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Sunday, 12 August 2018

Why Won't We Tell Diabetics the Truth?

It was Graham that first spotted this article, written by Diana Rodgers, RD, LDN, NTP, and it's certainly one to share! Diana is a real food nutritionist living on a working organic farm. She's the author of The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook and produces the Sustainable Dish Podcast.

The following is a snippet from an article written by her:

Why Won’t We Tell Diabetics the Truth?

I’m appalled constantly at the misinformation we nutrition experts are telling folks with diabetes. It’s all over the place. The “everything in moderation” mantra, and how we need to eat less meat, less fat, and more whole grains, is a pervasive theme drilled into young dietitians, and spread to the public through our dietary guidelines. This information is making people sick.

How Many Carbs Do We Really Need?
The short answer: ZERO.

What are the Dangers of Overeating Carbohydrates?
Answer: DIABETES (but they won’t actually say this)

So, How Many Carbs are We Telling Diabetics to Eat?
Answer: TOO MUCH

We’re Completely Failing Diabetics.
We nutrition experts are miserably failing at preventing and treating folks with diabetes. According to the CDC, 12.6% of Americans have diabetes, costing us $245 billion dollars in direct and indirect medical expenses. I’ve seen the incredible damage diabetes can do to people and it’s pretty ugly. It’s listed as the 7th leading cause of death, but because people don’t really die of “diabetes” but rather die of complications due to diabetes, like kidney failure and cardiovascular disease, the number is likely much higher. The rate is only increasing, especially in countries newly adopting our “heart-healthy” standard American diet. All over the world, people are giving up their healthy traditional diets and are drinking soda instead of water, using canola oil instead of traditional fats, and eating more refined junk foods – oh and it’s not only unhealthy but more expensive to eat this way too.

Why can’t we tell folks who have diabetes the truth: that eating an “everything in moderation,” high carb, low fat and low protein diet will increase your chances of a completely preventable disease (in the case of type 2) that can lead to a very uncomfortable death?

As a dietitian with some sense, when I see a patient with blood sugar issues, I recommend a low-carb diet, adding more protein and healthy fats as the very first step. There are a handful of people who get it. In this literature review, researchers looked at 12 studies all showing the success of a low-carbohydrate diet had on reducing or eliminating the need for medication in type 2 diabetics.

“The inability of current recommendations to control the epidemic of diabetes, the specific failure of the prevailing low-fat diets to improve obesity, cardiovascular risk, or general health and the persistent reports of some serious side effects of commonly prescribed diabetic medications, in combination with the continued success of low-carbohydrate diets in the treatment of diabetes and metabolic syndrome without significant side effects, point to the need for a reappraisal of dietary guidelines. The benefits of carbohydrate restriction in diabetes are immediate and well documented.”

Why Won’t We Tell Diabetics the Truth?
Answer: The real truth is that sugar, junk food and insulin sells.

Sugar is sexy. Brownies sell magazines and gets clicks on Facebook. Scrambled eggs, plain roasted chicken, or sautéed swiss chard does not. There’s a ton of bias against low carb diets, and a lot of financial interests pushing pharmaceutical intervention instead of a dietary change, and the people who are behind the dietary guidelines are also the ones charged with promoting commodity agriculture (wheat, corn and soy.)

It’s time to admit that we’re failing diabetics.

We can do better. They deserve the truth.

“I use the ‘cigarette’ analogy. We know it is bad to smoke, so we tell patients not to smoke. Why don’t we do the same thing with sugar and processed starches? The excuse I hear is that ‘people won’t stop eating sugar and starches.’ However, by the same analogy, we could have thrown up our hands and said, ‘people can’t give up smoking.'” – University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor of Nutrition Barbara Gower, Ph.D. (one of the authors of the paper quoted above)

Here’s my unsexy truth:

Please read Diana's article in full here

All the best Jan … and Graham


Weekend-Windup said...

Nice one to know about diabetics...

Ygraine said...

Wow...such a brilliantly informative really clarifies the true facts.
There is far too much conflicting information flying around the my sincerest thanks for simplifying things...:))

Anonymous said...

sad it always comes down to money isn't it,

Existe Sempre Um Lugar said...

Boa tarde, os diabetes quando não controlados são perigosos, é possível atravez de uma boa alimentação adequada, viver sem problemas, sua sugestão é perfeita para contribuir para o bem estar dos diabéticos.
feliz semana,

Valerie-Jael said...

Very good article! Hugs, Valerie

Lowcarb team member said...

Existe Sempre Um Lugar said:

Boa tarde, os diabetes quando não controlados são perigosos, é possível atravez de uma boa alimentação adequada, viver sem problemas, sua sugestão é perfeita para contribuir para o bem estar dos diabéticos.
feliz semana,

Google translate:
Good afternoon, diabetes when not controlled is dangerous, it is possible through good and adequate nutrition to live without problems, your suggestion is perfect to contribute to the well-being of diabetics.
Happy Week,

Glenna said...

Thank you for this.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Not totally on topic, but the election cycle is on us, and I was reviewing the candidates for the local school board. One was a nutritionist at one of our larger high schools. The gentleman was probably over 300 many stones would that be?

How could a nutritionist who believes in what they do be obese?

Just thinking out loud when I shouldn't be.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

More on topic.

You do have me buying squash and zucchini now. But we still have potatoes in the fridge I'm not going to throw away.

Christine said...

Thanks for this great list!

Linda said...

Excellent article. I need to hear this every day and with every choice I make. I have one more inch of canola oil to eat. I now use butter except for a bit of Country crock on my oats which I am no longer eating! Can I eat oats in winter? Seriously, may I? I only eat chicken breasts or canned tuna and salmon. I only eat two slices of bread each day and brownie twice a week, if that. I try, mostly to eat right and get rid of weight and diabetes. I suppose I should try harder!

Elephant's Child said...

Sadly money is behind too much of what we are told. Big money.

Lowcarb team member said...

Author R Mac Wheeler said:
"The gentleman was probably over 300 many stones would that be?

How could a nutritionist who believes in what they do be obese?

Just thinking out loud when I shouldn't be."

Hi Mac
According to a conversion site 300lbs is 21 stone and 6 pounds …

I'm sure there are many readers, some of whom are diabetics who have seen a dietitian or nutritionist who are overweight/obese. Having said that there are those dietitian's like Diana in this article "with some sense, because when she see's a patient with blood sugar issues, she recommends a low-carb diet, adding more protein and healthy fats as the very first step."

You may be interested in Eddie's Introduction to Low Carb for beginners post here

Linda asked:
"Can I eat oats in winter? Seriously, may I?"

Hi Linda
I think many diabetics like oatmeal, but find oats are just too high in carbs, and can cause blood sugar to spike. I always say that if readers have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account when choosing food/recipes. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

You may find this easy Low Carb, Hot Breakfast Cereal a perfect way to start your morning - have a look at the recipe and article and see …

Thanks as always for sharing your questions and thoughts here.

All the best Jan

Victor S E Moubarak said...

I normally hesitate in contributing greatly to this blog because I do not want to be too "political" on this subject.

The problem is that there is too much conflicting advice from so called experts on nutrition. At one time, the advice was to avoid (red) meat and to have more pasta, rice and potatoes. Now the advice has changed somewhat and we are told to avoid carbohydrates. A nurse I was speaking to recently suggested cutting down on bread, pasta, potatoes (except sweet potatoes), and rice. She suggested we eat a "Mediterranean diet"; suggesting avocados, nuts, almonds; and forgetting that a Mediterranean diet is based mainly on pasta and pizza. Has anyone researched the incidence of diabetes amongst Italians? Is this the result of pasta and bread eating?

Your list of suggested food includes steak, salmon, lamb, red peppers (why not green?), avocados, coconuts and almonds. Has anyone worked out how much it would cost to feed a person, or a family, on these products? How much would one need to eat to satisfy a normal hunger? I bet a kilo of almonds would still keep me hungry within an hour!

There was a time we were told "5 a day" including fruit. Now the advice is to cut down on fruit, and fruit juices, because fruit = sugar. "Have as much fruit as you can hold in your palm" - i.e. 5 grapes or so. Is this realistic?

No wonder if one is on a low budget, with a family, they turn to bread, chips, ready meals based on pasta and rice and pizzas.

Sorry to rant, Jan. But we need some clear, concise, honest and realistic advice. The medical profession is not providing this. Latest advice I was told is that medicines such as Metformin themselves affect the kidneys function and can do them harm. Hence, your medicine can make you worse !!!

God bless.

Pom Pom said...

Great words. I think we get in the habit of eating carbs, but protein is so much more satisfying.

Pam Jackson said...

Hence the reason I ended up with Diabetes...I LOVE CARBS! I love SUGAR but CARBS more. I rather not eat if I am not crazy about what I am eating. I know...that is terrible.

Linda said...

“Everything in moderation” sounds sensible, but what seems moderate to one person seems high or low to another. If you are used to eating a milkshake with hamburger and fries, that seems moderate to you. And large servings in restaurants have given us the idea that normal servings are large.

Thanks for focusing on the problem with high carb diets.

baili said...

This is really really an excellent post dear Jan!!!

Since I found you my food is being observed and by reducing carbs I have started feeling Light though it is just beginning I know.
Diana is brilliant writer so easy and simple to express her points

Amy Purdy said...

My mom used to collect cookbooks and I was browsing through some of hers geared toward diabetics. I was shocked to see how many carbs was in some of the recipes. I have finally convinced her to go back on a low carb diet and her blood sugar is stabilizing. I also feel better when I eat low carb.

Lowcarb team member said...

Victor S E Moubarak … shared his thoughts and comments above, and raised quite a few points!

Firstly I would agree that the nutritional debate is never easy, what may be suitable for one person isn't for another. Food allergies, underlying health issues etc must always be taken into account.

The low carb diabetic blog started back in 2010 and deals primarily with the low carb high fat lifestyle for diabetics, although over the years more and more people (including me, and I am not diabetic) choose to live this lifestyle.

There is a post called Introduction to Low Carb for Beginners which tells about this lifestyle, some of 'the politics' behind it and information that over the years many have found helpful. Please use this link here

Diet Doctor site also has good information about the LCHF lifestyle, and can be found here

Eating foods, and living this lifestyle does not have to be expensive … Eddie and I certainly do not live on steak, salmon etc. There is a very good article from Libby at Ditch The Carbs Site where she, and fellow LCHF fans, give some helpful hints and tips about the cost of LCHF and some very helpful tips to keep it inexpensive. Of course some tips may suit while others may not, but there is a wide choice, the link is here

Why red peppers and not green?
They contain the same nutrients that are found in green peppers, however the content is higher since they have been allowed more time to bloom on the vine.
See article here about the nutrients in a red pepper

Eating fruit and living the LCHF lifestyle … our three favourite lower carb fruits that we enjoy are blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. I'm going to give you another link … sorry … but they are easier to read at your leisure and give a good insight into the LCHF lifestyle. Carbs in fruit is detailed here

I believe the nurse you were talking to recently who mentioned the Mediterranean Diet did so because, 'The key feature of the Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet is carbohydrate restriction, which directly addresses impaired carbohydrate metabolism naturally.' Again there is more information and guidance to read about this here

With regard to any medication, (you mention metformin). Only the individual in consultation with their medical team can decide what may best suit them …

I hope I have addressed your queries.
Diana the original author of the article gave many links which may have answered some of your queries. Plus with the additional ones I have given, I hope you may have more of an insight into the LCHF lifestyle so important for diabetics … and others.

Thanks as always Victor (and all others) for sharing your thoughts, comments and questions.

Take Care

All the best Jan

Sandi said...

Wise words and so simple!

Chris Lally said...

Money, money, money, money, money - that's why.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Thank you Jan for a full response and links.

God bless.

Carol Blackburn said...

So true!

Snowbird said...

Sugar certainly is a killer. xxx

sheila 77 said...

Fascinating stuff, Jan, and something those of us who aren't diabetic should also know.

Magic Love Crow said...

Excellent post!! Thank you!!!

italiafinlandia said...

Good to know... should always keep in mind.