Anyone tried paleo?

Has the paleo diet helped regulate your blood sugars? Its been on my to-do list for a long time, but never got round to eliminating the grain bit…always the hardest! Seems to have amazing impact on alot of autoimmune in general, and anecdotally good feedback on blood sugar control…intrigued!

That link is spurious BS. A T1 cannot stop taking insulin when they start eating Paleo. Please don't start believing this crap - your daughter could be badly hurt by this kind of garbage.

I think this is a fundamental misunderstanding. What will balance her bloodsugar is to balance the foods she is eating (carb, protein, and fat) with the insulin she is taking and the exercise and hormones she is experiencing. T1 diabetes is a balancing act between foods and insulin - you can't fix it with a set of "magic" foods. 10g of carb from bread are metabolized pretty much the same as 10g of carb from blueberries (assuming the other protein, fat and fiber components are the same) - it will require the same amount of insulin.

The best you can hope to do - and this is huge - is find certain nutritious foods and meals that she likes to eat and that are predictable in their BG effects, and that can be well balanced with the insulin she is taking.

You probably already know that many recently diagnosed T1Ds retain some residual insulin production. I don’t know to what extent, if any, that the autoimmune process that impairs/disables insulin production is influenced by types of food. What I do know is that fewer carbs will tax the pancreas less and perhaps extend the honeymoon period for a longer time. It took me 29 years to find the lower carb/paleo way of eating. Your daughter will benefit from your willingness to try this method. Good luck!

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Michael Aviad (T1) has blogged alot about his Paleo diet on

Ok, can someone give me a quick explanation of Paleo diet? Is it just a lot of meat without any grains or does it also eliminate vegetables and fruit?

Thanks, Shawnmarie. Not my thing as I'm a vegetarian but it sounds healthy. Out of curiosity, why are dairy products excluded?

Gee and I thought the goal was to evolve, not to return to caveman times.

Like your answer Zoe! LOL

I think there is significant overlap between Paleo and low carb. Loren Cordain is really the godfather of Paleo, being the researcher and writer who seems to have spurred the movement. I look on Robb Wolf as an evangelist, it is basically a religion to him and he has his weird views. A more rational and respected advocate of paleo is Mark Sisson. Both Wolf and Sisson are fitness advocates and they tightly couple paleo into fitness regimes.

And the basic tenets of the paleo diet is to return to the diet that humans evolved to eat as hunter gathers. Thus most modern developed food, modern agriculture and dairy are eschewed. A good list of what to eat and what not to eat is given by Cordain. And a key part of the diet is to eat foods as close to their natural form as possible, so preparing from whole foods is a central part of the diet. There is a great deal of controversy and discussion in the paleo community about what is "in" and what is "out." Big issues for me are dairy and salt. Someone who includes dairy is actually called a "LactoPaleo." And I think we actually need more salt than can be provided on a salt free diet.

In the end, my low carb diet significantly resembles a Paleo diet although I eat dairy and salt. It can make a big difference to your blood sugar control, but my belief is that the real effect is the reduction in carbs and the consumption of greater amounts of complex carbs that are digested more gently and predictably. I don't believe it has any effect on autoimmune conditions. But I do believe that normalized blood sugars can have a profound impact, you will be healthier and you can actually slow the progression of diabetes as much of the loss of honeymoon and progression of T2 is likely caused by high blood sugars killing off your beta cells (glucotoxicity).

ps. Finding the "right" foods for the strict paleo diet can be hard. So I adapt.

Fiona, I would like to greatly encourage you to keep researching and keep trying paleo! I do not subscribe to paleo 100% myself yet, but have been making the journey over the past year (since Feb 2012). And it IS a journey! ESPECIALLY with type 1, which is a journey in and of itself.

Right now, I have been attempting to eat more REAL foods. I try not to think of it as a "diet" per say since it is NOT something you should really ever stop doing. It's a matter of changing your habits, changing your way of thinking about food, doing your OWN research, learning about the SAD (standard american diet) and how it has changed even since the 50's, and making smarter choices based on what you decide is best for you.

Once you've realized, you can never go back.
There are all kinds of "myths" and naysayers out there, but the biggest thing I have learned is to consider the source. WHO sponsored the research? Are they coming from an unbiased place?

The book that I read that I would highly recommend is Practical Paleoby Diane Sanfilippo. She does discuss different autoimmune conditions and doesn't get TOO technical but does explain food's role in the body very well.

You were right when you state that it's not easy. To use a popular quote, "If it were easy, everyone would do it."
Well, in this case, everyone SHOULD, but that's never feasible.

If you'd like any more advice or just to chat or vent or anything, feel free to email me! Good luck to you and your family! I hope it all goes well for you!

Sorry you don't know me, Fiona, and my humor. I'm a vegetarian so I believe in that and can't help but shudder at the caveman references - I don't want someone coming along with a bat and dragging me into the cave by my hair!

But seriously, we all make different dietary choices for many different reasons.And each person's view is valid for them. I think what's important as Brian says is that it works for D management.As a vegetarian, when I was diagnosed I said that if I had to give it up for my health I would do so, but have found I don't. Many parents have been fed the "he/she can eat whatever they want and bolus for it" myth by the medical profession and their children's Diabetes will suffer from that. Best of luck to you on finding what works for you.

Whatever keeps your BG under control is good. Whatever lifestyle choices you make that help you keep your BGs under control is good.

I would never argue that the Standard American Diet is good for diabetics because it makes keeping our BGs under control much more difficult.

The thing about the Paleo Diet that I keep in mind, however, is that:

1) Our Paleolithic ancestors did not choose their diet because they though it was good for them. They, in fact, didn't have much choice at all.

2) Diet is only half the lifestyle equation. Activity puts demands on food intake and is also limited by food intake. Luckily for Paleo humans, they didn't have a choice about how much Television, video gaming, or any other largely sedentary behavior they were able to indulge in. The flip side is, they didn't have a whole lot of opportunity to really explore the limits of their physical potential either,

3) Popular Paleo literature discusses human evolution, a lot, but seems to only treat human evolution as if it began 100,000 years ago with the appearance of Homo Sapiens. Any reference to Neanderthals is amusing. There's reasons why they went extinct along with most of their genes.

4) Along those lines, modern hunter-gatherers are not Paleolithic humans either. This gets forgotten somewhere between the primary literature written by researchers for researchers and popular Paleo literature written for mass consumption.

5) I'm with Zoe.

You'll have to find your way through this minefield, but let me warn you that two of the sources discussed in this thread have serious problems. The first is Robb Wolf, who was described as an "evangalist", but he is really more of a dangerous charletan who has the potential to do serious harm to diabetics because of his lack of basic knowledge. The citation you gave to HIS LINK proves that he thinks T1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease caused by eating grain, and that it can be cured by eating Paleo. "Eat only what I say and you can throw away your insulin"? This is just plain dangerous and anyone who thinks Wolf has anything interesting to add to the conversation is deluded.

The other link, to the Diane Sanfilippo cookbook, (which has a forward written by this same clueless Robb Wolf) doesn't seem as dangerous, but is certainly not designed for T1 diabetics. In the book she promotes eating white potatoes while at the same time prohibiting whole grains and discouraging fruits. Uh, sorry, but that doesn't sound like advice worth paying for to me.

Could you elaborate on exactly why you feel a paleo or low carb diet is "dangerous?" Or is it that you just think Robb Wolf is a whacko?

And while there is a great deal of variation and heated discussion about what is in and out of the paleo diet, it is important to read this stuff. The cookbook doesn't promote potatoes, potatoes are not part of paleo. It has recipes for sweet potato which is actually not a "potato." And fruits are not discouraged, rather they are encouraged. What is discouraged is eating fruits and other foods that have been dramatically altered by cultivation and genetic manipulation. Apples and oranges bear little resemblance to the fruits available during paleolithic times.

I would like to hear exactly why you think paleo or low carb is "dangerous." Fiona has never suggested that she would withhold insulin from her daughter or that she believes her daughter will be "cured."

You need to learn to read in context. I didn't say that anyone except Robb Wolf was dangerous, and I certainly didn't suggest Fiona was going to withold insulin from her daughter.

But I did say: "The citation you gave to [Robb Wolf] proves that he thinks T1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease caused by eating grain, and that it can be cured by eating Paleo. ... This is just plain dangerous". Please read his link and tell me if you disagree that that is what Robb Wolf is saying.

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I try a lot of paleo recipes, and am grain free, but I don't support their use of honey, agave syrup and fruits. That stuff will send me to the moon in terms of BG. I do not believe that fructose is somehow better sugar and I eat cheese and cream :) My husband is against going completely grain and dairy free for himself and our 13 months old baby.

Actually, bsc, you are also wrong about the cookbook. You wrote: "The cookbook doesn't promote potatoes, potatoes are not part of paleo". In fact the book p.426 states: "Guide to dense sources of Paleo carbs: Check out this list of dense sources of carbs while eating a Paleo diet. While fruits and nuts are all fairly high in carbohydrates, this list is a guide to starch vegetables to eat. Remember these are some of your 'good carbs'." Included in her list is "White potato" as well as "Sweet potato".

You also said: "And fruits are not discouraged, rather they are encouraged". In fact her cookbook p.27 includes this statement: "I encourage you to limit your fruit intake. Avoid adding fruit to your meals, instead eat it for dessert. If you exercise a great deal and want to maintain athletic performance, you can include more fruit in your nutritional plan".

As a T2, I can't balance what I eat with shot of insulin. I have to be aware of everything I put in my mouth. I followed Dr. Bernstein's diet pretty close for 5 years, and felt I had to do that because my body couldn't handle a "normal" diet. When I read Nora Gedgaudas' book, Primal Body, Primal Mind, I finally understood that what we all call normal food is not really what our bodies are designed to eat. The main difference between the Bernstein diet and the primal diet, in my mind, is that primal is higher fat. That's a very hard concept for those of us who grew up in the past 40 years. I can keep my blood sugar under control on low carb alone, but I gain weight. I don't gain weight on primal. I eat basically the same food but use coconut oil, heavy whipping cream, and buy cheaper, fattier cuts of meat. Primal encourages eating only grass fed beef. I grew up in a family of cattlemen who ate their own grass fed, no hormone-added beef all their lives. Many of them still died of cancer. So I'm not convinced grass fed is necessary, and I don't eat much meat anyway. There are primal foods that don't work for diabetics. My OneTouch lets me know what they are (sweet potato is a no). I really recommend the Gedgaudas book, a lot of it is based on science and physiology, not some philosophy that bends the facts to suit itself. I also check in with Mark Sisson's blog every day. It is geared more for athletes than old ladies like me, but he includes recipes and links to studies that are interesting. I think Jag is correct that there are some dangerous people out there, but if you have a good BS monitor, you'll figure it out. He is also right that T1s have a completely different problem, and no diet is going to cure that. I haven't experienced anything dangerous about a low carb or primal diet for T2s. It seems like it would cost more to buy the groceries required, but it doesn't because you're not hungry all the time. Mostly I'm happy with what I eat and I'm not going back to the processed doo doo that's marketed as "normal" food.

I have recently started the Paleo plan about 3 weeks now and definitely cutting out the gluten and dairy products has made a difference with my sugars. I Wish I had tried it sooner. It started with reading the book “The Grain Brain” and I ended up Paleo lol…

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