“For forty-eight hours after admission to the hospital the patient is kept on an ordinary diet, to determine the severity of his diabetes. Then he is starved, and no food allowed save whiskey and black coffee. The whiskey is given in the coffee: 1 ounce of whiskey every two hours, from 7am until 7pm. The whiskey is not an essential part of treatment; it merely furnishes a few calories and keeps the patient more comfortable while he is being starved.” Starvation (Allen) Treatment of Diabetes (1915).
Since this advice was offered in the early 20th century, much progress has been made in the management of diabetes, including the discovery and production of insulin in 1921. The field of nutrition therapy has also undergone a series of transformations – from starvation treatment in 1915 to evidence-based recommendations in 2002. Marion Franz reports and looks at the history of
diabetes nutrition recommendations and the role of carbohydrates and protein in diabetes management.
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