Diabetes Self-Management Blog

People with diabetes are generally encouraged to eat a nutritionally balanced, low-fat diet. But now, a small new study out of Sweden is lending support to the idea that a higher-fat, low-carbohydrate diet may work best for some people with diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes have the same nutritional requirements as those without diabetes. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends a diet composed of 45% to 65% carbohydrate, 20% to 35% fat, and 10% to 35% protein for adults age 19 and older.

To compare the effects of a low-fat diet and a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet on various health markers such as weight, blood glucose level, and blood cholesterol level, researchers at Linköping University recruited 61 adults with Type 2 diabetes, randomly assigning them to one of the two diets.

Those on the low-fat diet aimed to eat 55% to 60% of their calories as carbohydrate, 30% of their calories as fat, and 10% to 15% of their calories as protein. Those on the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet aimed to consume roughly 20% of their calories as carbohydrate, 50% as fat, and 30% as protein. The participants got together for four group meetings during the first year of the study, and all were available for follow-up at the end of two years.

The researchers found that both diets resulted in an average weight loss of 4 kilograms (roughly 9 pounds). In the high-fat, low-carbohydrate group, blood glucose control had improved at the six-month mark, with HbA1c levels dropping from an average of 7.5% down to 7.1% and insulin levels decreasing by 30%. This group also saw an increase in their levels of HDL, or “good,” cholesterol. In the high-carbohydrate group, meanwhile, no statistically significant improvements were seen in either blood glucose or blood fat levels, despite the weight loss.

“You could ask yourself if it really is good to recommend a low-fat diet to patients with diabetes, if despite their weight loss they get neither better lipoproteins nor blood glucose levels,” noted study author Fredrik Nyström, professor of Internal Medicine at Linköping University.

For more information, see the press release from Linköping University or read the study’s abstract in the journal Diabetologia.

Have you ever tried a higher-fat, lower-carbohydrate diet? If so, how did it affect your blood glucose levels compared to a standard meal plan? Let us know with a comment below!

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Comments
  1. Good feedback and article Dianne. Thank you.

    First off, low carbs reduces glucose generation and help manage energy balance.

    Fats when applied to carbs helps slowing down the digestion process and reduces the peaks.

    I do not eat boiled rice - mash potstoes as they peak the blood sugar hard.

    Fry in olive oil and fried rice does not do that.

    How some well meaning folks end up recommending putting gasoline on a house fire recommedning higher carbs and lower fat diet totally eludes me.

    As long as one is not overloading the sludge in arteries and veins, going totally low fat makes no sense as long as one is managing the calorie/exercise load properly.

    Thanks for providing more excellent data.

    Posted by jim snell |
  2. A low-carb diet definitely works to keep my bg levels under control. I don’t necessarily eat a “high fat” diet, but I care very little about fat content, and focus almost exclusively on low-carb, and it works fantastically.

    Posted by Tim L. Walker |
  3. Yes, Yes, Yes. This is a good thing. I eat a carbohydrate, protein, fat ratio of approximately 20:30:50. Blood glucose levels are much better, A1c is better and lipid panel is great.

    This is why I will not listen to those spouting whole grains, and low fat. I had no problems with inflammation toxins when I increased my fat intake over 6 months instead of like many people that try to do it in one week. My weight is also starting to come down which is needed. Insulin usage is coming down and I feel better.

    It is a shame that we have to hear about this from outside the USA, but the powers that be will not allow these in the USA as this would upset the USDA and food industry. Eventually people will learn.

    Posted by Bob Fenton |
  4. I eat only 100 g carbohydrates and 1500 calories per day. Result is HA1c of 5.3. I lost 50 pounds in the first 6 months. Since then I got a little more lax on the calories and have gained 16 lbs, which I am working on. I count calories and carbs in everything I eat and cook
    .

    Posted by Marcia Panebianco |
  5. Yes, I have tried a low carbohydrate diet and have had very good results. Within 5 month I went from an A1C of 13.8 (at diagnosis in early January 2012) to now at 4.8. I eliminated both the medicines I was on (Metformin and Glyburide) two month ago.

    I am a 67 year old female, 5′11″, my BMI was at 22.9 and is now 19.5, so I lost 20 pounds without trying much. I eat between 20 to 30 carbohydrates per day, all in green leafy vegetables, some yogurt. I eat lots of meat and eggs, some sour cream and butter, animal fats as well. I eat no seed oils or any low fat item, no cereal nor pre made foods. Now and then I consume some berries, apricots and other lower carb fruits, but always together with high protein and fat foods to slow the absorption .

    I have no cravings left, I am fully satisfied with my 1500 to 2000 calories per day. I just wish I would have paid more attention to the way I ate. I believed in the mantra of complex carbohydrates all these years. I became a great bread baker, I ate lots of fruit, my rice was always the complex one with beans often, I hardly ever drank a soft drink. I thought that I was eating healthy. The whole food pyramid is a fraud, no wonder there are so many young people suffering from obesity and now diabetes as well.

    Posted by Ulrike |
  6. I was diagnosed with diabetes in February, I started a low carb diet, & my sugar has greatly improved and I have lost 55 pounds! My blood pressure has also improved.

    Posted by Marsha |
  7. Well something that many diabetics have to learn by themselves in the U.S. and Canada because our Associations support excessive carbohydrate consumption. This is why I do not support the CDA anymore. The USDA probably controls the research money in America this is why we don’t have such studies.

    Posted by calgarydiabetic |
  8. There have been so many studies that have found the same thing. Low-carb diets are best for people with diabetes, but the medical “experts” never, ever pick up on it.

    It seems like common sense that if your insulin systems are damaged, you wouldn’t want to eat lots of food (carbs) that depend on insulin to be absorbed. Why can’t the diabetes organizations of the world admit this?

    Recommending low-fat was a mistake in the first place. It was an attempt to prevent heart attacks by reducing cholesterol consumption. This never worked; it was never based on science, but they just won’t give it up. Why? They don’t want to admit they were wrong.

    Posted by David Spero RN |
  9. Yes! I thought I was weird because that diet didn’t work for me. I am Hispanic with Native American ancestry and figured maybe the recommended diet didn’t take my genetic background into account.
    I tried following my dietitian’s suggestions and ate “healthy” carbs and reduced protein from meat. But I was starving! And my blood sugar was high after meals. I noticed that when I’d have a steak, for example, and had that with vegetables my blood sugar was great. And I wasn’t starving two hours later. I’ve even tried eating the low-glycemic, whole grain pastas and my blood sugar goes through the roof.

    Posted by Enedelia |
  10. I was diagnosed with diabetes 15 years ago. I’ve always chosen a diet as low in carbs as I could. Almost never more than 30-70 gm/day. My A1C has never gone above 5.8 in all these years and my blood lipids are great. The ADA promotes a diet that is guaranteed to make DM worse. It is malpractice to recommend it!

    Read Dr Richard Bernstein’s A DIABETES SOLUTION, published by Little Bown and Company, revised and updated in 2003. He has known about this approach for many years.

    Posted by JeanWashburn, RN |
  11. I found that every time I added even the smallest amount of carbs you could imagine, my sugars were elevated. When I either substituted a fruit salad (!) or nothing, my post dinner sugars were lower. I have been experimenting with this thought for over a year and I appreciate the confirmation that I was on to something that would help control my sugars.

    Posted by jeanette |
  12. I’ve tried low carb with the meats, etc but my blood sugar did not improve especially the next morning. I recently have been on a low fat, whole grains, fruits and my morning blood sugar has improved. It’s about the same it was after eating the low carb but I’m wanting to improve the morning readings. I was also hungry and nervous with some carbs. I just make sure I eat the really good ones, nothing white.

    Posted by Margaret |
  13. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes last June. I gave myself a jumpstart and lost weight with diet and exercise. That’s great! and lowered my blood glucose in the process,my A1c went from 7.5 to 7…give or take. Then as I maintained my weight my daily testing began to show an increase, so I decided to change my diet somewhat. Now, I’m focusing on lower carbs. Not quitting carbs at all, just lowering them. (If I quit them, I crave them, if I eat fewer I have better blood sugar control.) It seems to be working nicely. I haven’t had a recent A1c test to prove anything, but as I said, my personal finger pricks are showing a change. I have a lot of energy, too.

    Posted by Susan |
  14. My cardiologist says I can’t have fat, it clogs my arteries.
    My endocrinologist says to avoid grains, fruits, sweet or starchy vegetables, and processed foods containing any of the above. Too many carbs.
    My urologist says to avoid protein, it causes kidney stones.
    They’re all OK with me eating leaves. Except my gastrointerologist, who says that they are causing my IBS to flare up.

    And the medical profession has trouble understanding why people can’t stay on a diet.

    Posted by Joe |
  15. I agree!! High carb/ low fat, diet is what got me here to start with, throw in a few genetics. Spell it out for me. What amount of carb grams at each meal is good. How to spread it out during the day most effectively.
    I get the 20% carb, 30% protein and 50% fats. It’s just easier for me to count the carbs.
    Thanks for this article and the responses.

    Posted by becky |
  16. I lived a low carb life for a over 15 years. I lost a lot of weight while doing so. My Ac1 is 4.6. My cholesterol levels droppped from 242/40 to 102/60. I went from several pills a day for cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabites (Betta shots as well) to no pills except for a D3 supplement. For me it seemed easy at first then it got harder, then I finaly figured it out and things get easier and easier to eat low carb. To maintain my body weight I eat around 30 to 40 carbs spread out per day. I eat a lot of salads with different ingredents and different low carb dressings. One trick I learned is I only need 70-80 grams of potein per day. If I average more my blood glucose goes up a little bit. The rest of my daily energy/calories come from fat (if fact I have to add fat and reduce my protein levels to get my lowest glucose numbers). I do not count colories. I now do not count carbs most days as I eat within my limits by knowing what I am eating. My wife also eats low carb. She is not a diabitic but has seen weight loss and feels better and can maintain her weight when she eating low carb. She can eat more carbs per day (which usually means she has more fruit then I do), but less protein than I can to maintain body weight. I can also tell you that activity levels and age change the body’s needs. If I go up a couple of pounds I cut back on carbs to 20 per day or less and the weight drops off fairly quickly. Eating out is still challenging but we have three favority places that can make low carb meals, but you have to ask for changes.

    Posted by Joe Mc |
  17. The research on the benefits of a low carb diet have been around for years… With the obsession of a low fat/high carb theory to improve heart and artery health (never really proven) we have a population that is fat and Diabetics who are in poor control. The costs of all this only benefit the health business that likes to make a lot of money.

    I have been on a low carb diet for several years because it is the only way to control my diabetes. I also require very little insulin ($$) as a result, which keeps my weight perfect… There is a real bonus for the low carb diet: better health, better blood sugar control,better blood test results, lower weight, and you don’t have to diet.

    The Recipe in this weeks newsletter has more carbs than I normally eat in a whole day. It really is time to start changing a 40 year old theory that was flawed from the start.

    Posted by John_C |
  18. I am glad to see a study to validate what many people with diabetes have known for years: a lower carb-higher fat diet will lower glucose and weight significantly. I have been at my idea weight for 14 years and did not use medication for my type II diabetes for 12 years. When I pay close attention to my carb intake, I use very small amounts of insulin. Of course, diet is only effective with excercise and rest and so on. Good luck

    Posted by Mitch Vance |
  19. I think all this talk is driving most crazy. No two people say the same think–listen to your dr. and stop driving evryone nuts.

    Posted by Ada Ryan |
  20. BS’D
    Thank you so much for a very important article.

    It is so sad that it is taking professionals in the states such a long time to recommend lower carb regimens to people with diabetes, metabolic syndromes and related health issues.

    We (the Jewish Diabetes Association) has been recommending this regimen for almost 26 years. Our book focuses on lower carb recipes with a lot of nutritional explanations.

    We do not recommend overloading on fat but healthy fats and protiens are important and slow the absorption of glucose from food.

    Lower carb regimens show great improvement in A1c levels, overall energy levels and curb hunger. There is a lot of info about diabetes coupled with a Jewish lifestyle on our web site.
    Nechama Cohen NP
    http://www.jewishdiabetes.org

    Posted by Nechama Cohen |
  21. Joe - I’m with you! What is there left to eat? I have kidney disease so can’t have much protein. Yikes!!

    Posted by Cindy |
  22. I tried a high fat low carb diet twice and my blood sugars went over 300 each time. High fat doesn’t work for me.
    I stick with a moderate (80-90) carb, moderate protein (100) and lower fat diet and that works.

    Posted by Jeanne |
  23. I like Joe’s comment. The most famous words of my medical genius was :” If we ate only leaves we would not be fat”.

    God should nor allow diabetes to be combined with anything else. It is a heavy enough cross by itself.

    Posted by calgarydiabetic |
  24. Low carb for diabetes sounds like common sense to me. I could never eat the recommended number of carbs of the ADA and keep my BG numbers down.

    I am also vegetarian(not vegan). I eat beans, eggs and dairy for protein. I eat a high number of fruits and vegs each day - primarily raw. I limit the simpler carbs to only those times that I am at a friend’s or relative’s home (My mother makes excellent cornbread).

    So in a way, my diet is low carb, low fat. I exercise 4-5 times a week. My HBA1C stays below 6.0.

    Posted by Linda |
  25. I’m with Bob and Nechama on this one. Low carb is the way to go… the body has to work longer to break down complex molecules, which is why high-fiber carbs work better than simple carbs, why proteins and fats help, and why weird stuff like Glucerna and uncooked corn starch products work. Only one correction: the article mentioned that 45-65% carbs was low-carb. Unh-unh. Try 20-30% carbs. The 45-65 is just the same old thing that has been recommended since the 1970’s, about the time we saw inklings of a carbohydrate rich diet causing problems that have now ballooned into an epidemic of obesity.

    Athletic activity also helps smooth out sugars, as does having a healthy body weight. One thing I can tell you from experience is that without losing excess weight, lowering your BG’s is going to be like doing jewelry work with a sledgehammer.

    Don M
    Type 1 diabetic for 40 years
    Member, DFW Diabetes and Exercise group and endurance athlete

    Posted by Don M |
  26. I am a diabetic who eats a low carb vegan diet. I am far healthier now at 53 than ever before and maintain perfect glucose control. Low carb foods and fats biologically cannot raise your blood sugars as they are low glycemic. I do not eat dead animals nor consume cow secretions (dairy), chicken menstruation (eggs) nor bee vomit (honey). I drink almond milk and soy milk and enjoy yogurt, butter and ice cream made from them.

    Posted by Terri |
  27. II have had diabetes for 11 years and tried the diet recommendations from the ADA and my blood sugar was not well controlled, but my A1c was still at 6.5 due to an increase in my exercise level. When I went on a low carb diet (40 grams), I lost weight and my A1c went to to 5.5. I have never taken any medication and have increased my carbs to between 60 and 100 per day. Last month my A1c was 6.5 and I have decided to cut back on the carbs again, this time permanently, as I am 76 and can no longer exercise the way I could when I was younger, and I would like my A1c to be less than 6.0. However, I do walk at least an hour every day, for a half hour after each meal. I find if one doesn’t sit down for a cup of tea after dinner but walks for 15-30 minutes at even a slow rate, my metabolism is improved and I get my glucose down to below 140 within two hours. I just started this, so I have no long term personal statistics to mention.

    Posted by Lynne Nelson |
  28. My doctor, a DO, tried to convince me to eat this way for a couple of years. My A1c was in the low 7’s and I was told I must start insulin if it was not reduced by the next quarterly test, so I gave in. I eliminated any bread but sprouted grain type, and limit that to my pbj toast once a week. No rice, no white potatoes, very rarely eat sweet potatoes, so basically I let go of all starchy carbs and any foods with added sugar. I pass on chips and rice at the Mexican place and order guacamole and extra beans, and replaced movie popcorn with almonds and walnuts. I use coconut oil for any sauteing instead of olive oil, and make a variety of things from almond flour. I also eat lots of colorful and cruciferous vegetables. It took 9 months of slow reductions but my A1c is 6.0 and insulin is out of the picture, for now and I hope forever. I have lost 15 poinds and plateaued, and know my progress there is due to eating out more than anything. I have researched a lot and find that conventional advice from nutritionists and ADA to allow any high-glycemic carbs, except as the rare treat (I won’t pass on cake on my birthday!) is outdated.

    Posted by Jim R |
  29. I have been a type 2 since 1995.
    I tried just about everything to try and control my blood sugars. Have been thru several “pills”, Byette (my system would not tolerate it), and was finally at 2000Mg of Metformin (the limit) and 28 units of Lantus and trying to follow a lower carb diet!!! My A1c finally got down to 7.3!!
    My wife was diagnosed w/ lung cancer stage 3b and a former class mate told us of a health diet that helped her with her cure for lung cancer. I thought this diet was a medical quack thing but after studying its concept and with her cancer Dr.’s approval we started on this diet. It said it would help my diabetes too.
    This was Nov-2011 and my last checkup showed anA1C of 6.5, cholesterol of 145 with the HDL/LDL perfect, I had to stop ALL my blood pressure meds as my blood pressure got too low. I have stopped the Statin I was taking for cholesterol and cut my Gemfibrozil in ½. My Metformin is at 1000 units a day, my Lantus I have quit taking altogether! If my cholesterol is the same next checkup I will be off of the Gemfibrozil altogether!
    We do not count carbs; just eat the foods on the alkaline diet list and a few (20%) of the foods on the acidic list! I lost 10 lb. the first month and had to increase my intake of calories to maintain my current weight. I am 6’ and 164 lb. now A blood profile showed ALL my vitamin and mineral and blood reading to be mid-range to upper range! I had to start tracking my food input to make sure I was getting sufficient calories. I actually have a fresh fruit smoothie 1-1/2 hr after supper with about 60 carbs in it! I also have either a serving of whey in it or if my fats are too low I have a tbs. of almond butter in it also. This tracking program shows me my % of carbs, fat, protein etc and I can, using the whey and almond butter, balance them to close to the 50% carb, 20% protein, and 30% fat!
    I have had one reading in the last month above that expected of a normal non-diabetic person! I am sold on this diet . I have read 2 books on this diet and both tell me if I can eliminate high glucose readings by staying on this diet my insulin resistance will decrease
    and eventually go away. As you can see, it has decreased dramatically already!

    Posted by Dan |
  30. How exactly is this breaking news? Hasn’t the myth of the low-fat, high-grain diet already being roundly debunked? And especially for diabetics.

    By limiting carbs, my A1c dropped from an 8.6 to a most recent reading of 4.9. I also know people who eat whole-grain pasta, bread and have oatmeal every morning, because a doctor told them so, bemoaning their numbers.

    It’s relatively simple. Carbs turn into glucose. The more you have, the more glucose in your system.

    Posted by Bob |
  31. By utilizing portion control, I dropped 23 pounds & my A1c went from 7.2 to 6.5. I use almond milk, not milk which has 12 grams of sugar; I have one pat of real butter almost daily; I cook with olive oil; I make every attempt to eat more vegetables (wet & green is good); I drink more water; if a food has less than 4 grams fiber I avoid it.
    I seldom eat meats. My best food is 1 cup Faje yogurt (23 grams protein) with berries & golden flax seed meal (see Bob’s Red Mill site.) For me, it’s like strawberry shortcake!

    I am not on any meds for diabetes, just levoxyl & hydrochlorothiazide.

    My favorite cold cereals, carefully measured, are Uncle Sam’s & one that has psyllium & other fiber in it. Check it out at the supermarket’s health foods section.

    Diabetes is an albatross around one’s neck, but you can’t stop trying to beat it back with exercise & change of food consumption. I’m 79, still want to lose more weight.

    Posted by Vera |
  32. This is a great article. I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic about four years ago. My doctor immediately wanted me to take oral meds for borderline blood sugar and a statin for borderline cholesterol. He also thought that it was a mistake to test my blood sugar except randomly twice a day.

    Thank goodness for the library and the internet. I read everything that I could about type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Thanks to Dr. Richard Bernstein’s book and other resources, I declined the medication and began a three month trial of low carb diet and exercise based treatment with amazing success. My A1C dropped from 6.4 to 5.5 and my cholesterol dropped from nearly 200 to around 150. Although it was scary to not listen to my doctor and strike out on my own it was definitely the right thing for me to do.

    One of the most frustrating things for me is the lack of health education available for diabetics through the medical ‘establishment’ and their lack of knowledge. Although I eat around 70 gr of carbs/day and balance this with 70-80 gr of protein, my doctor insists that this is not enough carb and thinks that I should eat more. My diet is probably about 50% fat calories and I feel great! When I try to follow their plan and add in more carb I don’t feel well (I start to feel fuzzy and my blood sugar starts to flucuate up and down) and they then tell me that it is because I am not eating enough carbs.

    Most of the time when I go to the doctor’s office I feel like I am more knowledgeable than the ‘experts’. I have decided to trust my own intuition on this one and so far the bloodwork backs me up. It was very heartening to see that I am not the only one with good results from a similar eating plan.

    Posted by Barb in Pennsylvania |
  33. Yes, just in the past month I have been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables and less red meats. I have lost 15 lbs and since my doctor has me on a sliding scale for my Aspart Insulin I have probably been able to cut my before meal injections in half and I reduced my before bedtime injection of Lantus from 52 units to 40 and I have good early morning glucose readings. My last A1C test was 6.9. Bob

    Posted by Bob |
  34. I was diagnosed 3 years ago and I have to agree with Joe. Its hard when you have multiple health issues going on. I ended up going with watching my Carbs intake. I was told no more than 35 carbs/meal. I lost 35 lbs in the first 3 months. I have my times when its harder due to dealing with Depression now, but I still believe in the Low Carb Diet. I eat as much meat and cheese as I want and plenty of water :) I loved my sugar free Tea but was told it was not good for my Kidney Stones so stopped. I am working hard to bring my level down to a point when I wont have to take as much medicine. Good Luck to everyone :) Everyones body is different so you just need to experiment and keep records with your Doctor..

    Posted by DEBBIE |
  35. This is not real news as others say. There have been numerous small studies that are unambiguous - the work of Eric Westman and of Nuttal and Gannon are probably the best. Given the underlying physiology, the burden of proof is on anybody who objects.

    As for large scale studies, all of the comments above and all the comments on the low-carb diabetes sites tell the story. The requirement for formal large scale studies is due to physicians and health agencies who blindly adhere to the idea that there is one type of study for every scientific question which, in this case, they will not fund.

    I recently challenged representative of the ADA to defend their opposition to low-carbohydrate as the default treatment for diabetes. Although she was not speaking in an official capacity we made our presentations at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The talks are on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2paIsPfgmM

    Our students felt that she had not answered my challenges but you can decide for yourself. We will have another debate at the Ancestral Health Society and I give her credit for engaging in debate but it is hard to see how she will defend her position.

    Posted by Richard David Feinman |
  36. Hi Don M,

    Thanks for your comment! Just to clarify, the low-carbohydrate diet referenced in the article was composed of 20% carbohydrate. The diet comprised of 45% to 60% carbohydrate is the current recommendation of the USDA.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience with the low-carb diet!

    Best,
    Diane Fennell
    Web Editor

    Posted by Diane Fennell |
  37. This comment thread should be mandatory reading for anyone treating or living with diabetes. We know how to make Type 2 diabetes better and keep Type 1 from getting worse. People with diabetes can’t handle carbs well, so we have to limit them.

    Instead, medical “experts” keep saying to eat more grains and even sugars, and take more medicine to cover the glucose. This is crazy. Don’t listen to them.

    Posted by David Spero RN |
  38. I like both David Spero’s comments. They are obvious to any diabetic but escape the medical establishment. The low fat thing was based on fraudulent work by Dr. Ancel Keyes. He picked 6 countries out of 22 to give him a perfect straight line between heart disease and fat consumption. Had he used all 22 the graph would have looked like a newspaper page hit by bird shot at 25 yards and he would not have been famous.

    Posted by calgarydiabetic |
  39. Tuning the data file to meet the desired “facts” has been long established practice here with all the lobbyists. The economic benefits are huge.

    Posted by jim snell |
  40. I am unsure what type of diabetes this article is spouse to help? All types or specifically Type II?

    I am a Type 1 for 55 years. I use a low carb, low fat meal plan. My Lipids are great, my A1c is great, my weight remains steady. I am a active, healthy person. I am most fortunate indeed.

    There is no one answer or method of treatment that works well for every diabetic.

    Posted by joan |
  41. I reversed mine in one week ten years ago. I am on no medications and my blood sugars are consistently in the 70s and 80s. I am a Zumba enthusiast today and also swim, hike and lift weights. I am 61 years old today. I still follow the same low-carb organic diet.
    I understand when people say, but you are not cured if you need to follow a special diet, BUT when we are eating the types of foods that can lead to diabetes we are not actually healthy, we are in a state of decline without realizing it. Eventually diabetic symptoms begin to actualize. If by not eating those same foods that led to the diabetic condition, I find my body chemistry to now be normal, I indeed can declare a CURE because the foods that led to it initially were not healthful and the same can be said about anyone eating the foods that lead to illness. White sugar and white flour are poisons, period.
    Eventually they damage everyone in one way or another whether or not you become diabetic. It is not normal to eat highly processed junk food and even if no symptoms are overtly present, you are damaging your health.

    Posted by Anna |
  42. Excellent response Anna. I would take your comments a little further.

    Its not just refined foods albeit they provide bigger and faster energy loads to body; it is the energy balance over all and I would offer that if one keeps body in balance with input energy, plus liver input versus energy burn(exercise) and process burn; one does not progress to full blown type 2 diabetes.

    There is no sense of a cure which I believe while hopeful/desireable and great wish, the real reality is that body chemistry has to be run correctly or rot out. The ole hunter gatherer hunter gene digestion system was optimized thousands of years ago in times of poor grade, minimum, irratic food supplies to prevent the human starving out NOT protect the system against running against rich 24/7 excess energy availability and supply as we have today thanks to modern science and agriculture.

    Posted by jim snell |
  43. to each his or her own. Joe I feel you. I was told that going under 130 carbs was not advisable. One day up and one day down. The news changes every week. I let my blood sugar be my guide. I am dizzy from the news changes.

    Posted by PAT |
  44. I’m 70 yrs old 6′1″ and 195 pounds.I have been doing low carbs for over 30 years to control my weight staying at 60 grams a day. Then when pre diagnosed with diabetes, I was 245 pounds,I stayed on the low carbs but ate more healthier foods, cut out the diet soda and candy. My blood sugars dropped from 165 to 110 and some days lower. Recently I strayed from from the carbs and shot up to 100 to 125 a day and my blood sugar went up to 120 to 127.The ice cream and peanut butter didn’t help. I read that carbs help produce insulin that is why I uped the amount. So back to 60 and below to see what happens. I know my Bg levels are in the normal range and not as high as some people but I want to keep it at a lower level. I do not keep track of fats or proteins.

    Posted by JoeB |
  45. Interesting article. I used to try and follow a low-fat, low-carb diet. If I checked my blood sugar regularly, I was fairly successful at keeping the A1c levels in range. When I let up on checking blood glucose, my A1c shot up to 9.2. I got more rigorous about checking, but I also became less concerned about fat in my diet. I didn’t go all out, I have no firm figures on what % of fat I have in my diet, but I did watch my carbohydrate intake. At my last checkup my A1c had come down from 9.2 to 7.2. I hope the next one is even lower.

    Posted by C. J. Van Brocklin |
  46. I LOWERED MY CARBS AND INCREASED THE PROTIEN
    AND FAT. MY A1C WENT FROM 8.4 TO 6.2 OVER
    A SIX MONTH PERIOD

    Posted by JEFF KOPSELL |
  47. As a stroke survivor who had an a1c of 12.8 at the time of my stroke, i am definitely a low carb eater. My doctor recommends it and I have lost 20 lbs. and my a1c is at 7.8 - still a little high but nothing like before. My average morning glucose reading was 110 for the month of August - a huge improvement. I still struggle with drinking diet soda, but hope to kick that habit soon.

    Posted by Kathy |
  48. When first diagnosed, a naturopath had me on a low carb, high protein dietm that was higher in animal fsts. It not only controls my glucose and A1c levels, brought all my cholesterol numbers into the desired ranges, but also lost a lot of wieght and had more energy.
    Then, I was sent by an MD, to a diabetic clinic, where they turned that around and medded up all my numbers, and I gained wieght. I am now trying to get back to the low carb,high fat diet.

    Posted by Lorine Smith |
  49. The wealth of thoughtful response here highlights the point that there are major individual variations in what works for each of us. I’m a non-insulin LADA that found a strong animal fat correlation with BS spikes. I can eat a grilled steak, but not a pot roast (where the fat’s cooked in to the meat). I had to cut all dairy. My initial 11.3 A1c now hovers between 6.1 and 5.8 - I eat a fair amount of fat, but it’s mostly from nuts. Otherwise, I eat very lean, lots of fruit, vegetables, fish, chicken , nuts, and grilled pork and beef. A few whole grains keep it from being too weird. All potatoes and sucrose are gone from my diet. I have to mention that I believe the diet piece won’t work without addressing the activity and stress components. My supplements, including ALA, GABA, Zinc, fish oil, vitamin D, and NAC are all either to help with insulin production/effectiveness or to fight the autoimmune battle that we type 1 varieties must win to safely avoid insulin.

    Posted by russellstamets |
  50. I tried adding more fat to my diet, and it worked!
    I drink coconut water, consume more coconut milk than anyone I know. I also quit eating hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and potato chips. Instead of reaching for a whole milk, I grab a carton of half and half.

    Posted by catherine punjani |
  51. I have lived with diabetes for over 10 years, and have had bad reactions from 3 different diabetes meds, one of which is the old stand-by metformin. Diet is definitely a huge factor in diabetes management. For those who are confused, keep in mind what works for you is what you should follow, not some guidelines that depend on meds to correct bad readings. I use a protein bean mix and dry beans to make soup for a protein and veggie goto. With tomatoes onions, and celery this is tasty and does not seem to raise the glucose. It really does make a difference to find the right carb-protein ratio. I do not like the low designations, as these are misleading.
    I agree it would be nice if there were not multiple health issues going on, but since that is not possible, we each need to work out for ourselves what is good for us as individuals and stay off as many meds as possible, I am lucky to have only four to take at this time, and am working to reduce even further.

    Posted by Diane |
  52. i was diagnosed with type 2 two weeks ago and advised by my doctor to go on a low fat diet and loose weight. A friend of mine advised me to read Gary Taubes book on weight loss (advocating a low carb diet. Over the first week when i had cut out most of the “unnatural carbs” except my nightly 500ml beer.Now i have cut that as well. The weight is falling off. I am also taking coconut oil, turmeric, and cinnamon. I haven;t had another check of blood ,but i feel energized, my exercise has gone through the roof (previously I was unmotivated to exercise). It is great to read all of the positive stories above, unitl next week i am unable to check my bloo. One thing i have noticed is that my consumption of water has gone up?

    Posted by keerti |

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