How to worsen diabetes: follow the worst of the ADA and CDA advice

No sugar advice handwritten on blackboard above sugar cubes scale, suggesting diabetes risk

If you have a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, or have been dealing with the condition for years, where’s a natural place you might go for support and information? Well, you’d think the national diabetes associations, right?

Wrong! Unfortunately, listening to advice from the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) and American Diabetes Association (ADA) is not guaranteed to help you. In fact, it may harm you. Let me explain.

First, here’s some simple incontrovertible facts on which just about nobody disagrees.

  • People with type 2 diabetes are often overweight and have a high blood glucose.
  • Refined grains (white flour) are among the worst foods in the world for raising blood glucose.
  • Eating sugar causes weight gain, and also raises blood glucose.
  • Neither refined grains nor sugar contains any nutrients of value.

Sugar and flour raise glucose, so don’t eat it, right?

Aha! So, the conclusion seems rather pedantic and logical. If eating flour and sugar raise blood glucose and my glucose is already too high, then I should eat less flour and sugar. Also, so self-evident that I hesitate to even point it out, if eating flour and sugar makes me gain weight, and I weigh too much already, then I should eat less. Super, super obvious, right? Well, not to the CDA and ADA who have been busy exhorting a generation with type 2 diabetes to eat MORE flour and sugar. 

Diabetes dessert

Cookies and cakes loaded with sugar and flour!

So, I’m in the public library, and I decide to check out what the CDA feels is a perfectly acceptable dessert – it’s Canada’s 150 Best Diabetes Desserts – from the CDA. I randomly look at a recipe – oh, look – Lemon Lime Cookies. Scanning through the ingredients, there are 3½ cups of highly refined white flour and 1¼ cups of sugar. This is one of Canada’s 150 Best Diabetes Desserts? This is the best advice from the Canadian Diabetes Association? All that sugar and flour is going to raise blood glucose more than 99% of other foods. How can this possibly qualify as one of the CDAs best desserts?

But what about the American Diabetes Association? So, I pick up a book from the ADA – Ah – here we go – Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy. Let’s see what they tell us about sugar and sweets.

Diabetes meal planning

Blood glucose not the reason to ax sugars and sweets??!

“People with diabetes no longer have to avoid sugar and sweets”!!?? Could this be serious? It is pretty obvious to most that eating sugar is NOT good for type 2 diabetes. Yet here is the ADA telling everybody who wants to listen that people with diabetes don’t need to avoid sugar. AND, they’ve been saying that since 1994! Eat more sugar – it’s good for you! Thanks, but no thanks ADA!

The big nutrients

Let’s see what else the ADA tells us. Oh, right – carbohydrates, which are chemically composed of chains of glucose, are our bodies’ preferred source of energy and people with diabetes should eat about 1/2 of their calories from carbs. Let’s think about this. In T2D, there is too much glucose in the blood, so we should preferentially choose foods that are composed primarily of glucose!!!?? And look here – it is OK to eat up to 25% added sugars in our diet! This is exactly what we should NOT be doing. Everyone, the ADA especially, should recognize that eating more sugar and grains will make blood glucose WORSE, not better.

The diabetes comfort food cookbook

Here’s more delicious recipes from the ADA. Oh, cheesecake, with graham crackers, stevia and sugar. Wow. Just wow. This is acceptable? This is what the ADA recommends?

Sorry, diabetes associations won’t help you heal

So, if you would really like to help yourself with regards to type 2 diabetes, then the first step is to question very carefully what the CDA and ADA are telling you.

I wonder why the ADA would give such seemingly backwards advice? Well, let’s take a look at their ‘Banting Circle Elite‘ group of supporters. A complete list includes – AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Merck, Novo-Nordisk and Sanofi. The Canadian Diabetes Association receives lots of money from – Janssen, Abbott, Sanofi, Novo-Nordisk  and AstraZeneca. All drug companies that have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to make the most money possible, not to improve the health of type 2 diabetics! Lucky for them, not so lucky for you if you choose to listen to the diabetes associations. 

Tom Watson before and after

What’s the better solution? As I covered in my book, The Diabetes Code, it’s really very simple. Type 2 diabetes is a reversible disease. We’ve proven that over and over again, but you can prove it to yourself. If a friend is diagnosed with T2D, then proceeds to lose 50 pounds, what do you think happens to that T2D? It frequently disappears. Tom Watson, (above) deputy leader of Britain’s Labour party figured that out himself, and now is committed to tackling the disease throughout the UK, and indeed the world. But why did he need to figure this out himself, DESPITE the health care professionals, not BECAUSE of the health care professionals? If it is reversible, why do so few people reverse it by listening to the ADA? 

Starch structureLet’s put together some fun, incontrovertible facts:

  • In type 2 diabetes, blood glucose is too high
  • If you don’t eat (fasting), blood glucose will fall. Therefore you may need fewer (or no) medications to lower blood glucose.
  • If you continue with intermittent fasting, you will lose weight
  • As you lose weight, type 2 diabetes generally improves.

So, here’s a solution that is free, available to anybody in the world, that is 100% natural, and saves people time. Fasting is literally the oldest dietary intervention in the world, having been used for millennia.

Here’s the bottom line to take control of type 2 diabetes, which contributes to heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputations, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. This is a reversible dietary disease, so you need to use a dietary solution – one that happens to be free, available and simple (although not easy). You can cure this disease with KNOWLEDGE, not drugs!

Trust yourself. Arm yourself with knowledge. And reverse your disease.

Dr. Jason Fung

How to do it – the video course

The course continues here

How to do it – the guides

How to reverse type 2 diabetes

Intermittent fasting for beginners

Dr. Fung’s top posts

  1. Longer fasting regimens – 24 hours or more
  2. How to renew your body: Fasting and autophagy
  3. My single best weight loss tip

Type 2 diabetes

Weight loss


Intermittent fasting


More with Dr. Fung

All posts by Dr. Fung

Dr. Fung has his own blog at He is also active on Twitter.

The Obesity CodeThe Complete Guide to Fastingthe-diabetes-code (1)

Dr. Fung’s books The Obesity Code, The Complete Guide to Fasting and The Diabetes Code are available on Amazon.


  1. 1 comment removed
  2. Jared
    While I agree with most of what you say here, there is no need to be so overtly inflammatory in your tone. Yes, people with Type 2 Diabetes should eat drastically less sugar and carb-rich food (like the rest of us probably should, too) but there’s no need to sink to the level of personal insults. We see enough of that in the world already.

    As a scientist myself, seeing the kind of language like this makes me reflexively categorize you as an extremist, untrustworthy “quack” and dismiss what you are saying as hyperbole. I seriously doubt you want that to be the reaction to your writing, which in other cases I have found to be straightforward and informative.

    In general, I suspect you will find a more receptive audience among the people—and especially physicians—you need to reach if you dial down the rhetoric and stick to clearly presented facts.

    Replies: #5, #13, #14
  3. Michelle H
    I used to subscribe to the recipes bulletins sent out by the CDA. I went on a low carb diet, lost 21 lbs. and my medication was lowered to 1/4 of what I was taking. As I learned about low carb eating, I also learned that every recipe the CDA sent to me was in no way healthy. Too much flour, too much sugar, too much starch. I unsubscribed from the bulletins.
  4. Judith
    The ADA Dumb Diabetic Diet brought my kidneys to the Edge of Destruction and my PMD told me to look into the cost for dialysis because I was on that edge. Instead, I went low carb to a maximum of 45, NO starch, NO snacks and lost 25 pounds in 2 months. I also added benfotiamine 300 mg to my daily supplements because this fat-soluble form of thiamin does repair kidneys and it did that to mine. I now only eat a max of 30 carbs, NO starch, NO snacks and I don't eat as much food as I did before because I'm just not hungry. The ADA should be stripped of its status because it is ki9lling diabetics.
  5. Andre

    I understand that sometimes the tone is a bit rough but most of the time it is the only way the message will go through.
    My mother had T2 diabetes. After many years of following the nutritionist, dietitians and doctor advice, she gained weight, started to use insulin, lost her kidneys, went on dialysis, got kidney transplant and died of a heart attack.

    During all that suffering 20 years of misery, nobody in the health system told her that she had to reduce or cut carbohydrates. To the contrary, they all told her that she had to eat a lot of carbohydrates in the form of grain.....

    Yes, Dr. Fung is right. They are just criminals and should be treated like that. All T2 diabetic people in Canada and Us should sue collectively these association and their sponsors.

    By the way, I was also T2 diabetic. By implementing a strict Ketogenic diet and following the intermitent fasting of Dr. Fung, I reversed my diabetic condition, lost 125 pounds and eliminated most of the cronic inflamation I had.

    Today when I look back, I am mad about the fact that my mother suffered all that misery for nothing when it would had been so simple to reverse her T2 diabetes.

    Thanks Dr. Fung to provide your advice and go against these criminals

    André from Canada

    Dr. Fungs program works well. Two years ago after being pre-diabetic (fasting glucose =105 to 125 mg./dl.) for 25 years while fighting diabetes off with extensive exercise, I slacked off and my HbA1c went to 6.9. I redoubled my exercise and got it down to 6.6, but then had an episode of angina. My cardiologist prescribed a PCI and a stent which was misplaced so I still had some angina and I was told to limit exercise. This scared me as how would I be able to control my diabetes now. Then I found Dr Fung's web site and hisblogs and started HFLC and 16-8 hour the fasting technique. In 3 weeks my fasting glucose was below 100 which I hadn't seen in over 28 years and Ilost 13 pounds. Started exercising again and angina diminished I went on vacation, but then completely tore my quadriceps tendon and so no more exercise for 3 months, but HbA1c went down to 6.15 without real exercise. A HFLC diet and fasting kept my fasting glucose and weight down also. Once I was able to exercise again (75 minutes per day , I lost another 5 pounds and my HbA1c is now down to 5.95. Fasting glucose up to 115 g./dl. right after 5 miles walking after my morning fast which surprises me as my five mile walk should use up 500 calories, more than the glucose I consume each day.
    Another Issue I have found is that my Creatinine is up from 1.15 to 1.45 which concerns my doctor as it suggests kidney issues with an eGFR of Does Dr. Fung as a nephrologist expect that type of result in view of a high protein diet, lisinopril (20 mg.) extensive exercise with calf muscles like a weight lifters arms?
  7. Jennifer S
    ❤️Dr. Fung and especially how he puts his information out!
  8. Gaja
    As an endocrinologist and person with diabetes myself I noted that the guidelines are not helping patients to optimize sugar levels. Before introducing ketogenic life style to my practice I started suggesting decrease in carbohydrates and frequency of meals and snacks. About a year ago I contacted ADA, expressing my concerns about responsibility this organization has, to provide effective diet info. ADA has great influence and significant funds. I find it disturbing that significant amount of the funds is spent on misleading patients.

    This is an email I received from ADA representative in reply to my letter:
    "We reached out to an endocrinologist from Kaiser in San Diego, who also happens to sit on the ADA Executive Board, to ask her feedback on the concerns you have expressed. Her response is below:

    “I checked out the ADA online information for patients, and compared with that on the American College of Physicians patient resources, and also American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists web resources for MD and patients. The diet recommendations are very similar from all these organizations, and tend to include general concepts of food groups appropriate for diabetics. There is information about limiting carb intake, which is one element of effective dietary control. There is currently no scientific evidence that low carb diet will reverse diabetes or pre diabetes. In fact the dietary change recommended used in the Diabetes Prevention Program is not specifically a low carb diet yet intensive diet that result in 5% weight loss and exercise 150min per week was shown to reduce progression to diabetes by 59%.”

    We absolutely are doing our best to help people with diabetes and prediabetes and I am taking your concerns very seriously. I want to be sure that we are providing the best and most helpful information. We do offer numerous low-carb recipes on our website as well as in our publication, Diabetes Forecast. I am happy to send you some information we have on limiting carbs. As I mentioned earlier, we are aware that a low-carb diet can work, we just cannot advocate a “one size fits all” solution."

    Bottom line, it looks that we are officially stuck with the guidelines. One society or association looks at others, instead at the evidence and data. Change will take time and lots of advocating. I hope that platforms like Diet Doctor will help with this process

    Thank you for this article, it is a correct statement of facts.
    Gaja Andzel, Endocrinologist and person with Type 1 Diabetes

  9. CLG
    The information they give out really should be criminal. I followed a 'healthy' low fat diet for years, ran 4 days a week and at 48 discovered I was type 2 with a bmi of 25.1. I was advised to continue my 'healthy' diet and start taking a statin, bp med, and then metformin.

    I ignored all of it went low carb and all my health markers are totally normal with no drugs, my BMI is about 22, I feel great and I have found that even if I do eat pizza on occasion it doesn't do anything to my BG levels. I don't really miss carbs though so don't eat them much except for rare occasions.

    I have a PhD and used to teach taught statistics and research methods at the University of California. I now work in government. I had never really questioned all of the health advice before but looking at it I realise just how terrible it is. The research behind so many things is just shockingly bad.

    I think fair call being angry and calling it out.

    Reply: #10
  10. Kenrick
    Yes totally agree, Not just shockingly bad ...but the current updated proven low carb / keto research is shockingly ignored !

    Soon, some one will take the enormous level of current evidence and use it to take out a law suite or class action against these highly dubious recommendations, I think only then will we see a real paradigm shift ...

    Sadly, national dietary guidelines are just really another symptom of how tenderals of corporate profiteering is propagated by the state ...wealth appearing to trump health every and each time !


  11. Patrick Schreiber
    Despite his manner of speaking Dr. Fung's conclusions are sound and contrary to the ADA there is a lot of evidence to back him up. Also, how does the ADA define low carb? Oh at about 125 grams per day. That's what they define as "low carb". Of course you won't get good results if that is your standard of low carb measurement. Look up the latest recommendations of the USDA guidelines. Total up the amount of carbs in breakfast alone and then ask again if Dr. Fung's rhetoric is uncalled for.
  12. Corrected
    While I agree with what you say here, there is a need to be overtly inflammatory in your tone. Yes, people with Type 2 Diabetes should eat drastically less sugar and carb-rich food (like the rest of us probably should, too) and there’s sometimes a rightful need to sink to the level of personal addresses. We see of that in the world already, but in inappropriate places.
    As an M.Sc. myself, seeing the kind of language like this makes me reflexively categorize you as a person that cares, not letting “quacks” to take over, and understand the need of used hyperbole. I seriously believe an awakening is what you want to be the reaction to your writing, which in other cases I have found to be straightforward and informative.

    In general, I suspect you will find a receptive audience among the people—and especially physicians—you need to reach if you continue your strive to clearly presented facts.

    When such organizations that should protect the people, mislead, when such organization are given carte blanche to disseminate wrong information, willfully or not, when they have the means to define the rules that affect all people, there aren't enough of you to keep the balance. If there would be a balance, in means and number, between such organizations and people who care and stand up, such a language will not be needed. Until then anything less will be just silenced and denigrated, like some readers try to.
    Thank you.

  13. Rod Erickson
    So Jared, just why are you so offended about these comments from Dr. Fung who who is simply showing his passion for his patients and his exasperation with groups like the ADA, CDA, AMA, etc. who don't often seem to act in the best interest of their very own patients when treating these chronic conditions?

    The science is quite clear and clinicians all over the world are reversing T2DM. in particular, so why aren't the named associations listed previously on board with these very simple concepts? You can always listen to Dr. Fred Westman and others of similar demeanor who may come across as less "offensive" as he reverses T2DM at Duke University. Listen to the message, not so much the messenger!
    Dr. Rod Erickson

  14. Robert
    Well Jared - if you don't like the tone you should seriously consider that the ADA is in fact making recommendations that are in fact contributing to killing people. Why?

    Type 2 diabetes is
    1/factually preventable to begin with
    2/factually reversible

    If the supposedly altruistic foundations that are purportedly trying to help people are putting out false and misleading information it is 100% okay to point that out in the sternest way possible.

    The latest reports for the CDC in the US report that 100 million people are either experiencing full blown diabetes or are pre-diabetic. At the very bottom of that study, there is a little footnote that reads: “Most estimates of diabetes in this report do not differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, because type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% to 95% of all diabetes cases, the data presented are likely to be more characteristic of type 2 diabetes.” Type 2 is largely caused by diet.

    Let that sink in my friend. And here we have many drug companies funding the ADA. And lo and behold the ADA is putting out completely false recommendations, that do NOT line up with science and will not address the dietary causes of T2D.

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