Thoughts on My Diabetes Diet, Dr. Bernstein, and Stable Blood Sugars


Doing it the low carb way.

Adhering to my low carb diet. A pot roast and asparagus followed the salad.

Today, a Type 1 diabetic of 28 years sent me an email asking for my thoughts on the diabetes diet plan I’ve been following, which is outlined by Dr. Bernstein in his book Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution.  I’ve included both the reader’s email and my response below, as I feel both are important for me to share, especially given the positive results I’ve seen.


Hello Kevin,

I am a type I diabetic and have been for 28 years now. I have been having rather strange battles with my BS for a couple weeks lately and was looking for answers and I ran across your page and blog and saw info about the book on your Endo post. I checked it out on his website and agree with a lot that he states but it doesn’t give a lot of information on the diet and meal plans he recommends. I was curious if you have found that part easy or hard and what you found with using his plan. Thanks for any information you can provide and thank you for having this blog, I find it helps me to not feel alone as I can see you have dealt with many of the things I have.



I started following the diet Dr. Bernstein recommends back in January after passing out and ending up in the ER due to a low blood sugar.  I had to make a change.  I had been following a relatively loose diet recommended by my endo and the ADA.  I watched my carbs here and there, but I had little restrictions on what I was eating.  I lived by the philosophy that I could pretty much eat what I wanted as long as I shot insulin to compensate for it.  I was wrong, and the high and low blood sugars I had been having for years had been the proof.  I had to make a change for the sake of my wife and myself.

My mom had actually read Dr. Bernstein’s book four years ago.  She liked it because he was a doctor who actually had Type 1 diabetes himself and had reversed several of his complications.  I ignored what my mom told me about his book and his diet, telling her, “As long as I shoot insulin to compensate for the carbs I eat, I can eat what I want.”  Deep down, I think I knew I was wrong.  I just wasn’t ready to do what it would take to truly manage my disease.  However, I’m now married and in January my wife had to watch me lying on the bed hallucinating, convulsing and yelling at her to get away from me because I couldn’t even tell who she was.  My then way of life wasn’t working.

My wife ordered Bernstein’s book a few weeks later.  She read it first and kept telling me everything that she was learning.  So much of it made sense.  It was everything that I had never wanted to hear but always knew was true.   The diet he advocates is not easy.  It’s a strict low carb diet that helps me to adhere to the law of small numbers (in my opinion, the most important point in the book).  The law of small numbers basically says that the less carbs you eat, the easier it is to manage your blood sugars, resulting in less high and low swings.  It might seem obvious, but it’s amazing how few diabetics actually follow it.

Basically, I avoid carb laden foods, including all pastas, potatoes, breads, cereals and most fruits.  I also avoid cake, other flour based pastries and nearly all sweets.  I used to drink milk with every meal, but I no longer do so due to the sugar content.  Was it a tough adjustment?  Yes, it was.  After all, my favorite foods are lasagna, spaghetti, homemade cake, and ice cream.  I had avoided salads for the most part and now they are one of my new best friends.  I also eat more fish, chicken, vegetables, egg whites, cheese and other foods with very few carbs.

If you are reading this and thinking to yourself that there’s no way you could follow that type of diet, I implore you to try it.  In fact, if there was one piece of advice that I could give any diabetic, it would be to read Bernstein’s book, experiment with the idea of small numbers and give the diet a couple months.  Yes, you’ll want to cheat and there will be times that you will, but when you do, you’ll see what happens and it will only become clearer that the diet is working.

I plan on writing more about my diet and Bernstein’s approach in my blog.  You might also want to check out Alissa’s blog.  She is also a fan of Dr. Bernstein’s book and the approach he advocates.  She doesn’t adhere to the diet quite as strictly as I do, but she does follow many of its principles.

There is also a group for the book on the social network (searching that site for his book will also yield forum topics about it, etc.):

If you need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to contact me.  The diet can be an adjustment, no matter to what degree you attempt to adhere to it.  It is a change both for yourself and your family and it definitely takes some getting used to.

Best of luck in your diabetes management efforts,

3 Responses to “Thoughts on My Diabetes Diet, Dr. Bernstein, and Stable Blood Sugars”

  1. Gary Snow says:

    Excellent! I hope Dr. Bernstien’s Info gets out to the masses!

  2. Larry007 says:

    Nice post Kevin! I was dx’d T1 in April of this year. When I finally got around to low carbing my numbers reduced and i lost 20 lbs in just two months. Now I look better, feel better and use much less insulin. I don’t have to use the sliding scale or really adjust for carbs like before. I eat a fairly stable diet and if needed I take more insulin but most meals i take a fixed 5u and have not had any highs or lows. Good luck with you diet man. It’s great to meet a fellow T1 who low-carbs. Most low carbers seem to be T2’s. Have a good one.

  3. Michelle says:

    I was diagnosed at the age of 4 and am now approaching 50. Agree with Kevin’s diet approach and implemented a similar approach a few years ago. I also wear a pump and not only did the pump change my life but following a diet of low carb, unprocessed food along with good fats has also kept me happy and healthy!

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