Do diabetes specialists have learning resistance?

The healthy diabetes plate is a peer-reviewed “evidence based guidelines for healthy eating for Type 2 diabetics”.PCD41A12s01

Here’s my rant around what I consider to be a gaping hole in sensible logic.

Here’s the biological logic:

  1. You have become metabolically dysregulated. In mainstream medicine, your doctor will call you “insulin resistant”.
  2. That means your body is having difficulty getting glucose out of your blood stream into your cells.
  3. Your body still needs to get rid of this glucose, so your pancreas produces more insulin to get the glucose into the cells.
  4. Chronically high insulin makes you more insulin resistant, requiring you to produce more and more insulin. It gets worse and worse. Fat oxidation is turned off, and adipocyctes (fat cells) take up extra glucose and fat.
  5. No matter how much insulin you produce, you can’t move all the glucose into cells. Your blood glucose is high which damages the body irreparably.
  6. Sometimes, because of the stress of overproduction of insulin, the pancreas will have burnout in the beta cells which produce the insulin. Then you’ll need extra insulin, like a Type 1 diabetic.

Here’s your choice:

  1. Take mainstream diabetes treatment advice and follow their dietary guidelines (see above and below). That will be a low fat, moderate carb diet, where you should probably restrict calories. This will result in continued high blood glucose and insulin as you are eating quite a lot of carbs. Whole grains and beans are suggested as they are higher quality and absorbed more slowly. That just means high insulin the whole day for the insulin resistant person. I’ve written about the evidence for this previously.
  2. OR Here’s a novel idea…..or am I missing something here all you diabetes specialists and dieticians? RESTRICT YOUR DIETARY CARBS to very low amounts (<50g/day), eat more fat, and everything will improve. Here’s the outcomes when you do this.
    Just a thought. A glaringly obvious solution to the problem of being unable to tolerate carbs and move them into cells……don’t eat them!

    Take a look at the diabetes food pyramid below…..a low fat diet will be a high carb diet, even with high lean protein, because excess protein ends up being dealt with in exactly the same way as carbs. I contend the only way that a diet like this can work to help a diabetic is if somehow they have enough will power to semi-starve themselves into a very low calorie diet. That diet now works because it too is now a low carbohydrate diet. Why does mainstream medicine seem to be so resistant to even considering this possibility? Who’s right here? Do I have learning resistance, or do the current guidelines just make no sense in the light of the evidence? Insulin resistance or learning resistance?

    pyramid

Author: Prof. Grant Schofield

I am Grant Schofield, Professor of Public Health at Auckland University of Technology and director of the university's Human Potential Centre (HPC) located at the Millennium Campus in Auckland, New Zealand. My research and teaching interests are in wellbeing and chronic disease prevention especially reducing the risk and eventual mortality and morbidity from obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. I live by the motto "be the best you can be" and have a strong commitment to peak performance in which I also do consulting work. I’ve been interested in human health and performance for my whole career. I started in psychology, went into sport and exercise psychology, then into public health, especially physical activity, then obesity. There have been some twists and turns along the way, which are the reasons for why I do what I do – you can read about those in my first blog entry. I want to know how we can be the best we can be. This crosses disciplines such as biology, medicine, pubic health, and productivity management. The cornerstones are nutrition, exercise, sleep, neuroscience, psychology and wellbeing. In my blog, I cover these topics under the broad heading of the Science of Human Potential.

17 thoughts on “Do diabetes specialists have learning resistance?”

  1. I completely agree with your rant – and I am glad that you are putting out this information! My brother who is diabetic and has been for the last 5 years, recently went on the LCHF diet (5 months ago) and he recently went to his Dr. for a check upand she said he had the best readings she had seen on him over the last 6 years!! Its time to try something new!!

  2. I agree. I’m a type 1, A friend gave me the same advice (law of small numbers), I restricted carbs and found paleo/primal too. I have reduced my hb1ac from 8.4 to 6.2 and lost 15kg in 12 months. All other markers have improved too.

  3. I despair that main stream thinking is ever going to change! Doctors and dietitians spout the same old stuff year after year, they just regurgitate what they learn at uni, taught by people who don’t keep up to date with the latest research or if they do dare not change their thinking from the straight and narrow!

  4. Hi!
    Thank you for this! I am a Provider for Diabetes Free America – have you heard of us? We are advocating a 16 week systematic approach to lowering high blood sugar which includes a modified mediterranean eating plan that is low in carbs and rich in vegetables, fruit, protein and fiber. So many doctors will not refer patients to me because it is different from what the ADA recommends and this WORKS! I’d love to work with you. Can we meet?

  5. i did this during my last pregnancy with gestational diabetes after my diabetes dietitian told me to eat corn CORN. After being treated appallingly by this lady my endocrinologist told me to keep my sugars at 7 or below. so I did this by testing everything which meant out went the pasta the basmati rice the cous cous and most of the breads. 2 slices of very grainy bread a day lots of yummy meats and vegies lost about 8 kg’s not even trying and had a happy healthy bubba or normal proportions.
    Good to see that this info is getting out there

  6. Good on you, Professor Schofield. I agree that low-carb is the way to go, for those of us with a tendency to fatten and become diabetic. I am making that no-risk bet.

    Importantly, sugar is 100% carbohydrate and 0% critical nutrients. And modern elevated rates of sugar consumption – especially via sugary drinks – clearly are a key driver of the global trends towards obesity and diabetes, together the greatest public-health challenge of our times: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20693348

    In an effort to counter those disturbing global trends – especially amongst young people and Indigenous peoples – I am calling for a ban on all sugary drinks in all schools in all nations: http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/Sugary-Drinks-Ban.pdf

    Readers, if after assessing the facts you think this proposal has merit, please forward my piece in the link above to parents, students, teachers, principals and heads of schools, nurses, doctors, dentists and others involved in public health and education.

  7. Rant justified. EI is a dead horse. Being an exercise scientist, I followed the conventional dogma of HCLF/CR for years. I now I eat 18MJ a day (unless I have skipped a day eating, then I eat more) and have recovered from the met syndrome, sleep apnoea, hypercholesterolaemia, depression, ulcerative colitis, and lost 40kg in 6months.

  8. Hi Grant, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes last year and my doctor put me on metformin tablets ( 6 tabs a day ). I am also an asthmatic and have been on losec for last ten years for hiatus hernia . I am only 48 and feel really low taking tablets and pills all day. I want to try your approach of diet, LCHF. Where do I find authentic information as to what exactly I should be eating. I do not know which fruits or veges to avoid and which ones to consume. Also which oils to avoid and which proteins to take. Would you be able to help at all ??

    Many thanks

    Ron

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