Diabesity, an amalgam of the words diabetes and obesity, refers to a continuum of blood sugar issues ranging from minor insulin resistance to full-blown type 2 diabetes. It has become a public health crisis. The numbers of people with diabesity are staggering. An estimated 1 billion people worldwide suffer from this disease, 100 million of whom are Americans. As these numbers keep growing, experts are frantically trying to find a way to prevent diabesity. So far, they have had no success.
Probably the biggest reason the diabesity epidemic has not been reversed is that most experts try to address the problem with the same mindset that caused the problem in the first place. Let’s take obesity, for instance. Obesity, as you’ll see shortly, is the main risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control reports nearly 90% of those who are obese will eventually develop type 2 diabetes.
If there were no obese individuals, there wouldn’t be nearly as many people with type 2 diabetes as there are now. And the diabesity epidemic wouldn’t exist, either. So, the best way to prevent diabesity is to find a surefire way for people to lose weight long term. Doctors know that. Researchers know that. Nutritional “experts” know that, too. Yet, what do they do about it? They still tell people they need to eat less and exercise more to lose weight, even though these methods have been proven not to work for long-term weight loss.
It is like they are setting people up to fail. Whether they are knowingly or unknowingly spreading a myth of weight loss, the result is the same — millions of people are sick and dying. Diabesity is a dangerous disease that destroys lives and health, but it can be prevented or reversed with supplements, diet, and a few lifestyle modifications.
Before discussing real ways to prevent diabesity, let’s talk about diabesity.
The best way to prevent diabesity? Know the disease
The best way to prevent diabesity is to know everything you can about the disease. Knowledge is power, and once you learn about this disease, you’ll know why certain supplements and foods work to prevent diabesity or even reverse it.
So, to further define diabesity…
The word “diabesity” is an amalgam of the words “obesity” and “diabetes” and was coined to show the interrelationship between these diseases.
Doctors and researchers have known about the link between obesity and diabetes for many years. But it wasn’t until the mid-’90s that research showed obesity to be the main risk factor for diabetes. It took quite a bit longer, however, for research to reveal the reason for this link. Studies show obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, promotes insulin resistance that often leads directly to type 2 diabetes. (Studies vary as to the reason obesity promotes insulin resistance, however.) But studies also show insulin resistance causes weight gain and obesity, so it’s really hard to know which one came first.
The term “diabesity,” then, neatly describes this interrelationship, and it refers to a continuum of blood sugar issues ranging from minor insulin resistance to full-blown type 2 diabetes. It typically begins with a poor-quality diet leading to weight gain.
Diet and insulin resistance
Regularly eating a poor-quality diet of starchy carbs and sugars is the biggest contributor to obesity and insulin resistance.
Let’s discuss obesity first.
Poor-quality diet and obesity
We have all been taught that a calorie is a calorie, meaning it doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you remember to add its calories into your daily total. In other words, if you stay within your daily/weekly calorie limit, it doesn’t matter from which foods those calories come. We now know this is incorrect.
In fact, calories vary widely in how likely they are to be stored as fat. When we eat a meal, our digestive system directs those calories to repair, fuel, or fatten us — in that order. Think of the digestive system like a traffic cop. This digestive traffic cop is fine with a steady flow of traffic (calories). He or she smoothly and calmly directs the calories exactly where they need to be.
But the digestive traffic cop does not deal well with a bunch of aggressive requests all at once. Aggressive requests are a large amount of glucose dumped into your bloodstream at one time. Anytime the body has more calories than it can deal with at one time, it stores them as fat. So, if you eat a large pasta dinner with garlic bread, for instance, your body quickly converts these starchy carbs into glucose that is rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream. The digestive traffic cop becomes overwhelmed, sending these calories straight to your fat cells.
By contrast, eating a serving of baked salmon with asparagus doesn’t cause the digestive traffic cop to send their calories straight to your fat cells because these foods don’t cause a spike in your blood glucose levels. You can even eat double servings of these foods without them negatively affecting your blood sugar.
Now let’s look at insulin resistance.
Poor-quality diet and insulin resistance
Regularly eating a poor-quality diet not only causes obesity but also causes insulin resistance.
In essence, insulin is a hormone that the pancreas secretes that tells the cells to take up glucose (sugar) and turn it into energy. Insulin resistance causes the cells to not react, resulting in an excessive amount of sugar in the bloodstream. As the pancreas tries to regulate the blood sugar over time, it produces a greater and greater amount of insulin until it exhausts itself and is no longer able to produce large amounts of insulin. Consequently, blood sugar levels rise to the level of diabetes.
Heavily processed foods, sugars, and starchy carbs are the biggest contributors to insulin resistance. That’s particularly true for refined carbs. Because refined carbs contain no fiber, these foods are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing spikes in blood glucose levels.
When you consume carbs, your blood glucose levels rise, triggering a release of insulin to clear the glucose from your bloodstream. (Your cells need glucose for energy, but they cannot absorb it without the help of insulin.) As insulin ushers the glucose into your cells, your blood sugar levels fall. If you eat a large number of refined carbs, your blood sugar levels rise sharply, triggering a bigger release of insulin.
It won’t cause much of a problem if you eat these types of foods only occasionally. However, if you regularly eat them, your pancreas is forced to release insulin almost constantly. With so much insulin circulating in your bloodstream, your cells eventually become numb to it. This is called insulin resistance.
The insulin still has to clear the glucose from your bloodstream, however, so it sends the excess to your fat cells. The fat cells always accept glucose! Over time, your body’s ability to control blood glucose levels completely breaks down, and you develop type 2 diabetes.
Both obesity and type 2 diabetes lead to health problems, but it’s even worse when the two are combined (diabesity.)
Health complications of diabesity
Here are a few of the most common health complications of diabesity.
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol/triglycerides
- Sleep apnea
- Kidney disease/failure
- Fatty liver disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Alzheimer’s disease
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent diabesity and reduce your risk of these health problems.
Prevent diabesity with nutrition.
Regularly eating the standard American diet of heavily processed foods, sugars, and refined carbs not only promotes insulin resistance but also deprives the cells of the nutrients they need to keep the body functioning at its peak.
The way to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes — and even reverse them — is to regularly eat high-quality foods that contain water, fiber, and protein. Research shows the body digests these foods slowly, absorbing their glucose into the bloodstream equally slowly. This keeps blood sugar levels stable, helping prevent weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Eating these types of foods also keeps your metabolic system — the brain, digestive system, and hormones — operating properly so that they can synchronize the activities that automatically keep your body at a specific level of fat. This is called your setpoint weight. Or, if you have not been able to lose weight long-term, eating these foods will help lower your setpoint weight, allowing you to enjoy effortless and permanent weight loss.
Prevent diabesity by lowering your setpoint weight.
Setpoint weight is the weight that your body strives to maintain within a range of 10-15 pounds. Your body is an amazingly complex biological machine that is quite capable of regulating your weight and your blood sugar levels, just as it regulates your heart rate, blood pressure, and other functions. The only time it does not properly regulate these functions is when it cannot do so, ie, when the biological system is damaged or broken in some manner. Such is the case with weight control.
Your brain, digestive system, and hormones continually communicate with each other via several feedback loops to keep your weight close to your setpoint weight. There are several ways your body keeps you at your setpoint weight. For instance, if you eat too much, your body increases your metabolism and/or makes you fidget more to burn off those extra calories. You don’t have to count or manage those calories. Your body does all this work for you.
But if the system is damaged or broken, your hormones cannot send or receive proper signals. Your body “thinks” you need more fat, so it stores more of your calories as fat and prevents your body from burning any of its fat stores. We refer to this as a “hormonal clog.” This hormonal clog raises your setpoint weight, and from then on, your body tries to keep you close to this weight. It doesn’t matter how strictly you diet or how hard you exercise, your body will always bring you back up to (or above) your setpoint weight.
You’ll lose weight on a starvation diet, but only short term. The only way to lose weight long-term and prevent diabesity is to lower your setpoint weight.
Prevent diabesity with the SANE Diet.
The best way to lower your setpoint weight is with the SANE Diet. On the SANE Diet, you’ll enjoy delicious foods proven to clear hormonal clogs, regulate blood sugar levels, trigger fat-burning hormones, and lower setpoint weight.
The diet is easy to remember and incorporate into your life, too. For every main meal, simply try to select foods from the following 3 food groups:
- Non-Starchy Vegetables: 10+ servings per day.
- Nutrient-Dense Proteins: 3-5 servings per day, 30-55 grams per meal
- Whole-Food Fats: 3-6 servings per day.
For a sweet treat, feel free to enjoy up to 3 servings of low-fructose fruits per day. Though there are some exceptions, low-fructose fruits are generally berries and citrus fruits.
Prevent diabesity with supplements.
Supplements can also provide an extra boost to lowering your setpoint weight. Though you can get these nutrients through your diet, you may not be able to obtain enough through your diet to help prevent diabesity. Combining SANE Diet with these 5 supplements is your best bet for preventing diabesity.
Inositol is a B-vitamin-like nutrient important for regulating blood glucose levels, normalizing insulin levels, and stabilizing weight in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Studies show inositol assists in fat transportation and metabolism, which makes it a great supplement for weight control. Foods rich in inositol are fresh fruits and vegetables.
Choline is an essential B vitamin that works with inositol to help the body utilize fat. This nutrient is essential for the proper functioning of every cell in your body. Choline helps process fat and cholesterol, among other important functions. Foods rich in choline include eggs, liver, and peanuts.
3. Biotin (vitamin B7)
Biotin is important for regulating insulin and blood sugar. It also helps metabolize fats and proteins. Studies show biotin to be effective at helping people with diabetes better control blood sugar — when combined with chromium picolinate. Organ meats, such as liver, are the most concentrated dietary sources of biotin.
L-carnitine is an amino acid that transports fat into the energy-producing part of your cells, called the mitochondria. Many studies show that L-carnitine supplementation makes for more efficient fat burning while also preserving muscle. Foods richest in L-carnitine are animal products, such as meat, poultry, and fish.
5. Chromium picolinate
Studies show chromium picolinate to be highly effective at regulating blood sugar levels, fighting carbohydrate cravings, and burning fat. This mineral helps your body better process carbohydrates while reducing insulin resistance. Research indicates that chromium picolinate supplementation may be one of the best ways to prevent diabesity. Foods that contain chromium include broccoli, chicken, and eggs.
Supplements and diet to prevent diabesity
Adding the above supplements to your SANE Diet will supercharge your body’s setpoint-lowering ability and is a great way to prevent diabesity.
Next step: Learn more about the supplements that help prevent diabesity (obesity + diabetes) with SANE
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