Stand Up And Say “Nuts!”

      122 Comments on Stand Up And Say “Nuts!”

As the Allies were advancing in December of 1944, the Germans launched a massive counter-attack in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge.  The 101st Airborne Division was sent to hold the town of Bastogne, a vital transportation hub the Germans desperately wanted.  The “Screaming Eagles” were surrounded, out-numbered, short on ammunition, and freezing in their summer uniforms.  But when the German commander demanded their surrender, U.S. general Anthony McAuliffe sent a one-word reply:  “Nuts!” The Screaming Eagles dug in and held the town.

The Grains-and-Drugs Axis is in full counter-attack mode.  The USDA Dietary Guidelines call for greater restrictions on fat and more whole grains in our diets.  The new My Plate tells us to fill 25% of our plates with grains.  And now the dimwits at Diabetes Health magazine -– which reaches hundreds of thousands of diabetics -– are telling people with  blood-sugar issues to eat even more carbohydrates.

That advice comes in the form of an article titled Type 2 Diabetes: From Old Dogmas to New Realities.  There’s no subtitle, but there should be, and it should read:  Just give up and take your drugs, dangit!

In the last decade, dramatic changes have occurred in our understanding of the onset and progression of prediabetes. Lightning speed changes have also occurred regarding the therapies available to achieve optimal blood glucose control. Even with all of this change, however, many old dogmas hang on. It’s time to be aware of the new realities. In this article,  I focus on two common old dogmas and the new realities.

Old Dogma: Losing weight will make blood glucose levels plummet no matter how long you have had type 2 diabetes.

New Reality: Research shows that the greatest impact of weight loss on blood glucose is in the first few months and years after diagnosis… Once insulin production is on a dwindling course (particularly after 10 years with type 2), weight loss has less impact on glucose control.

The reality is that if blood glucose is out of control, it’s time to progress to blood glucose-lowering medication(s), because it’s doubtful that weight loss alone will get and keep blood glucose under control. Today, most experts, including the American Diabetes Association and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, agree that people with type 2 should start on a blood glucose-lowering medication that decreases insulin resistance–the core problem in type 2–at diagnosis.

Got that?  The people whose livelihood depends on writing prescriptions for drugs agree that you need drugs, so take your drugs.  I agree that weight loss alone won’t lower high blood sugar -– I’ve known some skinny type 2 diabetics –- but that doesn’t mean a change in diet can’t do the trick.  It just has to be the right kind of diet, one that won’t jack up your blood sugar in the first place.

Speaking of diet …

Old Dogma: People with type 2 diabetes should follow a low carbohydrate diet.

New Reality: Nutrition recommendations for people with type 2 diabetes from the American Diabetes Association and other health authorities echo the recently unveiled U.S. 2010 Dietary Guidelines for carbohydrate: about 45 to 65 percent of calories. (Americans currently eat about 45 to 50 percent of calories as carbohydrate–not a “high carb” intake.)

Countless research studies do not show long term (greater than six months to a year) benefit of low carb diets on blood glucose, weight control, or blood fats. People with type 2 diabetes, like the general public, should lighten up on added sugars and sweets (yes, they’re carbohydrate). They should eat sufficient amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy foods–all healthy sources of carbohydrate.

Well, there you have it:  the USDA and other (ahem, ahem) health authorities recommend we get 45 to 65 percent of our calories from carbohydrates, so it must be true.  We consume a higher proportion of carbohydrates now than we did 30 years ago, the rate of type 2 diabetes has skyrocketed during that same period, so what this proves is that we should eat even more carbohydrates.

As for those “countless studies” that didn’t show low-carb diets improving glucose control beyond six months to a year, there’s a reason for that:  most dietary studies last six months to a year.  So we can interpret that statement as “countless studies failed to show any benefit after the study ended and we stopped tracking the benefits.”  Over and over, we see medical authorities warning that we don’t know the long-term effects of low-carbohydrate diets.  Right … because the long-term clinical studies haven’t been conducted.

But there are plenty of doctors out there — Dr. Richard Bernstein, Dr. Mary Vernon, Dr. Steve Parker, Dr. James Carlson, to name just a few — who do know the long-term effects of a low-carbohydrate diet for their diabetic patients.  Those effects include weight loss, lower fasting glucose, reduced reliance on drugs, and even a complete reversal of diabetic symptoms in some cases.

A few people commenting on the Diabetes Health article have had the same experience:

Respectfully, this column is not helpful to diabetics and probably dangerous. I am going on 6 years of eating 30-35 carbs/day. My A1c has been in the “non-diabetic” range ever since I went this route and I feel better than I have in years.

It was not until I started a low carbohydrate diet that my blood glucose numbers fell. They fell rapidly and have been easy to maintain under such a diet.

I had awful lipids and blood sugar control on a low fat/high carb diet. Now that I have switched to a lower carb diet – all my numbers are superb.

Ordinary people get it, even if the supposed experts don’t.  As for the  experts at the American Diabetes Association, here are a few points from their own literature:

  • Your digestive system turns carbohydrates into sugar quickly and easily
  • Carbohydrate is the food that most influences blood glucose levels
  • The more carbs you eat, the higher your blood glucose goes
  • The higher your blood glucose, the more insulin you need to move the sugar into your cells
  • The Food Pyramid is an easy way to remember the healthiest way to eat.
  • At the bottom of the pyramid are bread, cereal, rice and pasta.  These foods contain mostly carbohydrates.
  • You need six to eight servings of these foods per day

Head.  Bang.  On.  Desk.

You’d think someone writing up those guidelines might spot the contradiction.  But the contradiction is less surprising when you look at a short list of who provides the ADA with its funding:

  • Abbott Pharmaceuticals
  • Amylin Pharmaceuticals
  • AstraZeneca
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Merck & Co.
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Cadbury Schweppes (candy/soda maker)
  • Kraft Foods
  • J.D. Smucker Company
  • General Mills

From what I read online, the publisher of Diabetes Health also sells medical devices and started the magazine to promote its products.  Like I always say, follow the money.

It’s time for those of us who don’t want more diabetics to be killed by bad advice to stand up and say “Nuts!” to the commanders of the Grains-and-Drugs Axis.  If you know a diabetic, give him or her a copy of Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution or Dr. Steve Parker’s Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes.  Point your family and friends to books and blogs that educate people about what causes type 2 diabetes and how to avoid it.

Then join the Nutrition and Metabolism Society, one of the few organizations dedicated to fighting bad nutrition science with good nutrition science.  By joining NMS at any membership level —  from $10 on up — you will be supporting the kind of research that’s necessary to overcome years of misinformation promoted by the USDA and ADA.

Think of it as providing badly-needed weapons for the Screaming Eagles of nutrition research.  They’re surrounded, but they won’t give up.  And they will win the battle.


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122 thoughts on “Stand Up And Say “Nuts!”

  1. omer

    That Type II article is downright criminal. Like I said before, my father-in-law treated T2 Diabetes 40 years ago with a low carb diet because he and other physicians understood that the disease was caused by intolerance of carbohydrates. It’s absolutely frightening to see what politics and money can do to sound medical advice.

    And they call what your father did (successfully) the “Old Dogma.” It was dogma because it worked.

  2. Mark. Gooley

    As a type 1 diabetic for over forty years, suckered throughout the Eighties and into the Aughts by the American Diabetes Association into living off starches and expecting blood sugars of 300 as the best I could do an hour or two after a meal, I try not to think about the ADA and other such purveyors of nonsense. My address is still on ADA mailing lists and I occasionally get invitations to join again. I keep promising myself to write a scathing letter in response to one or another of them, but I lack the self control not to make truly disgusting suggestions involving… well, they start with disabling the endocrine portions of these jackanapes’ pancreases and force-feeding them Wholesome Whole Grains (think geese being raised to produce foie gras). Anyway, it would do no good for me to write such invective. I think that this crew will have to retire or even die of old age before we get good advice out of the ADA and their ilk.

    Science progresses one funeral at a time.

  3. John

    This type 1 diabetic knows what happens when he doesn’t take his insulin: he withers away. We cannot gain fat without insulin. It doesn’t matter how much I eat. I could eat bucket loads of pure fat, sugar, and protein, and I wouldn’t gain an ounce. My fat and glycogen stores would disappear.

    It is crystal clear to me that insulin controls adiposity.

    Experience tells.

  4. Jo

    I’ve discovered that when you have to re-read a paragraph to find out what it’s saying the reason usually is because someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. The paragraph starting “Countless research….” is a case in point.

    Yes, that one was a case of lying without exactly lying.

  5. Beowulf

    My grandmother has been a Type 1 diabetic for over 50 years, and she’s ignored the high-carb dogma that dominates the current thinking. She eats very little sugar or starch (only a little fruit or the occasional slice of bread or potatoes). The only problem she has is that her blood sugar runs low sometimes, at which point we obviously get some juice into her along with a meal. She has no circulation, kidney, vision, heart, or other medical problems that plague most diabetics after a few decades.

  6. fredt

    Is anyone up to haul ADA into open court?

    I believe that’s part of the reason they can’t admit they got the dietary advice wrong in the first place; they’d be inviting lawsuits.

  7. Stacie

    I just happened to have a conversation three days ago with a gentleman from church who is diabetic. I was unaware of his diabetes, but knew about a recent hospitalization that was pretty serious (not sure what was wrong.) Anyway, he was commenting on my husband’s weight loss, so I proceeded to tell him that we eat LCHF. He was familiar with low carb, because he had previously done Atkins and lost 60 lbs. He had this idea that too much protein could damage your kidneys, and also that Dr. Atkins died of a heart attack. I was able to disabuse him of those notions, but made no headway with convincing him to eat low carb. Quite frankly, this amazes me, because he has to take insulin, and who wants to do that?? Apparently, some people know low carb eating is the healthy way to go, but are unwilling to give up their carbs. This boggles my mind, but we all make our choices. I worry about this man because he is obese, diabetic, and heart disease is probably right around the corner. Well, maybe in the future I will be able to have more conversations with him.

    Some people just don’t want to change. All you can do is wish them well and let them go.

  8. omer

    That Type II article is downright criminal. Like I said before, my father-in-law treated T2 Diabetes 40 years ago with a low carb diet because he and other physicians understood that the disease was caused by intolerance of carbohydrates. It’s absolutely frightening to see what politics and money can do to sound medical advice.

    And they call what your father did (successfully) the “Old Dogma.” It was dogma because it worked.

  9. Mark. Gooley

    As a type 1 diabetic for over forty years, suckered throughout the Eighties and into the Aughts by the American Diabetes Association into living off starches and expecting blood sugars of 300 as the best I could do an hour or two after a meal, I try not to think about the ADA and other such purveyors of nonsense. My address is still on ADA mailing lists and I occasionally get invitations to join again. I keep promising myself to write a scathing letter in response to one or another of them, but I lack the self control not to make truly disgusting suggestions involving… well, they start with disabling the endocrine portions of these jackanapes’ pancreases and force-feeding them Wholesome Whole Grains (think geese being raised to produce foie gras). Anyway, it would do no good for me to write such invective. I think that this crew will have to retire or even die of old age before we get good advice out of the ADA and their ilk.

    Science progresses one funeral at a time.

  10. John

    This type 1 diabetic knows what happens when he doesn’t take his insulin: he withers away. We cannot gain fat without insulin. It doesn’t matter how much I eat. I could eat bucket loads of pure fat, sugar, and protein, and I wouldn’t gain an ounce. My fat and glycogen stores would disappear.

    It is crystal clear to me that insulin controls adiposity.

    Experience tells.

  11. James C

    At least 3 of the food companies listed and possible General Mills have over time replaced sugar with high fructose corn syrup in their products. I would call it collusion. They know what it does to the body and still continue to switch over to HFCS. I am still on their mailing list but no longer read that magazine. It is mostly adds pushing drugs and the articles are absolute fluff or lies.

    BTW you desk prolly has an indentation by now that fits your forehead.

    It’s more like my forehead is adopting the shape of a desk.

  12. Jo

    I’ve discovered that when you have to re-read a paragraph to find out what it’s saying the reason usually is because someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. The paragraph starting “Countless research….” is a case in point.

    Yes, that one was a case of lying without exactly lying.

  13. Katy

    “It just has to be the right kind of diet, one that won’t jack up your blood sugar in the first place.”

    Yep. What the “New Reality” is suggesting is akin to someone stepping on a nail, then taking some pain meds. The next day, the foot still hurts, and the pain meds are sort of working. But they’d work a whole lot better if the person removes the nail from their foot! Actually, it’s worse–they’re advocating that someone step on a nail every day!!

    Good analogy.

  14. Beowulf

    My grandmother has been a Type 1 diabetic for over 50 years, and she’s ignored the high-carb dogma that dominates the current thinking. She eats very little sugar or starch (only a little fruit or the occasional slice of bread or potatoes). The only problem she has is that her blood sugar runs low sometimes, at which point we obviously get some juice into her along with a meal. She has no circulation, kidney, vision, heart, or other medical problems that plague most diabetics after a few decades.

  15. fredt

    Is anyone up to haul ADA into open court?

    I believe that’s part of the reason they can’t admit they got the dietary advice wrong in the first place; they’d be inviting lawsuits.

  16. Stacie

    I just happened to have a conversation three days ago with a gentleman from church who is diabetic. I was unaware of his diabetes, but knew about a recent hospitalization that was pretty serious (not sure what was wrong.) Anyway, he was commenting on my husband’s weight loss, so I proceeded to tell him that we eat LCHF. He was familiar with low carb, because he had previously done Atkins and lost 60 lbs. He had this idea that too much protein could damage your kidneys, and also that Dr. Atkins died of a heart attack. I was able to disabuse him of those notions, but made no headway with convincing him to eat low carb. Quite frankly, this amazes me, because he has to take insulin, and who wants to do that?? Apparently, some people know low carb eating is the healthy way to go, but are unwilling to give up their carbs. This boggles my mind, but we all make our choices. I worry about this man because he is obese, diabetic, and heart disease is probably right around the corner. Well, maybe in the future I will be able to have more conversations with him.

    Some people just don’t want to change. All you can do is wish them well and let them go.

  17. eddie watts

    there is a loren cordain paper on the dangers of using parachutes when leaping from planes.
    i did not read it all, but basically because of the lack of information on not using parachutes, it made parachute use look very dangerous.

    if i find it i’ll link it, but basically it is the exact same logic being applied here and equally stupid.
    scary advice going on there.

  18. James C

    At least 3 of the food companies listed and possible General Mills have over time replaced sugar with high fructose corn syrup in their products. I would call it collusion. They know what it does to the body and still continue to switch over to HFCS. I am still on their mailing list but no longer read that magazine. It is mostly adds pushing drugs and the articles are absolute fluff or lies.

    BTW you desk prolly has an indentation by now that fits your forehead.

    It’s more like my forehead is adopting the shape of a desk.

  19. Katy

    “It just has to be the right kind of diet, one that won’t jack up your blood sugar in the first place.”

    Yep. What the “New Reality” is suggesting is akin to someone stepping on a nail, then taking some pain meds. The next day, the foot still hurts, and the pain meds are sort of working. But they’d work a whole lot better if the person removes the nail from their foot! Actually, it’s worse–they’re advocating that someone step on a nail every day!!

    Good analogy.

  20. mrfreddy

    old dogma: avoid low carb diets, they’re dangerous! You need your carbs! Take your drugs!

    new reality: the only people who can effectively and easily control their type 2 diabetes, often without drugs, are those who are willing to ignore the official nutritional advice-givers-and follow a low carb diet. They do this without any support from their doctors, family, friends, and their nutritionists.

    Yeah, funny how she labels avoiding carbs as “old dogma.” Say what? Is that really the common advice for diabetics?

  21. Pete Ballerstedt

    I no longer believe that the ADA, AMA, AHA, etc. are patient advocacy groups. They are special interest groups promoting their industries. The sooner we all understand that, the closer we’ll be to significantly improving in the lives of millions here in the US and around the world.

    There are those who do not know the truth. They repeat what they’ve been taught. Perhaps they can be educated. Then there are those who know the truth, but still spout the “party line.” Given that they ought to know the pain and suffering their advice will produce, I can only describe them as evil.

    They’re trade organizations, same as the National Association of Plumbing Suppliers or whatever.

  22. Kate

    AAAHHHhhh!!! I am going to visit an endocrinologist on Friday, to help deal with my type 2 diabetes now that I’m pregnant. Despite my low carb diet, which has kept my numbers throughout the day stable and low, I can’t seem get my morning fasting blood sugars below 115-130. This is my first trip to an endo, and I’m a little nervous. I have learned to dread going to new doctors, because having to introduce them to and explain my low carb way of life leads to…. head. banging. on. desk!!

    Probably too late now, but if you could get a copy of Dr. Bernstein’s book to take with you, it might serve as a shield if the doctor starts telling you to eat your carbs and avoid fats.

  23. eddie watts

    there is a loren cordain paper on the dangers of using parachutes when leaping from planes.
    i did not read it all, but basically because of the lack of information on not using parachutes, it made parachute use look very dangerous.

    if i find it i’ll link it, but basically it is the exact same logic being applied here and equally stupid.
    scary advice going on there.

  24. Eliza

    It would make sense that if you can dramatically lower a person’s insulin requirements by substantially lowering their carb intake then even a pancreas that is heading towards burn out could soldier on for quite a few years, obviating the need for insulin supplementation. I can’t stand this attitude of “It’s all too hard, may as well prescribe the shots”. There is a generation of diabetics who haven’t been given a proper chance at good health.
    But what do I know, I’m not a member of the ADA.

    Some people would happily take the drugs so they can continue eating pasta and bread, but I feel sorry for the diabetics who would prefer to change their diets — if only they were told which diet actually works.

  25. Milton

    So the magazine article advises diabetics to eat fewer sugars and sweets, but to continue to eat up to 65% of their calories as carbs… even as the ADA claims that the body turns carbs into sugar quickly and easily.

    I think I’m going to have to create a “bang head here” marker on my desk.

    Put a good pad under that spot. I find it helps.

  26. Lori

    Eli Lilly, Glaxo, Merck, and Pfizer, plus a few other pharmaceutical companies–the same ones that gave grants and honoraria to one of the researchers of the last study you wrote about–have a total of 50 diabetes medications on the market or in the pipeline. It takes billions of dollars and about 20 years to get a drug to market. They also spend a lot of money protecting their patents and defending themselves in lawsuits brought by people who say their drugs made them sick.

    Think they might have an incentive to keep people diabetic?

    They certainly have no incentive to recommend trying a change in diet first.

  27. Jan

    We have a YOUNG (29; he was diagnosed at 23) Type 2 diabetic here in our office. After six long years of listening to (and ignoring) me tell him to cut the carbs (especially grains), he finally did. This was, of course, after he began injecting insulin and his eyesight started to degenerate – but better late than never, I suppose.

    My young friend went from injecting 60 units of insulin per day to NONE, unless he knowingly eats something he shouldn’t, and then his injection is around 5 units. His endocrinologist was appalled when he told her he was going on a paleo diet…until she saw the results. We have no idea of knowing if this has changed her recommendations to her other diabetic patients, but she has told my friend to continue doing what he’s doing. I guess that’s something.

    I’m glad your friend is doing better, but something is wrong when patients have to educate their doctors.

  28. Goober

    @Kate
    I’m a low carb advocate. But becareful of going below 50NC while pregnant or breast feeding. You can still do low carb, but more at maintenance levels.

  29. Dragonmamma/Naomi

    Tom, I have difficulty distinguishing between the two fonts you use, and I kept getting confused about whether I was reading quotes from the article or your writing. Do you think it’s possible to maybe use different colors? (After all, you don’t want someone spouting that crap and saying “I heard it from Tom Naughton!”)

    The template I use doesn’t offer many options for quotes. I’d like something with a different background color, but can’t seem to make it happen.

  30. Frank G

    Frankly (hah!) I ‘m surprised the see quote from the comment you posted above, “Respectfully, this column is not helpful to diabetics and probably dangerous. …” I’m active on several diabetes forums and you can bet this article has been discussed, but what I kept hearing was that any critical feedback (no matter how polite) was being blocked — I’m glad to see that some got through.

    I’m also glad you noticed that point about “low carb being the old dogma”… since when?

    I’m heartily sick of the specious arguments people like this present.

    Here is a YouTube of Dr Bernstein vs Hope Warshaw on dLife: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PZno7Nkuuw

  31. Janet

    More double talk from the recent ADA meeting.

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/ADA/27363

    Sounds like another ‘statin’ fiasco on the way.

    Costs less than diet and exercise? Really? (I’m sure it is more effective than their recommended diet)

    Oh yes, don’t forget the “minimal side effects” statement. Can we assume that all the researchers are now taking this medication since it is such a good idea?

    When you Google “metformin for everyone” there are items with huge lists of the good stuff metformin can do, up to and including, curing/preventing cancer.

    Here we go again … yes, some people may need metformin, and taking metformin is probably more effective than doing nothing. But diet should be the first treatment.

  32. mrfreddy

    old dogma: avoid low carb diets, they’re dangerous! You need your carbs! Take your drugs!

    new reality: the only people who can effectively and easily control their type 2 diabetes, often without drugs, are those who are willing to ignore the official nutritional advice-givers-and follow a low carb diet. They do this without any support from their doctors, family, friends, and their nutritionists.

    Yeah, funny how she labels avoiding carbs as “old dogma.” Say what? Is that really the common advice for diabetics?

  33. James Birdsall

    Another Dr. Sears, not Al Sears, says:
    “Sugar, like fat, gets a lot of sour press, some deserved, some not. Babies are born with a sweet tooth. Human milk is quite sweet, so a child begins life making the connection between eating, drinking, and pleasure. Sugars are one form of carbohydrates and carbohydrates are good for you, as long as you eat the right kinds in the right amounts. Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. You couldn’t live or work without them. Your body needs a lot of carbohydrates – around 60 to 70 percent of your total calories should be in the form of carbs. But before you reach for the carbs in a candy bar, take some time to learn about sugar and other kinds of carbs. Over-processed, factory-made sugars and starches have given carbohydrates a bad reputation. Once you understand which carbs are best for your body, including which sugars are good for you, you can indulge a sweet tooth and still enjoy sweet health.” This I found at
    http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/family-nutrition/sugar/sweet-facts-you-should-know-about-sugar

    Of course they are popular with Oprah and many other shows of that ilk AND they have their own line of snacks that they sell. Here is the ingredient list for Popumz Chocolate:

    Multi Grain (Whole Corn Flour, Rice Flour, Whole Grain Oat Flour, Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Dehydrated Cane Juice, Salt), Soy (Low Fat Soy Flour, Rice Flour, Salt), Natural Compound Coating (Evaporated Cane Juice, Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali, Whey Powser, Soya Lecithin, Salt), Meg 3 Powder (Refined Fish Oil (Anchovy and Sardines), Gelatin, Sodium Polyphosphate, Sodium Acsorbate, Canola Oil, Natural Flavor, Tocopherols, Sunflower Oil, Citric Acid).

    Yum.

    Yikes. Definitely not Dr. Al Sears. He wouldn’t touch that garbage.

  34. Pete Ballerstedt

    I no longer believe that the ADA, AMA, AHA, etc. are patient advocacy groups. They are special interest groups promoting their industries. The sooner we all understand that, the closer we’ll be to significantly improving in the lives of millions here in the US and around the world.

    There are those who do not know the truth. They repeat what they’ve been taught. Perhaps they can be educated. Then there are those who know the truth, but still spout the “party line.” Given that they ought to know the pain and suffering their advice will produce, I can only describe them as evil.

    They’re trade organizations, same as the National Association of Plumbing Suppliers or whatever.

  35. Kate

    AAAHHHhhh!!! I am going to visit an endocrinologist on Friday, to help deal with my type 2 diabetes now that I’m pregnant. Despite my low carb diet, which has kept my numbers throughout the day stable and low, I can’t seem get my morning fasting blood sugars below 115-130. This is my first trip to an endo, and I’m a little nervous. I have learned to dread going to new doctors, because having to introduce them to and explain my low carb way of life leads to…. head. banging. on. desk!!

    Probably too late now, but if you could get a copy of Dr. Bernstein’s book to take with you, it might serve as a shield if the doctor starts telling you to eat your carbs and avoid fats.

  36. Eliza

    It would make sense that if you can dramatically lower a person’s insulin requirements by substantially lowering their carb intake then even a pancreas that is heading towards burn out could soldier on for quite a few years, obviating the need for insulin supplementation. I can’t stand this attitude of “It’s all too hard, may as well prescribe the shots”. There is a generation of diabetics who haven’t been given a proper chance at good health.
    But what do I know, I’m not a member of the ADA.

    Some people would happily take the drugs so they can continue eating pasta and bread, but I feel sorry for the diabetics who would prefer to change their diets — if only they were told which diet actually works.

  37. Angel

    I found out a few months ago that my brother-in-law was diagnosed with diabetes. I called my sister and asked her what sort of dietary advice they had been given. They pretty much hadn’t been given any, and they were both pretty confused about how to handle the diagnosis.

    I sent them a copy of “Why We Get Fat” and “Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution”. I don’t know if they read them (they are both pretty conservative and trust doctors implicitly, and I was straightforward about how these books go against the grain – er, no pun intended!), but I certainly felt better. They’ll at least have some information, written by experts, that contradicts whatever SAD advice they get from his doctors or a dietitian.

    You did your part. It’s up to them now to decide if they’re willing to try Dr. Bernstein’s advice.

  38. Milton

    So the magazine article advises diabetics to eat fewer sugars and sweets, but to continue to eat up to 65% of their calories as carbs… even as the ADA claims that the body turns carbs into sugar quickly and easily.

    I think I’m going to have to create a “bang head here” marker on my desk.

    Put a good pad under that spot. I find it helps.

  39. Lori

    Eli Lilly, Glaxo, Merck, and Pfizer, plus a few other pharmaceutical companies–the same ones that gave grants and honoraria to one of the researchers of the last study you wrote about–have a total of 50 diabetes medications on the market or in the pipeline. It takes billions of dollars and about 20 years to get a drug to market. They also spend a lot of money protecting their patents and defending themselves in lawsuits brought by people who say their drugs made them sick.

    Think they might have an incentive to keep people diabetic?

    They certainly have no incentive to recommend trying a change in diet first.

  40. Jan

    We have a YOUNG (29; he was diagnosed at 23) Type 2 diabetic here in our office. After six long years of listening to (and ignoring) me tell him to cut the carbs (especially grains), he finally did. This was, of course, after he began injecting insulin and his eyesight started to degenerate – but better late than never, I suppose.

    My young friend went from injecting 60 units of insulin per day to NONE, unless he knowingly eats something he shouldn’t, and then his injection is around 5 units. His endocrinologist was appalled when he told her he was going on a paleo diet…until she saw the results. We have no idea of knowing if this has changed her recommendations to her other diabetic patients, but she has told my friend to continue doing what he’s doing. I guess that’s something.

    I’m glad your friend is doing better, but something is wrong when patients have to educate their doctors.

  41. Goober

    @Kate
    I’m a low carb advocate. But becareful of going below 50NC while pregnant or breast feeding. You can still do low carb, but more at maintenance levels.

  42. Firebird

    “Science progresses one funeral at a time”

    New t-shirt?

    Not a bad idea. I was quoting Max Planck.

  43. Dragonmamma/Naomi

    Tom, I have difficulty distinguishing between the two fonts you use, and I kept getting confused about whether I was reading quotes from the article or your writing. Do you think it’s possible to maybe use different colors? (After all, you don’t want someone spouting that crap and saying “I heard it from Tom Naughton!”)

    The template I use doesn’t offer many options for quotes. I’d like something with a different background color, but can’t seem to make it happen.

  44. Frank G

    Frankly (hah!) I ‘m surprised the see quote from the comment you posted above, “Respectfully, this column is not helpful to diabetics and probably dangerous. …” I’m active on several diabetes forums and you can bet this article has been discussed, but what I kept hearing was that any critical feedback (no matter how polite) was being blocked — I’m glad to see that some got through.

    I’m also glad you noticed that point about “low carb being the old dogma”… since when?

    I’m heartily sick of the specious arguments people like this present.

    Here is a YouTube of Dr Bernstein vs Hope Warshaw on dLife: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PZno7Nkuuw

  45. Janet

    More double talk from the recent ADA meeting.

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/ADA/27363

    Sounds like another ‘statin’ fiasco on the way.

    Costs less than diet and exercise? Really? (I’m sure it is more effective than their recommended diet)

    Oh yes, don’t forget the “minimal side effects” statement. Can we assume that all the researchers are now taking this medication since it is such a good idea?

    When you Google “metformin for everyone” there are items with huge lists of the good stuff metformin can do, up to and including, curing/preventing cancer.

    Here we go again … yes, some people may need metformin, and taking metformin is probably more effective than doing nothing. But diet should be the first treatment.

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