Kurt G. Harris MD

PāNu means paleonutrition. The "paleo" here signifies "old" and not necessarily paleolithic. The PāNu approach to nutrition is grounded on clinical medicine and basic sciences disciplined by knowledge of evolutionary biology and paleoanthropology. The best evidence from multiple disciplines supports eating a pastoral (animal-based) diet rather than a grain-based agricultural one, while avoiding what I call the neolithic agents of disease - wheat, excess fructose and excess linoleic acid.

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« Odds and Sods - feb 2010 | Main | 180 + 180 = 360 »
Friday
Feb122010

PaNu and Type II Diabetes

My first experience with diet and type II diabetes was almost 2 years ago. I gave my 20-minute spiel to a patient of mine and her husband. My patient is a cancer survivor (glioblastoma) and I was trying to emphasize all the ways diet might affect tumor growth. (Cancer is the subject of upcoming blog posts) Her husband said he had just been diagnosed Type II and took an oral hypoglycemic agent, so he had some interest as well.

I saw them 2 months later and he said his fasting BG had decreased from 185 to 126 in the interim. His family doctor said “I don’t know what you are doing, but if you keep doing it, very soon you won’t have diabetes any more” He confessed he was following the advice of his wife’s neuroradiologist, and I am told this was met with approval.

They both admitted they had not read the books I recommended but were just going off what they remembered from my brief oral presentation. Many of my local success stories are the same, reading nothing at all, or only follow the blog.

Since then, I have had many comments and emails attesting to improvement in a variety of manifestations of metabolic syndrome, including type II Diabetes.

Then about a month ago, LAMF posted this testimonial in the forums:

I wanted to make a post both to thank Dr. Harris for this blog and to share the amazing results I have seen with my type II diabetes in the very short time I have been following the panu guidelines.

I was diagnosed with type II in early November quite by accident, after taking a blood test for the first time in over ten years to get a discount on my employer health insurance. The day after the test, I received a call from a doctor informing me that I had to get to an emergency room right away, because my BG was 550 and my A1C was over 12. I am a software developer and pretty much live up to the stereotype almost completely (overweight, sedentary, etc) but had been following a Mediterranean type diet for a number of years, thinking I was at least eating healthy.

Years ago I "did Atkins" and lost a ton of weight, but had gained it all back (heard that story before?), so I was at least somewhat aware of what my next steps had to be. After going to a doctor (again, first time in over ten years) I was amazed at the BS plan he wanted to put me on. He immediately prescribed three medicines for me (one that made me cough, one that made me shit and one that didn't seem to do anything) and recommended that I follow the ADA guidelines for diet and exercise. He also insisted that he would more than likely put me on insulin within a few weeks, despite the fact that my test results showed that I was already producing more insulin than I should be.

I pretty much informed him at that point that I would take his medicines for now, but I wasn't going to listen to a thing he said regarding diet, and wasn't going to take insulin under any circumstances. I promised him that by our next appointment I would be off the medication with normal-ish BG levels. I didn't even wait until our next appointment to stop taking those stupid meds.

I immediately went back to standard LC eating and saw my BGs drop from the 400-500 range down to the 120 - 140 range. I did standard LC for about two months, but actually gained a few pounds. This can probably be attributed to water weight gain, as I was no longer dehydrated from having such a high BG level. Despite always being well below 40g of carbs a day, I was completely unable to lose any weight at all. I was somewhat happy with my BG results, but wanted to do better ... so I started researching. The internet introduced me to Eades, then to Taubes (rapidly digested GC,BC), and finally to here. By this point I was sold and immediately transitioned my diet to a VLC paleo approach, following the panu guidelines. The results since then have been downright amazing.

The ADA says that a diabetic should have BGs below 140, which implies that 140 is acceptable. However, normal non-diabetics are between 70 - 100. That makes no sense to me. I don't want to be acceptable, or in control of this stupid condition ... I want to be rid of it. That means I want to be in the normal non-diabetic range all the time, of course. After just TWO WEEKS following panu principles, my BGs dropped drastically to the 85-90 range, with my lowest so far being today at 74, and I have been losing about a pound a day. According to my doctor, what I did was statistically impossible (going from >500 to completely normal without meds in just a few months). The way I see it, it is only statistically impossible because doctors are pushing the ridiculous "medicate and stick to ADA guidelines" crap down people's throats.

So PaNu, as simple and natural as it is, has been an absolute miracle for me. I will do my best to spread the word and promote this approach to everyone I know ... especially if they are afflicted with one of these damn, unnecessary neolithic diseases of civilization.

Thank you Dr. Harris!

Now I confess that at first I thought this might be a hoax. A stereotypical cubicle-bound computer nerd goes from a presumably grain-heavy mediterranean diet to PaNu and cures his diabetes? His serum BG goes from 550 to 75? With no exogenous insulin?

Then MNS made the following post:

I have a question for you if you don't mind--what EXACTLYdid you do differently between your "standard LC" (when you were consuming approximately 40 gCHO and not losing and now, following the PaNu approach? In other words, what were you eating on "standard LC" that you are not eating now....or is there something that you ADDED with your current approach? Thanks in advance and thanks for giving hope to some of us who have some mild (by comparison) blood sugar issues.

And LAMF replied:

Here are the specific changes that I made from my standard LC to the PaNu approach, associated with the corresponding step in the program:

Steps 1 - 3: No change. These are the basics of LC eating in a nutshell.

Step 4: This was news to me and constituted perhaps one of my biggest changes. My standard LC lunch was a sandwich roll up dripping with mayo. In fact, mayo found its way into almost everything I ate. Ever look at the contents of a jar of mayo? Soybean oil is the primary ingredient.

Step 5: I am a software developer, and like most sedentary office types, get very little sun. I am making a conscious effort to get out in the midday sun daily, for as long as my schedule allows. Still have a ways to go on this one.

Step 6: This one was HUGE. Many LC diet plans insist on eating every few hours, which I gratefully obliged (mostly with cheese). I wasn't necessarily hungry, but I ate. Now I don't eat my first meal of the day until I am hungry, which usually happens around noon or 1, and I don't eat again until I am hungry again, which is usually around 8. That means that I normally get about a 16 hour fast in every day.

Step 7: No change. Fruit and low carb do not generally go together very well at all.

Step 8: Small change, but a change nonetheless. South Beachy type diets allow for a good amount of beans, and my wife really loves them. Best part of cutting them out altogether was the effect on my flatulence.

Step 9: Pretty big change. Instead of just buying whatever meat was available, we started shopping at our local Earth Fare (kind of like a NC based Whole Foods) for the grass fed meats. Interesting development from this is that I found that the meat was way more satiating than just standard grain fed cuts, although that could have just been a mental thing for me. Lately we found a butcher who gets his meats from a local farm, so transitioning over to that.

Step 10: Ack. Moving. Not a huge fan, personally. However, I joined a Y and go about twice a week for a half hour. I totally skip the aerobic torture devices that keep you planted on them for an hour at a time and go straight to resistance training. Since I hate just about every second of it, I have been using the heaviest weights I can possibly manage, going in slow motion to totally maximize the impact on my poor muscles, and only do 1 set (to failure) for each muscle group. I take no rest at all between sets and get the hell out of there as quickly as I can. I make sure I get at least two days rest between torture sessions.

Step 11: No change. I already eliminated white sugar water.

Step 12: Just like the good doctor, I haven't totally done this step. I don't have a good source for lard yet, so cook with mostly ghee. I have also been taking about 6 tablespoons of cream a day in tea and homemade soda. I have, however, completely cut out cheese and will keep it out of my diet until I have lost all the weight I want to lose (about 40 lbs to go). My issue with cheese is that I eat too much of it when I eat it, so better off avoiding it for now. I know that isn't any kind of reasoning associated with this step, but it is my reality.

There are some other changes I have made that are unrelated to the steps, but I think adhere to paleo principles in general. I no longer try to reproduce the high carb foods I love using low carb ingredients. I have completely cut out powdered splenda (which isn't actually low carb at all, despite what the label says) and have drastically reduced the use of even liquid sucralose/stevia sweeteners. I'm losing my sweet tooth!

My guess is that some combination of the above has worked to drastically lower the amount of insulin in my system, which has triggered the rapid and amazing changes I have seen in both weight loss and BG levels, but I am far more comfortable with 0s and 1s than I am with health so am not sure exactly what it was. In addition to the obvious changes already mentioned, my overall health has also improved dramatically. Chronic back pain: gone. Nightly severe headaches: gone. Gum infections due to advanced periodontal disease: gone. Almost weekly flareups of infection in a polinidal cyst that I have had for 20 years: gone. I feel better than I have ... well, ever.

Hope this helped.

 

Now I knew this was for real. LAMF’s testimonial and his response to MNS should be read by everyone, as they are an excellent example of one individual’s successful implementation of a simple but powerful plan.

Finally, I can’t help but wonder if the same results could have been obtained just by following the excellent advice of Dr. Bernstein. I recommend his book highly, but is there an additional contribution made by focusing on the Neolithic agents like a laser?

In addition to carbohydrate reduction, does the reduction in excess inflammatory PUFA and fructose and maybe vitamin D correction add to the effects of just going to 50 g/day of carbs?

Is it :                 PUFA     > Fructose > Vit D > Wheat?

Or is it:         Fructose > PUFA       > Vit D > Wheat?

The shotgun approach is not the way to do a study, but it may be the way to bet with your own health.

Reader Comments (22)

I have been diabetic (type 2) for three years, mostly following Dr. Bernstein's diet with great success. Since reading your blog, I have cut out the vegetable oils. The only concern I have is Step 6, Intermittent fasting. It seems to me that 4 smaller meals would make the post priandal area under the curve smaller with smaller meals. I would appreciate your thoughts on Intermittent fasting vs. smaller meals.

KGH:

If you are not on insulin, I think 2 meals a day is fine. Bernstein's plan
is 3 meals a day, as you know. I have a paper somewhere that took Type IIs and they improved glucose levels by just having them skip breakfast altogether. I'll see if I can find it.

I don't see much upside to snacking, unless you are trying to avoid passing out while following the ADA's regime.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwaltc

Thank-you for this post. It illustrated some changes I could make to implement for a more panu approach. I have been changing my diet to low carb. At the beginning, I lost 13 pounds but for the last three months have been miserably stuck. Recently you have teased about writing about broken metabolisms. Would you have considered LAMF to have a broken metabolism? If he did have a broken metabolism how would you define that and what other recommendations would you implement?

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

T2 Diabetic, diagnosed 10 years ago. I have kept my diabetes completely un-noticeable most of that time by using a very low carb/carnivorous diet with minimal salad greens. I have to wait for my records to forward when I get a new doctor because they won't believe me. My A1c is always about 5, my FBG is nearly rock steady at 85-90 and I believe my insulin sensitivity has improved, based on testing after my occasional cheats.

It's hard to draw any conclusions from a sample of one, but the several accounts here are only a few of the many similar stories I have heard. T2 Diabetes can be arrested, beat back into the corner and then largely ignored as long as we stay fairly Paleo.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill DeWitt

Dr. Harris,
I have just recently discovered your blog, and this is my first post. Thank you for the obvious time and work you put into it, and in putting together this post. I was speaking to a group just last night, and in particular with one woman who has been recently diagnosed with LADA (adult onset type I). Her endocrinologist had suggested the usual "party line" and she was pleased with her A1C of 7. I strongly suggested she explore Bernstein's work and now that I have found your blog I will direct her (and future people as well) here.

It is refreshing to see an MD willing to step outside the usual boichemically, physiologically, evolutionarily absurd ADA recommended diet, which in my opinion results in the needless suffering and death of many diabetic patients and also those patients with heart disease. I consider myself blessed as an ND (Naturopathic Doctor), licensed by the state of Washington to provide primary care, but not straight-jacketed by ridiculous standards of care. There was great frustration at the group I was speaking to that even well-informed MDs would not speak out on a "correct diet" out of fear of violating standards of care and facing disciplinary action and loss of license.

If you feel willing would you be wiling to speak to how you go against the standards of care in terms of diet with your patients and what risk that puts you at? I apologize if you have already talked about this, I have not yet gone back through your blog posts.

I look forward to future posts, and will happily pass along your blog to my patients.

Regards,
Tim Gerstmar, ND

PS - Would it be alright with you if I reposted your account of the man with DM II in this blog post to my blog at www.aspirenaturalhealth.com/blog? I will of course provide proper attribution.

KGH:

You may link to this with attribution and a link, no problem.

Standard of nutrition care among physicians? Most of them don't know enough about nutrition to tell you what such a standard would be (I was one of them years ago). I've never had another physician complain about weight loss or improved glucoregulatory control or disappearing allergies in someone I gave advice to.

Besides, eating is not medical care, even if some would like to make it so.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Tim Gerstmar

This is awesome. I am a member of a German nutrition forum and just responded to a post from another member who is insulinresistant. Her doctors recommend the usual carb fare and she says she wants to try it after her diet (moderately low-carb) did not get her the results she had hoped for. I tried to explain about carbs exacerbating insulin resistance and demonstrate how it is utter nonsense to try and cure a condition by eating the stuff that caused it in the first place. I just put a link to your website in my last post and hope she will read it. If she doesn't have enough English to read it I will offer to send her a translation, if that's all right with you, Dr. Harris.

KGH: Translate away ( anything on the site), then send me a link to it!

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermezzovoice

Thank you for all your work and thinking and writing Good Dr. Harris.

I was shocked 5 years ago at a lousy Hb A1c test. Nobody advised me well. And then on June 16, 2008 I got a hold of Taubes' GC,BC and my life changed permanently for the better. Since then I've come across spectacular blog after spectacular blog and here is a partial list of my dangerous reading in the last 18 mo's. TRICK AND TREAT, Groves: CEREAL KILLER, Watson; THE GREAT CHOLESTEROL CON, Kendrick; PURE, WHITE and DEADLY, Yudkin (out of print, but inter-library-loan is a way to get this); SUGAR BLUES, Dufty; PRIMAL-BODY, PRIMAL-MIND, Gedgaudas; KNOW YOUR FATS, Enig; THE VEGETARIAN MYTH, Keith; PROTEIN POWER, Eades; NUTRITION and PHYSICAL DEGENERATION, Price; THE OTHER BRAIN, Fields; THE RISE and FALL of MODERN MEDICINE, Le Fanu.........

I am but one anecdote but this is the order that I expunged frankenstein modern 'foods' from my diet. Table sugar, vegetable fats (corn and soy)- [adde vitamin D], and then wheat. Wheat was last, but for me it definitely makes the most difference. I'm a chemist, a parent (meal maker) and I teach biochemistry and I hadn't heard of ANY of this BT (before Taubes). I'm livid. I could have been told long ago that wheat gluten, sucrose, and oils that were originally made for the paint, putty and varnish industry were not fit for human consumption! For the vegetable oils, when new markets were sought and their addition to animal feed didn't pan out (the turkeys DIED), they were dumped into human chow - and claims they enhance health began and continue to this day. Margarine was originally introduced for one and only one purpose - to be cheaper than butter.

From "The Other Brain", the notion of an inviolable (to mischievous dementia inducing via autoimmunity gluten) blood-brain barrier is a dangerous assumption. From "The Vegetarian Myth", wheat is murder, literally. As of this moment I'm against the grain - literally.
Thanks you for all the work you do.

You are helping to save lives with your blog left and right.

KGH: Nice to see support from a biochemist. Thank you, Laurie!

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

Dr Harris,
Thank you for the thoughts. My experience and the experience of my colleagues has been that despite most MDs knowing little to nothing about nutrition they like to believe they do. Patients have been told to discontinue that "crazy diet" that "crazy ND" gave you because: it'll destroy you kidneys, it'll clog your arteries, you need carbs to function, etc., etc. (all the old myths). I've sadly seen too many MDs say that food has absolutely no relationship to health or disease which stands in stark distinction to what I see in my practice on a weekly basis. The husband of one of my patients (an MD who has DM II) aggressively maintains that DM is completely genetic and diet has nothing to do with it.

Thank you for informing yourself and in turn providing this blog which with it's very strong scientific basis can serve to convince those skeptical of a diet-health connection. As you've stated elsewhere if we could leverage diet to reduce many of the chronic diseases of civilization how different our medical care system would look.

Regards,
Tim Gerstmar, ND

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Tim Gestmar

Hi Dr. Harris,

I have been following your blog for some time now. I am on Paleo diet for just 1 month now. And I have been in Ketosis for the past few weeks. Even though I have read a lot about ketosis but I have few questions which not have been answered by anyone to my satisfaction.
1) What happens when you are in ketosis for a couple of weeks and let's say on 15th day you consume some carbs enough to get you out of ketosis? Can we resume back the next day to low carbs (i.e. < 50 g) and everything goes back to normal or we have destroyed the all the efforts and it will take some time for us to be in fat burning mode again?
2) You always suggest consuming more fats compared to protein during ketosis.. Is that correct? Now my question is if you are ingesting fats in your system then why would not our body choose to just burn the dietary fats instead of stored fats? And how much fat is enough to stay away from starvation mode and keep the fat burning mode?

Thanks!

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterceesh

Dr. Harris -

I am glad you found my post helpful. I assure you it is not a hoax!

I have an appointment with my doctor next month for a new A1C test. My BG levels have been hovering between 70 and 85 since making this post (without any meds, of course), so I am expecting excellent results. I would be more than happy to forward you my "before" and "after" results if you would like.

I have shared my results with a number of people and everyone agrees that the low carb thing leading to lower BG levels is just obvious. What strikes me most is that 40 - 50 point additional drop I got by applying your panu/paleo principles to my standard low carb diet. There is something that happened there that I think goes beyond what Bernstein and others recommend. As a nerd (we prefer geek, by the way) it isn't enough for me that this happened and the results are way better than expected. I need to know what exactly caused the changes. Can you recommend any additional tests in particular I should request at my next doctor visit (Vitamin D level or something)?

Thanks again!

KGH:

"There is something that happened there that I think goes beyond what Bernstein and others recommend."

That is why the 12 steps incorporated almost everything I can think of to reverse metabolic syndrome and prevent other diseases of civilization. You are the first to confirm my suspicion that it is much more than just the macronutrient ratios. The PUFA focus is probably the biggest difference and was the second thing I began to suspect after fructose in the early days. I think for some it may turn out to be more important than wheat avoidance.

My recommended panel for academic interest includes TSH, freeT4, freeT3, NMR lipoprofile, 25 (OH) D3, fasting serum BG, fasting insulin and C-peptide, C reactive protein, fibrinogen and Lipoprotien (a)

A calcium score (CAC) and CIMT (carotid intima-media thickness) study are options if you have good coverage - only so we can see if they improve a year later.

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLAMF

Same thing happened to me. Diagnosed 18 months ago as diabetic with an HbA1c of 10.9. Was told I would live a life on medication and insulin, but I refused. Started Atkins. Now, my blood sugar typically stays between 80 and 110, and my last HbA1c was 5.2

My system seems to be slowly getting stronger, too. Some foods which used to spike my blood sugar, no longer do so.

KGH: Fantastic! thanks for the testimonial.

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSnowdog

Bernstein allows 1 fiber cracker a day, so it is not grain free. No legumes, no fruit. Liquid Splenda is allowed. No limits on dairy as long as carb and BG goals are met. Nuts are not encouraged, but I don't believe that veg oils are discouraged. Exercise is encouraged, including resistance training.

Snacking and "candy cigarettes" are discouraged to avoid creating cravings, but many Bernsteiners spend plenty of time concocting things, sometimes in an effort to share their diet with family members.

In the end, each is encouraged to determine what works for them using the feedback from their meter. So many people who post on the Bernstein forum are actually eating Panu, some are eating ZC, others are very careful about gluten or other food intolerances etc.

I am split between hidden food intolerances and PUFA as the factors making the biggest difference. Food intolerance seems slightly more likely; could you really get such fast results from changing out the PUFA?
It seems like that would be highly beneficial, but would take a while.

KGH:

Read Peter's posts on how fatty liver in rats does not reverse with elimination of alcohol and fructose, only if you take out the PUFA - you might change your mind.

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwsb

Dr. Harris,

Both of my parents died from complications of diabetes in their mid-sixties. Ten years ago I requested a GTT even though my FBG was normal. The results were off the chart. I have been following the Bernstein method but having recently found your blog, I made some changes based upon your recommendations: cut out the Bran-a-Crisps, skipped breakfast (I am not hungry anyway, switched to heavy cream and butter, cut out the PUFA, etc. Since doing that, I have not had a BG over 104. I will wait a few more weeks to get an A1c. My physician was concerned about my cholesterol (around 250 total with 75 HDL) and wanted me to go on a statin. I refused and requested a CT scan. I had a calcium score of 9. I will also request a NMR lipoprofile.

I have one question. As I said, I am not hungry for breakfast but do enjoy fresh brewed coffee. Would coffee with heavy cream be considered a meal?

Thank you so much for taking the time to educate us all. I wish that you could get some good national exposure to conteract the harmful advice given by people like Dr. Oz on the Oprah Show about nutrition for people with diabetes. I sometimes find myself screaming at the television screen:-)

Andrea

KGH: Thanks Andrea, you might keep the coffee decaf as caffeine does decrease insulin sensitivity.

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Regarding Fatty liver and PUFA I imagine this is refined/rancid PUFA? If I eat for example nuts am i safe?

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Entering my 25th year as type 2 diabetic. Bernstein was the first low-carb author I read. The differences between his recommendations and those found here seem to be small, with one exception. Though I am not down to 2 meals/day every day, I do skip meals several times a week and I find that has had a beneficial effect on my blood sugars.

Dr. Harris - I notice butter and coconut oil are both significantly higher in Omega 6 than Omega 3 (coconut oil has no Omega 3 at all). I eat freely of both and wondered about the effect on the 6/3 ratio?

KGH:

Total 6s are still very low for both. Where did you get your figures for butter? Even grain fed butter has a pretty reasonable ratio and grass fed is close to 1:! which is as good as it gets outside of fish.

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Hi, Dr. Harris-

I love your blog, and I have a few more success stories for you.

A co-worker of mine was recently diagnosed with type 2, and she came to me for advice (everyone around the office knows I'm into health and nutrition). At the time of diagnosis, her BG was well into the 400 range. I immediately outlined a very detailed plan for her (paleo with small amounts of full-fat dairy allowed), along with ideas for meals, and she started implementing the changes right away. She is Puerto Rican, so beans and rice had been a staple in her diet.

Two days later she walked into my office and proudly reported that her BG was down to the 190s. The next day she reported it was down to the 160s. Her BG kept on steadily dropping each day. Now, 5 weeks later, her BG stays around 85 fasting and 75 after meals. She has also gone from 213 pounds to 192. Her BMI was previously 36 and is now 29. When she went to her follow-up doctor's appointment, her doctor was blown away and asked what she had been doing. She told her the truth and said that she was doing the exact OPPOSITE of what she had advised her to do (give up meat, lots of whole grains and veggies). Her doctor said to keep it up, because the diabetes was gone.

This same co-worker also suffered from a terrible GI ulcer, and her gastroenterologist was perplexed when the ulcer suddenly healed. He was sure she'd eventually need surgery. Not anymore! Her acid reflux and fatigue is also gone, as is her terrible edema.

I started my 30-year-old cousin on paleo after I saw her looking terrible over the holidays. She listened, and her health has done a complete 180. Her IBS and chronic constipation went away after 3 days, no more PMS, no more fibrocystic breasts, and she dropped a dress size in 3 weeks.

This same cousin started our 79-year-old grandmother on paleo, and her asthma no longer bothers her. Her acid reflux is gone, and she feels great. No more achy hips, either.

I'm 27 now, but have been applying paleo principals for two years. I'm so grateful that I discovered paleo nutrition at such a young age, before I became afflicted with degenerative diseases. I'm also grateful to physicians like you, who take the time to share your knowledge with the public. What you are doing is truly life-saving.

KGH:

Wow, those are impressive stories - you are doing a great job of spreading the word

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you "destroy your metabolism" by eliminating starchy rice and beans!

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I got the information on the Omega 6 content on nutritiondata.com. The listing was not for grass fed, which is what I eat. BTW, I was off Byetta, Levemir & Metformin in 6 months. I ate too much during Christmas - nothing bad, just too much and my A1c went back up to 6, but it has been in the 5.5 - 5.6 range.

KGH:

I think it is important to keep in mind that a ratio of 20:1 is bad, and 4:1 or less is relatively good. Outside of fish, the fats in meat always have more 6 than 3, the question is how much.

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

<Sigh>. These success stories make me so envious. I'm also type 2 and can't seem to get my numbers anywhere close to where I want them. For over a year now I have eaten no wheat or gluten grains, avoid fructose, don't eat PUFA oils, supplement with 5000-10,000 IU of D3 daily - yet still could not get blood glucose numbers close to normal range. My doctor finally put me on metformin, but even on metformin my nunbers are not where I'd like them. I was so sure my eating and lifestyle changes would help! Well I guess they have a little. At diagnosis my A1C was 11. But on just straight low carb, no grains, vit D3 supplementaion, no PUFA oils I can't get it blow the mid 6-range.

KGH:

You might get a fructosamine level done and also track your actual BGs with a meter for 24 hrs.

Some have higher than predicted A!c for a variety of reasons. Mine is 5.8 even though my average BG would predict 5.3

Going from A1c of 11 to 6 you have already slashed your risk by about 80% or more so that is outstanding - be happy about it!

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

Dr. Harris,

Having lost over 30 pounds on a low-carb diet, I have followed your advice given in the "how to lose weight" blog to jump start further fat loss after having been stuck for two years. Some cream in the morning. Some early afternoon. A reasonable (very low-carb) meal in the evening. I have been in ketosis of varying degrees for three weeks. The net result is that I have gained three pounds!

My question is: Does being in ketosis necessarily lead to fat loss?

Hugh

KGH:

May be more necessary than not but not sufficient by itself.

What is your current height and weight?

February 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHugh

Dr. Harris,

I am 51 years old. 6'0" and weigh, as of yesterday, 212 (I go up and down from 207 to 212). I own a personal training studio that provides training in the Body By Science style or methodology and have been training that way for 7 years. In other words, I do have a bit of muscle mass, however my body fat (roughly 19 by the Marine Corps height/weight charts) is way to high given that my goal is 10-12%!

Hugh

February 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHugh

Dr. Harris

What I take from your blog, as a simple message, is that people evolved to eat things that ate grass, as opposed to eating grass themselves. We could generalize your conclusions regarding evolution to include all carbohydrates, but that goes too far, because with a sharp stick and a fire one could easily imagine digging up and cooking a primitive potato or similar root vegetable.

Everyone is probably sensitive to wheat and similar grains, with some (probably including me) simply much more sensitive than others. I am presently indulging in a personal experiment to eat more protein and animal fat, fewer carbohydrates, and rice instead of wheat. The results so far are good, but I don't think I have any serious health issues. I am going to work on eliminating the PUFAs next, but I think that is going to be difficult, and I may have to throw them out of the house entirely.

I am taking vitamin D supplements for days when I do not get out into the equatorial sun. It is very bright.

Your comments on fruit consumption are interesting. If you have visited SE Asia, where I live, you may recall that many of the native fruits here have one big seed and not much to eat around it. It’s not like eating an apple. And most native fruits here really do not yield much to eat, even considering how big they are (jackfruit), or even with a large bunch of them (lanzones, for example). They taste good enough, but eating them is a fair amount of work and, in the end, you don’t get much to eat. As a result, eating fruit is a treat, like having dessert. Consuming fruit in this context, and I imagine in a less hybridized age, would not really substitute for eating real food. The one fruit that does not fit that description is the banana, which grows here like a weed.

I am curious about your upcoming analysis regarding coconut milk and, I hope, coconut oil. Coconut milk is seen as a mixed blessing here, because it gives a lot of people unpleasant stomach experiences.

February 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Hi Doctor Harris,

Its no joke. Jan 2009: 39 yrs old, A1c of 10.1, bodyweight of 331. Blood pressure was hovering around 130/80. I was taking Lantus and Metformin. My doctor informed me that my pancreas was probably DEAD. I went Paleo ala Robb Wolf and Art De Vany. By June my a1c was 5.1 and bodyweight was 255, and I was off the meds. That was before I started exercising :-) Last two a1c's were 5.0 and 4.9. Blood pressure hovers around 102/70. Bodyweight 220 @ 6'3" tall. I've been doing heavy weight training for about six months now, so a lot of that is muscle. The reports of the death of my pancreas were premature to say the least.

Greg

KGH:

Fantastic results! Thanks for relating.

Where is your carb percentage now, and during your progress, if you had to guess, and what carbs do you eat? Did you extirpate dairy ala Robb and do you trim the fat ala Art?

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Hi Doctor Harris,

I started out fat phobic but that quickly faded. I usually end up with about 3-5% carbs. Rarely more than 30-40 grams in a day. I was almost inuit for several months during the transition, but I missed the crunch of veggies. I eat a lot of spinach, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, but that just doesn't add up to much. In the summer I'm a fanatical pepper gardener so I eat a lot of those also. I took Robb's advice and did the with/without test with dairy several times and ended up settling on butter and heavy cream as fantastic additions to my diet. I also use whey protein pretty regularly. Ironically considering my past, my biggest challenge these days is eating enough to match my efforts in the weight room :-)

Greg

KGH: Great results, thanks for the followup.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreg
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