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Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease which cause has yet to be discovered. The auto-immune system attacks the Beta-Cells in the human pancreas (which are responsible for the production of insulin) rendering them inadequate to supply the body with enough insulin to survive, thus eradicating homeostasis and leaving the person very sick indeed (REF).
Type 1 Diabetes has been more commonly referred to as ‘childhood diabetes’ due to its high prevalence in babies, children, teens and young adults. Oh Yeah – babies! This disease has no standards nor compassion! However more so over recent years, there are notable increases in the frequency of adult-diagnosis too.
Type 1 Diabetes in its simplicity is full-organ failure, the pancreas will not recover from the auto-immune attack and the human body will no longer be able to sustain itself. If untreated, the person will die rapidly. No human can function without insulin. Type 1 Diabetics must inject themselves with a synthetic form of insulin specifically calculated to match their needs, based on weight, hormonal state, dietary intake and many other factors – that are a constantly moving target – constantly. However, insulin via injection is luckily enough – effective in sustaining life – not solely (which we will cover later), but an effective enough replacement ‘synthetic hormone’ to preserve life.
There are many different forms of Diabetes, loosely all termed ‘Diabetes’ which is pretty naïve and inaccurate but this is dictated heavily by the media and government publications, even to an extent that some medical professionals are unable to differentiate between common forms of Diabetes.
The most common 2 forms of Diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2. The biggest factor in differentiating them being that Type 1 Diabetes is the human body’s own immune system – hell bent on attacking itself, no one can cause or prevent this (although new research suggests there are steps that can be taken to delay it’s onset if antibody markers are identified early enough REF), where Type 2 Diabetes is predominantly caused by insulin resistance – usually more prevalent in people who eat a high sugary diet, are obese, drink excessive alcohols or are generally unhealthy. The body literally has too many cells v’s insulin production and it cannot get enough insulin. Type 2 Diabetics are largely managed with oral medications and a strict eating regime.
Type 2 Diabetics are encouraged to eat a very Low Carbohydrate diet, to understand why, it is important to actually understand what a carbohydrate is. In the simplest explanation I can give you, here goes:
A carbohydrate is a chain of glucose molecules intricately bonded together. Effectively, the body breaks down carbohydrates into sugar – therefore Carbohydrates ARE SUGAR!
Most websites and indeed dieticians will tell you that Carbohydrates are essential nutrients to sustain life. That without them you would not be able to function (because it’s our energy source), that we would not grow and the brain function would be massively affected. This is ALL inaccurate!
The body only needs protein and fat to survive. True! Fact!
The human body is a very clever machine – genius. It has the ability to produce all the energy it needs to not only survive, but to grow, develop, heal and thrive. Your body can produce its own glucose (energy), the raw, preferred source of fuel, via an intricate yet simple process that happens during the digestive process called Gluconeogenesis. Basically, the body can turn protein and some fats into glucose thus rendering sugar and carbohydrates (that the body breaks down into glucose – it is sugar after all) useless! And whilst I touched on the breakdown of carbohydrates (sugar) to glucose, I need to mention that it doesn’t take much, in fact some foods are that insanely ‘sugar’ – like bread! BREAD! That the digestive enzymes in your mouth – saliva breaks it straight down into glucose! Like, straight away, in your mouth. So, that yummy bread you think is nutritionally sound, by the time you’ve chewed it, you’re actually swallowing sugar – glucose, doesn’t sound as appealing or healthy now does it? Its equivalent of swallowing 3 teaspoons worth of sugar. Imagine how much bread I fed my T1 Diabetic in the first 6 months of his diagnosis! And how guilty I feel now, having learnt what I have? Do you think I will ever feed him bread again? That’s right – NOPE!! NEVER!! Not on my watch!!
There is a famous video where Dr Bernstein proves this on a USA channel when a Diabetic ‘specialist’ was insisting that bread is a preferred and recommended ‘healthy’ aspect for a Diabetic to eat regularly. He chewed some bread and then used a glucose detecting strip to measure the amount of sugar in his mouth and it light up like a lightbulb!
Here is where you can find that footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PZno7Nkuuw
The body NEEDS protein and fat to survive and for the amino acids and macronutrients Dr Bernstein also recommends taking fibrous vegetables – all detailed in his book, therefore there is still an element of carbohydrates in his meal plan recommendations. The difference is; the vegetables he recommends contain chains of slow release, slow acting carbohydrates – you won’t get that instant glucose release, the body will take its time digesting them, absorbing all the goodness they offer amongst a bit of glucose too. They won’t cause your blood sugars to hike up into the insane numbers they would eating say potatoes or bread or cookies. It just does not happen. And the benefit to eating such fibrous veggies like cabbage and broccoli far outweighs what little impact the glucose content will have on your blood sugars and overall health.
I have provided a lot of information there, the scientists and professionals will be questioning my sources, wanting proof that I’m not just making it all up. Well, all the evidence and explanation you need is in Dr Bernstein’s Book, however the critical thinkers out there are looking for how I can further support this, for an argument to support this methodology that cannot be dismissed, that can be justified and used as an evidence base for practice. As I don’t want you to find this a one-sided argument either, I want to include other published, valid resources therefore have researched quite a lot online and liaised with other (far more experienced) professionals to find some easy-read articles and some more intricate ones too, that do confirm what I am telling you to be fact.
You do not need carbohydrates to sustain life, to grow, to heal or for cognitive development and brain function. The body can produce its own energy sources, in fact, the body’s preferred source of fuel is fat and protein.
Go back to caveman days, they didn’t eat bread, barely fruit, they ate meat – protein – fat. We evolved and we got it wrong – really wrong! More so for our Type 1 Diabetics, in fact we got it massively wrong for the Type 2 Diabetics that most of whom are in this situation because of their diet…