Oct 20

High Carb Diet for Diabetes

There is a common misconception that diabetes patients need to reduce or avoid carbohydrates. This simplistic view is based on the idea that diabetes patients have excessive blood sugar. It is very convincing for patients who monitor their blood sugar regularly. They often notice their blood sugar would peak after a meal big on carbohydrates. These facts are true but fundamentally, type II diabetes is the result of insulin resistance and/or relative low production of insulin. High blood sugar is the result not the cause.

Although one high carbohydrate meal can temporarily increase blood sugar, over long-term, a carefully planned high carbohydrate diet would actually reduce or even reverse diabetes. This is not a cure in the sense that you will never be diabetic again, but you should be able to maintain normal blood sugar without medications. Meta-analysis shows that 74% of patients can control their blood sugar without medication after three weeks of eating a plant-based, unprocessed diet.


The problem is that we live in a society in which people consider themselves on a high carbohydrate diet if they just eat just a bowl of pasta. In a real high carbohydrate diet, people would eat near 70% of their calories from carbohydrates. Given that animal products are extremely high in proteins and fats, a real high carbohydrate diet would be nearly vegan, which many people find unacceptable. A slight increase of carbohydrates in your diet is probably not enough to see any meaningful result and may be harmful.

Although it is recommended eating a high carbohydrate diet, you should understand that it should consist of a mostly minimally processed plant-based food, mostly made of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Cakes, cookies and doughnuts may seem like high carbohydrate food, but they actually have very high fat content.

https://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTM5Mjc0OTY4.html  (Chinese w/ English Subtitles)

Above is a video of a diabetes specialist of Union Hospital in Beijing, a famed hospital in China founded by Rockefeller Foundation. He practices Western Medicine, but in his research of old Chinese medical literature, he found that historically, Traditional Chinese Medicine treats diabetes very differently. Ancient TCM physicians would limit patients’ intake of meat and refined foods but allow unlimited intake of whole grains. He repeated this type of diet plan with his patients and found 90% of them can control their blood sugar without medication in less than a month.

Due to limited time, I will discuss how this diet work according to Traditional Chinese Medicine theories. I think this is a very telling example of when you look at disease from a very narrow and mechanical perspective, you will have a worse result, no matter how high-tech and scientific it seems.

*please consult your physician and dietitian if you wish to engage this high-carbohydrates diet.

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