Dietetic Board Battles Against a Man’s Quest to Cure Type II Diabetes

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a rather unusual fellow in the past few months.

Since then, we have exchanged a few e-mails and comments, and I have referred a few readers to his site.

His name is Steve Cooksey, and he is a type II diabetic who is drug and insulin free, and has normal blood sugar levels.

He achieved this by taking matters into his own hands and going against the advice of doctors and dietitians. Instead of eating bread and shooting insulin, he did his own research and eventually adopted a low-carb, high-fat, real-food based diet.

He has a website called Diabetes Warrior where he shares his story, recipes, health tips, as well as his uphill battle against the medical institutions that are supposed to be helping diabetics.

What Steve does is basically eat in a low-carb paleo/primal fashion. He eats a lot of meat, eggs, bacon, coconut oil, butter, as well as some low-carb vegetables.

He does not eat sugar, high-carb fruit or high-carb vegetables. He doesn’t eat beans, and he certainly doesn’t eat “heart-healthy” whole grains like the dietitians advised.

His diet is very high in saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein. The dietitian geniuses probably think this diet will lead to Steve’s early and painful death.

Definitely not, and I’ll let Steve’s before and after pics speak for themselves.

A picture of Steve Cooksey

Diabetes and Low-Carb

To put a long story short, type II diabetes happens when the cells in the body become resistant to insulin. The pancreas then have a hard time producing enough insulin to shuttle all the glucose into the cells.

Eventually the pancreas start to fail and blood sugar elevates rapidly. Excess blood glucose is toxic, and you may have a medical emergency on your hands.

In fact, Steve had a blood sugar of 600 mg/dl (DANGER – normal is less than 100 mg/dl) when he was rushed to the hospital and consequently diagnosed with diabetes.

Now, anyone with half a brain would think: “hmm.. the body can’t handle all the glucose, why not just eat less glucose?”

That seems like the reasonable option, right?

Well, somehow the nutrition experts have reached the opposite conclusion. They advise diabetics to eat even more glucose, this time in the form of “heart-healthy” whole grains, beans and other high-carb foods.

Then they continue their streak of genius and advise diabetics to reduce fat intake.

Of course, diabetics who eat a lot of carbs will need to take diabetes medication and in some cases shoot insulin. This will help treat their symptoms, not the underlying cause, and the disease will most likely get progressively worse.

The people who crafted these nutritional guidelines for diabetics seem to have skipped basic biochemistry at school, or perhaps the fact that they are sponsored by the big food and pharmaceutical companies has a say in the matter.

If all type II diabetics were to follow in Steve’s shoes, then those companies might lose business. A lot of it.

What does the science have to say about this?

There have been some studies that demonstrate the superiority of low-carb diets for the treatment of type II diabetes.

For some reason, these are largely ignored by the institutions that are supposed to actually help diabetic patients.

Let’s take a look at some of these studies.

21 diabetic patients completed a 16-week trial where they were put on a low-carb, ketogenic diet for 16 weeks. Diabetes medication were discontinued in 7 and reduced in 10 patients. HbA1c (a marker of long-term blood sugar levels) lowered by 16%, body weight decreased by 6.6% (1).

A second study enrolled 84 people, who were randomized into either a low-carb, ketogenic diet group or a low glycemic index diet group. HbA1c and body weight lowered much further in the low-carb group, compared with the low glycemic index group.

Diabetic medications were reduced or eliminated in 95,2% of the low-carb group, compared with 62% in the other (2).

In the third study, 64 obese patients (half with elevated blood glucose) were placed on a low-carb ketogenic diet for 56 weeks (a long-term study). They reduced body weight, body mass index, total and LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, and raised HDL levels (3).

The authors clearly state the possible therapeutic effects of a low-carb, ketogenic diet to treat diabetes in the long-term.

A fourth study, this time a cross-over trial with 13 patients randomized to either a paleolithic diet or a standard diabetes diet, showed that the paleolithic diet was superior to the diabetes diet on pretty much all measurements.

The paleo diet improved HbA1c, body weight, BMI, triglycerides, blood pressure, waist circumference and HDL cholesterol, more than the diabetes diet (4).

Type II diabetes is one of the manifestations of the metabolic syndrome, and there are tons of more studies clearly showing the beneficial effects of low-carb diets on this disorder (5).

Meet the North Carolina Board of Dietetics

After reading all this, and knowing that Steve has helped many other people achieve the same results, you might think that the dietitians in his state would have been pleased when they found out about Steve’s endeavours.

No, not at all, actually.

Each time he has touched upon this topic with a dietitian, they have tried to convince him to stop eating this way, and go back to the high-carb drug-friendly diabetes diet.

And now things have moved to a whole new level.

The North Carolina Board of Dietetics has started investigating Steve and his website for breaching the law. They claim that he is providing nutritional counselling without a license, which is illegal in the state of North Carolina.

They want him to stop providing a solution for fellow diabetic patients, so they can continue to pimp their grain-based terror diet without distraction.

I recommend you listen to this 8 minute interview with Steve about the issue:

What You Can do to Support Steve

First of all, if you know an attorney that could possibly help Steve deal with the legal issues, then that would be greatly appreciated.

Second of all, you can send an e-mail to the dietitian board at info@ncbdn.org and ask them to call of their investigation.

Third, you can spread the message about all of this. You can imagine the horror if the food-and-drug-sponsored nutrition policy makers had a monopoly over nutrition advice.


 

19 Comments

  1. I’m no lawyer but I had a similar experience (completely different subject matter so might not be relatable) and all I did was post the following statement on my site (editted for this case):

    “I am not a dietician, all the information given on this site comes from my own personal experiences and those of any commentors/visitors to this site.”

    Just a standard disclaimer saying that the ‘advice’ is not advice merely a representation of what Steve is doing.

    Again I’m not a lawyer (just in case someone wants to sue me for giving out legal advice), just seems stupid that you can’t write about your own experiences.

    • anand srivastava says:

      Lance,
      If you read the story, you would know that Steve had done all that and more. But since its the livelihood of the dietitians at stake, so they are going to use everything they have got.

  2. Sincere “Thank You” Krisjan .. not just for this post but also …

    1) for being a proactive ‘critical thinker’

    2) for joining in the battle to shed light where there is darkness. :)

    Sincerely,

    Steve

  3. I have emailed the following text to North Carolina Board of Dietetics: Shame on you for trying to stop a man who has done so much to improve the health of so many people. You have lost your first love, helping people, and have caved in to the influence of the food and pharmaceutical companies that give so generously to your organizations. Your stubbornness is exceeded only by your ignorance, laziness and cowardness in the face of change for the better. Just a cursory examination of the dozens of studies that have come out demonstrating the superiority of a high-fat/low-carb diet for not only treating but even reversing Type II diabetes would convince even the most dull-witted individual that the advice that you give out is harmful, not helpful. How can you live with your conscious, even suspecting that you are harming people, not helping them? Shame on you. You should resign and get out of the way for the more enlightened and loving individuals who truly want to help people by using sound biochemical and nutritional science – people who are not corrupted by food manufacturer and pharmaceutical money.

    Sincerely,
    Stephen Brand
    Certified Personal Trainer
    Specialist Fitness Nutrition
    Specialist Senior Fitness

  4. The “NEW” Traditional method of treating diabetes with high carb and low fat diets is tantamount to murder. IMHO, of course. I love Roberta Ruggiero. Being hypoglycemic she helped many with blood sugar, high and low, realize the healthy life by reducing carbs and increase protein and fat.
    So sad that they have been bought off.
    Thank you for the article and Good Luck to Steve.

  5. Excellent written article! As an online friend of Steve’s for almost two years, I’m always impressed with his straight forward, no-nonsense approach. This is a man who walks the walk. It is my sincere hope that Steve’s plight may get enough exposure to make naysayers believers and save many more lives. I hear all of the time how diabetes is epidemic, but we can clearly see here that not only do diabetics not have to be insulin/drug dependent, but there is hope in preventing those who are insulin resistent (Iike myself) from becoming diabetic by adopting a low carb lifestyle.

  6. Remember it was a couple of dietitians the reported Annika Dahlqvist to the Swedish medical authorities and that sparked a diet revolution in Sweden when they found that her diet recommendations were based on sound medical fact.
    A link to her story….
    http://annikadahlqvistblogenglish.blogspot.com/2009/10/annika-dahlqvists-personal-presentation.html

  7. J. R. Nova says:

    This is an excellent post. I’m glad I took the time to read it.

  8. We see the same issue in engineering.

    The point is they are objecting to him providing anything that looks like advise, as he is not licensed to provide nutritional advise. All he need do is remove North Carolina off his site, then it is out of the “jurisdiction having authority”.

    The quality of the advice is irrelevant to the “jurisdiction having authority”.

  9. Great work Steve. I am sure there are a lot more instances that the medical profession has been wrong. Not everyone has the same reactions to the same things. They always figure that everyone is the same but we aren’t.

  10. Like Steve, I’m both a North Carolinian and primal-enthusiast, so he’s got my full support. The primal/paleo lifestyle not only improved my body, but I feel so much better now than I ever did on grains. Keep up the good work Steve!

  11. Great work Steve! and thanks for sharing Kris!

  12. Wow…its amazing that we cannot take our health into our own hands. It is becoming more and more apparent that the powers that be want everyone to be sick and plugged into the Matrix. I tell people all the time to wake up and realize what’s going on. I feel for Steve because he’s doing what’s right but there are people who feel as though money and titles give them the right to dictate people’s health.

  13. It’s great news that Steve has managed to fully reverse his diabetes. I’ve heard a lot of similar stories; diet and lifestyle changes can save lives.

    On the topic of grains though, we are all different, and I myself can’t stay off grains long term, or my energy levels go way down and I lose strength big time. Also my stomach swells up and I lose muscle. So whilst the low carb diet has its advantages, I personally prefer carb cycling to keep my energy and strength up. If no carbs works for you though, that’s great.

    • I agree, no grains isn’t for everyone. I do eat some grains myself, but if I had diabetes I would definitely want to ditch them completely.

  14. You can kind’a understand why they would want to prevent what they deem as unsound advice from being spread if they think it will endanger people, but the good thing is, Steve has added a disclaimer to his website. Plus, I used to study this, but never went on to have letters after my name, and it’s not hard to understand. If there’s a lack of insulin or insulin resistance is causing high sugar levels in the blood, then obviously, eliminating the cause of high sugar levels is simple enough ie. removing carbs.

    Though there’s only one issue I think is dodgy when suggesting a low carb diet to people with diabetes. The problem occurs when a person becomes hypoglycaemic. I’m sure an apple can sort that out, or a swig of soda. And there’s evidence that exercise helps to reverse the effects of insulin resistance too, not just diet on its own.

    If people who make this the study of their entire lives do not understand the principles behind insulin and blood glucose levels, then I don’t understand what they study.

    For the sake of being cautious, any advice should be preceeded with an “I’m not a doctor” statement, or word what you say carefully. I imagine that’s what celebrities do; run their publicity statements by their lawyers just to make sure everything is kosher.

    Nevermind. Thanks for the post. Hopefully it won’t prevent people from publishing their stories in the future. A few folks in my family suffer from diabetes and I’ve got their genes, so I don’t want to follow the advice that they’ve been given, which is to eat high carb diets and take metformin on the side. I’ve seen how that goes.

  15. Good shout Kris, adding your weight to the debate will only help enlighten those who need to know better.

    I feel that the nutritional establishment is painfully behind the times when it comes to the majority of their recommendations, but it’s also perhaps not their fault;

    We have to remember that dogma (or ‘established’ science, whatever that means) is like a huge oil tanker; it takes a long long time for it to change direction, and there’s a lot of investment (ideologically and financially) in keeping it on course. That’s not how science is supposed to work, but it is how capitalism works, and that’s what drives big institutions….

    One particularly good thing about the internet is sites like yours and Steve’s, they give people other options when educating themselves about their choices, and this will only grow, gradually weakening the grip of big business. It may take a while though!

    In the meantime,
    Keep up the good work!
    George

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