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Please Stop Feeding What Your Diabetes Wants--Carbohydrates!

Posted Sep 12 2008 8:57am
It's time for some straight talk for anyone who is suffering from diabetes, particularly the Type 2 version. Whether you realize it or not, there is an incredible opportunity for you to be able to come off of your drugs and insulin with a natural, dietary approach to treating your disease (which Men's Health columnist Adam Campbell brilliantly wrote about late last year ).

While there is no outright cure for diabetes once you get it, this method for taking it on has been very impressive for the brave diabetic men and women who have taken the plunge and tried it for themselves. What is this wondrous, even miraculous "cure" for diabetes? It's what I like to call livin' la vida low-carb.

The fact is low-carb living is SAVING lives even as some rather grim statistics were released by the health commissioner of America's largest city--NEW YORK! Look at this because it is a microcosm of what is happening across the United States:

- A half million adult New Yorkers diagnosed with diabetes.
- Another 200,000 have diabetes but don't yet know it.
- Mortality rates from diabetes rose 75% since 1990.
- 80 percent tested their blood sugar, but only 16% knew their number.
- $6.5 billion dollars spent on diabetes care in NYC alone in 2006.

You can read the entire dismal report for yourself here, but it is quite obvious this is an issue that has gotten completely out of control despite the efforts of leading diabetes health groups like the American Diabetes Association (ADA) who are recommending eat the same high-carb diet the rest of their family eats (and this idea is promoted in new diabetes books like this one as the way to go). YIKES!

Let's be perfectly clear here--diabetes is not to be played around with feeding it gobs and gobs of carbohydrates. That's EXACTLY what it needs to survive and thrive. If you want to defeat diabetes, then the best way to do that is to see what triggers blood sugar and insulin spikes (something the incredible Dr. Richard Bernstein has touted for decades).

Hmmm, what could that be?

Oh yeah, IT'S CARBS! Not just sugar and white flour, but also starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn as well as those so-called "healthy" whole grains. No matter what kind of label you put on it, all of these foods will be recognized by the body as sugar and act accordingly.

For diabetics, this is dangerous!

The intolerance to carbohydrates is why carbs are so toxic for people with diabetes. And yet we see the ADA STILL recommending upwards of SIX SERVINGS OF CARBOHYDRATES A DAY while greatly reducing their fat and portion sizes (and they have completely vilified saturated fat as the great evil in the diet!). Are they TRYING to kill diabetics? Veronica Atkins said in my interview with her recently that the ADA has their "head in the sand."

This continuing support for diabetics to eat carbs in such high quantities by the ADA runs counter to much of the most up-to-date research out there today:

- High-carb diet raises insulin, blood pressure
- High-carb, low-fat diet ineffective for people with hyperinsulinemia
- High blood sugar leads to Alzheimer's
- Swedish researchers show low-carb treats diabetes
- Dr. Eric Westman from Duke uses Atkins to reverse diabetes symptoms
- ADA presented with low-carb diet evidence, but ignore it
- UK diabetes study finds carb-restriction controls the disease

Dr. Richard Feinman from SUNY Downstate told me in my interview with him last year that he believes the ADA is trying to subtly back into supporting livin' la vida low-carb in light of all the evidence without admitting they were wrong.

"I have seen many patients who were heading for disaster and who have turned their disease and their lives around simply by avoiding foods they cannot tolerate: carbohydrates," Dr. Feinman explained.

But leave it to the ever-exciting, quick-witted Dr. Mary C. Vernon from Lawrence, Kansas and current president of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (be sure to read my blog interview with her from 2006 as well as listen to my podcast interview with her from earlier this year ) to NAIL this point.

"This simple, effective approach could reverse the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes," she predicted. "Patients should at least be given a choice of a non-pharmacological approach."

She's talking about livin' la vida low-carb, of course! And this is the biggest rub--why wouldn't the ADA want an all-natural treatment for Type 2 diabetes if their motivation is to actually help people with the disease? With serious questions about the safety of using diabetes drugs like Avandia looming large right now, isn't it time the ADA rethinks their position on the use of low-carb diets to control diabetes? There's no doubt that they should!

Let's voice our concerns as a low-carb community that cares enough about the future of diabetes treatment in this country to share the latest research into this disease with those who are supposedly the primary source for educating diabetics.

You can reach the ADA by telephone at 1-800-DIABETES (M-F, 8:30am-8:00pm EST), by mail at American Diabetes Association, ATTN: National Call Center, 1701 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311, or by e-mail at We need to make our voices heard on this issue because it's too important to just keep ignoring.

Eventually, as Dr. Feinman says, the ADA will HAVE to embrace the controlled-carb nutritional approach to diabetes management. Sooner or later, it will come!

Labels: ADA, carbohydrates, carbs, diabetes, diet, health, low-carb, Mary Vernon, research, Richard Feinman

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