The figures in the latest National Diabetes Statistics Report, released bi-annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are alarming, to say the least: By 2015, 100 million people in the United States were battling either prediabetes or full-blown type 2 diabetes. That’s one in three Americans suffering with a life-threatening, but totally preventable lifestyle disease!
Over 84.1 million people have now been diagnosed with prediabetes, the precursor to diabetes, which, if not reversed, will inevitably result in diabetes within five years. A further 30.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a 50 percent increase in a single decade. Diabetes is a serious, life-threatening condition.
The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation explains it this way:
“When you eat, your body turns food into sugars, or glucose. At that point, your pancreas is supposed to release insulin. Insulin serves as a ‘key’ to open your cells, to allow the glucose to enter — and allow you to use the glucose for energy. But with diabetes, this system does not work. Several major things can go wrong – causing the onset of diabetes.” [Related: Learn more about the prevention and treatment of diabetes at DiabetesScienceNews.com.]
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more lives than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Its complications also make it the leading cause of stroke, heart failure, blindness, amputations and kidney failure. One American dies from this disease every three minutes.
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The shocking fact, however, is that type 2 diabetes is a preventable, lifestyle-induced disease. It is often referred to as “adult-onset diabetes” because it rarely occurs in children (except those who are obese), and is directly linked to a sedentary lifestyle, poor food choices and being overweight.
Of course, the overweight couch potatoes who are diagnosed with diabetes must carry their share of responsibility for their diagnoses; however, they are certainly not the only ones to blame.
Doctors certainly bear a weighty responsibility when it comes to the explosive boom in diabetes cases in our country. For one thing, they very often fail to explain to their patients exactly how diabetes works, what causes it, and how simple diet and lifestyle changes can reverse it. Instead, they are quick to hand out prescriptions for pharmaceutical drugs like metformin which give their patients – who are actually ticking time bombs – a false sense of security by masking symptoms while doing nothing to get to their root causes.
Even when they do try to advise their patients about changes in nutrition, they base their information on outdated principles like increasing consumption of pasta and bread, when in fact these foods are like diabetic fuel. [Related: 62-year-old man reverses type 2 diabetes by cutting out pasta and bread.]
And then there is the greatest culprit of all: Big Food with its junk food and lies about what is and isn’t truly healthy.
A study by researchers from Washington University, published in the journal Cell Reports, found that eating fast food every day during pregnancy dramatically increases the diabetes risk of the next three generations in that family – irrespective of how healthy their diets may be. Yet, there is no warning issued to pregnant women to avoid toxic junk food.
A perfect example of the lies spread by the food industry is the diet drink debacle. Many health-conscious Americans obediently made the switch from regular soda to diet drinks after propaganda campaigns convinced them that this was a healthier alternative. Nothing could be further from the truth – and the soda companies know it!
A 2016 study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that consuming just two artificially sweetened beverages each day doubles the risk of developing diabetes.
The good news is that prediabetes, and in certain cases even fully fledged type 2 diabetes, can be reversed with simple lifestyle changes, including losing weight, incorporating daily moderate exercise, cutting out processed carbohydrates like bread and pasta, and increasing consumption of non-GMO, organic fruit and veggies.