2 Things we all agree on, and 1 should be Paleo
Doesn’t that make 3 things?
Recently while I was instructing a group of clinicians, someone brought up the topic of glucose. They asked, “When your patients have glucose problems, what approach do you take?” And I responded; “When it comes to what you have to do to support patients with glucose problems, there are two things that everyone in the healthcare industry agrees on. Obviously we don’t always agree on how to execute those 2 things, but we all know they must be at the core of the overall program. They are; Diet and Exercise.” And the word “diet” should be substituted with The Paleo Diet.
There is no doubt that the lack of control of glucose, or blood sugar as we also call it, is going to derail our healthcare system by itself if we don’t do something to change it. The numbers of individuals dealing with glucose problems is astronomical and continuing to rise. Yet the focus of how to deal with it is wrong, and at best delayed. Some obvious signs that glucose problems exist, is even ignored until a late stage problem has manifested. We call this diabetes.
Satisfied patients speak volumes
Now that we know what everyone in healthcare agrees on, let’s talk about what we don’t, and that is the specifics of the diet and exercise. I’m going to share with you my clinical approach. Why? Because satisfied patients with a new outlook on life say it all. Our ancestors did not deal with diabetes or other blood sugar handling problems like we have today. Therefore, if we delve back into our ancestral roots, we see solutions to our modern day problems.
The Paleo Diet
The first part of the solution comes as the Paleo Diet. I find it interesting that some will say that the Paleo Diet is not suitable for some individuals. You must understand that when someone makes this comment, there is the false assumption that the Paleo Diet is a high protein / fat and / or low carbohydrate diet. Such is not necessarily the case. However, for someone trying to control glucose levels, these ideas of the Paleo Diet shouldn’t exactly be thrown away. The main point is that the Paleo Diet is a diet of real food that is not refined that offers a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. When eaten in this manner, no better diet exists to control glucose levels. This certainly includes the often recommended diets consisting of a large percentage of grains, even the whole grains. When eating the Paleo Diet, you are eating real food and who can realistically argue that eating adulterated food is a better idea to support health than eating real food? No one!
The other agreement among the healthcare community is that exercise is essential to supporting glucose. The reasoning is rather simple. You expend stored glucose when you exercise from the muscles. After exercise, your muscles need to take up glucose, which means that it must remove it from the blood. The more efficient the uptake of glucose into the muscles, the less there is in the blood. with consistency you can achieve normal glucose levels. What kind of exercise is needed is different for everyone. But there are 2 things that your exercising should achieve. It should promote fat loss and support muscle building. When your exercises are promoting muscle break down, and are too long and strenuous in nature you are not achieving muscle build up.Putting our muscles to use will make them use the glucose and in turn will help balance it.
So, we all agree on this one concept; if you need to control your glucose you should be dieting and exercising. But to do this correctly we must take a look back at our ancestors, and remember what our bodies were intended to eat, and how they were intended to move. Eating things that our bodies are designed to process efficiently, and exercising in a way that allows us to maximize muscle growth and glucose control, without over doing it. We can take a page from our ancestors and do it the Paleo way.