Earlier this year, I was able to participate in starting an awesome new Facebook group with R.D. Dikeman, Derek Raulerson, and Debbie Theriault called TypeOneGrit. It is my absolute privilege to be a part of this amazing community. My blood sugar management has done a complete 180 because of these people. Here are some FAQ's about TypeOneGrit.
1. What is TYPEONEGRIT?
TYPEONEGRIT is a FB group for type one diabetics who follow Dr. Bernstein’s approach to normalizing blood sugars. The group includes dietitians, endocrinologists, researchers, CDE’s, famous low carb chefs and type one diabetic low carb practitioners. This approach
1. Centers around the restriction of carbohydrate – no grains, sugar, fruit or starches.
2. Allows for the use of small, predictable doses of insulin.
3. Nearly removes the possibility of hypoglycemia.
4. Allows for the normalization of blood sugars and removes the threat of hyperglycemia and thus the complications of high blood sugars.
5. Reduces the threat of DKA because blood sugars are normal.
6. Minimizes the cognitive load required to manage the disease.
2. What type of results do you see? 2/3 of GRIT members have an HbA1c of 5.9% or less:
Results are shown here: http://www.pinterest.com/typeonegrit/typeonegrit-graphs/
3. What kind of food do you eat?
There is a low carb option for everything. Pizza. Ice Cream. Bread. Rice. Pasta. Carbohydrate is neither required for nutrition, nor for the joy of eating. Fat is flavor. This way of eating relies on proteins and fats: meat, cheese, fish, nuts, eggs, creams, etc. and non-starchy vegetables. GRIT members remark that this is, in fact, a luxurious way to eat. Fun recipes are here:
This slide illustrates some of the food:
4. What books do you recommend ?
5. I or my child has just been diagnosed with Type One diabetes. Why have my doctor and dietician put me/ my child on a high carbohydrate diet when this is the strongest cause of blood sugar fluctuation?
Diabetics die at 4 to 5x the rate of cardiovascular disease as non-diabetics – where it is the number one killer - for an obvious reason – they have elevated blood sugars. Nevertheless, the myth of dietary, saturated fat causing high cholesterol which causes heart disease has persisted in the medical establishment. This myth has been debunked and is no longer a serious idea in academia, but persists in the medical community. You are caught in the middle and have been put on a high sugar diet.
6. Don’t I need to eat carbohydrate?
Carbohydrates are not a necessary macronutrient. The Dr. Bernstein way of eating advocates for carbohydrate in fibrous vegetables to obtain phytonutrients. Grains, starch, fruit, and added sugar are not required for life. The picture below shows what carbohydrates are – chains of sugar molecules. The bonds of these chains are already being broken down by the salivary amylase in your mouth. Spit turns bread into glucose.
Since diabetics cannot metabolize sugar and carbohydrate are just chained sugar molecules it makes no sense to eat them.
7. Really? Fruit is bad?
Yes. Fruit has been engineered to be maximally sweet, not maximally nutritious via agriculture to be far different now than it was with our ancestors.
8. Don’t people need carbs for energy?
No. The body relies on ATP for fuel. ATP production relies on glucose and amino acids which are obtained through dietary protein. Protein can make the glucose the body needs through the process called gluconeogenesis. ATP production and gluconeogenesis are detailed below in the diagram of the citric cycle.
9. Are there any videos you recommend?
Videos by parents:
Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes University:
Dr. Troy Stapelton:
10. What about athletics? Don’t we need to carb up or carb afterwords to ‘replace glycogen’?
No, this is a myth. Carbohydrate is going to require insulin, which can result in hyperglycemia and/or hypoglycemia. TYPEONEGRIT has world champion endurance athletes, triathletes and marathon runners. If you do athletics and carb up, you are just going to spike your blood sugar.
11. What is the perfect blood sugar?
100 mg/dL is an abnormal blood sugar. The blood sugar for a healthy non-diabetic adult is 83 mg/dL. Healthy children run in the 70s. Pregnant women run in the 60s.
12. What about ketones?
Ketones are a by product of burning either dietary or stored fat. High levels of ketones when coupled with high blood sugars are a concern and may be a sign of DKA or ketoacidosis. With normal blood sugars, ketones are not a concern. This information can be easily found on the internet. Why is your health care provider so utterly confused? Found out in this video:
13. Im not bothered by high blood sugars, why should I care?
High blood sugars – even an A1c in the mid to high fives, are known to cause a myriad of health problems. High blood sugar, not total cholesterol, is the fundamental predictor of total health.
14. My doctor said a normal A1c is dangerous from lows. Aren’t normal A1c’s unhealthy?
Diabetics have the right to the same blood sugars as non-diabetics. This way of eating does not cause more hypo’s it causes LESS hypos than the diet prescribed by your doctor because that diet is high carb. High carb diets require more insulin and therefore cause unpredictable blood sugars. This is pure common sense.
15. Isn’t this way of eating depressing?
No. This way of eating is delicious. Normalizing blood sugars returns the feeling that one is ‘The Captain of His Own Ship’ since you can control blood sugar. Normal life, optimism and hope return.
16. My child is little. Can’t we do this later?
Not if you want to avoid the complications of diabetes. Neurocognitive effects exist already at diagnosis. For example, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24969580
17. What does GRIT mean anyway?
"Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint." -Angela Lee Duckworth
18. Why doesn't this situation change?
It is changing, but the establishment is not keeping up – they still advocate a diet high in carbohydrate, which is just sugar. This makes no sense. See this article -
19. What is the group like?
The group is not typical. There is no drama in TYPEONEGRIT. The
true spirit of helpfulness and comradery marks the group. Many members have formed life long friendships.
If you're interested in joining us, send a join request here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/660633730675058/ and send a message to one of our admins telling us about yourself and your current regimen. Make sure to check your, "other" folder as messages tend to get lost there.