Are you diabetic, or are at risk for diabetes? Do you worry about your blood sugar? Then you’ve come to the right place.

The disease diabetes (any type) means that you have too much sugar in your blood. This page will show you how to best check this.

You can normalize your blood sugar naturally as needed – without pills, calorie counting or hunger. Many people have already done so. As a bonus, a normalized blood sugar usually makes you healthier and leaner.

Table of Contents:

  1. A Disastrous Epidemic
  2. Is Your Blood Sugar Normal?
  3. Two Types of Diabetes
  4. Where Sugar in the Blood Comes From
  5. Normalize Your Blood Sugar
  6. Old Wisdom
  7. New Science
  8. A Tale of Two Meals
  9. Who Profits From Dangerously High Blood Sugar?
  10. Become Your Own Evidence
  11. More Education



A Disastrous Epidemic

What’s wrong? Why do more and more people become diabetic?

In the past, before our modern Western diet, diabetes was extremely rare. The disease is now becoming more and more common. Around the world, more and more people are becoming diabetic:

Statistics: WHO and IDF

Statistics: WHO and IDF

The number of people with diabetes is increasing incredibly rapidly and is heading towards 500 million. This is a world epidemic. Will someone in your family be affected next? Your mother, father, cousin, your child? Or you? Is perhaps your blood already too sweet?

Those affected by the most common form of diabetes (type 2) normally never regain their health. Instead, we take for granted that they’ll become a little sicker for every year that goes by. With time they need more and more drugs. Yet, sooner or later complications emerge. Blindness. Dialysis due to faulty kidneys. Dementia. Amputations. Death.

Diabetes epidemic causes inconceivable suffering. Fortunately, there’s something that can be done. We just need to see through the mistake that has led to the explosion of disease – and correct it. This can normalize your blood sugar. Many have already succeeded in doing this.

If you already know that you are diabetic you can skip down to the section Where Sugar in Your Blood Comes From.

Otherwise, let’s see if you’re at risk.


Is Your Blood Sugar Normal?

Here’s a crash course in diabetes and high blood sugar.



Common symptoms of diabetes:

  • Excessive thirst and an abnormally high urine production. This is because periodically blood sugar is so high (above 15 mmol/l or 270 mg/dl) that it leaks out into the urine pulling fluid from the body, which increases thirst
  • Blurry vision is also common. All the sugar makes the lens in the eye swell and you will become more nearsighted
  • Fatigue
  • With diabetes type 1, you may inexplicably lose weight and your breath may smell of acetone (nail polish remover)

However, please note that with milder forms of diabetes you often don’t notice anything. Still, all that sugar in the blood may gradually damage your body.



Are you diabetic? If you don’t know already, this is simple to test in a few seconds. Either in your doctor’s office or with your own cheap blood glucose meter. Prick your finger and a drop of blood is all that’s needed:

  • A normal blood sugar level is up to 6 mmol/l (108 mg/dl) fasting, or up to 8.7 mmol/l (156 mg/dl) after a meal
  • A marginally elevated blood sugar level may indicate prediabetes
  • Above 7.0 mmol/l (126 mg/dl) fasting, or 12.2 (220) after a meal, indicates that you are diabetic

You may also test your urine with urine test strips: Glucose in the urine usually indicates that you are diabetic.

Test, and you will know.


Two Types of Diabetes


What causes diabetes? There are two common forms:

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form (around 90% of all cases) and the one which is increasing the most. It primarily affects overweight people in middle age or later. It’s not uncommon for the affected person to also have a high blood pressure and an abnormal lipid profile. Gestational diabetes is a temporary special case of type 2 diabetes.

In type 2 diabetes the body has an increasingly harder time to handle all the sugar in the blood. Large amounts of the blood sugar-lowering hormone insulin are produced, but it’s still not enough, as insulin sensitivity decreases. At the time of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, diabetics usually have ten times more insulin in their bodies than normal.1 As a side effect, this insulin stores fat and causes weight gain, something that has often been in progress for many years before the disease was diagnosed.

Why do more and more people get type 2 diabetes today? You’ll know why when you are done reading this page. A clue: the disease was once in many languages called sugar disease.

More on type 2 diabetes

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes (juvenile-onset diabetes) primarily affects children and young adults. People who get type 1 diabetes are often of normal weight. In the months prior to being diagnosed they have usually lost weight inexplicably.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by death of most of the body’s insulin-producing cells (from an unknown cause). Severe deficiency in insulin causes high blood sugar and rapid weight loss.

Treatment primarily consists of administering the insulin you don’t make with insulin injections. In addition, a diet that doesn’t raise blood sugar dramatically facilitates getting a stable and normal blood sugar.

More on Type 1 diabetes

Where Sugar in Your Blood Comes From

The problem for diabetics is that the body has difficulty keeping blood sugar levels down. The blood turns too sweet. So where does sugar in the blood come from?

Sugar in the blood comes from the food that we eat. The foods that turn into different types of sugar as soon as they reach the stomach are called carbohydrates. This means sugar (as in soda, fruit juice, candy) and starch (as in bread, pasta, rice and potatoes).



Starch, in for example bread, is broken down to glucose in the stomach. When glucose enters the blood stream it’s called blood sugar.

The more carbohydrates we eat in a meal, the more sugar is absorbed into the blood stream. The more sugar that’s absorbed into the blood stream, the higher the blood sugar will be.

Reversed Dietary Guidelines

Dietary advice has in recent decades looked similar in all of the Western world. While more and more people have become diabetic, and while the affected have become sicker and sicker, they’ve been advised to eat the very foods that raise blood sugar.

Here’s a good example, the Swedish Plate Model for diabetics:


Which sections of the plate raise blood sugar? Well, those that contain carbohydrates (sugar and starch).

Bread and potatoes consist of starch, milk contains milk sugar and fruit contains plain sugar:


Thus, the food pictured above dramatically raises blood sugar. People with diabetes, who try to eat this way won’t normally become any healthier or thinner. On the contrary, they will usually need more and more medications and will become more and more obese as the years go by.

The advice above is therefore not only illogical, but also works poorly. It completely lacks scientific support according to a Swedish expert investigation. On the contrary, in recent years similar carbohydrate-rich dietary advice has been shown to increase the risk of getting diabetes and worsen blood sugar levels long-term in people who are already diabetic. The advice doesn’t improve diabetics’ health in any other way either.

The only reason to continue to give this bad advice is the lingering fear of natural fat. If you’re going to avoid fat you need to eat more carbohydrates in order to get satiated. But in recent years the old theory about fat being dangerous has been proven incorrect and is today on its way out. Low-fat products are simply unnecessary. So this reason doesn’t hold up either.

Is there an alternative that will produce a better health and weight? Foods that don’t raise blood sugar?

Normalize Your Blood Sugar

What happens if you remove the blood sugar-raising foods? What’s left then?

For example this:

More and more diabetics in Sweden are choosing to eat foods that don’t raise blood sugar. Foods with fewer carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat, LCHF foods.

They usually notice that starting with the first meal, their blood sugar improves. The need for medications, especially insulin, is dramatically reduced. Substantial weight loss usually follows. Finally, they usually feel a lot better, more alert and improve many health markers.

More and more doctors (I’m far from the only one) advise similarly with great results. More and more people question the old blood sugar-raising carbohydrate-rich advice, even in the media.

Since the Fall of 2011, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare has recommended a low-carbohydrate diet with diabetes. There’s a big change in the air today and you do not have to wait.

Spectacular stories of health improvements:

Is it your turn now? By all means try: LCHF for Beginners

Old Wisdom

Do you think that the low-carbohydrate diet for diabetics is a new invention? It’s not. There’s long-time experience of the positive effects.

In the past, before we were afraid of fat and before there were modern drugs to lower blood sugar, the dietary advice was different from today’s. At that time diet was all that was available to help diabetics.

Here are pictures from a cookbook for diabetics from 1917. You can read the entire book for free online. Below is an image of pages 12-13, where there’s a summary on what diabetics should and should not eat.

Let’s start with what diabetics were not to eat a hundred years ago.

Strictly Forbidden Foods


The title of the page is “Foods Strictly Forbidden”. It starts with sugar and “Farinaceous Foods and Starches”, in other words flours and starches.  Examples follow:

  • Bread
  • Cookies
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Sweet drinks
  • etc.

These absolutely forbidden foods are now a part of the recommended diabetes-diet according to the Swedish Plate Model. These foods now take up the largest part of the diabetes-plate. This, while we get more and more diabetics, who need more and more drugs and get sicker and sicker. Hardly a coincidence.

Especially Valuable Foods


Here’s the list of recommended nutrient-dense diabetes foods: Butter, olive oil, cheese, meat, fish, eggs…

This sounds familiar. If we just add generous amounts of vegetables this will be LCHF food. This is the advice I gave my diabetic patients in my work as a family physician.

This is the advice that diabetics received a hundred years ago. Even in Sweden, with the high fat-Petrén diet that included fatty pork cuts, butter and green cabbage. And when diabetics start eating this way today the same thing happens as it did in the past. Their blood sugar levels improve dramatically from day one. This makes sense, as they avoid eating what raises blood sugar.

Most overweight people will then gradually lose a substantial amount of weight and will be able to do well with less medication.

So why don’t more people get the chance?

New Science

Today’s carbohydrate-rich dietary advice to diabetics is based on the old fear of naturally fatty foods. There are no quality studies showing that a carbohydrate-rich diet is beneficial.

Hence, when Swedish experts recently examined this they didn’t find any scientific evidence for today’s advice on a low-fat and whole grain-rich diet.

When it comes to stricter low-carbohydrate diets as LCHF there are so far only limited scientific studies. But the studies that have been done, show that LCHF-like advice is better for blood sugar and weight than today’s low-fat advice.

Since then the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare has published the guidelines for healthcare professionals. They have become receptive to several options regarding diets for diabetics and now highly recommend a low-carbohydrate diet as a first choice.

In addition, as early as in 2008, the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare examined and approved advice on LCHF within the health care system. Advice on LCHF is, according to the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare’s review, in accordance with science and proven knowledge. In other words, certified healthcare professionals, who give such advice (for example myself) can feel completely confident.

Even the American Diabetic Association (ADA) is, since 2008, approving advice on a low-carbohydrate diet for diabetics.

Studies on low-carbohydrate diets and diabetes

  1. Low-carbohydrate diet in type 2 diabetes: stable improvement of bodyweight and glycemic control during 44 months follow-up
  2. Short-term effects of severe dietary carbohydrate-restriction advice in Type 2 diabetes–a randomized controlled trial
  3. Long-term effects of a diet loosely restricting carbohydrates on HbA1c levels, BMI and tapering of sulfonylureas in type 2 diabetes: a 2-year follow-up study 
  4. The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
  5. Comparative Study of the Effects of a 1-Year Dietary Intervention of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet Versus a Low-Fat Diet on Weight and Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes
  6. Effects of a Mediterranean-Style Diet on the Need for Antihyperglycemic Drug Therapy in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes
  7. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care 2017: Systematic review and meta-analysis of dietary carbohydrate restriction in patients with type 2 diabetes



A Tale of Two Meals

How much is your blood sugar affected by the food you eat? A lot. Here’s an example of how significant the difference can be:


In the picture to the left a real LCHF meal that I had a couple of years ago, and measured my blood sugar. Steak fried in butter, vegetables fried in butter and a homemade béarnaise sauce (melted butter and egg yolk). Lots of fat, an ample amount of protein, but almost no carbohydrates.

In the picture to the right you can see the lunch that I was unbelievably served at the 11th International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm 2010. This is a major international conference for obesity doctors and scientists. The food contains almost exclusively energy from sugar and starches, things that are broken down to simple sugars in the stomach.

Let’s see what impacts the two meals had on my blood sugar:


A blood glucose level between 4-6 mmol/l (≈70-100 mg/dl) is typical while fasting. It can then rise after a meal, depending on how much carbohydrate you eat.

As you can see, nothing happened to my blood sugar when I ate the LCHF meal. Not really surprising. If you don’t eat many carbohydrates, not a lot of glucose will reach the blood stream, and consequently the blood-glucose level will stay where it was.

As a contrast, the lunch at the obesity conference sent my blood-glucose level through the roof, all the way up to 9.9 mmol/l (180 mg/dl), in just an hour. Full report here: Sugar shock! (Google translated from Swedish)

Want to do a similar test yourself? Order a simple blood glucose meter and test strips here.


Who Profits From a Dangerously High Blood Sugar?


Within the healthcare system diabetics are still often given advice on blood sugar-raising foods. It is not uncommon to receive nice, colored folders, like the Swedish one above. In this folder it’s stated that foods that raise blood sugar slowly are good for you. Examples of such foods are said to be fruit, rice, pasta, potatoes and bread!

Why is it good for diabetics to eat food that raises blood sugar? Who benefits from this? Who’s giving away all these free folders?

Typically, as in this case, it’s a pharmaceutical company that has printed the folder. They sell drugs that lower blood-glucose levels. And then they give away folders with dietary advice that raises blood sugar and makes diabetics need more drugs.

Pharmaceutical companies are making more money on providing dietary advice that makes diabetics sicker. This is not a conspiracy theory. It’s just simple market economics.

The advice on carbohydrate-rich foods, for example, may make a type 2 diabetic require initiation of treatment with insulin injections. One single year’s insulin-consumption may easily cost $2000 or more. Multiply this number by the 422 million diagnosed diabetics worldwide and you will see the enormous economical interests in this.


Become Your Own Evidence

More and more people no longer trust propaganda from the pharmaceutical industry or poorly updated experts. They’re taking command of their own health. There’s a big change underway that can lead to a healthier future for very many people.

Are you confused and don’t know what to think? That’s OK. There’s a simple way to find out what effect a low-carbohydrate diet will have on you.

Try it. Try it yourself for a few weeks and monitor the effect. Here are some examples of what you can expect:

Take command of your own health and test for yourself:

LCHF for Beginners


More Education

Do you want to learn more about how you can improve your own and your family’s health? Start by keeping up to date.


Through the Diet Doctor’s newsletter you will receive updates and alerts for bigger events. Sign up above.


Are you on Facebook? Like Diet Doctor and you’ll get quick updates on popular new posts. You can also easily spread news that your friends may benefit from. Many people have already found their way to Diet Doctor on Facebook.

Start the Journey

Please follow the links in the text above for more education in the areas that interest you. Or read the summarizing main page Towards A Healthier Future.

Below, please find a more extensive course.

The Food Revolution Presentation

This is a 45-minute video of my presentation from the AHS conference in Los Angeles, #AHS11. Free!

More on Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Do you want to learn more about good treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including which medications to use if needed? Please see further reading:

How to Cure Type 2 Diabetes

Is it possible to cure type 2 diabetes? Doctor Jay Wortman, M.D., knows more about this than most people. He developed type 2 diabetes himself fourteen years ago, but after a simple dietary change, he’s still completely symptom free, with no medication.

Jay Wortman also did a spectacular study on native Canadians. When they went back to eating traditional foods their Western diseases went away.

Above is a 25-minute interview I did with Dr. Wortman.


Dr. Wortman’s website and blog

My Big Fat Dietary Documentary on YouTube



More from the Diet Doctor

Selected blog posts on diabetes from the last few years:

Do You Want To Take Action?

Do you want more people to find their way here? Do you have a blog? Links to this website makes it more valued by search engines. Please include the word “diabetes” in the text that is being linked. Best would be links directly to

The goal is of course a top ranking in the search for the word “diabetes”. This would lead to many new diabetics finding this page. 

Suggestions for improving this page are most welcome!

If you want, get involved in your local diabetes association and make a difference.

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  1. Sue J.
    I have the same problem as James. My morning blood check is still high even though I've been strictly following this diet since August and have lost some weight. I'm thinking it may be because of my liver. The liver makes glucose while you sleep because it receives signals that the blood glucose is going too low. I know that my liver enzymes are not normal because of my last screening which indicated I was diabetic as well. Not sure what I can do about this. My morning BG check has been running between 140 and 145.
  2. Kristine
    I came here looking for answers because I am a little frustrated trying to get my BG to come down. I see others here with similar issues. I've been eating LCHF for a little over a month. My number has come down quite a bit and one day was 117! But the next day it jumped back up into the 150s. It slowly comes down, and then goes back up even when I have eaten really well the previous day. I have read that the liver stores and releases glucose, which explains the morning phenomenon. Can I expect to use it up at some point? Or does it continue? Also, are there recommendations on how much fat to consume? How much is too much? How many carbs per day should I shoot for?
  3. 1 comment removed
  4. Jane
    I've been doing low carb (less than 20 grams a day) since November 20th, just hit the 12 weeks mark..Though I lost a great 14 pounds, I can't seem to be any near of getting rid of my type 2 diabetes which I thought would take about 12 weeks. I quit my insulin when I started to avoid hypo, and reduced my Janumet dose in half. I did see a lot of improvement, seen fasting glucose level around 5 at one point, but since approximatetly 2 weeks, my sugar levels started to rise and I am now stuck around 12-14 most of the time. :( Any suggestions? I do IF, as I do not eat between 6PM and noon most of the days, and tried a few longer fasts as well (3 days, 5 days). But now I am getting discouraged.
  5. 2 comments removed
  6. Robert
    Hi I'd just like to share my Dad's experience with you. He is a type 1 diabetic and after trying the LCHF diet he has reduced the amount of insulin he needs to inject to maintain good blood sugar levels by half. He has also significantly improved his blood sugar variance and the instances of low/high blood sugar.
    In short this diet has helped him to improve his management of his condition using less drugs. All in a significant lifestyle improvement.
  7. Aam
    For me diabetes reversal is, if you drink one litre of coke and have a family size chocolate then your blood sugar will be under 140, or pass OGTT, LCHF is only good management not a diabetes reversal.
  8. Cathy
    Anne, look up LeAnne Vogel at Healthful Pursuit. She has over 700 vegetarian recipes on her site. Her site and this one are my go-tos for LCHF!
  9. Shane
    Been reading this column with great interest. Compared to many of you, I am a relative newbie to the LCHF World, but it has already changed my life. I took part in a trial of an eating plan starting 1st Sept 2016. It had all the usual elements (20g net carbs/day, 0.8g/kg body weight Protein/ day for the first 4 weeks, then 1.2g/day/kg, and aiming for 75% of my plate from fat at each meal). I wasn't and still am not Diabetic - fortunately! - and by 24th Dec (Xmas Eve) I had lost 56lbs (25.45kgs). At time of writing, I have now lost just on 70lbs (32kgs). My BG was always good (4.5-4.6) but has come down to around 4, give or take.
    This has now lead me to becoming a weight loss consultant to pass on what I have learned to others.
    I can't compete on the technical knowledge of some who have posted here, particularly the medical professionals, but I see quite a number of them getting far too bogged down in fighting their own corner, rather than opening their minds to 'An inescapable truth' (I feel a book deal coming on....!):- we spent five million years since Ardipithecus evolving to eat a diet with minimal Carbohydrate content. Some forensic archaeological studies I've seen have put the figure at 10-12g Carb/day for our cavemen ancestors. That 5 million years equates to about 500 evolutionary steps. We only discovered recognisable farming since the last Ice Age, so that's within 1-2 evolutionary steps, is it not? And in that period we have consumed greater and greater amounts of something we didn't evolve to process - Carbohydrate. Our gut is differently proportioned to our Primate cousins due to the divergence of our diets over that five Millennia, and reflects the fact that we are designed to cope with a largely Protein and Fat-rich diet.
    Yet, certainly in the last 47 years since good ole HFCS hit the supermarket shelves, we've completely ignored the fact that we didn't evolve to eat the level of Carbs we are being told is 'healthy' for us!
    Medical professionals are educated - highly educated! - people. If I can 'get' the simple fact that what I had been brainwashed to believe about the food I had been eating for most of my life (I'm now in my mid-50's) contributed directly to my weight gain (I was 260lbs when I began this journey last year), I find it worrying, to put it mildly, that far too many of the 'professionals' seem oblivious to it?
    Just an observation.....
  10. 1 comment removed
  11. Carol
    Can anyone tell me whether it is normal for blood glucose to go up due to severe pain? I was fasting when I had a kidney stone. After 3 hours in severe pain my glucose rose to 142. Now my doctor says I am diabetic. I don't believe it. She insists that the pain I was having does not explain the fasting glucose level she sees in the lab report; she says pain does not cause glucose to rise. Any similar experiences here?
  12. Kirsten
    I have a question. I am a type 1 diabetic and have been low carbing for about 3 years now. It has changed my life! I read a lot of articles and find recipes that use xylitol or other sugar alcohols for cooking and they say the carbs don't count in those. However, as a type 1 diabetic, my blood sugar will often sky rocket if I use xylitol. What is the truth on how our bodies, especially with insulin needs, react to xylitol and sugar alcohols? Thanks for the help!
  13. Bernie
    Check out: Proffessor Roy Taylor Newcastle University England UK
  14. 2 comments removed
  15. David Sander
    One of the potentially confusing aspects of a very low carbohydrate diet is that the body changes over from burning carbohydrates to conserving them at some point when the dietary carbohydrate gets sufficiently low or demand gets too high. After a certain point, reducing carbs puts the body into strong conservation measures, raising cortisol levels and similar to starvation and blood sugar will actually rise. For endurance exercisers carb consumption needs go up and its actually known from research that athletes do better by replacing carbs right after exercise because the modest carbohydrates enable them to burn more fat.
    For exercisers, this is most obvious when the body responds to exercise by boosting cortisol levels to ensure recovery. In theory the body moves over to a low cortisol level afterward to rebuild the body. What happens in a carbohydrate shortage is that the body stays in elevated cortisol to bring the blood sugar level back up. This cortisol level can then become chronically elevated, leading to unexpected weight gain. So the solution is to reduce carbohydrate stress on the body by eating an appropriate amount of carbohydrates after exercise. The insulin release counters and decreases high cortisol levels so the body can boost hormone levels and go into recovery.
    If you find yourself tempted by or eating junk food during dieting or after exercise, or not losing belly fat, this can be a clue that your cortisol levels are high.
  16. Teesh
    I counsel people with diabetes on a regular basis and those who don't eat enough carbs get higher blood sugars should not be low carb it should be adequate and consistent carbs. And we seem to forget that carbs have other benefits eg fiber, vitamins minerals...seems if they weren't intended to be eaten why would God make them energy and nutrient rich. Why must we always go from one extreme to another...people must find the right amount of carbs to support their energy needs and balance them well with other non-carb foods for optimum control. Let's not forget that the long term compliance for restrictive diets is not even if they did lower blood sugar people only follow them for short term. Also this is not good for long term weight loss as starvation unless your in a long term state promotes more storage of fat as a previous comment stated.
  17. J. Lance De Foa, MD
    According to this information from the WHO there were not only 38 Million but 108 Million patients with diabetes mellitus in 1980. Now it isn't quite clear how they derived that number. One can find statements that the majority with hyperglycemia in Africa remain undiagnosed, so they may have been "estimated". The WHO says in 2014 there were 422 million with diabetes mellitus, representing a quadrupling of cases. They don't count type 1 & 2 separately, but there is currently a 1:9 ratio of type 1 to type 2, which are very distinct diseases. Type 1 is Aninsulinemia, or lack of insulin, while Type 2 is Hyperinsulinemia, or more insulin than normal, with Insulin Resistance where insulin normally works and Insulin-Toxicosis in tissues that normally insulin would not affect. The loss of beta-cells and fall of insulin production in Type 2 is very late stage effect. Gestational hyperglycemia results from pregnancy hormones blocking maternal insulin receptors, yet a third mechanism.
  18. Louisa
    I am a type 2 diabetic and I'm 25 weeks pregnant today. Can this be gestational diabetes? I never had diabetes before I got pregnant. Is it safe for me to indulge in a low carb diet at this point in my pregnancy?
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