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Can you reverse diabetes?

Diabetes is a lifestyle disease, which affects almost 10% of the population. That means that around 415 million people are living with diabetes in the world.

There are several documented causes for the disease, include genetic, unhealthy sedentary lifestyles and bad food choices. Different types of diabetes exist, namely type 1 and type 2. There is also Gestational Diabetes, which is diabetes in pregnancy.

Diabetes is essentially the body’s inability to release insulin, which is considered to be an autoimmune disease, or the inability to absorb insulin (which is known as insulin resistance).

Can it be reversed?

Diabetes can certainly be prevented by eating healthy and exercising. But this has been the ‘remedy’ for a number of illnesses. Particularly type 2 diabetes is believed to be reversible by adopting certain lifestyle changes. One such method is the Banting diet, developed by Professor Tim Noakes in the late 2000s.

Banting

According to an article by Affinity Health, Banting claims to reverse Type 2 diabetes and assists in controlling blood sugar in patients with Type 1 diabetes. It also claims to improve symptoms of IBS, Acne, Skin Irritations, PCOS and Heartburn. By cutting carbs and adjusting your diet by increasing the nutritional value of your foods, you can make a real change to your health.

However, Banting is not recommended for everyone. It is not safe for breastfeeding as it affects the amount of milk mothers produce and could lead to ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition in which the body runs out of insulin (particularly dangerous to diabetics). You should also consult your doctor before adopting Banting if you are on any diabetes or blood pressure medication, as the diet and the medication could result in dangerous complications.

Non-starchy veggies

Much like the principles behind the belief that Banting can reverse diabetes, non-starch veggies are said to be essential components of a diabetes prevention (or reversal) diet.

According to the Food Network Revolution, these foods have almost non-existent effects on blood glucose and have tons of fibre and phytochemicals. The same is reported for beans, legumes and other sources of low glycaemic carbohydrates. It turns out that bean and legume consumption is associated with reduced risk of both diabetes and colon cancer. They’re low in glycaemic load due to their moderate protein and abundant fibre and resistant starch, carbohydrates that are not broken down in the small intestine.

Diabetes UK reports that it is highly possible to reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes to the point of no longer needing to take medication.

Weight Loss

Losing a few extra pounds, particularly around the midriff, could prevent and even reverse the effects of Diabetes. Losing around 15kg significantly increases your chances of Type 2 diabetes remission.

Certain whole food diets, like the Mediterranean diet, have been linked to dramatic weight loss and other health benefits.

It works by removing the fat inside of the pancreas and liver. Losing a substantial amount of weight can kill off that fat, often allowing the organs to work again, including a return to normal insulin production by the pancreas, WebMD explains.

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