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  • Writer's pictureDr. S. Rallis DC, ND

is high fat diet the key to reversing diabetes?

This past Thursday was #WorldDiabetesDay2019. Raising awareness for #diabetes is a big deal to me. Not only was as our diabetes research published this year, but...we're in the midst of preparing even more case studies for publication #hearditherefirst !!

So, in honour of this event, I thought I'd share some of my thoughts -especially as they relate to the nutritional management of diabetes.

#Nutrition is one of the great blindspots in conventional family practice. It’s barely studied and rarely if ever used. Beyond the diagnosis of disease, conventional medicine is about prescribing drugs. Period. Full stop. This isn’t anyone’s fault. It. Just. Is. So while all medical guidelines make reference to the importance of diet and lifestyle modifications in the treatment of chronic disease, most doctors don’t actually have the time or confidence to use nutrition in their practice.

Consequently, most of what you have been told about nutrition, especially as it relates to type 2 wrong!

It never made sense to me, why patients who were suffering with a progressive disease affecting their body’s ability to process sugar were instructed to eat a carbohydrate-rich diet.

When we started using the ketogenic diet to treat and even reverse type 2 diabetes, I assumed all doctors were doing the same. This isn’t the case.

In #Barrie, #Ontario, where I practice, patients that are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are typically prescribed metformin and referred to a diabetic clinic were they are instructed, according to established guidelines to limit fat and consume “no less than 130 grams” of carbohydrates per day. (1)

A growing body of evidence is suggesting that this is very bad advice.

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive impairment to the sugar or carbohydrate fuel system in the body, as a result of insulin resistance or loss of insulin sensitivity. “Eating no less than 130 g of carbohydrates per day” is like asking someone with an injured leg to bounce vigorously on a trampoline every day. So not surprisingly, after giving diabetic patients really bad advice, we then see, very characteristically, the need to both increase the number and quantity of medications needed.

The diabetic pattern of degeneration is so common, it’s called “characteristic” (2) in the medical literature. In other words, the same story unfolds over and over.

I was so perturbed by this lack of awareness surrounding high-fat, low carbohydrate diets for diabetics that I prepared and submitted two case reports for medical publication in hopes of expanding the dialogue amongst the medical community. This research was published in the medical journal, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy. You can find our research here:

In our study, two diabetic patients, a 65-year-old female, and a 52-year-old male were placed on high-fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic diets and monitored for 12 weeks. The 65-year-old female achieved normal blood sugar levels while reducing her diabetic medication by 75%. The 52-year-old male demonstrated a complete reversal of his condition while eliminating all diabetic medications.

I also encourage you to read and share our research with your family physician, your dietician, and your family members.

While each patient program at our clinic is individualized, diabetic programs usually consist of seven visits over a 12-week period. Visit frequency will vary considerably after this initial period.

Over and over again, patients that follow this formula demonstrate dramatic improvements to blood sugar, lose weight, improve energy -all while needing less meds! The recommendations are easy to follow and generally result in improvements to blood sugar. For some, it will put the disease into remission!

So...ready to get started?

(1) Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee. Dworatzek PD, et al. Nutrition therapy. Can J Diabetes. 2013;37(Suppl 1):S45–S55.

(2) Higgins V, Piercy J, Roughley A, et al. Trends in medication use in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a long-term view of real-world treatment between 2000 and 2015. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2016;9:371–380.

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