Debunking the Low-Fat Diet for Diabetics
Some scientists and researchers consider diabetes as a genetic disease and believe it can be maintained with a low-fat, low-calorie, and high- carbohydrate diet. Fortunately, Diana Schwarzbein, MD has helped us prove that this is OLD NEWS. With first hand experience in the nutrition field, she found herself in a cycle with diabetic patients who continued to gain weight and have spikes in blood sugar on an ADA recommended diet. She realized that something had to change, and began making adjustments to her client’s diets, which she calls the Schwarzbein Principle. Here is an excerpt from the book:
“I decided for the time being to get a baseline. “You’re going to monitor your blood sugar seven times a day at home with a blood-sugar monitoring device,” I instructed. “Before you eat, an hour after you eat and at bedtime. Write everything down. Everything you’re feeling, everything you eat, activities, blood-sugar levels and any other observations. I’ll see you again in a week.” When they returned after monitoring their habits, my patients all told me, “It’s the food I’m eating!”
It was clear. These patients were monitoring their blood sugar. When they did a “finger blood-sugar stick” in the morning, their blood sugar was normal. Then they ate a perfect ADA breakfast-a bowl of shredded wheat with non-fat milk, a banana and a glass of orange juice-and watched their blood sugar rise one hundred to two hundred points. (A normal blood-sugar response to any meal is no more than ten to twenty points.)
Something they were eating was causing the problem. It could not be the protein. Protein will eventually turn into sugar, but not that quickly. It could not be the fat-they were eating hardly any fat-and fats do not turn into sugar that quickly either. Carbohydrates are the only nutrient group that can be converted into sugar so fast. All carbohydrates are recognized as sugar by the body, whether they are in the form of grains, starches, dairy, fruits or sweets. I suddenly recognized that by recommending a high-carbohydrate diet, we were giving sugar to diabetics.
In order to understand why sugar is so destructive to diabetics you need to appreciate the central role of insulin in human physiology. Insulin is the hormone responsible for tightly regulating the amount of sugar going to the brain after you eat. Insulin accomplishes this in two ways: First, the presence of insulin alerts the liver to incoming high amounts of sugar so that the liver does not let this high sugar pass through to the brain. Second, insulin stows away sugar into cells, thereby decreasing blood-sugar levels. Also, when sugar is stowed, insulin levels normalize. This system keeps blood sugars and insulin levels balanced.
But Type II diabetics are “insulin resistant,” which means that the cells will not allow insulin to unload sugar from the bloodstream. Because the cells do not respond to insulin, the pancreas reacts by secreting even more insulin in an attempt to open up the closed cells. This results in Type II diabetics having both high insulin levels and high blood-sugar levels. If you then ask diabetics to eat more carbohydrates (as in the ADA diet), it further increases both their blood-sugar levels and insulin levels.” –Diana Schwarzbein, MD
The bad news is, Dr. Schwarzbein said all of this in 1999. That’s right folks. almost 20 years have gone by with Americans blindly following the supposed well intentions of the ADA are now literally going blind, along with many other detrimental effects and complications of Type II diabetes. But don’t kid yourself- you don’t have to have the diagnosis of Type II diabetes or even “pre-diabetes” to sustain some of the uncomfortable daily symptoms of metabolic disorders.
Most of the traditional advice given by the ADA and positioned by the sugar lobby has led us to epidemic rates of Type II diabetes. The issue is further complicated by a camp of nutrition leaders who say that protein and fat are culprits and the only way to get blood sugars under control are by avoiding them despite several studies that have proven otherwise.
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