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The Power of Low Carb Eating

I’ve written previously about healthy eating and how low carbs are the best way to go.  I thought I would illustrate the power of this approach by relating to you my son’s experience.

He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two summers ago when he was 16.  At that time, we followed the usual recommendation of eating as many carbs as you like and covering that with the appropriate amount of insulin.  That seemed to work okay initially while he still had some pancreatic function.  But as time went on and his pancreas continued to fail, it became more difficult to keep his sugars in the healthy zone.    Notice all the high readings.

Diabetes pre low carb

It wasn’t healthy for him and it was also discouraging which made it difficult to do the tedious work of managing his sugars well.  The long term damage from diabetes, either type 1 or 2, is directly caused by elevated sugar levels.  The sugar tends to stick to proteins and over time, interferes with their function.  This is what leads to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, limb amputation, peripheral neuropathy and the like and why diabetics have a 10 year shorter life expectancy than the rest of us.  It becomes key to absolutely keep blood sugars in check.  Traditional medical advice in this matter, however, makes it nearly impossible to do so.

At one hospital visit early on I asked about simply not eating carbs since they were the thing insulin was needed for.  It seemed logical since there is no such thing as an “essential” carbohydrate.  That was not possible or wise, we were told.  At that time, I didn’t follow up.

Now, however, we are going full bore with no carbs and it is making a world of difference.

BGL pic

You’ll notice that all his readings are within the healthy zone and his sugars are consequently in much tighter control.  From a diabetic standpoint, fewer carbs means smaller doses of insulin and a much smaller chance of error.  That is, if you’re out by 20% on your calculations for 10 carbs that’s not nearly as big a deal as being out even 10% on 100 carbs.

Michael’s motivated again and doing a great job of eating well.  He’s noticed that he’s got more energy and his thinking and moods are much clearer than in the past.  He’s also falling asleep quicker and having better overall sleeps.  His long term outlook is much more favorable as long as he continues eating in this healthy way.

By the way, it’s this kind of eating that would prevent the vast majority of type 2 diabetes.


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  1. Sara says
    Aug 07, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    Thank you for this. I would love to hear more about this. My son is also Type 1. I'd be interested to know what your son's diet looks like on a day-to-day basis.

  2. Dr. Lees says
    Aug 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    I think a great resource for you and your son would be the book, "Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution" He's the longest surviving Type 1 diabetic around so I think he knows what he's talking about! You also need to get friendly with fat since the the bulk of calories should come from fat. We have been badly misled about the role fat should play in our diet. Read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes for more on that. Hope that helps. Feel free to email if you'd like more help.

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