Fifty years ago, type 2 diabetes was an extremely rare disease. Now, there are roughly 500 million individuals with the disease around the world, making it a worldwide epidemic. In the past, type 2 diabetes was seen as a progressive disease with no hope for reversal or remission. Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist and a bestselling author from Canada, has shown that fasting reverses diabetes.
How Did A Kidney Doctor Get Into Treating Diabetes?
Dr. Fung is a kidney specialist from Canada. He got into type 2 diabetes treatment as his patients usually had the disease as an underlying condition that contributed to their kidney problems. He developed a strong interest into type 2 diabetes treatment as a way to help his patients recover from the disease.
Radical Does Not Mean Negative
In the past, when a patient was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they were taught to manage the disease, rather than reverse it. Type 2 diabetes medication is usually prescribed to manage the patient’s blood glucose levels and they are also advised to exercise and lose weight.
Most doctors today still follow this type of treatment as a way to manage the disease. Dr. Jason Fung does not agree that this type of treatment works, as he believes that one can reverse the disease. While most doctors focus on treating the high blood glucose levels, Dr. Fung reckons that the focus should instead be on treating the insulin resistance.
Conventional Knowledge About Meal Frequency
There are many teachings on how often people should eat. Some say that people should eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and some advise eating snacks in between meals. There are also claims that to manage or lose weight, you should eat frequent small meals for up to six times a day.
In the 1950’s, cardiovascular diseases were increasing, and scientists tried to look for answers on why there are more heart attacks. They thought that the answer was consumption of too much dietary fat, even though one of the probable causes was the increased number of people smoking cigarettes. This is why eating fat is still frowned upon to this day.
People had been eating fats long before the increase in cardiovascular diseases. For years, a high fat, low carbohydrate diet has been prescribed to epileptic patients to control their seizures.
The Focus Should Be On Insulin Resistance Treatment
As opposed to the traditional teaching about meal frequency, eating frequently increases your insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and it allows glucose to enter the body’s cells to provide energy, and the excess energy is stored as fat. Insulin levels goes down once the body is in a fasted state. And when this happens, the body starts using stored body fat as energy. Again, high insulin levels or insulin resistance contribute greatly to type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Fung’s Recommendation
To reverse type 2 diabetes, Dr. Fung recommends having a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Fats and protein have a very low impact on increasing blood sugar, while carbohydrates will increase your blood sugar.
Intermittent fasting is also advocated by Dr. Fung, as losing weight is a key to reversing type 2 diabetes. Fasting for extended periods will lower the insulin levels of people, therefore their body will use their stored body fats for energy.
Insulin resistance is when the cells in the muscles, fat, and liver do not respond well to insulin and cannot take glucose from your blood. As a result, the pancreas makes more insulin to help glucose enter the cells.
Although switching to the high fat, low carbohydrate way of eating or just purely incorporating intermittent fasting into your life will help reverse diabetes, Dr. Fung believes that a high fat, low carbohydrates diet combined with intermittent fasting is the surefire way to deal with insulin resistance.
Insulin levels rise when we take in food, and when we eat frequently, insulin levels increase more often. That is why intermittent fasting, when meals are limited to once or twice a day in varying eating periods, will lower insulin. Simply put, eating less frequently will lower insulin. And when the body is in a fasted state, our bodies will go into ketosis, a state where the body uses ketones as energy instead of sugar.
A high fat, low carbohydrates diet will not only help the body get into ketosis faster, it also wont affect blood glucose levels as much as carbohydrates. Going HFLC is not just a temporary diet, it is a lifestyle change. This lifestyle change is needed to reverse type 2 diabetes.
Fasting As A Beacon Of Hope Against Diabetes
Intermittent fasting combined with a high fat, low carbohydrates diet will not only help deal with the insulin resistance; it will also deal with the disease altogether. Dr. Fung has given patients hope that fasting reverses diabetes.