In this post, ‘diabetes diet‘ refers to the diet that lead to my diabetes diagnosis, essentially a fast food diet. I will compare my diabetes diet, the ADA Diet and my low carb paleo meal plan.
- The ADA still promotes a high carb diet to diabetics.
- I answer the question, “Is the ADA diet really ‘high carb’?”
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) promotes a low fat, high carb, grain based diabetes diet, as does the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). Both the ADA and the AADE will deny they promote a high carb diet, this post proves my claims.
The picture above is from ADA’s diabetes.org, taken from a ‘diabetes friendly’ cookbook they sell. Grrrrr. I contend the ADA Diet is NO better than the SAD (Standard American Diet) or at best ONLY marginally healthier and therefore harmful to the health of EVERYONE but especially detrimental to DIABETICS.
My Diabetes Story
I am a formerly obese, formerly drug and insulin dependent diabetic, taking four insulin shots a day … just to survive. Today I am in best fitness condition of my adult life, normal weight and truly normal blood sugars.
Oh, and I am drug & insulin FREE! I attribute my success in self managing diabetes to a low carb paleo meal plan and lifestyle.
My Diabetes Diet
….or the diet that gave me diabetes.
1) WOW… look at those carbohydrate numbers, carbs represent almost 60% of my food, in grams.
Think the high carbs totals may have contributed to my obesity and diabetes?
Not according to ADA, it’s not the 59% of Carbs that caused my obesity, it was the 8% of saturated fats, which like most ADA “findings”, would be humorous if it wasn’t harming people.
2) If Saturated Fats make up a small percentage of EVEN a Standard American Diet, how can it be the root of all evil as so many claim that it is?
3) “Sweet” Drinks represented 186 g of carbs, approximately 22 % of all grams.
American Diabetes Association Diet
Or the “ADA Way” as I prefer to call it.
A Full Listing of the ADA Diet and it’s components are included at the end of this post. For brevity sake, I include ONLY the summaries below. I would also like to add that due to the different ways foods can be cooked (with or without fat etc) I am only looking at the carbohydrate totals and it is the most important number for this discussion.
The ADA provided a Food Pyramid with suggested servings. They give NO guidance as to HOW MANY you should eat. They suggest you see an ADA Minion for that. ( Dietitian or Nutritionist) Why should you pay for advice on what to eat??? But that is another story.
I created the chart of carbs (below) based on the minimum number of servings and the maximum number of servings. I arbitrarily chose an item from nutritiondata.com ‘s listing based on the ADA Food Pyramid’s suggested examples.
1) At first glance the “ADA Diet” looks like an improvement… especially IF you ate the minimal servings.
“My Diabetes Diet” has 483 g of carbs vs 269g of carbs using the LEAST number of servings for the “ADA Diet.
2) The ADA did NOT give guidance on minimum vs maximum servings…so trust me, vast majority of the Diabetics believe it’s ok to eat the maximum number of servings. Many eat the maximum and more because the ADA Diet maintains the addictions to grains and sugar.
3) The ADA diet did not include sweet drinks …
Comparing Apples to Apples
The ADA Diet numbers do not include drinks. And you have to really dig to find ANYTHING negative about sugar drinks on the ADA website. BUT that is understandable given the amount of funding the large Soft Drink manufacturers “donate” to fund study research…you know…in the name of “proper nutrition”…
To compare Apples to Apples, you need even the playing field, we will need to subtract all the “drink carbs” from the “Diet that gave me Diabetes” . Here are summaries of the two meal plans after subtracting the drink carbs.
Level Playing Field
If you consider just the actual foods and not the sweet drinks and juices, even my ‘fast food’ diet can be lower in carbs than the ADA Diet’s maximum allowed servings….and only slightly higher in carbs than the LEAST amount of servings.
The ADA diet is a HIGH CARB DIET.
My Low Carb Paleo Meal Plan
Now let’s take a look at the carb totals of my low carb paleo meal plan, My goal is to be 30 grams of carbs or less. I try never to exceed 50 grams. Over the years I have gravitated to lower and lower carb, typically eating 10-15 grams of total carbohydrates per day.
1) Freedom from Insulin
2) Freedom from all drugs (medications)
3) Normal Blood Sugar (for non-diabetics)
4) Best fitness conditioning of my adult life
My largely fast food diet lead to more and more insulin resistance, a diabetes diagnosis and pancreatic failure with a trip to the hospital via an ambulance.
The ADA Diabetes Diet is not significantly lower in carbohydrates and will cause blood sugar spikes. If the spikes are untreated, cell, organ and nerve damage will occur at a fast rate.
If the spikes are treated, the damage still occurs but at a slower rate. Your health will decline at a slower rate… but still ultimately leading to never damage, organ failure and amputations.
On the other hand, my ‘low carb paleo’ meal plan has lead to better fitness, weight reduction and reductions diabetes complications. The choice is really a simple one.
You can choose to THRIVE … or choose to live a life of downward health, leading to more pain and suffering. It’s up to you.
I’ll leave you with this, a recent study proving that a very low carb diet beat the ‘moderate’ ADA style diet for blood sugar control.
Below is the specifics of the ‘ADA Way’ meal plan recommendations.
Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally
If your blood sugars are elevated and you cannot achieve truly normal blood sugars with diet alone…
READ MY BOOK! How to Reduce Blood Sugars.