When you’re a geeky dietitian and it’s World Diabetes Day (this past Monday) you have way too much fun scrolling through your Facebook feeds with amusing little taglines:
“Can the right food save your life?”
Or how about “A Smoothie to Fight Against Diabetes”
or my favorite “Rob Kardashian reveals He’s Completely Free of Diabetes”
What became more interesting and albeit slightly entertaining were the comments. And nasty comments at that. I felt like it was the presidential debates American style all over again. Step aside Hillary and Donald, there’s some passionate, well opinionated people out there expressing their cure for diabetes.
It was a virtual diabetes debate unfolding before my eyes!
There were the “diabetes is caused from eating too much sugar so stop eating sugar (moron!)” to “not all people should be eating a high fat, low carb diet (you idiot)” to a few tossing in that “Ayurveda is the best solution for diabetes”. Interesting enough, those suggestions didn’t come with any name calling.
Well the good news is that they can all work.
My two besties have always been annoyed with my ability to play “Switzerland”. But it’s no different here.
In fact, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) backs me up. In 2013, the ADA acknowledged that for adults with Type 2 diabetes the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), Mediterranean, vegan, vegetarian, low-fat or low-carb diets were all suitable for managing blood sugars. They also reported there is no conclusive evidence for an ideal amount of carb intake for people with diabetes.
In other words, there’s more than one right way to controlling diabetes.
I tend to promote consistent carbohydrates throughout the day because well I like carbs and most people I know freak out if they think they have to give up pasta or a fresh baked cookie. Many of these people, patients especially with complications resulting from uncontrolled diabetes avoided taking care of themselves because the thought of giving up their favorite foods was too traumatic. Thus denial was their “cure”.
I’ve had great success teaching people how to fit in their favorite ice cream treat and NOT the low fat, no added sugar kind. (Eww!)
I have a rule if it doesn’t taste good, do NOT eat it!
However, I also have patients and friends that rock the low carb world and do great. They report sleeping better, having more energy and less cravings for sugar.
No matter which way you choose to treat diabetes (or better yet prevent diabetes) it all starts with change.
I agree with research scientist Maggie Powers PhD, RD, CDE at the International Diabetes Center who was quoted in Today’s Dietitian regarding this diabetes debate:
“The best food plan is one that a person can follow.”
So I have to know. Comment below on which method has your “vote”? Are you anti carbs? Plant-based? Pro-fat?
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