lives. However, if people with diabetes are well-informed about the specifics of what they should be eating, rather than being showered with umbrella terms like “a healthy diet” it’s possible to make great strides in reversing or managing their diabetes.
The fundamentals of the Mastering Diabetes plan:
There are lots of ways you can try and reverse diabetes, but with the recent buzz surrounding the Mastering Diabetes method, it’s worth taking a closer look at how it works. The goal of this method is to reverse insulin resistance by decreases excess fat in muscle and liver cells. There are essentially three key points that are emphasized by Mastering Diabetes:
- Plant-based, low-fat foods – A diet filled with low-fat, high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and whole grains, can dramatically improve insulin sensitivity. Foods high in fat such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and meat should be avoided.
- Intermittent Fasting – By fasting intermittently, you can improve cardiovascular health, and lost weight. However, you shouldn’t attempt to fast without first speaking to your doctor, as doing it improperly could be potentially harmful.
- Regular Physical Activity – It sounds simple, but making sure you’re active every day can make a huge impact on overall physical health and insulin sensitivity.
This is only a summary of some of the key points in Mastering Diabetes if you’re interested in learning more about this specific method of attempting to reverse diabetes, you can check out the website here.
What you can do to try and reverse diabetes:
The Mastering Diabetes method is one way of trying to reverse diabetes, but there are some other general tips that you should be aware of if you’re hoping to reverse diabetes.
- Exercise – As mentioned above, physical exercise can help you lose weight and improve insulin sensitivity. If you’re not used to being active, try starting with just a 5-10 minute walk every day and gradually working towards 30-60 minutes per day.
- Stop Smoking – People who smoke regularly have a 30-40% higher chance of developing diabetes. Some research has also suggested that insulin sensitivity is harmed by consuming nicotine.
- Stay Hydrated – People who drink healthy amounts of water and stay hydrated typically maintain much healthier blood sugar levels.
- Don’t Drink Alcohol – Even moderate amounts of alcohol may increase the chances of developing diabetes. If you do decide to drink anyways be sure to limit consumption to less than two drinks per day.
- Eliminate Stress – Too much stress can produce negative effects on insulin sensitivity and may lead to unhealthy blood sugar levels. If you struggle with managing stress you may wish to try meditation or mindfulness exercises. If you’re unsure where to start your doctor can make recommendations based on your situation.
- See a Nutritionist – Working with a nutritionist is an excellent way to take better control of your diet. There are lots of nutritionists out there, but you should look for ones who have specialized in preventing or reversing diabetes. It’s also worth noting that if you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes you can look for a CDC-approved lifestyle change program, specifically designed to prevent the progression to diabetes.
It’s not easy to reverse diabetes, but with a proper plan and diligent execution, it is possible. You should consult your doctor for more specific tips better tailored to you about how you might reverse diabetes.