In a recent article published in Diabetes Health, Hope Warshaw, a nutrition/diabetes consultant and author, calls the idea of controlling type-2 diabetes with a low-carbohydrate diet an “old dogma” that needs to give way to a “new reality.”
Warshaw’s statement ignited a fire-storm of opinion among diabetics and low-carb dieters, including vehement responses from bloggers Dana Carpender, Jimmy Moore, and Tom Naughton. (No one does vehement like Naughton, who wrote two brilliant posts about the Warshaw affair.)
To be sure, Warshaw’s arguments are sophomoric. Even that assessment is generous because I’d flunk a sophomore who made them.
First, she appeals to dubious authority, saying that the American Diabetes Association and “other health authorities” have seconded the U.S. 2010 Dietary Guidelines that call for carbohydrates to be 45 to 65 percent of calories. That’s the “new reality,” which is not very new and has little reality behind it. Indeed, it boils down to the same low-fat, high-carb dietary sermon the medical establishment has been preaching for 30 years and more.
Talk about an old dogma!
Searching for some scientific backing, Warshaw then uncorks this statement: “Countless research studies do not show long term (greater than six months to a year) benefit of low carb diets on blood glucose, weight control, or blood fats.”
It sounds as if she is saying that many, many long-term studies have been done to test low carb diets and found them wanting. In fact, there haven’t been any (depending on exactly what “long term” means). She ignores long term clinical and personal experience.
I can almost grasp Warshaw’s logic here. If zero long term studies have been done, then the studies cannot be counted. Therefore, they could be described as “countless.”
Don’t think about that too long, or like Tom Naughton, you’ll be banging your head on the desk. (And Hope, just so you know, zero is a number.)
But the purpose of this post is not to rehash the Warshawian “logic,” as much fun as that rehashing is. My purpose is to solicit a contribution to a worthy organization.
On their blogs, Carpendar, Moore and Naughton all urge their readers to take tangible action against such destructive advice to type-2 diabetics and those of us striving to prevent the disease: join the Nutrition and Metabolism Society (NMS), an organization devoted to a rational approach to diet and nutrition research.
A consumer membership is only $10. According to the NMS, 100% of the money goes to support the nutritional research needed to fight misinformation about the effectiveness of carb-restricted diets.
I joined. If you can spare ten bucks, please join, too.
Let’s show the world what “countless” means!