Type 2 diabetes is a chronic, systemic disease caused by insulin resistance: insulin-sensitive cells become unable to respond appropriately to insulin, which is to uptake glucose.
In this article, we will talk about the Longevity diet for diabetes type 2 management.
Firstly, opt for low glycemic index foods, which are foods that do not cause large spikes in blood glucose levels. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a system that ranks carbohydrate-containing foods based on how quickly and how much the foods cause a rise in blood glucose. Examples of these are wholewheat pasta and rice, wholegrain rice. On the other hand, avoid high glycemic index foods, such as white bread, pasta and rice, sugary beverages and pastries. It is important in this article to make a reference to fructose (particularly high fructose corn syrup), which, according to Dr. Jason Fung (nephrologist and author of The Diabetes Code), is the most dangerous sugar. This is because despite its lower glycemic index compared to glucose, during its metabolism, excess fructose is converted into fat in the liver. In other words, excess fructose contributes to fatty liver disease. This is in turn is a major driver of the development of insulin resistance in the liver, which is the crucial hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
Having said that, fruits are a source of fructose and nevertheless they´re one of the healthiest foods you can eat! As stated by Dr. Michael Greger in How Not to Die, the fibre in fruit has a gelling effect in your stomach and small intestine that slows the release of sugars, and certain phytonutrients in fruits appear to block the absorption of sugar through the gut wall and into your bloodstream. Basically, fibre can reduce the insulin-stimulating effect of fructose.
Secondly, avoid sources of LDL cholesterol. This is because diabetes is a vascular disease; it has microvascular and macrovascular complications, such as atherosclerosis. LDL cholesterol has been implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis; thus it is best to avoid it, together with saturated and trans fats. Avoid red meats, pastries, processed meats and opt instead for foods rich in HDL cholesterol (which has been proven to have a cardioprotective effect), like avocadoes, soy, beans and wholegrains.
In general, a plant-based diet is effective in not only preventing but also managing type 2 diabetes, because it addresses the root causes of this disease: insulin resistance, lipotoxicity and chronic inflammation.
Lastly, intermittent fasting (with doctor approval) is one of the most efficient and consistent strategies to decrease insulin levels, as maintained by Dr. Jason Fung. A practical way to incorporate this into your diet is by practicing intermittent fasting 3 to 4 times a week, keeping a feeding window of 8 hours day, while being in a fasted state for 16 hours.
The Longevity Nutritional Concept involves a solid menu, carefully designed to reach a balance between the various macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats), gluten free, rich in fibers and with a low glycemic index, promotes weight loss, restores and regenerates the various metabolic and endocrine body systems. Furthermore, Longevity Nutrition is also by definition always anti-inflammatory. Examples of anti-inflammatory foods include: olive oil, nuts and seats, cruciferous vegetables and berries. Thus, an additional benefit of Longevity Nutrition is a boost of overall health and well-being.
- The Diabetes Code, by Dr. Jason Fung
- How Not to Die, by Dr. Michael Greger