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11/20/13 2:24 P

This is a really interesting discussion, and what I'm hearing is that there is no one right way for everyone with diabetes to eat, that each person needs to work with their physician and health care team to identify their personal goals and work toward those goals, and that mental/emotional health is an important factor that often isn't addressed. The latest nuttition guidelines for diabetes emphasize that each person is individual and there is no one set eating plan or diabetes management that works for everyone. I think it's great that you are willing to make changes and think about things differently in order to reach your health goals. ~Lynn @Glucerna

11/19/13 7:56 A

That was my understanding as well EXOTEC. I am getting 10-20% of my calories from protein. I'm going to source out a calculator because although my blood sugars have been awesome I'd like to check it out. Thanks.

Peter Attia is a wonderful speaker. His passion to help people almost brought me to tears!

I didn't realize it was that video, I've seen it before, still great though.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
11/19/13 12:08 A

Very good talk from Peter Attia. I think we do need to be more open, as he suggested, to exploring what is right (ie "works") and less hidebound to "what we've always done." We need to find new paradigms. We need the courage to set out into unfamiliar waters - not blindly, and not without caution - but with hope. Nutritional and medical science is forging ahead on these topics. I hope all of our healthcare and dietary professionals and experts will find that courage and dedication.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
11/18/13 11:34 P

I agree with you about depression. I also believe it's a symptom - it's a marker of some underlying dis-ease. With so many of our modern ailments traceable back to our nutritional base, I would not find it unlikely that some of that could be improved if we were knowledgeable and able to modify what we're giving our bodies to work with.

RUSSELL and others on this thread have done wonderful things with their health just by modifying their diets. I've been able to lose a lot of weight - although I'm not diabetic. My husband is T2D, however, and the same diet I've been prescribed has enabled him to eliminate all his oral diabetic meds and he now only uses insulin IF his blood glucose readings indicate its necessity. That's a *huge* improvement in his health. It's going to continue to improve, too.

That's a great video. I encourage everyone to look at it. The doctor being interviewed is respected in many circles, and yet she's also grounded in the day-to-day work of a PCP. Not only that, she can speak from personal experience as well as her practice's clinical experience. Is it formal research? well... no. Is it valid? has it produced the desired improvement in health for her patients? Undeniably.
Worth your while.

Well, the video I was discussing above isn't the one the OP linked to. Many apologies! Peter Attia is also a most excellent speaker, and has great info. Please watch his talk!

Meanwhile, the interview I was commenting on above can be found at:

And JO -- you know the reality of your mental health. Don't let others tell you what it's about, and don't let anyone blow you off. It's not a matter of being "sensitive." If your body isn't balanced, it has to call out for help somewhere.

@ JERF ~
yes, protein does get converted to glucose by gluconeogenesis in the liver. That's why (I believe) low/restricted carb diets emphasize replacing "lost" carb calories with fats. Fats don't incite your insulin. You want to train your body to burn fats anyway, so providing them as you deprive of carbs is beneficial. We still need our basal amount of protein calories... but not so much as some may believe. There's lots of calculators out there to determine those amounts.

Edited by: EXOTEC at: 11/18/2013 (23:47)
JOCOOL01 SparkPoints: (7,179)
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11/18/13 11:15 P

I have suffered from depression since my preteens and I doubt any person who is clinically diagnosed with depression doesn't want to get better. When I was a child my parents thought I just had a serious case of the blues or the blahs. They told me to pray. That a lack of faith was the reason I couldn't stop crying and had severe anxiety. I was afraid of people and social interactions. I was told I was too sensitive and called a crybaby from the time I entered school form peers and adults a lot. Real depression is immensely tiring and draining -often you are spending so much time fighting to stay sane you're not worried about eating -you don't have energy to go out and play etc.

My point was this often people are not educated about mental illness and when they see warning signs of it in their children, family members, or friends they don't know what to do and how to help. Often the family member in the midst of a mental problem is not in the right frame of mind to know that their not upset because their fat, ugly, unsuccessful etc. They have a chemical imbalance in their brain that is making them weak, tired, confused, etc. and if and when they receive treatment they will be able to fight their addiction to whatever they are addicted to. To really change your habits you have to come from a place of strength. In order to do that you have to know the real root cause of the problem or you'll just be picking at the leaves and what happens when you don't pull up a weed by it's root -it comes back again and again. I am simply suggesting obesity is the symptom of something larger and we often treat the symptom instead of the disease and it doesn't take a doctor to figure out that doesn't work.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
11/18/13 11:08 A

DPRYER - Your results are typical. I started low carb 4.5 years ago, and within 1 year at 20 grams a day, I went from 2000 mg of Metformin a day to 0. I have been off all diabetes meds for 3.5 years, and my A1 C hovers between 5.1-5.4, even though I still eat some foods that I shouldn't. I stick to the diet 95% of the time though.

The diabetic diet can work for some people I am guessing, but did not work for me, and as far as I can tell, doesn't work for a majority of diabetic. If you don't know many diabetics, join a team, and talk to them. Most are suffering from high blood sugars, and numbers that vary wildly, not steady, low numbers.

Success has been defined as getting below a 7.0 A1C. Normal is 4.2-4.6. Shouldn't success be getting as close to normal as possible? I am .5-1.0 above normal, but 7.0 is still extremely high, and doing damage to your body. Plus, it requires you to stay on pills, which is not a success at all.

Maybe the diabetic diet would be good if we started at birth on it, but as a response to decades on a high carb diet, it is not enough for many. We cut carbs immediately upon finding that a person is diabetic, and then when we find that it helps but doesn't get us off pills, the next step is to just continue with 150 grams a day.

If cutting carbs improved blood sugars, then cutting them again should do it even more. At the very least, we ought to test this theory.

If I have 150 grams on a carbohydrate diet, at 2000 calories, that is 30 % carbs, down from 50 %. At the same time, we are told to stick to under 30 % fat. That leaves 40 % protein, if we don't think fat is bad, and eat 20 %. This leads to either 2 things. 1 ) we eat extra protein, and when we burn through our carbs, we convert protein to glucose, and still have high blood sugars, or 2 ) we can't stomach more than 30 % protein, so we add the extra 10 % to either fat, or carbs.

Since we are all deathly afraid of fat, it most likely goes to carbs...40 % fat would probably be more effective, but I doubt most people do that. So we are eating 200 grams of carbs, not 150, and wondering why our blood sugars are still high.

These problems ( metabolic syndrome symptoms ), were considered to be the problem of the rich in the 16th, and 17th centuries. As we moved into the 20th century, colas, sugar, and refined grains became more readily available. We started seeing increases in these problems, first in cities. Poor farmers, had to eat the meat they raised, and the vegetables, and cheese they had available. They didn't have the problems that the rich, and the city-folk had.

Today, we have moved to a mostly suburban lifestyle, with groceries on every corner. We have switched to low fat in the 70's, and now our food is low fat, with extra sugar, and salt to make it edible. HFCS in the 60's. From 1890-1977, we made several disastrous changes to our diet.

Since making these changes, we have gotten sicker decade, by decade, and our response is to double down on our diet, and blame the victims. It seems simple to just look at what changed in the last 100 years, and reverse it. That may be wrong, but I doubt it. The idea that we can't even consider it though, should make people stop, and scratch their head.

We made a change, and sickness went up, but we can't even test that reversing the change, might reverse the sickness? Hmmm!

Luckily, today we have social media, and better communication methods, so we can share experiences, and ideas. Low carb has been around forever, but as an opposing diet to low fat since it began. Atkins started even earlier, in the 60's, and others even earlier, since they saw the looming crisis.

We can talk to other diabetics, and when we see someone who is off meds, and has stable, normal blood sugars, we can ask " How did you do it? ". Some succeed on the diabetic diet, but for most who have blood sugars over 200, and fixed the problem, you find that they cut carbs much lower than the diabetic diet, and would consider themselves to be eating a low carb diet.

If the diabetic diet had a success rate of 95 %, then I would understand the reticence of doctors to prescribe low carb to anyone. Given the poor track record of the diet though, I would think that doctors would be looking at almost any other diet to help their patients.

At what point do you admit that the diabetic diet isn't working? Should the next step be pills, or Insulin, or a better diet, that actually fixes your blood sugars?

I believe that most Type 2 diabetics are that way because of the sugar, and processed foods in our diet, and from out fear of fat, which causes us to eat more carbs overall. That if diabetics cut their carbs down, and eat low glycemic ones when they partake of them, that we could get rid of 75 % of the diabetics. We could also get rid of the obesity epidemic, and cancer, and heart disease at the levels they have climbed to.

At the very least, we should test it, find out if what Peter Attia says is true. I know it has worked exactly the way he said for me. Almost nothing my doctors said worked the way they said it would. So you have to ask yourself.. do results matter? Do you have a goal? Is it the same as your doctors? Have you asked your doctor, and seen if you have the same goals? Have you reached those goals, or shown appreciable gains towards it?

If your doctors goal is a 7.0 A1C, being on pills and Insulin, and eventual amputation, blindness or kidney failure ( but much later on ), is that success? Are you okay with that?

Birgit and I are just 2 examples of people who are below 6.0 A1C, which is rare for diabetics. There are others on the low carb diet teams who have almost identical results.It isn't blind luck. We got results, and we should at least ask why, and if the results are able to be replicated.

If a dietary change fixes these problems, then maybe we did this to ourselves, and caused these problems. We should be more worried about solving these recent problems, instead of worrying that they won't be solved by following what we told people was healthy.

If low carb is reversing the effects of diabetics, then it could be effective in treatment for all diabetics, and more importantly, keep people from becoming diabetic, or obese in the first place. For the ones who are healthy, on low fat, vegetarian/vegan, or a diabetic diet, I am happy for them. Enjoy. This isn't a battle of which diet is best, but of how we improve the health of people individually.

HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
11/18/13 9:51 A

I agree, it is carbohydrates and maybe protein that diabetics need to cut, not fat. Fat is the only macronutrient that will not raise blood sugar.
My blood sugar is still slightly high after eating too much fruit this summer, more than one serving a day, but I have gotten it down from 6.1 A1c to 5.9 A1c in the last month and think I can have it in the normal range by the end of the year just by cutting carbs to 40-50 grams/day and increasing fat to over 70% of calories.


11/18/13 8:34 A

Wow that is amazing DPRYER, well done!

DPRYER SparkPoints: (3,565)
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11/18/13 8:10 A

I am a diabetic, diagnosed in June. I take Metformin and eat a fairly low carb/ higher fat diet in order to keep my blood sugar numbers in normal range. I test often when adding a new food that is carby to see how high it spikes me and for how long. If I ate the standard "diabetic diet" I would see much higher numbers. This has lowered my numbers for blood sugar and blood pressure. I've lost 60 pounds and now I've joined this site to track my food better.

11/18/13 7:35 A

I haven't watched the video yet and someone please correct me if I'm mistaken here, but if a diabetic cuts carbohydrates and fats doesn't that mean a lot of their daily calories would come from protein and doesn't excess protein convert into sugar in the absence of carbohydrates?

Looking forward to checking out the video later today :)

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,319
11/18/13 7:19 A

A diabetic diet is good for those with diabetes and insulin resistance, but it is also excellent for those who want good health. It protects the heart, lowers cholesterol and helps control blood pressure, reduces kidney diseases and even reduces some cancers like pancreatic cancer....etc.

Those who are overweight can go on a diabetic diet to effectively lose weight, but many scoff at the idea to reduce pasta and bread to a minimum, to stop eating saturated fats and trans fats, fast foods and their sweets...instead of eating foods that are high in nutrients, low in fat and a moderate amount of caloric intake.

Yes, many people are depressed, for many reasons, and some even wallow in self pity instead of taking the bull by the horns and doing something about it. A person has to "want to get better", they have to want it so much they will do anything to get better. They have to want to learn about nutrition, and to a diet that restricts itself to those foods that benefit health.

Diabetes is one of the largest threats to health today.... and people ignore the signs like.... being hungry or are famished all the time, being thirsty all the time, blurry vision, numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and feet from excess sugar, skin disorders and yeast infections that recur time after time, fatigue, low energy or sleepiness after eating a high amount of carbs, increased trip to the bathroom, and yes name a few.

Everyone should have an A1C test yearly to test for Insulin resistance or diabetes, especially those who are overweight.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,329)
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11/18/13 4:34 A

I agree Jo. I believe brains get off-balanced and unhealthy behaviors/choices result.

HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
11/17/13 11:40 P

I believe that you are right about depression and obesity. I know that when I was overweight that my mood was affected for several reasons: I was unhappy with my looks, I knew I was not healthy and, maybe most important, I had no energy. For a long time I tried to keep my dietary fat low, not realizing that I was depriving my body of many important fat-soluble vitamins which also made me feel a lot worse, in particular Vitamin D deficiency.


Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 11/18/2013 (00:23)
JOCOOL01 SparkPoints: (7,179)
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11/17/13 11:24 P

I think this about more than just motivating patients. I think there needs to be some fundamental changes made to how we think about obesity in this country. Most people who are also obese are not just insulin resistant but depressed. I think the common thinking is the obesity comes first but like the doctor is saying in essence -obesity is a symptom not the cause of a lot of medical and mental conditions. If we cured some of these other issues obesity would decrease in a lot of people. The same with addiction to alcohol and drugs -addicts are usually self-medicating in order to cope with other undiagnosed medical/mental issues. I believe many obese people are doing the same.

HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
11/17/13 11:12 P

I know there are many here who are affected by diabetes or metabolic syndrom. Many people have diabetes and have no idea as this disease is often not diagnosed until it is too late.
I found this video very encouraging and wish that every doctor could motivate their patients the way this speaker can.


Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 11/18/2013 (00:22)
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