“Low carb, high fat”, “keto”.You have possible heard of this diet before. A lot of people call this merely a “fad”. More people, like me, call this a new lifestyle. One that I believe will lengthen my life. With better control, comes less chance of complications and that is worth it all.
When I first heard of LCHF, I thought it would be impossible and, honestly, I laughed at the idea. The more I read about it from type one diabetics, the more interested I became. It took some time for me to finally give in and try it. Now, I wish I could go back and start sooner.
Everything about LCHF–low carb, high fat–seems wrong after all I have heard over the years since my diagnosis in 2003. The American Diabetes Association recommends 45 to 60 carbohydrates per *meal*, which is entirely too much for any person let alone someone with diabetes. Yes, we can inject more insulin and cover for it, but I have ridden that roller-coaster for far too long.
In October of last year, I started this diet. It took little time for me to see results and I was soon sold on the idea. When my endocrinologist appointment came up, I was excited to see where I was. My doctor wasn’t too thrilled with the idea because 30 grams a day was entirely too low for her liking. I didn’t dare let this stop me. Weight loss and better blood sugar control motivated me enough to continue.
My first A1C result floored me. I couldn’t believe it. 5.9! I hadn’t seen that number since shortly after my diagnosis, and that was achieved simply because of so many lows. This time, however, my blood sugars were steadier. My A1C before was 6.5, which is below what the ADA recommends, but I worked so hard to achieve that. With the low carb, it was so much easier.
High blood sugars happened a lot more before this diet. Now, if I see 120, I am concerned. I try to stay in the range recommended for a non-diabetic, which is 70-99. If I go above, I feel horrible. I could tolerate occasionally being in the 200s before while, now, it feels like I am in DKA–diabetic ketoacidosis. There is no better feeling than normalized blood glucose.
To be honest, I was nervous about getting a full lab report. I went ahead and requested one in June when I saw my doctor. I had faith all would be well. With already high cholesterol, I knew if it went up anymore it would be a battle to continue this diet. My A1C was still 5.9. My LDL dropped from 120 to 96, which was awesome because I kept hearing “statin” every time I saw her. My HDL went from in the 40s to 56. My triglycerides were cut in half! My thyroid function improved and so did my kidneys. I cut my insulin usage in half! After this, she told me to continue my diet because, obviously, it is working.
Overall, I have lost 31 pounds. I have gone from a size 16 to a 12. Most of all, I can now look myself in the mirror and not cry; the regaining of self-confidence has been amazing. I have tried low calorie and a few other diets, but I have never had such luck or felt so much better. I am so glad I ignored what most doctors have said and tried this. I will never go back. All the so-called delicious food in the world is not worth it.
Low carb hasn’t just helped me. My husband, parents, sister and brother-in-law have joined me. They, too, have seen improvements. It has been a blessing to change our eating habits together and it has encouraged me so much.
If you are a diabetic, I would suggest you consider trying LCHF. Do your own research about it. I know we are all different and this might not work for you. But, for me, it has been awesome stepping off the roller-coaster and being able to enjoy life more. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. For those of you who are eating low carb, please share with me in the comments; I’d love to hear your journey!