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Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars Hardcover – November 1, 2011
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"Dr. Bernstein is a true pioneer in developing practical approaches to controlling a devastating disease that is growing at epidemic proportions in this country. This book should be in the library of every diabetic patient, and especially physicians who treat diabetes."―Barry Sears, PhD, author of The Zone
About the Author
Richard K. Bernstein, MD, is one of the world's foremost experts in diabetes treatment and care. He is the author of six books about diabetes, including The Diabetes Diet. Dr. Bernstein is the emeritus director of the Peripheral Vascular Disease Clinic at Jacobi Medical Center, an instructor at New York Medical College, fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and as a consultant to the Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. An attending physician at North Bronx Healthcare Network, he also maintains a private practice in Mamaroneck, NY, where he lives.
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It has been almost 1.5 years since I was diagnosed. Using the advice in this book, my weight went from 185lbs to 145lbs within about 6 months and is holding stable - I am 5'6" so I am now at the right weight level. This much weight drop is not typical although many people see quite a bit of weight drop. I guess I got lucky there. I am now a firm believer in Dr. Bernstein's philosophy. I eat tons and tons of cheese since I am a vegetarian and don't eat eggs and meat and diabetes made me give up ALL GRAINS. Yes, it was a bit hard, but I truly did give up all grains. The first time I saw my doctor and I mentioned the very high cheese diet to him, he was cautioning me about how my cholesterol will likely shoot up - this is a common misconception among various doctors. Happy to say, all the advice on Low Carb High Fat diet actually works. With very low carbs and tons of cheese, my cholesterol has never been better. In fact, pretty much most of the health parameters worked out incredibly well and are all in perfectly normal ranges. I have gotten three screenings done during the last 1.5 years. Ideally, I should get that done every 3 months, but you know, life gets in the way.
Here are the results (normal range for A1C - the average blood glucose level for last three months - for healthy person should be under 5.6, Total cholesterol should be less than 200, good cholesterol (HDL) should be > 41 and bad (LDL) less than 130. Triglycerides should be less than 150)
On diagnosis, A1C = 8.3, HDL = 38, LDL = 126, Total Cholesterol = 222, Triglycerides = 288
At 3 month mark (2/16/16), A1C = 6.2, HDL = 41, LDL = 96, Total Cholesterol = 157, Triglycerides = 98
On 8/1/16, A1C = 6.1, HDL = 47, LDL = 103, Total Cholesterol = 170 Triglycerides = 101
11/28/16, A1C = 5.7, HDL = 40, LDL = 80, total cholesterol = 147, Triglycerides = 137
Original Review (June 30, 2014)
I am a newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetic (4 weeks now) and was in denial for the first few days because I exercise strenuously 3x a week (4-6 mile runs) and although I do go over sometimes, mostly I thought I ate healthy. After getting metformin from the doctor and the usual advice of 1/2 plate vegetables, 1/4 plate beans and legumes and 1/4 plate wheat/bread etc, I came home and tried that... and of course, the blood sugars would spike to 150, 160, 170 after 2 hours. I am an engineer by trade so I wanted to understand what was happening and how I could truly fix it.
Reading about all the complications that you can have with diabetes was bloody gut wrenching and I do want to avoid it and potentially go into diabetes remission where I can control it with just diet and exercise. Obviously, my doctor's advice would have put me on a path to complications.
Doctor Bernstein's advice is... to summarize, very very intense. He asks you eliminate ALL GRAINS, ALL FRUITS and virtually all sources of easily digestible carbs (potatoes etc.) from your meal and instead puts you on a low carb, moderate protein and reasonable fat diet. Essentially, his advice is, get your nutrition mostly from vegetables that do not have fast acting carbs, and then add protein and fat to make up for calories and to keep you full.
Keeping with his advice, my blood sugar is almost down to normal within 3 weeks of following his advice and my weight is down 15 pounds (he says.. "if you drop weight by simply switching to a low carb diet, consider yourself lucky"..)
Also, it was a bit jarring to see him tell me that pure running is worse than weight training. And here I was running and thinking it was amazing. I get his reasons though. I have been running for many years now, mostly consistently and now running does not raise my heart rate, I can run and talk easily.. which means my muscles are working aerobically... Still, I don't want to leave running, so switched to his style of Interval training.. where I run at a sane pace on flat and whenever I see an incline, I sprint up to raise my heart rate.
And I bought a bunch of weights and reinstated my weight training regimen.
Another point that cemented my belief in this is that my Mom has had diabetes for over 15 years and her blood sugar were pretty high, even fasting... After I read this book, I pushed my mom to follow the same advice and although she is resisting, she is putting some aspects in her diet and her fasting blood sugar has dropped from almost 180 to 108 in about a month.
I am not shy about saying, yes I am a believer. Compared to what the American Diabetes Association tells or a general physician tells, Dr. Bernstein's advice actually works and I am glad I got it.
His is not the most popular book out there but that is because it does not sugar coat anything. YOU HAVE TO GET OFF of high carbs and as I mentioned that he is at times very intense in what you have to do.. given he has been a Type 1 diabetic since age 12 and he was near organ failure at around 30 and then found and made the VLC (very low carb diet) work for himself, switched careers to Medicine to help others and has lived to 80+ years with perfect A1C and other parameters.
Not just that, if you search on the Internet, you will find forums after forums of people who have kept diabetes related complications at Bay by following his advice or similar VLC (very low carb) diet further proving that he is right.
Anyways, Thank You Dr. Bernstein and thank God, I found the book within a week of being diagnosed. I have nearly read the book cover to cover twice and continue poring over it to see if there is anything I missed.
Our whole family has converted to this way of eating and the whole family (non-diabetics included) has seen improved health. Of course there are challenges with this way of eating (as with anything) but I would take these challenges any day over the ones we experienced when managing her diabetes per the ADA recommendations.
You owe it to yourself to give this method a try. Commit for a week and then decide whether it's for you before shooting it down as sounding too extreme. And just know, it gets easier as you continue when the carb cravings get less and your body detoxes and adjusts to it's new energy source (about 3 weeks). There are very supportive groups online of other families following Dr. Bernstein's recommendations who can provide a lot of guidance. You can also check out Dr. Bernstein's "Diabetes University" video clips on YouTube. They are short and topic-specific.
And, even if you decide not to follow his advice, you will come away from the book with more tools in your toolbox, and more knowledge about the disease, and that will help you on your journey. It's worth reading and comes highly recommended. The photo I uploaded speaks for itself!
Dr. B explains his way of controlling blood sugar with a low carbohydrate diet. It works. Despite being a Type 1, I have an A1C of 4.8% as a Type 1 and steady for the last 3 years and my blood sugars are between 70-110 a majority of the time.