Sunday, October 08, 2006


Diabetes: Why would anyone think it makes sense to eat the very thing that caused your disease???? I know the general consensus in the medical/pharmaceutical industry is that there is no cure for diabetes, I personally believe that excess sugar intake causes diabetes (NOT Type 1 that starts in childhood, but Type 2, which is preceded by insulin resistance). even figuring that sugar/carbohydrates don't cause diabetes (which they do), we all can agree that diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot handle the amount of sugar that is found in the blood. For most diabetics this sugar comes from the food they eat. Right?

The body can't properly metabolize glucose. So we feed the body mainly glucose? OK, yea, that makes sense!?!?!?! Not to me!!

Gluten Intolerance, what do you do to treat this? Avoid gluten.
Seafood or peanut allergy? Don't eat seafood or peanuts!
Intolerance to food additives like soy, MSG and sulfites? Don't eat them!!
Can't metabolize phenylalanine (PKU)? Don't eat high protein foods!!!

But man, if you can't metabolize carbohydrates what do they want you to do? Yep, eat more carbs! Insanity! But that is exactly what they want people to do! Eat more carbs!

I'm not sure if my school was behind or ahead of the times, but I was taught in nursing school that diabetes, then called "adult onset" was caused by high carb intake and that people on diabetic diets should not only count their carbs, but they should restrict them. I remember a "serving" of cake for a diabetic being a mere 1" cube of angel food cake! Forget any other kind, you just don't eat it!

My first 8 yrs of nursing were working in the acute care hospital. (I can remember when you were admitted for GI tests!!!) I worked on both medical and surgical floors, pediatrics, and have over 3 years working in intensive care (ICU/CCU/ER/Recovery/OR).

During that time, the majority of patients I saw that had complications of diabetes were patients that didn't follow their diet and/or take their meds!!!! People didn't have limbs removed the way they do today! And people didn't die of kidney disease as often as they do today....and I remember the days before transplants became routine!

I don't know the numbers, but I have read several articles that indicate that more people get complications of diabetes today at a much higher rate than they did 30, 40 and more years ago! The prevalence wasn't as high back then, no one argues that. But the incidence of complications was much lower than they are today. And the complications seem to be much more severe.

Regina posted a blog about a study that indicated that clocking carbohydrate absorption didn't change the progression of diabetes. What I question is why the heck would you want to feed someone carbs, and then give them a drug that prevents them from being used????? Why not just lower the carb intake????

Unfortunately, the levels that the medical establishment says is appropriate for diabetics are way too high. Again, I say.....stop feeding diabetics sugar and you'll prevent the complications of the disease.

This is funny too....sad funny, not funny funny. The cause of diabetes as far as the medical/pharmaceutical industry is concerned is fat. Not being fat, overweight, and obese....but dietary fat!!!

Now, think of this. Our ancestors ate high fat diets. Yep, lots and lots of fat. Our ancestors evolved on eating why did diabetes not show up then? Why has the incidence of diabetes gone up, even though the intake of fat for many has decreased? Maybe it's because fat plays little or no role in developing diabetes????? Now, if you're talking about body fat, especially visceral fat, then yes....fat does likely at least contribute to diabetes. But that fat is a symptom of insulin resistance and diabetes. A symptom that becomes part of a vicious, dangerous circle.

Drugs. Oh this is my favorite!!!! First line of treatment is not diet, not lifestyle change, but drugs. Initially you might get a drug that increases your insulin sensitivity....later it's drugs to push your pancreas into producing ever more insulin....and then finally, when your pancreas is completely (or almost completely) destroyed, you take insulin injections!!!!

If people were put on a low carb diet and a simple exercise program, they would likely be able to prevent medication....or at least slow the progress from one drug to another.

But do they do this? Far too often the answer is no. They tell people to eat carbohydrates, even though those very carbs are what is causing all their problems!

From the CDC:
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a landmark study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, found that people at increased risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight through increased physical activity and a reduced fat and lower calorie diet.

Now, I can't argue with loosing weight or the lower calorie diet. Since it's a good bet that the person is overweight any cutback on intake is only going to be good. And any weight loss will also be good. But where does fat come in?

Is insulin influenced by fat intake? No, not really.
Is blood sugar level influenced by fat? Not by much!

Sooooooo....why are diabetics told to limit fat intake???? Because they are at higher risk of heart disease of course! Does dietary fat have anything to do with heart disease? No (except for trans-fats). So why are people told to cut back on dietary fat? Because everyone KNOWS fat is bad!!! (More about this later)

Does the fact that we require certain fats matter? Nope. Does the fact that we also require certain proteins matter? Again, nope. Does the fact that we have no requirement for carbohydrates matter? Once again.....NO!!!!

This is the way I see it. A diet of 45-55% carbs (some articles I've read have advocated as high as 65% from carbs recently!) provides too many carbs and too few calories from fat and protein. We evolved eating a high protein and high fat diet. Our ancestors not only survived, but thrived on mainly fat and protein. Yes, I'm sure they also ate fruits and veggies that they found wild, but these were mostly seasonal, not a part of their regular diet. In preparation for winter our ancestors preserved extra meet and fat for use at a later date. They probably didn't do much with trying to preserve fruits and vegetables because they didn't have the technology. (I have no doubt they did dry some fruit and maybe veggies, but in small quantities, not large amounts like meat and fat)

Since we haven't been around for very long, I believe that we have not yet evolved to be able to handle a diet that is only 45-55% fat and protein!!!! We need fats and proteins....we don't need carbs. Since we evolved eating mostly fats and proteins doesn't it make sense to understand that we still would do better on a diet rich in fats and proteins?

If, on top of this you have a disease that prevents you from metabolizing those carbs, does it make sense to continue to promote a high carb low fat and low protein diet? The ADA thinks it makes does the AHA. Even though diabetes and cardiac diseases are at epidemic proportions, and even though there is evidence showing lowering carbs is beneficial for both conditions, and even though people are getting larger and larger and lower carb has been shown to again be beneficial in loosing weight. Yes, even though all these things are true, the ADA, AHA, and other groups continue to recommend low fat, high carb diets for people that have been diagnosed as being overweight (or obese), have diabetes, or heart disease.

Please, if you have diabetes read Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution, if you have heart disease read Heart Frauds, and if you have high cholesterol read The Cholesterol Myths. Check out some of the blog links, especially both of the Eades and Regina Wilshire. And talk to your doc. I'm hearing more and more about docs who are turning to low or lower carb diets for their patients, especially diabetics, but many only recommend it if a patient asks.

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