THE AMERICAN DIABETIC ASSOCIATION DIET
By Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© November 2015, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Diabetes is an epidemic in America and around the world. Diet is very important with this health condition. The American Diabetic Association or ADA suggests a diet for those with diabetes that is horrible, in my view. Here are the problems with this diet:
THE WORST PROBLEMS
The diet is low-fat. This does not work for those with a fast oxidation rate. These individuals need some fat with each meal because it slows their oxidation rate. Also, they do not tolerate carbohydrates very well.
Eating carbohydrates throws their body chemistry further out of balance. Also, they gain weight eating any type of carbohydrates.
Many Type 2 diabetics are fast oxidizers, and many diabetics need to lose weight. The ADA diet significantly worsens their health. To learn more about the oxidation types, please read Fast, Slow and Mixed Oxidation on this website.
The diet allows coffee. This is horrible for diabetics. Drinking even a cup of coffee a day stimulates the adrenal glands, which upsets blood sugar. Also, the caffeine dehydrates the person, and this severely destabilizes their blood sugar.
The diet is much too low in cooked vegetables. These are needed to replenish minerals and many other phyto-nutrients.
Most of the “diabetic superfoods” are horrible for diabetics. They include:
- dried beans, which are very starchy
- citrus fruits that are fully of sugar
- sweet potatoes that are extremely starchy and sugary
- berries and tomatoes, both of which are sugary
- fish such as tuna and salmon that are very high in mercury
- whole grains, which are very starchy foods
OTHER PROBLEMS (arranged by food groups)
Fresh food. The diet gives one a choice of fresh, frozen or canned food without saying that fresh food is best.
Variety. There is no emphasis on eating a variety of vegetables, proteins and starches. Many people live on just a few foods every day, which impairs their nutrition.
Condiments and sea salt. Sprinkling quality herbs on one’s food such as garlic, tarragon, turmeric, and sea salt can significantly enhance its nutrition.
Unrefined sea salt is an excellent source of minerals, and usually has much better effects on the body. Refined table salt has had most of its trace minerals stripped away, and is a very poor quality food.
Food combinations. The diet does not discuss food combinations. More complex meals are much harder to digest. Anyone with a chronic illness tends to have weak digestion, and should eat in a way that makes digestion as simple as possible.
Avoid refined food. The diet does not forbid refined and poor quality food such as white flour, white sugar, and white rice.
Avoid chemical-laden food. The diet does not suggest that one should avoid any food that contains chemical additives, preservatives and two thousand other chemicals found in many food items today. These add no nutrition, but burden the liver and other organs that must attempt to remove them from the body.
Avoid smoothies. There is no mention of the problems with smoothies, shakes, meal replacements, and health food bars. I find that these products often contained refined items, are very bad food combinations, and contain too much water. As a result, they are difficult to digest and harmful for health.
Avoid bad eating habits. There is no discussion of the evils of bad habits such as eating at one’s desk, while on the telephone, in the car while driving, standing up in front of the refrigerator, eating too fast, and eating on the run. These habits all detract from one’ nutrition and should be corrected to improve one’s health.
Food supplements. There is no discussion of food supplements for diabetics, which I find very important. They all need extra chromium and zinc, plus extra vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and magnesium, kelp, trimthylglycine and a digestive aid.
Raw versus cooked vegetables. The diet allows raw, as well as cooked vegetables. Cooking vegetables breaks down tough vegetable fiber that humans cannot digest.
Cows, for example, have four stomachs with which to digest this fiber. They also regurgitate their food and “chew the cud” to further break down the vegetable fiber. This is the only way they can obtain the minerals from the vegetables, which are mainly locked away in the fiber. Salads look nice and fill up the stomach, but do not offer nearly the nutrition of well-cooked vegetables.
Cooking also concentrates many vegetables so that one can eat more of them. To read more about the benefits of cooking vegetables, please read Raw Foods on this site.
Nightshades. There is no mention of the problems with nightshade vegetables. These are tomatoes, white and red potatoes, eggplant and all peppers.
I don’t recommend these foods because: 1) they all contain a toxin called solanin that is irritating to the intestines, and 2) they are all too yin in macrobiotic terminology. This is a somewhat more esoteric concept, but a very important one. To read about it, please read Yin And Yang Healing and Yin Disease on this site.
I also suggest avoiding asparagus, artichoke, mushrooms, and okra. They are all either somewhat toxic or too yin.
Wheat. A major problem with the ADA diet is that it permits one to eat wheat products. In fact, wheat is a very hybridized food today that puts on weight and is very irritating to the digestive tract due to its high glutamic acid content.
Wheat also contains gluten, a protein to which many people are allergic. Wheat should be avoided! This dietary change alone will improve most people’s health, at times dramatically.
One must avoid all wheat products, including breads, pastries, flour tortillas, cakes, cookies and wheat pasta. Non-wheat varieties of these foods are becoming readily available.
The diet allows fruit, including canned fruit in juice or syrup. I find that fruit is one of the worst food items for most people, and especially diabetics. It is too yin in macrobiotic terms, and very hybridized today to be higher in sugar and lower in nutrition. As a result, it destabilizes the blood sugar and worsens overall heatlh.
The ADA diet states that fruit contains “loads of vitamins, minerals and fiber, just like vegetables”. This is untrue. Fruits are much sweeter, and do not contain nearly the nutrition of cooked vegetables. To read more about this topic, please read Fruit-Eating on this site.
The ADA diet is too high in protein (25%). Also, pig products are allowed. We find these harmful. They often contain parasite cysts, even when well-cooked. They are also irritating foods, which is not helpful for diabetics.
The result of eating too much protein is stress on the liver and kidneys. Also, it causes excess production of toxic proteinaceous material in the colon, often evidenced by foul-smelling stools. It also may block weight loss and decreases the person’s appetite for other important foods such as cooked vegetables. For much more on this topic, please read Protein on this webiste.
The ADA diet recommends limiting saturated fat, although some saturated fat is excellent quality such as butter, and lamb and chicken fat.
Meanwhile, their diet allows refined vegetable oils, which are poor quality foods. The diet also suggests eating tofu to obtain omega-3 fatty acids, although tofu is not a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
It also suggests eating margarine, a horrible refined and chemical-laden food that is not nutritious. Butter is a much more nutritious food.
It also suggest eating tunafish, salmon and other fish that are toxic with mercury. For more on this topic, please read Fats And Oils on this site.
The diet only suggests no-fat dairy. Oddly, it describes 2% milk as “high fat”. In fact, full-fat dairy products such as raw milk, full-fat cheese and butter are excellent quality foods. For more on this topic, please read Dairy Products on this site.
There is no discussion of what kind and how much water to drink. We find this very important. For more, please read Water For Drinking on this site.
Coffee is not the only problem beverage on the ADA diet. The diet also allows fruit juice, diet soda, caffeinated tea and “other low-calorie drinks and drink mixes”. All of these are horrible for diabetics.
Fruit juices are very high in sugar. Diet soda has up to 70 chemicals in it that do not need to be listed on the product label. It is one of the worst food items sold. Medical studies reveal that the more of it a person consumes, often the more weight one gains.
A cup of caffeinated tea is okay, but drinking tea all day, as many people do based on this diet, stimulates the adrenal glands and dehydrates the body due to the caffeine. This destabilizes the blood sugar. For more, please read The Dehydration Diet on this site.
Low-calorie drinks and drink mixes are usually sweetened with Aspartame. This chemical is an excitotoxin that can significantly worsen health. To learn more about this topic, please read Aspartame on this site.
Finally, none of these beverages is a good substitute for clean, pure water, the beverage the body requires. This is an instance where substituting one item for another does not work well at all.
The ADA diet says that eating some refined white sugar or other sweeteners is fine - just substitute it for other carbohydrates. This is irresponsible advice.
There is no discussion of the horror of refined sugar. Refined sugar has had many of its vitamins and minerals stripped away. The more one eats of it, the more nutritionally deficient one becomes. Eating sugar destabilizes the blood sugar more than most any other food item.
Eating sugar is not the same as eating healthy, unrefined carbohydrates such as peas, carrots, corn or even whole grain bread.
Simple versus complex carbohydrates. There is little distinction made in the ADA diet between simple and complex carbohydrates, although simple carbohydrates are absorbed much faster and usually upset blood sugar much more than complex carbohydrates. For more on this topic, please read Sugar Basics and other articles about sugar on this site.
The ADA diet permits up to one drink daily for women and two drinks daily for men. This includes beer, wine and distilled spirits.
There is no mention that alcohol is a poison! It is also a nutritionally deficient product that is often consumed instead of real food.
Alcohol is metabolized somewhat like sugar in the body, upsetting the blood sugar level and may contribute to the development of diabetes.
A DIET DESIGNED BY DIETITIANS
Part of the problem with the ADA diet is it was designed by licensed or registered dietitians. In my view, their education lags far behind modern scientific nutritional research. They still endorse nutritional theories that do not work. These are:
1. Counting calories. Simply counting calories without regard for the nature of the food item is not a valid way to design a diet.
2. Substitution of one food for another, provided the same number of calories or grams of protein are eaten. Once again, the problem is not taking into account differences in the food item, such as whether it is refined, laden with chemicals, or different in some other way.
3. Ignoring how difficult a food is to digest, food combinations, eating habits, the importance of cooking vegetables, and more.
Many other articles on this website discuss various aspects of a healthful diet.