Role Of Nutrition In Diabetes Prevention & Cure – QnA with Emma Olliff

Role Of Nutrition In Diabetes Prevention & Cure - QnA with Emma Olliff
Role Of Nutrition In Diabetes Prevention & Cure - QnA with Emma Olliff

Emma Olliff has always been interested in the therapeutic uses of food and the potential impact they can have on health and lifestyle.Emma gained her DipCNM in Naturopathic Nutrition from the prestigious College of Naturopathic Medicine.

She does not believe in diets and instead works on educating each client about living a healthy lifestyle, where they are allowed to eat everything in moderation. Emma also recognises that we are all unique beings and as such always provides a personalised plan to suit each individual rather than adopting a “one size fits all” approach.


In summary, her ethos has developed from combining a love of food with a commitment to promoting good health. From her Brighton and West Sussex clinics Emma Olliff provides nutrition advice of the highest standard to both private and corporate clients.

Here are excerpts from her talk with CureJoy on “Role of Nutrition In Diabetes Prevention and Cure“.



Q. Do nutritional deficiencies lead to Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose level, or the body is unable to use the insulin that is produced – known as insulin resistance. 


Links between vitamin D deficiency and Type II Diabetes have been made.  Life-style factors that are well known to cause Type 2 diabetes including obesity, old age and physical inactivity can also contribute to vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D is believed to help improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels – and thus reduce the risk of insulin resistance, which is often a precursor to type 2 diabetes.


Some scientists also believe this vitamin may help regulate the production of insulin in the pancreas.  Vitamin D levels should ideally be between 20-56 ng/ml (50-140 nmol/l)*, with anything below 20 ng/ml considered deficient.  However, it is now known that raising the amount of vitamin D in your body to around 60-80 ng/ml can help keep blood glucose levels under control, which is vital for people with diabetes.

Q. What preventative diet do you suggest to avoid Diabetes?

Type II Diabetes can be attributed to excess weight, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, smoking and alcohol.  So a preventative diet would include:


1. Switch from refined carbohydrates to whole grains:
If it’s white, don’t bite.  So ditch the white pasta, white bread, potatoes, donuts, sugary breakfast cereals etc.  These foods have a high glycemic index (GI) which means they cause sustained spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn may lead to increased diabetes risk.  Whereas the fibre in whole grains make it more difficult for digestive enzymes to break down the starches into glucose. This leads to lower, slower increases in blood sugar and insulin, and a lower glycemic index. As a result, they stress the body’s insulin-making machinery less, and so may help prevent type 2 diabetes.

2. Skip the Sugary drinks and choose water instead:
Like refined grains, sugary beverages have a high glycemic load, and drinking more of this sugary stuff is associated with increased risk of diabetes.


3. Choose good fats instead of bad fats.
Good fats, such as the polyunsaturated fats found in liquid vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds can help ward off type 2 diabetes. Trans fats do just the opposite.  These bad fats are found in many margarines, packaged baked goods, fried foods in most fast-food restaurants, and any product that lists “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the label. Eating polyunsaturated fats from fish—also known as “long chain omega 3” or “marine omega 3” fats—does not protect against diabetes, even though there is much evidence that these marine omega 3 fats help prevent heart disease.  If you already have diabetes, eating fish can help protect you against a heart attack or dying from heart disease.

4. Limit red meat and avoid processed meat; choose nuts, whole grains, poultry, or fish instead.
The evidence is growing stronger that eating red meat (beef, pork, lamb) and processed red meat (bacon, hot dogs, deli meats) increases the risk of diabetes, even among people who consume only small amounts.  Swapping out red meat or processed red meat for a healthier protein source, such as nuts, low-fat dairy, poultry, or fish, or for whole grains lowered diabetes risk by up to 35 percent. Not surprisingly, the greatest reductions in risk came from ditching processed red meat.


Q. What lifestyle choices are responsible for Diabetes?

Lack of exercise is a contributor here – so get moving.  Inactivity promotes Diabetes so switch off your television and go outside.  You don’t need to take part in a full on high-impact exercise class to reap the benefits.  30 minutes of brisk walking per day will lower your risk by up to 30%.  Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This puts less stress on your insulin-making cells.

If You Smoke, Try to Quit – Add type 2 diabetes to the long list of health problems linked with smoking. Smokers are roughly 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers, and heavy smokers have an even higher risk.

Q. Can a healthy diet reverse (or cure) symptoms of Diabetes?

Absolutely – with Type II Diabetes.  Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune condition and so cannot be cured. It can only be managed through medications, diet and lifestyle changes.

Stay Lean and Keep Active.  Lose some weight, eat a healthy diet and get moving!