King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, wrote the following in the book of Proverbs: “My son, eat honey because it is good, and the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste.” Proverbs 24:13
Whether you are talking about honey, salt, religious principles, work, or rest, there is a principle of balance that we need to keep in mind. Solomon also said: “Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit.” Proverbs 25:16. There are many good things to eat in this world, but we must always follow this principle to eat only what is needed.
Here is an example to consider. The global consumption of refined sugar during 2019–2020 amounted to 171.69 million metric tons. Between 2020–2022, the United States alone consumed 11 million metric tons of refined sugar. A large percentage of the sugar consumed is found in soda drinks. On average, a single 12-ounce can of soda contains 12 teaspoons of sugar; and depending on the soda you choose, as much as 16.5 teaspoons per can. The average American drinks about 45 gallons of soda, roughly 470 cans per year. That would be approximately 5,640 to 7,755 teaspoons of sugar consumed just from soda per year.
Source: statista.com/statistics/249692/is-sugar-consumption; madsenmed.com/blog/2017/7/5/-the-average-american-drinks-how-much-soda-per-year
We have known for decades that in any country with an individual consumption of refined sugar that exceeds 70 pounds per year, the incidence of diabetes begins to skyrocket; and this has been occurring in the United States for decades.
As of 2020, in America, over 37.3 million adults 18 years or older—11.3% of the total population—have diabetes. Of that number, 28.7 million are diagnosed with diabetes, with an additional 1.4 million newly diagnosed cases. The remaining 8.6 million have diabetes, but have never been diagnosed and don’t even know they have it. We will soon reach the point when approximately one person in four over the age of 65 years will have diabetes. Diabetes is a very serious metabolic disease.
In 2017, the estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States was approximately $327,000,000,000.00.
Sources: cdc.gov/diabetes/health-equity/diabetes-by-the-numbers; cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics-report/new-diagnosed-diabetes
Diabetes is not a new disease. The classic symptoms of diabetes have long been described as excessive thirst, urination, hunger, fatigue, and weight loss ending in death. It is a much more serious disease today, primarily because so many do not understand how easy it can be to develop diabetes, and that they may already be working their way toward becoming diabetic simply because of their lifestyle and diet.
Hundreds of years ago, people died of diabetes because there was no way to treat it. But in the twentieth century, a treatment was discovered, and diabetics are now treated by administering the insulin hormone. On average, the life expectancy of a person with diabetes is shortened between five and ten years.
Diabetes contributes to many deaths per year. People with diabetes are much more likely to develop heart disease and trouble with their vision. In fact, in adults in the United States, the number one cause of blindness is complications from diabetes. Diabetes is one of the principal factors in almost half of all foot and leg amputations. A foot ulcer is the initial event in more than 85% of major amputations—about 73,000 every year.
In any given year, the annual average of 130 per 100,000 persons with diabetes (12 times greater than persons without diabetes) suffer from kidney disease and are on dialysis. The annual average for those with kidney disease, but without diabetes, is 11 per 100,000 persons.
Diabetes can also cause peripheral neuropathy, which is the result of damage to the nerves found outside the brain and spinal cord. It causes weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet. It can also affect other functions of the body including digestion, urination, and circulation.
Women with diabetes can also have an increased risk of breast and uterine cancers.
So here is the question we should be asking, “What can I do to avoid getting diabetes or if I have it, in addition to medical care, what can I do to prolong my life?”
In recent years, an optimal lifestyle program has been developed that seems to help many diabetics more than any of the drugs that are available. For example, a small study in a California lifestyle center demonstrated that a nutritionally-balanced diet totally free of meat and all other animal products, and high in unrefined vegetarian foods brought complete relief from painful neuropathy in over 80 percent of its diabetic patients in less than three weeks—amazing, considering that neuropathy was considered an incurable condition. Achieving these results also involved regular exercise, hydrotherapy, and exclusion of coffee, tea, alcohol, and tobacco. So, evidence shows that a comprehensive lifestyle approach to diabetes can diminish a person’s risk factors for many of the complications of diabetes.
How do we go about taking this comprehensive lifestyle approach? Let’s first look at a proper diet. There is a popular misconception that those with diabetes must remove carbohydrates from their diet. This has made people afraid of foods like bread, cereal, potatoes, and fruit.
But consider this: there are only three ways to get calories in your diet—protein, fat, or carbohydrates. If you reduce the carb intake, then to get the necessary calories for a healthy diet, you would have to increase your protein and fat intake. Most people then eat more meat, milk, eggs, and cheese. Too much protein is dangerous for anyone, but especially dangerous for a diabetic because too much protein promotes the destruction of the kidneys. Too much fat results in atherosclerosis in everyone, leading to heart and blood vessel disease. It is true that a person can control their blood sugar by eating a high meat diet, but that same person, consuming that same diet, has a greater risk of dying young from heart disease.
Is there a better way? Thankfully, yes. The way for both the diabetic and non-diabetic person to live longer is to consume a high carbohydrate diet that is also high in fiber, but not high in sugar. The intake of refined sugar needs to be dropped to as near zero as possible. The optimal diet will contain complex carbohydrates as they were created in natural foods such as whole grains, legumes, potatoes, vegetables, and whole fruits.
But be mindful, refined carbohydrates—such as white bread, rice, and certain pastas—remove the fiber content and much of the food’s nutritional value, and the carbs become simple sugar. These simple sugars are dangerous when eaten in large quantities. They are associated with dental cavities, obesity, high triglycerides, heart disease, and decreased resistance to disease. And because they are “empty” calories, these simple sugars can also cause malnutrition.
Where can we find a diet that is not filled with refined foods? To the best source of all—God’s word. Genesis 1:29 says, “And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.’ ” The original diet was a high carbohydrate, completely unrefined diet. Adam and Eve were eating the foods the way God created them. When sin came into the world, God added to man’s diet the herb of the field, what we call vegetables today (Genesis 3:18).
Research shows that this diet has tremendous benefits for diabetics, including:
- Reduction in serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Reduction in the risk of death from heart disease and blood pressure
- Reduction in the risk of kidney disease
- Reduction in blood sugar levels
- Reduction of insulin-dependency to zero
- Improvement in gastrointestinal function
- Help with weight loss
Dr. Denis Burkitt found that in countries with diets including large amounts of fiber, there were fewer cases of many of the degenerative diseases that are common in the western world, such as:
- Stroke and heart disease
- Gall bladder, diverticular, and peptic ulcer disease
- Bowel and colon cancers
Fiber is the part of a plant that the digestive system cannot break down and is found only in foods of plant origin. These indigestible carbohydrates are very important to all of us if we want to be healthy, but especially for the diabetic.
Nuts and fruits contain significant amounts of fiber. Foods that are high in fiber tend to slow the rise of blood sugar after eating. A low fat, high fiber, plant-based diet helps to keep blood sugars from spiking too high even when fruit is eaten, thus reducing the need for insulin. In addition, fiber helps to dilute, bind, inactivate, or remove toxic substances and carcinogens that are found in our food.
The diet that is best for a diabetic is also the best diet to avoid developing diabetes, a meat-free diet that contains whole grains—the diet that God gave to our first parents.
Article taken from Hidden Killers, by John J. Grosboll
Available at www.stepstolife.org