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Diabetes Update 119: Diet

June 1, 2008

By David Mendosa

My Neighbor

My Neighbor
In Boulder, Colorado

So far I have written 278 articles for Health Central about all aspects of diabetes. In May this leading website published nine more of my new diabetes articles:

  • What's My Blood Glucose Level? Lots of people with diabetes believe that our blood glucose meters have to be correct within a 15 percent margin of error. Some people think the margin of error is 20 percent. But the U.S. government agency that approves the sale of new meters has no accuracy and precision standards. None.

  • King Corn. The new movie "King Corn" is about how corn is in almost everything we eat -- because our government subsidizes corn. It's not healthy. Particularly for those of us with diabetes.

  • Drinking Calories Debated. The evidence that is mounting that the calories we drink don't do anything to make us feel full. If we want to lose weight -- as almost everyone who has diabetes does -- the message is clear.

  • The Carbohydrate Brain Fuel Myth. Our brains need glucose to function. Glucose comes from carbohydrates -- but also not just carbohydrates. The message is garbled: Glucose and carbs aren't the same.

  • Stevia Becomes Truvia. A new sweetener named Truvia promises to have a pronounced effect on the choice of sweeteners that many people use. Truvia is the brand name of the extract rebiana from the stevia plant that Cargill and The Coca-Cola Company just launched.

  • Arthritis and Diabetes. Like me, most people with diabetes have arthritis. But for me at least the pain is gone. Here are some tips for overcoming arthritis.

  • The Cost of Weight Loss. Losing weight can be expensive. I know. But the benefits are even greater. Here is a cost-benefit analysis.

  • Straining Yogurt. When we strain the best yogurt, we make it even better. It becomes what is known throughout the Middle East as lebneh or lebni. Some people here just call it yogurt cheese. Whatever you call it, I call it wonderful. Here's how and what you can do with it.

  • Diet for a Small Person. If you are a big person who would like to get smaller, the "Diet for a Small Person" is for you. The macronutrients that our bodies need are protein and fat. This article explores the best ones for losing weight, which will make it a lot easier for us to control our diabetes.

  • Diabetes Self-Defense Book Review

    Frank Harritt's New Book

    Diabetes Self-Defense
    Frank Harritt, who has controlled his diabetes so well for more than 20 years that he has no complications, offers his new book as a tool for us to defend ourselves against the short and long-term complications of diabetes. A combination of a book and logbook, Diabetes Self-Defense, provides weekly educational modules with daily tracking forms. Frank is the managing partner of Whole Control in Denver, which offers the low-glycemic Whole Control Golden Barley Cereal. He is also a friend and a member of my new support group for men who are committed to controlling their diabetes. He also features on the book's cover perhaps the truest sentence I ever wrote -- certainly the most quoted sentence -- "Diabetes is a disease that, perhaps more than any other, depends much more on the patient than on the doctor."

    Frank's new book is a valuable and positive addition to the literature about diabetes for people with it and by people with it. His message is "diabetes no longer means a shortened life of deprivation, denial, and depression, though it still can if it is left uncontrolled." I couldn't agree more.

    To order copies of Diabetes Self-Defense you can call 1 (866) 576-5238 or visit Published by shift 4 Publishing in Denver, this 142-page book sells for $19.95.

    The Little Diabetes Book

    Empower Yourself

    The Little Diabetes Book Michael Weiss, a past chair of the American Diabetes Association, and Martha Funell, RN and CDE, have written a new book, The Little Diabetes Book You Need to Read. It is indeed a little book: smaller than normal format at 7.3" x 5.4" and 256 pages of big print.

    It is top-notch basic advice. The key, which they highlight and with which I strongly agree is, "Successful self-management requires that you adapt diabetes to fit your life instead of adapting your life to diabetes."

    What I like best about it is one thing it has and one thing it doesn't have:

    It is all about empowering the individual with diabetes. Not surprising because Martha is well-known for pioneering this approach to diabetes education.

    I had never heard of Michael Weiss. But the book identifies him as having type 1 diabetes, and a Google search shows that he is an attorney.

    It isn't about any particular diet strategy. In fact, I didn't find anything that echoed the ADA's "good carb" diet. What a relief!

    What I liked least was their talking about "the progressive nature of type 2 diabetes" (page 172) and "Although you may start with lifestyle changes and oral medications, over time most people with type 2 diabetes will need insulin or other injections to keep their blood sugar levels within the target range" (page 173). I previously wrote with considerable feeling about this at HealthCentral.

    One positive statement that touched a nerve in me was in a sidebar by Marti (Martha) who wrote, "Sadly, only about 30 percent of patients receive formal diabetes education. Often, the provider forgets to make the referral or ask if one is wanted." Except for the year that the VA system treated me, that was my own experience.

    Running Press in Philadelphia (a subsidiary of the Perseus Group where another subsidiary, Da Capo Press, published my most recent book) brought out this book a few months ago. It lists for $12.95 and the ISBN-13 is 978-0-7624-3116-8.

    Dr. Bernstein's Webcast

    If you have any interest in controlling your diabetes by low-carb eating, one of the best resources is Dr. Richard K. Bernstein's monthly webcast. It's an hour of excellent diabetes education.

    Dr. Bernstein's next LIVE Tele-Seminar is Thursday, June 26, at 8:00 PM EST, 7:00 PM CST, 6:00 PM MST, and 5:00 PM PST. You can click here to register: It's also available as a LIVE Webcast both on the Internet and by phone.


  • Health Central
    The Health Central Network continues to get better and better. It will now notify you by email of new articles (SharePosts) by me or anyone who posts at Just click on “Subscribe” on my "Profile" page. The new software also now permits threaded replies to comments. So you will see more replies from me than I have posted since the major site revamp on March 1.

    Each month I describe and link my new Health Central articles here. But you can also use a blog reader to keep up with my articles more quickly. I use Bloglines, as I describe in my article, “Reading Health Blogs.” Go to, click on feeds, click on add, (both in left pane), then in center pane enter at “Blog or Feed URL” click on Alternatively, you can subscribe to my new articles at Health Central by taking your browser to

  • This Newsletter
    Diabetes Update keeps you up-to-date with new articles, Web pages, and books that I have written about diabetes.

    I list and link most of these on my at Diabetes Directory and in the site’s menu at the upper left of all my Web pages.

    From time to time Diabetes Update may also include links to other Web pages of special interest.

  • HTML Format
    I send out Diabetes Update email in HTML format, which all Web browsers and most modern email programs can display. HTML has live links to all the sites named in the text so that with a simple click of a mouse you can connect to the site you have just been reading about.

  • My Guarantee
    This newsletter:
    1. Is and will remain free.
    2. Will never include advertising (except targeted Google ads at the bottom of the web page and not in the email newsletter).
    3. Nor will I ever sell, rent, or trade your email address to anyone.
    4. I will link sources of information.
    5. I will disclose any conflict of interest.
    6. If and when I learn of any errors of fact, I will correct them.
  • Archives: I now send out Diabetes Update once a month. Previous issues are online:

    1. Diabetes Update Number 1: Diabetes Genes of December 10, 2000
    2. Diabetes Update Number 2: DiabetesWATCH of December 18, 2000
    3. Diabetes Update Number 3: Starlix of January 3, 2001
    4. Diabetes Update Number 4: Native Seeds/SEARCH, Tepary Beans of January 17, 2001
    5. Diabetes Update Number 5: Insulin Makes You Fat of January 31, 2001
    6. Diabetes Update Number 6: Available and Unavailable Carbohydrates of February 15, 2001
    7. Diabetes Update Number 7: Dates of March 1, 2001
    8. Diabetes Update Number 8: Quackwatch of March 15, 2001
    9. Diabetes Update Number 9: The Cost of Insulin of March 30, 2001
    10. Diabetes Update Number 10: Sof-Tact Meter of April 2, 2001
    11. Diabetes Update Number 11: iControlDiabetes of April 16, 2001
    12. Diabetes Update Number 12: Cinnamon, Tagatose of May 2, 2001
    13. Diabetes Update Number 13: Glycemic Index of May 15, 2001
    14. Diabetes Update Number 14: Eat Your Carrots! of May 31, 2001
    15. Diabetes Update Number 15: Glycemic Load of June 21, 2001
    16. Diabetes Update Number 16: Homocysteine of July 2, 2001
    17. Diabetes Update Number 17: Chana Dal Tips of July 15, 2001
    18. Diabetes Update Number 18: Lag Time in AlternativeLand of August 2, 2001
    19. Diabetes Update Number 19: Fiber of August 15, 2001
    20. Diabetes Update Number 20: How Diabetes Works of August 30, 2001
    21. Diabetes Update Number 21: Insulin Resistance of September 14, 2001
    22. Diabetes Update Number 22: Trans Fats, Honey, CU of October 1, 2001
    23. Diabetes Update Number 23: Pedometer Power of October 15, 2001
    24. Diabetes Update Number 24: Is Glycerin a Carbohydrate? of October 31, 2001
    25. Diabetes Update Number 25: Kill the Meter to Save It of November 15, 2001
    26. Diabetes Update Number 26: Protein, Fat, and the GI of December 1, 2001
    27. Diabetes Update Number 27: Insulin Index of December 14, 2001
    28. Diabetes Update Number 28: Fructose of January 4, 2002
    29. Diabetes Update Number 29: Aspirin of January 14, 2002
    30. Diabetes Update Number 30: Stevia of January 31, 2002
    31. Diabetes Update Number 31: Gretchen Becker’s Book of February 19, 2002
    32. Diabetes Update Number 32: The UKPDS of March 4, 2002
    33. Diabetes Update Number 33: Financial Aid of March 18, 2002
    34. Diabetes Update Number 34: Pre-Diabetes of April 1, 2002
    35. Diabetes Update Number 35: More Glycemic Indexes of April 15, 2002
    36. Diabetes Update Number 36: Gila Monsters of April 30, 2002
    37. Diabetes Update Number 37: Is INGAP a Cure? of May 15, 2002
    38. Diabetes Update Number 38: Native American Diabetes of June 3, 2002
    39. Diabetes Update Number 39: FDA Diabetes of June 19, 2002
    40. Diabetes Update Number 40: Diabetes Support Groups of July 1, 2002
    41. Diabetes Update Number 41: New GI and GL Table of July 15, 2002
    42. Diabetes Update Number 42: Diabetes Sight of August 1, 2002
    43. Diabetes Update Number 43: DrugDigest of August 18, 2002
    44. Diabetes Update Number 44: Hanuman Garden of September 3, 2002
    45. Diabetes Update Number 45: Guidelines of September 16, 2002
    46. Diabetes Update Number 46: Trans Fat of October 4, 2002
    47. Diabetes Update Number 47: Nutrition.Gov of October 16, 2002
    48. Diabetes Update Number 48: Our Hearts of October 31, 2002
    49. Diabetes Update Number 49: Our Kidneys of November 15, 2002
    50. Diabetes Update Number 50: A1C<7 of December 2, 2002
    51. Diabetes Update Number 51: Diabetes Searches with Google of December 16, 2002
    52. Diabetes Update Number 52: e-Patients of January 2, 2003
    53. Diabetes Update Number 53: Email News of January 16, 2003
    54. Diabetes Update Number 54: Third Generation Meters of January 31, 2003
    55. Diabetes Update Number 55: Hypoglycemic Supplies of February 14, 2003
    56. Diabetes Update Number 56: Food Police of March 1, 2003
    57. Diabetes Update Number 57: Vitamins of April 1, 2003
    58. Diabetes Update Number 58: Lancets of May 1, 2003
    59. Diabetes Update Number 59: Accurate Meters of June 1, 2003
    60. Diabetes Update Number 60: Chromium of July 1, 2003
    61. Diabetes Update Number 61: Traveling of August 1, 2003
    62. Diabetes Update Number 62: My Book of September 1, 2003
    63. Diabetes Update Number 63: Hot Tubs of October 1, 2003
    64. Diabetes Update Number 64: Home A1C Testing of November 1, 2003
    65. Diabetes Update Number 65: Detemir of December 1, 2003
    66. Diabetes Update Number 66: Erectile Dysfunction of January 1, 2004
    67. Diabetes Update Number 67: Acidic Foods of February 1, 2004
    68. Diabetes Update Number 68: Net Carbs of March 1, 2004
    69. Diabetes Update Number 69: Glycemic Index of April 1, 2004
    70. Diabetes Update Number 70: Dreamfields Pasta of May 1, 2004
    71. Diabetes Update Number 71: Cholesterol of June 1, 2004
    72. Diabetes Update Number 72: Meter News of July 1, 2004
    73. Diabetes Update Number 73: Pill Splitting of August 1, 2004
    74. Diabetes Update Number 74: GlucoMON of September 1, 2004
    75. Diabetes Update Number 75: Coding of October 1, 2004
    76. Diabetes Update Number 76: Sleep Apnea of November 1, 2004
    77. Diabetes Update Number 77: Keynote Address of December 1, 2004
    78. Diabetes Update Number 78: Mangosteen of January 1, 2005
    79. Diabetes Update Number 79: Noninvasive Dream of February 1, 2005
    80. Diabetes Update Number 80: Pelikan Sun of March 1, 2005
    81. Diabetes Update Number 81: Medtronic Monitors of April 1, 2005
    82. Diabetes Update Number 82: ExtendBars of May 1, 2005
    83. Diabetes Update Number 83: GlycoMark of June 1, 2005
    84. Diabetes Update Number 84: My British Book of July 1, 2005
    85. Diabetes Update Number 85: Disintegrating of August 1, 2005
    86. Diabetes Update Number 86: Meter Research of September 1, 2005
    87. Diabetes Update Number 87: Evaluating Meters of October 1, 2005
    88. Diabetes Update Number 88: When to Test of November 1, 2005
    89. Diabetes Update Number 89: Blogging of December 1, 2005
    90. Diabetes Update Number 90: RSS Feed of January 1, 2006
    91. Diabetes Update Number 91: An Uncommon Doctor of February 1, 2006
    92. Diabetes Update Number 92: More Blog Entries of March 1, 2006
    93. Diabetes Update Number 93: Talking Meters of April 1, 2006
    94. Diabetes Update Number 94: Navigating of May 1, 2006
    95. Diabetes Update Number 95: Measuring Sweat of June 1, 2006
    96. Diabetes Update Number 96: The Future of Pumps of July 1, 2006
    97. Diabetes Update Number 97: Pumping in Real Time of August 1, 2006
    98. Diabetes Update Number 98: The DexCom Sensor of September 1, 2006
    99. Diabetes Update Number 99: GlucoTel of October 1, 2006
    100. Diabetes Update Number 100: Discovery of Byetta of November 1, 2006
    101. Diabetes Update Number 101: My Diabetes Blog of December 1, 2006
    102. Diabetes Update Number 102: Stress of January 1, 2007
    103. Diabetes Update Number 103: UltraMini of February 1, 2007
    104. Diabetes Update Number 104: Salt of March 1, 2007
    105. Diabetes Update Number 105: In Memoriam Catherine of April 1, 2007
    106. Diabetes Update Number 106: Eating Locally of May 1, 2007
    107. Diabetes Update Number 107: Avandia Anxiety of June 1, 2007
    108. Diabetes Update Number 108: Pigs of July 1, 2007
    109. Diabetes Update Number 109: Continuous Testing of August 1, 2007
    110. Diabetes Update Number 110: How Byetta Works of September 1, 2007
    111. Diabetes Update Number 111: Is Diabetes Progressive of October 1, 2007
    112. Diabetes Update Number 112: Gary Scheiner of November 1, 2007
    113. Diabetes Update Number 113: Karen LaVine of December 1, 2007
    114. Diabetes Update Number 114: Low-Carb of January 1, 2008
    115. Diabetes Update Number 115: My New Book of February 1, 2008
    116. Diabetes Update Number 116: The Low-Carb Vegetarian of March 1, 2008
    117. Diabetes Update Number 117: Fitness of April 1, 2008
    118. Diabetes Update Number 118: Erectile Dysfunction of May 1, 2008

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