Why the American Diabetes Association recommended diet does more harm than good

Stop eating carbohydrates and get your blood sugar under control


 

The so called “diabetic diet” doesn’t exist. Sorry to break it to you. But the reason it doesn’t work is because it is all based on managing carbohydrates. But it doesn’t matter how much you manage carbs – as long as you keep eating them you’ll produce glucose and insulin. It is like trying to put out a fire by trowing gasoline.

Diabetes is a constant and increasing treat to public health. Since the 1960’s diabetes numbers have skyrocketed in the U.S. and the world. In the U.S. alone a total of 29.1 million or 9.3% of the population have been diagnosed. About 8.1 million people don’t know they have it (CDC). In the world a whooping 387 million people have diabetes and this number should increase to 592 million by 2035 (IDF). These pandemic type numbers coincides with radical changes Americans (and the world) underwent since the 1960’s; a consumption of packaged and junk food without precedent. A marked consumption of carbohydrates and sugars in levels never seen before in the history of the world.

Consumption of simple or complex carbohydrates stimulate insulin production; there is hardly any difference between the two. Our bodies are designed that way and insulin has specific functions which are not bad but we over produce it. It allows energy from glucose to enter the cells. Insulin is part of glycolysis, a primary way our bodies produce energy. Insulin other main function is to stores fat. The other way we can create energy is called gluconeogenesis and that’s when our bodies make energy from fats. Our bodies have been functioning for millions of years alternating between these two energy production modes.

With civilization came profound changes in our diet. We became sedentary and increased the consumption of carbohydrates. Instead of alternating between producing energy from fats in the winter and eating more carbohydrates in the summer, we became full time carb eaters. Our bodies happen to prefer making energy from glucose because it is easier and less energy costly. Since there is always plenty of glucose available we became glucose junkies and we barely ever burn fat for energy.

With the excess glucose from extra carbohydrates, there are also excesses of insulin hormone. Insulin is a very potent hormone and too much of it circulating can cause several problems including inflammation. Recent studies [9] have linked excess insulin to many complications leading to diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and even Alzheimer’s. Excess insulin leads to insulin resistance in the cells and also beta cell damage in the pancreas leading to insulin insufficiency; these are the hallmark of diabetes.

Carbohydrate intense diet can be linked to why diabetes became so prevalent after the 1960’s when our carbohydrate and sugar consumption skyrocketed. Carbohydrates lead to obesity and are difficult if not impossible to control as long as we keep eating it at the present rate. If you ever went on a diet and tried to lose weight at the gym you are aware of that. This is even more significant for diabetics who cannot control their high blood sugar.

The American Diabetes Associations (ADA) knows that too but continue to advocate diabetes management by adopting a carbohydrate intense diet. Mostly they are trying to get you away from eating fats. The results can be evidenced by a complete lack of positive results. In addition this leads to a need for more drugs and insulin injections which does not reverse diabetes and only require the use of more drugs as the situation deteriorates.

The alternative is to force your body to produce energy from fats by reducing carbohydrates to a minimum and increasing our fat intake. When eating fats, our bodies don’t produce insulin. Instead our liver go to work and convert fat into energy without producing glucose. This is quite a simple and straight forward process. The ADA don’t take this idea too seriously. This is due in part because our medical establishment is deeply indoctrinated in the belief that fats are the cause of heart disease and any diet that is not fat should be encouraged. This theory has been debunked by study after study proving that carbohydrates are to blame. The lack of fats in our diet and the man made fats substitutes such as margarine (and sugar) have been found to cause metabolic disease leading to diabetes and other complications. It is about time the ADA makes a revision and a shift away from carbohydrate intense diet to control diabetes.


 

 

 


 

References

  1. Carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and incident type 2 diabetes in older women
  2. Increased consumption of refined carbohydrates and the epidemic of type 2 diabetes in the United States: an ecologic assessment
  3. Prospective Study of Dietary Carbohydrates, Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load, and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Middle-aged Chinese Women
  4. A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Obesity
  5. The Effects of Low-Carbohydrate versus Conventional Weight Loss Diets in Severely Obese Adults: One-Year Follow-up of a Randomized Trial
  6. Low-carbohydrate diet in type 2 diabetes: stable improvement of bodyweight and glycemic control during 44 months follow-up
  7. One-Year Comparison of a High–Monounsaturated Fat Diet With a High-Carbohydrate Diet in Type 2 Diabetes
  8. The effect of high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a 12 month randomised controlled trial
  9. Hyperinsulinemia A Link Between Hypertension Obesity and Glucose Intolerance

Image credit: flickr.com

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