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.
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.