10. The Diabetic Diet
The conventional diabetic diet is calculated in terms of the total requirement for calories and a ratio of these calories in grams of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Calorie specifications are based on “ideal weight,” with allowances for physical activity or added stress, such as growth. If the patient is obese, as many adult diabetics are, then the diet prescription would indicate a sufficient reduction in calories to effect a gradual weight loss—no more than 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day. If the patient is a fast-growing, lean, adolescent boy, the calories may be as high as 4,000.
Weight will normalize on a diet that is compatible with our biological requirements. That is a diet of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. “Ideal weight” charts are invariably too high and not accurate guides. Calculating diets based on preconceived numbers of calories per day is tedious and unnecessary. Furthermore, few diabetics will adhere to such a diet.
It is generally recommended that 5% of total calories of the diabetic be protein. In a 1,500-calorie diet that would mean 75 grams of protein. This amount of protein greatly exceeds the needs of even the most active man. The average person cannot utilize more than about 20 to 25 grams of protein daily.
Any protein in excess of this is either stored in fat or muscle or eliminated from the body. This is an expenditure of vital energy that should be used for healing and repair—a situation that will result in enervation. Such excess protein accumulated in the tissues eventually results in impaired function. The body periodically makes great efforts to eliminate these excesses through such eliminative endeavors as colds, flu, skin eruptions, etc. If the body is greatly enervated, such vital eliminations may not occur and degenerative diseases will begin to develop.
Every item of food that we eat has some protein when it is consumed in its natural state. Even fruits and vegetables contain some protein. In fact, it is in this form that protein is most easily utilized and requires the least amount of vital energy to digest and assimilate. Also, we do not clog our system with excess toxins as we do when we consume the protein of flesh, dairy products or eggs. It is important that the diabetic consume foods that require little vital energy to digest and also contain little or no toxins. Energy is needed for healing and further toxins will impair this process.
There is less emphasis now upon strict carbohydrate control than in past years for the diabetic. As a general rule, the carbohydrate grams recommended are 10% of the total number of calories. Refined carbohydrates certainly should never be consumed such as cookies, pies, cakes, candy, etc. However, the simple carbohydrates as found in ripe fruits and vegetables should form the bulk of the diet. The carbohydrates of fruits are easily assimilated and also contain many of the base minerals that are so important in the diabetic’s (and in everyone’s) diet. You can be assured that all your needs will be met.
As a general rule, the grams of fat in the diabetic diet are recommended to be 5% of the number of total calories. (In a 1,500-calorie diet, there would be 75 grams of fat.) This is entirely too high. You cannot utilize that amount of fat and the excess adds to toxicosis. All the fat that you require is found in nuts and avocados. If these items are eaten moderately a few times a week, your fat requirements will be met. Remember that your fruits and vegetables also contain small amounts of fat.
While it may be necessary to continue insulin therapy to a certain extent, a diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds will provide the body with the proper conditions to heal and repair. The pancreas will no longer be stressed with large amounts of glucose in the blood due to refined sugars in the diet and healing will take place.
10.5 Food Exchange Groups
The conventional program for diabetic diets utilizes a food-exchange system where foods of like proteins, fats and carbohydrates are grouped together. The patient is assigned a certain number of units that he may have per day from each group and he may exchange them for certain foods within that group. This is a tedious procedure that is slowly being abandoned even by the physicians and most dietitians. It is unnecessary if the general dietary program is correct. As stated earlier, a diet of ripe fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, all in a raw state, provides us with all our dietary requirements without excesses or deficits.
10.6 “Anything Goes Diet”
Another approach that is now being taken is to let the diabetic eat anything that he wants. Sometimes refined sugar is eliminated but not always. S/he is then closely monitored and insulin doses adjusted accordingly, as needed. This is certainly unwise and cannot produce health. People need to be educated in regard to the proper diet and not let them grope on their own. If a person stays on his conventional meat, potatoes, bread and sweets diet, more ill health will result. Causes must be removed in order to regain health and an improper diet is a major cause of diabetes and other chronic disorders. That is, the toxicosis that resulted from the improper diet.
- Part I – Diabetes Mellitus
- Part II – Diabetes Insipidus
- Part III – Hypoglycemia
- Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Diabetes Mellitus By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Diabetes