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Reverse Diabetes in Three Weeks:
21 Day Diet with Low Saturated Fats, High Fiber & 45-Minutes of Moderate Daily Exercise Reverses Metabolic Syndrome and Type-2 Diabetes in Over 50% of Participants

Editorial Note: While there are many similarities between the UCLA Pritikin Longevity Center's approach and the Level 1 Diet approach, there is no connection between our organizations.

The UCLA researchers and both share a common understanding of the current science behind controlling insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome and diabetes with lifestyle and diet modifications.

We offer this study to outline the essential, solid scientific backing to our basic dietary approach to health and reversal of metabolic syndrome or diabetes.

You can download their complete 32-page FREE report in PDF form, directly from the web-site.

“Effect of a diet and exercise intervention on oxidative stress, inflammation, MMP-9, and monocyte chemotactic activity in men with metabolic syndrome factors”

Performed in 2005 by Christian Roberts, et al, at the University of California Los Angeles, and The Pritikin Longevity Center

21 day diet to reverse diabetes and metabolic syndrome...
The 3 week program includes at least 45 minutes of walking per day ― see inset below. The diet lowers saturated fats, trans fats, and omega-6 vegetable oils, while increasing omega-3 oils, whole grains, fish, beans and nuts. It eliminates sugars, refined starches, pastas, fried foods, and red meats. People eat all they want, without calorie counting or portion-size control.
Download the full 33 page study for more details.
Participants walked 45-60 minutes per day, walking to maintain a target range of 70-85% of their maximum estimated target heart rate.
Estimate Your
Target Heart Rate
Enter your Age, choose your Activity and training Status level, then press the Get Your Target button. The other fields below the button will fill automatically with your target beats per minute and maximum heart rate.


Target Range:

From 70% /min.
To 85% /min.

Maximum Heart Rate:

100% /min.
Max. Heart Rate is calculated based on published research from the "Age-predicted maximal heart rate revisited.", Journal of the American College of Cardiology, January, 2001; pages 153-156. To match latest research, we have adjusted the max. heart rate ratio down 3 beats/min. for ages under 30, up 2 beats/min. for ages 50 to 55 and up 4 beats/min. for ages over 55. Your sex, body-mass-index or weight and disease status have not been proven to affect these heart rate calculations.

This three-week diet/exercise study shows 50 percent reversal in metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes Obese and overweight individuals suffering metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes showed significant health improvements after only three weeks of diet and moderate exercise even though the participants remained overweight.

"The study shows, contrary to common belief, that Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome can be reversed solely through lifestyle changes," according to lead researcher Christian Roberts of University of California, Los Angeles.

"This regimen reversed a clinical diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome in about half the participants who had either of those conditions. However, the regimen may not have reversed damage such as plaque development in the arteries," Roberts said. "However, if Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome continue to be controlled, further damage would likely be minimized and it's plausible that continuing to follow the program long-term may result in reversal of atherosclerosis."

"The results are all the more interesting because the changes occurred in the absence of major weight loss, challenging the commonly held belief that individuals must normalize their weight before achieving health benefits," Roberts said. Participants did lose two to three pounds per week, but they were still obese after the 3-week study.

The study, "Effect of a diet and exercise intervention on oxidative stress, inflammation, MMP-9, and monocyte chemotactic activity in men with metabolic syndrome factors," is in the online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology published by the American Physiological Society. Researchers were Christian K. Roberts, Dean Won, Sandeep Pruthi, Silvia Kurtovic, and R. James Barnard, all of UCLA; Ram K. Sindhu of Charles R. Drew University, Los Angeles; and Nosratola D. Vaziri of University of California, Irvine.

The study involved 31 men who ate a high-fiber, low-fat diet with no limit to the number of calories they could consume. The participants also did 45-60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day on a treadmill.

Fifteen of the men had metabolic syndrome, a condition that is characterized by excessive abdominal fat, insulin resistance, and blood fat disorders such as high levels of triglycerides (fat in the blood) or low levels of HDL (high density lipoprotein, or "good" cholesterol). Thirteen of the participants had Type 2 diabetes. There was also some overlap between the two groups and some participants who had neither metabolic syndrome nor Type 2 diabetes, but were overweight or obese.

"The diet, combined with moderate exercise, improved many factors that contribute to heart disease and that are indirect measures of plaque progression in the arteries, including insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and markers of developing atherosclerosis," Roberts said. "The approach used in this experiment of combining exercise with a diet of unlimited calories is unusual."

Low-Calorie Foods

The participants in the current study, who ranged in age from 46 to 76 years old, took part in a 21-day residential program at the Pritikin Longevity Center, formerly in Santa Monica, combining the Pritikin diet and exercise program. The daily diet was low fat (12-15% of calories), moderate protein (15-20% of calories), and high in unrefined carbohydrates (65-70% of calories) and fiber (more than 40 grams).

Natural foods -- whole grains (five or more servings daily), vegetables (four or more servings), and fruits (three or more servings) -- were the main source of daily carbohydrates. The sources of protein were plants (such as soy, beans, and nuts), nonfat dairy (up to two servings daily), and fish and poultry (3.5-ounce portion once a week and in soups and casseroles twice a week). The remainder of the calories came from fat with a polyunsaturated-to-saturated fatty acid ratio of 2.4 to 1.

"Aside from meat and dairy, the study participants could eat as much as they wanted," Roberts said. "Because the food was not as high calorie as a typical American diet, the participants ate less before feeling full. This is a departure from most diets, which usually leave the dieter feeling hungry," he said.

The men also exercised daily on a treadmill, including level and graded walking, for 45-60 minutes. The exercise program was tailored to ensure each individual reached 70-85% of maximum heart rate.

Next Steps

Trials outside the laboratory environment are needed to test the regimen in the general population. "The findings are likely generalizable, although the magnitude of change is proportional to the degree of abnormality when the person begins the regimen," Roberts added.

Scientists also need to determine whether long-term lifestyle change can prevent or reverse end-organ damage noted in those with metabolic syndrome or Type 2 diabetes, Roberts said. These changes may be difficult to make but the payoff for individuals and society could be enormous.

Further studies are also needed in those who are at risk for metabolic syndrome or Type 2 diabetes. Individuals should still be tested to see if Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome can be prevented in the first place. Individuals may be considered healthy before developing metabolic syndrome but looking healthy does not necessarily mean being healthy, he noted.

Source and Funding

"Effect of a diet and exercise intervention on oxidative stress, inflammation, MMP-9, and monocyte chemotactic activity in men with metabolic syndrome factors," by Christian K. Roberts, Dean Won, Sandeep Pruthi, Silvia Kurtovic, and R. James Barnard, of the Department of Physiological Science at UCLA; Ram K. Sindhu of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Medicine at Charles R. Drew University, Los Angeles; and Nosratola D. Vaziri of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Department of Medicine at University of California, Irvine is in the online issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology published by the American Physiological Society.

Research was supported by a grant from the LB Research and Education Foundation, an independent foundation in California and a National Research Scholarship Award postdoctoral fellowship from the NIH.

The American Physiological Society was founded in 1887 to foster basic and applied bioscience. The Bethesda, Maryland-based society has more than 10,000 members and publishes 14 peer-reviewed journals containing almost 4,000 articles annually.

APS provides a wide range of research, educational and career support and programming to further the contributions of physiology to understanding the mechanisms of diseased and healthy states. In May 2004, APS received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).

About the Level 1 Diet

The Level 1 Diet emphasizes a "directed ad libidum" or "channeled free will" kind of diet. There is no calorie counting or direct portion control, although adherents will find that they feel full and satisfied earlier than might be expected and will end up eating less. After a few days, food cravings usually completely disappear; for some people this happens in only 12 hours or less. Despite the lack of calorie restrictions, people following this plan usually lose weight, at around 1.5 to 2 pounds per week. As they approach their ideal weight, the weight-loss slows a bit. At this point the dieters can comfortably increase their exercise regimen, to accelerate the loss until their goal is reached. For some the weight loss can be dramatic and rapid, as they discontinue the gorging that had been caused by an uncontrolled metabolism, and begin to experience well regulated blood sugars. The dieters usually report that they have more energy, are more alert and sleep better than since they were much younger. As their inflammation levels decrease, dieters report dramatic decreases in aches and pains, soreness in their joints, and stiffness. By the end of the first month, tests by the dieters' physicians usually show major decreases in blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, c-reactive protein, lipoprotein-(a), LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Good HDL cholesterol is usually higher as desired, while fibrinogen, blood clotting and adhesion factors are significantly reduced. In many cases, doctors may begin decreasing various prescribed medicines when they think they are no longer needed.**

The Level 1 Diet breakdown ― Level 1 fats include generous amounts of healthy omega-3 long chain unsaturated fats from fish, and some medium chain saturated fats from palm or coconut oils, plus monounsaturated fats from virgin olive oils (fats total about 15% of the calories). Vegetable oils with high levels of omega-6 fats are avoided, since they are known to be a major factor that increases inflammation. These high omega-6 oils include oils from corn, soybeans, peanuts, cottonseed, and most other vegetable oils except canola, which is considered barely acceptable. Level 1 proteins include mainly beans, nuts, seeds and legumes, with moderate amounts of lean, free-range meats and poultry, or wild fish (proteins total about 20% of the total calories). Finally, Level 1 carbs include a large amount of fresh, high fiber, high antioxidant fruits, berries and vegetables (carbs end up totaling about 65% of the calories). Those percentages are merely averages. Remember, we don't count calories or strictly control portions. Level 1 spices include frequent and generous use of cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cloves, capsaicin red pepper, and many more phyto-nutrient-spices that have been proven to enhance control of many diseases related to inflammation. Level 1 dietary supplements include optimum, effective doses of the nutrient cofactors that have been proven to be associated with decreased inflammation and improved health; fish oil, borage oil, ester vitamin-c with bioflavinoids, biotin, high EGCG green tea extract, magnesium citrate, gamma and alpha forms of vitamin-e, folic acid with vitamins b12 and b6, coenzyme q-10, alpha lipoic acid, n-acetyl-cysteine, and some others. Level 1 outlines an everyday low-impact aerobic cardiovascular exercise program. The workout includes at least 30-minutes of daily moderate walking, swimming, rowing, or cycling for metabolic and stimulation and physical conditioning. Use of an inexpensive portable digital heart rate monitor for maintaining target effective-range is encouraged, see the discussion above. The Level 1 Diet aims at dramatic reductions in markers of systemic inflammation, together with slow but steady weight loss and reversal of many of the symptoms of degenerative diseases known to be associated with inflammation.

Next read:   How I Lost Over 85 Pounds, Reversed Metabolic Syndrome and Beat Type-2 Diabetes with the Anti-Inflammation Level 1 Diet How I Lost Over 85 Pounds, Reversed Metabolic Syndrome and Beat Type-2 Diabetes with My Anti-Inflammatory Health Program

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to use our Contact Us page.
We try to answer all your questions in a day or two.

**NOTE: Patients are strongly advised NEVER to discontinue any medicine without their doctor's permission. Stopping some medications can be dangerous. Always talk with your doctor before engaging in any new diet, supplementation, and exercise program.

*All information on is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Before changing your diet, or adding supplements to your diet, or beginning an exercise program, everyone should consult a qualified and licensed health practitioner; a physician, dietician or similar professional.

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Replace omega-6 vegetable oils with omega-9 olive oil... Eat oily fish like tuna, sardines, anchovy, salmon, herring... Beans, lentils, peas add fiber... Nine or more 3-ounce servings of fruits or vegetables per day...