Fat FTW! More Support for Bernstein Diabetes Diet

2010 April 30
by christopher

In reply to Amy at Diabetes Mine’s post on carb-guessing (a term I totally endorse, btw), someone pointed out that many of the new dietary tips she had been given tended to focus on excluding food with saturated fat (lamb, butter, cream, coconut milk etc).  They posted this link to a recent Scientific American article which summarizes a number of large-scale, long term studies which dispute the “fat is the bad guy” paradigm which has powerfully influenced American dietary thought.  One example: since 1970, the amount of calories we get from fat has been in steady decline while the rate of obesity has more than doubled and diabetes more than tripled.

When I tell people about my new diet, the first reaction is either “how do you do that??” or “aren’t you worried about all that fat?”.  I think so much of our prejudice comes from the fact that we use the same word, fat, as both an adjective and a noun.  We think that some who IS fat must EAT lots of fat, and that it therefore follows that someone who EATS lots of fat will BE fat.  But my experience so far has been the opposite.

Every diabetic knows that there are two types of cholesterol (if not which one is which), the “good cholesterol” (HDL) and the “bad cholesterol” (LDL).  Eating fat affects both of those numbers, and ultimately, it’s the ratio of good to bad that seems to be more important than the total number.  In terms of actually storing fat in the body, that is something that requires insulin, and therefore carbohydrates.  Amazing as it may sound, I have actually lost weight on my high-fat, high-protein, virtually no-carb diet over the last few weeks, and am back to my pre-diabetic weight (before I was diagnosed, I lost about 25-30 pounds.  after going on insulin, I put that back on, as well as what I called my insulin cushion, an extra 3-5 pounds around my midsection).  And when I say high fat, I mean HIGH fat: yesterday for breakfast, I had four thick pieces of bacon, three eggs scrambled in the grease of said bacon, a half-cup of yogurt (with ground flax) and a spinach salad.  It was kind of delicious.

Anyway, I’m getting labs done next week by my endo, and then again in June with a new internist, to see what this is doing to the numbers that I can’t track by myself (liver, kidney, lipids, etc) and discuss what risks I may not be aware of.  I’m counting on the fact that even in the worst case scenario, there’s only so much damage I can do with this food in 6-8 weeks.  In the meantime, however, I will continue to eat grilled sausages and cheeses and fresh veggies for lunch and enjoy the flat line along my Dexcom‘s little screen.

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  • http://www.diabetesdaily.com/johnson/ Scott K. Johnson

    It is really interesting to me – I mean, that food sounds exactly like what we've been taught NOT to do, right?

    Keep us posted on your journey through this. Maybe we've been all wrong for all this time?

  • http://www.diabetesdaily.com/johnson/ Scott K. Johnson

    It is really interesting to me – I mean, that food sounds exactly like what we've been taught NOT to do, right?

    Keep us posted on your journey through this. Maybe we've been all wrong for all this time?

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