Let’s start by saying that I’m not a dietitian, I’m not a medical professional, my degree is a Bachelor of Arts: HISTORY degree.
That being said, I believe the academic and mainstream systems don’t support in-depth research on aspects/theories that fall outside of the accepted realm. This concept crosses genres. Not meaning to step on anybody’s beliefs: spiritual/religious/evolutionary etc. (we really don’t know – we all just have beliefs & theories – nothing has been proven as modern society demands, it comes down to faith in one or another path). My blog here isn’t about that though, it’s about nutrition.
Historically speaking the accepted theory that the middle eastern breadbasket and agriculture were fundamental in the explosion and spread around the globe of humanity. Mainstream thinking refuses to examine, or accept, evidence for previous cultural (and catastrophic) cycles. Another example is found in weather science – specifically how mainstream scientists refuse to take solar weather into account in forecasting (earthquakes too: see https://suspicious0bservers.org/ for details). Both areas are seeing grassroots movements to change this. Nutrition and health also follow this trend.
The most noticeable aspect is through the popularity of the vegetarian, vegan, ketogenic, paleo, carnivore, low carb high fat diets, as well as a resurgence of the South Beach Diet and the whole foods (we’re talking not processed food rather than the store) trends. In addition to high protein versions of Weight Watchers et al, the IIFIMM (if it fits in my macros) approach and so many more. America has been running on the food pyramid and the portion or “plate” method for decades. There are diets put forth by leading associations for specific diseases (and “options” with narrowly varied specifics for ‘new’ diseases) like the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association and even leading hospitals (think John’s Hopkins). [Sidebar: have you ever carb counted a hospital “diabetic” lunch?!?!?! It’s ridiculously not diabetic friendly, granted the approach for “control” is eat whatever just take enough insulin for it. Big pharma anyone?]
Something with the status quo of nutrition has not been working. People are struggling with health issues, and often obesity (and the trillions of side effects aka diseases/disorders); thus society has begun looking for something better. Right now the vegetarian, ketogenic and whole foods approaches are seemingly the most popular.
Due to type 1 I’ve been trying to talk myself out of carbs and into at the very least a low carb version of eating. I do good for a little bit then I start having a rash of low blood sugars so I have some juice to immediately correct then rebound then am on a roller coaster for a few days. Not to mention the cravings and falling off the bandwagon for just one day. No strings attached meals are important but sugar addiction is a really hard thing to kick. I’ve attempted to adjust my basal rates to avoid lows (by 1 setting option at a time) and that helps for a few days, then, with no change from day to day, I get thrown off. I either start creeping high or have a random low and the roller coaster again. <<This is just my experience, every body’s experience is different.>>
I like meat, so vegetarian doesn’t work for me. Plus I have to bolus for lettuce so guesstimating all the counts for non-starchy vegetables as a way of life, not worth it for me. It’s great for some, just not me.
Ketogenic was super scary because Diabetic Ketoacidosis is a super dangerous by product of having no insulin. I got lucky and haven’t had DKA and I don’t want to. I broached the subject with my specialist and (even though she’s pretty amazing) she scared me away from anything that results in ketosis. Looking more into it ketosis and diabetic ketoacidosis are very different things. The details always make the difference. As I’ve been researching I’ve run across quite a few diabetics who live keto (or carnivore) and their results are what I want. Super steady blood sugars in normal range (we’re talking in the 80s) with great A1c results.
As I’ve been discussing this with my husband, we think the difference between D(iabetic)K(eto)A(acidosis) and Ketogenic diet or nutritional ketosis is the protein source. DKA stems from a lack of insulin to get fuel into a cell and the snowball effect of your body breaking down it’s own muscle because it thinks it’s not getting nutrients through eating. Then the acid levels build up along with high sugar levels and no fuel getting in. Bad all around. Nutritional ketosis occurs when you take in no carbs or sugar but you are eating plenty of calories from protein, veggies, fats etc and your body breaks down the animal proteins et al you are eating. So you’re not breaking your own body down producing acids AND you still have (are giving in my case) insulin to get the fuel into the cell.
So, what is keto? It’s basically extra low carb (20 grams or less per day) with higher fat intake and moderate protein. The goal is to switch the body into running on fat instead of sugar. KenBerryMD on YouTube/Facebook/Twitter etc really breaks this all down in his videos – which I linked to in my previous post. I’m still working juice and fruit which is not (generally speaking) keto friendly into my keto plan. Because, really, this is what I want to do.
Then, I happened upon the carnivore diet and a type 1 who has been living it for a year. Shoutout to Andrew Berger “@type1berger” on Instagram and Twitter. His results are phenomenal! Do I really want to eat only meat? No, but wow, if he can successfully live on the carnivore diet (we’re talking phenomenal A1c, great steady blood sugars, no mega cravings or mood eating etc.) and reduce his insulin dependence – surely I can do the low carb/keto thing!
Really long blog short: I got re-energized about trying to actually live low carb/keto. Further keto (and even carnivore for some ancestral groups) is pretty ancestral if you look into how ancient humans lived – as far as we can tell from the oldest records we have combined with archeological evidence. And I may even try carnivore sometime!