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I am still a new diabetic and I have a question about the LCHF diet. In the research that I have read I was told that diabetics are prone to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I am confused about how the LCHF diet can be good for me. I totally understand that low carb is the way to go but does that mean I have to have high fat too?
 

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Char, welcome to the forum. I myself had a hard time believing that low carb/high fat was the way to go (not so much the low carb part, but the high fat). You see, I have had difficulty with cholesterol and triglycerides for quite a while; in fact my cholesterol went over 1,000 and my trigs over 6300 just a year ago (if you can believe that). I do take Crestor, 20mg, and have been on a statin for at least the last 15 years, however I was never able to get my cholesterol below 200 and my trigs at their lowest was still in the 300 range. In following the high fat part of the diet (and I'm talking good saturated fat; not hydrogenated or trans fats) I recently had my lipid panel come back at cholesterol at 159 and my trigs at 169! So, although you might be leery of high fat, it does work. It also helps to keep you feeling full in place of carbs. Your body will begin to recognize that your carb intake is lower and will begin burning the fat for energy and fuel. Many have seen dramatic decrease in weight as well from following this way of eating. I struggle with the weight loss because I also use basal and bolus insulin right now, and insulin causes the body to store fat, so it makes it much more difficult to lose weight. I have however managed to keep weight gain from the insulin low right now, so I'm okay with that. I'll work on the weight loss once I get my numbers steadily controlled and am able to use less and less insulin.
Trust what you read here. This forum saved my life, literally. Oh, I was also able to bring down my HbA1C by 3% from 12.1 to 9 in a three month time frame. I'm hoping to decrease that number even more as I get better at controlling my bg's.
I hope this answered some of your questions.
 

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I am still a new diabetic and I have a question about the LCHF diet. In the research that I have read I was told that diabetics are prone to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I am confused about how the LCHF diet can be good for me. I totally understand that low carb is the way to go but does that mean I have to have high fat too?
I can only report my results on the cholesterol front.
In August 2010 my figures were as follows:
Total: 136 HDL 39 LDL 82 Triglycerides 96
By November 2011 these had changed to:
Total: 198 HDL 104 LDL 85 Triglycerides 43

My average BP in November 2010 (when I started tracking it) was
129/65 with a peak reading that month of 153/75
In November 2011 those figures became:
110/59 with a peak reading that month of 123/65

I don't say that these results came about solely due to the diet (well actually I do in respect of the cholesterol figures) but it certainly did them no harm.

And incidentally, my excess weight - about 30 lbs disappeared by the beginning of 2011 - without a "deliberate" diet.

John
 

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Oh how I lust after your numbers, John! But, at least I'm making progress. Rather than raw numbers, I'll report on my ratios and improvement over a 6-month period on a LCHF diet (plenty of healthy saturated fat btw)

March / Sept / Supposedly desirable

LDL/HDL Ratio: 4.4 / 3.1 / <3.0
Chol/HDL Ratio: 6.3 / 4.5 / <5.0
Trig/HDL Ratio: 5.5 / 2.2 / <2.0

Although all my docs would have preferred me to take statins (which I refused), I'm no longer getting pushback to take them. Am guessing they'd still rather I do, but seeing my progress has weakened their argument.
 
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I'm another believer, Chark. When I first went on Adkins, my cardiologist jumped with joy and told me if I stayed on it for 3 months to have my pcp check it again and I'd be thrilled with the result and I truly was! I have incorporated even more healthy fat and it is now still lower with my HDL higher and my trigs much better.

How about giving it a try? You'll be amazed too I suspect.
 

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I am still a new diabetic and I have a question about the LCHF diet. In the research that I have read I was told that diabetics are prone to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I am confused about how the LCHF diet can be good for me. I totally understand that low carb is the way to go but does that mean I have to have high fat too?
You need your calories. It's a requirement, and you have three possible sources: carbs, protein, and fat.

Protein has limits. Byproducts such as uric acid become toxic the more you consume. A few push for high protein diets, but really, it's not the way to go. Most recommend a 20% protein consumption, and on a 1500 calorie diet, that leaves 1200 for the other two macronutrients.

So you have to balance your fat and carb calories. Lower one, raise the other. If you don't, you are starving yourself, and everybody agrees that fails.

What you are really asking is "will fat kill me faster than sugar will?" If we were in the same room, I'd look you straight in the face and say, in four years of diligent searching, I've not found any proof that fats are bad for us, even arguably transfats. I have seen much more evidence, though the word proof still won't form on my lips, that excess carb consumption is the most likely cause of modern western disease: obesity, heart disease, cancers, dimensia, etc. I lump gluten in with carbs.

But my cholesterol numbers!

Yes, the Friedwald is an old test that measures volume. It centrifugally separates lipids, and they measure the quantities of goo. THEY DO NOT COUNT PARTICLES!

Since the introduction of this test [1960's?] it has been discovered that the particles measured come in various subclasses which differ in size. They've also discovered that the smaller LDL particles are most closely associated with heart disease. Further, they've found that particle sizes are tied very closely with triglyceride levels: over 150 mg/dl and the person tends to have generally small, dense, and dangerous particles. Under 80 mg/dl the person tends to have large, fluffy, benign particles. Researchers at the University of Warwick last year confirmed more about this process: these LDL MG mins are created by glycation [sugar] and are shown to cause atherosclerosis.

What we're finding [anecdotally in various diabetes and low carbing forums] and what we know of metabolic processes, is that lowering carb consumption [and upping fat consumption] lowers triglyceride levels and of course lowers glycation.

There is an obvious disconnect here for anybody willing to look: higher carbs results in smaller particles and lower carbs results in higher larger particles. Is it surprising that the Friedwald favors carbs and demonizes fats? Prove it? I wish, but there is evidence. The UCLA LDL study in 2010 showed that 75% of heart attack victims have normal LDL numbers. Shouldn't it be closer to 100% have high LDL? Remember, this is the value doctors attack first and hardest. Then there's the Iranian Study which looked at LDL counts in Iranian women with very low triglyceride values. They even proposed a modified friedwald calculation for people with low trigs. Nobody uses it of course.

Here's some links to ponder, if the mods will let me.

Cholesterol levels in small LDL particles predict the risk of coronary heart disease in the EPIC-Norfolk prospective population study

Carbohydrate Restriction Alters Lipoprotein Metabolism by Modifying VLDL, LDL, and HDL Subfraction Distribution and Size in Overweight Men

Is it LDL particle size or number that ... [Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2008] - PubMed - NCBI

Most*heart attack patients' cholesterol levels did not indicate cardiac risk / UCLA Newsroom

Two major studies conclude that saturated fat does NOT cause heart disease | Dr Briffa's Blog - A Good Look at Good Health

Super-sticky 'ultra-bad' cholesterol revealed in people at high risk of heart disease)

Changes in Dietary Fat Intake Alter Plasma Levels of Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein and Lipoprotein(a)

Change in LDL particle size is associated with change in plasma triglyceride concentration

Low-density lipoprotein particle size, tr... [Clin Exp Hypertens. 2001] - PubMed - NCBI
 

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Oh how I lust after your numbers, John! But, at least I'm making progress. Rather than raw numbers, I'll report on my ratios and improvement over a 6-month period on a LCHF diet (plenty of healthy saturated fat btw)

March / Sept / Supposedly desirable

LDL/HDL Ratio: 4.4 / 3.1 / <3.0
Chol/HDL Ratio: 6.3 / 4.5 / <5.0
Trig/HDL Ratio: 5.5 / 2.2 / <2.0

Although all my docs would have preferred me to take statins (which I refused), I'm no longer getting pushback to take them. Am guessing they'd still rather I do, but seeing my progress has weakened their argument.
OK - thicko here. If I'm reading you right, then the only number that was an issue for me in August 2010 was my last figure HDL @ 39/ Tri @ 96 = 2.5. The others were all in ok ratios? And now they're just about spot on?

John
 

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Many diabetic complications are caused by having way too high bgs. This is what does the damage to the blood vessels leading to the heart, eyes and kidneys. We have been told for years to avoid fats and eat healthy carbs. The problem comes when we eat more carbs than our pancreas can handle. It responds by producing more and more insulin. Insulin is a fat storing hormone. So with too much insulin production we usually end up gaining weight especially in the belly which is dangerous to the organs beneath. When You go LC/HF a strange thing happens. Your body starts burning fat as it's main fuel, not carbs. The fat is burned off, not stored. I have been doing some version of low carb for almost 5 years. I am at my lowest weight in 40 years. My BP is in the low 100's and HbA1c is in the low 5's. Even if my cholesterol goes up a bit, I don't feel it will lead to heart disease. As with others my HDL is almost 100, so that tells me all I know.
 

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OK - thicko here. If I'm reading you right, then the only number that was an issue for me in August 2010 was my last figure HDL @ 39/ Tri @ 96 = 2.5. The others were all in ok ratios? And now they're just about spot on?
Yes, your ratios were good from the get-go (except the HDL/Trig as you point out), and now all are insanely exemplary.
 

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"High-Fat" does not mean sitting on the couch with a tub of lard and a spoon :)

Fat has over twice the calories per gram (9) when compared to Carbohydrate or Protein (4)... so for a person on around 2,500 calories per day, substituting 43g of Fat instead of 100g of Carbohydrates can be enough to change the diet from high-carb to high-fat -- as expressed as a percentage of energy.

This can be accomplished simply by eating real whole food, avoiding low-fat products, eating chicken with the skin still on, butter with your green leafy veg etc...

You might also check out this thread... Why high fat?
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks so much guys, that was super helpful. I will definitely be going higher fat and low carb but I guess I won't eat only bacon lol. Mmmmm bacon
 

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Now that answers several questions. But I have others:

One of the main benefits is a large increase in the HDL levels and still lowering the LDL and total numbers. Correct?

How do people using LCHF get enough fiber in the diet? Are supplements a mainstay to augment what is not eaten from the lack of carbs?

Since this diet leaves people in a constant state of ketosis, what's the risk for kidney damage for doing this long term?

Thanks for the info so far?
 

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I do not test for ketones and I am not in a constant state of ketosis. There are members here who are, but it is not an automatic result of LCHF - staying in ketosis requires diligent attention to detail and no cheating.

I get plenty of fiber from high-fiber vegetables: asparagus, avocado, artichoke hearts, cabbage & other brassicas, spinach & other leafy greens. I also use GG bran crispbread which is extremely high fiber.

As far as renal damage, that comes from high blood sugars - not LCHF.

And any time you get off the SAD (standard American diet) and dump the processed foods & carbs, you body will straighten out your lipids profile. If our experiences don't persuade you, then all you can do is try it yourself and see what happens to your own cholesterol after about six months. But do go back & read naynay's latest cholesterol numbers - http://www.diabetesforum.com/diabetes-forum-lounge/7504-blood-work-today-3.html#post66539 . . . she was never able to get anywhere near controlled cholesterol until she went on LCHF.
 

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I barely need fiber since I started LC/HF. Just prior to diagnosis when I was still eating typical high-carb, I kept needing more and more fiber. I would seek it both from food and supplements.

In the months before diagnosis I was getting frustrated that doses of fiber which had always completely solved any problem weren't working any more. I was needing more and more and still had several episodes of impaction which were quite painful. I had only rarely had such problems in my life up to that point.

No more. Many of my meals are completely devoid of fiber. A single serving of green vegetables like broccoli, string beans or a stick of celery with peanut butter is ample for the entire day. I have no need for any supplements of any kind.

When I told my brother this who is a vegan/vegetarian he replied sarcastically, "Yeah, I guess you just GREASED it up."

Maybe that's it. In any case, my GI tract has never been healthier in my 59 years.
 

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Now that answers several questions. But I have others:

One of the main benefits is a large increase in the HDL levels and still lowering the LDL and total numbers. Correct?

How do people using LCHF get enough fiber in the diet? Are supplements a mainstay to augment what is not eaten from the lack of carbs?

Since this diet leaves people in a constant state of ketosis, what's the risk for kidney damage for doing this long term?

Thanks for the info so far?
Shanny said it all and I can testify. Before the change to diet, my visits to the smallest room in the house were irregular and hard work. After the diet change, I was trotting off three times a day and no straining. So, even if it wasn't "fibre", it certainly kept me regular.

Like naynay, my last lipid profile shows a substantial improvement over the figures I had in August 2010. Not as dramatic as her figure improvement, but I was lucky in that I didn't have so far to come to get to good numbers.

August 2010 - Total 136, HDL 39, LDL 82, Tri 96
Novem 2011 - Total 198, HDL 104, LDL 85, Tri 43

Again, as Shanny said, get rid of the over processed, pre-packaged, chemical laden foods - especially the low fat (i.e. High Carbohydrate) rubbish and eat natural foods for six weeks and then see whether you need to supplement your fibre. Then keep it up for another few months and see what your lipid figures look like.

John
 

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Fiber simply adds bulk, it's one way to "force the issue" so to speak but it doesn't always agree with everyone (e.g. gas, bloating, bowel irritation, too large stools). Personally, when I deliberately add in non-food fiber, like metamucil it works fine the first time and then just makes things worse over time.

Other ways to keep things moving is fat (coconut oil works extremely quickly), enough water, enough magnesium (can also act as a laxative in high doses), enough sodium and regular exercise. I don't digest vegetables well ... so if things are acting clogged up I can always eat a big salad and poop green for 2 days. :D That may be a personal quirk though!

When I first transitioned it was rough, and made worse by the medicine I was on. Now I take magnesium every day, supplement with sodium as needed and get about 1.5 cups of vegetables a day. That works most of the time and I will bust out the big salad, gorge on homemade coconut oil chocolates or take 2x the magnesium if things get randomly stopped up.

I am much happier in the bathroom now that I'm gluten-free, low-carb then I ever was on my healthy whole grains diet.
 

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Shanny said it all and I can testify. Before the change to diet, my visits to the smallest room in the house were irregular and hard work. After the diet change, I was trotting off three times a day and no straining. So, even if it wasn't "fibre", it certainly kept me regular.

Like naynay, my last lipid profile shows a substantial improvement over the figures I had in August 2010. Not as dramatic as her figure improvement, but I was lucky in that I didn't have so far to come to get to good numbers.

August 2010 - Total 136, HDL 39, LDL 82, Tri 96
Novem 2011 - Total 198, HDL 104, LDL 85, Tri 43

Again, as Shanny said, get rid of the over processed, pre-packaged, chemical laden foods - especially the low fat (i.e. High Carbohydrate) rubbish and eat natural foods for six weeks and then see whether you need to supplement your fibre. Then keep it up for another few months and see what your lipid figures look like.

John
Agreed! In fact, during my last lipid profile review, my cholesterol numbers were flagged by the lab for review by my doc as they were slightly below the target levels for a normal person.
 

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Fiber simply adds bulk, it's one way to "force the issue" so to speak but it doesn't always agree with everyone (e.g. gas, bloating, bowel irritation, too large stools). Personally, when I deliberately add in non-food fiber, like metamucil it works fine the first time and then just makes things worse over time.

Other ways to keep things moving is fat (coconut oil works extremely quickly), enough water, enough magnesium (can also act as a laxative in high doses), enough sodium and regular exercise. I don't digest vegetables well ... so if things are acting clogged up I can always eat a big salad and poop green for 2 days. :D That may be a personal quirk though!

When I first transitioned it was rough, and made worse by the medicine I was on. Now I take magnesium every day, supplement with sodium as needed and get about 1.5 cups of vegetables a day. That works most of the time and I will bust out the big salad, gorge on homemade coconut oil chocolates or take 2x the magnesium if things get randomly stopped up.

I am much happier in the bathroom now that I'm gluten-free, low-carb then I ever was on my healthy whole grains diet.
I've found that, for me, the only real difference has been in frequency. When I ate higher carb, especially when I focused on "whole grains", I had much more frequent BMs. A couple a day, especially when I was overeating. Now that I've transitioned to a much lower-carb way of eating (still not super-low, but definitely low compared to SAD) and higher fat, I have maybe one BM a day. When I eat even lower carb, it might be every two days. But none of them are difficult. The higher fat content in my diet seems to help with that. (and my daily cup of coffee seems to help, too!)
 
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