How to Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes with a Paleo Diet

The incidence of type 2 diabetes around the world continues to rise more and more, but current drug treatments have proven to be inappropriate and potentially dangerous.  Fortunately, the paleo diet offers a safe and natural option for reversing type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes have reached epidemic proportions. Today, does one person die from diabetes-related causes every ten seconds.  In addition, recent reports suggest that one third of people born in 2010 will develop diabetes at some point in their lives.

Something particularly horrifying about this statistic is that many of those who develop diabetes will be children. Type 2 diabetes used to be a disease of the middle-aged and elderly. But now it’s not that way anymore.

A recent study indicated that nearly one in four children between the ages of four and eighteen has prediabetes. And some regional studies show that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children and young adults has risen from less than 5 percent before 1994 to 50 percent in 2004.

It is clear that type 2 diabetes is one of the most important and dangerous health problems of our time, and we desperately need safe and effective treatments.

With this in mind, let’s compare two possible ways to avoid and reverse type 2 diabetes: conventional medication and a Paleo diet.

Conventional medications to reverse type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is generally treated with the following types of medications:

  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors.
  • Dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors.
  • Sodium-glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors.

These drugs vary in their mechanism of action. Some increase insulin secretion, others inhibit the release of glucose from the liver, and others suppress appetite. But none of them address the actual underlying causes of type 2 diabetes. Environmental factors that lead to blood sugar problems in the first place. These include poor diet, lack of exercise, sitting too much time, and poor sleep, among others.

Side Effects of Conventional Medications to Treat Type 2 Diabetes.

Additionally, these drugs also have side effects that range from relatively mild discomfort to serious complications. They include:

  • Sulfonylureas: Low blood sugar, stomach upset, skin rash or itching, weight gain.
  • Biguanides: Upset stomach, tiredness or dizziness, nausea, kidney complications.
  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors: stomach pain, gas, diarrhea.
  • Thiazolidinediones: Heart failure, heart attack, fractures, increased risk of bladder cancer.
  • Meglitinides: Low blood sugar, weight gain, nausea and vomiting, headache.
  • Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors: Upper respiratory tract infection, sore throat, headache, pancreatitis, and increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Sodium-glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors: Urinary tract infections, yeast infections, kidney and gallbladder problems, bladder cancer.

Of course, there is no question that some people with type 2 diabetes need medication (for example, those who have completely lost the ability to produce insulin).

However, the list of side effects above suggests that these drugs should only be used in the event that other safer (and in some cases more effective) treatments for reversing type 2 diabetes fail.

The paleo diet to reverse type 2 diabetes.

One of those safer treatments is the Paleo-type diet, which emphasizes eating the nutrient-dense foods our ancestors ate. It is made up of meat and fish, vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, and some starchy plants like sweet potatoes.

Studies have shown that the Paleo diet is an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes and metabolic problems in general. For example:

  • A study comparing the Paleo diet to a standard low-fat “diabetes” diet in people with type 2 diabetes found that the Paleo diet led to greater benefits in weight, blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure, body mass and waist circumference than the diabetes diet.
  • Another similar study compared the Paleo diet to a low-fat diet in postmenopausal obese women and found that the Paleo diet led to greater fat loss and metabolic improvements than the low-fat diet.
  • A third study (also of obese postmenopausal women) found that a modified Paleo diet improved several metabolic markers. Including weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and kidney function. The Paleo diet also reduced the amount of fat stored in the liver by 50%.

These studies clearly indicate that a Paleo diet is not only an effective treatment for reversing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, it is often more effective than the standard “low-fat” diabetes diet recommended by groups like the Association. American Diabetes.

Not only diet matters, your lifestyle is essential.

But the Paleo diet isn’t just about what you eat, it’s also about how you live. Spending less time sitting, getting enough exercise, getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, healing your gut, and managing your stress are also important steps you can take to prevent and even reverse type 2 diabetes and metabolic problems. These changes can often have profound effects:

  • People who work at a desk while standing burn up to 75 percent more calories per day than people who spend most of the day sitting down.
  • The more breaks you take from sitting, the more you’ll reduce your waist circumference, body mass index, and triglycerides, and the more stable your blood sugar will be.
  • A single night of partial sleep deprivation causes insulin resistance even in healthy people without a pre-existing metabolic disease.

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