Are You Sure You Should Be Eating That?

The American Diet, Diabetes, and Moral Superiority

Colleen Mitchell
Feb 10 · 4 min read
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

Silent. Vocal.

Judging.

You know nothing.

Jon Snow, at least, knew a windmill from a castle.

For you, diabetes is diabetes.

All the same.

Magnitude irrelevant.

Consequences equal.

Caused by the supersized portions of modern America, poor choices, and the easy way out.

What’s the Difference?

Everyone has heard of diabetes. Jokes are made about it every holiday, birthday, or other celebration that generally involves a lot of sugar. Wilfred Brimley is nothing more than a meme. My fat cousin made her fat husband a cake and said she’d probably be getting diabetes if she didn’t have it already.

Her friends laughed. Sycophants. Ignorant.

Comfortable in their moral superiority that at least they know how to take care of their equally fat and broken bodies that have so far avoided a diabetes diagnosis.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

You Don’t Know What It Is. Not Really.

You’re not a medical doctor. Your grandmother’s best friend’s niece’s college roommate’s diabetes is not close enough to you for you to be an expert on what can or can’t enter my mouth. When actually encountering a diabetic, you have to ask if it’s the “bad kind.”

Never mind that both types are bad for your health.

Never mind that the media almost exclusively means Type 2 whenever they talk about “diabetes.”

Never mind that diet and exercise will reverse Type 2, if only they knew what diet to follow.

Type 1 is irreversible, incurable, and a “forever” diagnosis.

Type 1 is marked by the pancreas producing no insulin. In Type 2, though, the pancreas is in insulin-production overdrive, but the body has difficulty using it.

Polar opposites, and confused to be equal.

Yet For Both Types of Diabetic, There is a Stigma Around Food.

Every morsel of brownie, cheesecake, bacon, or butter that passes the lips is judged with a pinched face and thinly veiled disgust behind the words,

“Are you sure you should be eating that?”

Those without this disease feel morally obligated to offer their opinions on what we should or shouldn’t be eating, based on their own experience and “knowledge” that has nothing to do with how we live.

As a culture, it’s become normal to look around at those fatter than us and assume they must have diabetes — or are dangerously close to falling off the precipice of pre-diabetes and into the full-blown disease.

The family of four around a table at the pizza parlor, both parents overflowing their seats and their children looking a little puffy around the face, must be on the highway to diabetes with how much pizza they’re eating.

Right?

Photo by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash

There’s no way that stick-thin runner that flies by your house every morning could ever be a diabetic. She’s too healthy, too fit, too vegan, too pretty — she even does CrossFit!

Right?

But Type 1 Diabetes Does Not Discriminate.

Moral superiority will not save you if it’s in your genes.

So why do people think like this?

Why is there this stigma around diabetes?

Food did not give me type 1 diabetes. Yet the same food that the FDA and American Diabetes Association recommend, known as the Standard American Diet (SAD), does us no favors and makes things worse — for both types.

  • America has been taught to eat horribly and then blame the victim when it comes to those with diabetes.
  • America has been taught to begrudgingly go to the doctor’s office and say “Yeah, yeah, I know!” when the doc says we need to lose weight because we’re at risk for diabetes.
  • America has been taught to assume we know more than the person next to us who needs to take insulin injections at every meal and offer unwanted advice about it.

“Have you tried cinnamon?”

(It’s a spice, not a life-saving medicine.)

  • America has been taught to trust our health to food manufacturers who fill breakfast cereal with extra sugar and tote whole-grain oatmeal as the “healthy choice.”
Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash

We’re judged more for having a plate of bacon than a bagel smothered with cream cheese.

(The bacon is 100 times better for me than the bagel.)

Voices of Reason

Thankfully, there are voices speaking out against this attack on America’s health.

Dr. Jason Fung cracked the obesity code to tell us that it’s insulin, not calories, that makes us fat.

Ken Berry exposed the lies our doctors tell us because their medical knowledge is out-of-date and their education sponsored by the sugar industry.

Eric Berg is making the simple truths of health accessible, explaining truths that have previously been buried under stacks of prescription drugs and pats on the back to “eat healthier.”

The food we eat directly influences the insulin response in Type 2 diabetics and the blood sugar levels in Type 1's.

Perhaps you should ask yourself a question instead.

Am I sure I should be eating this?


Colleen Mitchell

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