In Diabetes 101 I learnt that type 1 diabetics produce little to no insulin, are unable to metabolise carbohydrates, and must restrict carbs and starches in their diet. The body converts these to sugar, and this is poison to a diabetic.I duly counted carbs, injected the calculated insulin, but had difficulty managing my blood sugars. Exercise always threw a spanner in the works, sugar was often high, and hypos were frequent and scary.

I tried the ketogenic diet. For 18 months I ate high fat and very low carb. Lots of animal products, very little plant based foods. Trying to keep the evil carbs to a minimum. Blood sugars were great, hypos were rare, but over time my weight slowly trended up, I needed to inject more and more insulin, cholesterol more than tripled (all LDL), and blood pressure was sky high. I was sick. I could imagine my epitaph: “Sugars were great, a fat heart did him in”. Pointless, really.

Staring down the barrel of a shortened life span propped up by statins, beta blockers and blood pressure meds, I decided I had nothing to lose. I became vegan, more precisely whole food plant based, focusing on starches. I follow doctors McDougall and Barnard. I now eat virtually only carbs, limited protein and no fat or oils. All plant based like my buddy in the picture above. Lots of starchy food, adequate greens, and plenty of fruit.

My last HbA1c was 5.3%, blood pressure is normal, cholesterol is below normal, BMI is 20.5, and my insulin requirements are 20-25% of what they were. I get by on 1 injection of 6 units of Levemir per day. No carb counting, no rapid-acting insulin, and I must eat seemingly excessive amounts of food in order to stop my weight from going too low.

I’m a starchivore!