We all know that there are two types of diabetes (cleverly named Diabetes Type 1 and Diabetes Type 2). Since 90% of all diabetes is of the type 2 variety, that’s what we will be discussing here.
So, what causes Type 2 Diabetes?
In a word, sugar. Sugar is killing America
Your great-grandparents grew up eating vegetables from the garden (their own or one close by) and likewise fairly local animal protein. Bread of any kind was home-made, a treat, and fairly rare.
Americans, like human beings everywhere, had roughly the same proportion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in their diets for generations. Then with the industrial revolution, the growth of corporate farming, and the advent of fast-food, abundant food became the norm. This food was cheap and ubiquitous. Unfortunately, it was also laden with carbohydrates and trans fats.
The average American ate the equivalent of 5 pounds of sugar in 1905. In 2009, that number had grown to 150-200 pounds of sugar, per American, per year.
The human body has a remarkable ability to adapt, but this adaptation takes time. Our bodies simply cannot keep up with the changes of the modern western diet.
What does all this have to do with the diabetes epidemic?
We have to begin by understanding what normally happens before we can understand what happens when the body malfunctions. In the normal state, the pancreas works in a cyclical fashion. That is, it “turns on” when we eat a carbohydrate meal and the blood glucose goes up, then “turns off” again when the blood sugar comes down.
Unfortunately, the modern American diet does not allow the pancreas to ever “turn off” like it was designed to do. We eat so much sugar that the pancreas is constantly stimulated. This results in an unending flow of insulin from the pancreas into the bloodstream. Subsequently, our tissues (muscles, liver, heart, etc.) develop insulin resistance. In other words, our bodies become “resistant” to our own insulin.
To compensate for this insulin resistance, the pancreas produces even more insulin. It is a vicious cycle. Too much insulin can be just as dangerous as too much sugar in the blood. To learn more about the bad effects of too much insulin, click here.
The end result of all of this is that the blood sugars continue to go up until either symptoms occur or your doctor finds a high blood sugar reading on routine blood work.
If sugar is the problem, then you can guess what the solution probably is . . .
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, our know someone who has, click here for the best way to become diabetes less.