The dirty truth behind the newest diabetes ‘guidelines’

On the heels of yesterday’s blood sugar discussion, I thought today would be a good time to share some more earth-shattering news with my readers. (I know, I know… as usual, I’m having a hard time containing my sarcasm.)

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recently issued some new nutritional guidelines. And this time, it appears that the focus is on overall eating patterns and patient preference. (As opposed to any single dietary “prescription,” that is.)

In other words, these clowns haven’t got a clue. Shocking, isn’t it?

This is the same group of experts that used to advise diabetics to consume 60 grams of carbohydrates at each meal. I probably don’t need to say more than that. But why stop there, when they’ve given me so much material to rant about?

You know, like the fact that the authors of these new guidelines intentionally avoided using the word “diet.” (Wow. How cutting edge of them! I–and everyone else in the nutrition industry–have only been doing that for decades now.)

But don’t be fooled. This vocabulary choice is nothing more than cageyness. There’s a reason why these “experts” have been so wishy-washy with their diet recommendations.

In fact, just the other day, I was telling a patient about the time I went to a national meeting of the ADA. She was gobsmacked by my account. And you may be, too.

The convention center main hall was littered with 3,000-square-foot booths built by pharmaceutical companies to sell their drugs. And right next to them were booths for “foods” like Minute Instant Rice and Breyers’ “ice cream for diabetics.”

It’s a perfect marriage, really. Eat that junk, and you’re guaranteed to need more of the medication. But there’s something very wrong when this insidious little partnership takes up prime real estate at an official ADA meeting.

And yet, no one else but me seemed to be bothered by it one bit.

Clearly, the ADA can’t come out and make any clear dietary recommendations. They’re too scared of alienating both the medical community and some of their biggest sponsors in the food industry.

This, despite the fact that you and I both know that many diabetics have had amazing success with a Mediterranean approach to eating.

In fact, the same patient I shared my ADA story with the other day had just lost 60 pounds with my New Hamptons Health Miracle. She’s off of all of her oral medication for diabetes and blood pressure. And she’s down to just 3 units of insulin per day–all while maintaining the best blood sugars she has ever had in her life.

And that, my friends, is exactly what the so-called leaders in the field are afraid of. Because it’s never about our health. It’s about the health of their bottom line.

These new ADA “guidelines” are a complete joke. They say that doctors should “work with patients to help them achieve individual health goals,” that “a variety of eating patterns can help,” and that “people are more likely to follow an eating plan that speaks to them.”

Blah, blah, blah.

These aren’t “guidelines.” This is the ADA giving up. And that’s the simple, sad fact.

You know what eating plan speaks to me? Ice cream sundaes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Often a lot more loudly than it should, I’ll add.) But needless to say, that is not going to help my blood sugar or prevent heart disease.

“Personal preferences (eg, tradition, culture, religion, health beliefs and goals, economics) and metabolic goals should be considered when recommending one eating pattern over another,” the statement says.

To which I say, come on. We either know something or we don’t. And I’m sorry, but patients are looking for advice. Following their own preferences is exactly what landed them in our offices in the first place.

If it sounds like I’m angry, well… I am. We have a responsibility as health professionals to guide our patients.

So how about we start giving them the help that they desperately need, instead of catering to the dirty marriage between Big Pharma and the processed food industry?

On that note, if you haven’t started following my New Hamptons Health Miracle yet, now is the time. Because getting healthy should be everyone’s personal preference.

“Nutrition therapy recommendations for the management of adults with diabetes.” Diabetes Care. 2013 Nov;36(11):3821-42.