Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:
I have had type one diabetes for 14 years now and am always looking on the internet for information and tips on the disease. I would like to know your stance on the very popular Dr. Bernsteins Diabetic Solution. He makes a lot of sense to me and has great success in his treatment of diabetic patients (including himself). Have you read about him or his findings? Do you support or dispute him?

A:
The pros and cons of more severe carbohydrate restriction and higher protein intake abound. Because protein has a slower digestion response time than carbohydrates, the immediate rise in blood sugar is not seen as it is with carbohydrates. In the short run, this can appear to provide better glucose control. A key to long term better overhaul health and control towards correcting metabolism is choosing appropriate protein while paying attention to other lifestyle changes such as exercise and lowering stress responses.

Legumes and other plant-based proteins do not create the same acid load in the system that animal-based proteins can, especially red meats. Systems that are more acidic tend to have heightened chronic conditions. Having a high vegetable intake can help reduce the acidity of protein. The ratio for this is 4 vegetable servings to one of meat. A chicken or salmon caesar salad without heavy dressing would be an example of this. Of course, it is important to only have moderate amounts of carbohydrates from unrefined sources. Where these intakes are placed in the day can often be determined by blood sugar reviews.

Another caution regarding higher animal protein intake: elevated blood glucoses are sometimes seen up to 48 hours later. We have not addressed all that could be said here; my experience has shown me that there is no one Prescription for overall improvement. There are many levels to correct to our overall health before we can claim "wellness".

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