We have been led to believe that diabetes is a genetic disorder, that if we have a family history of diabetes we are more likely to get it. Worse, people believe that diabetes is essentially a random event, based on our genes, over which we have no control. This is just NOT TRUE.
Statistics shows us from 1983 to 2008, the number of people in the world with diabetes increased sevenfold, from 35 million to 240 million, and experts believe this is a serious UNDERESTIMATE! Many people are walking around with diabetes and don't even know it. This kind of increase could not happen with a purely genetic or inherited disorder in such a short period of time. According to the experts, the genetic code of the human population changes only 0.2% every 20,000 years. It is not altered from generation to generation. What many people just don't realize is that our genes are affected by our environment. Our genetic code may not change, but the way those genes are EXPRESSED is highly influenced by the world around us. And, our environment has changed more in the last hundred years than in all of previous human history.
Now, there are some predisposing genes, genes that get turned on, (expressed), ONLY under the conditions of a poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, stress and exposure to environmental toxins. Therefore, a search for the diabetes gene and the magic bullet drug or gene therapy to treat diabetes will lead us nowhere. The main cause of this epidemic, the root of the problem is....diet and exercise. How we eat, how much we exercise, how we manage stress, our exposure to environmental and food-based toxins, are what is truly driving our diabesity epidemic. We can't change our genes, but we can change their function and expression. We need to get to the root of this problem and cut it off completely....and the beauty is, it can be accomplished.
For instance, if your grandmother was overweight, or smoked, or was exposed to mercury from eating too much fish, she may have "turned on" genes that lead to diabetes. Her genes, which carries increased risk of a certain disease, would then be passed down from generation to generation. This does mean you could be at an increased risk, but it certainly does not mean that you WILL HAVE diabetes. Something has to "turn on" that gene....the main culprit is the food you are eating. Your genes are your instructional manual ..you may have a genetic predisposition to diabetes or obesity, but you are not predestined. Every minute of every day, you have the power to transform your gene expression and reverse disease by changing the messages and instructions you send to your DNA. You can absolutely "turn off" the genes your grandmother "turned on" generations ago. WHEN WE GIVE OUR BODY WHAT IT NEEDS, IT WILL HEAL ITSELF.
So, how is someone suppose to start changing their lifestyle habits? As I have said in the past, one step at a time. First, we need to eliminate foods that not doing us any good at all....the processed, artificial, empty-calorie foods. By empty calories I mean food that usually has many calories and zero nutritional value....soda, chips, cookies, baked goods, doughnuts, pastries, and all the packaged "foods" like Twinkies, Little Debbie products...all that sort of stuff. These things are not food....they are man-made, chemical, sugar and fat-laden, Diabesity-causing foods. So, the first step is to eliminate these culprits.
Just by eliminating the processed, artificial, full of sugar, fat and chemical foods, you will FEEL a difference...and it doesn't take long for this to happen. People that drink a lot of soda everyday, (and believe me, you wouldn't believe how many people that includes!), start by eliminating that...they report back to me the scale started dropping in a very short period of time....just by eliminating their soda consumption! Then, we eliminate the next "culprit" that is bogging us down...the chips, cookies, boxed baked goods...whatever that may be. By approaching this lifestyle change in small steps, it becomes a goal that is achievable for EVERYONE!
So, now that soda and "junk foods" are out of the equation, what are we replacing those "foods" with? Now comes the good part....we are replacing those culprits with REAL FOOD....foods our body can thrive on....fruits and vegetables. Instead of having that mid-afternoon candy bar or some other sugar laden snack, grab a big red apple, or a juicy pear, or a peach...or whatever fruit happens to be in season. It's just as easy to grab a piece of fruit as it is to grab a candy bar. Or, cut up fruits and put them in a ziplock bag and take them to work with you for your snack....it isn't rocket science. Anyone can do this.
If plain water is too boring for you, (I call water "Nature's Champagne"), don't buy "flavored" water in the market..first of all it's expensive and a waste of money, but secondly there is usually other "ingredients" in it that is not going to give you any benefits. Throw some cut up fruits in a pitcher of water and make your own flavored water. I do this everyday...I bought this contraption that has like a long tea strainer that holds the fruit in it and floats in the water. I cut up oranges, strawberries, or whatever fruit I have, and also throw in a few leaves of fresh mint....absolutely delicious!! And, it's so good for you!
So, to summarize, the first step in transitioning to a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHANGE, is to eliminate the artificial, processed, "fake foods", and replace them with REAL FOOD....food that comes from Mother Nature.....Nothing can come close to giving us what we need than foods that come from nature...untouched and unprocessed.
Tomorrow we will go on to Step #2......