Tim Noakes is a South African scientist and an emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town. He’s run over 70 marathons and ultramarathons and written books about exercise and diet. He is (in)famous for his large body of work in sports science and a low-carb, high-fat diet, as explained in his books The Real Meal Revolution and Lore of Nutrition: Challenging Conventional Dietary Beliefs.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where your body has trouble handling sugar, known as glucose. Normally, a hormone called insulin helps the sugar from your food get into your cells to give them energy.
But in diabetes, something goes wrong with insulin.
There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.
In Type 1, your body doesn’t make enough insulin, so you need to take insulin injections to help. The causes are somewhat complex.
Type 2 diabetes, however, is reversable and happens when your body doesn’t use insulin properly or doesn’t make enough of it. This happens because of a poor lifestyle, like eating too much sugar or maintaining a high-carbohydrate diet.
I am an advocate – and follower – of a low-carb (ketogenic) diet.
When you eat very few carbohydrates, your body starts to burn fat instead of carbs for energy. This leads to a metabolic state known as ketosis. During ketosis, your liver converts fat into small energy units called ketones, which are used by your brain and other organs.
Following a ketogenic diet typically results in a significant drop in insulin levels.
This decrease in insulin enables your body to tap into its fat reserves for energy. Many studies have demonstrated substantial weight loss with the keto diet without the need for calorie counting.
Additionally, a low-carb diet lowers blood sugar levels.
As an aside, Professor Thomas Seyfried argues that cancer is effectively treated with a ketogenic diet, and has a lot of supporting scientific research.
While Type 1 is not really reversable, the good news is that Type 2 is.