The Diabetes Miracle
By Diane Kress, RD, CDE. Copyright © 2011. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Excepts from Chapter 6 and Chapter 1.
The Connection Between Metabolism B, Overweight, and Diabetes
A myth exists that all people with excess fat overeat calorically and don't get adequate physical activity. The myth goes on to purport that those with unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise will necessarily develop type 2 diabetes. As a medical nutritional specialist, I am here to tell you that these myths are false. Type 2 diabetes has a genetic component.
Your genes are responsible for such characteristics as a cleft in your chin, the color of your eyes, or the shape of your nose. Mutations in genes can be responsible, in part, for medical conditions we develop over the course of our lifetimes. When you read that "diabetes is inherited," the real truth most likely involves inheriting the predisposition to develop type 2 diabetes, in addition to exposure to environmental factors. Diabetes most likely involves mutations in multiple genes; this is why finding a cure is not as simple as finding "the diabetes gene."
Disorders that seem to be caused by a combination of environmental factors and mutations in multiple genes are known as multifactorial inheritance disorders. Heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, obesity, and Alzheimer's disease are all considered to be multifactorial disorders, the result of multiple genes and multiple environmental factors. One of the factors that contributes to diabetes is how carbohydrates are metabolized.
The Law of Calories
It appears that the way your body metabolizes food may involve multiple genes and multiple environmental factors. For years, it was assumed that everyone's metabolism worked the same way to process nutrients and that body weight was determined by the "universal law of calories": your weight is equal to the total calories you consume minus the total calories you burn.
This "calories in, calories out" philosophy meant that if you desired to lose weight, all you needed to do was to consume fewer calories and pump up your activity — a simple formula. As a result, almost all weight loss diets through the ages have been based on this law of calories. Whether a person is counting points, having diet food delivered to their home, exchanging foods between lists, or using calorie-counting books, he is following a program based on the law of calories. Those with textbook metabolism (Met A) can succeed with calorie-based diets. They can succeed in losing weight by counting points and using diet food deliveries, calorie-based diets, or freeze-dried diet foods.
But at some point in their lives, more than half the people who struggle with weight come to the realization that traditional diets no longer work for them. They might find themselves thinking: "How much less can I eat and how much more can I exercise? My friends all eat more than I do and exercise less, and they are so much thinner." From my research and other research on metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes, more than 50 percent of people who struggle with weight loss cannot succeed by following this universal law of calories. As we have seen in the previous chapter, the root cause of the inability to lose weight using conventional diets is uncontrolled Met B.
Potage Pierre Turkey Mushroom Marsala Carrot-Pineapple-Bran Muffins Peanut Butter and Chocolate Brownie Slow-Grilled Turkey Breast Spinach Ham Dip Almond and Olive Beef Stew Yogurt Sour Cream Gingerbread with Blueberries Monterey Jack & Crab Omelet
Years before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Other Half came out of a doctor's appointment with a diagnosis of "borderline diabetes" and an ADA exchange diet sheet. His health insurance agency followed up on the diagnosis with a glucometer and test strips. After a year or so of trying to follow the diet plan and test his glucose levels, things appeared to be back in "normal" range, and stood there until a couple of years after my own diagnosis. Shortly...