Q&A With Dr. Richard K. Bernstein
Why the Paleo Diet Is Best for Diabetes
My philosophy is that people with diabetes are entitled to the same blood sugar as people who don't have the disease. This is exactly the opposite of the policy of the American Diabetes Association.
To get normal blood sugars you have to do certain things, and one of the key things is a very low-carbohydrate diet. This is because nothing else works. I've tried other approaches throughout my 69 years of having diabetes. I got my first meter in 1969, so I've had plenty of time to experiment and see what works.
There's no way the ADA diet or any high-carbohydrate and low-fat diet will enable you to control blood sugars. It turns out that the kind of diet I recommend is essentially a Paleolithic diet, which is what humanity evolved on. Our ancestors did not have bread, wheat, sweet fruits, and all of the delicious things that we have today. These have been specially manufactured for us nowadays. For food, our ancestors had a paucity of roots, some leaves, and principally meat to eat. If they lived near the shore, they had fish.
My dietary recommendations boil down to what our ancestors ate. The ADA repeatedly says that while low-carbohydrate diets may work, they're an experiment and we haven't enough years of trial of these diets to see if they do any harm. But in reality the ADA diet is an experiment that was never based on any history. In fact, it is the cause of the epidemic of obesity and diabetes that is currently shaping our nation. Whereas the original diet, the Paleolithic diet, has been tested for hundreds of thousands of years and it's only when you deviate from it that you end up where we are now.
Dr. Richard K. Bernstein is a long-time advocate for a low-carb approach to the management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diagnosed 60 years ago with type 1, Dr. Bernstein pioneered the concept of reducing insulin use and blood sugar levels by reducing carbohydrate, rather than protein and fat, intake, a now accepted approach that the diabetes establishment resisted for years. The Long Island-based physician, whose practice treats only patients with diabetes and prediabetes, has published four books on diet and blood sugar control. His Diabetes Solution website has extensive information on his personal history and diabetes management philosophy.
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