If you’ve been battling your weight for years – and losing – you’ve probably heard about diabetes and all the health issues it can cause. But what you may not know is that you can have prediabetes for many years before it becomes diabetes, and you might not know you even have it. But just because it’s prediabetes doesn’t mean that it’s a minor concern. Prediabetes can start causing serious and irreversible damage to your cardiovascular system long before it officially becomes diabetes. To prevent these risks, it is important to eat SANE foods and nutraceuticals that promote proper insulin response, and that lower your setpoint weight so that you can safely and permanently lose weight.
Why Lowering Setpoint Weight Helps Prevent Prediabetes
Obesity and type 2 diabetes are symptoms of the same metabolic disorder. Namely, both of them involve the body’s inability to use insulin properly.
Though doctors and researchers long-understood the mechanism of type 2 diabetes and that it was a symptom of poor insulin usage (whether or not they understood it to be insulin resistance in the early years), they were not as quick in understanding insulin’s role in obesity.
In the 1950s, researchers noted that upper body fat seemed to increase a patient’s risk of developing diabetes, kidney stones, arteriosclerosis, and gout. Researchers then conducted a study on six obese patients who had diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels. After putting these patients on a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate diet for a time, they noted that their diabetes, blood cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and had improved. They coined the term, “metabolic” syndrome to show the association between the factors that increase the risk for diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome became a commonly used term in the 1970s, used in various contexts to describe a constellation of symptoms that increased the risk for a disorder. The disorders varied and included obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and arteriosclerosis.
It wasn’t until 1988, that Gerald Reaven hypothesized that insulin resistance could be the causal link in all those symptoms. He called it, “syndrome x.)
Lower Setpoint Weight, Lower Obesity Rates, and Prediabetes
It is not a surprise, then, that obesity – driven by insulin resistance — is the number one risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Indeed, both obesity and type 2 diabetes are so interrelated, you’ll rarely find one without the other. According to the Centers for Disease Control, if you are obese, you have a 90 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes at some point in your lifetime. And 85 percent of diabetics are obese.
So if you want to prevent pre-diabetes and diabetes, lowering your setpoint weight so that you can safely and permanently lose weight is the best way to do that.
The risk of doing nothing is too awful to contemplate.
Facts About Prediabetes and Diabetes
There are usually no symptoms of prediabetes. The first sign that you have this precursor to type 2 diabetes will probably be that your blood sugar levels are abnormal. That is the definition of pre-diabetes, you see. Your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but not high enough to categorize as diabetes.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that around 84 million adults in the United States have pre-diabetes. That equates to one in three Americans having pre-diabetes. And 90 percent of those who have pre-diabetes don’t know they have it, according to the CDC.
If you don’t know you have pre-diabetes, that’s a big problem. Only by making diet and lifestyle changes can you prevent its progression to full-blown type 2 diabetes. Statistics show that without making necessary adjustments to diet and lifestyle, those with prediabetes will develop diabetes within 10 years.
Diabetes affects every major organ system in the body. The health effect of having diabetes can be terrible, and can include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Kidney disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Food damage
- Skin conditions
Diabetes will ultimately kill you.
Causes of Prediabetes and Diabetes
In most cases, type 1 diabetes is actually an autoimmune disorder, whereby the immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Though researchers don’t know the exact cause of type 1 diabetes, they believe the patient might be genetically predisposed to this disease. Then an environmental trigger activates it. This could be a virus, toxin or something else. Only 5 percent of diabetics have type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes can turn into type 1 if the pancreas stops producing insulin due to insufficient blood sugar management.
There are many factors that cause type 2 diabetes., the most common form of this disease. Some of these factors include:
- Overweight and obesity
- Family history
- Eating a regular diet of inSANE foods
Foods that Can Cause Prediabetes and Raise Setpoint Weight
Obesity, pre-diabetes, and diabetes weren’t problems 50 or 60 years ago. Almost everybody stayed naturally slim. It seemed like everybody had a fast metabolism.
And then everything changed.
For instance, the global obesity rate has doubled since 1980; the number of adults with diabetes has also doubled globally since 1980. A coincidence? Not likely, considering the interconnection between these two diseases.
What caused these twin epidemics? The short answer is that the public started consuming too many starchy carbohydrates, sugars, and processed/fast foods. Consider this:
- The number of fast food establishments has more than doubled since 1970.
- Added sugars and solid fats make up 40 percent of the diets of 2-18-year-olds in the United States. Most of these calories come from soda (at the top of the list), fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza and whole milk. None of these are SANE food choices, and most of them have been proven to negatively affect blood sugar levels and setpoint weight.
- A study published in Population Health Metrics found that more than one-half of the average American’s calories came from ultra-processed foods like soft drinks, cookies, doughnuts, etc. The more ultra-processed the food is, the less fiber, protein, and nutrients it contains. An inSANE food category if ever there was one!
These inSANE foods have been proven scientifically to raise setpoint weight and to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a number of other illnesses.
Here are some foods that can spike your blood sugar levels, raise your setpoint weight, cause obesity, and increase your risk for prediabetes.
Okay, one serving of corn or a potato here and there is not going to kill you or increase your risk for prediabetes. But if you eat starchy vegetables all the time, especially when you combine them with noodles or another starch, you’re just asking for blood sugar troubles. This can send your blood sugar levels spiraling, which over time can lead to prediabetes.
SANE Tip: Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, and celery are excellent choices. But be sure to add green, leafy vegetables to your plate. Kale, spinach, mixed greens and other are superfoods that have unique nutritional properties that supercharge fat burning.
As already mentioned, eating a diet of processed foods is terrible for your setpoint weight. But what wasn’t mentioned is that it increases your risk for prediabetes and diabetes. In a Harvard School of Health meta-analysis, researchers found that eating a small amount of processed meat every day increased diabetes risk by 51 percent. Though the researchers couldn’t pinpoint the reason for this increase, one theory is that the levels of sodium and preservatives play a role.
Whatever the reason, processed foods are bad news for your diabetes risk. And we do know that eating them also raises your setpoint weight because they help create a hormonal clog. It’s best to avoid processed foods as much as possible and just prepare meals at home.
SANE Tip: Purchase foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. For instance, select vegetables that you could have grown yourself (although frozen is totally fine.) Choose meats that you could hunt. What does this look like in practice?
Simply purchase fresh or frozen vegetables, and stay away from the canned versions. Purchase packages of humanely raised, grass-fed beef and pasture raised chicken. Those are meats you could hunt. (Buying a package of breaded chicken fingers or onions or honey mustard bbq wings does not qualify as a meat you could hunt.)
Highly-processed carbohydrates are white foods with their fiber, bran and most of their vitamins and minerals gone. Anything made with white flour, white rice, and white sugar qualifies as a highly-processed carbohydrate.
With their fiber removed, these foods are digested quickly. This means your body turns them into glucose fast and dumps it into your bloodstream. This causes your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. A steady diet of highly-processed carbohydrates puts a continual burden on your pancreas, and the eventual result may be pre-diabetes. Is it really worth that doughnut or pastry or piece of cake?
SANE Tip: Replace highly processed carbs with non-starchy vegetables or nutrient-dense protein. Both of these will fill you up quickly and keep you full longer. Plus, they will decrease your risk for pre-diabetes and lower your setpoint weight.
Drinking sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages are known to raise the risk of pre-diabetes and raise the setpoint weight. One of the reasons for this effect is that many of these sweetened drinks contain high-fructose corn syrup, which is metabolized by the body differently than table sugar.
When you drink a beverage containing high-fructose corn syrup, it goes to your liver, which turns it into fat and then sends the fat back into your bloodstream.
Many studies have shown that high-fructose corn syrup increases the risk of many diseases, including pre-diabetes. Not that table sugar is innocent. For instance, a 2010 study published in Diabetes Care revealed that drinking two sugary beverages a day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 26 percent when compared with having less than one a month.
SANE Tip: It is best to avoid sugar-sweetened drinks whenever possible. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and if that’s too boring for you, there are a few flavorful options. For instance, you can make your own flavored water by blending water and a strawberry or a few blueberries together. It’s healthy, tasty water that won’t increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Trans fats are manufactured fats, made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Food manufacturers love using trans fats because they extend the shelf life of their products, and restaurants often use trans fats in their deep fryers because they can re-use the oil many times without it breaking down.
But trans fats have been proven to cause many health problems, including pre-diabetes. Trans fats can increase LDL “bad” cholesterol in the blood, which is a known risk factor for diabetes.
The FDA has instituted a ban against trans fats, but food manufacturers have a period of time in which to faze it out of their products. In the meantime, you are still free to eat this dangerous artificial fat.
SANE Tip: Since artificial trans fats are found in processed and fast foods, an easy way to avoid them is to avoid their sources. Turn your back on processed foods and start cooking meals at home. Shop the perimeter of the store, where you’ll find the meats and produce. (Processed junk is located on the middle aisles of the store.)
There is a SANEr Way that Will Prevent Diabetes and Lower Setpoint Weight
Over 13,000 peer-reviewed studies have shown that SANE eating is the best way to lower your setpoint weight and reduce your risk of a number of serious diseases, including pre-diabetes.
With SANE, you’ll eat foods that fill you up quickly and keep you full. In fact, you’ll be so full of SANE foods that you couldn’t possibly have room for anything inSANE. It is a complete lifestyle change that will make you healthier and happier. Guaranteed!