Type 1 and a Low Carb-High Fat Diet

I use a lot less than 33 units even when I go out for a big dinner now and then! I might be old fashioned I suppose, I learned to manage my health with a balanced diet which includes all the food groups, nutrition is number one, calories accordingly with weight and activity, and fresh is best. Too much insulin costs a lot more money, that is for sure. The other effects are pretty well known, certainly in non D folks. In my tribe too much causes hypo, but that’s another thread that is well worn =/

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Some people enjoy a little home grown insulin. My pancreas produces next to nothing.

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Yes, mine stopped well before I was even dx’d. But I still follow the dietary advice given to me from way back when, and it keeps me well and happy. For many folks the HF part of the recommendation is not healthy. If HF is going to be part of the diet then I wanted to provide a more updated source of information.

BTW - Tonight I am having stir fried veggies and some fat free sausage and a little bit of rice. I do well with that meal after busting my behind all day!!

You make “some people” sound like a dis, Terry. I am not one of them but geez!

No “dis” intended! :wink: It’s hard to compare the actual total daily dose of insulin when some people produce natural insulin in addition to the amount they take with a needle or or a pump.

I’m glad you’ve found a way of eating that keeps you healthy and happy. I don’t agree that “high fat” in and of itself is not healthy. I think the high fat hysteria that engulfed the mainstream dietary advice given by most doctors and dietitians in the last 30 years was not very good, especially for people with diabetes. Where we probably agree is with trans-fats like margarine. Those are not good for anyone.

There are only three macro-nutrients we can eat: carbs, fat and protein. Excessive carbs (>150 grams/day), for me, are a horrible way to eat since they drive blood glucose to unacceptable levels. That leaves fat and protein. I choose to eat normal levels of protein and increase fats. I’m happy with my blood glucose levels eating this way. Fats satiate. I don’t feel the need to eat two hours after a meal as I did with the carb-saturated diet.

Tonight I ate a 1/2 pound hamburger with cheese, onions, tomato, and coleslaw. I also drank a glass of red wine.

We all eat what we think is best for us. There is no “one way” to live with diabetes. I’ve found a way that works for me and you’ve found a way that works for you. One successful method does not disprove another.

Here’s a recent example of 24-hours of my blood sugar control:

The green strip ranges from 65 mg/dl - 120 mg/dl. This metabolic sanity is why I eat like I do.


Sarah, are you able to have energy and stamina while eating only 25-30 carbs per day? Can you exercise and do all your days work without any problems? Is it the healthy fat that you eat that gives you the needed energy each day?

I hope you don’t mind the questions. I eat 160 carbs each day, and have good control. I could reduce my carb intake to 50 per day, but why? I do not need to do that.


I have a lot of energy. If I do more rigorous exercise, I will eat a little more carbs if needed. I reduced my carb intake about 2 years ago because I was continuing to gain weight with no explanation. Limiting my carb intake is the only thing that has helped me lose some weight and gain tighter control.

Granted, I have cheat meals or even cheat days. But, I find that eating LC keeps my numbers and mood stable.

Sarah :four_leaf_clover:


Thanks Sarah, I am glad you have your needed daily energy.

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There is a great deal of research to support the benefits of training the body to burn fat rather than carbs for energy. I will list a few links for anyone interested in reading further about it below. In general, the studies show that fats are metabolized in the cell more cleanly (ie they produce less by product that accumulates and disrupts cell efficiency.) According to neurologist, Dr. David Perlmutter, neural disorders of the brain–dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s–are significantly prevented and/or reversed by maintaining a low carb diet.

The key, of course, is “healthy” source fats :wink:

For me, maintaining a diet of 45–60 grams of carbohydrate daily, with the emphasis on vegetables and fruits for carb source, and using healthy fats with moderate amounts of organic, pasture raised animal proteins has been a Godsend for my health :smiley:



I"m LCHF but I found that the mod of that site too extreme.
besides this site, this one seems more balanced

I agree that the mods on that site are extreme. That is why I post there only when I am talking to a fellow T1D. I also agree that Diabetes Daily is more friendly, and much less extreme. I like Tudiabetes too, very much!!

I used to be overweight, and needed to lower my carbs, so I would use less insulin. Metformin helped me with that. Now I am not overweight, I have good control, and my A1c is 5.9. Mypresent daily carb intake is 160 grams. I do not need LCHF now. I have never eaten less than 130 carbs per day. 70 years of type 1, and very healthy.


Hi Richard, and others! I am also not overweight, and have managed to maintain excellent control, and have rocked an A1c in the 5s for years and years all the while eating healthy food choices which do NOT include treats, cheats, or any types of UNNECESSARY anything. I find keeping a balance, and making sure that all of the food groups are represented as well as the required calories are what are necessary to keep my little boat floating. High fat is not good for this boat!

I have never seen where Richard encourage folks to follow any example. I have however noticed that LCHF is often pushed, and encouraged in most of the DOC. Seems to me that when some of us long timers come around and suggest we don’t follow that idea we get scolded or admonished for describing what works for us. I don’t think anyone should tell anyone else how or what to eat. It is okay to share what works for ourselves though.


160 grams of carbs is now the definition of HUGE?? LOL - I am still chewing on the real definition of LCHF. And I am learning day by day that I just don’t belong in the most of us group - but I’ll be okay!


I think it is best to devise your own diet, whatever works for you. I have done that, and am very healthy with 160 carbs each day. I started this discussion to show that some T1D’s can be helped by a LCHF diet, it is not just for T2D’s. That certainly does not suggest that all T1D’s should follow a LCHF diet. Most of us do not eat small numbers of carbs. I have T1 friends online who eat a lot more carbs than I do, and they are healthy too.

We are all different, I really believe that!! Each of us should do whatever it takes to have good blood sugar levels, and good diabetes health. If a LCHF diet works for you that is great! If LCHF is not necessary, and there is still good diabetes health, then that is great too!


I have to admit that I was resistant to eating low carb when my naturopath first suggested it to me. I researched for several weeks and realized she had a point, but still was nervous about it. So I got myself a Dexcom in order to accurately assess if it made a difference. I never ate more than 30 grams of carb per meal anyway, but I did eat a lot of grain to make that number, and–when I plugged into the Dex, I could see that my blood glucose was spiking to the high 200/low 300 after every meal.

Slowly, I decreased the amount of carbs and the carb source to mainly vegetables and fruit, and this is what my blood sugar looked like yesterday:

There is no arguing with these results for me.

My husband, bless his sweet heart, stopped eating sugar in all its myriad forms when I did thirty years ago. When I stopped eating gluten a couple of years ago, so did he. When I went to low carb and virtually no grain recently…that was harder for him. Slowly, but surely, though, he’s brought his carbs down to between 55 and 75 grams per day, and he is the first to say he’s glad he did. He works at one of the top 5 tech companies as a software developer, and he says his mental endurance is better, and he has more energy overall to come home and do chores around our hobby farm at the end of the work day.

We do, however, eat all organically grown food and primarily pasture raised animal protein–unless we are traveling. I believe the absence of chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides also enhance the overall picture. I have figured out how to make waffles, muffins, and brownies and stay low carb… so I really feel like it’s a win/win/win for me :wink:


Maybe I’m missing something, but I didn’t see Richard state how long he has had diabetes anywhere in this thread until you posted and told him that his diet was horrible. In response, he was just pointing out that it’s worked for him for 70 years.

I think everyone has a right to share their own experiences. I don’t think anyone should be encouraging others to try anything, period. There is no “right” and “wrong” with diabetes. It’s up to individuals to take all the various experiences they’ve read about, monitor their blood sugar, do some experimenting, and find what works for them.


Although this discussion is primarily about diet and eating I feel there is a very important element missing from the thread above. And that element is called activity. OK some call it exercise or workouts or just plain work, but the bottom line it is about being able to utilize carbs for what they were really intended to help us with: energy.
For someone with diabetes to, like Richard, consume 160 grams of carbs a day, will not be unreasonable if that person is able to put in a couple of hours of walking and maybe some light housework and garden work at home. All of that will ensure that the 540 calories contained in the 160 grams of carbs are converted to energy and burned off, rather than lingering around as high blood sugars or being stored as excess body fat.
However someone who has mobility problems, for example being tied to a wheelchair, and has diabetes, eating 160 grams of carbs a day will guaranteed cause weightgain in the short term and possibly damage from neuropathy down the road.
There’s also the fact that all carbs are not created equal and have varying ability to do damage. For example, foods that are low on the glycemic index, like barley, ryebread, many forms of squash, etc. can take twice or three times to digest and turn into blood sugar, as high GI foods like white sticky rice, white bread, baked potatoes or (shudder) the worst carb anyone with diabetes can deal with: Kelloggs cornflakes (rates 20 points higher than pure white sugar on the glycemic index.
Anyway, I guess my poing is that not only are we all different as individuals, foods are also different in how they affect us depending on how they are absorbed and metabolized. .


@Richard157, I always enjoy your posts. You are an inspiration. Don’t change a thing.


It was my pleasure to hear Richard talk at Friends for Life. At that time he talked about finding out about lowering carbs and how it helped him. But he also talked about how dramatically things have changed since he was first diagnosed. I think being able to share our stories, our successes and our failures, brings us closer together as friends and as a community. But we are all different and we will each find our own paths. And sometimes in the stories that are shared we will find a nugget of knowledge that help us find our own path. I’m pleased to hear from Richard because he is full of those nuggets.


I just have to step in and say that it is totally possible to maintain an active lifestyle with a disability. Disability-related sports organizations (and usually sub-organizations focused on specific disabilities, such as blindness, physical disabilities, developmental delays) can point someone in the direction of accessible sports, provide adapted sports equipment on loan, or help someone figure out how to appropriately adapt a sport that they enjoy.

For an example of accessible sports across disability groups in Canada, see Sports Access by AMI. Each country has their own similar services available.