The Power of Anecdotal Evidence by the CEO
As many of you know, I have been writing about nutrition for several years. Usually the story is disappointing because most of the time it’s about debunking a badly formulated peer reviewed academic publication. Well… here you are in for a bit of a surprise!
I have become the member of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to understand their mindset why they keep on pushing grains and a high carbohydrate diet some years ago. Although I am not an active member, I am listed on a few email servers and receive emails from dietitians and nutrition specialists when they post their questions on these servers. They usually are similar to: “So what do you recommend to a diabetic patient?”
I usually respond to these types of questions and send the member to the ADA’s Standard of Care that refers to the low carbohydrate diet for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D) under the carbohydrates section, page S52, where the clinical trial referenced is an ongoing clinical trial of the reversal of T2D, which I believe is in its’ 4th of 5 years at the moment:
“Reducing overall carbohydrate intake for individuals with diabetes has demonstrated evidence for improving glycemia and may be applied in a variety of eating patterns that meet individual needs and preferences (41). For people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, low-carbohydrate eating plans show potential to improve glycemia and lipid outcomes for up to 1 year (63,65,90,101–104).”
Millions of $ Spent on Research vs One Anecdotal Evidence
As we all know, often it is not what is said but who says it that matters. Nothing is truer than that, as shown by this case. After millions of dollars spent on clinical trials over several years of proving that low carbohydrate diets, especially the ketogenic diet, can reverse T2D, without making any of the success stories into any newsflash, the single anecdotal evidence, that the CEO of the ADA could reverse her T2D using the same way of eating, did make it as a newsflash.
Hip hip hurrah!
The low carbohydrate way of eating, be it the low carbs high fat (LCHF), or ketogenic, or carnivore diets, finally have a chance to become mainstream ways of eating because of this single person’s experience!
The ADA Email I Received:
In case you missed it, the CEO of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Tracey Brown, recently gave an interview on the Sisters4Fitness Wellness Show where she discussed how a low-carb diet has drastically improved her diabetes. In the interview, Brown explains how a low-carb diet has helped her discontinue her use of insulin and reduce her dependence on prescription medications. Tracey Brown is just one of many amazing low-carb success stories currently out there.
Brown’s interview comes on the back of the ADA endorsing a low-carb diet as a viable option for Americans who have diabetes. The organization endorsed the diet over the “one size fits all” approach currently offered by our Dietary Guidelines.
The Low-Carb Action Network (L-CAN), a coalition of doctors, academics and average Americans fighting for a “real” low-carb diet to be included in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), was pleased to see the ADA recognize the value of a low-carb diet and is moved by Brown’s interview. Learn more about L-CAN’s efforts HERE.
Below is an article on Brown’s low-carb diet journey. Watch her interview HERE.
American Diabetes Association CEO Tracey Brown has revealed her personal success with a low-carbohydrate diet in a new interview with the Sisters4Fitness Wellness Show.
Declaring how seriously she takes the responsibility of being “the poster child of how to thrive while living with diabetes,” Ms. Brown tells how reducing her carbohydrate intake has had such a profound and positive impact on her health.
Remarkably, Ms. Brown has been able to discontinue her use of insulin, has significantly reduced her use of prescription medication, and even predicts that she’ll be able to drop her last medication by the end of the year.
You read that right: the first CEO of the ADA with diabetes may be beating her own condition into remission!
Along the way, Ms. Brown makes a persuasive case for carbohydrate restriction that goes well beyond mainstream recommendations to limit only sugars and highly processed foods:
“It’s pretty simple. Elevated blood sugars happen when you have sugars in your body and you don’t have insulin to manage the sugars in your body… Carbohydrates turn into sugar. So I just try to get people to be a little aware of how many carbohydrates you’re actually putting in your body. And carbohydrates come in many shapes and forms, right? Bread is a carbohydrate, pasta is a carbohydrate, actually, fruits … some fruits are high in carbohydrates.”
While she admits to enjoying French fries from time to time, she also tells us that she’ll toss the bun of a fast food sandwich into the trash, that she has stopped eating rice, and happily explains how pleased she has been with discovering a “whole new palette” of low-carb foods. She’s also changed her exercise regimen and devoted herself to getting better sleep and reducing stress. Whatever the specifics of Ms. Brown’s diet and lifestyle changes, they’re obviously working.
She also clearly hopes to inspire others along the way through her own successes: “Anybody can do what I did, and I’m not suffering for it.”
One can only hope that Ms. Brown’s personal journey also inspires some of the experts that work for her organization and help set the guidelines that are so influential in the medical establishment. While the ADA has recently made some baby steps towards an endorsement of low-carb diets, the organization is typically cautious and slow-moving, and has long been associated with high-carb diet advice and recipes. But Ms. Brown is such a singular and dynamic figure that we’ll allow ourselves a little optimism that great changes are now afoot at the ADA. She has already pledged to make the organization more agile and innovative. I wouldn’t bet against her.
For more information on the Low-Carb Action Network (L-CAN), please visit lowcarbaction.org.
My deepest congratulations to Tracey D. Brown, the CEO of ADA, for reversing her T2D and for making her lifestyle changes public.
If you watch the video interview–attached to the email via link above–you can hear her say that she cut out grains and rice and starchy fruits and vegetables. She also wears a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), which measures blood glucose every 5 minutes for 2 weeks and the information is downloadable to smart phones. While she has access to CGM, my hope now is that insurance companies will be encouraged to cover the cost of providing CGM to all persons with T2D.
Let’s get T2D wiped off the planet! It is a metabolic disease caused by many factors, but most importantly by diet. It is preventable! So let’s prevent it!
Comments are welcomed, as always, and are monitored for appropriateness.