Elizabeth Woolley Reviews Diabetic Diets

…at her About.com column on type 2 diabetes.  I don’t endorse everything there; just thought you might be interested.

I still see doctors at the hospital order “ADA diet” (American Diabetes Association) for their patients with diabetes.

There is no ADA diet.



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6 responses to “Elizabeth Woolley Reviews Diabetic Diets

  1. jim snell

    To me Diet and Crabs control are two different words and thus a ” diabetic diet” is not in my opinion a fully usefull term/description.

    From where I sit, as a T2 diabetic, I am very interested in carbs control either to limit carbs/glucose generation or in some cases ensure sufficient carbs to reduce bottoming out and forcing liver out of cave. After that, I address all the other aspects of what a diet attempts to achieve for rest of body.

    Whatever global diet one pursues for whatever reason, carbs control in my mind comes first and then fit in rest of diet per Doctor, preferences etc.

    I looked over Elizabeth’s review and believe she has done a good job of not getting into the one solution fixes all and review’s the choices.

    That ADA does not have a Diet is suspicions confirmed time.

    Best wishes and thanks.

    • Hey, Jim.
      Regular readers here know that I favor carbohydrate restriction for control of diabetes, at least cutting down from the 275 grams a day in the usual American diet. I think it’s more important to cut refined sugars and starches first.
      That being said, I admit that some studies show benefit for low-fat vegetarian eating. These are often linked to famous vegetarian (vegan?) Dr. Neal Barnard. I reviewed some of the vegetarian evidence here. However, I’ve noticed that only about 10% of Americans will ever seriously consider a strict vegetarian diet.

      • jim snell

        Dr. Parker:

        Our blessings as always for your excellent web site and sound advice. A clear voice among the noise.

        I am not hooked into vegan per sae but follow the mediterranean diet and its varients.

        Because my liver is badly behaved in its glucose add functions, I am always working around that and trying to keep liver in its cave by diet management.

        I do not for me see Vegan or totally low glycemic – pure as fully usefull but a good place to start.

        Best wishes for all the excellent help and comment.

      • Many thanks to you, Jim.


  2. I understand Barnard is a committed PETA person and a psychiatrist by training so those facts are important to me in considering his diet. Does he have a political agenda behind his diet approach? Many critics say he most certainly does. And his medical training just isn’t there if in fact it was based on psychiatry. Goodness, with all the personal attacks made on Dr. Atkins, are we supposed to accept Barnard’s background without a blink just because his diet espouses the low fat, high carb mantra? Atkins was a cardiologist for gosh sakes. Barnard is very adamant that his diet can work well with T2 diabetics. His book is HIGHLY dismissive of ANY other approach, particularly carb restriction. Yes, I’ve read it. The beauty of lowering carbs is that you can easily make it a lifetime diet and it ALSO works very well. Putting the two approaches side by side, I just can’t see myself being able to stick to Barnard’s approach for the rest of my life. Just can’t. I think many other T2 diabetics feel the same. And the thought of the numbers I would see on my glucometer eating all the pastas and grains in Barnard’s diet is terrifying. He claims glucose levels eventually stabilize but I just am not willing to throw the dice like that. I’M the one that will be blind, an amputee, on dialysis, not Barnard after all.

    • Hi, frank. I appreciate your taking the time to comment.

      I didn’t know Dr. Barnard was a psychiatrist (I never bothered to look into it). I don’t hold his psychiatry training against him. An American-trained physician should have enough intelligence and science background to do a reasonable review of the available literature and make some diet recommendations, if they devote extra attention to it.

      For example, I have a lot of respect for Dr. Emily Deans‘ diet recommendations, and she’s a psychiatrist.

      On the other hand, credentials can be quite important for certain projects! If I’m paying for the designe of a 200-foot bridge across a river, I’m looking for an engineer who’s done it before, not a smart person who read a book on it and says “I think I can do that for you.”

      I’d love to see a year-long randomized controlled trial of Barnard’s plan versus Bernstein’s or mine, for management of diabetes. But who’s going to pay for it?