Yada, yada, yada. Every time I’ve heard of high fat, low carb diets, it’s always been attached to the celebs who’ve been following it for weight loss. I read umpteen articles saying that anything remotely related to the Atkins Diet is to be avoided at all costs.
Then… I found out I was a diabetic, and my numbers were incredible.
What hit me the most is that normal should be around 4 – 6 for blood sugar, yet mine was sitting one day at 23, when I’d only eaten ‘healthy’ food, at under 1000 calories.
I was gutted. Truly I was. The doctors told me to eat whole grain, and eat better, yet eating their recommended diet, meant that my blood sugar was going haywire. I couldn’t keep going like that.
By accident, because of the difficulty getting testing strips and lancets to prick my fingers, I went looking for a forum, as you do.
Thousand of people are on there, and most advocating the HFLC diet for diabetes, instead of the advice offered by medical staff. I already knew that the standard advice was a pile of dog poo, so I was willing to try anything.
I couldn’t imagine living on a low carb regime. I love carbs. I really do, but it turns out that they really don’t like me back.
I eat lots of lettuce and some tomatoes as they contain carbs, and most fruit has more carbs than I’d like, so it has been a total food regime change for me, and one that hasn’t been that simple to follow.
Three days of low carbing at less than 30g of carbs a day (which is miniscule) was tough for me. Then, I started introducing one new food a day, to see how it affected my blood sugar.
It’s safe to say, that low carbing keeps my blood glucose stable for most of the time, unless I forget to eat, at which point, my liver pumps out glucose that my body can’t use and soars the readings.
I’m now in the position of having to be a nodding donkey at medical appointments, as I know that if I don’t follow their recommendations, they’ll see me as obstructive and not supply me with testing strips and lancets. I need those supplies to know what I can and can’t eat. For the two months I tested before diagnosis, it cost me £50 a month.
So, for now, I’m sort of high fat, low carb, though a lot of my food is also low fat, due to my restricted calorie intake for the moment. I hope to be able to go up to around 1500 – 2000 calories a day without worrying once my thyroid, diabetes and weight are stabilised.
What I have used high fat for, is cheese and salad dressings. The low calorie versions all have higher carbs than the full fat ones, so I don’t skimp on those. Yes, it can be daunting to add around 120 calories for dressing, but it fits in.
The idea for those who’re low carbing for diets, is to reach ketosis, as state where the body burns fat in the absence of carbohydrates, and since the body recognises all carbs and turns them into sugar, the threshhold for carb intake is very low for that to happen and could be as low as 20-30g every day.
I’m aiming in general for around 350g a week now, and split it where I can.
Some Low Carb Foods
- Tomatoes (in moderation)
- Beetroot (in moderation)
- Berries (in moderation) with whipped cream
- Meats with no breading, battering or sugar/carb laden sauces
- Butter & Cheese & Eggs
- Quark Low Fat Soft Cheese (I mix this with some berries and stevia for dessert or a sweet treat)
- Sugar Free Jelly
- Seeds (I like the food doctor ones. Again, in moderation. 10g at a time)
- Natural/High fat sauces & dressings. (butter & cream)
General Rules – Eat Till Full
It sounds alien to me, and I’ve not gone down that route. I’m not doing this to achieve ketosis, but to regulate my blood sugar, and as a result, live a healthier life. It means I keep the levels of butter and cream down, and try to use lower fat cheeses where possible. I wish I’d found Quark years ago. You can really do so much with it.
Stay Away From
- Sugar…… Fizzy drinks, sweets, juices, sports drinks, baked goods, chocolate, ice cream, cereals, fruits.
- Added Ingredient Spreads – Margarine, spreads etc.
- Carbs/Starchy Carbs – Bread, pasta, potatoes, chips, porridge, rice, spelt, beans, lentils, flour, root vegetables.
- Fruit – Some fruits are high in carbs. One apple can use up 14g of carbohydrates, so if you are going for very low carbing, ie 20 – 30g a day, that’s most of your allowance in one wee treat.
- A wee bit of high cocoa content chocolate. The higher the cocoa concentration the better, and over 70 – 75% if possible, and only a little at a time. Ration yourself.
Keep fluids going. Water, tea, coffee, low calorie juices (try to avoid sweeteners too, if possible)
How To Keep Track
At the moment, I’m using My Fitness Pal to track my carbs and calories. I find it easier, so that I can also keep a record of my blood glucose levels, and my levels have plummeted in the space of a fortnight. Unlike the couple of weeks I tried the ‘medically approved’ version of food intake.
We do have to be careful though, as it is not easy to stick to very low carbing. I can fit nicely in at under 100g a day, but the 20-30g is a punishing target to hit, especially if, like me, you’re a fruit lover.
Don’t take my words as gospel. Make sure to check it out for yourself if you try this way of eating. What works for me, might not work for you. And it isn’t easy…..I’m struggling, but my health depends on it.