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Yes, what a great relief for Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) patients who can now be normal with absolutely no pills / no insulin / no pricking ! This medical revolution due to clinical research by Dr Sarah Hallberg from her research article shunning pills / insulin from Metformin to SGLT2 inhibitors is a great relief. This reminds the Kannada proverb “Oota Ballavanige Rogavilla” (one who knows what to eat, will be disease free) from the adage ‘Pathyai sati gadartasya kim aushadhamnishevanaihi (If one adheres to ‘proper diet’, is there a need for medicine ?). Pathyai  asati gadartasya kim aushadham nishevanaihi’ (If one does not adhere to ‘proper diet’, what is the use of taking any medicine?). This tilt in the western health concept is apparent in the reversal of T2D with emphasis on low carbohydrate diet in relation to medication.
From high carb to keto diet
The conventional recommendation that food should be low in fat, medium protein, and high in carbohydrate, for heart health is now recognized as a mistake. This even lead to increase in production / consumption of food grains rice, wheat, millets as well as ultra-processed foods leading to obesity and T2D world over. Even the green revolution with focus on rice-wheat lead to ‘carbohydrate revolution’ through groundwater over exploitation revolution. Having realized the mistake that excess consumption of carbohydrates which shoots up glucose / insulin levels in blood sugar is largely responsible for obesity and Type 2 diabetes, now medical research realized that fat metabolism which produces ketones can control obesity and T2D. Now there are several clinics, hospitals in India, aiming at reversal of type 2 diabetes with focus on keto diet which largely consists of low carb, medium protein and high intake of good fat.
Doctors failed to realize that daily requirement of carbohydrates is zero!
Millions of Type 2 Diabetic patients already sacrificed their lives as they were informed that T2D is irreversible and the only cure is life-long medication. With carbohydrates based diet, the tendency to overeat as also starve early due to hunger, rises, since rice consumed (carbohydrate) rises glucose and insulin, which triggers hunger, fat storage and cravings. And that of Wheat / Ragi / small millets is no different. Diabetes is a progressive disease and requires more medication over time. T2D is carbohydrate toxicity, and insulin resistance is carbohydrate intolerance. It is the carbohydrate intake (and not the fat intake) responsible for rising blood sugar / insulin levels and therefore and when diabetic medications are taken, patient has to consume carbohydrates, else blood glucose will go too low. The costly mistake is that physicians never realized that the minimum daily requirement of carbohydrates is zero. With the consumption of carbohydrates, blood sugar / insulin levels increase in leaps and bounds. The key is to cut down carbs and then patients do not require much insulin and gradually with low carb or no carb, medium protein and high good fat diet, may even stop insulin. Low carb is not zero carb and is not high protein. Fat is the only macro nutrient that keeps our glucose, blood sugar, insulin levels low. Ayurveda took the Charuvaka principle of ‘Runan kruthva Ghrutham Pibeth’, one may even borrow to ‘drink’ ghee, and used ghee in several of its rasayanas and preparations. Ghee, Butter are excellent keto foods.
Why India is the Diabetes capital of the world ?
Indians largely consume rice, wheat, sugar, jaggery, all increasing blood sugar. They do not use Ghee, Butter afraid of heart health and all this are leading to obesity and diabetes. This not only increased the cost of health care, but also lead to several complications in patients due to continuous use of medication as well as progressive doses of medication in the control of T2D. Now the new four golden rules for reversal of T2D are: 1. Do not consume foods which are ‘low fat’ or ‘fat free’ because fat is taken out, but carbohydrates are put in many processed foods, 2. Eat ‘natural’ food rather than processed food / ultra processed food, 3. Eat only when hungry no matter what the clock says and 4. No GPS (grains, potatoes, sugars).
In the US more than 50% of the adult population are prediabetic or diabetic spending more than 250 billion USD per year on diabetes health care. In addition T2D patients suffer from long term medication leading to effects on heart, kidney, liver and other organs. The situation is no different in India since India which has the largest diabetic population in the world. Therefore low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high ‘good’ fat diet addresses not only diabetes but also obesity.
Cutting carbs also leads to healthy weight
Diabetics can consume low carbs only through ‘whole grain’ the real grain, and not processed. Cutting carbs is good even if it is not necessary for a healthy weight. Low carb diet decreases inflammatory markers. Thus the two approaches to Type 2 diabetes: 1. Reversal of T2D with less medication, 2. Manage Diabetes requiring more medication as T2D is progressive. The first approach is yet to pick up speed, since the pharmaceutical world has become richer and richer keeping people sick with medication. Obvious question is when carbs are cut, they require less or no medication and for healthy diet can rely on coconut, almond, hazelnut, flax, cauliflower, broccoli, avocados, walnuts, pulses.
Avocados the best fruit
Finally what is the best food for T2D in India? Broccoli, organic cauliflower, pulses, coconut, almond, flax, walnuts, avocados, berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, Greek yoghurt (plain), Ghee, Butter, coconut oil, olive oil, but then no rice, no wheat, no millets, no grains, no potatoes, no sugar. But if one can’t control the cravings for carbohydrates, then it is better to consume whole grain (i.e. unpolished rice, whole millets for example).
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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