American Diabetes Association’s New FoodHub Disappoints


With Halloween just around the corner, here at ASweetLife we’ve been talking about the perils of candy and what high blood sugar feels like. Serendipitously, the American Diabetes Association launched a new site, the DiabetesFoodHub, where you can find hundreds of recipes that may give you a headache, brain fog, body aches, make you sluggish, unable to focus, exhausted, nauseated, tearful, and like the life is being sucked out of you.

A few days ago when I received the Association’s press release about the new FoodHub, I was hopeful. Maybe, just maybe, things were changing. Maybe the Association was going to stop telling people with diabetes to eat carbohydrates to treat their disease of carbohydrate intolerance. No more raisins soaked in orange juice and sprinkled with powdered sugar. No more fruit salad with honey yogurt or banana split sundaes. No more sugar as an ingredient in a steak recipe. But, alas, the plethora of recipes guaranteed to raise your blood sugar no less than 100 points is intact. And the Association’s unwillingness to acknowledge the powerful positive effect of a low carb diet on diabetes management is as evident as ever in the new FoodHub. 

While users can search the Hub for recipes by category like, high-in-fiber, there is no low carb category (despite the fact that it has some really low carb recipes like mini veggie frittatas). Instead, we get lower carb.

Lower carb?

Lower than what?

Maybe the LOWER carb gluten-free quinoa chocolate chip cookies will make our blood sugar LESS high than Martha Stewart’s soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. Maybe people with diabetes are LESS sick than they would be without the ADA’s nutrition guidelines. I don’t know. But I do know that diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S., even after decades and decades of following the guidelines, eating healthy whole grains, and slathering our intestines with low fat margarine. “A diabetes diagnosis means your body is telling you it can’t metabolize sugars,” says Dr. Mariela Glandt, an endocrinologist who specializes in treating diabetes with a low carb diet. “So I don’t know why the Association would provide a recipe that suggests a tropical fruit salsa should be added to an otherwise healthy lettuce wrap filled with fish and nuts.”

In this week’s press release Sacha Uelmen, RDN, CDE, Director of Nutrition at the American Diabetes Association said, “It’s important to remember that when it comes to nutrition, there is no one-size-fits-all eating pattern for people with diabetes.” 

But there sure is a one-size-fits-none.

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Valeria Mallett
Valeria Mallett
4 years ago


Sasha is a wonderful person and professional. Have you emailed her or the ADA to share your concerns?

4 years ago

Jessica, thank you for calling it like it is. The ADA is no friend to people with diabetes while promoting foods (and drugs) that worsen the condition. Not a big surprise, though, given their sources of funding. Perhaps their theme should be “eat, drink and be merry” for diabetes is no big deal.

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