While we are all aware that there is an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes in this country, we don’t always know how best to combat it. Research scientist Dr. Joseph Evans was a guest recently on “The Wellness Hour,” a weekly natural health and nutrition radio show I co-host. He has over 25 years of experience and development in natural products and pharmaceutical interventions for insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Dr. Evans has published over 40 scientific papers on this subject and he had many helpful suggestions for dealing with these maladies.
There is an official “diabetic diet,” of which Dr. Evans informed us. It’s a diet that has been around for many years—the Low Glycemic Index diet. Foods on the high end of the Index are the ones that spike blood sugar levels in the body because they convert to sugar so rapidly, foods like candy, desserts, white bread, and plain old sugar itself. And let’s not forget corn--a very High Glycemic Index food! Not surprisingly, Dr. Evans pointed out that high fructose corn syrup is ubiquitous in the general food supply and it aggravates all of the conditions listed above. And it’s sneaky too; it’s hidden in so many things and it’s not quite as self-evident as a spoonful of sugar or a piece of cake.
Another eating plan that Dr. Evans strongly recommends is the much applauded Mediterranean Diet. He said it is excellent for regulating blood sugar and to maintain weight loss because of its emphasis on fresh produce, olive oil, fiber and lean protein. And speaking of protein, I asked about the high protein/low-carbohydrate diets. Protein is supposed to be so good for blood sugar control. Dr. Evans pointed out that while that is true, diabetics have to be careful not to eat too much protein because it can negatively impact the kidneys, and often diabetics have trouble with their kidneys.
As far as nutritional health supplements are concerned, taking minerals like chromium, magnesium and manganese are important for diabetics because often they are low in these particular minerals. But the star of his recent research has proved to be the antioxidant Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA). Studies have shown that ALA has a positive impact on neuropathy in diabetics, that it improves insulin sensitivity, and also mediates oxidative stress.