When I was diagnosed with diabetes, once I got my hands on a glucose monitor it took me three days to determine which foods increased my blood glucose and which didn’t. Meat, eggs, fish and fat had negligible impact. Starches, including beans and ‘healthy whole grains’ put me through the roof. One of my worst readings ever came after an unsweetened, modest meal of brown rice and kidney beans; I found the recipe in a diabetic cookbook borrowed from the library. Oh, the irony.
Feeling like a scofflaw I immediately went against medical advice and began eating low carb. As a former devout vegan this was particularly difficult. I never had much of an ethical problem with meat, I just found it gross to eat something dead. But I’ve eaten a lot of dead things over the past three years and I sincerely believe it is preserving my life.
I wasn’t fat. I’ve never been fat. When I was a kid I was so thin my parents repeatedly threatened to hospitalize me unless I ate. I was BMI 19 when I fell pregnant with my three year old, and had gained all of 5 pounds when diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was BMI 19 when officially diagnosed with type 2, after his birth. I’m currently BMI 17.5… and still diabetic. However I have managed to avoid any medication or insulin by eating a very low carb diet.
But I was puzzled. My primary care physician told me to eat potatoes and brown rice when I was diagnosed. These foods spike my numbers astronomically! Why didn’t he simply advise me to eat low carb, or to avoid carbohydrates altogether (I have gone long periods eating zero carb, or close to it)?
It’s been a real alice in wonderland situation. Armed with nothing but a glucose monitor I figured out how to control my diabetes; I have a perfect A1C and a ‘superhuman’ hdl – triglycerides ratio by eating a virtually zero carb diet. But the entire medical establishment is unable to assist the countless millions of people out there with diabetes without pharmaceutical intervention? What was going on?
I’m still unsure what IS going on: are diabetics unable to stick to a strict low carb regimen? Does big pharma have a vested interest in diabetics being dependent on medication and insulin?
Imagine my shock when I stumbled across a book written more than ONE HUNDRED years ago: The Starvation Treatment of Diabetes:
The book is a series of diabetic case studies who were treated with nothing but a very low carb, high fat diet (remember this was before insulin was even an option). All the patients, except one already in a diabetic coma, leave treatment with normal blood glucose levels by doing nothing other than eating a carnivore centered, low carb/ high fat diet. In case I have to spell it out for you: it has been known for more than a hundred years that a meat based, low carbohydrate/ high fat diet controls diabetes, but for whatever reason this has been dismissed by the medical community.
Not long ago I was in costco and stopped in my tracks. I realized I was surrounded by foods that would kill me: cereals, dried fruit, beans, candy, breads, cookies, desserts, sacks of potatoes and huge bags of rice. But it was the animals keeping me alive and sparing me medication and insulin dependence. Those animals were sparing my vision, my limbs, my organs, and quite possibly preserved my pregnancy with my youngest son: he’s babbling away happily today because I ate those ‘dead things.’
Instead of guilt I just felt incredible gratitude. Gratitude to have access to meat, gratitude all those animals were preserving my life, my health, and granting me years to care for my children.
So once again I will implore any diabetics out there, both type 1 and type 2, to consider a very low carb diet. 100 years of knowledge can’t be wrong. Even if you just try it briefly, what do you have to lose beyond extensive medical hassles?