Bernstein Diet

While I agree with Dr Bernstein as far as limiting carbs, I do believe you have to find what works for you ; what is readily available; and affordable.

I think his overall concept is excellent and while he offers a lot of suggestions on what to eat, you need to find what is palatable (I for one will not be eating seaweed anytime soon) and available to you (they don’t sell a lot of that stuff in small towns).

Counting carbs is the real key along with staying away from the wrong kinds of carbs and highly processed foods.

Seaweed is also really bad for hypothyroidism, so I agree with you there that we all have to make our food choices to what is doable and palatable, etc… and with the general concept that we need to lower and count carbohydrates.

I totally disagree. I have gone from Bernstein to High Raw Vegan to 80-10-10 (fruitarian) with Dr Graham and back again. I am also a Certified Holistic Nutritionist so I know a bit about what’s good for us.
While I agree that some may not decide to stick with a very low carb WOE, I have experimented so much to ultimately find that Bernstein, or just a very low carb diet at least, is truly the best way to control blood sugar.
His law of small numbers is the best way to keep accidental overdoses (and underdoses) from happening.

My difference with him is that I am a pumper, and he doesn’t like pumping.
Counting carbs is important, yes, but who ever really guesses correctly the dose to match the carb count and has the success with post prandial blood sugars the way you can eating low carb?

Reading his book is the best way to really understand his methods and they just make sense. And work!!!
you should try seaweed- toasted nori at Trader Joes is awesome. crispy, light and not at all fishy.

What I also like about the Bernstein approach is that it minimises side effects by keeping doses of medication, down. Whilst T1s will ALWAYS need insulin, the pharmaceutical industry keeps coming up with new T2 meds designed more for profit than patient benefit. Witness the Avandia debacle. Following Bernstein’s approach reduces the risk.
Yes it is HARD to keep to a restricted diet, with so much on offer wherever you look, but I for one do it pretty much all the time. 8 years after diagnosis, I am still using only minimal metformin and keeping a non-diabetic blood profile.
I’m reliably informed that due to the ineviable progression of T2, 50% of T2 patients are put on to insulin in 5 years. I try to keep my Bg readings below 6[108] at all times and although I don’t always succeed, I know why I fail and have not seen a 7[126] for many months.Last time was when I had an attack of cystitis.

I think Dr. B does not like pumping because he believes that the permanent placement of infusion sets leads to scarring and that over a long period of time that will lead to absorption problems. Time will tell.

Personally, I like seaweed and love a good seaweed salad, but it is high in iodine. Seaweed has a modest carb level and is high in fiber and actually I kinda like the fish taste.

I am not sure what you disagree with other than he doesn’t like pumping (I am not a pumper either) and you like seaweed. I agree with him completely (and you) that a low carb diet is the way to best way to control blood sugar. I don’t agree that you have to eat specifically what he says in order to maintain that, there are other things out there that work just as well that someone might find more palatable; not everyone is into seaweed.

Also I do not believe that being a certified anything gives you any special knowledge in “knowing” anything about an individual. I “know” what works for my body and I know what I like and don’t like to eat, I only suggest others find what works for them.

After all there were two “certified” medical doctors that misdiagnosed me and a “certified” nutritionist that suggested I eat at least 135 carbs a day when I hadn’t even started insulin.

One of the things that reinforced my love affair with Dr. Bernstein’s small numbers rule was breaking a bottle of Humalog. It rolled of the counter and onto the floor. Phenol smell was still in the kitchen the next morning. The dog went elsewhere to sleep of her own accord.
I cannot imagine taking any more of that stuff than I have to.

You have very good points. I think I was misreading your post.
Being a certified nutritionist does not make me any better or more knowledgeable, and yes- there are lots of people, CDEs, RN’s MD’s and Nutritionists who want diabetics to eat according to waht they believe. My own CDE and MD are always telling me to eat as many carbs as I like and to just bolus for them… so I am with you :wink: Sorry I came off a bit abrasive. For some reason I thought you were anti[- low carb.
To each his/her won. absolutely. and I am far from perfect!!!
I have great days and then days when I have 220 readings all day from out of the blue.
I just had my IGa tested and it came back low. I wasn’t surprised and it made me realize that all the sinus infections, tummy problems and persisitent anemia aren’t my fault. I am made this way and can’t fight the way others can. Never will be able to despite how hard I try. But I will still try!
So please forgive me, we are on the same side.

I live in a small town (pop 8500 permanent residents) in the middle of nowhere. Most everything I eat is available locally. The few things that aren’t, I order on-line. What haven’t you been able to find?

Dr. B’s suggestion about nori is merely a suggestion. It’s not part of his meal guidelines. Actually, I like nori & use it for wraps.

Counting carbs is critical, of course, but I wish it was that simple. Like Leo, Dr. B’s law of small numbers drew me in immediately. It’s the only approach that makes sense & works for me. I have no desire to take large insulin doses & play the guessing game because large doses don’t act predictably.

To me the most valuable part of Dr. B’s approach is the things you can’t eat like grains, potatoes, fruit etc. A lot of his suggestions are more in the line of substitutes to replace things people are having trouble giving up.

I think the key is crafting a diet that you can stay with long term, which is affordable to you, and which allows you to meet your blood glucose goals. Different people can arrive at different diets that meet these goals.

I live in a rural area and there are not many exotic food choices available locally. Like Gerri almost everything I eat I can get locally. I fill in the rest on line.

The BEST foods are usually basics and locally produced. They are fresher and you can witness the production methods. So if it says “Organic” you can see for yourself.

Can you say more about why seaweed is bad for hypothyroidism? Thanks! Love this group!

I’m new to low-carb/high fat, protein eating. I’m aiming more towards Paleo than Bernstein at the point (cutting out dairy and legumes as much as I can - but it’s hard! I don’t feel experienced/familiar enough with the two eating lifestyles to know what the difference is between the two, aside from the dairy/legumes - but I adore how my numbers have been looking, so I’ll keep it up either way!


With few exceptions, the average person already consumes the requisite amount of iodine needed in their diet… but certain foods, when consumed to excess, pack a whopping excessive amount of iodine, like seaweed, which can interfere with thyroid function and can cause either Hyperthyroidism (in adults), or Hypothyroidism (in babies). It is expected that more and more issues will come as people obsess over the “health” allure of seaweed, and already, health warnings are out in Australia where products are being made using soy and seaweed, like milk, which are both bad for the thyroid…

I can’t see why seaweed should be harmful. Lack of iodine is pretty common. Here in Britain, iodine is added to the table salt as sold, because in many places, there is a shortage of it in the vegetables. There are many places in Europe, notably Switzerland, where low iodine used to cause goitre quite frequently.
In fact in some places, a bride would have a sil thread tied around her throat, to detect pregnancy. As her bodu demanded more iodine for her growing foetus, the thyroid began to swell into a goitre.
PS in many places here in England, Chinese restaurants sell “crispy seaweed” which is actually shredded cabbage.

Hana I do agree !
My youngest daughter holds to the ORGANIC ways in her meals and gardening. She is attempting to get her Certification In ORGANIC GARDENING so she can sell produce locally.

I have noticed every time I spend days with her my Bg is low the entire visit, and Insulin units are also enjoyably down. Problem is there are not Organic growers around my area. So I must buy Organic from Grocery chains at this time and that can prove just as bad as the regular produce in the stores. ( RECALLS )
Where is that happy medium I hear so much about.


I have only a small garden[yard], but it’s surpising what you can grow in pots and planters to supplement shop bought stuff.I grew ; runnerbeans, tomatoes, courgettes[zucchini]and carrots this year.I also tried potatoes, but haven’t lifted them yet. ALL in pots. My yellow tomatoes were partricularly successful. I’ll try more stuff next yeat. It’s fun and everything tastes so good.

We started a small organic garden this year, too, but we weren’t as successful as we started late in the season. We have a Farmer’s Market closeby where I can get almost organic food grown either hydroponically or without chemicals, but not certified organic. My dd lives within walking distance of Whole Foods, so if I can’t find something organic at the local chain, I get get organic there. Even Target has been stocking Organic Food.

Just what is " nori "?


Nor is seaweed pressed into sheets. Nori is what’s used for sushi.