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I have been reading up a lot on diet and nutrition as it relates to our health lately and purchased this one after seeing a lot of people recommend it, especially for Type 1 diabetics. Based on everything else I've been learning, I have mixed opinions about it.
For a Type 1 diabetic, this can be a very resourceful book. Most of it is instructional, and devoted to using insulin and other drugs along with a low carb diet to normalize blood sugars. No, this isn't the typical "eat whatever and cover it with insulin" advice. The book is about using diet first to maximize blood sugar control as your body allows, then using small doses of drugs to make up for the now smaller spikes. For a Type 1 diabetic, this makes sense.
Dr. Bernstein does touch on the much more common Type 2 diabetes with the same approach, which perplexes me some because it's an entirely different mechanism that causes high blood sugar. Type 1 is a lack of insulin. Type 2 is resistance to insulin. Much of what I've been learning points to being able to stop and even reverse Type 2 diabetes through diet alone, specifically a low carb, high fat ketogenic diet. For these people, Dr. Bernstein's methods may improve their conditions but I feel it's not enough of an improvement.
What's interesting is that while the ketogenic diet is not mentioned by name, he does mention its positive effects multiple times with the point being not to fear fats. He also mentions gluconeogenesis several times, which is the conversion of proteins to glucose, but only in the context of not eating enough and your body going through this process to use organ and muscle tissue for fuel when not eating. He does give protein requirements for his dietary plan, but does not directly caution that eating too much protein also causes blood sugar issues. The proteins that can't be utilized are converted to glucose, can trigger an insulin response (albeit not as much as with carbs), and thus prolong your issues if you're Type 2.
My guess is that Dr. Bernstein is either unfamiliar or uneducated on the principles of a ketogenic diet. Such a diet converts your body from using glucose as your body's primary source of energy, to using fat. All throughout the book, Dr. Bernstein speaks as if you can only burn glucose for energy and rarely makes any reference to burning fat. He also goes on to cautioning about seeing ketones (a byproduct of burning fat) in the urine and ketoacidosis. Yes, that is a very serious issue, but is not a problem on a ketogenic diet with high ketones and low blood sugar levels (those being controlled naturally or with insulin).
I can appreciate Dr. Bernstein's background, especially his story about how his engineering mindset helped him research a better way for his Type 1 diabetes. I just personally think that his methods are not necessarily the best for most diabetics.
Another big issue with the book is he only addresses what he knows works in his practice. Since he doesn't talk about the ketogenic approach, I can't tell if he doesn't believe in it or just doesn't know much about it. So that, plus the instruction manual style writing in most of it, leads me to not suggest it overall. If you're a Type 1 diabetic and want to check it out, I'd recommend finding a physical copy of the book for better referencing all the different calculations and such he goes over. Listening to them as an audiobook is challenging to say the least. To be honest, I skipped much of the book for this reason.
The best part of this book is the appendices. There, he goes more in depth on the sciences behind his methods and cities numerous studies that are of interest to those considering a low carb diet. Even high vs low fat diets. So if you're one of those people that just want to learn every last morsel of info on a given subject, the appendices of this book do offer some decent information.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This book has been the best advice I have received. Strongly recommend getting this audio book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution?
Sounds like an informercial, a worrying sign ....Any so called doctor that recommends aspartame (Highly Toxic) and then casts suspicion on a natural sweetener stevia as cancer causing, offers pretty poor advice. The objective of this book seems, rather to confuse and mislead with false and inaccurate information, than educate with good intentions. Should be offering full refunds for such a pile of you know what. The PH miracle for Diabetes, although abit dated, at least offers some valid advice ie knock off the grains, sugar and carbs, eat greens and plenty of them. The actual rating should be a NO or MINUS star book, but thats not given as a option.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Slick and untrustworthy
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Deliberately misleading, so no.
Any additional comments?
I want my money back!