Sugar is everywhere, how do you minimize it?

I was doing the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to recover from a series of antibiotics I had to take for kidney infections. I have allergies to aspartame and to a lesser extent, saccharine - rashes and swelling so I avoid them anyway. I discovered that even with a little of that I also get a BG spike, I guess that’s not surprising - inflammation. I also spike on some unlikely things that are also in the SCD no-no list: any artificial sweeteners, any additive that ends in “ose” for example. Pectin was another surprise - no calories, but a BG spike. I haven’t tested all of it yet, lol, as this is working for me. But certainly some surprises.

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What are some of your observations/learnings on this topic? In theory, the body can’t digest artificial sweeteners, so they should just come out without any affect on blood sugar.

I don’t really consume artificial sweeteners, so personally, I don’t have much experience, but with others who drink diet soda, for example, artificial sweeteners haven’t been the solution they are often touted to be in their experience. Speculating here - but it’s possible that the sweet taste of artificially flavored things drives the appetite, and “real” sugar is pursued and consumed.


Interesting how we are all so different. Fat has never affected my insulin needs. All some fats do is slow down absorption of my carbs, and peanut butter doesn’t even do that. Good thing too. I love peanut butter. My entire daily dose with basal and bolus is 26 - 30 units, depending on how many grams of carb I eat. I’ve always wondered why, as T1 diabetics, many of us diagnosed when we were kids or teens (I was 16), have such different insulin needs, when presumably none of our insulin-producing cells are working.

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I assume I am bigger than you. I am 6’3 and 205 lbs. that requires more insulin than say someone who is 5’4 and 100 lbs.

I think the average is 0.5-0.7 units per kilo of body weight.

I am In that range for sure. It’s a known fact that fat causes insulin resistance, that’s why I can eat more carbs if I eat less fat, and still use the same amount of insulin.

This is different from type 2 insulin resistance because it goes away when not eating fat.

I don’t know if it’s always been this for me or not. I never tested the theory when I was young. I’m 56 now, I have cgm and I cal look closely at the data.

Eating low carb is another way of doing it, with lower carb, insulin resistance is less of an issue.

I find a high carb, low fat diet works for me and I can maintain it. I wasn’t able to stay on low carb for very long.

A few things I miss are peanut butter pretzels…uuugh.
I still eat small amounts of lean meat.

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Low carbing I ate 30 carbs a day and took a total of 19 -21 units of insulin.

On a low fat plant diet I eat around 265 carbs daily on 22 total units.

Type 1 dx 1959


You are right, the research on non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) seems to be full of conflicting studies. However, I found this article from Nature that support’s Judith’s observation that A1c levels increase with artificial sweeteners (they claim it’s due to change in the gut bacteria):


Did your protein consumption change between the low carb and low fat ways of eating?

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When I was low carbing, my protein levels always bordered on low. Eating a low fat plant based diet raised my protein levels. Legumes are full of protein as are other foods on the diet.

Besides keeping track of carbs, and fat, I don’t keep track of how many calories or how much protein I consume.


Now I’m puzzled. If you were simultaneously eating low carb and low protein, what were you eating? Surely not just fat?

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I wasn’t eating low protein. I ate meat, eggs, nut butters, nuts, cheese etc. My blood tests always showed borderline low protein. My doctor encouraged me to eat liver which I did. I tested this way for 11 yrs.

When I switched to a low fat vegan plant based diet, my protein levels almost immediately started testing right in the middle of the normal range. Five years later I still test in the middle range. I also feel much better.


Thanks, Marilyn, that’s fascinating. I never heard of a blood test for protein before. Is this standard in the US?

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Protein tests are common & very helpful: Total protein test - NHS. They are also tested in urine to assess kidney health (any residual protein albumin is sign of malfunction).

Gentian, I just watched an interesting YouTube video on Plant vs Animal Protein. If you are interested in finding out more information search for Plant Chompers Plant vs. Animal Protein.

Thanks very much, Marilyn, I would love to go back to eating plant protein (not to mention oats, peaches, peanut butter etc etc), but sadly I have to eat animal protein in order to keep my carbs down to Dr Bernstein’s 20-30g daily.

I followed Dr Bernstein for 11 yrs.

Hi Marilyn, great that you have found your path now, but, I imagine, frustrating that for so long you were putting a lot of effort into following a regime you found distasteful. All that liver! In 2017 when I discovered that I had a problem with carbs, I had for some years been eating (and very much enjoying) a superb vegetarian/pescatarian diet, low fat, low salt, organic when reasonably possible. Even when travelling I would put a lot of time, effort and money in to eating “clean”. Then I scored my highest known A1c in a routine blood panel. It was only pre-diabetic by ADA standards, but for me the writing was on the wall.

I watch Dr B’s Youtube Q&A sessions at the end of every month. I notice that he often advises “Experiment experiment experiment” and “What works, works”. He also emphasises that what one eats is only one of many factors that cause one’s bg to rise.

My bg has come down some on my low carb diet but it’s not normal, let alone what Dr B would consider normal. However my reflux problems have virtually disappeared. I hope that may mean that other less obvious complications are either slowly reversing or at least on hold.

Congratulations on keeping your health stable for so long.


Gentian, if you are interested in eating a plant based diet, see Mastering It is possible to eat vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes and seeds, if fat makes up only 10-15% of one’s diet. Everything has fat, so I have to be diligent. I consume no oils of any kind.

Many type 1’s and type 2’s do great on this diet. It takes about 3 weeks for your body to adjust to the change.

You may do well on the Bernstein diet as long as your LDL doesn’t rise. I ended up with heart stents, because I believed a popular book at the time in which the author said that high LDL was fine. Towards the end of my 11 yrs of eating this way, I was suddenly passing out from low blood pressure, and was getting severe migraines. As soon as I stopped eating only 30 carbs a day, I no longer passed out and the migraines disappeared. My body clearly needed more carbs, I just wish it didn’t take me a decade to realize that. Many people do just fine though. Just look at Dr. Bernstein!

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My A1c was 4.7 when I got my stents while low carbing. My A1c is 4.8 now while eating 9 times the amount of carbs. All of my other diabetic markers are excellent too.