Monthly Archives: April 2009

Diabetes (Type 2) Rant – Part 2

I’m sorry, but I have to do it again. The current issue of Diabetes Forecast was so loaded that I need to vent.

It starts with page 9 and The Wake Up Call – What’s Your Diagnosis Story? by the Editorial Director. And I quote, “If you’re diagnosed relatively young, as I was, you’ve got a lot of years of disease management ahead of you, and a lot of years to worry about screwing up.” How about, “If you’re diagnosed young, you have a great opportunity to look at your life style, change it, and perhaps allow your body to heal itself.” The attitude – I’m in disease management mold for the rest of my life. That’s not going to get you better.

On page 11 we hear from “a dietician for more than 25 years” about feeling the pinch at the grocery store. So we get the great advice to “shop for canned or frozen foods to save money. Look for lower-sodium canned vegetables..Buy canned fruit that has no added sugar.” Canned fruits and vegetables? Come on. Look for lower-sodium and no added sugar? Canned vegetables have very little nutritional value. How about look at the junk food you are buying and spend the money on the healthy food.

On page 20 we learn that “Gastric bypass surgery seems to be a powerful treatment for type 2 diabetes in some obese adults, and now a study suggests the procedure may work for teens, too.” Great news. “Within a year, the blood glucose levels of all but one (of 11) teen who had surgery were normal without medication…” Well what about in two years or five years? What will that body be able to do without normal functioning of processing and absorbing nutrients? Perhaps there was/is a better answer than to “cure” type 2 diabetes with gastric bypass surgery?

On page 37 we learn then when you need to raise your blood glucose in a hurry, there are some sources suggested: glucose tablets, regular soda, orange juice, life savers, jelly beans (large), gum drops, sugar, honey, raisins, and SKIM MILK!!! Yes, skim milk. That food they tell you drink. Have low fat or non-fat products. Missing the connection? Skim milk causes a fast rise in blood glucose levels! So why drink it with your cereal in the morning??? UGH!!!

On page 44 begins the article titled “So, What Can I Eat?” It starts off great – “For most people who are new to diabetes, the one thing that seems clear is that sugar is off limits, right? Think again: It turns out that a diabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean your sweet tooth has to go cold turkey. in fact, you can eat many of the foods you love – yes, even desserts…” Great advice. Don’t change any habits. Permission to “cheat”. A great way never to get better. There is the usual advice for “low-fat versions, such as skim milk”. Isn’t that the same skim milk that will raise your blood glucose levels in a hurry????? The ongoing lie that “both saturated fats and trans fat up your risk for heart disease and stroke…replace butter..” And “protein from lean meat, fish, or soy products like tofu.” Guess they haven’t read the latest about the dangers of soy either.

But the best is on page 48 where “free foods” are discussed. They contain fewer than 20 calories or 5 grams of carbs. Suppose they don’t add up quickly – examples are “a quarter cup of salsa, a tablespoon of fat-free cream cheese…and as much as you’d like of sugar-free gelatin, sugar substitutes…” UGH, or did I already say that?

This advice is really sad and I feel bad for the honest people who want to live healthier and follow this advice. I guess that’s why the magazine contains all the advertisements for medical equipment. Follow the advice and you will definitely need all the advertised products.

Want some good ideas about diabetes. Go to www.westonaprice.org and do a search on diabetes. Read the work of Dr. Thomas Cowan. He helps people to get blood sugar under control. He recommends that the diet contain 60 carbs per day. What is in this magazine – 60 carbs per meal. See the difference?

Well, I feel better. I hope you find this educational. Rant over.

Agave Nectar Update

As I warn all my clients, there is a lot of hype around nutrition. The “health food industry” is in fact that – an industry. Unfortunately, that can mean it is concerned with profits and not necessarily providing truly healthy food.

The latest of these hypes to come to my attention is agave nectar. Given this new information, I have removed it from my list of acceptable sweeteners to use as alternatives to sugar. Like many of these nutrition hypes the agave nectar story begins with a basis of truth. We are told how native Mexicans used the “product” for thousands of years for a variety of purposes, including medicinal. Then we get the truth – the “nectar” is not produced as the ancients did. In fact, in the case of agave nectar, we have a process that is similar to how corn starch is converted into high fructose corn syrup! And we all now about the dangers of HFCS. Agave nectar is a manmade sweetener which through a complex chemical process converts fiber and starch into the unbound, manmade chemical fructose. High fructose agave doesn’t spike blood glucose levels, but the fructose causes the same damages as that from high fructose corn syrup – mineral depletion, liver inflammation, hardening of the arteries, insulin resistance leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

A special thanks to the Weston A. Price Foundation and their excellent research. I urge all my readers to join the Foundation. Part of the membership includes the quarterly publication Wise Traditions. It contains many gems of knowledge, including the information I am passing along regarding agave nectar.