One of the biggest hang ups for those that are trying to debunk "What the Health" is the explanation of diabetes, and from a medical perspective, I just wanted to explain everything and what they meant, and their belief. As I have mentioned in other blog posts, a full agreeance across the board medically on just about every single topic is never going to happen so it is totally within the right of a professional (or a critically thinking individual) to say "You know what? I don't think that I agree with that and I agree with this instead" and that is okay. It is important however to look at the data from every angle and decide which party that you agree with. I feel it's pretty common knowledge that you also have to keep an open outlook on who funded the studies, yadda yadda, so that you know if there is bias there. 

Many times, there is a certain group of medical professionals in the "plant based" sector and they are ALL the same physicians. This creates this round robin of evidence, and causes everyone to think they have an agenda. They all started on their own, did tons of their own research and came to these conclusions therefore they all collectively have come together to try to get the word out. What else would you expect them to do? They aren't lobbying. They are just real people who are passionate about these topics. Many of the articles against "What the Health" say that they are cherry picking evidence to support their argument. I mean if we are getting real, don't we all do that? There are meta analysis and systemic reviews that try to collectively look at all of the evidence and it's important to look at all of that, but at the end of the day if you are trying to make a point then you are going to reference a study that supports your case. DUH. 

However, I also think that it's important to look at all of the evidence from every side including those "debunking" articles and look at the literature and data that they present as well and come to a decision that you feel is best for you and what you believe. We all have personal choices every day on what we eat and drink. So, let's get to it. 

Diabetes is a complex metabolic process if you get down to the actual mechanism of it which involves genetics and environmental factors that all come together for a sh** storm if you will. Diabetes is never something you want to have, so prophylaxis of diabetes especially if you have family predisposition or a creepingly higher A1C is a good plan. At no point in this blog do I want it to sound like I'm miss smartie pants and know it all, and many things that I may say, you might already know but I'm going to keep it as simple as possible so everyone can understand. Typically, when you have your blood drawn, they will take a fasting blood glucose and an A1C which is an average of the past 2-3 months of blood glucose levels, and it is more complexly measuring the amount of hemoglobin in the blood that has glucose attached to it, so it's sometimes called "Hemoglobin A1C". 

If your A1C is 5.7 to 6.4 then you are in the "pre diabetes" range, but honestly if your at 5.5, I think that you definitely need to start taking caution. Anything 5.6 and below is considered normal however. 

Want to know my opinion on type 2 diabetes and how to "cure/reverse"? This might not make anyone agree with me, but I think it's the super duper extremes in both directions. I will get to the physiology of this, but I think either a super low carb, high fat diet or a super low fat, whole foods plant based diet. The reason that I recommend/believe in the whole foods plant based diet is because of the things that come along with a low carb, high fat diet which are high cholesterol, cardiac disease, certain cancers, and "inflammation" (I really hate that term inflammation-it sounds so bro science but there are some things that are inflamed so we are gonna stick with that). However, the low carb diet seems to be the one of choice because of the short term effect of the effect of sugar on fasting blood glucose levels without getting down to the nitty gritty mechanism of diabetes. LEMME EXPLAIN! COMPLICATED ORDER. 

In "What the Health", in the very beginning, the physicians immediately throw out this blanket statement and even one rolls his eyes and says "Diabetes was never caused by sugar." And boy, did that set people off? I do have an issue with this statement because it's frustrating when you have such a position with such a huge documentary and you don't explain to the general population the nitty gritty of this because then it just makes it out like you're an idiot pushing an agenda and they aren't. They are basing this off evidence. He does explain and with a cute little graphic how the receptors are blocked by fat and then there is glucose in the bloodstream. Those receptors are insulin receptors and insulin is what allows the glucose to be shuttled from the bloodstream into the muscle cells which is where we want them to go! When they are blocked, insulin resistance happens. 

So, low and behold, when you eat sugar, your blood glucose levels go UP. And that makes sense. We have known that for a long time. But it's important to note a few things. This is short term, and it's also the fact that most of the time, we say "Oh I ate awful for my diabetes last night and had ice cream and cookies" and those things ALSO have terrible sources of fat in them as well. 

{{Another note here is that we do need fats, and we especially need fats as women for our hormonal health. This is where things get so confusing for most. So I don't need fats for diabetes but I also need fats for hormonal health as a woman. The scientific answer is that it's the type of fats and research has proven time and again that there is a difference in the sources of fat that you eat, however then it gets all muddy with the psychology of things because who eats perfect all the time-NO ONE! So then are we gonna track our fats forever? No. Are we only going to eat perfect fats? Most people NOT. So, then that moves into intuitive eating which isn't the point of this post, but you get the point-We all have to decide maybe even which issue is apparent in our lives at the moment and start there. If you have a chronic disease state then I do think that it's important to be knowledgeable and informed on the dietary changes that you can make to help yourself, while also not being coocoo for co co puffs obsessive about it). 

If you continue reading this and you're thinking "Man, that Katie. What an idiot. She's so stupid and has some many typos in her blog posts and hasn't got a clue about what she's talking about and this fat causes diabetes bs is idiotic", then hey! That's warranted. There's probably tons of typos and I hope you can get around that because I'm doing my best to compile all of this info. Here is a great example of how highly distinguished people in a community with high levels of research done and levels of education can have two totally different opinions. 

Here is a paper about how there is one diet that is best for all and it's really well written and interesting: https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2013nl/feb/pritikinarticle.pdf

Here is an article about the future of nutrition bioindividuality and how there is not a one-size-fits-all: http://mobile.foodnavigator-usa.com/R-D/Measuring-nutritional-status-makes-for-improved-nutrition-DSM

Am I allowed to agree with both? Who knows? But here I am. Okay back to diabetes. 

So how is diabetes caused by fat? 

I truly do want to keep this as simple as possible

Glucose wants in our muscle cells. Diabetes is higher levels of sugar in our BLOOD STREAM (wants to go to muscle cells). The glucose transporter attaches to the insulin receptor and INSULIN is what allows GLUCOSE into the MUSCLE CELL vs the BLOODSTREAM. When you eat fat, an intramyocelluar fat which breaks apart and then blocks the pathway of allowing INSULIN to allow GLUCOSE into the MUSCLE. I know I didn't have to make those all capital but I think it helps distinguish? No? Ok. haha! 

So, the next question that comes up is: 

But when you eat sugar, your sugar goes up so how does that even make sense? 

YES, and that's why it's so complex because you have to work in the extremes because if you just eliminate fat for one day then that's not going to totally reverse your diabetes therefore any sugar that you do eat is going to be blocked by the pathway not allowing insulin receptors to attach to the insulin therefore the sugar is still going to remain in your bloodstream and causes your sugar to go up. 

So, do I lower fat or sugar or both? 

Alright, so as I stated at one point, I think the best option for complete or near complete reversal of the disease is found in the extremes. If you go on a whole foods, plant based diet then you should see results in your diabetes within a few weeks. In all the diabetes classes, you are taught to eat a low fat diet, and the above explains why. However, that doesn't mean that you need to be pounding high sugar either. You want low glycemic index carb sources (healthier carbs) with some calorie deficit as well to reduce your adipose tissue. 

Next argument: 


No and yes. If you restrict your calories and you lose weight, most likely your A1C will come down. If you decide to go the high protein and high fat route, then you are setting yourself up for other disease states in the future whereas the high carb route is clinically shown to work and you can eat in abundance, have tons of vitamins and minerals and reverse all diseases. When you eat a low carb diet, your blood glucose levels are low and your A1C is low, so they say that your diabetes is cured but the truth is that you still have the insulin resistance in place. The second that you start eating carbs again, your blood sugar will go right back up. AND WHO WANTS TO GO THE REST OF LIFE WITHOUT A CARB IF THEY ARE DIABETIC?!?! 

Next point made:

But animal protein is not strictly fat? It provides a great protein source!

From my perspective, animal protein consists of protein and fat. That truly is it. Animal protein components have been shown to cause many different disease states (again I feel it's so inadequate to JUST say that but I don't want this to get too lengthy) and fat is what we are discussing in reference to diabetics. I genuinely just want this blog to focus on the PRIMARY diet for diabetics specifically.

All of these topics bleed into one another therefore by talking about this, I feel that I should address high cholesterol as well, but I only wanted to go into this topic today. I don't think the documentary was perfect as nothing in life really is because I'm a total realist/skepticist when it comes to most everything, and I fully believe in a lifestyle of moderation. I come from the deep south, and everyone I know around me is going to eat meat forever no matter how great of an advocate that I am, but I do think that it's important to know the science that we have. I also hope that if you feel you disagree or have literature to support your viewpoint that you challenge me in a respectable professional way not "YOU'RE SO FREAKIN STUPID AND HAVE NO CLUE YOU CRAZY VEGAN WITH YOUR PROPAGANDA!" because I'm not crazy and I'm only like 82% vegan because I suck. LOL! 


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