23 Responses

  1. Laurie Endicott Thomas
    Laurie Endicott Thomas December 3, 2011 at 8:18 am | | Reply

    How embarrassing, to have to use a wheelchair at Disneyland just because of a weight problem! Fortunately, we know that a low-fat (~10% of calories), high-fiber, high-carbohydrate (75% of calories) vegan diet enables people to eat as much food as they like while losing weight and curing their type 2 diabetes.

    You don’t need to “eat less” or “move more” to cure your type 2 diabetes. Simply eating the right kinds of food can cure the diabetes, even if the amount of activity stays stable. Of course, you could get better results even faster if you also start exercising.

    As for the person who is thin with type 2, scientists have known since the 1930s that a high fat intake can cause insulin resistance, even if the person isn’t fat.

    1. Skye
      Skye February 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm | | Reply

      So…. the actual study was done in a mostly legit fashion (I just read the whole thing that Laurie posted), but it was a study on only 99 people, and all type 2s at that. So to extrapolate their findings/results to “everyone” isn’t fair or reasonable, given the tiny sample size of the study. Additionally, they screened out 90% of the applicants to the study, so even of people who are already type 2 and willing to be studied, 90% of them didn’t fit the necessary requirements of the ideal participant, which means if someone’s A1C, body weight, cholesterol or what-have-you isn’t within the ranges of those that were accepted into the study, it is again unfair to assume that this very small sample size’s results are applicable to everyone.
      Additionally, weight loss and improved health on many fronts was found in BOTH groups, not just those assigned to the vegan group.

      Most important to realize though, is that this study was not about a “low fat high carb” diet, it was instead looking at the effects of a “low fat VEGAN”diet, which is a hugely different beast . The focus in a high carb diet is to maximize the number of carbs eaten, regardless of their source (think carb-loading before a marathon). The focus of a vegan diet is to eliminate animal products. While a vegan diet may show an increased % of total calories coming from carbohydrates, thats a side-effect of eliminating animal proteins and when eaten in a balanced fashion (as I suspect these 49 people were as they received training and repeat follow-ups with nutritionists) , many vegans consume high amounts of fiber, which reduces to a large extent the effect of the carbs they’ve just eaten. High in total carbs, sure. High in net carbs, not as likely.

      It is appalling that someone could misread this study such, and then have the nerve to post their poor understanding with a promise of good health and solved problems.

  2. Allison
    Allison December 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm | | Reply

    NOOOOO! The Law of Small Numbers states that “Big inputs make big mistakes; small inputs make small mistakes.” As diabetics we need to keep our carbohydrate intake down, therefore decreasing our need for insulin and thus reducing our swings in blood glucose.

    I believe everyone, especially diabetics, could benefit from the Primal Blueprint or Paleo lifestyle. Basically this entails eating lots of vegetables, natural meats, and healthy fats, while avoiding sugar, processed foods, grains, and legumes.

    One of the articles posted above states that for this vegan diet, people were eating “vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes” and were asked to “favor low–glycemic index foods.” This is similar to primal/paleo other than grains and legumes, which are not vital for healthy bodies. Vegan diets usually include high levels of carbohydrates – I have noticed that grains really mess with my T1.

    So YES, people do need to move more and eat less (but more naturally) to be healthy. A good dose of sleep and exercise really helps with weight loss – I can personally testify to that.

    Please check out the link I posted (Mark’s Daily Apple) – there is so much good information there. Not an employee, just a 24-year-old, pumping T1 fan.

  3. susan f
    susan f December 3, 2011 at 11:00 pm | | Reply

    For the person looking to gain weight, a spoonful or two of peanut butter a day is a great option. If you don’t want to eat more, and you don’t want to eat carbs… Well peanut butter is the most calorically dense food out there, and it’s the perfect ratio of carbs/fat/protein. Give it a shot!

  4. susan f
    susan f December 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm | | Reply

    To the person with rapid weight gain – two things…
    1. Get your thyroid checked
    2. Yeah, it kind of sucks. When your blood sugar was out of control, you were literally peeing out the calories. Now your body – thanks to insulin – can process them. If your knees are in such terrible shape, consider other exercise options… for example, building muscle mass by weight lifting will eventually amp up your metabolism and help you shed pounds! Or something low impact, like cycling or swimming.

  5. Jo Ann, RN BSN
    Jo Ann, RN BSN December 4, 2011 at 1:30 am | | Reply

    I was able to test the kids DNA 20 yrs ago (I am a type I veteran). The University of Florida advertised the testing and I took them in for a blood test. All three were negative. None have become diabetics.

  6. Laurie Endicott Thomas
    Laurie Endicott Thomas December 4, 2011 at 4:50 am | | Reply

    Before the invention of insulin therapy, the only way to prolong the short, miserable lives of people with type 1 diabetes was to feed them an essentially zero-carb diet. That regimen allowed them to starve to death slowly over the course of about a year instead of going into ketoacidosis and dying within about a week. Within a few years after the introduction of insulin therapy, it became clear that a high-carb (low-fat) diet was actually beneficial for people with insulin-treated type 1 diabetes and people with type 2 diabetes because it improved their insulin sensitivity and reduced their risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. A high-carb diet for type 1 patients has been shown to reduce their insulin requirements. Nutritional epidemiology studies have shown that adding even small amounts of animal-source foods to the diet increases the risk of death from chronic disease. Paleolithic people ate meat because they liked it and it could keep them from starving during the winter, not because it is part of a health-optimizing diet for human beings. Eating meat actually promotes diabetes.

  7. Allison
    Allison December 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm | | Reply

    Laurie – how in the world could a high-carb diet lessen insulin needs for type 1 diabetics? Those people were dying because they didn’t have INSULIN, not carbohydrates!! I feel much better physically and mentally when I don’t have tons of sugar and insulin rushing through my system. Fact.

    Here’s how my insulin usage has been (all with the same amount of physical activity):

    standard “healthy” American diet: 65-75 units per day
    more restricted calories & less carbohydrates: 35-45 units
    low-carb eating (Primal/Paleo): 25-30 units

    Now tell me more carbs equals less insulin.

    Also, type 1 diabetes can occur whether or not you are eating meat – the cause hasn’t been found yet, so you absolutely cannot say eating it promotes diabetes.

    Please read Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution (here’s a link: and see if that changes your mind.

  8. Bruce
    Bruce December 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm | | Reply

    It is sad that there are so many people with D who have no idea how carbohydrates and insulin interact. I think the medical community is doing their best to keep us ignorant and dependent on their drugs. I recommend that you all take the time to read this blog and also watch the Fathead Movie and Science for Smart People on youtube.

    Disclaimer : I have no affiliation with Tom Naughton what so ever but as a type 1 D the insight I have gained from his articles has made a huge difference to my Diabetes management.


  9. Laurie Endicott Thomas
    Laurie Endicott Thomas December 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm | | Reply

    Allison, fatty diets cause insulin resistance, which means that a person with type 1 diabetes would have to inject a higher dose of insulin to get the same effect on blood glucose levels. That basic fact has been known since the 1930s. Although an isolated starchy MEAL might necessitate a high dose of insulin, a low-fat starchy DIET tends to improve sensitivity to insulin, thus curing type 2 and leading people with type 1 to inject smaller doses of insulin. Eating meat has been shown to promote type 2 diabetes. The food that has been implicated as the main cause of type 1 diabetes is cow’s milk. The link between cow’s milk and type 1 is so strong that the American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledged it, despite pressure from the dairy industry.
    I’m glad you put scare quotes around “healthy” in standard “healthy” American diet. It’s anything but. Please note that you can’t make conclusions about a low-fat, vegan diet from data on a comparison between the standard American diet and the “Paleo” diet. You didn’t provide any data on insulin requirements from when you were eating a high-fiber diet that was ~10% fat and ~75% carbs. Of course you would need less insulin on a low-carb diet than on a moderate-carb, still-high-fat diet. Your insulin sensitivity would still be relatively poor but the dose of sugar entering the bloodstream would also be low.
    In general, I don’t read books that were written for a lay audience. I prefer to read the scientific studies, many of which are available for free over the Internet. I worked in medical publishing for many years and am appalled by the poor scientific quality of most of the health books published for the general public.

  10. MariaCDE
    MariaCDE December 5, 2011 at 10:03 am | | Reply

    It can be overhwelming when you feel like you have a large hurdle to conquer such as weight loss. The best thing to do is to change your mindset from diet as a way to loose weight to diet is a way of life. What I mean by this is often how we eat is dictated by circumstances and our environment. If your mood, environment, etc dictate your eating habits, then you want to figure out what that is. Simply said in an ideal world, hunger alone should dictate when we eat. I realize this is a long answer and there is so much more that can be said about this topic. The good news is studies such as the Diabetes Prevention Program show that weight loss as little as 7 to 10% of your current weight reduces diabetes complications significantly. People in the study lost the weight through lifestyle interventions. When they were compared to folks in the meformin group, those in the lifestyle group (moderate carbs, low-fat and 30 minutes per day of physical activity) lost more weight and kept it off. So there is no magical supplement to weight loss, just a willingness to be patient as you change to healthier habits one small victory at a time.

  11. Allison
    Allison December 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm | | Reply

    Laurie – I understand the value of peer-reviewed, evidence-based material. I am very familiar with it due to pursuing my doctorate of audiology. However I haven’t read it for diabetes.

    I really liked Dr. Bernstein’s book, and even though it may not be “scientific” enough for you, it has lots of scientific data as well as his and his patient’s personal experiences. He has been T1 since age 12 (in 1946) and followed his doctor’s orders for years as his bodily functions shut down. He switched from engineering to earn his MD and really worked at learning as much about diabetes as he could. He turned his complications around and has a lower A1c than many normal adults, now at at age 77 (average 83 mg/dl).

    I guess at this point we should agree to disagree. I will see what I can dig up in regard to type 1 diabetes and these issues.

  12. susan f
    susan f December 5, 2011 at 9:22 pm | | Reply

    I’m sorry Laurie, a high carb diet simply does not work for type I diabetes. I would love to see the references that purport this to be a viable diet option for type I diabetes?

  13. Laurie Endicott Thomas
    Laurie Endicott Thomas December 6, 2011 at 8:08 am | | Reply

    I intend to accomplish several goals in my diabetes activism. The first is to let people with type 2 know how easily they can cure (yes, cure!) their condition by shifting to a low-fat, high-fiber, plant-based diet. The second is to raise awareness of the role of cow’s milk in causing type 1 diabetes (a relationship acknowledged by the American Academy of Pediatrics in the 1990s) and of the role of dietary fat and cholesterol in contributing to the complications of type 1 diabetes (a relationship documented by Joslin as far back as 1927). The third is to persuade PWDs to pressure NCCAM to fund some proper clinical trials of benfotiamine (an off-patent, lipid-soluble thiamin analogue) for the prevention of blindness, kidney failure, and amputation in type 1 diabetics.

  14. Laurie Endicott Thomas
    Laurie Endicott Thomas December 6, 2011 at 8:43 am | | Reply

    Here’s one study of high-carb diets for T1: Anderson, J.W. 1986. Dietary fiber in nutrition management of diabetes. In: G. Vahouny, V. and D. Kritchevsky (eds.), Dietary fiber: basic and clinical aspects. New York: Plenum Press. I haven’t read that study itself, but supposedly the T1′s total insulin requirements decreased by 40% and their cholesterol decreased by 30% after 3 weeks on a high-fiber, high-carb, nearly vegetarian diet. This is consistent with Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s observations of patients with T1 who go on a diet of unrefined plant foods.

  15. susan f
    susan f December 6, 2011 at 8:26 pm | | Reply

    “a high-carb (low-fat) diet was actually beneficial for people with insulin-treated type 1 diabetes and people with type 2 diabetes because it improved their insulin sensitivity and reduced their risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. A high-carb diet for type 1 patients has been shown to reduce their insulin requirements.”

    No where in your original post did you say high-fiber. Of course eating high fiber over low fiber will have blood sugar benefits: we are taught to subtract fiber when carb counting. High fiber is a far cry from high carbohydrate. Fiber is like a net-zero carb; thus also eating low carb would have the same if not better benefits.

  16. Allison
    Allison December 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm | | Reply

    Susan – do many T1s actually subtract fiber from their carb count? In my 14 years of carb counting and pumping I’ve never, ever done this and haven’t had problems due to it. I eat tons of vegetables and if I calculate 8 total grams of carbohydrate in my cucumber plus 9 from a clementine, I take insulin to cover all 17 grams. Just curious because everyone’s different. Thanks. (And thanks for supporting the low-carb side!)

  17. Laurie Endicott Thomas
    Laurie Endicott Thomas December 7, 2011 at 8:16 am | | Reply

    Susan f, the experiments that were done on the relationship between macronutrient balance and insulin sensitivity (as measured by an oral glucose tolerance test) in the 1930s used test diets that were based on purified starch and fat and so on. Insulin sensitivity improved as fat intake decreased. It had nothing to do with the amount of fiber in the diet, which didn’t change. Although those studies were done on healthy, nondiabetic volunteers, other researchers have observed similar results in T1 diabetics who switched to a high-carb diet that also included fiber.
    Here’s what Dr. McDougall says: “By changing to a low fat, no-cholesterol, starch-based diet, type-1 diabetics have a real chance of avoiding premature death and serious complications. The only people I have met with long-standing type-1 diabetes who still have all their parts working after 40 years of disease, have been those following a low-fat nearly vegetarian diet—the best example I know is of the few fortunate people who learned and practiced the Kempner Rice Diet from Duke University—oftentimes they remained in great shape for as long as 50 years following their diagnosis because of their very low-fat diet of primarily rice, fruits and vegetables.”

  18. susan f
    susan f December 8, 2011 at 10:11 pm | | Reply

    Whipping out Dr. Mcdougall, vegan diet advocate, but refusing to read Dr. Bernstein is pretty funny. Quoting him is not quoting a peer-reviewed study.

    We are just going to have to agree to disagree.

    The lower carb I eat, the better my a1c’s, blood sugars, energy, and stability of my glucose levels. Eating low carb allows me to do things like boot camp without crashing lows, and pretty much stay between 100-170. I average < 30 units a day, have perfect BMI, and am happy.

  19. Allison
    Allison December 9, 2011 at 8:07 am | | Reply

    Susan, let’s be friends! I’m glad to know low-carb works for so many people.

    Laurie, I knew not to take you seriously after I saw your website. You’re probably an “ADA minion” (see…

  20. Laurie Endicott Thomas
    Laurie Endicott Thomas December 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm | | Reply

    Actually, Allison, I’m nobody’s “minion.” In fact, I’m a harsh critic of the ADA in particular.

  21. susan f
    susan f December 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm | | Reply

    Laurie, are you a diabetic? Honest question, just curious!

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