These two problems are so interlinked that there is a common term – ‘diabesity’ – that describes an individual suffering both diabetes and obesity.
Factors That Can Contribute to Diabetes and Obesity
Diabetes and obesity both require three factors to eventuate; genes, environment (which includes diet, water, toxin exposure, movement and more), and lastly, gut imbalances. Your genes are switched on or off in response to your environment – therefore your genes are not your destiny. Moreover, gut imbalances are highly influenced by an individual’s diet. This means that your environment (and therefore diet) has huge influences on whether you are putting yourself at risk of obesity or diabetes.
It may surprise you that diabetes and obesity both have an autoimmune basis, which Chris Kresser explains in great detail here. This means that sugar alone is not the only cause of obesity and diabetes, and the above factors have a huge part to play – not only do we need to watch our sugar intake, we also need to be extremely careful with processed foods in general. When we say processed foods, we mean foods that aren’t found in nature and that are created by man, including genetically modified foods.
Inflammation has been shown to be a huge factor in the development of diabetes and obesity, therefore it makes sense that reducing our inflammatory levels should be a priority in treatment and prevention.
Which Foods Should We Avoid?
Processed foods include:
- The modern, hybridised form of wheat and gluten, which has been directly linked with high levels of inflammation, leaky gut and autoimmune diseases.
- Genetically modified corn and soy (often used in processed foods as they are highly cost effective) may also lead to gut imbalances and inflammation.
- High fructose corn syrup is just one example of a processed food that causes huge blood sugar irregularities, gut imbalances and inflammation.
- Highly processed vegetable oils that come from genetically modified seeds are high in omega 6 and play a large role in the current obesity epidemic.
- Other foreign additives including preservatives, flavours, flavour enhancers, emulsifiers and other ingredients you may not recognise are likely to cause a level of underlying inflammation.
The consumption of processed foods are not only leading to huge amounts of inflammation in the body, but also gut problems and blood sugar imbalances. We see this in research and also anecdotally, in our clients. When we remove these foods for a period of time, we see inflammatory levels drop and symptoms disappear. When these foods are retested, inflammatory levels rise and symptoms reappear.
I suggest forming a ‘one-ingredient pantry’ of activated nuts, seeds, individual herbs and spices, free range or organic meats, plenty of green leafy vegetables, root vegetables and more. This allows you to create meals that are anti-inflammatory, and made from real, whole foods and begin your healing process – or help prevent obesity and diabetes, two of the most common health epidemics today.
Have you removed these foods and seen an improvement in your weight and blood sugar levels? Let us know!