I should be diabetic.

I’ve always been overweight. I eat mostly carbs. Part of me figured it was just a matter of time. I’ve even avoided doctor’s visits sometimes because I figured that they’d want to get blood from me and I just … didn’t want to know.

When I had bloodwork done last year, I messaged a friend a triumphant message that I went another year without being diabetic.

Now I know why.

Type II diabetes occurs when the body can not move the glucose in the blood into the cells. Insulin is used to move the sugar. When the body doesn’t respond as it should to the presence of insulin that is called insulin resistance. The underlying cause of insulin resistance is a build up of fat in the muscle that makes muscle cells less responsive.

It took a long time for me to convince the husband of this. When he was first diagnosed as diabetic I read books about fat being the underlying cause. That didn’t fit the narrative that he was hearing from doctors who were telling him to avoid carbs.

When a diabetic eats carbohydrates they are broken down to sugar. The sugar in their blood goes up because the sugar isn’t moving into the cells. That’s a SYMPTOM of the disease – not the cause. Avoiding sugar can keep a person’s numbers low but it doesn’t fix anything.

Avoiding saturated fats by avoiding animal proteins and tropical oils though will help decrease the fat in the muscle cells. This improves sensitivity to insulin. That is working on the cause.

When the husband started this diet, his numbers were high and they were all over the place. He’d get super high and have to take fast acting insulin on top of his daily insulin. He’d get low and have to eat a lot to get it back up. He’d also feel terrible if his blood sugar got into the mid-100s when it should be under 100. If he was under 100 it was time to panic.

Now on a whole food, plant based, naturally low fat diet his day to day numbers are coming down. I don’t think he has had any episodes of being low. He also doesn’t feel terrible if his blood sugar is in the normal range. He’s still on insulin but on a lower dose and he doesn’t need to take fast acting insulin any more.

Joel Fuhrman has written a lot on diabetes and a plant based lifestyle.

You can also check out videos like:

I’m pretty sure that being vegetarian for 20 years was why I didn’t become diabetic. I was protecting myself without really being aware of it.