Of interest to many of my readers was yet another study proving the efficacy of the low carb diet. This one was done by Richard Feinman, PhD, from the Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. His study found to the surprise of no one who owns and uses a blood sugar meter, that a low carb diet is much better than a high carb diet in controlling blood sugar. The diet used in this study was one that was 20% carbohydrate, which would be one of 100 grams for a 2000 calorie intake, just north of the boundary where most people start spilling ketones.
This diet did not produce weight loss--it was designed not to, but still achieved dramatic improvements in blood sugar, overturning the touching, if false, belief of most doctors and nutritionists that it is weight loss that lowers blood sugar, rather than the lowering of carbohydrate intake that occurs with calorie restricted weight loss diets.
My point in mentioning this is not that the research is all that significant. We've had lots of research over the years that demonstrated this same effect. What's interesting is that, surrounded by Europeans, rather than the Drug Company and Food Industry goons who dominate the American Diabetes Association, Dr. Feinman mentioned the elephant in the room.
Here's what he said, as reported by Diabetes in Control: "...the science is not controversial but policy regarding dietary control in diabetes is."
He then added,
"The recommendations are for relatively high carbohydrates. When you press the ADA [American Diabetes Association] for their recommendations, they say they do not have a specific diet, but in fact they recommend a high-carbohydrate [diet] and give grudging support to a restricted-carbohydrate diet."Predictably, he was met with a hail of fact-free objection from nutritionists who responded much like Jesuits confronted with Martin Luther.
"I'd really like to see an impartial panel of scientists that doesn't necessarily have any commitment to nutrition, [such as] physicists or meteorologists. The goal would be a clearer analysis of the facts, laying out the options, especially for people with diabetes. Let the patient and the physician make the decision.
You can read their science-free responses and the attempts of those who seek to smoothe the waters by claiming there is a middle way in the Diabetes in Control article which you will find here:
EASD: High-Protein/Low Carbohydrate Diet Effective for Weight Loss in Type 2 Diabetes NOTE: The title does not correctly reflect the finding which was that the Low carbohydrate diet is effective for blood sugar control in the absence of weight loss.
The fact is, there is no middle way. The low glycemic/high carbohydrate diet is very slightly better than a high glycemic/high carbohydrate diet, but it still produces blood sugars high enough to promote complications.
To avoid complications you need to get normal blood sugars, not slightly better diabetic blood sugars. To do that, you need to cut out a lot of carbs. Twenty percent works for many. I still need to use a bit of meal time insulin with a carb intake that high, but with insulin it works for me. Without fast acting meal time insulin, I need to drop to around 15% to get decent control.
The reason to highlight this presentation, though, is that for the very first time, a researcher has had the nerve to point to the fact that the ADA's promotion of the high carbohydrate diet is a political decision, not one based on science.
This, in the world of science, is a big deal. It isn't quite an accusation of corruption, but it is close.
In fact, I believe the American Diabetes Association is corrupt, and that its corruption is due to the fact that it is heavily funded by commercial interests who lose money when people with diabetes use an effective diet to control their blood sugar instead of drugs that cost almost $200 a month. Look at the cheap food conglomerates who sponsor the ADA and ask yourself how many of them sell high quality protein foods free of corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, and lots and lots of sugar and starch.
I'm off now to see my endo for my semi-annual checkup. My A1c will probably be higher than I'd like, because I had the flu three weeks ago. It's always higher than I expect, and because I was feverish for a few days and had high blood sugars much of the week I expect it to be even higher this time. In fact, save for when I was sick, I have kept my blood sugar under very good control throughout the last six months and even managed to knock off a few pounds, too.
Back later. . . .
My A1c turned out to be 5.8% which considering that I was seeing a bunch of 180s after meals the week after I had flu and the test was a week after that was extremely good news. Outside of the flu I thought I had been doing well. I'm also down 10 lbs since April, which is what I thought too. Partly that is due to going back on metformin, partly to getting food poisoning last summer which kept me from eating food for a week, and partly from the flu. I'll take it.
My blood pressure had shot up again--it's been fluctuating wildly of late since I got sick and can be anywhere from from 90/60 to 160/113 with no obvious explanation for why. It was fine yesterday--I measure at home--but it was awful at the office and on my home machine too. Back onto the Diovan!
I've been supplementing with 2000 IU of Vitamin D all year and she tested my Vitamin D level. It was 51, which is okay but I'm going to add another 1000 IU to the daily intake since it could be better. Finally all the kidney tests, microalbumin, creatinine etc. were completely normal.
The doc suggested that it would have been a good idea not to take the metformin while feverish with flu, given that during fever we produce higher levels of lactic acid and tend to get dehydrated. That's a bit of info to stash away for future use. I have been very exhausted since getting over this flu and she suggested going off the metformin for a week to see if that helped.