Friday, May 6, 2011
Are you tired of the Atkins Diet but want a low-carb diet that is really easy to follow and really good for your health? I received a book in the mail a while ago called “Conquer Diabetes & Prediabetes by Steve Parker, M.D. I link to his excellent blog and have been aware of Steve for a long time now, but had no idea he had written the world’s first low-carb Mediterranean diet!
I was really surprised by the Introduction. Dr. Parker begins by apologizing and saying, “I’m sorry for what the Medical establishment has done to people with diabetes. We’ve done an atrocious job for type 2 diabetics and prediabetics.” This immediately makes one realize one is dealing with a very honorable man who really cares about his patients. He had long been an advocate of the proven healthy Mediterranean-style eating for the general population. He says low-carb diets are higher in total fat and saturated fats but since this has been proven not to contribute to heart disease and strokes, now low-carb diets are enjoying resurgence. He calls carbohydrates the poison or toxin because in type 2 diabetes and prediabetes the body cannot handle carbohydrates in the normal fashion. He created a carbohydrate-restricted Mediterranean diet to help people with metabolic syndrome, prediabetes or full-blown diabetes. This diet can reverse metabolic syndrome. He goes into what levels of blood sugar defines one as diabetic and he goes into lots of detail for blood sugar and A1C levels, but all in a way that lay people can understand quite easily. Dr. Parker writes in an interesting way and very clearly. The book is very easy to follow as a result.
He goes into detail about the various drugs to treat diabetes and as well sternly warns people with diabetes that serious consequences from hypoglycemia can arise from following a very low-carb diet and being on certain diabetic drugs, which he names. He explains how to prevent this and monitor glucose levels.
The regular Mediterranean diet is a bit too high in carbohydrates for people who should be low-carbing, but there are some very healthy aspects to the diet that are compatible with a low-carb diet such as “olive oil, nuts and seeds, wine, fish, cheese and Mediterranean spices.”
Steve admits that low-carbing is not for everyone, but if it results in major weight loss, then obvious long-term health benefits arise from that.
He describes what one can eat on the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet (KMD) and which supplements to take. He recommends 8 to 12 weeks on KMD and then to evaluate whether to move onto the Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet. Steve’s primary goal with his program is “to reap the health benefits of a Mediterranean- style diet without losing control of blood sugars in diabetics and pre-diabetics. On the Low-Carb Mediterranean diet, he recommends adding in fruits, more veggies, including starchy ones, legumes, yogurt and other dairy products and whole grains. To avoid carb overdose he recommends gradually adding back the carbs. He conveniently groups the foods and indicates serving sizes, including carb counts. A week of meals and special recipes is outlined, including recipes for his daughter, Arizona’s baked cheesecake, almond pound cake, low-carb chili, etc.
Then there is a chapter for Daily Life with Low-carb Eating, his sense of humor coming through every now and then making me smile. He gives some cool links for more low-carb recipes and my blog was included! I was tickled pink to find that page. He tells you where you can track your weight, blood sugars and consumption of the major food items for free. There is a chapter on exercise and strength training. The last chapter is about maintenance.
All in all this is a very healthy diet and a super-easy one to follow, far less complicated than most of the low-carb diets out there. It is the first low-carb Mediterranean diet in the whole world! Congratulations, Dr. Parker! Thank you for my copy of your book. I love it and highly recommend it to anyone wishing to lead a happier, healthier life and definitely recommend it to anyone who has diabetes as it is specifically geared to help and encourage these people to never experience diabetes complications.