How to Reverse Diabetes Through Nutrition

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Genius Life #192

In this podcast, Max talks to Dr. Jason Fung, a Toronto-based nephrologist, obesity expert and co-host of the Low Carb MD Podcast. He is the author of The Obesity Code and The Diabetes Code, and co-author of The Complete Guide to Fasting and The Longevity Solution

His latest book (with Eve Mayer and Megan Ramos) is Life in the Fasting Lane: How to Make Intermittent Fasting a Lifestyle, and Reap the Benefits of Weight Loss and Better Health.

At the beginning of this episode around 6 minutes Dr. Fung talks about one of the biggest issues that frustrates me in today’s modern world when it comes to doctors and health. That being the inability of the medical world to say what’s in front of their faces.

When an obese person walks into a doctors clinic and is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. There is no discussion or intervention attempts to help that person understand that their weight is the prime driving factor of their diabetes.

His explanation begins:

“One of the things we’ve been seeing a lot of especially in the last few years is diabetic kidney disease. The thing about diabetes is that 90-95% of it is type 2 diabetes. Which is actually a reversible condition”

“All of this disease which comes from type 2 diabetes such as heart disease, cancer, strokes, blindness, amputation and kidney disease just to name a few, is actually all completely preventable if you reverse the diabetes”

“The key of course is to lose weight. Almost everybody (in the medical industry) knows that if you lose weight, diabetes either gets better or goes away completely. For decades the standard of teaching was that it wasn’t possible. That type 2 diabetes was chronic, progressive, and once you had it, it was going on forever”

“Nobody ever tried to reverse type 2 diabetes. Even though we (physicians) knew, everybody knew that it was reversible. We had convinced ourselves that it wasn’t. In fact it was just in the last month that guidelines were published as to how diabetes 2 patients could be classified as being in remission.”

“Before that they (the medical industry) just denied it was possible. Saying; if you had it, you had it for the rest of your life.”

“It’s an interesting progression” that finally the medical industry has added a remission classification under type 2 diabetes. It is a step in the right direction.

This is how Dr. Fung got into weight loss and nutrition specifically, because he realised it was something which was key to helping his patients. He goes on to say:

“If you have diabetic kidney disease, there is nothing you can do about it unless you get rid of the diabetes.”

“If losing weight is what you need to get rid of it (diabetes 2), then you need to lose weight.”

“Doctors had just given up the entire (nutrition) space to Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig.” 

“There was no science in the whole medical weight loss space. It was ridiculous that doctors were not in the least bit interested. You didn’t get taught in medical school. You didn’t get taught during residency. Even though we (physicians) knew it played such a huge massive important role in causing all the diseases that we see”

“Who denies that losing weight can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancers for an example”

“So even though we knew it was a huge part of overall health. Physicians weren’t in the least bit interested.”

This was the reason Dr. Fung went in the direction he did. He began looking closer at the diet and how to use tools such as intermittent fasting to reduce the risks of these diseases. He continues to say:

“There was this whole idea that fasting was going to kill us. Even though people were overweight and diabetic. It was crazy because I had patients who were 500lbs, on 100’s of units of insulin. And they were being told by their physicians to eat even if they were not hungry.”

“Why!? Why would you want to do that!? If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. Let your body burn down some of this body fat, because that’s the body’s way of storing calories.”

“But that was the standard physician teaching. You must eat. You must eat. Even to lose weight. And that just defies all common sense”

“Physicians then tried to say; by not eating you will burn down your muscle. Do you really think our bodies are that stupid!? If you store calories as fat, and as soon as you need it, you burn muscle.”

This is not how we survived to be the dominant species on the earth. This simply does not make sense.

“You store calories as fat when you need it because when you’re not eating, your body will use the stored fat as energy.”

There were so many misconceptions within the medical industry. And Dr Fung worked to overcome and break through many of these misconceptions to help drive the industry forward in their thinking and teaching.

Interestingly this is one of the reasons I also got into the field of health and nutrition. I saw my family members’ health in England deteriorate year after year, visiting doctors, receiving more pills for their various illnesses. Whilst not once being advised or assisted as to how to lose weight to improve their metabolic health. Which could ultimately help them beat the diseases and remove the need for a lifetime of medication.

Fortunately the medical industry is slowly changing and reversing this. But it’s a big machine to reverse. And most doctors do not have the time, or the training, to help patients with this.

If you want to learn more about this subject and what Dr. Fung has to say about improving your health and fighting off chronic diseases through nutrition, then listen to this podcast and learn:

  • The key to sending type two diabetes into remission and eliminating its associated risks.
  • Why reducing obesity is a matter of controlling the environment, rather than pointing to an epidemic level failure of willpower.
  • Why getting a regular intake of natural foods, while reducing/eliminating highly processed garbage food matters more than counting macronutrients.
  • Why you shouldn’t believe everything you read. Just because an industrially processed box of food at the grocery store is marketed as being “healthy” doesn’t make it so. No matter how many red heart logos they can fit on the package.
  • Why are we compelled to keep eating ultra-processed foods, but can control and know when to stop when eating whole natural foods (hint: it’s by design).
  • And, as always, so much more!

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