It is no secret that diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. With a culture that has an overall lack of physical activity and a high consumption of processed foods and carbohydrates this should not come as a surprise. There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 is a condition where beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed and therefore unable to release insulin into the blood stream. Insulin is needed to help glucose (sugar) get into the cells. Type 1 is an autoimmune condition. Type 2 is a condition where the cells that need the glucose become resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin resistance is a protective mechanism the cells undergo when they are being bombarded with too much glucose. In both cases, the cells are starved of glucose to make energy and excess glucose still needs to be removed from the blood. This process is inflammatory in nature, takes a lot of energy to complete and results in higher production of body fat. When this process goes on long enough, nerves and blood vessels become damaged, causing a variety of very serious adverse health conditions.

Take the Paleo Challenge!

While there are a few variations out there, the core foundation of most paleo diets consist of eating lean meats, fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds. All processed and refined foods are eliminated. It is often recommended to eat frequent small meals with a balanced ratio of healthy protein, fat and carbohydrates. One of the greatest advantages of eating this way is that it helps the body balance its blood sugar needs. Carbohydrates break down and burn up very quickly in the body, cause blood sugar levels to spike and energy levels to drop. When lean proteins and healthy fats are consumed they burn up much slower keeping blood sugar levels stable and energy levels up. According to this study, paleo diets often leave people feeling full after eating and they frequently lose weight. But the health benefits don’t stop there. According to this study published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology:

“Compared to the diabetes diet, the Paleolithic diet resulted in statistically significant lower mean values of hemoglobin A1C, triglycerides, diastolic blood pressure, weight, body mass index, and waist circumference, while mean values for high-density lipoprotein were higher.”

It’s Never Too Late!

If you don’t know your blood glucose, hemoglobin A1C or triglycerides, now is the time to get them tested. If they are borderline, it is very likely that you can change your diet to reduce your risk of getting diabetes. If you already have diabetes, finding a functional nutritionist can help you make dietary modifications that can help your body better stabilize blood sugar levels!

Copyright © 2014 Integrated Health Systems. All Rights Reserved. Dr. Shawn VanWinkle is an Associate Doctor at Integrated Health Systems. If you are struggling with symptoms related to high blood sugar, we can help. Visit our website at or email us at and see how we can help you. A free initial consultation can be scheduled by calling our office at 303-781-5617.