Dr. McDougall on how insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes develop:
“It’s a normal adjustment of the body, when we eat all this rich food, to become diabetic.
The body says, “Hey! That’s enough! You’ve put on 30 or 40 pounds, I need to stop gaining weight.” And so what happens is a normal adaptation, and that is, the body becomes insulin resistant. It resists the effects of the hormone insulin.
Insulin is a powerful hormone that drives sugar into your normal cells and drives fat into your fat cells. Well, the body says, “Hey, you’ve driven enough fat into the fat cells, we got to stop doing this. You’re going to become 50, 100, 200, 500 pounds overweight, and we can’t allow that, that’s a survival issue. You won’t be able to get through the door, or climb up the tree to get away from the tiger.”
So the body becomes insulin resistant. And as a result, the fat doesn’t go into the fat cells as easily, and, as a result, the sugar doesn’t go into the regular cells, and, as a result, the blood sugar goes up, and then you’re told you’re a type 2 diabetic.
You’re still making lots of insulin, often you’re making twice as much insulin as somebody without diabetes. It’s just you now have insulin resistance, which is appropriate. Your body is trying to make adjustments for all those extra calories, all that extra fat, all that extra sugar. You can fix this really easily. You just stop that kind of eating, all that rich food.”
Dr. McDougall supports consumption of a low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet – one based on starches such as potatoes, rice, and corn, and which excludes animal foods and added oils.