Diabetes Diet

Nick enjoys much more stable blood sugar levels on LCHF

How does a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet impact your blood sugar levels? Nick sent us a beautiful graph of his results from his continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

Since switching to LCHF, Nick’s blood sugar is much more stable than it was on the American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet, and the lines demonstrate this. He also lost 45 pounds (20 kilos).

Here, Nick shares his story, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

What’s your name, age, and where do you live?
My name is Nick, and I’m from Georgia, USA.

How did you discover keto or low carb?
I am 62 and I’ve had type 2 diabetes for 29 years. The doctor who diagnosed me in 1991 told me my sugar was 248 mg/dl (13.8 mmol/L), put me on Glucotrol, and told me to come back in three months for a check-up. He explained nothing about the disease.

I was put on insulin three years later. I’ve kept my diabetes closely monitored for the last 15 years but had issues that I assumed were just part of the disease. My weight hovered around 210 pounds (95 kilos) for most of those years.

I experienced roller coaster blood sugars (lows in the 40s and highs near 300 mg/dl – 2.2 to 16.7 mmol/L), snacked between meals and before bedtime, consumed 150 grams of carbs per day (because the American Diabetes Association said I could), used 60 units of insulin per day and climbing. My A1C ran in the upper six range. I had trouble sleeping at night, used 80 mg per day of acid reflux meds, and joint pain became a part of my life. I exercised, but that was a challenge because of blood sugar lows and highs.

I have researched diabetes since my diagnosis. I thought I was doing as well as possible, checking my sugar eight times a day and following the ADA’s advice. I began continuous glucose monitoring in June 2020, and I discovered that I was not doing as well as I thought. The continuous glucose monitoring revealed that I had some pretty bad post-meal spikes in my blood sugar.

I have been using an insulin pump for 21 years and in June 2020 got a new pump. The nurse/diabetes educator who trained me on my new pump recommended that I read Dr. Richard Bernstein’s book, Diabetes Solution. After reading the book and discovering Diet Doctor, my life changed!

I’ve been living the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) lifestyle for over six months now, and my blood sugar is very constant, my A1C is 5.6, my joint inflammation is gone, I’m off acid reflux meds, and I sleep all night. I weigh 172 pounds (78 kilos) now and wear size 32 inch (81 cm) pants!

What does a typical day of eating look like for you now?
I never imagined that I could turn my health situation around. Before, I based my eating habits on pleasure and misinformation. Now I eat for health, enjoy delicious foods, and eat until I am full.

I eat an average of 18 grams of carbs per day from fibrous vegetables, berries, and nuts. I enjoy plenty of fat and salt and eat no more grains or other bad carbs. No more highly processed foods or oils. I never eat snacks because I’m never hungry between meals.

My blood pressure averages 112/68 on less medication.

Having type 2 diabetes, I assumed I could never fast. Not true. I skip meals regularly and only eat when I’m hungry. I can now exercise without blood sugar issues and never run out of fuel! Exercise is essential for the body and mind. I walk when possible and carry 3-pound weights as I walk. When the weather is bad, I use a recumbent bicycle and small dumbbells for upper body toning.

What are your top three tips for people starting low carb?
If you are new to LCHF or keto, I will give the following insights:

  1. Anything you want bad enough, you can make happen.
  2. Eat for your health, which requires a different perspective and discipline. Life is not about going from one pleasure to the next, even though I discovered how to make delicious keto recipes!
  3. There is plenty of help out there, like Diet Doctor. Since my journey began, I have logged seven pages of citation and references from practicing physicians, scientists, and investigative journalists. The evidence is too overwhelming to deny!

Comment

Thanks for sharing your success with is Nick! Your CGM pictures are truly worth “a thousand words.” I am so glad you found the diet that works for you — not just for your weight but for your health as well. Keep up the great work!
Best,
/ Dr. Bret Scher

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