Stupid Dietitian Tricks. Add yours!

I first posted this last night on my main blog,
http://diabetesupdate.blogspot.com. A couple people chimed in and I’ve
added their contributions. Add yours!

Here are a randomly chosen list of horribly bad advice people with
diabetes have reported getting from registered dietitians in the last
couple months. They all have in common that they are completely wrong.

1.
If your blood sugar goes below 100 mg/dl, it’s a hypo and you have to
eat some carbs right away to bring it back up. (Told to a Type 2
controlling with only diet and exercise!)

No. The normal blood
sugar range goes down to 70 mg/dl. The ideal blood sugar for someone
who is controlling with diet alone is mid-80s.

2. Your brain stops working if you eat less than 130 mg/dl of carbs a day.

No.
Your brain works fine with 0 carbs as long as you eat enough protein
that the liver can convert that protein to provide the roughly 60 grams
of carbs you need to run your brain. About 58% of the protein in your
diet can be converted to glucose.

3. If you are low on potassium, you should eat bananas.

Not
unless you love having very high blood sugars. You can get potassium
from avocados, broccoli, spinach, winter squash, mushrooms, lean meats,
clams, and fish, including salmon. If you still don’t think you are
getting enough, one sprinkle of Morton’s Salt Substitute will provide
more than enough potassium for anyone.

4. You have to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. A lot more is even better.

No. This is the "Water Myth"
which was invented by the companies that sell bottled water. Too much
water washes water soluble vitamins out of the body and can stress
marginal kidneys.

5. Eat a lot of healthy whole grains. (To a Type 2 controlling with diet)

Not
unless you want unhealthy high blood sugars. All the studies supposedly
proving whole grains were “healthy” compared a diet of whole grains to
an even higher carb diet full of white flour and potatoes.

No
one has funded a study that compares a diet rich in whole grains with
one free of almost all grain products, where the whole grain diet would
come in very poorly. That’s probably because no one will get rich NOT
selling cheap grain to the public. Studies of low carbohydrate diets
very low in grain of all types have shown that they make huge
improvements in the blood sugar and lipids of people with diabetes.

6. Pasta is very good for your blood sugar.

Pasta
LOOKS good if you test your blood sugar only at 1 or 2 hours after
eating it because it takes 5-7 hours to digest. If you tested after it
digested you’d be likely to see the 23 grams per ounce hitting the
blood stream and the sight would not be pretty. A typical restaurant
serving of pasta contains about 160 grams of carbohydrate. Without any
sauce. Add the sugary tomato sauce and you just plain don’t want to
know!

7. Oatmeal makes a wonderful breakfast!

Only
if you are doing a research project to see just how high you can push
your blood sugar. Unless you have a very robust 2nd phase insulin
response (which you will be burning out by eating oatmeal every
morning) expect to go way over 200 or even 300 mg/dl after a normal
sized portion of plain oatmeal.

8. You should try adding some fruit to your breakfast.

Most
of us, including people without diabetes are at our most insulin
resistant first thing in the morning. Berries are an exception, but
fruits like apples, pears, pineapple, and melons will raise our blood
sugar far higher at breakfast than at any other time of day.

Have you gotten bad advice from a so-called professional?

Right after I was diagnosed, I was working at a client site hospital on day - tried to choose what I thought was the “best choice” there for a meal - the brat & saurkraut. It shot my sugar up to 247 afterwards! I found out the next day from the dietician that they cook their saurkrut in SUGAR and that their brautwurst was full of fillers and carbs! (I just should have left the building in search of healthy protein)

I was told by my health plan dietitian that all fruit contains the same amount of carbohydrates. I told her that berries, for example, are much lower than bananas but she did not agree.

Libby,

"All fruit contains the same amount of carbohydrates."
That has to get some kind of prize!

Do these people get their degrees from the places that advertise in the backs of magazines? Or did they answer an email spam for a “prestigious degree from an unaccredited institution” Like The University of Harvard.

You gotta wonder!

i went to see my diabetes educator last week. i was SO PROUD of my numbers. i was testing 7 times a day and my average BGL was hovering around and average of 6.0 (108).

i got no praise at all. she looked at the fact i was testing 7 times a day and said only type 1’s need to test that much. she recommended 2-3 tests a day.

she looked at a couple of my low lows (lowest was 3.3 (59) and told me that it was a bad thing to do.

she said that carbohydrates are a vital part of a balanced diet and that vegetables contained negligible carbs.

she said she was going to send me to a dietician to get sorted. i said no thanks i know what i am doing.

i assured her that i was testing often so that i could get a hang of how MY body works.

last week i went to see my GP who approves of my low carb approach. my A1C dropped from 16.7 in July to 8.0 now. it is heading toward 5.3 based on my averages (needs a bit more time for the old sugar-y guys to die off).

the best thing is that my triglycerides which have ALWAYS been high/very high are now 1.7 mmol/l (151).

Joel,

That DE really sucks. And here I just went and wrote a blog entry on my main blog saying that Type 2s need access to DEs.

WHY is it that all the people who earn money exploiting (I mean serving) people with diabetes are so utterly, dangerously, clueless?

And congrats on the Terrific Progress!

Hi Jenny! As a rule my DE is really OK (a little grumpy sometimes but OK).

i think that they are used to obese T2’s coming in that have never had a “good” diet. therefore, Job 1 is to get them onto a “better” diet - any sort of better diet will do initially.

then she get me and tries the same tack on me assuming (despite what i say) that i have a crappy diet.

a patient, like me, who has followed a low fat high carb regime for the last 20 years cos that is what all the “experts” said. despite good weight control and diet my lipid profile started to get worse about 8 years ago.

and now T2. i don’t fit into any of her neat “sub types”. perhaps i can educate her when my A1C goes sub 5.5 (knock on wood) by Christmas.

as i said, my GP (a well travelled, pretty cool guy in his early thirties) is on my side and his word carries alot of weight.

– Joel.

Oh yeah… bad dietician tips…

FOLLOW THE FOOD PYRAMID and everything would be okay… I listened to that stupid input for too many years…

Stupid is stupid and knowledge is power.

Doesn’t “dietician” and the word "die"in it…ha, ha…

Richard