Question:

There are alot of new diets out there. Are they safe for me?

Fad Diets and Diabetes

Every time you open a newspaper, there is another diet being touted as the best new breakthrough in losing weight.

Quick and easy schemes for losing weight may seem appealing, especially if the doctor has told you to drop pounds in order to better control your diabetes, and losing weight has not been easy for you, in the past. But what impact do these fad diets have on your body and your disease?

Some popular "new" or fad diets are:

* Atkins Diet
* Southbeach Diet
* Blood Type Diet
* Mediterranean Diet

In looking at each diet, there are both risk and benefits for the diabetic person that need to be considered, and discussed with your physician, before beginning the diet.

1. The Atkins Diet - this diet is based on the belief that our bodies do not manage carbs effectively, and we must retrain them. The diet is high protein and fat, and gradually adds carbs.

Risks: 1) High fat diets can increase cholesterol - a risk factor for developing diabetes and complications of diabetes,
2) High protein levels have been implicated in diabetes in young people, are difficult for the kidneys to process and can cause ketoacidosis - a serious complication of diabetes associated with the body using protein and fat for fuel, instead of carbs

Benefits: 1) rapid weight loss

2. Southbeach Diet - a three-phase plan that is also low-carb, high in proteins, but low in fats, in which you gradually add your carbs back in, using a list of "Foods to Enjoy" and "Foods to Avoid."

Risks: 1) Low carbs and high proteins can cause ketoacidosis - a serious complication of diabetes

Benefits: 1) Three meals + six snacks each day decreases cravings and roller-coaster blood sugars, 2) Uses Glycemic Index (the rate at which a food raises the blood sugar) to help make food choices - leans toward whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies.

3. The Blood Type Diet - touts that different blood types need different types of nutrients, and that eating the "wrong" food their their blood type would cause serious injury to the body.

Risks: 1) Not based on scientific fact, the information in the diet may frighten or mislead the readers, into unnecessarily limiting intake, 2) Limits foods for certain blood types, that have known health benefits, which may result in high cholesterol, ketoacidosis, anemia, and malnutrition.

Benefits: 1) None identified.

4) The Mediterranean Diet - based on intake of a wide variety of grains, fruits and vegetables, moderate protein, unsaturate fats and seafood.

Risks: 1) Suggests wine in moderation - causes blood sugar fluctuations and can contribute to mood swings.

Benefits: 1) Low in red meats and animal fats, touting fish and unsaturated fats can decrease cholesterol, 2) Balanced diet including all food types, to provide core nutrients, 3) High in essential fatty acids and antioxidants - touted as cancer preventatives

Each diet listed above has both risks and benefits, with some demonstrating greater potential risks for complications for persons with diabetes, due to the complex needs of your body.

Obtain information about the diet you are considering, and then meet with your physician, Nutritionist or Diabetes Educator to discuss the risks and benefits of the diet, and it's potential impact on you.

Diabetes Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Count Carbohydrates?

How do I follow a basic healthy diet?

Is there a difference between carbohydrates?

How often should I monitor my blood sugar?

How Do I Count Carbohydrates on my Diabetic Meal Plan?

What are the causes of high blood sugars (hyperglycemia)?

What should I know about the glycemic index?

Can I drink alcohol on my meal plan?

How can I eat out without going off my meal plan?

How does alcohol effect my diabetes?

How does having neuropathy affect my exercise?

What are some tips for the person with neuropathy who exercises?

How do I get a good blood sample for checking glucoses?

What are the benefits I can expect from regular exercise?

What role does water play in my diabetic care plan?

How do I lose weight with exercise?

How does exercise affect my blood sugars?

How can I prevent hyperglycemia?

How does exercise promote weight loss in my disease?

What is Hyperglycemia?

What is hypoglycemia?

What can cause an error in blood sugar readings with a meter?

What is hypoglycemia and what causes it?

What can cause errors in my blood sugar readings.?

How can I prevent hypoglycemia?

How do I check ketones?

What is the significance of ketones in my disease?

How does smoking effect my diabetes?

What causes type 1 diabetes?

How is hypoglycemia treated?

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Am I at risk for developing diabetes?

How do I balance my diet?

What is the hemoglobin a1c?

How do I use food exchanges in my diabetic diet?

If it's sugar-free, can I eat as much as I want?

How does insulin deficiency cause ketones?

What are ketones and how do they effect me?

What are the symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugars)?

What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)?

What are some guidelines for sick days?

What is a good recipe for chicken and vegetables?

How do I start an exercise program?

What is type 2 diabetes?

Can diabetes cause erectile dysfunction?

How much fat should my diet include?

How can I use the information I obtain from blood glucose monitoring?

What do I do if my blood sugar is high?

How is type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes treated?

What causes my blood sugars to be high?

What is microalbumin in terms of diabetes?

What is microalbumin?

How does illness affect my blood sugar?

What is type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes?

What are the different types of diabetes?

What tests are used to monitor my diabetes?

What are the monitoring tests a person with diabetes needs?

What are some causes of hypoglycemia?

What are some sick day foods?

What can I eat on my sick days?

How can I prevent hypoglycemia when exercising?

How is type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes treated?

Are over-the-counter medications safe with my diabetes?

What are the warning signs that I may be overdoing it with my exercise?

What are some warning signs I should know about when exercising?

How do I choose an exercise thatīs right for me?

What kind of exercise is right for me?

How does exercise help my heart and my diabetes?

What are the carciovascular benefits I can expect from exercise?

What is lipodystrophy?

What is the relationship between diabetes and anemia?

How can diabetes contribute to falls?

How does my blood sugar effect my mood?

What is ketoacidosis and what causes it?

What is amyotrophy and what does it have to do with diabetes?

What is the Dawn Phenomenon?

What is the Somogyi Effect?

What is the relationship between pre-eclampsia and diabetes?

What is gastroparesis and what does it have to do with diabetes?

Explain Juvenile Diabetes.

How is Diabetes Insipidus different from other types of diabetes?

What is gestational diabetes?

What is pre-diabetes?

What is Type II Diabetes?

What is Type I diabetes?

How do I decide what type of glucometer to use?

Will my glucometer support alternate site testing?

Why should I do controls on my glucometer?

How do I maintain my glucose meter?

Is there a glucometer than can sample and test my blood in one step?

What can I do if my glucometer doesn't seem to be working right?

What kind of features can I find in a glucometer?

How do I go about getting started exercising?

How do I get started exercising?

Why should I exercise?

What is aerobic exercise?

I need more information about flexibility exercises.

What can you tell me about strength training?

How will my body respond to exercise if I am diabetic?

How do I avoid injuries when I am exercising?

What can I do to exercise, if I hate to exercise?

How does exercise impact my metabolism?

What can I do about my dry skin?

Why does my choice of socks make a difference?

How should I take care of my toenails?

Who makes the different glucometers?

is there a difference in lancets and lancing devices?

What should I see a Podiatrist

What kind of shoes should I buy, now that I have diabetes?

Why am I so sad, now that I have diabetes?

What does insulin do?

What are the different types of insulin?

I have heard about nasal spray insulin - is this available, yet?

What is the insulin pump and how does it work?

If there a way to test my blood sugar withou poking my finger?

I have trouble drawing up my insulin - is there another way?

Why should I have a Diabetes Educator?

Why do some people take insulin and oral medications for their diabetes?

What should I know about oral anti-diabetes medication?

Why is choosing the right syringe so important?

What does an Endocrinologist do?

What are some tips to manage my insulin?

What is the best way to manage my test strips?

How do I code my strips to my glucometer?

How do the diabetic testing strips work?

What is the main difference between the test strips?

Can I actually choose my testing strips?

Can you give me some tips for handling those tiny little test strips?

How do I avoid making mistakes with my test strips?

Will Medicare cover my diabetic supplies?

Will Medicare care pay for self-management training?

Will Medicare pay for screening for diabetes?

What is Medicare Health Support?

What is Medicare D and how will if effect me?

What should I consider when I choose a Part D Plan?

Will Medicare pay for my diabetic supplies?

How does Medicare D impact my Medigap coverage?

What is the Standard Medicare D Plan?

What will Medicare Part A cover?

If I have VA insurance, do I need to register for Medicare Part D?

Do I get Medicare Part D if I am already on DSHS?

What is the "Welcome to Medicare" physical exam?

When am I eligible for Medicare?

What should I look for when picking a Medicare Part D plan.

How do I compare the formularies in the Medicare Part D Plans?

Who is providing these Medicare Part D plans?

What should I look out for when choosing a Medicare Part D plan?

What are Medicare Advantage Plans?

Where can I get information about Medicare Part D?

Do carb values differ in different kinds of fruits and vegetables?

Can I balance my vegetarian and diabetic diets?

Can I eat sugar on my diabetic meal plan?

I need some help balancing the carbs in my diet. What do you suggest?

What information should I get from nutrition labels?

What are sugar-alcohols and how do they impact my diabetes?

Can Low-Calorie sweeteners be included in my diabetic diet plan?

How do I use low-calorie sweeteners in my cooking?

How can I make low-sugar jam and jellies?

Why would I want to see a Registered Dietitian if I have diabetes?

What are the benefits of keeping a food diary?

What role does protein have in the diabetic diet?

What makes for a good bedtime snack?

What are the best snack foods for me to eat?

What are the benefits of eating 6 times a day?

I need help figuring out food portions. What do you suggest?

What are the risks and benefits of using low-calorie sweeteners instead of sugar?

How does water effect my diabetes?

What is a Nutritionist and what do they do?

There are alot of new diets out there. Are they safe for me?

I s sugarfree gum okay for a brittle diabetic with no pancrease/

What do you think about Dr. Mary Vernons'treatment for type 2 diabetics where the patient cuts out almost all carbs out of their diet. Is this a permenent solution? What are the risks involed? Thank you for your time and advice.

Why is it so important for a diabetic to have a nighttime snack?





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