A Sweeter Solution

© Jane and Lino Stanchich

Diabetes has become a crisis, reaching epidemic proportions and affecting more than 34 million Americans. Half of those are unaware that they have this life-threatening, often debilitating disease, which is now the seventh leading cause of death in America and a principle cause of blindness and amputations in adults. Diabetic symptoms are often tremendously costly- in human suffering and in medical dollars to the US. 


One third of Americans born in 2000 will get diabetes, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This same report estimates that Americans are as likely to develop diabetes, as they are breast cancer. Half of all Hispanic women and a large majority of other minorities are predicted to develop diabetes. This largely preventable and controllable disease devoured over $327 billion US health dollars in one year, 2017. Today, 2021 cost have risen above that, but are not yet calculated. The US Government and schools are making some strides in educating the public about symptoms of diabetes and its prevention and reversal, which hopefully will help.

Diabetes Mellitus is a major chronic disease separated into three categories: Type I, Type II, and Gestational. These occur when the pancreas no longer produces adequate insulin to neutralize excess blood sugar or when cells are unable to respond to the insulin that is produced. Diabetes is known to present with severe symptoms including: Kidney failure, heart disease, blindness, stroke, nervous system disorders, and limb amputation. Now, even cancer is being researched as a possible result of blood sugar disorders. 

NOTE: The ADA has all the testing procedures and standard numbers/blood sugar levels for different types of diabetes. VISIT:

Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus Type I, also known as “Juvenile Diabetes,” an autoimmune disease affecting 1.6 million Americans has risen 30% from 2017. This type of diabetes typically begins in childhood or adolescence, usually with a sudden onset. It occurs when the body produces little or no insulin and, thus is called “insulin-dependent,” requiring medical care and a daily injection of insulin to balance the blood sugar levels. Today, insulin pumps are installed in the body to inject insulin as required.

More and more adults are now developing Type 1 Diabetes, while approximately 2% of pregnant women develop Gestational Diabetes and face a higher risk for chronic Type 2 Diabetes in their future. Diet is still extremely important for Type 1 diabetics to help control blood sugar and achieve greater health.


Before people develop Type 2 Diabetes, they almost always have “ pre-diabetes,” a condition that has few symptoms. Upon AIC testing, the pre-diabetic shows elevated blood sugar but not as high as diabetes. In 2013-16, the number of Americans 18 and older with pre-diabetes was 15.3 million. By 2018 (latest figures,) 88 million Americans age 18 and older had pre diabetes. Note the startling 6 times increase in just two years.* A person with pre-diabetes does not always develop diabetes and many have totally avoided the condition through diet and lifestyle changes. A weight loss of 7% or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds reduces chances of developing diabetes by 58%!

Exercising 30 minutes a day for five days a week also reduces chances of developing diabetes. We recommend you do more, building up slowly taking more time out of doors, breathing fresh air, walking with friends. No need to walk fast or jog. Keeping at a pace to carry on a conversation is fine. * Taking responsibility for one’s health is the smartest action one can take, as one’s health determines quality of life, enjoyment or suffering, vitality or pain, as well as better jobs, mental state, and emotions. Get any support you need. Read our recommendations for daily self-care and simple steps to staying healthy. 



Type 2 Diabetes is the most prevalent form in America. Of the 34 million who have diabetes now in the US, 90%-95% have Type 2, which is preventable and can be reversible. With Type 2 Diabetes the body doesn’t use insulin properly or excrete an adequate amount, as we described above. Many medical experts agree that this type of diabetes is preventable and often reversible with changes in diet, weight, and exercise. While some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to manage their blood sugar. Logically and simply stated, the better one does with diet and lifestyle, the better the results. An ounce of prevention IS worth a pound of cure.

We recommend you study well, eat carefully, exercise sufficiently, and relieve stress. Also, speak with your health professional/physician and a local Diabetes Educator to help create a plan including monitoring so that you create positive results and track your progress. Remember, some “authorities” recommend consuming meat, dairy and even sugar, which we highly discourage, so discuss your healthful eating plan with your counselors. Getting regular check ups and knowing your blood sugar numbers is important. Stay informed. Don’t try to do this on your own. Advanced diabetes may produce severe, life-threatening, and even fatal results. Diagnosis and monitoring is important for any life-threatening illness.


Many people are not aware they have diabetes. Often the Type 2 diabetic may visit the doctor or health professional for seemingly unrelated symptoms including: obesity, heart disease, urinary tract disorders, gum infections, blurred vision, tingling or numbness in the feet or legs, or slow-healing wounds. Then, often surprisingly, blood and urine tests for glucose reveal that they have diabetes. Symptoms include: feeling tired and ill, excessive urination, extreme thirst, increased appetite, or unexplained weight loss. Type I diabetics may experience ketoacidosis that causes nausea, abdominal pain, rapid breathing, fatigue, and drowsiness which can lead to coma and death. 

How does diabetes develop? 

What we eat and drink creates the sugar in our blood. The pancreas secretes insulin in response to that sugar. Sugared sodas, especially those made from high fructose corn sweeteners enter the blood stream the fastest and have the greatest impact. The more sugar and refined carbohydrates, (yin) eaten, the more insulin, (yang,) will be required. A rise in blood sugar occurs when the pancreas pumps out more and more insulin to balance consumed sugars eventually failing to keep up with the demand and succumbing to what diabetologists call “pancreatic exhaustion.” When this happens, the individual’s blood sugar rises out of control, and diabetes results.


Other serious diseases can also result from blood sugar imbalances. Heart Disease and Cancer are both affected by insulin and blood sugar levels. High triglyceride levels and high blood pressure, or lower levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good cholesterol”,) can result in what is known as “Metabolic Syndrome.”


Medical reports indicate that the causes of Type I diabetes include hereditary factors, genetic markers, and viral infection. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include: Obesity, family history, being African American, Native American, Hispanic, or Native Hawaiian; having high blood pressure and/or cholesterol imbalance; having previous gestational diabetes or delivering a baby weighing over 9 pounds. Many common medications also interfere with the body’s use of insulin and can cause secondary diabetes. While we cannot change our age or family history we can change our weight and blood sugar levels by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle.


Much current research demonstrates that the causes of Type 2 Diabetes are primarily dietary. Various scientific studies calculate that Americans annually consume between 77 pounds and 120 pounds of refined sugar per person, per year. They also consume artificial chemical sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, fruit sweeteners, and myriad sugar substitutes, as well as wine, beer, and other alcohol. It takes three feet of sugar cane to make one teaspoon of white refined sugar - that is what refinement is all about: extracting one element from a food, cooking it down, adding chemicals, drying it, and throwing away all the beneficial fiber and minerals. 

People love a sweet flavor and food companies are more than happy to satisfy this addiction. Processed foods and beverages contain large amounts of refined sweeteners, especially white sugar and high fructose corn syrup, which have a shocking impact on human blood, body organs and contribute to obesity. These all contribute to the development of diabetes.


The solution is: Read Labels carefully! (HINT: Take your reading glasses with you to the store.) The ingredients are listed by the largest percentage in the product, the highest amounts are at the top. Avoid foods with refined white sugars, their related sweeteners, and chemicals! See the full list in “References” below. 

According to Michio Kushi and Alex Jack in their book, The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health, “Consumption of too much sugar, honey, chocolate, and other concentrated sweeteners; milk, ice cream, butter, yogurt, and other light dairy foods; light refined pastries and flour products; tropical vegetables and fruits; spices; stimulants; alcohol and drugs and other excessive yin (energy that is expanding and weakening) substances can cause the pancreas to grow soft, loosen, or swell, contributing to diabetes.” 

When the pancreas becomes too exhausted, expanded, hard, or inflamed, it loses its ability to secrete adequate insulin. If one eats simple refined sugars (found in virtually all processed and restaurant foods,) they metabolize too quickly, causing an acidic condition in the blood. The pancreas is then triggered to secrete insulin to match the excess sugar. As the macrobiotic authors, Kushi and Jack state, “Sugar begins to appear in the urine, the body loses water, and reserve minerals are depleted.” This state can lead to dizziness, fainting, shock, and diabetic coma. 


Another tremendous risk factor for diabetes is dietary fat. Dairy, a dietary fat, often has a detrimental influence. A 1992 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine reported that children who drank cow’s milk increased their risk of developing diabetes. In addition, a plant-based dairy-free diet has been shown to reduce body fat as well as cholesterol, another risk associated with diabetes. The Cleveland Clinic also recommended reducing saturated fat, which is mainly found in meat and dairy to control diabetes.


As the Cleveland Clinic Medical Information states, “Complex carbohydrates are considered very healthy, mostly because they are digested by the body slowly and provide a steady source of energy.” Containing high fiber, complex carbohydrates are shown to slow sugar absorption, thus helping to better control blood glucose levels. Complex carbohydrates including low-fat and high mineral whole grains, beans, vegetables, and seeds have been proven healthier for the body and thus the pancreas. 

Widely used artificial sweeteners are not the answer for either health or weight control. Studies by Drs. Richard and Rachael Heller concluded that artificial sweeteners (refined carbohydrates), put the body in a fat-making mode, making it easier to gain and more difficult to lose weight. Logical sense tells us that excess sugar consumption produces sugar in the blood and urine. The body cannot properly process the invasion of excess refined sweeteners. Obesity is one of the main causes of diabetes. 

We all need our sweets!

To prevent diabetes, we can enjoy our cookies, cakes, fudge and pies using natural sweeteners such as: organic complex-carbohydrate whole grains sweeteners including brown rice syrup, maple syrup, brown rice malt, and barley malt. Some like pure stevia leaf sweeteners. We can also enjoy sweet vegetables, vegetable juices, seasonal fruits and berries, and amasake rice beverages that satisfy sweet cravings naturally. They are REAL foods, not processed foods, and they really satisfy. Look for cookbooks with vegan ingredients and natural sweeteners.


It is recommended that you include several special recipes along with a balanced plant-based diet to prevent and help treat diabetes. Recipe link below.

1.     Aduki beans, cooked with kombu sea vegetable, sea salt, and sweet winter squash, a classic macrobiotic dish.

2.     Sweet Vegetable Drink, easily prepared with sweet squash, carrot, onion, and cabbage calms sweet cravings and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. See recipe:

3.     Millet is the best grain for the pancreas and spleen and can be made in a variety of delicious dishes, including porridge, soup, millet mashed potatoes, loaves, and croquettes. 

4.    Cinnamon is also shown to help balance blood sugar levels. Use it on morning porridge, in sweet potatoes, a dash in warm tea, and in stewed apples.

NOTE: If you test you blood sugar after a plant-based meal, we recommend you wait 1-2 hours for the food to process and digest well. 

See recipes:


Obesity is an alarming problem in modern America where 61% are considered overweight. It is estimated that 1 in 4 Americans, including adolescents, are obese. Overweight is a contributing factor to the development of diabetes. 89% of people with diabetes are overweight or obese. The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health published a study revealing:

1.    A weight gain of just over 2 pounds each year over 10 years was associated with a 49% increased risk of developing diabetes.

2.    A weight loss of over 2 pounds per year for 10 years decreased the risk of developing diabetes by one third. 

Chew Your Food Well!

Consciousness for How to EAT Wisely

Chewing well has profound benefits for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Carbohydrates must be pre-digested in the mouth to be better processed and absorbed by the body. Lino Stanchich writes in his book, Power Eating Program: You Are How You Eat that chewing well helps metabolize carbohydrates by pre-digesting them in the mouth. This helps the spleen and pancreas function efficiently to produce the right amount of insulin to stabilize blood sugar.

After chewing well, (until food is liquefied,) digestion and absorption increase, vitality boosts, thinking sharpens, moods relax, and sweet cravings decrease. It makes us feel satisfied because we derive the most out of our food!  Many people lose excess weight from chewing well. Whichever diet you choose, chew your mouthfuls well. Of course, coupling a healthy whole foods diet with calm, thorough chewing is an unbeatable combination, a true foundation to a healthier, happier life.

Move it or lose it!

Statistics show that over 38% of Americans with diabetes are physically inactive. If one wants to improve their total health and help treat their diabetes, exercise along with a healthy diet works wonders. “Conventional wisdom dictates that a lifestyle change - eating modifications and exercise - can reduce diabetes risk as well as add many, many health benefits,” says H. Resnick, Ph.D., a Washington D.C. epidemiologist. Jaakko Tuomilehto, MD, a professor at the National Public Health Institute of Helsinki, Finland, completed research that shows that weight loss and moderate exercise together can produce greater results. “Lifestyle modification reduced the incidence of Type 2 diabetes by 58% in people at high risk for the disease.”

Yo Yo dieters, those who lose and gain again and again do not have lasting benefits. “It’s only when they become committed to improving their health that results become long lasting,” states Dr. Tuomilehto. Stress reduction modalities such as dancing, yoga, tai chi, meditation, or massage, as well as daily walks reduce blood pressure and induce feelings of well-being. 

Ignore your health and it will go away!

Finding a variety of pleasurable ways to de-stress and bring satisfaction, sweetness, and joy into our lives. It is up to each of us to study, research, and discover every strategy we can to be healthier in this modern world. There are many paths, much advice, numerous influences, and myriad demands on our time. Yet, without good health, life is certainly less sweet, less enjoyable, less fulfilling. The quest for health should be a top priority in our lives.

There is so much we can do!

Plan healthy organic plant-based meals. Read food labels. Grow organic. Laugh much. Cook. Research well. Grab your life, your diet, and your health with your own hands and make the necessary lifestyle changes. Diabetes can often be prevented and controlled. Your health can be more than a sweet dream, it can be a sweet success!

Recommended Resources:


  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Maltose
  • Mannose
  • Muscovado
  • Palm sugar
  • Panocha
  • Powdered sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar (granulated)
  • Sweet sorghum
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Carob syrup
  • Castor sugar
  • Coconut palm sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Date sugar
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose



Jane and Lino Stanchich, Licensed Nutritionists and Certified Macrobiotic Counselors and Educators

Providing individualized nutritional consultations for wellness, disease prevention, diabetes counseling and on-going monitoring and support. A personal testimonial about Diabetes recovery is available free.

Asheville, NC • (828) 299-8657

Contact us: info@

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Lino and Jane Stanchich (828) 299-8657    Sean DiMaria (803) 319-8407

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