Written by:

Mel Tonken

Several weeks ago, the C.D.C. (U.S. Centre for disease control) predicted that by 2020, 40% of the U.S. adult Caucasian population and 50 % of the adult black population will be afflicted with type 2 diabetes. In Canada, the predictions are equally as startling. By 2020, it is estimated that 4.2 million of us will have diabetes. This, however, is the tip of the iceberg. Besides confirmed cases, it is estimated that 1 out of 5 Canadians will have pre diabetes, 70 % of whom will go on to develop the full-blown disease. Even in prediabetes, physiological changes begin to occur, eventually causing problems with the heart, the precursors of strokes, dementia, eye problems, kidney malfunction, neurological degeneration & other diseases. Increased and irregular blood sugar levels have devastating effects on almost all organs of the body. It would be difficult to overestimate the catastrophic effect of this health crisis. Apart from the immense personal suffering resulting from this disease pathological implications for almost all body systems resulting from erratic blood sugar levels. Most diabetic patients develop various problems, including cardiac anomalies, blindness, neuropathies and tooth & gum disease. It would be difficult to calculate the enormous cost resulting from the disease of diabetes and it’s cascading ramifications.

The paradox of this devastating disease is that just as dire as is the predictions, the solution is amazingly simple. Documentation exists, that Hindu physicians, more than 2000 years ago, described the “sweet disease” as an affliction of the rich caused by indulgence with sugar, a new commodity which had recently arrived from New Guinea, a had flour & rice. Two centuries later, these theories have been confirmed through the sciences of biochemistry & physiology. Refined white flour when hitting the stomach is immediately broken down into simple carbohydrates & absorbed very quickly into the body, increasing blood sugar levels as quickly as if refined sugar had been ingested.

Obesity as well as diets high inn refined carbohydrates is a major factor in precipitating the development of type 2 diabetes. Although serious & potentially fatal, dietary changes & weight loss can often reverse the progression of this insidious disease. This affliction is cunning, affecting most patients long before symptoms are noticed. Individuals may be seriously damaged in a variety of ways before the onset of symptoms. It is thought, for instance that more than 50% of kidney function may be lost before a patient will notice any changes. Fortunately, unlike many other diseases, some of the symptoms and resulting pathological changes in the body can be reversed through attention to the diet.

Diets high in carbs, especially easily absorbed carbs such as refined sugar raise the risk of diabetes. Vital in the prevention of this disease, is to lose (or not gain) weight Avoiding refined sugar is vital to its control. Limit added sugar in your diet and make it a habit to check labels. Added sugar is frequently camouflaged by calling it fructose, corn syrup, caine juice, dextrose, sorghum etc. North Americans consume approx. 150 lbs. of sugar annually for every man, woman & child. It has been well documented that the rise in the incidence of type 2 diabetes parallels the rise in sugar consumption. The more vegetables, whole grains, beans & nuts you consume, the lower your chance of developing this deadly disease. The idea is to eat foods that raise blood sugar levels slowly6, such as brown rice, barley, oatmeal, legumes & vegetables, which are high in fiber such as all berries, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower & cabbage.