When people are diagnosed with diabetes, they get advice from either a dietician or a nutritionist, or even the doctor to help control carbohydrate intake.
They go on something called a “low carbohydrate diet”, and the aim and goals of doing this is to help reduce the blood sugar so they can control their diabetes.
I recently spoke to a gentleman who spent some time in Cambodia. And he told me that a lot of the Cambodians were diabetics. And according to him, this was probably down to all the rice they ate over there.
Knowing what I know about carbohydrates and insulin resistance, I wasn’t quite sold on the idea that the abundance of diabetes in that part of the world was attributed to rice intake.
So I did a bit of research on this, and went back to him and asked him what they ate with the rice? He told me they ate a lot of fish!
The aim of this article is to clear up any confusion, and explain to you what science tells us about the subject.
Hopefully, this will allow you to make wise choices because there’s nothing more frustrating than being a diabetic and not being able to manage your blood sugar levels, even when you are taking insulin, or taking some of these other oral medications.
I’d like to bring to your attention a number of studies looking at fish and its effects on blood sugar. After that, you guys can decide for yourselves!…
In the past three years, at least six prominent meta-analyses looked at the relationship between fish consumption and type II diabetes. The whole point of conducting a meta-analysis is to bunch together a group of the best studies and see what the overall balance of studies shows. The simple fact that there were six in three years goes to show just how open this question remains.
One thing of note is that fish consumers in the United States tended to be exposed to a greater risk of developing diabetes. If you include Europe too, fish eaters appear to have a 38% increase risk of diabetes.
On a per-serving basis, there appeared to be an increase of a 5% risk per serving per week. If you put that into perspective, the serving of red meat appeared to show a 19% increase risk (per day), so just one serving of fish per week equates to a 5% increase, and if you worked out the daily amount, that would be a 35% increase.
So the risk of fish triggering diabetes is actually worse than red meat.
Fish intake of omega-3 fats may increase type II diabetes by increasing blood sugar levels, as found in the view of the evidence commissioned by the US government: an increase in blood sugar levels in diabetics given fish oil.
Omega 3s cause oxidative stress. A recent study found that the insulin producing cells found in the pancreas don’t appear to work as well in people who eat two or more servings of fish a week.
Fish is not the only thing that does this to blood sugar, beef contributes to insulin resistance as well.
In fact, it’s not just fish and beef; it can even be dairy products as well.
The way it does this is to actually get into the muscle fibers in your body, and it prevents them from being able to respond properly to glucose.
This insulin resistance can happen quite quickly. They did an experiment back in the 70s where they took healthy test subjects and fed them a high-fat diet, and two days later, they were diabetic!
In fact, it can happen even more quickly than that. There was a doctor who had a half a cup of olive oil, and then had a pizza later, and six hours later he was diabetic!
Even the BBC Got In On the Act
They did a documentary on 2 physicians who also happened to be brothers, even better, they were identical twins. So they had exactly the same genetics.
For 30 days, they wanted to test out whether high carb or low carb was better. So they had one twin eat nothing but fat, he had absolutely no fruits, no pasta, no grains, and no source of carbs for three days.
Then his twin brother ate white flour, pasta, bagels, jelly beans, and all sorts of no fat and high carb stuff: all the food that people say contributes to diabetes.
At the end of 30 days, what was really fascinating was that they both lost weight. The low carb twin lost slightly more weight but more of that weight was from actually muscle tissue and not fat loss. This was probably attributed to the reduced caloric intake.
But what was really fascinating was what was happening to both of them and what happened to the insulin sensitivity.
The twin brother who was eating high carbs and nothing but sugar and white flour and all the foods you would have thought that made him diabetic actually increased is insulin sensitivity. So he became even more sensitive to insulin and less diabetic, although he didn’t start out diabetic at all.
However, his twin brother who was on the low carb, high-fat diet, by the end of the 30 days, he was actually pretty diabetic! So he wasn’t drinking any soda, he wasn’t eating any sugars, no white flour, no meat and dairy but this made him pretty diabetic!
So if you are diabetic, and you are frustrated, and you want to control your diabetes naturally, the absolute best way to do that would to be a high carb, low fat, low glycemic/plant based diet.
So in other words, don’t do what the twin brother did, who ate all the jelly beans, and white flowers, even though it actually helped him out.
You need to have fiber; because you need fiber nutrients that come with sweet potatoes, beans, fruit and vegetables.
However, it is the fats, in particularly the saturated fats that even in fish; polyunsaturated fats will affect your insulin resistance. If you remove those from your diet, you will find that you should be able to manage your diabetes quite well.