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Drug-Free Diabetic Meal Plan

Updated on January 16, 2013

Choose carefully if your goal is to end your dependence on Type-2 Diabetes drugs healthily

A diabetic meal plan that allows us to avoid taking drugs to manage our diabetes symptoms -- and do it healthily -- is hard to find. One does exist, but it requires an open mind, some hybridization, and detective work to find it.

So many diabetics get side-tracked onto the Pharmaceutical "Highway to Hell", as soon as they get diagnosed. Those who would like to take a different route -- and avoid the need for medications, insulin shots, carb counting, portion sizes, and the sad end stages of the disease-- will need to choose carefully. Several diets have shown success in ending diabetes symptoms, but some could make the dieter less healthy in the long run.

In this article, we will examine these diabetic meal plans and consider them in view of their long-term health value.

The bad news is that some of the most popular ones currently are the least healthy and are not supported by scientific evidence. You, however, are welcomed to your own interpretation of the evidence. My intention is to make you aware of alternatives to the commonly accepted practice of taking a variety of pills and insulin injections that only slow the progress of this metabolic disorder.

Diets go through a fashion cycle predictably. Right now, the Low-Carb diet is in vogue. We are told half-truths with a straight face and expected to believe them. Many people do.

What Half-Truths Am I Talking About?

These diet promoters tell us all carbohydrates -- both natural and refined -- are bad.

The demonization of carbohydrate is a perfect illustration of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". Those who blame obesity on carbs ignore the monumental differences between whole carbs and refined carbs, such as sugar -- which has all nutritive value stripped from it. All that's left are the empty calories. Whole carbs, such as wheat -- which, we are told, should be condemned to the darkest regions of Hell for various reasons -- are bad, bad, bad and cause insulin to rise when we eat them.

(Actually, insulin levels must rise to do their job of escorting blood sugar -- the carbohydrate fuel that powers the muscles and mind -- to where it needs to go. Insulin levels only become a problem when they don't return to a normal level due to insulin resistance.)

Little mention is made of the valuable nutrition that whole wheat contains. No, to the Low-Carb Dieters, it is a grain and that is enough to sentence it to exile from our kitchens. No matter that great civilizations were built with the dependable, efficient and store-able carbohydrates -- Wheat, Corn, Potatoes, Millet, Amaranth, and Rice.

No matter that our bodies run on carbs -- ideally whole, unrefined ones that release energy slowly.

Quibbling over relatively minor changes made by breeding the modern strains of wheat diverts people and provides excuses to blame wheat for any weight gain or a variety of other health problemsthey have experienced (while they refuse to let go of more important bad habits that are keeping their weight on).

The Paleo Diet is an exotic offshoot of the Low-carb movement. It provides a seemingly plausible logical explanation for why we should quit eating carbohydrates, but it neglects several crucial facts. The major fallacy in this Paleolithic fantasy is that archeologists agree that primal peoples -- the real ones -- ate mainly carbs, just as healthy people worldwide do today. The Paleo myth is debunked below by Dr. John McDougall. in an hour-long video.

If you would prefer to scan his views specifically related to the Paleo Diet, the link to that article is here:

John McDougall, MD: The Diet Wars

The next diet we'll consider is the one your physician and dietitian will suggest most often. This is the Middle-of-the-Road, Conventional Diabetic Meal Plan. It can produce good results if you follow the usual recommendations to the letter -- and apply the guidelines with an honest understanding of what you are trying to accomplish.

Here's the link to what the Center for Disease Control Diabetic Meal Plan suggests:

These are all good recommendations, but they leave too much to subjective interpretation. For instance, when they recommend "Eat Less Fat," how much is less? I would understand if they were to say, "Eat NO Fat," or "Eat as Little Fat as Possible," but I don't think most people, who already are challenged by the task of choosing what and how much to eat, will be as tough on themselves as they need to be. Not if they want to get totally free of this epic problem they have -- Type-2 Diabetes.

It is on this Middle-of-the-Road diabetes diet plan where you will be faced with the most temptation. Scrumptious pictures of low-cal versions of your favorite chocolate cakes and brownies haunt the margins of the Web pages where mainstream dieters go for information and support. Can you resist these artificially-sweetened, white-flour "diet" versions that sweetly offer to divert you from your planned course? We'll soon find out!

It is with this conventional approach where you are most likely to be put on some type of medication -- often Metformin or the sulfonylurias(which cause weight GAIN as a common side-effect). Once you get on one or the other drug, I would not give you very good odds to come out of this program with a successful reversal of your symptoms. I don't have any figures to back me up, but my guess is that most of those who get on the "slippery slope" of diabetic drugs will never get off them.

There are those who get fed up with feeling crappy, low on energy -- part due to the med side-effects and partly due to low carb diets -- who become determined to find a way to get off their meds with one of the other meal plans, but I believe these are few.

If you look at the people you see at any weight loss support group or diabetic support group, you will find many who fiercely defend the programs that their doctor put them on -- even though they obviously are not working -- and probably will lead them to the same sad end that the "medical management" protocol has been shown to result in for millions of others.

In my judgement, most of those who start looking for a diet plan to deal with diabetes symptoms by visiting a doctor's office are going to walk out with one or more prescriptions and a weak endorsement of the importance of "eat healthy and get more exercise." Once the drugs kick in with side-effects like headache, diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, and vomiting, my guess is they won't feel much like exercising or eating healthily.

Thus begins the downhill slide into the Pharmaceutical Sales Funnel, where you need two drugs to relieve the side-effects of the first on you were given. And you get weaker, more depressed, and feel like at least pleasing your tastebuds.

My Pick for the Healthiest Diet for Reversing Diabetes

Then there is the low fat diabetic meal plan offered by a growing number of diabetes medical specialists. These are the Vegan diets, with no meat, fish, milk products, eggs. These have documented clinical success rates of 70% or better, but most people are not motivated to go the vegan route. (Not yet, anyway. This option is growing in popularity, though.)

To the credit of the American Diabetic Association, they now endorse vegetarian and vegan diets as healthy for diabetics. See this page:

This is one meal plan that works. Ironically, most of these practitioners advocate taking no supplements at all. According to the most vocal of them, Dr. John McDougall, the only supplement you might need is Vitamin B-12.

Finally, I am aware of a few doctors, mainly naturopaths, who use nutritional supplementation to assist insulin to regain its intended function.

These doctors reference a 1959 discovery by researchers Walter Mertz and Kenneth Schwartz, which showed that lab rats could be given the mineral chromium to restore their proper insulin function. No changes in diet were required; no tedious exercise regimen -- just the proper amount of this safe natural nutrient that everyone needs, of which most diabetics are deficient.

Although this would seem to be a major discovery, the medical profession in general has forgotten all about it because the pharmaceutical companies can't turn this natural element into a patentable drug. So they are not interested in curing diabetes unless they can earn their huge profits year after year, with no competition.

Fortunately, a few doctors are offering supplements with chromium, vanadium, and the necessary co-factors required to produce optimum results. The value of this discovery has not been lost for their lucky patients -- although the majority of the public are not likely to hear about it.

Here is some confirmation of the value and need for chromium supplementation, especially for diabetics: It is posted by the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Dr. Neal Barnard in his book about the benefits of a vegan diet to reverse diabetes, does mention the possibility of including chromium supplements. He even refers to a study by Canadian researchers who documented a woman's full recovery from Type-2 Diabetes when chromium was added to a liquid diet she was being fed intravenously. That is very convincing evidence that chromium, without other dietary changes or exercise, can help diabetics beat this disease.

Perhaps, given a second chance by chromium supplementation, more people could see the value of bringing their whole diet back into harmony with a truly healthy lifestyle and diabetic meal plan.


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