Low Carb Vs. High Carb - My Surprising 24-day Diabetes Diet Battle
Twitter summary: What I learned from doubling my carb intake: the same average blood sugar, but four times as much hypoglycemia, more work, stress, & danger. As a teenager, I ate a high carb diet that included lots of Goldfish crackers, white sandwich bread, pasta, and white potatoes. It was tasty, but it put my blood sugars on a wild roller coaster every single day. Things turned around in college when I learned about nutrition, got on CGM, and spent time with health conscious friends. I soon realized that eating less than 30 grams of carbs at one time was a complete gamechanger. I’ve stuck with that approach ever since. But is this lower carb method actually better for my blood sugars, or have I just been fooling myself? To find out, I took on a somewhat terrifying self-tracking experiment: 12 days of my usual, lower-carb diet, which averaged 146 grams of carbs per day (21% of daily calories). My carbs were primarily from nuts, seeds, vegetables, and a bit of fruit. 12 days of a higher-carb, high whole-grain diet, which averaged 313 grams of carbs per day (43% of my daily calories). My sources of carbs were NOT junk food: plain oatmeal, whole wheat bread, quinoa, wild rice, and fruit. Neither of these was unrealistic. My lower-carb diet was nowhere near Atkins level (20 grams per day), and the higher-carb diet was consistent with the “average” 45% carb diet in people with diabetes (according to ADA). Even though this was a one-person (n=1) experiment, I wanted to be as scientific and fair as possible: eating whole, unprocessed foods in both periods; counting and tracking every single gram of carbohydrate (LoseIt! app); wearing CGM 24/7 and downloading the glucose data to document what happened (Dexcom G5 and Clarity); taking insulin before meals (5-15 minutes pr Continue reading >>
How Does Fat Affect Insulin Resistance And Diabetes?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 29 million people in America have diabetes and 86 million have prediabetes. Insulin resistance is recognized as a predictor of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. But what causes insulin resistance? In this NutritionFacts.org video, Dr. Michael Greger talks about how fat affects insulin resistance, and about how the most effective way to reduce insulin sensitivity is to reduce fat intake. We’ve also provided a summary of Dr. Greger’s main points below. Insulin Resistance of People on High-Fat Diets vs. High-Carb Diets In studies performed as early as the 1930s, scientists have noted a connection between diet and insulin intolerance. In one study, healthy young men were split into two groups. Half of the participants were put on a fat-rich diet, and the other half were put on a carb-rich diet. The high-fat group ate olive oil, butter, mayonnaise, and cream. The high-carb group ate pastries, sugar, candy, bread, baked potatoes, syrup, rice, and oatmeal. Within two days, tests showed that the glucose intolerance had skyrocketed in the group eating the high-fat diet. This group had twice the blood sugar levels than the high-carb group. The test results showed that the higher the fat content of the diet, the higher the blood sugar levels would be. What Is Insulin Resistance? It turns out that as the amount of fat in the diet goes up, so does one’s blood sugar spikes. Athletes frequently carb-load before a race because they’re trying to build up fuel in their muscles. We break down starch into glucose in our digestive tract; it circulates as blood glucose (blood sugar); and it is then used by our muscle cells as fuel. Blood sugar, though, is like a vampire. It needs an invitation to enter our cells. And that invit Continue reading >>
What Is The Best Diet For Diabetes? Is A High Carb Low Fat Diet Or Low Carb High Fat Diet Better For Diabetics?
The Best Of Personal Development | Productivity | Minimalism What is the Best Diet for Diabetes? Is a High Carb Low Fat Diet or Low Carb High Fat Diet Better for Diabetics? Listen to Dr. Nealaddress this topicon Episode 260 of the podcast Optimal Health Daily . If you were to ask 10 physicians which diet is best with diabetes, you may hear 5 different answers (some of those often contradictory). Frustrating, I know. My answer will only make sense after I mention a few things about diabetes. First, I must say I am glad that I wasnt a doctor back in the days of ancient Greece. Get this: during those days, doctors would diagnose diabetes by tasting their patients urine! Why would that even be a thing?! Well, because if the urine tasted sweet, it meant the person had diabetes. So why would that happen? Sweet tasting urine meant that there was sugar in it. If theres sugar in the urine, this meant that the sugar was not being absorbed and used by the body. Basically, thats the issue with diabetes the fuel were eating is not being absorbed and used. In fact, the term diabetes mellitus translates to sweet-tasting urine! I promise I have a point: when we think of which foods the body most readily converts to sugar (or glucose), it comes to carbohydrates. Foods like rice, pasta, cereals, breads, pastries, etc. are rapidly converted by the body to sugar. Protein-rich foods and those that are high in fat can also get converted to sugar, but not as efficiently. If we can control the types of foods we eat, we can help the body create less sugar and hopefully manage our diabetes better. The answer really lies in the types of carbohydrates and types of fat were eating. The reason why some studies may mention that a high carbohydrate diet may be helpful while others say the exact oppos Continue reading >>
Fat Is The Cause Of Type 2 Diabetes
ron: I’m glad you asked this question, because it gets at a common issue that many people share. Due to science education in schools and the way media reports on scientific news, the general public is under the impression that each new study sort of wipes out any study that came before. Say that yesterday there was a study or article in favor of say butter, then you would see those headlines and think that the latest and greatest WORD from science is that butter is healthy. And then tomorrow, when another study comes out showing that butter is indeed unhealthy, there is another headline and people think that the latest “word” is that butter is now unhealthy. Another problem is that because people think the latest study is the latest word and since studies are not all going to agree, people think that the science keeps flip flopping and get frustrated with that. The media makes this worse by only reporting studies that they can make appear to be a “flip flop” as the media makes money off of eye catching headlines. . But that’s not how science actually works. When done in good faith, science is about hitting a subject from a whole bunch of different angles and attempting to replicate results multiple times. Understanding that life is messy and it’s extremely difficult (impossible?) to create perfect studies for subjects as complex as nutrition on long term health, we *expect* that not all the studies will agree with each other. However, over time, if we do our job, we can also expect that the *body of scientific evidence* will paint a fairly clear picture. I say all the time, “It’s not about any one study. It’s about the body of evidence.” . Did you know that there are over 100 studies showing that smoking is either neutral or health-promoting? But t Continue reading >>
Low-carb Diet For Diabetes: Should You Try It?
Many diet-related conditions rely on medication. But the primary treatment for type 2 diabetes is diet and lifestyle change. There is growing evidence a low-carb diet may be a useful alternative to conventional diet advice. In fact, it may even be better. This article provides a transparent look at the best evidence available, and whether you should consider it. What Is A Low-Carb Diet? A low carb diet is an eating pattern that limits carbohydrate foods, such as sugary foods, flour and bread. There are several different versions, but they are generally high in protein, fat and healthy vegetables. The standard American diet is at least 50% carbs, which is about 300 grams per day. Low-carb diets range from about 30% down to 5%. Given the amount of carbs in your diet is the main determinant of blood sugar levels, it makes sense that reducing carb intake could be beneficial for diabetes care (1). Low- Carb and Diabetes: What Do Controlled Trials Show? Randomised controlled trials are considered the “gold standard” of scientific evidence. In this case researchers would feed one group of diabetics a standard American diet (typically 50-60% carbs), and another a strict low-carb diet for several months or more. They can then compare which group does better. A 2015 study looked at 93 type 2 diabetic men and women for one year. Half were randomly put on a high-carb diet (53% carbs) and the others on a low-carb diet (14% carbs, less than 50 grams per day). Each subject’s diet plan was individualised to provide a 30% calorie reduction for weight loss, and all participated in a supervised physical activity program for the year. Both diets showed significant improvements in daily blood sugar stability, diabetes medication usage, weight loss, fat loss, insulin resistance, HDL-ch Continue reading >>
How To Start A Low-carb Diabetes Diet
There is strong evidence that eating fewer carbohydrates helps improve blood sugars. This makes sense intuitively: carbohydrates are broken down by the body into sugar, directly leading to high blood sugars. Eat fewer carbohydrates and you will typically end up with less sugar in your blood. For those with type 2 diabetes or are newly diagnosed with type 1, fewer carbohydrates mean that your body’s natural insulin production will have an easier time processing your blood sugars. If you take insulin, you will have a much easier time taking the appropriate amount of insulin. Before you start a low-carbohydrate diet, talk with your healthcare provider. If you are taking blood sugar-lowering medications, then eating fewer carbohydrates without lowering your medication dosage may cause dangerous low blood sugars. There are studies that show that people with diabetes can achieve success on both low-carbohydrate and high-carbohydrate diets. Those pursuing high-carb diets are often primarily eating more vegetarian or vegan diets that are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber. They are also frequently athletes who burn large amounts of sugar during exercise. We will look at other dietary approaches in a future article. If you would like to dive into the research on low-carb diets for diabetes, please skip to the last section in this article. Also, be sure to read Key Facts About Carbohydrates Everyone with Diabetes Should Know. What Is a Low-Carb Diet? There are many different ways to define and follow a low-carb diet. In this article, we are generally looking at people who wish to eat fewer carbohydrates than they are currently eating. There is no one way to follow a low-carb diet. Generally, people try different amounts of carbohydrates until they reach an amount per day t Continue reading >>
Low Carb-high Fat Diet And Diabetes: A Detailed Guide For Beginners
If you are a regular reader of our site, you would already know that we highly endorse the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet for reversing diabetes, losing weight and improving your overall health and well-being. The reason why a low carb diet for diabetes comes highly recommended by doctors and nutritionists alike is the fact that carbohydrates are the main culprit behind elevated blood sugar levels. Once you eat fewer carbs, it automatically becomes much easier for the body to attain stable blood sugar levels. Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) Diet for Diabetes: Why It Works? Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars during digestion. These sugars enter the blood stream and elevate blood sugar levels. As a diabetic, your body either doesn’t produce insulin at all, or doesn’t produce enough insulin to minimize this blood sugar spike before it causes irreplaceable damage to internal organs. This is the reason why your body’s dependence on insulin goes down when you eat lesser carbs. A UK study tried to understand the short-term effects of severe dietary carbohydrate-restriction advice in type 2 diabetes. It found that restricting carbohydrate intake is an effective method to lose weight as well as improve HDL ratios. This was a randomized controlled trial studying 102 patients over a course of 3 months, and the results were published in the Diabetic Medicine in September 2005. Another research group from Duke University Medical Center studying the effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes patients, found that 95.2% patients had managed to reduce or eliminate their glucose-lowering medication within 6 months of being on a LCHF diet. A low carb diet works very well in lowering blood sugar and insul Continue reading >>
Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?
In this article we will cover what a Ketogenic diet is and if you can manage your diabetes while on this diet. Ketogenic diet for diabetics is a highly controversial topic, but we will break down everything here for you! As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have to tell you from the start I will have a biased view here. Sorry, but I feel that I need to be completely honest right up front! I will however, present all the evidence that is available currently on the subject. As a CDE, I have been taught to follow the American Diabetes Association Dietary Guidelines for Americans which is low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Ketogenic Diet this article will be discussing is much lower in carbohydrates, in order to promote the state of nutritional ketosis, or the fat burning state for weight loss. What is a Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, consisting initially of less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Not per meal, yes, you heard me correctly, per day. It is not for the faint of heart and yes I am writing from experience. Of course I have tried it! Hasn’t everybody in America at some point who has wanted to lose weight? Does it work you ask? Of course it does! The problem is how long can you keep it up? Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat for energy, so if we restrict how many carbohydrates we eat, the body has to get its fuel source from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning state are ketones which are produced; this is called nutritional ketosis. You can determine if you are in this fat burning state by purchasing urine ketone testing strips from your local pharmacy. The Ketogenic Diet with Diabetes Some precautions must be made clear; this diet is not appropriate for people with any Continue reading >>
Low-carb Works For Diabetes – Why Don’t More Doctors Advise It?
Here’s food for thought: there is evidence to show that low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets work very well for people with type 2 diabetes. Growing evidence shows that LCHF diets can reverse the symptoms of diabetes completely. Many diabetics can also come off all medication altogether. Yet many doctors, dietitians and government health services still won’t advise LCHF for diabetics. Why ever not, you might well ask? The writer of an article on diabetes.co.uk asks that question and suggests answers. For starters, the UK Department of Health’s dietary recommendations have long promoted low-fat, high-carb foods, says Benedict Jephcote. Jephcote fingers official dietary guidelines that followed in the wake of US Department of Agriculture’s “food pyramid”. The pyramid advises lots of starchy carbohydrates and low-fat foods as the foundation. The UK and most other English-speaking countries enthusiastically adopted the recommendation. There have been revisions over the years, but orthodox guidelines still endorse high-carb, low-fat, especially low-saturated fat, foods. How wise is that conventional dietary “wisdom”? Consider the results over decades. There have been skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Those are just some of so-called non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that are epidemic across the globe. For good reason, doctors now refers to NCDs as “diseases of lifestyle”. Many also refer to LCHF diets as fads – for diabetes or any other health issue. New Zealand specialist Prof Grant Schofield puts that myth to rest. Schofield is co-author of a brilliant book, What the Fat. If you haven’t read it, I advise you to do so immediately. He is also co-author of a paper in the New Zealand Journal of Medicine in April. Titled Very low-carbo Continue reading >>
Low Carb For Diabetes
To celebrate World Diabetes Day, this is a guest post “Low Carb For Diabetes”, from an eminent Low Carb Diabetes Educator, Kelley Pounds RN. Kelley is a registered nurse, certified diabetes educator and certified insulin pump trainer that conducts a very successful diabetes education program in her community, specifically working with patients that have been unable to achieve their blood glucose and A1c goals with standard advice (Type 1 and Type 2). See below for details of her diabetes programs. Medical Disclaimer -Before embarking on any change in diet or activity, I highly recommend a physical exam and thorough healthcare screening with your primary healthcare provider. This article should not be construed as medical advice, nor should it be substituted for medical advice from your healthcare provider. By continuing to read this article, you assume all responsibilities and risks for instituting lifestyle management of your diabetes. Many with Diabetes are confused by the conflicting dietary advice they receive. And no wonder. The dietary advice given to those with diabetes has been extremely poor. For decades, people with diabetes have been told center their diet around carbohydrates, many being counseled to consume 250+ grams of carbohydrates per day. No person needs to consume 250+ grams of carbohydrates per day, let alone the very people who are unable to effectively process them, those with diabetes. Eating this much carbohydrates daily would mean that one would HAVE to be consuming a great deal of sugar or refined, processed foods. It would be extremely difficult to consume this amount of carbohydrates while EATING REAL FOOD. Further, many are told “calories from sugar can be substituted equally for other carbohydrates as part of a healthy balanced diet f Continue reading >>
Lchf For Type 1 Diabetes
I spend a great deal of time in my clinic dealing with the problems of type 2 diabetes. But occasionally, people ask about type 1 diabetes (T1D) as well. The reason why it is so rare for me is that I treat adult patients where T2D outnumbers T1D by at least 9:1. I was looking at a fascinating study that my friend, Ivor Cummins (The Fat Emperor) had alerted me to a few months ago. Dr. Richard Bernstein is a fascinating character. He had developed T1D as a child of twelve and began to have complications by his 30s. He eventually went to medical school in order to learn better how to treat his own disease. Eventually he decided that the proper treatment was a low carb diet. This was in direct contradiction to the prevailing wisdom of the time (1990s), which included treating patients with insulin and a diet high in carbs. Dr. Bernstein opened up a controversial clinic to treat T1D with a low carb diet and also wrote several best selling books discussing the same topic. Over the years, it has proven to be a safe treatment for T1D. While there are few long-term studies, Dr. Bernstein himself is living proof of the low carb T1D paradigm. In many ways, T1D and T2D are exact opposites of each other. T1D typically affects children who are usually quite skinny. T2D typically affects adults who are usually quite obese. This is not absolute, and we are seeing much more T2D in children as their weights have increased. There are also cases of normal or even underweight patients with T2D. But in general, that is the case. T1D is the severe deficiency of insulin where as T2D is the severe excess of insulin. Nevertheless, people often treat both types of diabetes in the same manner. Both are treated with medications or insulin to keep blood glucose in acceptable levels. Wait, you might Continue reading >>
How The Ketogenic Diet Works For Type 2 Diabetes
Special diets for type 2 diabetes often focus on weight loss, so it might seem crazy that a high-fat diet is an option. But the ketogenic (keto) diet, high in fat and low in carbs, can potentially change the way your body stores and uses energy, easing diabetes symptoms. With the keto diet, your body converts fat, instead of sugar, into energy. The diet was created in 1924 as a treatment for epilepsy, but the effects of this eating pattern are also being studied for type 2 diabetes. The ketogenic diet may improve blood glucose (sugar) levels while also reducing the need for insulin. However, the diet does come with risks, so make sure to discuss it with your doctor before making drastic dietary changes. Many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, so a high-fat diet can seem unhelpful. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to have the body use fat for energy instead of carbohydrates or glucose. A person on the keto diet gets most of their energy from fat, with very little of the diet coming from carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet doesn’t mean you should load up on saturated fats, though. Heart-healthy fats are the key to sustaining overall health. Some healthy foods that are commonly eaten in the ketogenic diet include: eggs fish such as salmon cottage cheese avocado olives and olive oil nuts and nut butters seeds The ketogenic diet has the potential to decrease blood glucose levels. Managing carbohydrate intake is often recommended for people with type 2 diabetes because carbohydrates turn to sugar and, in large quantities, can cause blood sugar spikes. If you already have high blood glucose, then eating too many carbs can be dangerous. By switching the focus to fat, some people experience reduced blood sugar. The Atkins diet is one of the most famous low-carb, high-p Continue reading >>
The Low Carb Plan
Eating to control your weight and your blood sugar The Mediterranean-style low carb approach which we recommend in The Blood Sugar Diet, is low in starchy, easily digestible carbs, but packed full of disease-fighting vitamins and flavonoids. It is rich in olive oil, fish, nuts, fruit and vegetables, but also contains lots of lovely things that down the years we have been told not to eat, such as full fat yoghurt and eggs. Although it is derived from the eating habits of people living in Mediterranean countries, you can apply the principles of Med-style eating to a wide range of different cuisines, from Chinese or Indian through to Mexican or Scandanavian. There is extensive evidence for the benefit of the Mediterranean style low carbohydrate diet, including cutting your risk of heart disease and diabetes. It has even been found to reduce risk the risk of breast cancer, compared with those on a low-fat diet. Consuming extra virgin olive oil (the fresh squeezed juice of olives) seems to be particularly beneficial when it comes to cancer, perhaps because it contains compounds such as polyphenols which are known to be anti-inflammatory. “This is potentially a life changing book for people with raised blood sugar levels as well as those with type 2 diabetes” Dr Tim Spector, Professor of Genetics, Kings College, London Kick the Carbs: Low Carb Mediterranean Style Eating – The ‘M Plan’ Cut right down on sugar, sugary treats, drinks and desserts: No more than once or twice a week and preferably less. You can use sugar substitutes like stevia and xylitol, but try to wean yourself off your sweet tooth. Avoid sweet fruits: Berries, apples & pears are fine, but sweet tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple, melon and bananas are full of sugar. Minimise or avoid the starc Continue reading >>
Diabetes Diet Breakthrough: Low-carb, High-fat Diets Cut Blood Sugar Levels, Weight, And Heart Disease Risk!
A recent study from Sweden confirms the results of prior U.S. studies showing that lower carb and higher fat diets improve blood sugar status, as well as weight and other markers. Diabetes is a deadly epidemic, afflicting over 50% of adults as well as children in the U.S. Conventional diabetic diets (high in carbohydrates and low in fat) are notoriously unsuccessful. In this Swedish study, insulin levels were reduced by 30% and “good” cholesterol levels improved in the diabetics on the higher fat, lower carb diet compared to those on a conventional low calorie, higher carb diet. Earlier studies of low-carb, higher-fat (including unlimited saturated fat Atkins-type diets) came to similar conclusions. Quoting from chapter 10 in The Diet Cure: “Other studies have confirmed the superiority of Atkins-type diets’ positive impact on blood pressure and on the lowering of weight, cholesterol, tryglycerides, glucose, insulin, and A1C levels. These last three are diabetes markers. Several studies on diabetes document the benefits of lowering carbs and including fat in the diet. To quote one such study’s author, ‘When we took away the carbohydrates, the patients spontaneously reduced their daily energy consumption by 1,000 calories a day. Although they could have, they did not compensate by eating more protein and fats and they weren’t bored with the food choices. In fact, they loved the diet. The carbohydrates were clearly stimulating their excessive appetites.’” “Four studies, three on type 2 diabetics and one on mildly obese men and women, used a high-fat and protein, low-carb diet. Their results: all subjects showed improvement in weight, as well as insulin and cholesterol levels. A fifth, Harvard School of Public Health, study ‘found no association betwee Continue reading >>
American Diabetes Association Approves Low Carb Diets For Weight Loss
In December 2008, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) issued its Clinical Practice Recommendations which included the option for Diabetics to follow low-carbohydrate diets as a weight-loss option. While this is obviously not ‘news’, it is important to note that the Canadian Diabetes Association – now called Diabetes Canada, does not as yet make the same recommendation. Why is that? Is there something inherently different about Diabetics in Canada than Diabetics in the United States? For the last 9 years the American Diabetes Association has given people the option of following what they call a “moderate“ carbohydrate diet by (a) omitting some of the carb-containing foods on their standard meal plan or (b) substituting them for much lower carb alternatives. They also (c) provide Americans with the option of following a low carb diet for weight loss. Let’s take a look at the American dietary recommendations compared with the Canadian ones. Dietary Recommendations of the American Diabetes Association On their web page, the American Diabetes Association states that their standard Meal Plans that are “moderate” in carbohydrates provide ~45% of calories from carbs, but they add; Your healthcare provider may ask you to limit carbohydrate more than our meal plan suggests. This means you should cut back on the carbohydrate foods that you eat throughout the day. To keep your calorie intake about the same, substitute sources of lean protein or healthy fats for those higher carbohydrate foods. Then they give some examples of how people can lower carbohydrate intake by making some adjustments to the posted meal plan, such as; omitting the slice of whole wheat toast at breakfast replacing the whole wheat wrap for a lettuce wrap at lunch skipping the serving of bro Continue reading >>