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What are the health benefits of losing weight?

Important Points:

  • Weight Loss
  • Benefits
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Pain
  • Cognitive function

What are the health benefits of losing weight?

1. It will improve your cognitive function

Losing weight is not just a physical change; it can also affect the way a person thinks. According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, intentional weight loss improves verbal memory, verbal fluency, executive function, and global cognition. If you feel that you need improvements in this department, losing weight would give you a boost.

2. It helps with your mood

Losing weight through exercise not only makes you healthier it can also make you happier. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, exercise can help with mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem.

3. It can improve your sex life.

In a study published in the journal Obesity, it was shown that those who suffer from obesity are more prone to erectile dysfunction.  It has also been reported that the quality of sex in the obese is lower compared to people without a weight problem, so with regular exercise and weight loss, penile function will improve, and you can restore a satisfying sex life.

4. It can increase reproductive functioning.

Losing weight can help improve fertility in women especially those suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS, while in men, weight loss helps improve semen health increasing the chances of reproduction.

5. You sweat less

Losing weight through losing body fat, which acts as a natural insulator, will keep you feeling cooler and decrease the tendency to sweat.

6. Your blood pressure will become lower

As little as a loss of ten pounds can lower a person’s blood pressure back to normal. The effect is so great that weight loss is recommended along with medication in treating hypertension.

7. It strengthens the heart

Losing weight makes it easier for your heart to pump blood throughout the body while exercising strengthens your heart muscles. Losing weight is generally healthier for your cardiovascular health.

8. It prevents Type 2 Diabetes

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, losing just 5 to 7 percent of your body weight delays the onset of type 2 diabetes.

9. It helps prevents cancer

Obesity is a risk factor to the many forms of cancer from breast to colorectal cancer. Losing weight eliminates this risk factor thereby reducing the risk of you developing cancer.

10. It is good for the kidneys.

Because losing weight can reduce high blood pressure, it prevents renal damage and kidney diseases. Add to that the fact that losing weight prevents diabetes, a common culprit for kidney failure, and then you have two great perks of losing weight.

11. It prevents pancreatitis and pancreatic stones.

Obesity is associated with an increased risk for pancreatitis and gallstones both of which are surgical risks and can cause a person a lot of pain. By losing weight you decrease the likelihood of stone formation and ensure your pancreas is in tip-top shape.

12. Your skin will be clearer

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease closely associated with obesity. Maintaining a normal weight has been shown to lessen psoriasis severity and the incidence of flare-ups. Aside from psoriasis, people who are obese are generally more prone to skin problems compared to those with normal weight.

13. It improves oral health

Losing weight has been correlated to reducing inflammatory gum conditions thereby improving oral health.

14. It helps with body pain

By being overweight you add extra work on your joints which leads to joint pain and inflammation. By reducing your weight you lessen the burden on your knees and back which helps alleviate joint pain.

15. It improves your nail health

According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, obesity has been strongly linked to Iron deficiency anemia. This type of anemia can wreak havoc on your nail health causing them to be brittle and fragile.

Cognitive Effects of Intentional Weight Loss in Elderly Obese Individuals With Mild Cognitive Impairment

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/101/3/1104/2804876

Exercise for Mental Health

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/

Sexual Functioning and Obesity: A Review

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2012.104

Sexual Quality of Life Lower for the Obese

https://corporate.dukehealth.org/NEWS-LISTING/SEXUAL-QUALITY-LIFE-LOWER-OBESE

Weight loss before fertility treatment may improve pregnancy odds for women with PCOS

https://www.nih.gov/NEWS-EVENTS/NEWS-RELEASES/WEIGHT-LOSS-BEFORE-FERTILITY-TREATMENT-MAY-IMPROVE-PREGNANCY-ODDS-WOMEN-PCOS

Your Guide To Lowering Blood Pressure

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/hbp_low.pdf

Health Risks of Being Overweight

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/health-risks-overweight

Obesity and Cancer

https://www.cancer.gov/ABOUT-CANCER/CAUSES-PREVENTION/RISK/OBESITY/OBESITY-FACT-SHEET

Obesity and pancreatitis.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28719397

Psoriasis and Obesity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28226326

Skin problems in people with obesity

https://journals.rcni.com/DOI/ABS/10.7748/NS2004.05.18.35.38.C3609

Obesity and oral health–is there an association?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23213928

Obesity as an Emerging Risk Factor for Iron Deficiency

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/9/3587

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Weight Loss and Diabetes Reversal – Study Results

Important Points:

  • Diabetes reversal
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Diabetes complications
  • Weight loss

Weight Loss and Diabetes Reversal; Study Results

Diabetes reversal has become a subject of interest in many quarters; patients, clinicians, and researchers are looking for ways to nip this rising epidemic in the bud. Very soon, Big Pharma may be forced to take a harder look at their diabetes management approach.

A recent study by the University of Cambridge is pointing at weight loss as The Ultimate for diabetes reversal, but before getting to this study, let’s define the terms.

What Is Diabetes Reversal?

Diabetes reversal means that a person previously diagnosed with diabetes is now able to maintain normal blood sugar levels without the use of diabetes medication. It also implies that this person can have a regular non-diabetic diet without spiking glucose levels. Diabetes reversal is mostly associated with type 2 diabetes which is influenced by diet and lifestyle factors.

Weight loss has been linked to reversal of type 2 diabetes in previous studies as well. This is because excess fat in the body affects the production of insulin and sensitivity to insulin as well.

Other research has shown that bariatric surgery can reverse type 2 diabetes effectively.

Study Linking Diabetes Reversal To Weight Loss

A clinical trial that was conducted by New Castle University showed that nearly 50% of individuals with type 2 diabetes achieved reversal after a weight-loss intervention that was conducted for six months.

The study involved 280 participants with type 2 diabetes. Half of them were put on a strict weight-loss program with restricted calorie intake through a liquid diet. Throughout the study duration, the participants did not take diabetes medication. The other half of the group continued with usual care of diabetes medication. After one year, 46% of people in the diet group achieved reversal which means normal blood sugar levels without taking medication.

One notable observation was that the people who had achieved reversal had sustained improvement in pancreatic beta-cell function. This research appears to show that weight loss can revive these cells so that they work well again. Beta cells produce insulin in the pancreas, and if beta cells can be “re-awakened” through weight loss, many diabetes patients can regain control over their blood sugar levels and return to a non-diabetic state. These results were astonishing as it was earlier believed that beta-cell function is irreversibly lost in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The study also found that people who had been recently diagnosed stood a better chance of reversing their diabetes. The mean elapsed time since diagnosis for those who didn’t achieve reversal was 3.8 years while the mean for those who succeeded was 2.7 years. This further stresses the importance of early diagnosis and intervention.

Why is Diabetes Reversal Important?

People can live with diabetes for many years; however, a number of factors make diabetes reversal very appealing and are categorized as non-life threatening and life-threatening factors.

Non- Life-Threatening Risks of Diabetes

Once a person receives the diagnosis, they have to be on life-long medication, unless reversal happens. This can be painstaking on many fronts. There is the high cost of purchasing diabetic medications and the inconvenience of having to take meds on a daily basis. When you fail to take meds or eat appropriate diet, there is the risk of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. These two can present with the following symptoms:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat that happens when there’s not enough available insulin)
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections

Life threatening complications

Long-term complications of diabetes develop over a period of time. When they come about, they may pose a life threatening challenge. They include:

  • Cardiovascular disease. Diabetes increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • Nerve damage. High sugar levels in blood can injure the walls of blood vessels that nourish the nerves. This will lead to a gradual loss of sensation in the limbs which are mostly affected. Sometimes this leads to a complete loss of sensation, loss of function, and possibly amputation.

When the nerves in the gut are affected, a person may suffer from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, it may lead to erectile dysfunction.

  • Kidney damage. Diabetes can damage the vessel in the kidneys that filter out compounds from the urine. When these compounds build up in the kidneys, they will cause toxicity and kidney damage in the long run. Kidney failure is the hallmark of end stage kidney disease and is only managed by regular dialysis or kidney transplant which can be very costly.
  • Alzheimer’s disease. Type 2 diabetes has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Looking at the possible complications that may come with the diagnosis of diabetes, reversal seems the only safe way out.

References

  1. Mayo Clinic: Diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371444
  2. Healthline: Is Diabetes Type 2 Reversible? https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes-reversible
  3. Springer (2011): Reversal of type 2 diabetes: normalisation of beta cell function in association with decreased pancreas and liver triacylglycerol. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00125-011-2204-7
  4. New Castle University: Reversing type 2 diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.ncl.ac.uk/magres/research/diabetes/reversal/#publicinformation
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The Carnivore Diet: 8 Reasons Why It Works

Important Points:

  • Carnivore Diet
  • Weight Loss
  • Insulin resistance
  • Blood glucose
  • Leaky Gut

 The Carnivore Diet: 8 Reasons Why It Works

The carnivore diet is considered a controversial diet by some, yet its followers expound the immense benefits it brings to their health and wellbeing. What about it makes it work? This article looks at its key components in an attempt to find out why it is effective where some other diets have failed.

What is the Carnivore Diet?

The Carnivore Diet is a restrictive diet that only includes meat, fish, and other animal foods like eggs and certain dairy products. In its strictest forms, it excludes all other foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.

Its proponents also recommend eliminating or limiting dairy intake to foods that are low in lactose — a sugar found in milk and dairy products — such as butter and hard cheeses.

The Carnivore Diet stems from the belief that human ancestral populations ate mostly meat and fish and that high-carb diets are to blame for today’s high rates of chronic disease.  Other popular low-carb diets, like the keto and paleo diets, limit but don’t exclude carb intake, but the Carnivore Diet aims for near zero carbs.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

The Carnivore Diet has been touted to cure the incurable. Health sites like Meatheals.com, World Carnivore Tribe and ZeroCarb are overflowing with tens of thousands of people who have reversed serious health conditions.

It seems almost too good to be true, right?  We will delve into the reasons why the carnivore diet works so well. 

Why does the carnivore diet work?

1. The Carnivore Diet cuts out all added sugar

Sugar is one of the most controversial topics. To sum it up, sugar is bad for you. Here’s why:

  • It can stick to cholesterol particles in a process called glycation which can lead to atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes.
  • It’s highly glycemic. Sugar spikes insulin and can lead to insulin resistance over time.
  • When metabolized, it produces AGEs which lead to aging, chronic disease and diabetes.
  • Glucose is oxidatively stressful, causes inflammation, and can produce reactive oxygen species. Oxidative stress plays a role in almost every disease.

In a study conducted, it was found that from consuming just 40 grams of added sugar, people had an increase in inflammation, insulin resistance and weight gain.

Glucose is also speculated to feed tumor growth. The Warburg Effect explains that cancer cells depend on glucose to grow. Very unlike normal cells, cancer cells cannot use Ketones.

While glucose is considered to be bad, fructose is considered to be even worse as it goes directly to the liver where it’s converted to fat. It is twenty times more likely to cause fatty liver than glucose alone.A fatty liver can lead directly to insulin resistance.

2. The Carnivore Diet can cure leaky gut

Leaky gut is a condition when the tight junctions of the small intestine open and allow proteins and toxins into the bloodstream.So far, the carnivore diet has been one of the few clinically shown ways to reverse intestinal permeability and the attendant consequences.

How does the carnivore diet cure leaky gut? Three main ways:

  • It reduces inflammation, which reverses gut microbiome imbalances
  • It is the most nutrient rich diet on earth, which heals the gut.
  • It removes foods that pry the tight junctions in the small intestine open like Lectins and Gluten

3. The Carnivore Diet eliminates refined carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are converted to glucose in your body (sugar). Here are some of the negative effects of consuming refined carbs:

  • Because all the fiber has been removed, refined carbs are digested very rapidly and cause major blood sugar spikes. This can lead to insulin resistance over time especially when consumed with fat.
  • Refined carbohydrates also damage the gut. Sugar and carbohydrates are fermented by the gut and colon which can exacerbate GI issues and lead to leaky gut. This is why a well-established treatment for IBS, recommends low carbohydrates to starve your bacteria.
  • Over time, refined carbohydrate consumption has been linked to inflammation and obesity.
  • Refined carbohydrates also increase blood triglyceride levels, which is a risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease . Fat hanging out in your bloodstream is a sign that something is seriously off.

Eating refined carbs such as pasta are no different than eating straight sugar. Seven ounces of cooked spaghetti has the same amount of sugar as 4 12 oz cans of Pepsi.

4. The Carnivore Diet cuts out most carbohydrates

Carbohydrates range from simple sugars to complex carbohydrates. But even unrefined carbohydrates can be bad for you. Many forms of starch, for example, raise blood sugar as much as eating glucose.

Below are some reasons why cutting out all carbohydrates may be beneficial (yes, even the “healthy ones”):

  • High carbohydrate diets can lead to insulin resistance especially if combined with fat
  • Many whole grains are loaded with anti-nutrients, like lectins
  • Carbohydrates halt fat burning because of the insulin response; the more carbohydrates you eat the less body fat you burn.
  • Getting to < 50g a day allows you to burn fat and enter ketosis. Ketosis has a number of health benefits.
  • All carbohydrates break down into glucose, which can produce some of the negative effects mentioned above: AGEs, glycated LDL particles, insulin resistance, etc.
  • Carbohydrates and fiber are fermented by the gut, which can exacerbate gut issues like IBS

5. The Carnivore Diet is the very effective in reducing insulin resistance

Insulin resistance is related to almost every chronic disease. Though it might not cause all the conditions, its presence exacerbates them. Some of these conditions are: Heart disease, 62% higher cancer mortality, 160% higher gastrointestinal cancer mortality, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, aging, inflammation from elevated CRP and IL-6, and acne.

The good news is that you can reverse insulin resistance. The carnivore diet is the most effective way to reverse insulin resistance with these actions:

  • Cutting out the highly glycemic carbohydrates powers your body off of ketones and increases insulin sensitivity
  • Cutting out fructose increases insulin sensitivity
  • Certain plant antinutrients like lectins can bind to insulin receptors and make you more insulin resistant
  • Vegetable oils cause insulin resistance
  • Protein is satiating and high protein diets burn body fat, which reduces insulin resistance
  • People generally intermittent fast on the carnivore diet, which increases insulin sensitivity

If you want to live longer, you need to lower fasting insulin levels.

6. Carnivore Diet Increases Natural Saturated Fat Consumption

Despite the prevailing dogma, saturated fats are associated with longevity.

Saturated fats are highly beneficial to health. Your body cannot function without them. Diets high in natural saturated fats are associated with longevity. Hong Kong, for example, consumes more meat per capita than any other nation in the world, but they actually have the world’s longest life expectancy at 84.5 years.

Studies continue to debunk the myth that saturated fat causes heart disease. A review from 2014 looking at 76 studies, found no link at all between saturated fat and heart disease

7. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting isn’t a pivotal part of the carnivore diet. Nor is it prescribed. But people naturally tend to find themselves eating in a shorter window, which brings tremendous health benefits.

Intermittent fasting is restricting your feeding to a window less than or equal to 8 hours. This is a direct contradiction to what many American’s do today.

Fasting is extremely beneficial. It has been shown to:

  • Reduce inflammation 
  • Increase insulin sensitivity
  • Promote fat loss
  • Increase cognition, memory and focus
  • Increase autophagy, the natural cellular cleansing process
  • Increase BDNF, which upregulates neuronal creation and maintenance
  • Improve immune system
  • Starve bad gut bacteria
  • Improve autoimmune symptoms like RA and Crohn’s

8. The Carnivore Diet puts you into ketosis

Your body can use two types of fuels: glucose (from carbs) and ketones (from fat).

Everybody on the carnivore diet is in ketosis to some extent. When you stop fueling your brain and body with glucose, fat needs to take its place.

Here are some major benefits of going into ketosis:

  1. Upregulates FOXO genes which regulate oxidative stress and insulin sensitivity and influences longevity. 
  2. Ketones improve mood and have antidepressant like effects
  3. BHB reduces oxidative stress in the brain and may be beneficial in preventing neurodegenerative disease
  4. BHB lowers inflammation and blocks NLPR3 inflammasome
  5. Increases endogenous antioxidant production
  6. Ketones improve insulin sensitivity
  7. Increased fat loss while preserving lean muscle mass and performance
  8. Ketones can slow tumor growth by starving them of their preferred fuel, glucose, and lowering IGF-1

9. The Carnivore Diet is Simple

In the complexity of life, food doesn’t need to be complicated. The carnivore diet involves just eating meat, meat, and more meat. This makes it easier to stick to as there are no meal plans and measurements.

The Carnivore diet works…

If you have tried everything to in an attempt to stay in shape and manage any chronic conditions you might have, maybe it’s time you tried the carnivore diet. Its basic mechanisms make sense and are likely to cause some positive effects in your health. If you do have a chronic disease, like diabetes or heart disease, talk to your doctor before trying an extreme diet like this one. Do not follow the carnivore diet if you have any level of kidney disease.

References

  1. Healthline (2019): All You Need to Know About the Carnivore (All-Meat) Diet. Retrieved from

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/carnivore-diet

  • Every day Health (2018):On the Carnivore Diet, People Are Eating Only Meat: Here’s What to Know. Retrieved from

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/carnivore-diet-benefits-risks-food-list-more/

  • Carnivore Aurelius (2019): 16 Reasons why the Carnivore Diet Works. Retrieved from
https://carnivoreaurelius.com/carnivore-diet/
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Should people with diabetes try the Carnivore diet?

Important Points:

  • Carnivore diet
  • Meat
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Side effects
  • Weight loss

Should people with diabetes try the Carnivore diet?

The diabetes state of affairs has taken the world by storm. With easy to access processed foods and a sedentary lifestyle, obesity has become all too common, and we would all like a cure. Though many diabetics are often under treatment, it is well understood that conventional medicine only manages the diabetic condition but does not offer any hope for reversal or a cure. Is the carnivore diet the missing piece in this puzzle?  How can adapting the carnivore diet start reversing the effects of this disease? In this article we will look at the possibilities in these questions and shed some light on how the carnivore diet can actually help.

Facets of the Carnivore Diet Making It Ideal for Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

The carnivore diet is very effective in achieving the two common aims of diabetes control: lowering blood glucose levels and reducing weight.

The all meat diet, also known as the carnivore diet, is exactly what its name suggests: a diet that consists 100% of meat. Think of the keto diet without any salads or low carb vegetables.

The carnivore diet has been claimed to have a variety of benefits including:

  • lower blood pressure
  • improved insulin sensitivity
  • reduced dependency on medication
  • reduction in weight
  • improvements in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, without adding to low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol
  • a drop in insulin

Proponents of the diet tout its ability to aid in weight loss, cure autoimmune diseases, decrease digestive issues, and improve heart health. The total elimination of carbohydrates as part of this diet results in more consistent insulin levels.

The carnivore diet should consist of the following types of food:

  • Meats: Fatty meats are acceptable, but should be eaten in moderation to be mindful of heart health. Also, be mindful of consuming too much protein. Combining a high level of protein with low levels of carbohydrates may cause the liver to convert the protein into glucose. This would raise blood sugar levels.
  • Eggs: Eggs are low in carbohydrates, as well as being an excellent source of protein.
  • Fish: This is a good source of protein.
  • Poultry: Also a good source of protein
  • Organ parts: A good source for nutrients besides protein
  • Cheese: Not everyone on a carnivore diet takes cheese but it can be included.

There has been anecdotal evidence that people with diabetes have been able to stabilize their blood sugar using this diet. From a biochemistry standpoint, if you’re eating only meat, you’re largely not taking in glucose, so your blood glucose levels are likely to be stable.

Effects of Carbohydrates on a Diabetic

Foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, rice, pasta, milk, and fruit, are the main fuel source for many bodily processes. The body uses insulin to help bring glucose from the blood into the cells for energy. As Type 2 Diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance, people suffering from this condition produce too much insulin because their receptors don’t work. This disrupts the body’s ability to use carbohydrates effectively and, in turn, causes high blood sugar levels. When a person with Type 2 Diabetes eats a high-carb meal, this can lead to a spike in blood glucose.

Because the carnivore diet totally eliminates carbohydrates, glucose spikes are avoided. In fact, the body starts using the stored up fat for energy. This leads to weight loss and stable sugars.

In a nutshell the carnivore diet might:

  • reduce the risk of diabetes in people who do not yet have it
  • improve glycemic control in people with diabetes
  • help people to lose excess weight

Impact of the Carnivore Diet on Diabetics’ Medication

The carnivore diet may help reduce blood sugar levels. As such, some people with type 2 diabetes who start this diet may be able to reduce their need for medication. One should have their blood glucose levels constantly monitored so as to adjust medication accordingly.

Impact of a Carnivore Diet on Weight Loss?

People on a carnivore diet tend to lose weight because:

  • They totally eliminate carbohydrates and sugar, which are readily converted to fat.
  • Their bodies start burning fat for energy. Naturally, this leads to reduced weight.

Diabetes has been linked to obesity and one of the factors that help in the prevention and management of this disease is keeping one’s weight within the recommended guidelines. As such, this aspect of the carnivore diet can go a long way in managing, and even reversing Type 2 Diabetes.

Side Effects of the Carnivore Diet

The Carnivore diet may be a viable glucose management option for some people with type 2 diabetes, however, as the it involves switching to a different source of energy, it’s not right for everyone.

Short-term side effects

The dietary change might cause symptoms that resemble withdrawal from a substance, such as caffeine.

These symptoms may include:

  • keto-flu, a short-term group of symptoms that resemble those of flu
  • noticeable changes in bowel habits, such as a running stomach
  • uncomfortable leg cramps
  • a noticeable loss of energy
  • mental fogginess
  • frequent urination
  • headaches
  • loss of salts

In most instances, the side effects are temporary. People often experience no long-term health problems.

Long term side effects

Measuring blood sugar looks at the short-term, immediate effect of food. But over time, eating a diet of mostly or only meat can have long-term health consequences.

Long-term effects might include the development of kidney stones and an increased risk of bone fractures due to acidosis. Other complications include the risk of dyslipidemia (buildup of fats in the blood) and a possible increase in hypoglycemic (below normal blood sugar level) episodes.

Some animal studies have suggested that, since a low-carb diet often involves additional fat, there might be a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), due to a buildup of fats in the arteries. People with diabetes already have an increased risk of CVD.

There is a lack of evidence about the long-term safety and effectiveness of the carnivore diet, and researchers have called for more primary studies and more evidence before recommending this diet.

Alternatives to the Carnivore Diet

A doctor may recommend a specific meal plan rather than suggesting a diet. The carnivore diet is one of many eating plans that might help people manage their weight. A majority of health professionals do not recommend the carnivore diet for managing diabetes because there are many other nutrient-dense diets available that aim to balance carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake, control body weight, and keep blood sugar within a healthful range.

Criticisms of the Carnivore Diet

Critics of the carnivore diet focus on the adverse effects, including the possibility of kidney damage, CVD, and hypoglycemic episodes while noting that there is no evidence to support the long-term benefits of the carnivore diet.

Maintaining this type of diet can also be difficult on a long-term basis, as it is highly restrictive. This may lead to weight gain later on, particularly if an individual starts to eat unbalanced levels of carbohydrates once they switch back to a regular diet.

So, is it advisable for a diabetic to go on a carnivore diet?

Unlike the other diets, the carnivore diet is easy to track and maintain because it involves eating all kinds of meat in any quantities. It is thus easier to follow and much harder to fall off the wagon than being on diets such as the keto diet and others that need careful monitoring and measuring in some.

Much remains to be discovered about how this way of eating impacts our health, but it’s certainly worth a try if you’re struggling with autoimmune diseases, obesity, diabetes or psychiatric issues. Going on a carnivore diet as a short-term experiment is reasonable and safe, albeit socially challenging.

Therefore, at this point in time, without scientific studies to back the safety of this diet, and without substantial anecdotal evidence about long-term success, there isn’t really any way to say for certain if the all meat diet is good for people with diabetes. One thing it won’t do, however, is raise blood sugar levels. And that’s a good thing!

References:

  1. A sweet life (2018): Is the All Meat Diet Good for People With Diabetes? Retrieved from
https://asweetlife.org/is-the-all-meat-diet-good-for-people-with-diabetes/
  • Nutrita (2019): The ultimate guide to the carnivore diet. Retrieved from

https://nutrita.app/guide-to-the-carnivore-diet/

  • Healthline (2019):All Meat, All the Time: Should People with Diabetes Try the Carnivore Diet? Retrieved from

https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/carnivore-diet-for-diabetes#1

  • NCBI (2017):Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies. Retrieved from

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452247/

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Reversing Diabetes: What Does and Doesn’t Work

Important Points:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Insulin resistance
  • Weight loss
  • Diabetes reversal
  • Diabetes remission

Reversing Diabetes: What Does and Doesn’t Work

About 30 million people in the US have diabetes, and of these, about 8 million don’t know that they have it. Early diagnosis of diabetes can help in the treatment and possible reversal of diabetes. But what is diabetes reversal?

Diabetes reversal is similar to long-term diabetes remission. It is not a definite cure for diabetes but a return to normal blood sugar levels without having to take diabetic medication hopefully for a number of years. This can be achieved through a number of factors which we shall discuss below. Before getting there, let’s shed some light on type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes type 2 Reversal

Type 2 Diabetes used to be a disease of the elderly, but with the adoption of a modern lifestyle, even young children are being plagued by this debilitating disease. Genetics and ethnicity play a role in the acquisition of type 2 diabetes, but diet and lifestyle factors are great contributors as well. By controlling the latter, a person predisposed to the disease is able to avoid it in some cases.

Type 2 Diabetes occurs when there is a gradual build-up of insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that removes sugar from the bloodstream and stores it in cells. Over time, a person becomes less sensitive to the effects of insulin leading to a buildup of sugar in the blood, beta cells are further stimulated to produce more and more insulin until eventually they are exhausted and depleted.

Reversal of type 2 diabetes targets the restoration of insulin sensitivity and in some cases the regeneration of beta cells such that a person with diabetes reversal should be able to maintain normal blood sugar levels without the use of diabetes medication. Research has shown that weight loss is one of the most effective approaches to achieving diabetes reversal.

Here are four ways to achieve healthy weight loss and diabetes reversal:

1.    Very Low-Calorie Diet

Several studies have looked at the effects of a very low-calorie diet on diabetes. In one study, two people followed a mostly liquid diet of 625-850 calories a day for 2-5 months, followed by a less restricted diet designed to help them keep off the weight they lost. Results showed that a low-calorie diet helps to reduce weight and improve insulin sensitivity. In another study, seven obese patients with type 2 diabetes were put on a very low-calorie diet of 900kcal and 115g of protein. This led to significant improvement in blood sugar control that was mainly attributed to improvements in insulin sensitivity.

Note that these types of diets are extreme. You have to work with a professional who will assess your fitness for undertaking such a drastic approach. Most people who have had success in reversing diabetes with this approach are those who have not had diabetes or a long time; to achieve this, it’s important to start the weight loss journey as soon as possible after you’re diagnosed.

2.    Exercise

Regular exercise is another way of improving diabetes but must be combined with diet and other measures in order to achieve diabetes reversal. Exercise needs commitment and dedication in order to bear fruit.

Regular exercise is associated with decreased demand for insulin as well as increased sensitivity to insulin. A 2015 study published showed that 67% of participants were able to achieve partial remission by taking part in a 6-month diet and exercise regimen. All the study participants were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

3.    Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery helps one achieve weight loss by reducing their food intake. This, in the long run, has helped type 2 diabetes patients achieve reversal as evidenced by a 2010 study. A 2013 study reported that 24% of participants with type 2 diabetes achieved remission six years after receiving gastric bypass surgery. The study concluded that:

“Bariatric surgery can induce a significant and sustainable remission and improvement of Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic risk factors in severely obese patients. Surgical intervention within 5 years of diagnosis is associated with a high rate of long-term remission.”

Bariatric surgery is suitable only when your BMI is 35 or higher. It works best for people who’ve had diabetes for less than 5 years and are not on insulin. For newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics who are obese, this can be a suitable option to help them reverse diabetes.

4.    Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent means going without any food or drink with calories for a given amount of time. For example, you can restrict your eating to eight hours each day and you starve for the remaining sixteen hours. Caution: you need to consult with your doctor before embarking on a fast, even if it’s partial and for medical reasons.

A small study looked at three men between the ages of 40 and 67 who tried intermittent fasting for approximately 10 months. All were able to stop insulin treatment within a month of the study period. According to the author of the study Jason Fung, this showed that intermittent fasting could be effective in reversing type 2 diabetes. This result should only be used as anecdotal. Larger clinical trials need to be conducted to determine the clear effectiveness of this approach.

What Doesn’t Work?

There is a lot of hype when it comes to diabetes reversal. Shrewd businessmen have tried to exploit vulnerable patients by selling magic pills that they purport to cure diabetes. They come in all forms of preparations such as:

  • Over-the-counter pills
  • Herbs
  • Supplements
  • Alternative medicines
  • Homeopathic products
  • Prescription drugs

If you or a loved one is living with type 2 diabetes, it is important that you consult with your healthcare provider before embarking on any diabetes reversal program. As much as diabetes reversal is achievable, you need to be wary of greedy scammers eager to make a dishonest buck.

References

1.   Healthline: Type 2 Diabetes Statistics and Facts. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/statistics#1

2.   NCBI (2019): Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: A Narrative Review of the Evidence. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520897/

3.   NCBI (1998): Early and long-term effects of acute caloric deprivation in obese diabetic patients. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3291612

4.   Diabetes UK: Reversing Type 2 Diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.co.uk/reversing-diabetes.html

5.   NCBI (2013): Can diabetes be surgically cured? Long-term metabolic effects of bariatric surgery in obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24018646

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How effective is the Carnivore diet in curbing chronic obesity?

Important Points:

  • Carnivore Diet
  • Meat
  • Obesity
  • Weight loss

How effective is the Carnivore diet in curbing chronic obesity?

Obesity has become rampant in recent times. It is said to affect almost 50% of the American population, and it has been credited with being a leading cause of chronic illness and ill health. The carnivore diet has become very popular as the new way to lose weight, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and ward off these diseases. A major proponent of this diet is its ability to melt away the fat, but just how effective is it in the management of obesity? Do its effects last? Let’s consider these questions here.

  • What is obesity?

Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases your risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers. There are many reasons why some people have difficulty avoiding obesity including inherited factors, environmental factors, and personal diet and exercise choices.

  • What is the Carnivore diet?

The Carnivore Diet is a restrictive diet that only includes meat, fish, and other animal foods like eggs and certain dairy products. It excludes all other foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. Its proponents also recommend limiting dairy intake to foods that are low in lactose — a sugar found in milk and dairy products — such as butter and hard cheeses.

Many people who have adopted the carnivore diet report faster weight loss, improved mental clarity, healthier digestion, and even improved athletic performance. Some have also reported remarkable relief from debilitating chronic health problems where conventional methods failed.

What does one eat on the carnivore diet?

Promoted (Green List) Foods, with emphasis on the fattier cuts of meat to take in enough calories:

  • Meat: beef, chicken, turkey, organ meats, lamb, pork, etc.
  • Fish: salmon, mackerel, sardines, crab, lobster, tilapia, herring, etc.
  • Other animal products: eggs, lard, bone marrow, bone broth, etc.
  • Low-lactose dairy (in small amounts): heavy cream, hard cheese, butter, etc.
  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, and seasonings with no carbs
  • Water

Forbidden Foods:

  • All Carbs
  • Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, green beans, peppers, etc.
  • Fruits: apples, berries, bananas, kiwi, oranges, etc.
  • High-lactose dairy: milk, yogurt, soft cheese, etc.
  • Legumes: beans, lentils, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, etc.
  • Grains: rice, wheat, bread, quinoa, pasta, etc.
  • Alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, etc.
  • Sugars: table sugar, maple syrup, brown sugar, etc.
  • Beverages other than water:  fruit juice, soda

Discretionary Foods

  • Milk, Butter, Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Coffee and tea: These may be plant-based, but some people keep these in the diet.

What effect might the carnivore diet have on obesity?

When on a carnivore diet, you consume primarily meat… Occasionally you could have some eggs and cheese and maybe a cup of coffee. At a glance, what about this diet could help in combating obesity?

How does the carnivore diet work?

  • Cutting out sugar and carbohydrates

The absence of sugar and carbohydrates cause rapid and sustained fat loss without the need to count calories. Carbohydrates are hard to store and actually harmful if left to circulate in your system too long, so your body always wants to use them up first. Your body releases insulin to shuttle blood sugar into muscles. To make sure the sugar gets used up first, insulin also tells your fat cells to store any fat you consume and to not release stored body fat for hours afterwards. If you eat a lot of easily-absorbed carbohydrates, your body releases a ton of insulin in response. Excess insulin can remove too much sugar from your blood stream, resulting in hypoglycemia, and the quickest way to restore blood sugar levels is to eat more carbs. The fat stored never gets used up, and people live on the carb roller coaster resulting in weight gain.

The carnivore diet does away with all this by totally eliminating sugar and carbohydrates from your diet.

  • Eating a lot of protein suppresses appetite

One way that protein controls appetite is through the amino acid phenylalanine. Consumed protein is broken down into amino acids so it can be absorbed by the body. Multiple studies have shown how phenylalanine suppresses appetite and even improves mood while helping you burn stored fat. One study found that phenylalanine increases the release of an intestinal hormone called cholecystokinin which signals the brain to feel satiated after eating and causes a reduction in subsequent food intake. A mouse study found that a single dose of phenylalanine caused an increase in another satiety hormone called GLP-1 and reduced levels of the hunger-hormone ghrelin.

  • Increase in dopamine

Protein foods are made from the building blocks of amino acids (including tyrosine) which are essential to the production of dopamine. It has therefore been suggested that upping protein intake may also boost dopamine production without increasing appetite. Dopamine is considered the reward hormone, and increasing its levels in your brain is helpful for making your weight loss diet less unpleasant.

  • The carnivore diet “imposes” time restricted eating

The carnivore diet tends to make people naturally adopt time-restricted eating patterns. Studies show that eating at night is a common cause of obesity. Junk food actually causes you to prefer late-night eating. Sugar and fat together act as a trigger that cements the unhealthy habit of late-night eating. Worse yet, your body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) determines your digestion and energy usage times along with your sleep and wake times. We’re meant to eat during the day and sleep at night. When you eat at night, your body doesn’t want to process those calories leaving them to sit and cause metabolic dysfunction.

Protein does not seem to trigger a desire for late-night eating, so the carnivore diet also helps curb that unhealthy practice. With late-night eating eliminated, the quality of your sleep will improve producing a better mood the next day and making you less apt to make poor food choices out of hunger or being cranky. Better sleep will decrease stress and anxiety too.

  • Does the carnivore diet stave off obesity?

There is a link between the Carnivore diet and sustained weight loss. In the absence of carbohydrates, fat can be kept off for long periods of time. The question becomes how safe it is to do the carnivore diet long term. More studies on this need to be carried out, but in the meantime, this diet is one of the best in keeping obesity and its associated diseases at bay.

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Achieving Success with Diabetes Remission

Important Points:

  • Diabetes remission
  • Diabetes reversal
  • Sugar levels
  • Weight loss
  • Type 2 diabetes

Achieving Success with Diabetes Remission

Many people living with diabetes often wonder if diabetes remission is a possibility for them.  For most people this is an achievable goal. If you are willing enough to put in the hard work, you can go for years without taking any diabetes medication while still maintaining normal sugar levels. This article will show you how.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious chronic condition that can cause debilitating effects. It can be a lifelong condition worsening over time, or it can present no problems when going into long-term remission.

Most people embrace a triad approach to treating Type 2 diabetes: medication, diet, and exercise. Some lucky few are able to drop off their medication and still maintain normal blood sugar.  Research shows that many people can achieve a similar level of success in the management of diabetes.

Is diabetes reversal the same as diabetes remission?

Remission is often confused with diabetes reversal, but they mean totally different things. Whereas reversal implies that one is completely cured of diabetes, remission means that a person is living symptom-free for a long duration of time without being on medication. With remission, there is always the awareness that the disease might recur. Our article, seen here, on the difference between diabetes reversal and remission goes into more detail.

 What is diabetes remission?

Diabetes remission occurs in people, suffering from Type 2 diabetes, when they are able to maintain normal blood sugar levels without needing to take any diabetes medication. Diabetes remission is not a cure for diabetes; it simply indicates that Type 2 diabetes may or may not come back. If one resumes normal diet and an unhealthy lifestyle, then their blood sugar is likely to spike making the return of diabetes symptoms more likely.

In 2009, the American Diabetes Association divided Diabetes remission into three categories:

  • Partial remission: blood sugar which does not meet the classification for Type 2 Diabetes; fasting blood glucose 5.5 – 6.9 mmol/l for at least 1 year.
  • Complete remission: normal glucose values i.e. fasting blood glucose < 5.6 mmol/L for at least 1 year.
  • Prolonged remission: normal glucose values i.e.
    fasting blood glucose < 5.6 mmol/L for at least 5 years.

For all the three categories listed above, the patient must have been off all diabetic medication for the given duration of time. According to the American Diabetes Association, when a person combines diet and exercise with blood sugar lowering medication, such as Metformin, they do not qualify as being in remission.

How to Achieve Diabetes Remission

1.    Weight Loss

Losing weight around the waist can significantly increase your chances of remission.

Before embarking on a weight loss journey, it is important to first consult with your healthcare provider in order to make sure it’s safe for you especially if you have other health conditions. You might also need help in determining which weight loss approach would work best for you.

To understand how losing weight can cause remission, we need to draw the link between being overweight and Type 2 diabetes. The fat that builds up around the midsection is dangerous because it surrounds important organs like the liver and pancreas making it more difficult for those organs to work properly. This progression leads to Type 2 diabetes.

Research has shown that almost 50-80% of individuals with type 2 diabetes can achieve remission to a non-diabetic state through weight loss. This has been associated with early and sustained improvement in the functioning of pancreatic beta cells. The easiest way to determine if a person’s type 2 diabetes is reversible is to measure their C-Peptide levels because if they still produce C-Peptide, it’s more likely their diabetes is still reversible.

However, not everyone who develops Type 2 diabetes is overweight. Other factors such as age, ethnicity and family history come into play as well. These factors influence how well the liver and pancreas work, and also where we store our fat. As much as we cannot change these factors, we can influence diabetes type 2 by altering the factors within our control.

Losing extra weight is not a guarantee that one will go into remission, but weight loss on its own has significant health merits for a diabetic person, such as taking fewer meds and having less risk for complications.

2.    Making Diet and lifestyle changes

Research has shown that a low-calorie diet could help people lose weight and go into remission. Not only does switching to a non-inflammatory diet promote weight loss, but it can also reduce insulin resistance. Metabolic inflammation is a key driver for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, so improving insulin sensitivity can trigger remission.

Lifestyle changes, such as taking up regular exercise, will also help to achieve weight loss.

3.    Weight loss surgery for diabetes remission

Bariatric surgery can also help one to achieve remission by helping one eat less and achieve healthy and sustainable weight loss. Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix for obesity and diabetes, however, your doctor may recommend this approach in certain circumstances. Before considering this option, you should show dedication and discipline that you will be able to stick through the weight loss program.

What To Do When You Are In Remission

Diabetes remission may mean different things for different people. For many, it may last for a year before it recurs again, while for others it may disappear for extended periods of time. For most if not all, remission comes with reduced blood sugar, better cholesterol levels and reduced blood pressure. These signs are an indication of better health outcomes in the long run.

Once you are in remission, you should strive to maintain the positive health habits that triggered the remission in the first place. Keep going to your regular check-ups and speak to your healthcare team if you’re worried about anything or have any questions. Maintain a positive and hopeful spirit as you work towards achieving prolonged remission.

References

1.   Diabetes UK: What is diabetes? Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/what-is-type-2-diabetes

2.   Diabetes UK: Diabetes Remission. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/treating-your-diabetes/type2-diabetes-remission#remission%20research

3.  Science Daily (2018): Why weight loss produces remission of type 2 diabetes in some patients. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180802141722.html