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How to Dodge Diabetes Deliciously!

Have you or someone you love just been told…

“You have prediabetes" (or "you have diabetes")?

Unfortunately, this is currently happening at an alarming rate, and we have had numerous recent encounters with people facing this exact situation.  According to the CDC, almost 12% of the U.S. population has diabetes.  On top of that, 38% of adults over the age of 18 have prediabetes.  That is 50% of people that have either diabetes or prediabetes!

If you or someone you love receives this diagnosis, it can be devastating.  Your doctor may want you to start taking medication.  If you want to try to manage this through lifestyle changes, the advice is often not all that helpful (and very confusing).  It may be something along the lines of "count your calories and watch your carbs."  Or maybe someone says, "you just need to eat more fruits and vegetables but be careful with fruits because they have a lot of sugar." 

This can leave you feeling lost and alone, and overwhelmed with what to do.  It can feel like your world is crashing down and can even cause depression to creep in.

Don't give up!

Whoever may be facing this...stop where you are at, take a minute and we want you to take a breath.  You need to know that you have the power to make HUGE improvements to take back your health by changing what you eat and making some lifestyle changes.  We have watched so many people with Type-2 diabetes or prediabetes reverse this diagnosis --

yes, you read right, we said "reverse it!"


Most recently we had an Eat REAL America member tell us, "my doctor was impressed at my checkups, and had only one other patient get to where my numbers were so quickly.  I went from 346 Glucose and 12.9 A1C to 179 Glucose and 9.7 A1C.  He also said that maybe he jumped the gun by wanting to put me on insulin, which I did not do.  As of today (7 weeks), my glucose level is at 106 and 5.8 on my A1C."  Way to go!


And another Eat REAL America member just shared with us that after going to the doctor and being told "you are pre-diabetic," she refused the recommended metformin and focused on changing her eating to include REAL food with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.  She used the website and our classes as a guide and, in 6 months, she just returned to the doctor to be told, "Your blood levels are completely normal!  Whatever you are doing, keep doing it!"  


How did they do it?

The biggest change they have made is how they are eating.  No surprise, they changed their eating habits to focus on REAL food and that's where the magic happened!

Before we talk more about how to achieve this, let's wrap our head around diabetes:

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.  When you eat, your digestive system breaks down food into glucose, which is a form of sugar.  Glucose is then absorbed into the bloodstream, and insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps cells take in and use this glucose for energy.



In people with diabetes, there are two main types:


  1. Type 1 Diabetes.  With this type (5% to 10% of cases), your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.  As a result, your body doesn't produce enough insulin, leading to a buildup of glucose in the blood.
  2. Type 2 Diabetes.  With this type (90% to 95% of cases), your body either doesn't produce enough insulin, or your cells ignore the insulin that is produced (insulin resistance).  Without enough insulin or with ineffective insulin, glucose can't enter the cells properly, and blood sugar levels rise.


When blood sugar levels are consistently high, it can lead to various health problems over time, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and vision loss, just to name a few.  This makes it important for people with diabetes to manage their condition by monitoring their blood sugar levels, taking medications if needed, and making lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthy diet and exercising regularly.


Where the Magic Happens!

The most important thing you can do is eat a wide variety of REAL food (mostly plants).  We talk about this all the time in our coaching tips and cooking demonstrations.

Why?  Because it works! 

It can help you prevent and reverse all kinds of chronic illness and disease, including Type 2 diabetes.  By eating a wide variety of REAL food in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes, you can prevent it and even reverse it!


Make sure your meals are loaded with:



By eating these foods, you will get the right combination of healthy carbs, protein, fiber, and good fats your body needs.

And when you fill your meals with these REAL foods, you will weed out all the foods that likely contributed to the diabetes in the first place (especially highly processed foods like white bread, cereals, baked goods, cookies, candies, soda, fruit juices, chips, crackers, and fast food).


Myth busting time!

There is so much confusion in this world we live in about what to eat (and what not to eat) to manage and reverse prediabetes and Type-2 diabetes.  Here are the top 3 that we hear most frequently:


Carbs are the enemy.  This is false.  It is not the carbs themselves, but the type of carbs that matter.  Remember, not all carbs are created equal.  As Dr. David Katz says, "Carbohydrates can be anything from lentils to lollipops, pinto beans to jellybeans."  

We get questions and comments all the time like, "aren't you concerned that potatoes - sweet or white - have too many carbs?" and "they told me I shouldn't eat oats because they have too many carbs."  Stop the madness!

A more accurate statement would be, "carbs from highly processed foods are the enemy."  Carbs from REAL foods should be embraced and enjoyed!

If you are eating the foods mentioned above (a plant-predominant, whole food diet), carbs may make up 60% or 70% of your calories.  Since these carbs are coming from REAL foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, it will be easier to maintain a stable blood glucose level and optimize insulin sensitivity.


Fruit is Forbidden?  People with diabetes often hear the misperception, "you shouldn't eat fruits because they have too much sugar."  While this might at first seem logical, the reality is that including fruits in an overall healthy diet actually help improve insulin resistance.  They can even help reverse the underlying causes of prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Remember that the natural carbs and sugars in whole fruits (not fruit juices) come prepackaged with water, fiber and vital nutrients.  This means they take longer to digest and absorb, providing your body with a slow and steady stream of glucose.  This is different from what happens when added sugars enter your body.  Because these added sugars lack the fiber and other nutrients, they are quickly absorbed directly into your bloodstream.  This causes a spike in your blood sugar levels and, over time, can contribute to insulin resistance (or can be dangerous for anyone who already has diabetes).

If you are someone who has constant sweet cravings, you might want to try Zonya's sweet craving cure:  eat one serving of fruit, along with a glass of water, every 4 hours while you are awake.  And, while you're at it, make fruit your dessert (it is nature's candy after all!) - there are so many fantastic recipes on the website including the Dreamy Fruit 'n Nutty Salad, the No Bake Strawberry Delight, and the Chocolate Banana Ice Cream.

If you are eating a lot of fruits and still having trouble keeping your blood sugar down, it can be useful to focus more on a variety of vegetables (especially dark leafy greens) instead of loading up on fruits for a few weeks until you can get things under control.  Then, you can bring fruits back as part of an overall healthy diet.


All you have to do is count calories and carbs.  Again, not true.  The "quality" of those carbs, meaning the fiber and the antioxidant content, matters more.  The goal is to keep your blood sugars stable throughout the day and eating consistent, appropriately sized, meals will help you accomplish this.  Again, the key is eating the right kinds of foods!

In this video, Dr. Michael Greger talks about a randomized clinical trial that showed how powerful a 100% plant based diet can be.  Similar results are seen with plant-forward diets like the Mediterranean diet (aka, eating REAL FOOD!).



What else can you do?

In addition to eating a wide variety of REAL food, these steps can help you reverse insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, and prediabetes / Type-2 diabetes:


  1. Move!  Exercise, both aerobically and strength training!  This will help you burn fat and glucose more efficiently, keeping everything at those healthy levels.  You might even adopt a habit of taking a short walk after meals to improve both your blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
  2. Get enough sleep!  If you want to read more about how lack of sleep contributes to so many health issues, check out our coaching tip, Insomnia? REAL Food to the Rescue.
  3. Reduce stress!  Stress can trigger a physical response that actually raises blood glucose.  If stress eating is a challenge for you, you may want to read our coaching tip,  This May Be Harming You More Than You Think.
  4. Limit caffeine!  Caffeine is known to increase blood glucose variability, although it tends to affect each person differently.  If you want to learn more, check out our coaching tip, What's Your Cut Off Time?.


"Whatever you're doing, just keep doing it!"

Over and over, we hear stories of Eat REAL America members who have taken the steps above and, when they return to their doctor for follow-up bloodwork, the doctor says, "Congratulations, your numbers are all perfectly normal again.  Whatever you're doing, just keep doing it!"  


We know this can be you or someone you love!


If you or someone you know are ready to take control of your blood sugar and "shock your doc," we highly encourage you dive all the way in to putting these steps into action by taking Zonya's online 4-part course, Dodging Diabetes Deliciously.

Including expert exercise recommendations, this program, which is the education and inspiration you need, addresses what absolutely works in the short-term and LONG-TERM, helping you successfully trim down and improve insulin sensitivity so your blood sugar levels normalize and stay that way.  All by eating the most DELICIOUS REAL FOOD of your LIFE!


We can't wait to hear your success story!




New York Times heart-risk-study spikes-061213 Moderate-Postmeal-Walking


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