Dr Stern: Today's question comes from Bradley. He runs a nutritional support group and he reached out to me because he wanted to know what information I could share in regards to helping his members with diabetes. So I'm gonna give my three step natural approach at helping people with Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is so important to get under control, as it's a leading factor to cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer for all men and women in America.
To put it simple, diabetes is high blood sugar. And the way our bodies work, when we have high sugar, insulin is needed as a key to open a cell up and it push the sugar into our cell.
If we don't have enough insulin to do that, it's called Type 1 diabetes and those people need insulin on a daily basis. No matter what diet or exercise Type 1 diabetics do, they still need insulin.
My program is really for Type 2 diabetics. Type 2 diabetics have enough insulin. The problem is the insulin and the cell are not connecting properly. The cell has basically tuned out the insulin and has become insensitive to it and doesn't respond properly, allowing for blood sugar to rise, therefore causing Type 2 diabetes.
Now, why does this happen? I'll give you an example. If someone yells at another person every single day, eventually the other person is gonna tune that one person out. They're just not gonna respond anymore.
The same thing happens with the body. If we have a high sugar diet or lots of processed carbohydrates, eventually the sugars keep going up, the insulin levels keep going up and the cells stop responding to the insulin causing Type 2 diabetes.
So how do we fix it? I'm gonna give you my three step approach.
Type 2 diabetics make up 95% of all diabetes in this country. So the Type 1 diabetics, the ones that don't have enough insulin are such a small percentage that we could almost eradicate diabetes in this country if we follow this simple three step program.
Number one is obviously diet. So let me give some dietary suggestions first. First of all, because of the high sugar, processed carbohydrates raise sugar up really quickly, jack up the insulin and create this negative imbalance.
We need to lower high sugar foods and processed carbohydrates and replace it with lean, healthy protein such as grass-fed meats, organic turkey and chicken. We want vegetables and high fiber fruits versus dried fruits which don't have a lot of fiber. We want nuts, seeds, legumes, wild caught salmon, so lots of omega-3 essential fats.
Foods like that are low on what's called the glycemic index. Anyone can look up the glycemic index on the internet. It's essentially a scale of how it rates a food's effect on someone's blood sugar.
So if it's really high, like over 50 or maybe 55, then that particular food is gonna raise your blood sugar too quickly and we wanna stay away from those foods.
Anything under 55 or 50 is a lot more manageable and our body's sugar and insulin levels are gonna rise much slower and not have a negative impact. Those foods are gonna be fats and proteins.
When it comes to carbohydrates, stay with carbs that are under 50 or 55 on this glycemic index. They're gonna tend to be high in fiber. Fiber slows down digestion and it slows down the release of insulin. If the insulin is too high on a continual basis, that's what will cause these cells to tune the insulin out, resulting in Type 2 diabetes.
Now, here's what's interesting. Different types of the same foods can have different glycemic indexes. For example, instant oatmeal has a super high glycemic index versus conventional steel cut oatmeal which is definitely healthier for the Type 2 diabetic.
When it comes to fruit, we wanna stay with apples, berries and cherries, fruits that have a bit more fiber versus bananas and dried fruits like raisins. It's not necessarily eat fruit or don't eat fruit or eat this grain or don't eat that grain. Make sure that you're having healthy carbohydrates that are high in fiber and low on the glycemic index
Wheat bread, whether it's white bread that's been processed or even whole wheat bread, both are high on the glycemic index. So just because something has whole grains doesn't mean it is good for a Type 2 diabetic.
The second thing we wanna focus on is stress. Now, a lot of people are gonna be like, what are you talking about? We're talking about diabetes. I thought this is all dietary.
When someone is under a lot of stress, we release something in our body called cortisol. Cortisol takes the protein in our body and makes sugar out of it. So no matter what your diet is, if you're under a tremendous amount of stress and you're releasing a lot of cortisol, your body is gonna jack up the blood sugar. As the blood sugar keeps going up, the insulin levels are gonna respond and if it happens too often, the cells are gonna tune that insulin out and you're left with Type 2 diabetes.
So we need to drive the stress down.
Here's my three-pronged approach for getting down stress. Number one, meditation. Number two, exercise and number three, I make my own natural adrenal support formula called Relax which has herbs and specific nutrients that drive cortisol down, allowing the body to function healthier. You take it at night and it really facilitates a great night's sleep.
The third thing I like are supplements when it comes to diabetes. There's five supplements that I really recommend.
Number one is magnesium. The type of magnesium I like is magnesium taurate. I would do roughly between 1 and 500 milligrams a day.
The second supplement I like is chromium. Chromium, you should be doing about 200 micrograms three times per day.
The third thing I like is fish oil. Omega-3 fats in general are very good at again helping the cell communicate with insulin which is what the problem with Type 2 diabetes is all about. So make sure your essential fats go up.If you wanna get your essential oils from wild caught salmon or flaxseed or walnuts, you can, but as a supplement, fish oil can be very effective.
The fourth thing I like is a supplement, but it's also a spice, cinnamon. Cinnamon is a wonderful spice at boosting the ability to process sugar and allowing for better communication between the cell, insulin and driving down blood sugar.
Then the fifth and final supplement, which not a lot of people know about, is really my number one supplement for Type 2 diabetics, which is alpha-lipoic acid. It's a wonderful nutrient to get to cells to communicate better with the insulin. I would take 600 milligrams per day and I think that would have a tremendous benefit.
So those are the five supplements. Also, decrease the cortisol and the stress using meditation and exercise. Again, use my PM adrenal support formula Relax and don't forget to stick with a healthy diet, lots of essential fats, lean protein, lots of vegetables and high fibrous fruits.
When it comes to grains, make sure that they're under 50-55 on the glycemic index and using that three step approach, you're gonna see wonderful benefits when it comes to Type 2 diabetes.
Now, here's the beautiful thing. Diabetes can be measured using a blood test called hemoglobin A1c.
So go to your doctor, get a hemoglobin A1c test and make sure that it's under 5.7. If it's under 5.7, you're doing a great job. Anything above 5.7 then you wanna really make sure that you're fine tuning your program, listening to all the steps I talked about and keep it really strict till you hit that 5.7 threshold.
However, if you've been doing this for a couple months and you go to your doctor and your hemoglobin A1c number's still a little high, don't worry as much yet because it's a three month sugar reading. What you wanna do is every three to four months, go back to your doctor, get the hemoglobin A1c so this way you can monitor where you are in your progress and see how well you're doing.
So that's the info on diabetes. I really hope this helps. Obviously if you have any further questions, always feel free to reach out and I hope you have an amazing night.