You’re diabetic because “you are lazy and self-serving”!

Read the comments of dietitian Janelle Schnake RD, CDE that she posted on the Wheat Belly Blog:

Dr. Davis,

As a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator I really, completely, totally agree with your statements about whole wheat and how it affects blood sugar, but I also believe that we need to “call the duck a duck.”

The problem with obesity and diabetes in America probably–no, certainly–has nothing to do with the intake of wheat bread, but the fact that Americans are lazy and self-serving. The biggest problem with diabetes in America is that, as a culture, Americans want their food quick and fast and cheap and they don’t want to exercise because . . . well, I could repeat all of the absolutely selfish reasons why BUT I’m sure, as a doctor, you have probably heard the same ones I have.

Needless to say since this article came out in Prevention magazine, guess what the backlash I have heard, as an actual practicing clinician who lives in the “real world”: It’s not cutting out wheat products, it’s switching to something even worse: white bread. So congratulations on all of the extra money you have made on your book and magazine articles, but next time let’s face the real issue: Diabetes and obesity is usually caused by inactivity, huge portions, busy families, and poor food choices. Oh, yeah, that doesn’t sell books, my bad!!!!

That is precisely what she posted, though I did correct her rather horrendous punctuation. (She apparently is commenting on something that came out in Prevention Magazine that I wrote.)

You can see what we are up against: The incredible ignorance of the dietary community who are absolutely convinced that you are overweight, tired, feel awful, have acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome, unexplained depression and rashes, constant hunger, and have high blood pressure and high blood sugars . . . because you are “lazy and self-serving.” In the minds of people like her, it has nothing to do with the message to “cut your fat and eat more healthy whole grains” provided by our own “official” agencies and dietary community.

Rather than reading the book, opening her mind to the possibility that much of what she thought was right is wrong, that her education was heavily influenced by the curriculum set by the food and drug industry, and gently telling people that, no, white bread is no better than whole wheat because they’re both bad–well, instead, she chooses to vent her frustration in a place where it will have . . . absolutely no effect!

Actually, I do agree that there is indeed a subset of people who, no matter how effective the approach or method, will always overindulge, eat the wrong food, not bother with other healthy habits. But they are probably NOT the ones reading Prevention Magazine nor the ones looking to hear the message I am broadcasting. I fear that the ignorance of dietitians like Ms. Schnake is also self-fulfilling: If she thinks you are flawed, gluttonous, and lazy, she will help you do more of the same!

I am embarrassed and ashamed that we have people like Ms. Schnake purporting to provide dietary advice to the unwitting public, who put their trust in her. If she refuses to at least participate in the discussion, let’s do our best to put her out of business.

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174 Responses to You’re diabetic because “you are lazy and self-serving”!

  1. Leslie says:

    Here is my question, and it’s one that I’ve been mulling for awhiile: What kind of liability issues do credentialed medical professionals face when dispensing advice that goes against the currently generally accepted treatments/advice of the medical profession (and insurance and government, I suppose)? Is the “stick” that keeps the herd in line the fear of litigation if things go badly with a patient or the refusal of insurance payment for unaccepted forms of treatment? I also wonder how we can possibly turn the ponderous tide of the current medical and insurance establishment to another course. Most functional or integrative physicians are on a cash only payment plan because they cannot operate within the current insurance system, which denies their services to most people simply because of coast. Naturopaths generally don’t prescribe, so if you have true medical issues not related to diet (thyroid, for instance) you cannot use one as your primary physician, and they are also not accepted by insurance. Even if I personally were to go to medical school, could I make it through the training knowing what I know about nutrition and other foundatinal principals like saturated fat clogs your arteries? Would I be able to start a practice that could accept insurance? Would I be ripe for getting sued? Would I be shunned by my colleagues? Dr. Davis, you are a cardiologist, and I assume you make your living by billing cardiac services. The (great) nutrition advice you dispense is a value added service, not your main source of income. You also have some weight behind you because of your years in the profession. Could a new doctor have any chance of success? I was intent on medical school for many years aftere I graduated from college, but my personal physician actually talked me out of it because of the state of insurance (and that was in 1992). That decision may have saved my health, as now I am free to consider all sides of an argument based othe evidence presented, not by what was force fed and drilled into me as a condition of my employment.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I think there are more and more young people who are starting to question, if not outright reject, conventional advice.

      Problem: Medical training is still about following rules, being belittled, being forced to work long hours that is meant, at least sometimes, to demoralize as well as educate. It tends to create a robotic rule follower, rather than independent thinkers.

      I do fine. Yeah, lots of colleagues disagree. But funny thing: Their patients come back to them 50 pounds thinner, off diabetes and hypertension drugs, with “cholesterol” values that are transformed with little to no drugs. So they tend to say,” Well, I don’t know what he’s doing, but just keep doing it.” In other words, they have also lost a sense of wonder and curiosity about nutrition and human health, choosing instead to be wowed by the charms of the sexy sales rep in the waiting room or just take the easy way out and continue to write prescriptions.

      I would not know what I know, had I not taken the path I took. But I would never take it again. Medical training was enlightening and exciting at time, but for the most part was 17 years of sleep deprivation and incredibly long hours. I would not want my children to go through what I went through.

  2. A friend told me about the book Wheat Belly, and I went out and bought it immediately. It was amazing what I was reading that pertained to the “old” me. I was told by my doctor to begin a “no sugar, no flour, no yeast” diet. After some time, I felt SO much better and understood how much my health had deteriated. In about ten months I lost over 70 pounds and had a great deal more energy. When I shared this information with a friend who has diabetics, I found out that this information isn’t shared with the diabetic educational community. I could share my experiences as anecdotal evidence for going without wheat,

  3. Mary says:

    Must be the same one that sent a 10 year old just diagnosed with TYpe 1 home eating 300 carbs a day . What happen was a thin child get very chubby and taking a lot of insulin until I read up on low carb dr Bernstein that was 5 years ago .Now he is eating around 50 carbs a day taking very little insulin and has stable BS not all over the place ones like he had 6 years ago . Thanks doc for the WB book now if I can just get him to eat more then lettuce baby spinach ,apples & celery !!!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      That’s wonderful, Mary!

      Yes, the standard advice for diabetes, including type 1, is nothing short of abysmal. Their advice causes an increased need for medication, including increasing doses of insulin.

      Thank goodness you rejected their silly and destructive advice and found the correct answer!

    • Joan says:

      Amazing, isn’t it? We got the same dietary advice a year ago when our 11 year old was diagnosed. He never ate that many carbs before his diagnosis- why would I start feeding him MORE carbs than before when diabetes is basically an inability to handle carbohydrates?? And it amazes me even more that our endocrinologist tells me my son’s A1C is too low (it’s not) and that he needs more carbs in his diet (and he isn’t that low carb, either- usually around 100 to 120 grams per day, but he’s an active athlete). I just tune her out and keep on doing what we are doing.

  4. pam says:

    this is what i think about that RD:
    “Stupidity and arrogance in one package, how efficient of her!”
    (B5 quote)

  5. Robin says:

    Coconut oil is VERY good. Eat lots of vegies. They’re great vehicles for grass-fed butter – yum. [As Sally Fallon says.] Don’t do low-fat anything and stay away from all those vegetable oils you see in the supermarkets. They’re extremely bad. Virgin cold-pressed olive oil is good too.
    Yep, you’ve got to get the book. :)

    • MelB says:

      For those of you who really like coconut: using coconut oil in cooking is not appealing to me, but I have discovered another way to get the benefits of coconut oil – some fantastic coconut macaroons – they contain no gluten, soy, eggs, grain, etc. I believe the brand name is Jennie’s. I believe that the serving size is 2, and I doubt that you will be tempted to over-indulge. Often, I just want 1. They are very filling. I have found them in two local health food stores, and I’m sure they are also available online. They don’t specify that you should refrigerate them, but I think they keep better and taste better when refrigerated in a glass jar.

  6. AP says:

    Does anyone else find it entertaining that her last name is Schnake and she is a minion disguising herself as a promoter of health?

    • AP says:

      I honestly feel bad for her as she will contribute to not only the demise of those she “helps”, but her own demise as well by choosing to follow the misguided old school advice. I guess you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make her drink. Thanks for all that you are doing and not being afraid to stand up for what we believe in Dr. Davis!

      • Dr. Davis says:

        I did a Google search for her name and the 2nd page came up with this discussion. She may find that her nasty comments come back to haunt her in any job search or other endeavor.

        It’s not wise to say stupid things like that in public unless you’ve got really good cause and the evidence and chutzpah to back it up.

  7. Rudy says:

    Yes I to have fallen to Dr. Orders eat fruits, veggies and WHEAT what a load of garbage after 15 years of meds and having RA, Diabetes, degenerative disc, and nerve disorder and taken 20 different medications at one time and doing insulin shots i gave up WHEAT and now I’m into my 13 week medication free 57 pounds lighter I’m able to sleep like a baby and yes I got my life back.

  8. jerry pohl says:

    I started reading the book about 10 days ago and started eliminating wheat intake at the same time…ten days later, ten pounds lost. But, as I tell my friends and family, it’s not the weight that motivates me. I live in So. Cal and the air pollution has given me asthma which I have suffered with for years. I had a hunch it might be in play. And yes, I know, you don’t rid yourself of asthma in 10 days. But I have noticed I do not need my QVAR inhaler or simply don’t feel the need in my chest. So, I don’t care what people say, I am doing this! The weight is gone, sure. But going down a path that will return me to health is way more important to me.

    Interestingly, you try to tell people you are excited about this new path of eliminating wheat from you diet and they think you are a kook!…some crazy vegan or person following yet another diet craze. And, believe, because they are so vested in eating wheat products, they actually do not want to know about it, and they ridicule you….very tough. Here are people you love and are trying to help, and they drive you away with laughing and ridicule.

    But, I am a believer….this is the most life changing book I have ever read. If they replaced my eight grade health class (1962) with a class that taught from the chapters in this book, Americans would be so much healthier…the health lessons they did teach, guided us little in our quest for actual health.

    Many thanks to Dr. Davis,

    V/R Jerry Pohl, Long Beach, CA

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Very nice, Jerry!

      Let them think what they want to think. Let them come back and ask what it is you are doing when you are the picture of perfect slenderness and health!

    • bh says:

      I started with the wheat belly lifestyle in August 2011. After a few months of “once a week won’t hurt,” and eating stuff to be polite, I got serious January 1. After 20 years of sometimes debilitating asthma, I am symptom free. Not just episode free, symptom free from asthma. That alone makes this new life worthwhile.

  9. tara says:

    I think she needs to give up wheat and gluten for a month just to experience the difference this will make in her life and her patients. However, for her to be so judgemental that all Americans are lazy and eat too much is wrong on so many levels. I adopted this lifestyle on January 11, 2012 and there is no going back. She needs to get out of health care. Her attitude will not help but genders.

  10. tara says:

    I meant hender. Spell check got the best of me at 3am. The weight keeps coming off. Before all this
    I pushed my body to exhaustion and permanently damaged my joints. I did not understand why the weigh
    Stuck with me. I used to love sandwiches and pasta. Ha, now I know why. Wheat belly changed my life
    And I tell everyone about it.

  11. NOWHEATEATER says:

    Why can’t I find my posts?

    • Boundless says:

      Assuming they haven’t been deleted due to abuse or system crash, they are usually there, but just hard to find.
      One of yours definitely still exists (but might be borderline, due to thinly disguised B-word).
      The site’s own search apparently only finds Dr.Davis base article.
      You can bookmark responses, but the page reference changes after a couple of days.
      At that point however, you can use an external search engine, restricting search to this site, such as string like:
      which gets 4 hits at the moment.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Don’t know. I found them, NO Wheat!

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  13. Celeste says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    Thank you for your terrific book and Blogs. I wanted to share with you my experience as a Breast Cancer Survivor. I am one of the over 50-80% of women who do not fit the profile for Breast Cancer risk, no close relatives, not over weight, exercise, etc. But I was a vegetarian (more like grainitarian) low Vitamin D (9) and have the double C mutation for MTHFR and was not on folate. But I was eating low fat, wearing sunscreen, had very low cholesterol (129). Well since then I have done lots of reading on my own and am blessed to have a sister her is an integrative nutritionist. My oncologist has never brought up food and nutrition in my visits unless I ask a question. I recently came across this and TrackYourPlaque blogs and find myself in heaven. I have come to believe that almost all disease starts in the gut. If for no other reason, it’s where the inflammatory products begin. Do you ever feel like Cassandra, cursed with the gift of foresight, but unable to do anything about it? I do all the time. Friends and love ones who, under the care of dieticians and doctors like the ones mentioned, dutifully following directives to their grave. I have given out the ‘Blood Sugar Solution’ as gifts. Perhaps this christmas I will try ‘Wheat Belly’ . Maybe that will get their attention.
    Thank you again.


    Celeste in Maryland

  14. Maxine Miller says:

    My husband and I went on the Wheat Belly Diet Aug. 2012. I must say that I was pesimistic, but followed Dr. Davis’ recommendations. In two months, my husband’s total cholesterol had dropped 24%, his HDL improved 28%, his triglycerides dropped 51%, and his LDL dropped 32%. We are believers in the Wheat Belly lifestyle. I’ve had cancer, so any reduction in inflamation is huge in cancer prevention. My acid reflux has improved greatly. We are so happy not to be taking any medications…so much healthier. Thank you Dr. Davis! You are a blessing! I’m busy creating new recipes. This diet is really not that hard. We’ve even found a deli providing wheat-free items. There are business opportunities out there for entrepreneurs.

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