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Summertime 2010 Book Review Series: ‘Diabetes Rising’ By Dan Hurley

Posted Jun 04 2010 2:20pm

Books, books, and more books! I got ‘em coming out of my ears for the Summer of 2010, so I’m doing this special series of reviews of the newest and best low-carb, health, and nutrition books that you may want to take a closer look at. Many of the authors of the featured books are scheduled to be guests on my podcast show in the coming months. My goal is to try to feature at least one new book review a day, every day all summer long. There’s a lot of great stuff out there you need to know about and I can’t wait for you to see what all is available! ENJOY!

The alarming rate of diabetes growth over the past two decades alone has quite literally become an international health epidemic in 21st Century society. As the numbers have continued to rise and rise while blood sugar disorders have become much more common than ever before, the health experts have attempted to put on their thinking caps to come up with a solution that will help people suffering with diabetes have the ability to beat this problem once and for all. So far, there have been no cures found. What we need are people who can come up with solutions to this monstrosity of a disease and Dan Hurley has attempted to do just that with the release of his book Diabetes Rising: How a Rare Disease Became a Modern Pandemic, and What to Do About It .

Hurley himself has Type 1 diabetes and as an investigative medical journalist has a personal vested interest in this topic. After living with this disease and seeing so many people suffering from both the juvenile diabetes (Type 1) and adult onset diabetes (Type 2), you would like Hurley would examine ALL of the science and latest information on how to best control the symptoms of diabetes. But one thing glaringly missing element in the Diabetes Rising book is the lack of any mention of the low-carbohydrate nutritional connection to diabetes and how it would play some role in the solution. With all we know about carbohydrate-restriction as an essential part of an effective way to control blood glucose levels, this is quite perplexing to say the least.

But there are exactly TWO references to low-carb (one simply mentioning the Atkins diet and another talking about what the low-carb diet is). But that’s it! I’m greatly concerned that this seemingly innocuous oversight will lead people to believe carbohydrate awareness and control plays virtually zero role in treating diabetes. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Dan Hurley on my “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” podcast and he admitted to me that low-carb living is an ideal way to manage diabetes. So then it begged the question: WHY NO MENTION OF IT AS PART OF THE SOLUTION?

Even more disconcerting was the lack of any references to those medical practitioners who are doing amazing work using low-carb diets on real diabetic patients. People like Dr. Richard K. Bernstein who wrote Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution and Dr. Mary C. Vernon who co-authored Atkins Diabetes Revolution are at the forefront of effectively normalizing blood sugar levels in diabetics of all types simply by cutting their carbs and shifting them from being carbohydrate burners to fat burners. A high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet is the cornerstone for making this happen for diabetics and yet Dan Hurley missed this point in his book? In fact, he’d never even heard of them before I brought up their names. How can you write a book about solutions to the diabetes problem and miss the two biggest names using low-carb diets?

I credit Hurley for realizing the change in dietary recommendations in the 1970s to a high-carb, low-fat diet negatively impacted diabetes rates and that’s exactly right. And while Type 2 diabetes tends to get all the press for being on the rise, he also makes the case for why even Type 1 diabetes is skyrocketing as well in Diabetes Rising. It’s certainly a well-organized and sorely needed book on the subject of diabetes that lawmakers and health professionals alike should take heed and notice. And yet it’s impossible for me to take a work like this seriously because of the low-carb omission. Despite heaping great praise on carbohydrate-restriction as a solution during my interview describing it as “the best diabetes diet,” Hurley said he didn’t include it in his book because of his belief that people won’t follow a low-carb diet because we’re surrounded by cheap carbs. What a crock of you know what!

I’m not a diabetic, but I’ve been eating a healthy low-carb nutritional plan for nearly seven years and it has helped me stave off diabetes and control my morbid obesity. Had I not begun a low-carb lifestyle change on January 1, 2004 when I went on the Atkins diet, then there’s no doubt in my mind that I’d be a Type 2 diabetic today. But carbohydrate control has kept my blood sugars at normal levels and I challenge anyone to tell me I’m not a healthier man today as a result. It’s disheartening to think a book about diabetes can be written in 2010 with all that we know from the science about this disease and the low-carb connection and have nary a mention of this way of eating. Completely and utterly incomprehensible!

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