Our Dr Bernstein Diet review takes a look at an approach to weight loss and better blood sugar management for diabetics…does it work?
Dr Bernstein in an engineer by background who went to medical school at the age of 45.
A major career shift that provided the knowledge, training and qualifications to support his research around the management of diabetes through diet.
First came “Dr Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution” in 1997, followed by “The Diabetes Diet: Dr Bernstein’s Low Carbohydrate Solution”.
Both books have gone on to become bestsellers and are frequently recommended in online forums as essential reading for diabetics with weight problems.
Dr Bernstein Diet Review – How Does it Work…?
He claims that by following his plan, overweight diabetics can both lose weight and better control their blood sugar levels.Essentially, Dr Bernstein’s Diet is a low carb, high protein diet.
The diet is designed for both Type I and Type II diabetics.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body doesn’t produce insulin or produces too little.
Insulin is the hormone that converts sugars, starches and other foods to energy or sends them off to be stored as fat.
In Type I diabetes, more properly called Insulin Dependant Diabetes Melitus, no insulin is produced and diabetics are reliant on daily insulin shots to control their blood sugar levels.
Type II diabetes, Non-insulin Dependant Diabetes Melitus, is where the body becomes insulin resistant and too little insulin is produced.
Type II diabetes can be managed through diet and other lifestyle modifications as obesity and a lack of exercise are both thought to be major causes.
90-95% of diabetics have Type II diabetes and more and more people are being diagnosed with it.
As the disease is a chronic condition with a range of complications including heart disease, blindness and circulatory problems that can lead to gangrene and amputation, it’s clearly important to manage it effectiveley.
Dr Bernstein’s approach, whilst hailed in the promotional material as “revolutionary”, essentially boils down to the ususal advice to diabetics, which can be summarised as:
However, Dr Bernstein goes further in some respects and advocates very severe restrictions on carb consumption, amounting to their virtual elimination from your diet.
Eating a mere 30g of carbs a day as he recommends is extremely low and research would suggest that a minimum daily intake of 65-70g a day would achieve similar results in terms of blood sugar management.
Even 65-70g is low and would be difficult to maintain long term without some major dietary changes.
Dr Bernstein provides plenty of low carb recipes to translate his theories into practice and provides advice on healthy eating, medication and supplementation for diabetics more generally.
Dr Bernstein Diet Review – Does it Work…?
Our Dr Bernstein Diet review would suggest that this will be a tough diet to stick to.
The virtual elimination of carbs from your diet is going to be extremely difficult in the long term and we would suggest unnecessary.
For Type II diabetics that want to lose weight, then this diet may well be appropriate in the short term.
However, for Type I diabetics with little or no weight to lose, then we would be concerned.
It may well help to control blood sugar levels, but Type Is need carbs for energy.
Eating some wholegrains, fruit and veg may well require regular insulin shots but provide essential nutrients and much needed calories.
However, much of the advice in the books is good, such as eating smaller, more regular meals and exercising.
But the medical community is split on the efficacy of low carb diets like this one for weight loss generally, let alone for diabetics to follow for life.
You will lose weight on this diet as you’ll be eating fewer calories and the elimination of carbs may well enable the better management of blood sugar levels.
However, we would not support the very low carb intake recommended for more than a few months at most, if at all.
If you are a diabetic and you’re planning on trying this plan, then make sure you talk to your doctor first and get their advice.
Dr Bernstein Diet Review – The Bottom Line…
Our Dr Bernstein Diet review would conclude that this plan has some good and some not so good points.
Our biggest problem with it is the severe carb restriction.
For overweight Type II diabetics, it may provide a short term solution to your weight management problems.
For Type Is, we would question whether it would be advisable in the long term.
You may well reduce the number and amount of insulin shots needed throughout the day, but that would be at the expense of eating healthy wholegrains, fruit and some veg and the essential nutrients they provide.
Given the carb restrictions, you may also struggle to eat enough calories each day to maintain a healthy weight.
Also recognise that whilst Dr Bernstein’s theories relating to protein and carbs are well made and convincing, there is far from universal agreement over such theories within the medical and scientific communities.
The books are a good read and there’s plenty of sound advice in them.
Our Dr Bernstein Diet review verdict? Some good advice and worth a read!