Ann Dapice: Ancestors lead the way in battle against diabetes

Ann Dapice discusses how diet contributes to the battle against diabetes in Indian Country:
This is a “good news, bad news story.” The good news is that in advance of conventional Western medicine, American Indian healthcare activists began showing more than a decade ago that Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented and treated by diet. That means that Alzheimer’s can be prevented! That there is prevention for Alzheimer’s is very big news in the medical community. The bad news is that if we as Indian people don’t immediately respond with appropriate integration of ancestral practices, we are in for very hard times—a later stage of conquest and greed. But with many countries now experiencing high rates of Type Two Diabetes and related diseases, this conquest now affects the world.

The conquerors this time are global corporations that have knowledgeably and purposely introduced high fructose corn syrup into almost all foods with the effects of skyrocketing disease rates beyond imagination. Nutrition researcher John Yudkin wrote Pure, White and Deadly in 1972 saying that sugar was the culprit in Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. The result was a furious response from the food industry and scientific gatekeepers. He was effectively sidelined until his death. Engineered for the greatest sweetness, numerous studies now demonstrate that intense sweeteners, both caloric and artificial non-caloric, become the chosen addictive drug over cocaine, even for cocaine addicts. We know that grains and antibiotics have for some time been fed to animals for the purpose of fattening them earlier for market. Not only does this practice provide hints for our human obesity, it affects our defenses against infectious disease and removes important gut organisms now found to be related to appetite and a number of diseases.

Too many health professionals continue to go along with erroneous diet recommendations in daily television and newspapers. Unfortunately, there are still programs pushing high sugar juices and other supposedly healthy high carbohydrate foods for our children that result in obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in our young. Such programs also place children in exercise programs that, while critical to mental and physical health and functioning, are not sufficient to change the rates of obesity and diabetes—as noted at the recent World Diabetes Congress in 2013. Beyond that, we know that fat cells in fetuses formed from high sugar diets in the mother will have life-long impact on her children after birth.

Get the Story:
Ann Dapice: Still Killing Us—Neither Slowly nor Softly (Indian Country Today 4/29)

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