LCHF for type 1 diabetes?

Woman Checking Blood Sugar Level At Home

Lots of people realize that low-carb works wonders for type 2 diabetes. But what about type 1 diabetes?

This is a completely different kind of disease, and yet many people find that the same LCHF diet works really well for type 1 diabetes too, dramatically lowering insulin requirements and allowing a much more stable and easily controlled blood sugar. And it actually makes perfect sense.

We interviewed two people with type 1 diabetes on the recent cruise who have revolutionized their health eating LCHF. These interviews will be posted as soon as they are edited. We’re also going to write much more on the topic later.

If you’re interested in reading more right away check out this new blog post by Dr. Jason Fung: LCHF for Type 1 Diabetes. Or read my earlier posts on it.



  1. Louise A
    Yes it does!!!!!
    I'm a type 1 diabetic and on LCHF and first time since diagnosis my blood sugars is fantastic, no more rolercoaster! Less tired and no more feeling low in mood ( felt like that after both having highs and lows) feel like iv'e been released from the diabetic prison I've been in for the past 10 years, I feel in control of my life!!!!!
    Reply: #28
  2. Shiplo
    Yes it works, I've been t1 since 1993 and for the first time I've felt in control of my blood sugars.
  3. RD Dikeman
    I admin a FB group of roughly 1000 type one diabetics ages 1 to 81. They are folllowing Dr. Bernstein's low carb diet. The average A1c of these people is about 5.5% with many attaining truly normal blood sugars - A1c's in the 4s. The group has a community page here: . If you want to avoid hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, feeling awful all the time, remove the threat of complications and more, the Bernstein method is the way to go. You limit carbs to healthy fibrous veggies - no starch. You eat plenty of protein foods - kids virtually unlimited protein, obese t2's would want to limit their protein intake. You then learn how to bolus insulin for protein foods, and thats about it. You become Captain of Your Own Ship.
    Reply: #8
  4. Marty Kendall
    A low insulin load diet is definitely the ideal approach for diabetes. With less insulin you can get off the blood glucose roller coaster and you'll then need less insulin to achieve normal blood sugars. Reduced insulin toxicity and reduced insulin toxicity. Win. Win!
  5. Dr Troy Stapleton
    I was diagnosed in October 2012 with type 1 diabetes at age 41.

    I followed standard advice for 2 months, then switched to LCHF/Bernstein approach in December 2012. The results have been nothing short of remarkable, My glycaemic variability reduced dramatically and I have maintained an A1c in the low 5's with minimal hypo's ever since. My insulin dose was cut in half.

    I have easily maintained my weight at a BMI of 21. I experience no hunger and I have loads of energy. (I cycle on average 100km per week.)

    I was interviewed on Australian radio about this in 2013

  6. bill
    LCHF was the default diet for T1's for decades. My mother and her father before her were both T1 and were fine on this regime for many years. In the early '80's the 'advice' changed. LFHC was the new order. Diabetics were told they could eat pretty much anything and 'cover it' with insulin. Since that time diabetics have had a terrible time, ending up 'poly-farmed' and suffering badly. This has been a worldwide disaster of epic proportions. Let's hope that's madness will end sooner rather than later.
  7. Janey Hay
    Why I love the Internet !! Where else could a world wide community of LCHF type 1 diabetics evolve in complete defiance of their endocrinologists (who because of some ivory tower syndrome will be the last to realize ) . This way of successfully controlling your diabetes is logical simple and scientific and in ten years will be norm. For me the proof is in reality.My son joe aged 11 has had diabetes for a year and his blood sugar average is 5.0 (normal range ) and he has had very few hyper or hypo glycemic episodes. This is a total blessing compared to the first few months on recommended high carb regime when he would go from 13 to 3 multiple times a day. Dr Bernsteins book is a great place to start.
  8. Joanne McCormack
    That is great I will tell my patients about it and put a link on my website if that is ok?
    Over the last year I have been advocating LCHF for my patients in my General Practice but I was a bit nervous about T1D because of the need to lower insulin doses. Imagine my surprise when a T1D came in and said he had followed MY advice which he had got second hand from his wife and cut his carbs. He then went on to say he was on a third of his original insulin dose, had lost weight and he felt fantastic. He had been to diabetic clinic and they were really pleased with him and his HBA1C but they were alarmed when he said he had done it through LCHF. Since then I have advocated LCHF for T1Ds as long as they follow Dr Bernstein's advice.
    Next we need to get this knowledge through to the stragglers.
    Reply: #10
  9. Noah Terracall
    My son was diagnosed in 2013 with T1D at age 8. We followed the standard high sugar diet that is recommended for diabetics for 1 month, but it was living hell, and frankly made no sense. We switched to low carb ( I now consider it "normal carb") after the first month and haven't looked back. No roller coasters, hba1c in the 4's and energy to boot!
  10. Murray
    "He had been to diabetic clinic and they were really pleased with him and his HBA1C but they were alarmed when he said he had done it through LCHF."

    This I find fascinating. My first reaction was, how do these people sleep at night? My second reaction was, they must be stupid. LCHF makes perfect sense in terms of metabolic knowledge and they had empirical clinical results staring them on the face. But these are not stupid people. They are highly educated, intelligent, presumably concerned and caring. So my third reaction is, wow, the blinding effect of ideology is remarkably powerful. Ancel Keys, George McGovern, vegans, the sugar industry and especially pharmaceuticals have done such a remarkable job of inculcating an anti-fat ideology that concerned, intelligent, highly educated professionals cannot see the obvious due to confirmation bias and denial.

  11. Angie E
    Definitely works. As a type one diabetic for 22 years I had many beginning complications. Last summer I began restricting carbs following keto clarity by Jimmy moore. I saw immediate improvement in my sugars. By December I found Dr. Bernstein and further fine tuned my levels. I have reversed, or am in the process of reversing all the complications I had. My last A1c was 4.9. I have minimal lows and highs. I am really upset that no one from my medical team gave me.this option years and decades ago.
  12. Boundless
    re: LCHF for Type 1 Diabetes?

    It's depressing that such a question is even raised, much less as an implied novel development. A century ago, what we now call LCHF was THE treatment for diabetes of all kinds. This was before the development of exogenous insulin. Even more recently, Dr. Bernstein has been advocating a protocol that includes LCHF for some 17 years now.

    So what happened? Having a therapy that requires one to humbly petition a monopoly gate-keeper (getting a prescription from a licensed MD, preferably for a patented potion) is obviously better for business than just writing down the title of a recipe book.
    That's 1917, folks.

    And anyone who thinks that this sort of professional corruption is not still going on has not been paying attention to the festering statin scandal, or its looming replacement, PCSK9 inhibitors (desperately needed because statins are all going off-patent and prices are in free fall).

  13. Carole F
    We have been using a Dr. Bernstein's low carb diet for my daughter's T1 and my early T2 diabetes for 8-10 years now. We were able to eliminate her gastric reflux and anxiety problems that had crept up after 5 years of following the standard regimen to the letter. Her A1Cs immediately went from 7.2-7.5 ish to 5.8-6.0. I highly recommend if a T1 is using a LC diet that you read Dr. Bernstein's diabetes solution as there is much information that will help to make you more successful very quickly and safely on a LC diet. This is important information that will help T1s to live and thrive well.
  14. Andrea Jackson
    My son was diagnosed with type 1 at age 5 he is now age 6 and thriving on a LCHFHP diet. We are following Dr Bernstiens way of management and have been achieving normal blood glucose levels for our son for the last 8 months and will continue to do so.
  15. Dr. Carrie Diulus
    LFHC works great for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. I am Type 1 and use this diet to keep my own blood sugars in the "normal" range. I frequently use Dr. Bernstein's book with my patients in addition to several other sources. MCT oil can also be a great addition for Type 1s as it can minimize the cognitive decline associated with hypos. Brain happily continues functioning on ketones! The amount of protein is based on a patients weight and how much they need to gain, lose or maintain. LDL-p levels remain low on LCHF for most people and HDL increases. Resistant starch and non-digestible fiber with probiotics is also a consideration if there are microbiome issues without concern about increasing blood sugar, and can help regulate blood sugars as well through several different mechanisms in both Type 1s and Type 2s. LC diets can safely be an option in Type 1s.
  16. Dean Wheeler
    Forty years ago I was diagnosed as Type 1 at age 15. One year ago I was introduced to Dr. Richard Bernstein's book, Diabetes Solution. Following his advice to eat a LC diet and setting a target of 83 for my blood sugar my life has been transformed. I have lost over 60 pounds, been freed from diabetic frozen shoulder, pain in my hands, swinging blood sugars, and cloudy thinking. My last a1c was 5.1 (higher than I like) and I just finished hiking 500 miles across northern Spain over 35 days. This would all be impossible without normalizing my blood sugar by eating low carb.
  17. Jessica Fay Janney
    Yes! The diet absolutely works. My son was diagnosed 3 months ago and is now on ZERO insulin in result of it. Against the wishes of "the Best of the West" Hospital and after one month of having horrible high and lows we switched to a Low Carb diet. With the proactive support of groups like Type One Grit and their first hand accumulative knowledge of the effects of Low Carb - it is clear what the outcome is. Kids do not need carbs to grow, despite what all of my doctors and nurses told me. My son has had the biggest growth spurt ever, my husband lost 15 pounds without trying and I have more energy than ever. My sons pancreas would not have had a chance to regenerate had I not gone on this diet. Thanks for bringing this to light!
  18. Boundless
    Another observation on the insulting situation with LCHF and diabetes is found in the very image selected for this article - someone doing a home glucose test.

    The ability to do that is a direct result of the efforts of LC advocate Richard K. Bernstein. He was the world's first customer for an instrument that could be used for home testing. He wrote a paper describing how to use it, which was handed out by the manufacturer, because the medical publications refused to run it (just because Bernstein wasn't at that time yet an MD). Some history at:

    The ADA opposed home BG testing for 17 years, and then only relented for those actually using insulin (a minority of sufferers), still demanded that you have a prescription for the tester. If you are a diabetic, or merely want to avoid it, the ADA is still, to this day, your mortal enemy.

  19. josh
    This article is a breath of fresh air and just what i've been looking for. I was diagnosed over Christmas 2014 and my initial reaction was to challenge their approach of LFHC diet. I looked for more information to support the LCHF diet when diagnosed with type 1 but couldn't see much about it. My doctor and diabetes "specialist" had told me to take on more carbs just so i could have more insulin and it didn't feel right. I shall now go back to my LCHF diet and try and get more stable, and predictable readings. And maybe start living again. Thank you for posting this article as it'll help my life get back on track, and also for everyone that posted replies. It has helped in ways you may not understand. j.
  20. MJ
    Excellent concept, irrefutable results but what about the higher protein quantities in LCHF which fly in the face of levels advocated for those with advanced nephropathy. Any commentary would be much appreciated.
    Reply: #21
  21. Zepp
    Why higher proteins?

    Everybody need its protein (amino acids), and the moste common defiency is protein defiency!

    And LCHF is a fat diet, I.E. a ketogenic diet!

    You still need your proteins!

    I cant see what amino acids have to do whit nephropathy.. its more linked to diabetes.. I.E. high blood sugar!

  22. MJ
    Some who follow the LCHF way of life round out their caloric intake by eating a greater amount of protein. LCHF is a proven way of managing blood sugar and any increased protein intake is no problem for people with normal or even slightly diminished kidney function. However, diabetics with significantly impaired kidneys are generally advised to restrict protein intake as protein reportedly makes the kidneys work harder. In light of this, I wonder whether the LCHF diet would be safe for diabetics with advanced nephropathy - in other words, would the benefit of improved blood sugar control outway the risk of any impact on renal function.
    Reply: #23
  23. Zepp
    I still think you mix things togheter?

    Its not the kidney how do the major job excreting amino acid waste.. its the liver that convert it to excretable substances!

    "the urea cycle takes place primarily in the liver, and to a lesser extent in the kidney."

    And its rather high blood sugar that harm the kidney, not protein!

    "A low-carbohydrate diet may prevent end-stage renal failure in type 2 diabetes."

    "Renal function following long-term weight loss in individuals with abdominal obesity on a very-low-carbohydrate diet vs high-carbohydrate diet."

  24. MJ
    Just going by what three leading nephrologists say but thank you for the links...interesting reading!
  25. Zepp
    I still think you mix things up.. or those are no real leading experts?

    For what i read is when you have lost about 70% of your kidneys function one have to consider that urea can acumulate in blood!

    But then, one often need dialysis at that stage.. and that means that one need to eat more proteins (amino acids) becuse of the high losses by dialysis!

    Proteins (amino acids) still is essentiall.. I.E. one need to eat some amounts to be healty!

    And LCHF is not a meat diet.. its a fat diet.. a ketogenic diet!

    But everyone need its essentiall amino acids anyhow!

  26. Marty Kendall
    Here's a longer list of people who are thriving with type 1 diabetes and the 'secrets to their success'.
  27. vicky
    I am Vicky long time daibitic please advice me control suger
  28. Jafar K.
    Hi Louise,
    I am T1D. I can't clearly understand how I can switch to LCHF and control my blood sugar during the first days...
    Can you help me maybe?

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