Diet Question

So I kind of stumbled across this while reading about it online, and I was hoping that those of you who have tried it can give your opinion and results pros and cons please! My main concern is my cholesterol which is kind of high even though I eat pretty healthy, how could this impact it, and can this be modified lets say a few more carbs added? Thanks guys oh and I am brand new to the site :smiley:

Welcome, Brit!

I've found, along with others, that eating low carb positively effected my lipid profile. Realize we've all been indoctrinated into believing saturated fats raise cholesterol, but actually eating saturated fat doesn't play a huge role in serum lipids. Vegetable oils (with the exception of extra virgin olive oil & virgin coconut) & transfats are the unhealthy ones to avoid. Only saturated fats are stable at high temps.

Low carb is moderate protein, high fat.

I'm a type 1, and so for me it's about glucose control and the sheer amount of insulin I'm dosing.
I have actually seen a slight raise in my cholesterol since low carbing, even very strictly.

This has also coincided with me taking statins, so it may skew the results.
The main benefit to me is better glucose control. Also, I find the tedium of the diet to be fairly conducive to weight loss, which no doubt will lower my cholesterol too (eventually).

I still believe there are pluses and minuses to this. I don't think I would have gotten as much from it when I was a bit younger, as I was still so insulin sensitive and didn't really think twice before eating massive amounts of carbs as part of my weight training regimen.

Things change, I'm no longer so insulin sensitive and I'm seeing a lot of sense in the simplicity of this diet now.

I'm not entirely invincible. I do stray from it on special occasions, but perhaps this helps me too see how unstable things immediately revert to as soon as I have high carbs in the mix again.

The contrast between the two diets is night and day for me right now.

No hard in giving it a try?

Oh, and also, Britt as in Brittish? Cos, if so I'm one of those too :)

I too find myself feeling fit and well and my blood chemistry is good on Bernstein's diet.
Only if I give in to temptation and up my carbs, do I start having issues.
The other brilliant benefits are:
I've lost weight and kept it off.[I'm now having a REAL push to lose some more. I'm still about 15Kg[30lb] overweight}
Then there's the "progression" thing of T2. They told me it's inevitable!:o(
I'm 10 years past diagnosis and using only 2 x 500mg Metformin per day. Still keeping Bg in the 5s, with an occasional 6 if I stray. I'm complication free too.
I wish I were as free of the complications of aging [ I'm a few weeks off 66!] I can't run as as fast as my 2 year-old grandson. Still I can get up from a chair without using my hands. This is apparently a test of longevity!!
My husband is a lifelong T1 with multiple complications, among them kidney failure. I've got him lowering his carbs too and his insulin need has halved and the kidney condition is stable. This is such a relief, because dialysis or kidney transplantation sounds so awful. He initially believed the usual medical advice [for England!] of "eat what you like and take a little more insulin!" He's never been offered the DAFNE training course which is supposed to help insulin users to match their insulin needs to their eating. The Bernstein book has really helped there.
In fact there's nowhere for either of us that Benstein hasn't helped with Diabetes control

You say you cholesterol has gone up a bit, but which kind has increased? You know a total cholesterol number is not a useful bit of information, since an increase in HDL is GOOD and an increase in LDL is NOT.
You say you're a Brit. Where are you. I'm in the South of England

Hi Britt,
I think Dr. Bernstein is a true humanitarian whose insight into diabetes has helped many of us. Much of his book is available online, so many people can access his work free. I try to abide by his list of "No-No's," the high carb foods, and stick to his 6-12-12 carb rule, but many people can handle more than 30 carbs a day. The way to find out how many carbs you can handle is to test your blood sugar 2 hours after eating more. About cholesterol: Dr. Bernstein thinks most diabetics can correct high cholesterol by correcting thyroid issues. Also, a number of low carb authorities believe lowering carbs lowers the type of LDL particle, from Very Low Density to bigger, fluffier particles that are less harmful. In other words, a low carb diet MAY help with cholesterol issues. My personal experience with Bernstein's WOE has been dramatic. I have lost 50 pounds and corrected my A1C from 11.4 to 5.3 within a few months.

I decided long ago that the obsession over cholesterol was misguided. What kills us as diabetics is high blood sugars. If you look at the studies, high cholesterol is "mildly" associated with higher heart disease. On the other hand, high blood sugars is "strongly" associated with heart disease. The rates of heart disease with an A1c of 6% is already doubled that of a someone with a non-diabetic A1c, and the rate grows exponentially.

For years, I've argued with doctors that my absolute first health priority is normalizing my blood sugar, cholesterol is really down on the list. I would actually be happy skipping all the cholesterol tests because at this point, I just don't care. Most recently after many years of "dangerously high" cholesterol, my cholesterol tested as "normal," my endo was jumping up and down really happy. I actually could have cared less. I was more concerned that my A1c had gone up 0.1%.

I'm with you not caring about cholesterol lab results. My triglyercides tend to go high, but that's due to hypothyroidism.

My experience, when eating low-carb, was that my cholesterol numbers were the best I ever had. I do take a very low dose of Simvastatin and Zetia, but I was taking that before I tried the low carb, and so that's not the reason I saw such an improvement.

I also don't think low carb has to be tedious. Gerri is an adventurous cook, and has talked about some of the things she has made that are really impressive. In my case, though I suck at cooking, and so I had more trouble. But, by Gerri's example, I know it doesn't HAVE to be that way.

In addition, I lost 30 lb. I think that eating a lot of vegetables is the key to that, because they give you fiber, and if you season them with butter and/or spice and/or sauces, they can be quite flavorful.

I agree that saturated fat is not a concern, because I've read articles (as usual, can't remember where, so I can't cite them) that say that the body handles dietary fat differently than liver-manufactured fat. It may be that they are broken down during digestion; I don't know for sure, but it makes sense.

My biggest caution is that a low-carb diet takes some dedication -- you can't go out to a restaurant and simply order anything and eat the whole plate, because they automatically put a lot of carbs on it, and you have to be able to resist that. But maybe you can! :-)

Aawww, thanks for the endorsement. Restaurants can be a challenge, but I've never had a problem with getting substitutes for carb laden items & request sauces on the side. Times they've goofed, I nicely send it back.

High cholesterol is an indicator of heart disease, not the cause. Fixing heart disease by artificially lowering cholesterol is like curing a cold by taking a decongestant. It's only treating the symptom.

Plaque build up is due to cholesterol trying to repair damage to the artery walls caused by elevated blood glucose levels and an excess of free radicals in the blood steam. The first can be rectified by tight diabetes control and the second by including foods rich in anti-oxidants. Since most processed food has had all the nutrients sucked out of it, this means taking some supplements in addition.

The ADA Diet specifies healthy grains. This sounds like an oxymoron to me. I haven't found any nutrients in wheat that can't be found in non-starch foods. In fact there are very few nutrients in today's wheat. The other complete crock is that butter is bad and margarine is good for the heart. Bull! Butter has saturated fat, margarine has trans-fat.

The fact that low-carb, high fat actually lowers cholesterol naturally speaks for itself.

I'm somewhat pleased by the fact that people are starting to wake up to the truth. There will always be nay-sayers. I guess we have to live with that.

It was the bad kind :D

I also had a heart scan to see if I had any plaque build up, and it was clear.

My good cholesterol is fairly high, but the slow increase in the bad had my endo pushing for a low level start to statins.

I know how statins are frowned upon by many, but I thought I'd give them a try. I've been recommended I do by so many endos, that it seemed worth a shot along with a close eye on any increase in plaque build up.

I actually live in America these days, but I grew up in East London.

A few people have a bad reaction to statins; the vast majority don't. It stands to reason that those who have had a bad reaction would be against them, and would caution other people about it. But the only way to know whether you can tolerate them or not is to try. You can always stop if you react badly. The medical profession as a whole likes statins, but some endos will recommend them to people who really don't need them. I don't approve of that, but I do think that people who do have problems with cholesterol should be open to the possibility that they might help. If they don't, then try something else. I figure we're all going to die of something -- ya pays yer money and takes yer chances. Which means that each individual can make their own choices, as long as they don't adversely affect someone else, like the anti-vaxxers do. Good luck to you!

Thanks, Natalie.

You seem to have a very reasonable and non-alarmist attitude that is appreciated.

I did start on Simvastatin, and had it keep me awake very badly. It was such a pronounced reaction that I was forced to stop taking it as I was so horribly sleep deprived.
I'm taking atorvastatin now, and a few side effects of aching and tiredness (ironically considering the other drug's reaction).
All side effects seem to have faded to nothing now.

I have to echo what many say on this thread: it's the processed carbs and trans fats that raise cholesterol and I've experienced a dramatic positive change myself since cutting them completely out of my diet. I can't say I'm a fan of the term "low-carb," because I feel it's a bit of a misnomer. It almost suggests that those of us that cut out processed crap are somehow deviating from what's "healthy." I prefer the term "natural carb." I get all my carbs from real food., i.e. healthy vegetables; not packaged foods or wheat (which is all genetically modified these days)). I average about 30g a day, which might not sound like much, but when you do the math that works out to be a half a plate of broccoli with lunch and with dinner, for example, and it's very filling. When I had a functioning pancreas and before switching to a natural carb diet, my values were as follows: Total Cholesterol - 206, Triglycerides - 86, HDL - 44, LDL - 145. After changing my diet my values are as follows: Total Cholesterol - 163, Triglycerides - 36, HDL - 60, LDL - 96. And, by the way, I enjoy bacon and eggs every morning now, often with cheese, salsa and sour cream, I don't trim the fat from my meats, and enjoy almonds, avocados and as much butter as I wish.

I was diagnosed T1 in May of last year with an A1c of 8.8%, so my primary motivation in switching to this diet was to allow better glucose control. It's been instrumental. My last A1c came in at 4.7%, but I had no idea my cholesterol values would improve so dramatically as well.

While I think I am going to try this, with a little modification, did the lower A1C help with better cholestrol levels? I think it might run in my family mom has high, dad on the other hand has a total level of 108 with very High good cholestrol. I’ve had diabetes for 20 years now and I am ready to really improve my control! Thank you :smiley: