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When seeking to improve health or weight, should we do this in small steps or radical changes? Should we, for example, go on a strict LCHF diet or start out by just making a minor dietary change?
My tip is to start small with one big change.
For example, I advise patients who want to lose weight or improve their diabetes to start out by going on a strict LCHF diet. This in order to get an immediate strong positive effect on weight, blood sugar, digestive issues, sugar cravings etc. This positive effect will then strengthen the will to continue, and to make the change a habit.
However, I do NOT recommend making several changes at the same time. For example, you can start exercising later on, when the new diet has become a habit that is self-propelled.
Attempting to change your diet and exercise habits at the same time as you quit smoking and are being nicer to your in-laws is a recipe for failure. It’s unlikely that anyone has this amount of self-discipline. Therefore, it’s usually smarter to take one change at a time. Make it a habit, which takes at least three weeks. Then you can tackle the next issue.
What works best for you? Small steps or radical changes?
Do you have diabetes or are you at risk for diabetes? Do you worry about your blood sugar? Then this is for you!
The popular information page on diabetes from my Swedish site is now translated to English. Check it out:
You can also find this page using the menu at the top of the page.
What do you think?
Science journalist Ann Fernholm wrote an excellent opinion piece in one of Sweden’s major newspapers, Aftonbladet.
Any evaluation of LCHF for diabetes will no doubt show the same thing as SBU (The Swedish Council on Technology Assessment) concluded in their review in 2010: a better outcome for blood sugar and weight than with today’s dietary advice. It’s what previous studies have shown, it’s what all logic tells us and it’s what I see in my patients daily.
That diabetics are still given the advice to eat a lot of carbs is a disgrace for the healthcare system.
Here’s the full article by Ann Fernholm, translated to English:
Magnus Karlsson sent me a new update from his LCHF journey. Six weeks have gone by: Continue Reading →
What we’re currently doing is not working, so it’s high time to rethink it.
This is getting old. Study after study shows that a low-carbohydrate diet is best for diabetics. It’s as logical as can be, as you avoid eating the very things that raise blood sugar.
Yet many healthcare professionals keep hiding their heads in the sand. And now all the reactionaries have one more study of the highest standard (RCT) to ignore:
The study compared a moderately strict LCHF diet (50 g carbohydrates per day), not calorie restricted, with a low-fat and low-calorie diet for type 2 diabetics. According to the study, the LCHF diet produced clearly better results for blood sugar as well as weight and, in addition, led to a reduced need for medication. Their cholesterol numbers didn’t get worse either.
Some critics will say that the study is too small to pay attention to (34 participants). What they miss is that if you see statistically significant benefits even in such a small study, the difference in effect could be huge.
What do you think?
Kristine Bell believes that more research is needed before carbohydrate counting can be recommended as a clinical standard in diabetes care. At the same time it would be a challenge to find a control group with which to compare, as the method is so common.
- This is still the best known way to match insulin to meals, she says.
But as doctors we must emphasize that the foundation for the way we eat is still a healthy choice of foods, and that insulin should be matched to foods, rather than excluding carbohydrate-containing foods in order to take less insulin.
The above is from an interview with a researcher and physician in a Swedish Diabetes Magazine. I don’t know if she’s talking about diabetes type 1 only, in which case the above is just stupid. If it’s also about the most common form, type 2, it’s just crazy.
Equally Stupid Advice
Let’s play with the idea that we’re talking about some other disease than diabetes. Then the advice given would be as follows:
- If you have a peanut allergy, you should continue to eat “healthy” amount of peanuts and take a matching dose of allergy medicine.
- If you’re lactose intolerant, you shouldn’t avoid milk. Instead, you should take extra lactase tablets with your milk to minimize discomfort.
- If you suffer from liver failure due to alcohol consumption, you should continue drinking “healthy” amounts of wine. There’s always the option of a liver transplant, should you need one.
- If you have high blood pressure, you should not eat less sugar, starch or salt. You should eat a “healthy” amount, and take some more blood pressure medication!
- If you’re gluten intolerant, you should continue to eat “healthy” bread and match this with immunosuppressants.
All these ideas are of course silly nonsense, based on erroneous preconceived notions about what constitutes “healthful” foods.
A Smarter Alternative
Diabetics should think the same way as all others that suffer health problems from certain foods: avoid them.
Anyone who isn’t stuck in old ideas that healthy foods should contain a lot of flour/starch will have a new, revolutionary alternative:
Less blood sugar-raising food makes diabetics require less blood sugar lowering-medication. All diabetics may benefit from this. Continue Reading →
How does an LCHF diet work with type 1 diabetes? Here’s a one-year update:
Today I celebrate 1 year with LCHF, or I could say that I celebrate 1 year in good health! I can certainly endorse the LCHF diet as being good for type 1 diabetics.
Besides a more stable blood sugar and a more easily managed diabetes, I’ve gotten rid of pain in my legs, headaches, GI problems, and constant throat infections. Previously, I had recurring yeast infections, but during this past year I haven’t had a single one!
I only need one injection daily, instead of the previous 5-9. I eat delicious food, and I don’t miss anything. I have more energy and I’m happier than ever before! During the past year I’ve also gotten to know, and come in contact with, a lot of great people through Instagram and my blog!
I could go on about more positive things, but now I’m off to make dinner. A fatty, smoked rainbow trout to honor the day!
The whole story on the blog DiabetesType1LCHF (Google translated from Swedish)
A low-carb diet is great for managing type 1 diabetes (not just type 2). Here’s a typical story from an email I got today:
Thank you for your website. It is a fantastic source of information and inspiration.
My name is Troy Stapleton. I am a 42 yo radiologist from Australia. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2012. (hbA1c 11.9). I followed standard advice for two months during which time I would spike over 7.5 mmol every day and have a hypoglycaemic episode about once per week. My insulin dose was 30 units/day.
Then I went low carb and this has resulted in a dramatic improvement in my life. My most recent HbA1c was 5.3. I rarely spike over 7.5 mmol, perhaps once per month and rarely have a hypo. My insulin dose is now 6 units at night.
I was interviewed regarding this on Australian radio in August. Please find a link below to my interview. The comments section underneath also makes for interesting reading with numerous other type 1 and 2 diabetics also describing similar success with a very low carbohydrate diet.
Dr Troy Stapleton MBBS FRANZCR
Congratulations Troy! Here’s the radio program with the interview:
Here’s an update from an earlier LCHF success story:
- 1More Blood Sugar, More Dementia!50
- 2If Certain Foods Make You Sick, Just Take More Medicine46
- 3School Refuses to Serve Food that Keeps Student Healthy40
- 4New Page: Diabetes – How to Normalize Your Blood Sugar40
- 5Proven: Almost Anything Is Better with Bacon34
- 1Could that Low-Fat Diet Make You Even Fatter?340
- 2Dr. Oz Positive to LCHF Against Alzheimer’s!192
- 3What Happens If You Eat 5,800 Calories Daily on an LCHF Diet?159
- 4It’s the Insulin, Stupid153
- 5Butter has an Undeserved Bad Reputation, According to New Analysis149
- One MonthOne Year
- 1LCHF for Beginners
- 3How to Lose Weight
- 4Science and Low Carb / Paleo
- 5Questions and answers about LCHF
- 6About Diet Doctor
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