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April 20, 2002

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Walden, New York, USA:

I just read Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: A Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars in which he says he has had diabetes for 60 years with no side effects. I am on his diet now eating mostly fat protein, and raw vegetables with almost no carb intake, my sugars have been great, and I had to cut my insulin down to 5 units a meal from 40. I am also losing weight, but is this really healthy?

Answer:

There is much debate about Dr. Bernstein’s diet. It has clearly worked for him and seems to be helping you. Is it healthy? I would ask, “Do you feel healthy?” There can be side effects not only to medications but to diets and other lifestyle changes. If you feel healthy, can do the things you like to do, and your diabetes is well controlled, then I’d say it’s healthy for you. Not a straight answer, but there probably isn’t one!

TB
Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:

Dr Bernstein has had great success with this approach. It isn’t for everybody, of course, and takes some discipline. You should discuss this in some detail with your physician, nurse, and dietitian. They can give you more specific advice, monitoring blood pressure, kidney and lipid status as well as hemoglobin A1c levels.

SB