When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes I immediately began eating what would be considered a moderately low carb diet, around 50 net carbs a day. I was able to control my blood sugar without medication or insulin, but as time went on I noticed my numbers creeping up. In response I restricted carbs further and further until I was at a zero, or very near zero carb level of food intake. I’ve been a ‘zero carber’ for two years now, eating only meat, fish, eggs, fats and hard cheeses. If I ever ‘cheat’ it’s the occasional bite of vegetable, and occasionally I fall into a jar of peanut butter. But 99% of my food consumption is of the aforementioned foods.
Turns out I’m not the only one. There’s an online subculture of zero carbers who embrace an all meat diet. They have a subreddit, a facebook page, and various bloggers detail their ‘zero carb journey.’ Vegans hate us!
‘Zero carb’ is a bit of a misnomer. Eggs and hard cheeses have carbs, albeit negligible amounts, less than half a carb per serving. I occasionally eat all beef hot dogs, which have a few carbs apiece. And when I cook meat in the slow cooker, I add vegetables for flavor but discard them after cooking. Probably a few carbs leech in.
A better term would be ‘meatarian’ or ‘animaltarian’ since most if not all of our calories come from animal products. I personally consume mayonnaise and vegetable oils, but many zero carbers do not.
So what exactly do I eat? For the past two days I took pictures of my breakfast and lunch. These are typical meals for me: some meat, some fat, sometimes eggs or egg yolks. I take it easy on dairy, more for taste reasons than anything else.
Clockwise you see: kosher hotdog and slow cooked egg; kosher hotdog mixed with full fat mayonnaise, on the side egg yolks, rotisserie turkey and more mayonnaise; slow cooked pork; bacon, slow cooked egg and vermont cheddar.
Three and a half years into type 2 diabetes my A1C is normal, my triglyceride-HDL ratio is superhuman, my morning glucose is never over 85 mg/dL, I rarely get sick and I maintain a slightly underweight BMI without trying. I am not on any diabetes medications nor insulin.
I sincerely believe this way of eating is saving my life, and may well have saved my young son’s life by sparing me any complications from gestational diabetes while pregnant with him. I have also spared the healthcare industry a tremendous amount of money on medical bills, diabetes supplies and prescriptions.
In closing I would aggressively recommend this diet for diabetics, and for anyone who wishes to lose weight. I quickly went from BMI 19 to 17 without trying. If it worked for me at such a low BMI, surely those with more pounds will have even greater weight loss effect. So go ahead and try it for a few weeks! Worst case scenario, you enjoy a few more bunless hamburgers than you would have otherwise.