Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2014-03-17
on the Wheat Belly Blog,
sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
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of WB Blog articles.
Diabetes Australia bungles dietary advice
While nearly all of you are no strangers to the
ignorance exhibited by defenders of the dietary status quo, it occasionally
helps to hear their arguments articulated. You are readily reminded just
how many “holes” there are in their arguments to consume more
“healthy whole grains.”
A Wheat Belly Blog reader passed this
exchange between his father and a dietitian representing the Australian
Diabetic Association onto me:
“My father was a very serious diabetic, but
I slowly got him off the wheat last December. Now his diabetes is the best
it’s been in 20 years! He was so disappointed with Diabetes
Australia for all the false information given to him over the years, that
he wrote to them. Here is his email and their response:”
MY FATHER’S EMAIL:
“Since I have give up eating bread and most
wheat products, my sugar levels have never been so good. If you really
want to help diabetics, could you please let people know not to eat bread?
Thank you for your email comment regarding avoiding
bread and wheat products to better manage diabetes. It is great that you
have been able to better manage your blood glucose levels lately and this
approach is working for you.
Most people with diabetes are able to tolerate
eating bread that has a low glycaemic index (GI) if it is eaten in
appropriate portions (i.e. 2 slices). Examples of low GI breads
include wholegrain and sourdough breads. Most low GI wheat based products
are also generally tolerated when eaten in appropriate portions, such
as 1 cup of cooked pasta or ¾ cup All Bran cereal. People
diagnosed with coeliac disease do need to avoid all gluten containing
foods, including all wheat based foods.
Ultimately, the most important factor affecting
blood sugar levels is the total amount of carbohydrate eaten at a time
and therefore portion sizes are important. This carbohydrate could come
from wheat based products such as bread or pasta or non-wheat based
products such as sweet potato, milk or oats.
All types of high fibre/low GI carbohydrate foods
are recommended as part of a balanced diet, so long as portion sizes are
appropriate. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel
and they also provide us with essential B-group vitamins and are usually
a significant source of fibre to help with lowering cholesterol and
maintaining good bowel health.
However, we do recognise that everyone has
different needs for amounts and types of carbohydrate foods. The advice
that we provide to people with diabetes is general and a guide only and
we encourage people to seek individual advice from a dietitian, based
on their own individual needs.”
Alright, let’s tear apart this
dietitian’s defense of the diabetic diet and “healthy whole
grain” status quo.
By making arguments such as we
“need” grains for their fiber and B vitamins and that
eliminating a “whole food group” is unhealthy, she neglects
to recognize a number of issues:
- All whole wheat products are high glycemic index foods.
- Foods such as multigrain bread, oatmeal, and millet bread raise blood sugars
to very high levels, but lower than high-glycemic index foods like cornstarch
and whole wheat. They are therefore designated “low-glycemic index”
foods. There’s nothing wrong with the concept of glycemic index; but
there is something desperately wrong with the cutoffs for high- vs.
low-glycemic index. Low-glycemic index foods should more correctly be called
“Less-high” glycemic index foods. Typical blood sugar
30-60 minutes after 6 teaspoons table sugar: 170 mg/dl.
Typical blood sugar after 2 slices of whole wheat bread: 175 mg/dl.
Typical blood sugar after bowl of oatmeal: 167 mg/dl–less high,
but still awful.
- This is not just about the amylopectin A of grains. It’s also about
gliadin derived peptides that act as opiates and stimulate appetite;
it’s about intact gliadin, partially resistant to digestion, that
initiates the first step in autoimmune diseases by increasing intestinal
permeability; it’s about wheat germ agglutinin that blocks the
cholecystokinin receptor and thereby leads to gallstones, pancreatic
insufficiency, and dysbiosis; it’s about phytates that block
absorption of iron, zinc, and magnesium.
- Grain consumption leads to poor dental health. This was the first
experience of grain-consuming humans: explosive tooth decay, periodontitis,
tooth loss, crooked teeth in children.
- Grain consumption changes oral and bowel flora. Changes in oral flora
caused by grains contribute to the above changes in oral health. The
implications of grain induced changes in bowel flora are only now
coming to light.
- Diabetes is about blood sugar. If someone starts with a blood sugar prior
to a meal of 100 mg/dl, then eats a big piece of pork chop: blood sugar
100 mg/dl. If they eat a piece of multigrain bread: blood sugar
163 mg/dl or somewhere in that range, higher the more insulin-resistant
and beta cell-challenged they are. In other words, eat foods that
don’t raise blood sugar and you likely no longer need drugs to reduce
blood sugar. Why would any diabetic association tell people to eat foods
that raise blood sugars to such high levels? Could this have something to
do with generous support from Cadbury Schweppes (the world’s largest
soft drink and candy maker), AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, or Sanofi Aventis,
manufacturers of diabetes drugs and insulin preparations?
In my view, the various diabetes associations of the
world have made substantial contributions to the epidemic of overweight,
obesity, and worsening diabetes in millions of people, all while helping
grow billions of dollars in revenues and profits for the food and diabetes industries.
I say thumb your nose or make some other meaningful
gesture in their direction. Then go have a 3-egg spinach mushroom omelet
oozing with olive oil.