I periodically get emails informing me about what is new on Medline – A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. Their public health information has a lot of influence on the public discourse about how to stop prediabetes and the best prediabetes and type 2 diabetes diet plan, so I stay in tune to what they have to say.
I was, therefore, surprised to see their recent advice. Maybe it’s me…maybe I’m reading too much into this information, but it is uncanny how often the authors of this information talk out of both sides of their mouth.
I am not at the point of believing there is a conspiracy, but it is bizarre how often diabetes diet advisers feel the need to add the obligatory statement about eating “healthy foods high in fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, and pasta.” Check out that link. The title is A Diabetes-Friendly Meal Everyone Can Enjoy. In case they have taken the above link off the Internet, here is a screenshot. It starts off well, and then it shows up. “It” is the obligatory statement regarding grains that I linked above. Diabetics by definition do not tolerate cereals, breads, crackers, rice, and pasta. Why do our smart public health officials continue to issue this advice? We have to do better or our epidemic of “diabesity” – diabetes and obesity – will continue to grow.
Attention Snickers marketing department. Add fiber and start a campaign claiming, “Snickers is a good diabetes snack to get you through the mid-afternoon energy slump.”
In the same email, there was another link to the Medline Plus Diabetic Diet page so I checked that out and saw this:
Healthy diabetic and pre-diabetic eating includes:
- Limiting foods that are high in sugar
- Eating smaller portions, spread out over the day
- Being careful about when and how many carbohydrates you eat
- Eating a variety of whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables every day
- Eating less fat
- Limiting your use of alcohol
- Using less salt
How does one be “careful about when and how many carbohydrates you eat” while “eating a variety of whole-grain foods…every day?” This is vague and confusing communication that is not necessarily helpful.
We are in the midst of a diabesity epidemic. We need to do better than this.
The best carbohydrate food – vegetables – is placed last in the series. Why? I write vegetables before fruit as beneficial for stopping pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome management.
Fruit is healthy of course, but also a source of sugar – be careful. Eat some in-season fruit after, or before, exercise and movement otherwise not so much.
If you are not eating many carbs AND limiting fat, where do your calories come from? Answer: Protein. There is no mention of protein in their advice. Why?
Could it be because this requires mentioning the dreaded meat…yikes! They know how confusing their advice is regarding carbs – they don’t dare risk confusion over something as “potent” as meat.
So, the advice avoids protein, limits fat, and advises to eat a variety of whole grains every day, but not too much. That’s sound diabetes diet advice?
I know, I’m starting to sound like a conspiratorialist. Well, since I’m more than half-way there, I might as well get out my tin foil hat and come up with a list of the top five reasons why diabetes diet educators can’t let go of their admiration for whole grains and cereal.
1. They simply can’t see an America the Beautiful without its “amber waves of grain.”
2. Grains and cereals are comfort foods that create nostalgia for a simpler time when they were children.
3. Big Grain has secretly brainwashed them with hidden messages on the labels of their products.
4. The Wheat/Corn/Soy Lobby has infiltrated our colleges and universities.
5. It’s the narrative of the day, and they are just reflexively “going with the flow.”
“Anyone who says our public companies do not play a role in our public health policy is being a public fool.”
I’m sure the smart readers of Nutrientology have more insight into this than I.
What do you think? Please leave a comment and include other reasons.