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Diabetes Update 121: Low-Carb Best for Losing Weight

August 1, 2008

By David Mendosa

Parry Primrose

Parry Primrose
Indian Peaks Wilderness

So far I have written 299 articles for Health Central about all aspects of diabetes. In July this great website published nine more of my new diabetes articles:

  • Low-Carb Best for Weight Loss. The country's leading medical journal, The New England Journal of Medicine, just published the first long-term comparison of the top three weight loss diets. They compared low-carb with low-fat and the Mediterranean diet. Best for both weight loss and cholesterol was the low-carb diet.

  • Cheating. Cheating is dishonest. It's a word best reserved to its usual sense of copying the work of others. Using this word to describe any exceptions from our diets is counterproductive.

  • Viva Aviva! We have been able to get this Accu-Chek blood glucose meter for a couple of years. But now there's more good news about it.

  • Looking AHEAD to Weight Loss. The Look AHEAD trial of weight loss strategies began in 2001 and is scheduled to conclude in 2012. But the researchers already know three simple ways that really work: weighing at least once a week, not skipping breakfast, and cutting back on how much we eat out at fast-food restaurants.

  • Food Diaries Help. Writing down what we eat can double your weight loss, according to a study that the American Journal of Preventative Medicine is publishing this month. People have been recommending this tip for years. Now we have proof that it works.

  • The Trouble with Buffets. The trouble with buffets is that they encourage you to try to eat it all. I learned that lesson the hard way. But Victor J. Stevens, Ph.D., a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, taught me how to handle them. If you ever go to an all-you-can eat restaurant, you need to read these tips.

  • Physical Activity Guidelines. We are finally going to have physical activity guidelines to parallel the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The chairman of the committee that researched and wrote the new guidelines, Stanford Professor William Haskell, offers a sneak preview of the recommendations. He explains what the concept "MET-minutes" means and how many of these minutes we need to exercise each week.

  • How to Eat Your Heart Out. My friend told me that he wasn't able to lose his belly fat because he was living with someone. That reminded me of how relationships have sometimes pulled me down too. Like when I stopped watching my diet as closely as I had before. And I exercised a lot less. And I gained a lot of weight. Now I cook almost all of my meals myself, which is probably the solution to this problem.

  • Mouth Control. How would you like to reduce your A1C level by 0.67 percent -- like from 6.67 to 6.0 -- without putting less in your mouth or even increasing your exercise? This third type of A1C control may be the easiest ever.
  • Truvia Update
    What looks like the best sweetener ever just became available. It seems to have everything going for it.

    The sweetener is Truvia. My May article introduced it to my readers.

    Truvia is a natural product. It has no calories. It's the only non-caloric sweetener using a bulking agent, the sugar alcohol erythritol, that has essentially no calories. Even Truvia's name, standing for true and way, is great marketing.

    The company that developed Truvia is Cargill. When I mentioned that to a friend of mine, he had never heard of the company. But Cargill is the biggest privately owned company in the world.

    This means that Cargill has the marketing muscle to make Truvia available everywhere. I was surprised, in fact, that we can already buy it.

    Truvia went on sale first at D'Agostino supermarkets in Manhattan and online at The price is $3.99 plus shipping and handling for 40 single-serve sachets. That's a little more expensive than older, artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose.

    Cargill expects to have Truvia available at grocery stores and big box retailers across the country in the fall. Truvia also will be a sweetener in beverages and foods -- such as yogurts, cereals, and snack bars -- as early as next year. Coca-Cola co-developed Truvia with Cargill and has exclusive rights to use it in beverages.

    A couple of weeks ago the company's public relations firm sent me sample packets of Truvia and a chocolate bar made from it. They are great with no bitter after-taste link stevia sometimes has.

    The reason why I compare it to stevia is that Truvia is the brand name of the extract rebiana from the stevia plant. And stevia has another problem.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lets companies sell stevia as a supplement. But not as a food. "It cannot be sold as a sweetener because FDA considers it an unapproved food additive," the agency says.

    The FDA has no formal approval process for natural substances, Cargill spokeswoman Ann Tucker told me when I called her. But an "independent panel of experts met, reviewed the science, and made the statement that the product is safe."

    Personally, I still don't use any sweeteners, caloric or non-caloric, as I wrote last year. I recognize that my position is an extreme one, and if you use any sweetener I can't imagine a better choice than Truvia.

    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 Wednesday,
    August 27, 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
    119. Diabetes Update Number 119: Diet of June 1, 2008
    120. Diabetes Update Number 120: Obesity Tips of July 1, 2008

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